2018 Love Stories TV Wedding Film of the Year: A Story of Love, Hope, + Family

Danielle + Richard —

Portland, Maine

Six weeks prior to their wedding day, we received a message in our inbox on Instagram from one of our favorite New England wedding photographers, Amanda Fogarty. She described a situation to us of some of her best friends + a wedding celebration that was being planned for them two weeks out from that very day.

Amanda explained Danielle + Richard's 17 year relationship to us...their love for one another...their three little boys...+ the challenges they have been faced with in the past year since Richard's stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis in September 2016. She ended her message by asking us if we would be interested in traveling, on such short notice, all the way to Maine to film their wedding day in just a few, short weeks.

From the second we received + began reading Amanda's message, we knew + felt deep in our hearts that we were being called to film their story. We knew we were going to "make it work" no matter what we needed to do...we moved + shifted things around in our schedule (true story: we were actually in the middle of a super unexpected move + shifted up our move in date to be able to make it all happen.) We believed in our hearts that our paths had crossed with theirs for a specific reason + that this thing was meant to happen. One way or another....so we got to work + we made it happen. We are huge believers that the Lord works things out for the good, always, and we can't help but see His hand in every piece of this story.

Just a few, short days after receiving Amanda's first message, we received our first email from our lovely bride to-be, Danielle, who was super genuine, warm, thankful, + a total inspiration to us from the very start. A few days after receiving that email from her, we had the pleasure of speaking to her on the phone for the very first time. For TWO hours. TWO. HOURS. Needless to say, we felt instantly connected to Danielle + her beautiful 17 year old love story with Richard from the very start.

Over those two hours, Danielle allowed us a peak into her beautiful heart. We listened to her countless stories about their love, their dreams, their tribe, their plans, their adventures, their cancer fight, their boys, + their desire to finally make their commitment to one another 'official' through marriage. Several times we were moved to tears just in listening to the words that she spoke straight from her heart. Danielle is one of those rare souls that spills out light, grace, + hope in every word she speaks. Is it possible to fall in love with people you've never met before? Yes, yes, it certainly is + we certainly did.

Those two weeks of prepping for their celebration of life + love absolutely flew by + before we knew it we were standing in Danielle + Richard's beautifully designed + decorated home in snowy Maine. It almost felt like an out of body experience for us as we helped capture the most beautiful bride we've ever witnessed, the most inspiring groom we've ever met, + all of their dreams finally coming true right before their very eyes.

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We were moved the entire day...constantly inspired by the genuine love we were witnessing in every fraction of their day. We paused as Danielle stood on the rocky coast, gazing out into the ocean waters, faced with the unknowns of their future. So much symbolism there, you all. She looked so beautiful, so content, + so peaceful in that moment as she looked out into the unknown.

We witnessed the most genuine love in Richard's eyes as he caught a glimpse of Danielle waiting for him out on the rocks at Kettle Cove. We got teary eyed as their boys pulled up to their first look + finally learned the secret that everyone had been keeping from them: their parents were finally getting married!!! And then we sobbed even harder when Richard stood before his boys + asked them to be his best men. We listened to words + promises that were spoken with such sincerity + bravery by their loved ones. We watched two families + HOARDS of loved ones celebrate the life + love that has been fought for + cherished between Danielle, Richard, + their three beautiful boys. It was truly a CELEBRATION + we hope everyone in that room could feel the immense amount of joy we were seeing through our lenses đź–¤

This job is one of our biggest blessings in this life, this we don't doubt for a second. Not only do we get to listen to + help tell some of the most beautiful, powerful, + meaningful stories on a daily basis...but we get to meet the HEARTS behind these stories. We get to know + be friends with the huge, compassionate, fearless, kick ass beating hearts that love without hesitation or fear. When you leave a "job" having gained a deeper passion for what you do, a greater love for your craft, the sweetest new friendships, + a genuine hope for humanity...you know you've found your calling.

Unfortunately, a few months later, sweet Richard passed away. We only had the pleasure of knowing Richard for a few, short months, but we can still tell you just how compassionate, kind-hearted, strong, brave, + thoughtful he was. And gosh, was he a fighter. He never quit fighting for life.

I can specifically remember one moment on their wedding day that always stands out to me about Richard. It was towards the end of the night, everyone was on the dance floor partying it up + celebrating. I was resting my feet in a back corner for a few minutes after carrying around heavy camera equipment for 10 straight hours. By the end of a wedding day I'm absolutely worn down. That's when Richard came back to that same corner where I was sitting, took off his shoes, + started rubbing peppermint oil on his feet. In that moment I realized that the pain I was experiencing wasn't even a fraction of what he must have been through over the past year. I couldn't believe how well he had done all day - never complaining once about feeling bad (and we all know he had every right to do so.)

As he sat down he made a joke to me, we laughed, + we had a nice little conversation for a few minutes. But what really stood out the most to me was a single question he asked me as the conversation was wrapping up: "Is there anything I can do for you? Anything I can get you?"

The words were simple, but impactful. Here I was sitting before a man who had just met me that day. A man who was battling an aggressive cancer. A man who was in the presence of HUNDREDS of people whom he really knew + loved. But there he was taking the time to ask me if he could go out of his way to do something for me. In that moment I saw his character. Thoughtful. Caring. Compassionate. Selfless. I could go on + on.

I thanked him for his kindness + told him not to worry about me. All I wanted was for them to have the best night ever with the people they love. Right before we were about to part ways to return back to the celebration he thanked me for being there. It wasn't just a "hey thanks for being here" kind of thank you. It was THE sincerest thank you I've ever received from anyone. I could see his genuine, heartfelt thankfulness behind his eyes. I could hear it in his voice. And I could feel it behind his smile. You don't meet many people like this in this life - the kind of people who just completely touch your soul - but that weekend we got to be in the presence of not one, but two people who have impacted us this way.

There's no wonder why Danielle + Richard found one another. We may have only gotten to know Richard for a short amount time but, oh, how he's changed our lives forever for the better just by knowing him. WE are the lucky ones. We have no doubt that Richard's strong legacy will live on through his beautiful wife, Danielle, + their three musketeers.

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And with that said…we are thrilled to let you all know that Danielle + Richard’s story HAS impacted the lives + hearts of thousands upon thousands of people all over the world. Their film was nominated in the 2018 Love Stories TV Wedding Film Awards for “Wedding Film of the Year” and we are beyond proud to say that it WON! To everyone who voted for their wedding film: it truly means the world! Danielle + Richard's love story has changed our lives + the entire way we document stories, to say the least. We have had countless friends, family, + total strangers take time to let us know that their story has impacted their lives in some way. Whether it has encouraged them to love harder, squeeze tighter, hug longer, or live life fully with loved ones. We were asked to film a thank you speech for Love Stories TV and you can listen to that below:

The Wedding Team:

Photography | Amanda Fogarty, A.Fogarty Photography
Mackenzie Lamoureux , Mackenzie Lamoureux Photography
Videography | Happy Camper Films
Kettle Cove Drone Footage | Cole Libby
Wedding Planner | Jamie Moody, Cider House Designs
Band | Larry Williams Band
Lighting | The Event Light Pros
Catering | Jennifer, 111 Maine | Catering, The Dogfish Bar & Grille
Ceremony & Reception Venue | Portland Company Complex
Decorations & Rentals | Heartwood Essentials, Savvy Event Rental, Maine Prop House, NECR - New England Country Rentals
Cake | Cakes For All Seasons
Desserts | Amber Saucier Goodman
Dress | Nicole Madden Brozick
Programs | Emily Richardson