Their Story

Chris and I never expected that we would get married when we first met! We met on New Year's Eve, just before ringing in 2015. He had been away for a six-month mission, and, in the meantime, I'd moved to his hometown of Boise, Idaho, and become friends with all of his friends. He was only home for four months before he'd return to where he was based in Australia to continue his nonprofit work for another two years. So, a new relationship was off the table for him. I definitely thought he was cute when we met, but after learning about his situation I quickly put him in the "friends only" category of my brain and kept him there.

Over those four months, though, we ended up hanging out almost every day. He never asked for my phone number. We never texted, never even made plans to hang out together. We'd see each other at the coffee shop or the climbing gym, or end up hanging out in a group. By the end of his time at home, we considered each other really good friends. I constantly denied the suggestions by our friends that there was anything more on either side... until the day he flew to Australia. 

Suddenly, I was a flood of emotion. I didn't even understand why I was so sad to see him go until I asked God what was going on, and He showed me what was in my own heart. I saw a replay of the past four months, except I saw things in I way I hadn't seen them before. I saw how kind, gentle, and patient Chris was. I saw how much genuine fun we had together. I saw the potential for something really beautiful, but it seemed too late. Chris was experiencing something similar, although with much less crying. He had started to wonder before he left what could happen between us, but he knew that he needed to go to Australia... and let go of the possibility of us.

Over the next few months, I learnt more and more how to trust that if Chris was the one for me, it would work out in the right timing, without effort on my part. We messaged each other every few weeks, just to say hello and ask how things were going. I was truly moving on in my heart - which our best friend eventually caught wind of. Sometime in September, he suggested that Chris should call me sometime. So, he randomly started up a video call with me (who does that?!). Towards the end of that conversation he asked me what I thought about coming to Australia to do missions work, too. I thought he was joking. He texted me a few times after that to tell me he was serious and asked me again if I would consider it, so I did. So many puzzle pieces that God had been giving me about my future started to fit together as I thought about life in missions, as well as a relationship with Chris. My next question to Chris - "why are you REALLY asking me to come?" - is eventually what led us to share our feelings for each other and start to date long distance.

After six month of dating over the phone, I did make the move to Australia. Nine months after that we got engaged. After four whirlwind months of planning across continents, we came back to where it all started in Idaho to get married!

~ Bride, Leanne

Wedding Day

Chris and I are full-time volunteers, so having the funds available to travel from Australia back home to the States and celebrate with our family and friends was a great gift. We felt from the beginning like it wasn't just for us. Because we started dating long distance, many of our loved ones didn't get to see our relationship develop. We wanted a day that would invite people into our love for each other. We wanted it to be less about tradition and more about the values and reasons behind the traditions.

We wanted more than anything to get married outside in a woodsy, mountainous setting. The PNW had a pretty rough winter this year, and even a few short weeks before the wedding we heard it was still snowing in McCall! We prayed so much for firm ground and no rain. Even though there were showers before and after the ceremony, it was a gorgeous sunny sky when I walked down the aisle! We were so thankful that the ceremony could be outside - we kept all of our decorations really simple to enhance the natural scenery. We went with copper details to pop amongst a lot of neutrals and various shades of green, blue, and purple. My favourite special touch was the Mexican blankets on the tables - Chris' idea! I wanted to keep it simple but add texture and colour to the tables, and the blankets were perfect!

One of my highlights was the dinner - the food as well as the time spent with loved ones! One of our biggest desires for our wedding was that it would feel like family. Gretchen and her team from 3 Girls Catering made beautiful salads, pizzas, and sodas, all with fresh and local ingredients! It was served family style, and because of the layout at Blackhawk on the River our guests could see into the kitchen as they cooked. I loved that! We also had our good friends who own a coffee roasting business serve pour-overs for our guests. I love that everything about the dinner was handmade, quality, and beautiful to look at!

I think one of my absolute favourite parts of the day was our time alone with our photographer and videographer. We didn't have a first look, and we also didn't break up the ceremony and reception to do portraits in the middle. We opted to keep the dancing short and duck out early to end the evening with our portrait session. I'm so glad we went this route! I know our guests loved that they walked straight from the ceremony to their dinner, and I loved not having to keep them waiting. We felt so relaxed and had so much fun being creative instead of worrying about needing to get back to the party.As a photographer, the biggest compliment is when a well respected photographer hires you. Leanne is one of the most passionate women and talented artists I've ever met, hiring her to do work for my own brand. I admired her commitment to her vision, never swaying towards changing trends. So when she met the love of her life and picked up her life in Idaho and moved to Austrailia to be with her boyfriend, I wasn't surprised in the least. She is a girl who follows her heart in all aspects of her life. In the planning stages of her wedding, she told me she wanted an intimate spring wedding in the mountains of Idaho that felt like being in a cozy cabin. Leanne and Chris decided on no more than 75 guests to attend their April boho wedding, choosing Blackhawk on the River for their venue named because it's literally on the river. Selecting cozy blankets to use as table runners and hunting for vintage teapots for the table setting, the entire wedding design was DIY and curated by Leanne and her mom and sister. They set board games out on the tables for guests to be entertained while taking family photos and provided every guest with their own Moscow Mule mug to fill with locally brewed coffee & chai tea. The entire wedding felt unapologetically laid back and intimate with details of their story everywhere, including a guest book globe for guests to sign on their favorite country.

As a photographer, the biggest compliment is when a well respected photographer hires you. Leanne is one of the most passionate women and talented artists I've ever met, hiring her to do work for my own brand. I admired her commitment to her vision, never swaying towards changing trends. So when she met the love of her life and picked up her life in Idaho and moved to Austrailia to be with her boyfriend, I wasn't surprised in the least. She is a girl who follows her heart in all aspects of her life. In the planning stages of her wedding, she told me she wanted an intimate spring wedding in the mountains of Idaho that felt like being in a cozy cabin. Leanne and Chris decided on no more than 75 guests to attend their April boho wedding, choosing Blackhawk on the River for their venue named because it's literally on the river. Selecting cozy blankets to use as table runners and hunting for vintage teapots for the table setting, the entire wedding design was DIY and curated by Leanne and her mom and sister. They set board games out on the tables for guests to be entertained while taking family photos and provided every guest with their own Moscow Mule mug to fill with locally brewed coffee & chai tea. The entire wedding felt unapologetically laid back and intimate with details of their story everywhere, including a guest book globe for guests to sign on their favorite country.

~ McCall Wedding Photographer, Maggie Grace Photography

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