Amy + Ben make it official at the Flamingo! // Las Vegas destination wedding photographer

I have been PRETTY. DARN. EXCITED. to share this one! Ampersand Lovies, meet my brother in law and [officially] new sister, Ben and Amy!! This is Frannie writing btw! Only a week after I got home from Vegas with the team when we went for an amazing photography conference, I hopped on a plane and went right on back. This time for an entirely different experience and a family wedding. Though nontraditional in the sense that there was not a bridal party or reception afterward, the ceremony and whole day couldn't have fit these guys more perfectly. Yes, it flew by and was let's say 'short and sweet' but it was not lacking one bit in the emotion and sentiment factor.

I hope Amy doesn't mind me sharing this story, but it's MOST DEFINITELY the most amazing and touching thing I've ever heard in my life. Plus the story is essential to go along with many of the photos in this post.

You'll notice Amy's lovely mother and sister in the photos as you scroll below [they think they look nothing alike---- uh huh, mmm kay.] Well, these three incredibly strong women went through the sudden loss of Amy's father, Bryan only about a year and a half ago which feels like yesterday to anyone around them. Since then, I have learned unexplainable things from Amy about family, love, life and healing. She frequently will talk about her father whom I met once or twice since they didn't live nearby. She tells stories about how he was always on her side and always had her back [Oh CRAP here come the tears as I type.] From what I've gathered, Bryan had a great sense of humor and always treated his children and grandchildren with respect, talking to them as adults. These three women were his whole life, and he was theirs.

Whenever they got sad thinking about her dad and how she wished she would have had the wedding before he got sick, she would wipe the tears off, laugh a little and say, "I know my dad is sitting there watching me thinking, 'WELL, THIS IS PATHETIC, YOU GUYS... PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! HAVE A BEER AND GO HAVE SOME FUN ALREADY. YOU'RE IN VEGAS!' Well, the day before the wedding, Amy's mother, Gale pulled her into the hotel room with her sister. I happened to be there as we were going to get ready to go for sushi and a girls night out on the town. So, let's just say I was totally the fourth-wheel-weird-crying-girl-in-the-corner for the moment. I accidentally got to witness the most beautiful moment that puts P.S. I Love You to shame.

Gale preceded to ask Amy to have a seat on the bed where she immediately knew something was up. She told a fairy tale. About a king and a queen who had two beautiful princesses [I'm sure I'm going to totally screw this up but you'll get the idea!] One of the princesses was engaged to be married, and the other had a man who had just asked her father for his blessing to marry her. So, the king went out and hand selected 3 gifts. The first daughter to get married got her first choice of the gifts, the second got to choose from what's left and the queen got the last gift. There were rules: No one can tell about or share their gift until both daughters were married and had their own. At this point, Amy is already hunching over the edge of the hotel bed in a pile of her own tears. She looks at her sister, "you knew about this?!" Brooke told Amy that she got her gift when she got married before their dad was sick and was sworn to secrecy, "I know we tell each other everything-- but SOME things you just can't tell!" Amy's mother presented her with two gorgeous sets of diamond earrings from which she would have to choose. Knowing this is a wedding gift that her father had purchased over 5 years ago, when he had no idea he wouldn't be the one presenting them to her, made choosing one quite a task. She chose the antique-y square ones and held the box with a tight grasp, taking it all in.

SOOOO-- now that there's four girls with mascara and snot bleeding down their faces, the three women again remind themselves that their father must be laughing at them and their cry-fest, so what to do? That's right-- crack open his signature beverage of choice... cheers an MGD and get on with things.

You'll notice the touches of the MGD throughout the day to commemorate their dad and make sure that he's always happy and attended to throughout the hot day in Las Vegas! I love personal touches like this at weddings!! Amy even saved him a seat at the ceremony with a nice cold bottle. Amy wore her parents wedding bands safety pinned to her dress, and of course the earrings that her dad picked out just for her wedding. Also, one more detail to note is the tattoo of his signature on her left wrist. It's pretty incredible to have the honor to be a part of such an amazing day and to witness the bond between father and daughter on her wedding day-- even if he's not physically there. I truly have the best job in the world.

Well, now that I have you reaching for the tissues-- I should say that even though most of the time, Amy and Ben give each other an INCREDIBLY hard time with many-an-eye roll, I couldn't help but notice how insanely happy they BOTH were when the troops finally got Ben to that alter! Take a look at the smiles and relief on their faces, you just can't fake that. AH HA! I CAUGHT YOU GUYS! You REALLY do love each other! haha, no all jokes aside-- I am so glad to call Amy my new sister in law and I know that we will all be a family until we're old, and wrinkly, drinking wine and going on annual trips to Vegas.

know that after this gorgeous ceremony at the Flamingo Casino, we all went out for a little grub and $5 black jack tables at Casino Royale into the night! They don't like you to photograph the happenings in there, so you'll have to use your imagination on that! Enjoy -F.

Congrats you crazy kids! I FREAKING LOVE YOU TO DEATH!