Drew + Jen | The Monastery

One week ago we were able to celebrate a transformation from Jabroski to Jandes. Drew and Jen learned that swiping right had led them both to their lifelong partner. They were eager to celebrate that last Sunday, and we couldn't be happier to have been a part of the event. From the moment I first met with this couple, I knew that we were the perfect match. It just felt right at our consultation and the bond of "friends" created right before our eyes. So true that they signed the contract and booked before leaving Starbucks. Drew would always jokingly say that he knew I was the photographer for them the minute he sat down in that wooden chair with his coffee in hand.

This wedding was unique in that everyone was so calm and collected. Trusting us with many things like a timeline, putting in Jen's veil, reapplying her lip gloss and helping get her snapped into her dress. I literally felt like a fill-in bridesmaid but I had a much more perfect role. Wes and I were there to photograph this beautiful day, document these memories and to be present as friends to them. I remember looking at Jen in the hotel where they got ready and asking her if she was ok to get dressed at The Monastery. Without hesitation she asked me if I thought it was better and with a nod of my head she quickly agreed. 

"We keep saying that our favorite part of the day was taking photos with you guys. You and Wes are two very special people." That was the text that came in the following day from Jen and Drew. Personally, I want the First Look moment to be nothing more or less than that - a favorite part of their incredible wedding day. Their relaxed personalities nailed it and their first moment together was breathtaking.

Following the first look we set off into Mt. Adams; the dramatic hills and vistas provided the perfect backdrops for the soon-to-be newlyweds. Dodging a brief rain shower, we hurried back to The Monastery to finish up the bridal party photos before guests started to arrive. 

At half past five the atmosphere in the restored sanctuary shifted as the casual chatter faded. Cell phones were silenced. All eyes shifted towards the heavy wooden doors at the rear. Anticipation peaked and smiles beamed in every direction as Jen and her father made their way steadily towards Drew.

As if in an instant, the ceremony was over. A prayer, a promise, two rings and a  kiss. Portraits with the new family led into a cozy cocktail hour outside, followed by the first dance, a playful cake cutting and an amazing dinner prepared by the Monastery's in-house chef. As Jen danced with her father and Drew with his mother it was challenging to keep misty eyes from fogging up the camera's viewfinder.

When the maid of honor first heard about Drew, she told Jen that he was too good to be true. Not only did he turn out to be true, but it was the start of true love. For Mr. & Mrs. Jandes, a match made in heaven started with "It's a match!"

Wes and I couldn't have been happier as we drove home last Sunday evening. The weather was gorgeous, the Monastery was impeccable and the couple we spent the day with are among the most sincere and genuinely beautiful souls we have ever met. 

Do fairy-tale weddings actually exist? It may sound too good to be true, but this was one if ever one was.

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