I first met Kariann and Tim two years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago. They had just gotten engaged and she reached out to me about photographing their wedding with one of the best compliments ever - she told me I was "awesome sauce!" So, of course I loved these two from the beginning. But their planning came to a screeching halt when Kariann was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kariann and Tim's story is one of courage in the face of uncertainty, of love shining through the darkness. As Kariann underwent months of difficult treatments, Tim was faithfully by her side, proving he would truly be there for her in sickness and in health. He even shaved his head in solidarity, along with several fellow members of their police department. After months of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, Kariann finally went back to work at the police department, and they chose a new wedding date. It was a long time coming, and the trials they endured during their engagement were truly a test of their love.
We often listen to the words of 1 Corinthians 13 during wedding ceremonies. But for Kariann and Tim, these words resonate with powerful truth:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
For Kariann and Tim - who bared all things, believed all things, hoped for all things, endured all things - their wedding day was a celebration of love unlike any other.
Before she saw her groom, Kariann first needed to see her Dad. His face when he first laid eyes on his daughter was absolutely precious, it was such a perfect moment...
Tim waited outside for Kariann, and was overcome when he saw her in her beautiful wedding dress...
After their first look, Kariann and Tim took some time away with their videographer, the incredible team from Honey and Bride. As a surprise, we arranged to "process" the bridal party by taking mugshots of each bridesmaid and groomsman. The results were hilarious, this has to be one of the most supportive and fun bridal parties ever.
Their flower girls were just the CUTEST...
Everything looked gorgeous at Venuti's Banquets, I loved all of the fun police themed details sprinkled throughout the venue.
Once the guests were seated, the first notes of "Mission Impossible" began to play, and Kariann and Tim's ring security team came down the aisle. It was EPIC. Their ceremony was filled with emotion, particularly when the guests surprised Kariann and Tim by standing and delivering promises of love and support.
The Round Lake Beach Police Department commissioned a special breast cancer awareness cruiser when Kariann was first diagnosed. The car meant so much to her, her colleagues arranged for it to be parked outside after their ceremony. The photos we took that evening by the car were some of my favorites...
The reception kicked off with a sweet and romantic first dance for the bride and groom, following by some pretty amazing toasts from their closest friends.
Kariann's niece Noel was diagnosed with leukemia just before Kariann underwent her mastectomy. These two fought cancer together and always kept a positive attitude. During the reception, Kariann and Nono walked onto the dance floor and danced to "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten. It was the most moving, powerful, unforgettable moment I have ever photographed. I was crying along with everyone else in the room, overwhelmed with emotion watching these two unbelievably strong women.
As the band played we danced the night away, celebrating not only Kariann and Tim's marriage, but rejoicing in life and hope.
Thank you, Kariann and Tim, for including us in your journey, for sharing your amazing story with us. We love you and wish you a lifetime of happiness together!
To see all of Kariann and Tim's wedding photos, click here