Military Weddings are always amazing and romantic in an officer and a gentleman kind of way to me. But in real life they are hard and more times than nt end up getting done quickly due to deployments. In the case of Traci and Josh the story is both sad and wonderful. Rachel Smith of Rachel Smith Photography wrote this about this amazing couple.
Josh and I had discussed the idea of surprising Traci on their two year anniversary with something so special to both of them. After throwing around a few ideas together, Josh took them all and ran with them and did amazing at planning all the details!
Here is the backstory: Traci & Josh never got to have a real wedding. I, as well as lots of other military wives, know that feeling all too well. Typically we are rushed due to deployments or what have you and hop to the courthouse for our weddings, haha. They had scheduled their wedding a few times before but had to keep post-poning it so Josh could take care of his sick mother who was dying of cancer. Josh was set to deploy so they had to pick a date to get married before he had to leave. Their final wedding date was set for December 21st. Traci had her location picked, dress purchased, and everything. However, that day – Josh’s mom ended up losing her battle to cancer and passing away.
A short time after that they decided to just forget the big wedding and get married as marriage [not wedding] was all that mattered to them anyways. They ended up getting married in their kitchen in Colorado on New Year’s Eve. Needless to say, Traci never got to wear her wedding dress and Josh never got the opportunity to see his bride in her gown. He had never even seen the gown either. It was kept private in a bag in their closet. Fast forward two years later and well, here we are.
New Year’s Eve of 2013 was their two year anniversary and Josh wanted to do something special for Traci. To start the day off, he sent Traci over to my house in the morning [we’re neighbors so she just walked down] and she had no idea why she was coming over other than she knew SOMEthing was up. When she arrived we had Makeup by Angela Avila
waiting there to do Traci’s hair & makeup. After Traci was finished with her makeup, I drove her to Wilmington to a hotel where Josh had gotten a suite for them. When Traci walked into the hotel room she walked into the room where her wedding dress was hanging in a bag by a card with a sweet note to her. He ever had everything there she needed to wear with it, shoes, necklace, earrings, even a strapless bra…and just anything she needed. [yup, this guy did goooood lol] After she got dressed, I drove her to the USS North Carolina Battleship
in Wilmington, NC where Josh was waiting in his dress blues to greet her for a surprise photo session for “wedding photos” they never got to have. He even had a vow written up for her that he read to her on the ship which I captured on video for them. It was truly a beautiful thing to be a part of and I was honored to capture such a special event and moment for them. They are dear friends of ours and I am so happy Josh pulled this off and that Traci finally got to wear her dress.
Below are some of my favorites from their session and at the end you can view the video I made for them that tells their story and shows their progress of the surprise throughout the day!
Happy Anniversary Traci & Josh!
We love Traci’s look, get it here:
Photographer: Rachel Smith Photography
Makeup Artist: Makeup by Angela Avila
Reception Venue: USS North Carolina Battleship