Elaine and Tom have one of the sweetest stories I’ve ever heard. It’s a story of love, loss, hope, and happiness. Elaine and Tom were both widowed within the last five years after both of their first loves passed away. They had been together with their spouses for most of their lives and each had three beautiful children. Elaine and Tom were content being around their children, grandchildren (almost 18 between them…3 on the way) and church families, but God had bigger plans for them.
Elaine and Tom knew each other for years from the church they attended in Santa Ana, CA. They had both raised strong Christian families, and each child was instilled with a fervent faith in the Lord, which is still so evident and moving. They both knew the other had recently lost their first loves and helped each other through that difficult time. Then one day, Tom asked Elaine on a date. She said yes. One year later, they were standing in front of their 6 children, 15 grandchildren, and a congregation of friends and family who love them dearly to join their lives together. One of the most poignant parts of the ceremony was when they had each of their grandchildren walk down the aisle before Elaine with a single rose, which they placed in a vase on the alter. Elaine and Tom were then going to take those roses and place them on the graves of their passed loves the next day. I cried when I heard that. I cried when Elaine and Tom spoke their vows to each other, in which they both said that they were not forgetting their first spouses, but rather joining in companionship and love while going forward with the rest of their lives on earth. They didn’t need each other – they had the Lord – but the Lord had brought them together, and for that they were grateful. I cried when they leaned their heads together and said a quiet prayer. Basically, I cried tears of joy throughout the entire wedding. It was truly beautiful to be around such love and faith.
I loved being around Elaine and Tom because of their incredible senses of humor. They almost never stopped laughing and being joyful together. He made her laugh, and she made him laugh. I think that’s exactly as it should be. It was just perfect, and I fell in love with their love, their family (who was also full of laughter), and their day.
I had been asked to help photograph the wedding by Andy Gast, a good friend of mine. He was the other photographer that day, and we had a blast together. I’d LOVE to do more Southern California weddings! 🙂
There are more photos than usual in this post, but I just couldn’t cut out the goodness of these two and their families, and there was a lot of goodness. Enjoy!
Elaine was giving Tom a hard time about not shaving that day 🙂
They’re just always making each other laugh! I love it so much!
Their grandchildren 🙂
The entire clan!
This little guy on the left was practically bouncing down the aisle, so it was hard to get him in focus, but oh my goodness was he a little bundle of energy! Laughing and dancing all the way…that’s the way to do life 🙂
Elaine and Tom alternated crying and wiping their tears away through the ceremony. It was so touching.
They also laughed a lot 🙂 I’m pretty sure this was when Tom’s son, who was one of the officiants, got to Elaine’s part to say “I do” and said, “Elaine, will you PLEASE take this man?” Everyone burst into laughter. That was just par for the course that day 🙂
This man was a friend of Tom’s and gave one of the toasts. He had asked for advice from his wife on what to do for his speech. She told him whatever he did, keep it short…
So then he immediately let his “short speech” unfold and drop to the ground. Again, roaring laughter ensued 🙂
One of their good friends is a hula dancer and performed for the reception. She was absolutely beautiful and the epitome of grace.
The little joyful guy being mesmerized by the hula dancing 🙂
Then Tom did his own performance for Elaine. He loves performing and being goofy, apparently. It was riotous. He sang a song and acted it all out, too. The hit of the night.
Their first dance as a couple. It was sweet.
But then the slow song ended and the real first dance began…the TWIST!! Love these two so much!!!