Iceland Love Conquers All Things

Oh Happy Day to You!

Last weekend was action-packed to say the least!  Within minutes of arriving to the stunning Eyry of the Eagle Estate I knew it would be an eventful day and my expectations did not disappoint!  As the day unfolded, I had some firsts happen: I was spat on by an alpaca (first), had goose bumps, tears (first), acquired poison ivy, and for the first time ever, I had sunset couple’s portraits photo bombed by donkeys (yes, I said donkeys)!  Hilariously true and so worth it to endure for the crazy undeniable love Carrie and Wally have for each other!  I love my job being a wedding photographer not only because I never have a duplicate moment; but, I also get the chance to watch wedding plans unfold with an outside eye and capture it at its very best.  Truly, I really cherish that part.

This past weekend’s Michigan wedding at Eyry of the Eagle in Grass Lake really brought me back down to the basics, raw love.  No elaborate frills, no buts or what if’s but just crazy awesome I will love you until the end of time, love.  Carrie and Wally’s wedding day really left me inspired and grateful for love.

On that note, today’s blog post is going to be a 2 part series on some sensitive issues you may encounter while Iceland wedding planning.  This week we’ll be talking about how your “Iceland Love Will Conquer All Things” and next week stay tuned for “Protocol for Family Issues & Parents” while Iceland destination wedding planning.  That being said, I will add this disclaimer to my post:  Sensitive Issues will be discussed with real wedding examples, followed by my personal experience/opinion on how to approach. –Thanks!

Carrie and Wally contacted me over a year ago to be their Michigan wedding photographer.  Although, they were not planning an Iceland destination wedding, Photos by Miss Ann still loves having local Michigan weddings in unique locations!  From the minute I spoke with Carrie on the phone, I knew that they were a fun-loving, laid back, super sweet retro couple and were oh-so excited to be engaged.  They had reconnected a decade later after knowing each other in high school.  A lot had changed over the years for each of them.  But if you spend 10 minutes with them you would know that they were destined to come together so they could not only strengthen each other but also serve as an inspiration to all who love them.

In January of this year, Carrie and Wally stopped wedding planning to manage through a time of trials and tribulations.  Even before they were married, life was testing their relationship resilience.  First, they had found out they were expecting a baby, who would make her appearance into the world on April 14th (destined by dates, I think)!  After that exciting news came, baby prepping overtook their life; that is until more life changing news came.  What started out as Wally having a minor back injury, evolved into weeks of doctors’ visits, MRI’s, and numerous other tests, that then turned into a very real conclusion of cancer.  They found out together on Valentine’s Day of this year that Wally had a very rare form of cancer in his spine.  Not only that, but that the cancer had also spread into his lymph nodes and began spotting in his lungs.  Weeks before their May 25th wedding day, Wally began rounds of aggressive chemotherapy.

The groom, Wally said to me on his wedding day while I was photographing their Michigan couple’s portraits, “Carrie has brought me an endless amount of strength.  This is my second battle with cancer in 10 years and she has been there for me more than anyone.  She has been my rock through the good, bad, and ugly somehow always bringing a smile to my face.”  The bride, Carrie told me during her bridal portraits before the wedding that they, “have endured insurmountable struggles in the last year and prevailed.  They will prevail over this too.” <Insert goose bumps!>

Spending the day with Carrie and Wally last weekend, I saw firsthand how love conquers all things.  From the positive energy they exude together, encouragement they give each other, the endless love and excitement their family’s shared, and the look of adoration they held in their eyes for each other, totally made my eyes well up!  Their love has been tested, tried, and totally true.

It was fitting they have the most beautiful day in Michigan for their wedding day.  The scene was set in the Grass Lake Michigan countryside where you hear and see chickens running around, a gorgeous 125 year old barn, walk a stone path passing by alpacas and donkeys to get down to a beautiful lake, stunning tall woods, a brick pathway to charming wedding pergola.  The bride and groom had a playful funky style, created all of their flowers, reception decorations, and other details all themselves and were so ready to get the show on the road!  Their wedding vows expressed their unremitting adoration and respect for each other.  It was lovely along with the rest of the evening’s events!  Feel free to check out a few of their Metro Detroit wedding photographs below.

I went home that evening and while my wedding images were uploading to the computer, (I totally interrupted the Red Wings playoff game) and bombarded my husband with “what if” scenarios.  Some were valid and I’ll be honest some were farfetched and ridicules but I felt the need to ask to understand that if we were challenged with such situations how we would handle together.  Chris and I have gone through our own struggles as a couple over the years with health distresses, losses, along with other sensitive family issues that have surfaced, but none to the life-threatening level that Carrie and Wally have been united through.  Going through a time of uncertainty of your future is scary especially when you are wedding planning and faced with the detrimental odds.

So you ask, how do you cope?  How does love conquer all things before and after your Iceland destination wedding?

  • Positivity.  Staying optimistic is one of the most important things you can do when faced with health, economic, or other dramatic life changing events.  It affects your attitude, demeanor, outlook, and those you love.  At times it may be very difficult and you may have to “fake it to make it” but it will make a world of difference.
  • Get educated.  Take the time to do research and understand what is really going on along with your immediate/long term options and a timeline.
  • Turn the negative into a learning lesson that you will come out of a better and stronger willed person/couple.
  • Honesty.  Be truthful about everything with yourself, your soon-to-be, with family, and other involved professionals.
  • Open Communication.   If you feel sad, anxious, fear the unknown, or frustrated –talk about it, don’t hold it in!
  • Get professional help.  If its health related seek additional opinions, the best doctors, etc.  If it’s economic, seek professional advice (i.e. financial advisors, resume gurus, career sites, etc).  If it is personal, seek 3rd party professional help from a counselor, psychologist, or life coach.
  • Be a Team.  The key though is to do this together and incorporate your families; they can bring you additional support, a shoulder, an extra ear to vent to, etc!
  • Compile a plan of attack.  Sort out what things you have control over and what you do not and create a plan of how you will tackle the situation and respond to the different outcomes.  Having a strategy allows you focus short and long term.
  • Take up a new hobby to refocus your negative energy/thoughts.  Blogging, collecting, clubs, etc!
  • Take time to smile and laugh with each other.  This could be as simple as having a date night picnic in the living room!  Even in time of hardship, let your love thrive.

With the above tools in use, you can conquer just about anything and everything together.  So if you find yourself in love, engaged, planning a wedding in Iceland (or anywhere) or you’ve already been married in Iceland and are faced with a misfortune somewhere along the road remember these tips!  And also remember Iceland Wedding Planner and Photos by Miss Ann is here to help you tackle that overwhelming task of planning your wedding in Iceland with inclusive Iceland wedding photography packages too!  Please feel free to email us for more details!

Lots of Iceland wedding photography & planning smiles to you, Ann & Chris Peters

© 2002-2013, Photos by Miss Ann, All Rights Reserved

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