So lets start here: I was modeling to be a bride for a styled shoot. I remember this day perfectly. I was leaving a hard marriage of 10 years, yet I never said a word about it. And here I was modeling to be a bride.
I remember the photographer asking me why I loved Arizona so much. I had been flying to Arizona the last couple years, and was known to pick up shoots and be a part of styled shoots. I told her I really didn’t know, But felt called to Arizona and felt God opening doors. I wasn’t sure yet, but I felt this joy come to life every time the plane landed and I began photographing in Arizona. I dismissed the quick conversation we had, until the next time at phoenix international airport. This is my first time publicly sharing this story.
I had given up my seat before voluntarily and what happens is the airlines would gift you a bonus voucher towards your next flight. I had just done so a couple months prior for a shoot me and my friend wanted to do in Palm springs. This time when the airline opened the opportunity, I ran right towards it. I literally ran into someone at the gate. I asked if he gave up his seat too and he looked at me and said “no I was an a** and missed my flight by 2 minutes, and was laughing about it. It made me laugh out loud. I ended the conversation and said I hope you find a flight, and then we started chatting about Sedona and I mentioned I was a photographer. We ended the conversation, and I went to find a place to spend the remainder of my time. I did a little shopping around in those little stores there; grabbed snacks, water and souvenirs.
I headed into restaurant OHSO, and started editing some photos there. I start hearing this guy talking and laughing and I look down and that same man I saw at the gate who happened to be sitting down with a group people, taking over the conversations. His voice travelled. I ended up laughing with them too, and we just connected. He reminded me of my family so much, I have a flock of guy cousins with his look and personality and even laugh so it was naturally easy to get along with him.
He ended up leaving to catch the next flight. I remember my seat next to me being empty, and about 20 minutes or so later he comes back and said he missed his other flight. He had a business meeting for his company in WA and was suppose to be there hours ago. He told me he created an all natural kombucha salad dressing line. I have a huge thing for kombucha so I thought was pretty awesome.
I ended up taking off to go to my gate. I was standing in line with a group, and I look behind me and there he was again in the line next to me waiting for the same flight. It was crazy! But It gets better.... (I’m thinking I can’t get rid of this guy if I tried). We not only were on the same flight but we ended up sitting RIGHT next to each-other ON.THE.PLANE. And then this happened...the flight was delayed for another 45 minutes, waiting for airway to clear. Not only that .. (I had serious tears in my eyes at this point because I just know how good God is ...} , we had a flight attendant come up to us and tell us she could feel really good energy from us and offered us free food and drinks without us even asking. We thought okay, what could possibly happen next. She continued to visit our row and told us to call for another flight credit for us. I think I made $500 that day just hanging out with the airline! lol
On the plane he spoke of God like they were bffs! He told me awesome stuff God's done for him in his life, with his two boys. He was a single dad, I found out. His character didn’t require any explanation, you just already knew he was special. The fact that he didn’t have to tell me how great he was, and wasn't flirtatious or anything, told me everything. He told me to always trust God and no matter where he puts me in my life, to know if it’s His will, trust Him through it, and I will be taken care of. I started to cry, I was becoming the biggest baby. I remember leaving the airport that day and not knowing if I would ever see him again. Then, I remembered at the gate we exchanged business cards the moment we first chatted at gate 10.
We remained friends and grew in friendship over time. As a new single mom, I had him alongside me as the most loyal friend. My boys met him one day for a lunch date and they fell in love with him. I remember asking them what they thought of him after, and they said he was really cool and they wanted to see him again. They said it not me.
Fast forward over a year later, I was able to connect with the same vendor team, along with many others, and they all wanted to be a part of our special day, so we planned for the perfect Elopement. I have before and after photos from the same photographer. Before, just a Bride model who was still waiting to see what God had in store, and now as I look back from our recent Elopement, our photos as a real bride with her groom and beautiful boys.
My boys have the most special brothers, who teach my sweet angels and show them so much love. I have someone who I’ve prayed for my entire life, but only better. I couldn’t have asked for more of a gift, and completion to our family. The boys have never cuddled, or opened up, or have ever been as comfortable with a father figure before chad. Now chad has 4 boys snuggling up to him during movie nights. They spend their time together practicing soccer, wrestling, baseball and football. The time we have together is sacred. For the first time, when we’re all together, we sit down for family devotions and we pray together. He listens to these boys needs more than I do. Everyday there’s joy & peace in our home. Nothing short from a miracle.
It’s all coming together. I am private about my personal life at times, but I have to say, our prayers are being answered bit by bit. Not fully yet, but my faith has magnified. I continue to believe God will bring all these things together. He’s been calling us since the very beginning, before we even knew it. Before we even saw a door open up. Before I gave up my seat that day, before he missed his flight by 2 minutes, before my kids would pray at night with their mama, that God would teach them how to treat girls, before we wake up each day and discover something new he has for us. He's been calling us. Their passions and dreams are being pursued. I know that and THAT is what keeps us going each day.
God is so faithful because sometimes in life he shows us things that may not always be the way as it would appear to everyone looking in. He customizes each of our lives accordingly and hears our heart cries and desires. He shows up always. When you look at the women in the Bible; that truly had faith in him, Beautiful things happened. Beautiful things happen daily. A daily reminder that He's present and hears us. I couldn't be more happier and thankful.
Thank you, Hannah (Ball Photo Co.) for being such a beautiful light; for piecing this story together and being there from the very beginning to capture me and now my growing family. Thank you to our Wedding planner, videographers, florist, hair stylist, makeup artist, calligrapher, shoe and dress boutique, musician, and everyone else who made this come together so beautifully. We are so grateful and touched by you. AND your work is GORGEOUS!
I am sharing a few of BEFORE as a modeling bride, and the After as a real bride.
before + after
Florals above (bottom left corner) by: Flowers By Roo Design: https://www.instagram.com/flowersbyroodesign/
Our Elopement in Sedona, Arizona | April 16th 2018
Mr + Mrs York
Fine art film Photographer: Hannah Ball and Jaren | @Ballphotoco
Wedding Planner / Coordinator: Miranda | @mirawed
Floral design: Kourtney | @themonarchflorals
Makeup Artist: Carolina | @cartakahashimua
Hair design/stylist: Molly Gerdes | @dazedanddiffused | Jo Paris Salon
Calligraphy / Stationary: Loralee Lewis | @loraleelewis
Bakery: Amour De Sucre | @Amourdesucre.az
Tux rental shop: Celebrity Tux and Tails Phoenix | @celebtuxntails
Gown rental: Jolienne Collection Rentals | @Joliennecollection
event stylist: Fancy Lou | @fancyloudesigns
Videography: Blue eyes productions | @blueeyesproductions