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Sentimental "Staged" Wedding on the Beach

By: 
Lindsay Gard

I'm calling this one a "staged" wedding because although this is a styled shoot, the couple and their love story are very much real. After learning about Emily and Kacey's recent experience with hardships in their careers, health and life in general, photographer Sarah Willey and her team wanted to do something special for the couple. With the help of a few talented vendors, Willey was able to provide not only a romantic photo shoot for the couple and their adorable pups, but also a beautiful bouquet, boutonnière and even a private picnic. Keep scrolling to see all the photos and head to the bottom of the page if you'd like to hear more on this sweet story. 

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

Emily & Kasey

A note from the photographer, Sarah Willey:

I met Emily when she hired me for a photo session a while back. I instantly fell in love with her! At only 24 years old, she has one of the best personalities. This little blonde is bubbly, fun, charismatic, grabs life by the horns and just when you think she can't get any better. She is also a CVICU nurse and chooses to spend her time taking care of other people and saving lives. We spent the day cracking jokes and playing around.

As I got to know her more, I also learned about her amazing boyfriend named Kasey and how supportive he is. Emily and Kasey had gotten engaged and they are having their wedding this August. Her and I had gotten back in touch just a little bit too late and I was booked for her wedding day. We were both crushed. She and I caught up on the year's events; the couple have experienced hardships in their careers, health and life in general. Emily filled me in on the recent diagnosis she received that now affects her every day decisions.They have experienced years of tough times within one.

As soon as I learned this, I knew that I had to do something special for her and Kasey. I learned of this news on Wednesday, and by Saturday my team and I had planned a secret romantic trip for both of them. Being photographers, we are constantly trying to make a footprint on this world through photographs, and I wanted to give Emily and Kasey something that they could remember forever. For the simple reason being that they deserved a night free of stress after all of the wedding planning, bad news and unfortunate situations that they have gone through together this year.

I told Emily and Kasey we were doing a "fake wedding" because I couldn't be there to shoot the real deal. Casual, right? Lol. I had Emily meet me at my house, so that I could do her hair and makeup. They brought the doggies along, because what is an impromptu beach trip without doggies? Once we had finished making Emily even more of a beauty queen than she already was, we loaded up and started on the two hour trek to Pacific City. Little did the couple know, we had pulled more than a few strings and had gotten a handful of incredible Portland vendors on board. We showed up and drove down a rocky private road to the ocean and the sand dunes. The rest was history. We hung out on the top of the sand dunes, playing with the dogs, and watched para gliders fly all around us. Once we got tired of being blasted in the face with 50 mph winds, we came down onto the beach front where we were greeted with a gorgeous bouquet and boutonniere.

We snagged a few more breathtaking shots, then packed up and went over to haystack rock for a romantic picnic put together by our amazing team. Emily and Kasey got to have an incredible picnic at the beach, relax with the dogs, watch the sunset, and spend a romantic evening all while having a camera capture it all. The day was full of laughter, wind, and love.

As I keep learning more and more about this magnificent girl with a one of a kind attitude, she assures me that she does not want people to see her diagnose and experiences as a sad story. She is BRAVE and full of life. What is more brave than coming out with her story, is the fact that she wants to make people be aware. Spend every single day living like it is your last. I have learned more valuable lessons from her than I have learned from anybody else. Whatever you do, love freely. If you are questioning doing something that gives you anxiety... Say "screw it" and do it. Go against the rules of life, every single day.

Thank you to Emily and Kasey for being so damn incredible and bringing us into your lives.