Autumn Maryland Wedding | Jessica + Arif

It wasn't what she had envisioned for her wedding. The dress, the venue, the ceremony...

When he'd proposed, they couldn't have known what was coming next. They'd hardly had time to celebrate when his father's diagnosis left them with little time and few options. Over the coming weeks, they planned and unplanned numerous weddings, each in response to his father's declining health and the time they understood to have left.

The wedding they settled on wasn't the one she had envisioned. It entailed a Thursday morning trip to the courthouse and a small reception in the living room of their apartment. But it didn't matter to her at all because the most important thing was that their loved ones would be there to witness their commitment to each other.

I had the honor of photographing Jessica and Arif eleven days before that Thursday morning wedding. I'll never forget the way they laughed together and couldn't stop smiling. Amidst this terrible time in their lives, their love and optimism shone through. They were absolutely elated to be getting married.

One week after these photos were taken, his father passed away. Four days later they stood in the courthouse and vowed to love and honor each other all the days of their lives. And it wasn’t what they’d envisioned. But it was what they adapted to, together. It was the best option and they navigated through the storm of life to get there, together.

Jessica and Arif, I am so sorry for your loss. With a love like yours, I have no doubt you will come through future storms stronger than ever because it's clear that you truly find the sun shining within each other.