Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bryce Wells

Hey Keri,

I know you might not know me personally but I thought I would share a personal story with how I know CJ with you. First off, yes, I do work with his brother Nick at Fidelity but we had no idea that I knew CJ and that Nick was his brother until this tragic accident happened. I guess I've already rambled on and haven't even got to the real story so I'll give you the short version. Here Goes:

I grew up in Cali as a little kid until I was about 9 or 10 I think. My Dad took a Promotion at his job and moved us up to utah to live with our grandparents in Provo until our house was finished. I normally did fine with moves because I had a twin sister and they didn't like to split us up.. well that happened and we transfered to Grandview with 3 months left in school. Worst idea ever. I didn't know anyone, nobody talked to me and everyone had their own "clicks" if you will. (even 3rd grade has clicks I guess). 
One thing that made it better was the only friend that I had in that whole school. His name was CJ. Everyone loved him and everyone wanted to be around him. I can still say to this day that he was the only one that took the time to acknowledge me and be my friend. I remember that his parents redish house bordered the recess or soccer field fence and we used to always go over there to play. 
I ended up moving to Lindon that summer and only saw CJ through high school sports a few times but I will always remember what kind of friend he was to a complete stranger like me in 3rd grade. I know this might seem like a sad story to you but I cant help but only see CJ the way I remember him. And this is the only way I can  


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Mariah Baddas

Dear sweet Keri, 

I'm sorry that this has taken me so long to write. I have started it many times, but have really wanted to take the time to write it and have it mean something. Hope you'll enjoy hearing about your wedding day!  <3 Mariah

I was thrilled to receive an email from Keri Miller, who was engaged to CJ Rhineer and was about to be married!
 I love getting emails from new brides. I could hear the excitement in her words as she described what she was looking for in a wedding photographer. I
 had seen Keri a few weeks prior at our friend Erica (Workinger) Ridell's wedding. 
Keri glowed. :) 
I could tell that her wedding would be a special one. 
Even though we planned everything over email and message, 
and I have never met the groom, I knew that it would be amazing...

So we booked it! YAY! I was excited that summer for all of the weddings I had booked, 
but especially the ones that would be held at the San Diego Temple. I love shooting there. 
That summer, the Temple was under MAJOR construction. It didn't seem to phase Keri or CJ at all.
 A lot of my brides were worried about the Temple not looking "picture worthy"- but that wasn't a problem with the Rhineer's.
 In fact, they embraced it- even bringing hard hats that matched their wedding colors to take a few pictures in. I LOVED THAT.

I've shot a lot of weddings. A LOT. and I love each of them for different things.
But the things I remember the most about CJ and Keri's wedding- were their face as soon as they opened the door 
to the Temple and they walked out hand in hand. 
They were beaming.
And it was gorgeous. I caught several pictures of the two of them in their own little world. 
It didn't matter that all of their families were there, crowing around and craning their necks to see the 
Keri and CJ were on cloud 9
My brother, Dylan and I had a few moments with the bride and groom, just us four- to get some more intimate shots-
it was if they pretended we weren't even there. 
They were at home, all wrapped up in each other and the eternal commitment they had just made to one another. 

We went down to La Jolla Cove to take pictures of the bridal party.
I have received so many emails asking if I could replicate the shots I took on CJ and Keri's day.
I don't think I could recreate those moments though. 
They were completely unique and special.
(Remember when CJ's groomsmen almost touched one of the squirrels at the cove?) That was crazy-

So after the beach- we all headed back up to Vista to get ready for the reception. 
There was some time in between. 
We heard that the crew went to In N Out burger...
a genius idea if you ask me...:) 
And then we all met back up for more pictures and to get the par-tay started. 
Keri's sisters were all telling me that I had to get a picture of her shoes that she was wearing for the reception...
yellow vans. 
I loved that too! 
Everyone at the reception was so happy and relaxed. Everything was in place. 
The photo booth was set up and everyone was thrilled about it! 
Dylan and I stole away Keri and CJ to go up the driveway and take a few more pictures with the trail of
balloons that lined the entire driveway. Those shots came out great too!
I especially love how much Keri and CJ let loose and laughed and jumped in the air for pictures. 
The rest of the night was magic. 
Dancing, cafe lights strung all across the backyard. Delicious food (yep, we ate it) :) 
a chocolate fountain. Kids dancing with grandparents and Cj and his mom sharing a very sweet first dance. 
My brother and I were happy to be there. Happy to be catching these moments. 
The cake cutting was as sweet as can be. Very delicate... I've seen some doozies. 
I think the greatest part of the night coming to a close was the announcement of the "secret" honeymoon that Mr. Rhineer had planned for 
his new bride. I mean, that was the most romantic thing I've ever heard.
I couldn't wait to hear where they were going! 
I think there was even a wager involved if someone was able to guess where they were off to!

A quick run through a tunnel of sparklers...a kiss and hug to their parents...
and Keri and CJ were off.
To start their forever.
You know, sometimes bride and grooms don't know that as an "employee" of their weddings, I'm there behind the scenes a lot.
I'm usually there to help if I'm needed. 
After Cj and Keri's wedding. I hung around for a short while to help with any clean up- Brother and Sister Miller both were there, 
with their feet propped up, smiling (albeit tired) from ear to ear. I asked them how the day went
and they both answered, "it was amazing"
I agree. 
It was amazing.

I know that CJ and Keri are an amazing couple. I have no doubt about that. I am so glad I got to be there on their special day.
I will never forget how much love I felt between them, and how beautiful they each are.

With love,
Mariah Baddas