The moment she knew she wanted to marry him happened during a fight. Something had gone sideways and they were in the midst of an argument when Young took a deep breath, looked at Kristen, and said, “Next time, how can I love you better?”
And isn’t that what marriage is all about? Acknowledging weakness and doing better. Creating a life full of love together. Asking for help, learning more about the other, turning toward instead of away in times of trial.
Their journey to the altar wasn’t only sunshine by any means, so they knew that when they said “for better or worse” they could count on the other to show up to that commitment because they’d already been living it.
Kristen & Young prepared well to be ready for marriage while knowing that this Sacrament is really just choosing to become better alongside each other, too, because they’re helping each other on the road to heaven. This journey didn’t start on their wedding day, but it sure was a great start to their Vocation.
The night before the wedding they gathered their family & friends for a Holy Hour to quiet their hearts before receiving the Sacrament of Marriage. Brandon and I did the same and while Kristen & Young weren’t able to attend our wedding they still came to pray with, and over, us. They even told us that (God willing!) they wanted to do the same thing before their wedding and I’m so glad they did!!
And then hellooooooo wedding day!!!
This rosary was Kristen’s “something blue,” a gift from Fr Juan, one of Young’s best friends and the main celebrant of the wedding, who had been using it to pray for the couple for months beforehand.
This rosary was part of Young’s gift to Kristen. Her mama shared the significance of it with me as she wiped the tears from Kristen’s face:
It belonged to Kristen’s aunt, her mom’s sister Marie, who passed away recently. Kristen and her aunt were very close, even though she lived in Philadelphia, and the loss weighed heavy on her heart. Marie had a special devotion to Mary and, while she was sick, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima toured near her, so she went to see it. The statue usually has a rosary on it; this exact rosary was on that statue and the organizers of the event took it off Our Lady and gave it to her.
Young wanted Marie to be close to Kristen on their wedding day, so he got the rosary, with the help of Kristen’s family, to give to her. It would’ve been her aunt’s wedding anniversary on the same day as their wedding, so keeping her close was extra special. Kristen was Marie’s flower girl, so holding this rosary around her own bouquet was extra fitting <3
Young used to be a seminarian at the Westminster Abbey, so Kristen had the idea to go up to the Abbey for a blessing from the priests and brothers there. It was a nod of thanks to the place where Young had encountered God so closely and to the men who had a hand in his formation. She was profusely thankful to the Abbey for preparing him and Fr Abbott was so delighted they’d chosen to spend time up there with them on this day! He was offering snacks and coffee and smiling all the time, and gave the couple a beautiful statue of Our Lady with the child Jesus!
Ceremony: St Joseph’s Catholic Church
Reception: Sts Joachim & Ann Hall
Cake: Alessandra Percival
Dessert: Krispy Kreme
Flowers: Jordan Liteplo
Photographer: Laura-Anne Smid
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