Brook + Austin: 8 Beautiful Years and Many More
Some weddings you shoot for people you’ve never met, and it’s so cool to become lifelong friends with people who would have otherwise been strangers. But, with Brook and Austin, that wasn’t the case. As long as I’ve known the two of them, going on 9 years now, they’ve been so in love. And THIS is one of my favorite stories.
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ve read the company’s history and my background in photography. Back in 2014 and 2015, when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I took (bad) photos of my friends for free. And God bless their souls, Brook and Austin were some of those friends. 16-year-old Shelby had good intentions, but as you’ll soon see, things definitely went up from there. Cue this sweet snap from 2014:
As the years passed, and Brook and Austin continued dating, they reached out in 2016 asking me to do a portrait session of them downtown. Overjoyed, I ran around with them, downtown Indianapolis mid summer and captured some photos to update the frigid December 2014 set.
Less than a year later, in 2017, a text from Austin popped into my phone. He was getting ready to propose and he told me he wanted me to capture it. I was SO EXCITED. I felt so honored to be a part of their love story from the start. Together we planned, talked about how he’d do it, what the ring looked like. The day came and I crouched behind bushes in the acres behind Brook’s parents house (and cried).
Over pizza and breadsticks, Brook and Austin and I discussed wedding plans. They’d decided to wait a good bit until they had both graduated, and they planned for June of 2019. I was so eager and impatient for their wedding, I could not wait to cry my eyes out at the best day ever for two people I’d known and loved for so long.
June 8, 2019, the long awaited day rolled around. They had decided to do the unlimited package, which meant I was with them from dawn mimosas to closing fireworks, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I spent the morning with the girls as they did their hair and makeup and danced around the living room with Koda-bear.
Something that I LOVED about these two is that they wanted to do things THEIR way, even if that didn’t match up to the traditional understanding of weddings. The best example I have of this is that Brook’s maid of honor was in fact a *MAN of honor. Jesse and Brook grew up together and have always been the best of friends. It made the most sense to her that he be her right hand man on her big day. He lived up to the role ten-fold. In his pink tie, and matching converse, he killed it.
Another thing that Brook did that made her day unique is that she wanted to do a first look with Austin, but she wanted to use a fake wedding dress (unknown to him of course). She found the fluffiest, floofiest white dress she could find, and ordered it.
I am convinced Austin couldn’t have cared less what she was wearing, he cried like a baby (which in turn made ME cry, but what’s new). Reference the photos below. Favorite first look EVER.
Brook and Austin said their vows in the spot down by the creek on the family’s property, a backyard wedding in the best sense of the term. It reflected the two of them and their love story so well. We danced the night away under an Indiana sky, and set off fireworks when the day was done.
Thankful is an understatement.
The fact that these two amazing people trusted me with so much of their love story is so humbling.