Allison + Benjamin

June 5th. Holland, Michigan.

Allison and Ben planned to see each other before their ceremony. Van Raalte Farms was the spot, my first time shooting there. I love it when couples go the route of a First Look. The day is completely stress free after this moment. They get to enjoy the day as it unfolds, and so do I.

What has now become the norm, I asked Allison to provide her thoughts on her wedding day, now that it's over. A year of planning, and just like that it's done. The memories however, will last.

So, here are Allison's words, with the photos to follow.

I questioned for a long time whether I would end up in a relationship with Benjamin. We attended the same church, in high school we went on a few mission trips together, and attended the same youth group and high school. During our senior year of high school we went to prom together, but heading off to college, we both decided it would not be a good time to start a relationship. Ben went to Cornerstone and I went to Calvin, but we didn’t see each other often. If I knew then what I know now I probably would have made a bigger effort to spend time with this man.

He had his eyes on me since way back in high school, but it wasn’t until last May (2014) that a relationship started. I finished school for the summer and was going to relax at home for about a week before heading off to Zambia, Africa. A couple of days before I left I got a call. It was Ben asking if I would come over for dinner. After dinner we went for a walk and that is when it all started…

I was in Zambia for about 2 months without any form of communication, except for maybe a few emails here and there. Towards the end of July I came home for 10 days before heading off to New Mexico, where I had been assigned to do my student teaching. During my time there we talked a lot and I couldn’t wait to be home to continue our relationship. I came home towards the end of November and less than a month later we were engaged!

5 ½ months later while finishing up a semester of student teaching, graduating from Calvin College, searching for a job, and looking for a house, we also planned a wedding, not to mention that my sister was also graduating from high school.

While the planning was busy and hectic at times the wedding day was phenomenal! The morning of the wedding I finally felt like I could relax because there wasn’t much more I could do about the small details of the day. My sisters, my mom, and I headed to the church where we hung out in the nursery, got our hair and makeup done, enjoyed some tacos for lunch, and got dressed.

Shortly after I got dressed was the moment I was so excited for, our first look. Benjamin headed over to Van Raalte Farm and I was brought there shortly after. He was standing a long way down a path and I slowly walked over, a little bit shaky and so excited. I stopped right behind him, took a deep breath, and tapped on his shoulder. He turned around and in that moment I knew this was all real. We were really getting married!

We headed back to the church, and the moment I had been waiting for, the music started and my dad escorted me down the aisle. It all seemed so surreal. Benjamin took my hands, we stood up front looking out over all of our family and friends and I felt so blessed. Writing our own vows, taking the time to create our own wedding visual, having our families pray over us, and Benjamin praying over me made the day so much more personal and meaningful and his words will forever be in my heart. I finally got to kiss the man of my dreams, and at the end of it all we were married!

The reception was so much fun, we enjoyed dinner, visiting with friends and family, dancing, and the beginning of our lives together. The day couldn’t have gone any better. I am so blessed.