Backyard Wedding – Christal + Ryan

I have known Christal since the 9th grade when she moved to Atlanta. We shared a love for reading and singing and learning. She has always held a strong influence in my life with her grounded and fair-minded nature, even when we weren’t in regular contact at times over the years. I will always instantly recognize her handwriting and be able to hear here distinctive voice in my head when I think of her. And when she asked me to document her backyard wedding with Ryan at the home of a family friend, I was shouting YES before she finished asking.

Planning a Backyard Wedding Because – Covid

Love in the time of Covid is an interesting era in our lives. It has impacted many wedding days as we take into consideration the health of our loved ones and the spaces we hold together. For Christal and Ryan, it meant planning a backyard wedding just south of Atlanta in Fayetteville, GA. And it meant praying for wonderful weather so the just over a dozen family members in attendance would not have to all be indoors at the same time.

Singing + Praying. And Then More Singing + Praying.

Christal and Ryan are both deeply spiritual people. Christal’s parents were missionaries and her father a minister for decades. Ryan teaches theology at a collegiate level and routinely writes about religion and the Bible while relating it to current belief systems. Their lives are filled with prayer and their wedding day was no different as they each openly prayed along with other family members offering blessings for their marriage. Ryan played his guitar. He sang. Christal sang. They sang together. Ryan’s sister sang. Christal’s dad officiated this wedding and his words could not have been more meaningful or perfect for the start of this marriage.

I was beyond thrilled and honored to document the start of my friend’s marriage to the love of her life. The tear stains on my cheeks reminded me of this during most of my drive home afterwards. But then I’m a big cry baby and the love people share gets me every time.

Flower bouquet and notebook with wedding names and date
Bride's son sitting relaxed outside a pretty garden shed before the wedding
Children hugging and laughing on their parents' wedding day
Groom and his sister singing at start of wedding ceremony
Grandmother praying with hands outstretched at start of a wedding ceremony surrounded by green foliage and hanging lights
Dad and officiant walking his daughter down a stone path during her wedding in a backyard
Groom playing guitar and singing to his bride while she watches during backyard wedding ceremony
Groom and bride laughing and looking surprised during wedding ceremony
Bride and groom laughing and holding hands during ceremony
Bride and groom holding hands and looking at each other during wedding ceremony
Bride and groom hugging while officiant prays and everyone bows their heads
Groom kissing his bride in backyard wedding ceremony
Bride and groom hugging in middle of wedding ceremony
Bride and groom singing during their wedding ceremony
Backyard wedding ceremony with bride and groom singing
Husband and wife singing and playing the guitar in the middle of their wedding ceremony
End of backyard wedding ceremony as bride and groom in masks make their exit
Newlywed couple in masks walking through a backyard after their wedding ceremony
Newlywed couple walking down the backyard aisle in masks
Husband and wife smiling while wearing masks after their wedding ceremony
Daughter laughing while being hugged by her mom
Mom squatting and outstretching her arms to her five year old smiling daughter
Ring shot of husband's hand holding his wife's on her shoulder

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