We crash weddings and love it, but there are times that we miss the real story to be told. I will do my best to recant this story as it was told to me. It is one of strength, love, endurance and, of course, women.
Meet Rachel Brocksmith and Ben Brammeier. We have always been overly enthusiastic when it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July and were thrilled to hear about a wedding taking place over the holiday weekend. The couple had arranged to be married at the Baptist Church and then walk over to their reception at The Roof off of Broadway. Fireworks were expected to light up the sky from surrounding towns and the couple was delighted in the idea of celebrating their favorite holiday with loved ones. Ben is an army man and is now in the Army Reserves. He was excited to have several of his Army comrades at his side on this special day. Everything in the wedding, from the men’s suits to the invitations, were branded by their love for this country. I could go on about the wedding details, but let’s begin our story here.
Weeks before the wedding, Rachel’s grandfather unexpectedly became very ill. Grandpa, as she likes to call him, had stomach cancer. His condition was critical and he was placed in a full care facility in the midst of wedding planning. Rachel visited him as often as she could and many of her bridal activities had to be scheduled around her grandfather’s needs. Rachel recalls her grandpa telling her how much he wanted to see her get married one day. That seemed to be impossible now.
July 3rd, was full of excitement, yet with the reality that grandpa could not make it. The rain clouds lingered through out the morning and the hopes of a rooftop wedding were not looking promising. The women gathered together and got ready at The Loft, while the rain began to pour. However, nothing could ruin her special day and enjoying all the special women in her life. Slowly, they were all transformed into portrait of perfection and were soon whisked away to the chapel to begin dress preparations. Rachel arrived to First Baptist Church to find that her mother and grandmother had not yet arrived from the salon. Rachel looked at the time and it had just turned to a half past two o’clock. The skies seemed to clear and the sun peaked though the clouds to give a glimmer of hope. Her mother and grandmother arrived an hour later, but Rachel did not seem to notice with all the commotion. Time flew by and the guest began to arrive.
The ceremony was officiated by a sweet friend’s father that spoke of the couple with such fondness. Tears were shed and laughs were shared. The wedding bells rang and the couple had their first kiss as husband and wife. The Broadway Hotel was within walking distance and we made our way towards the reception that was being held at their rooftop, while the couple took their bridal portraits. The couple had chosen their photographers months before knowing that they wanted someone to capture the most important details of their big day. Their choice of photographers could not have been more perfect. (All of the amazing pictures provided here are from Love Tree.) Love Tree Studios paid close attention to the most intimate details and had captured the most significant part of this love story. It did not involve the dress, or the cake or all the other wonderful details that they had poured over in the last year of planning. Sometimes, we are so engrossed with the details that miss the most important moments in life.
In an instant, a picture is taken and a moment is captured. We end this story with the most captivating of pictures. Grandma was captured in a beautiful blue gown and a crisp red shawl clasping a necklace that carried her husband’s ring near her heart. Much to the surprise of this gorgeous bride, Grandpa was able to see her get married in the best seat of the house, Heaven. Her grandfather passed away at 2:30 that afternoon. Looking back, Rachel recalls that the moment he was pronounced as taking his last breath was the moment she looked down at her watch and realized the clouds were clearing. As she retold the story, Rachel expressed in tears that it was a sign from her Grandpa that he was with her.
The hour delay in Rachel’s mother and grandmother arriving to the church was due to their last visitation at the hospital. They held back tears and kept the secret deeply hidden for the remainder of the day so their sweet daughter/granddaughter could celebrate without a care in the world. Most of the women in their circle knew and gave each other incredible amount of support. They all managed to dance the night away because of their love for their bride. Which brings me to the quote above, a mother’s sweetest reward is the love, respect and confidence of their daughters. Rachel walked away from her wedding with a not only a new life partner, but with the loving portrait of a family life that possesses a lasting vitality to support each other through life’s ups and downs.
Edith Hall Cakes
Three tiered cake with fun gold confetti.
Prairie String Quartet
An incredible personal touch to the ceremony.
First Baptist Church
Alan-Andersons Just Fabulous
Gorgeous Bouquet that matched their patriotic colors.
The Loft with Cherie Doyen
Up-dos that were top-notch.
The Broadway- The Rooftop
A top-notch wedding reception venue.
The Ink Cafe LLC
Beautifully customized invitations/programs
Mary Kay Cosmetics: Sandy Ollar
Elegant make-up transformation of the bridal party
KC Groove Therapy
Enthusiastic band that made the party come alive.
The Love Tree Studios
Captured the most amazing moments.
Go White Knight
Providing the adorable Trolley for the evening.
Wedding Day Attire
Bridal Dress: David’s Bridal
Vail: handmade by Rachel’s aunt Lesa Brocksmith
Shoes: Antonio Melani