It’s hard to sit down staring at a blank screen and wonder how to share and describe a story like theirs. The surprise, beauty, and divine timing of it all is so grand and glorious that these little tick tick ticks of my keyboard seem woefully inadequate. But there’s NO WAY that I can share these particular wedding images without pointing each one of you to Jesus, the author of this Redemption Story.
See, Jordan and Michelle grew up side-by-side in the same small church in Forest City, North Carolina. Their families were friends; in fact, their mamas grew up together too. For years, all the way up until middle-school when their families started attending separate churches, they shared Sunday sermons and Sunday school lessons, never imaging then what the future held.
But life took them separate ways, and as the years went by, they remained little more than acquaintances.
In 2016, Jordan was living in North Carolina, and Michelle had recently moved back, clinging to her faith and family after having her world turned upside-down in the months prior. What she thought was a forever covenant relationship had left her in a place she never thought she’d be, a single mama of a beautiful little girl named Riley.
As she tells it, she was sitting in church one Sunday morning (the same one Jordan was attending), and he happened to sit directly in front of her. While she thought at the time that he was in a serious relationship and completely off limits, she recalls, “…I did notice him and how he was worshipping. That very moment I asked God to send me a man that loved Him, like this man sitting in front of me does.”
Exactly one week later, when Jordan (who, it turns out, was NOT in a serious relationship anymore) added her on FB, they started messaging right away, which quickly lead to exchanging numbers and texting. And one week later, on December 10, 2016, they went on their very first date!
In Jordan, Michelle found a steady, faithful, God-fearing man full of integrity, highly respected by his friends and community, a man trustworthy and true, a man who also loved Riley with his whole heart. A safe, good man. And in Michelle, Jordan found a stunning woman of strength, character, and determination, a woman who put the Lord first and who longed to stand by his side and cheer him on in business and life. Right before their very eyes, Jesus was writing their Redemption Story, transforming pain and brokenness and waiting into something truly dazzling and spectacular, as only He can!
Fifteen months after that first date, Jordan stood by the edge of a field on the property that he and Michelle would soon call home together, waiting for the first glimpse of his bride! Their first look was so incredibly joyful, and I loved that it became even more of a sacred moment because they were sharing it at their home. What a special gift that every time they look out their kitchen window, they’ll be reminded of those first tender moments, when Michelle was utterly radiant and Jordan was filled with almost-husband anticipation and excitement!
Hours later, inside Floyds Creek Baptist Church (the very church Jordan and Michelle grew up in together), Michelle – dressed in lace and buttons and beauty – intertwined her arm with her dad’s. As the praises of How Great Thou Art swirled around the sanctuary, they walked side by side down the aisle toward the man of her dreams, toward the beginning of a very grand adventure, the culmination of so much prayer and longing and healing!
One of my most favorite parts of their ceremony was when Jordan got down on his knees in front of Riley and spoke vows to her, too. He promised that, though he couldn’t be there for the first of her “firsts”, he would be there for each one from that moment on. He promised to protect her, and to live his life in such a way that she would always have an example of how a real man lives and loves and serves. Then he reached into his jacket pocket and produced a beautiful three-heart diamond necklace for Riley, a forever-reminder of that moment and his pledge to her. CUE ALL THE TEARS.
After Jordan and Michelle were officially pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Wall, everyone traveled across town to the reception at the Rutherfordton Clubhouse. Michelle and her family had transformed the space into a sparkling, intimate room of celebration! From the centerpieces that Michelle made herself, to the intentionally mismatched china that Michelle’s family had been collecting for over a year, to the incredible floral arrangements that Michelle’s aunt created, the Clubhouse was FULL of personal touches that made everyone feel welcome and comfortable!
After the wedding party was announced, Michelle and Jordan shared their very first dance as husband and wife, which kicked off an evening full of love and “Congratulations!”! Michelle danced tearfully with her Dad, and Jordan shared a slow dance with his mama before bending over to sway with Riley to their own special song. Delicious dinner and cake were had by all, followed by the bouquet and garter toss, but my absolute favorite part of the evening happened after all of that, when Jordan and Michelle happily agreed to squeeze in a few more portraits before the sun set completely and we lost all the light. Outside, we took full advantage of an old stone wall draped in ivy and the tall pine trees that lined one whole side of the Clubhouse road. What a beautiful ending to a perfectly wonderful day! ❤
Jordan and Michelle, I can’t tell you what a privilege and honor it was to be a witness to your love and His work in your lives! Thank you for proclaiming Him, for stepping boldly into this new life He’s given you both, and for setting such a powerful example of trusting in the waiting! Thank you for inviting me to capture your story…it’s one of my favorites! I hope that these images always remind you of His great faithfulness, and that they always bring to your minds the deep goodness and joy of your first day as man and wife!