When we started our business six years ago, we knew that we didn’t just want to be in business. We wanted to be in the business of people. Loving and serving them as well as we could during one of the most transitional and transformational times of their life.

As our business grew from part-time to full-time, and our annual weddings went from two, to five, to ten, to twenty, to forty per year, our business clients became not just a big part of our life, but a big part of our family.

Running a schedule packed with weddings, we had to make the tough decision to stop teaching elementary school together. Then Jordan didn’t coach youth soccer anymore.  And finally, we even had to put being Sunday school leaders and camp counselors on hold. From the outside looking in, it might’ve appeared like we were putting business before people.

But we when look at these pictures, we know that’s not true; because in these faces, we see the incredible people God trusted us with. We see our first bride and groom, the people who trusted us when no one else had; we see couples who haven’t even had their engagement session, and everyone in between. We see years of veils that needed to be fluffed and boutonnieres that needed to be re-pinned; we see rain in the forecast and things that didn’t go as planned; we see nerves that needed to be calmed and tears that needed to be wiped away; we see loved ones who aren’t here anymore, but were on the that day, and we’re so thankful we were there to click the shutter; we see unexpected circumstances that happened at important moments; we remember saying, “Everything’s going to be okay.”

When we look at these pictures, we see exactly what we wanted our business to be about in the first place — people. We wouldn’t trade the past few years with them for anything in the world.

That’s why we love the Annual AJ Bride Christmas Party so much: we get a chance to be a small part of the rest of their lives, and not just be a big part of one big day.

One of the happiest new additions to this year’s party? AJ BABIES!! Which feels a little like compound interest, because we get to add members to the AJ Family without shooting more weddings. It also has us seriously considering playing match-makers and recommending some arranged marriages to our couples next year. We need to invest in some custom onesies…

This is always one of the highlights of the year! A BIG hug and huge thank you to Hannah and Calvin for being brave enough and kind enough to host this big crew! (Remember their gorgeous wedding from 2015?!) Their parents historical home was the perfect backdrop for some updated photos!

To catch up on past year’s AJ Bride parties, you can see 2014 and 2015 here!

filed in: For Brides, Personal