Courtney and Donavan were married on July 29th, with a ceremony at St. Aloysius in Spokane, Washington, and a reception at the Hemmingson Center at Gonzaga University.

Strength Comes In Numbers

When you have a wedding party of 22 and a guest count of 350, you know that these two have to be very special! This isn’t your typical wedding size, and honestly, a group this large can be a touch overwhelming as a wedding photographer. But Courtney, Donavan, and their crew were all so fabulous to work with, my job felt easy. Each person in the wedding party truly had a special place in the bride and groom’s lives; each person came from different parts of Courtney and Donavan’s journey, from both before and after they met. The whole group came together like puzzle pieces, making the whole picture clear and showing the whole story. The bridal party truly celebrated, loved and supported this sweet couple.

Everyone was so joyously celebrating Courtney and Donavan, helping in any way to make the day as special as possible. It took a tremendous amount of planning and organizing and corralling to get everyone where they were supposed to be—but they pulled it off! Sure, there were maybe a few moments that didn’t go quite as planned… but what wedding doesn’t include that? Besides, their genuinely laid-back attitudes made it all seem like everything was exactly as it should be. I love that! It’s how I try to approach every wedding, so the joy and celebration is amplified and the worry and stress is barely there.

Courtney and Donavan both have hearts for hospitality. It is literally ingrained in everything they are. Courtney especially continued to check on me throughout the day. She was so gracious and accommodating, asking if I needed anything and if the timeline was inconvenient. . . . I had to laugh and say, “It’s your day, girl, you can do whatever you want!”

It’s just so much a part of who she is and who they are together, so it came naturally to them to love on their guests and wedding party just as much as everyone was loving on them!

A Memorable “Photographer” Moment

Right after the ceremony, Courtney and Donavan exited the church to bubble-filled air, joyful shouts, church bells ringing, and hundreds of people. These are the moments that can feel overwhelming as a photographer, so you truly have to be in the moment and be BOLD. Somehow, with my little voice and towering 5’4” frame, I got 300+ people corralled onto the steps of the church for a great shot! I still don’t quite know how I did it, but I’m glad I did, because I will always remember the joy and thankfulness exuding from Courtney after we got that shot. I think she was surprised by it as much as I was! It fills my heart cup.

My Personal Favorite Moment

At the end of the evening, before I packed up my gear, Donavan grabbed the mic and started belting out “Sweet Caroline.” It was awesome, especially because he was fairly reserved throughout the day and didn’t even want to get out on the dance floor to boogie. But once this song came on, you couldn’t hold him back. It was brilliant!

My Quote For This Couple
"Hospitality is when someone feels at home in your presence." -Unknown

This is a simple sentiment, but very powerful, and what I believe life is all about! You two both embody the essence of hospitality, and I felt "at home" with you both for the small time I got to spend with you. Thank you for displaying this characteristic so beautifully. I know your journey will be blessed together because of it! Keep looking out and up, and you can't go wrong. 

Getting ready location: Hotel RL Spokane at the Park(Red Lion)
DJ: Joshua Byrd
Dress: David's Bridal