This story is an interesting one.

Yes, I believe wholeheartedly that there is something inexplicably incredible about each couple’s love story, but this story is especially fun to tell/witness/document.

Brittney is one of the dearest-of-the-dear friends of mine and this is the day she got married.

This was one of the last times she’d receive a phone call from her “Hunky Hunky Fiance,” as she would soon change her caller ID to read “Hunky Hunky Husband.”

The good thing about photographing your friend’s wedding is that you get to both document AND join in on the hugs . . .

Maybe now is a good time to explain the short version of the backstory: Brittney and Joel knew each other in high school but end up losing touch (that was a nice way to put it, right, Brittney?). ┬áSeveral years pass, Joel’s in the Army based in Alaska and one day Brittney watches “Pearl Harbor” and SOMEHOW ends up on the phone with Joel crying and begging him not to die in the Army. This call sparks a friendship that we all watch sloooooowly but surely evolve into a long distance relationship.

That point was the last part of their pre-marriage relationship that I would describe as slow.

Next thing we know Brittney’s visiting Joel in Alaska, has gotten engaged, we immediately set a date for their engagement photos when Joel’s home on leave before he deployed to Afghanistan and only a couple of weeks after that I get a phone call that went a little something like this: Remember how you’re supposed to take our engagement photos when Joel’s on leave? Yeah, how would you feel about photographing our justice-of-the-peace wedding ceremony before that? Any scheduling conflicts there? Yeah, no? Good.

The above photo was such a precious moment to witness. Just about everything had gone NOT the way they had planned their day to go leading up to arriving separately at the justice of the peace office but the second they saw each other they wrapped each other up in the biggest of hugs and just held on for several moments. And then everything was alright.

Gosh, I STILL cry looking at these images.

After the JOP ceremony we all went out to a celebratory lunch with a small group of friends and then headed out to take photos as planned — but not as an engaged couple, as newlyweds.

Here are some of the letters Joel and Brittney wrote to each other between Texas and Alaska while they were dating.

Above is a photo of Joel’s grandparents from when they were Joel and Brittney’s age that Brittney found in Joel’s Bible. I love that we found a way to integrate it into their engagement photos.

As with any blogpost, there is more to their story but this will be where I end it for now.

Gosh, my heart is so, so incredibly and happily full for my friends, the Dumas’.

(Oh yes, and perhaps I should mention that these photos were taken juuuuust about a year ago so as to avoid any potential confusion)

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