Serena + Melissa

Posted in: Weddings   /   7 Comments
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I’ve known Serena since the 4th grade. Her father was the pastor at the church where I grew up and her family was a part of mine. We spent years together in youth group and saw each other grow up. She has always stood out to me as someone with great strength, confidence, beauty, and character. Even back then she was not someone you’d want to pick a fight with because she could make any boy pee his pants.

We went our separate ways for college, and out of all of my friends, she went the farthest. I remember missing her and wondering what kind of a woman she would grow up to be, she seemed limitless to me. I remember also thinking, “Every guy I know is intimidated by her, I can’t wait to see who she’ll marry one day…he’d have to be something to stand as tall as her.”

There’s something about childhood friends. Even after you’ve spent years apart growing separately, you’re still connected at the root. Serena and I have recently reconnected. When we met up again I saw in her every bit the woman I thought she’d be and much much more. She shared with me the journey that brought her to where she is today, and how she has found the love of her life. I met Melissa for the first time.

I know this journey to love has not been an easy one for them both. Overcoming criticisms, self doubt, rejections, and an ocean of tears. But what I see before my eyes is a woman transformed and softened by her knowledge and understanding of love.  She is open and vulnerable in a way that only someone can be when she feels protected, accepted and loved unconditionally. There is love between Serena and Melissa, a love that runs deep and strengthened by weathering a multitude of storms together. Clinging to love and leaving behind bitterness.

So I was right, I knew she would marry someone who is strong and stands tall.

salon getting ready new york chinatown nyc street graffiti cat dog chihuahua love urban building windowhappy couple jump hudson river chihuahua couch doggies at a wedding mel spoon toy story names on shoes bride in white

kissing under bridges manhattan brooklyn

holding hands south street nyc wedding under the manhattan bridge walk in chinatown green doors crosswalk brides new york city subway brides nyc subway train train in motion portrait wedding in the new york subway holding hands socks on brides in the subway station brides running from the rain loving her chihuahua mother of the bride getting ready the bridal suite brides putting on lip gloss reading and writing of vows blessing of the rings the kiss ceremony brides together hands wedding laughter family portrait wedding dogs metro cards reception placement cards subway themed wedding subway map celebrate first dance

Comments: 7
  1. Tim Kau   /  

    Thank you for taking such beautiful photos on such an unforgettable wedding. There was so much love in that room, and I’m so glad that you captured the amazing ceremony!

  2. Mel   /  

    Funny, I remember thinking those same thoughts about Serena back in high school – about how strong she was and how guys seemed to like and be intimidated by her at the same time. These are beautiful photos to capture a beautiful story.

  3. Lan   /  

    Pictures are beautiful. For a non-New Yorker, you captured the feel of NY in these photos.

  4. susan c   /  

    You are one classic and top notch photographer. Thanks for sharing Mel’s and Serena’s beautiful day in an artful way.

  5. serena   /  

    thank you so much calvina! God really blessed us not just with you skills, but with your friendship and love. thank you for journeying with us. we know that this is not just our coming out story, but yours as well and we are so incredibly proud of you and what you’ve accomplished! we love you!

  6. melissa   /  

    When Serena says “I want Calvina!” I listen! I’m so glad that I did. Your special witness is a reflection of God’s love. Thank you so much.

  7. Julia Sikira   /  

    the wedding photos are really cool! I love these photos 🙂

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