Note: It’s basically impossible to describe a wedding like Cameron and Dorian’s in a simple bog post! After all, it wasn’t just any wedding, but a reunion of old friends, a celebration of love waited for and won, and a genuine expression of worship. For those of you who want the full story, then don’t miss out on this (very lengthy) written section! However, if you want to skip ahead and look at the photos then I don’t blame you one bit. 😉
I first met the Sprenger family when I was 7 years old, and since they were on our mission team in Outer Mongolia, our families quickly became close friends. Several years later, their family moved from Mongolia to Thailand, which is where Cameron and Dorian’s paths first crossed. Although neither one had thought much of their (brief) first meeting, a couple years later Cameron began to pray about his future wife and Dorian was the one who came to mind. At that time, Cameron had been living in Colorado for some time, and Dorian was still in Thailand. But the Lord was working behind the scenes to bring them together, and led Dorian to attend a Bible school school in Colorado that was near and dear to Cameron! As Cameron eagerly waited for her to come to America, he decided to use that season to pray fervently for Dorian, instead of trying to pursue her right off the bat. Little did he know that Dorian was feeling the exact same way! Without a single word spoken, they had both felt the Lord leading them to pray for the other. So as the months went by and the two got to know each other better in Colorado, Cameron finally poured out his heart to Dorian and asked if he could pursue her intentionally. Dorian shared how God had been working in her heart in the same way and so their relationship began! (Talk about a faithful and inspirational couple!) Several months later, Cameron and Dorian were visiting their families in Thailand when Cameron took Dorian aside to give her a few Christmas gifts. The final gift involved him kneeling down to wash her feet, and then presenting her with an engagement ring. With many tears, Dorian replied YES!
As for me, I had NO idea that Cameron was even SEEING a young lady, much less ENGAGED when he called me up! Needless to say, there was just a little screaming involved! They were getting married in Idaho on June 30th, 2018 and wanted me to come be their wedding photographer. HECK YEAH! I was over the moon from that moment on. The months went by and I got to know Dorian a little better over the phone, and when I finally arrived in Pocatello for the big day, she was the one to pick me up. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this gorgeous girl! Her sweetness AND strength were something to behold, and that night as we sat around an Airbnb with some of her dear friends, it became clear that Jesus was the center of her life.
The next day was when the reunions really began! I was able to see SO many old friends, several of which I consider to be my BEST friends, and I could hardly contain all of the emotion that welled up within me. We met for brunch at the Sprenger’s Airbnb, where we all sat around the living room, sharing encouraging words with Cam and Dorian, and ending the time with songs of praise. That evening was the rehearsal dinner! Stories were shared, food was served, games were played, and the joy overflowed! I personally haven’t laughed so hard in a LONG time! Eventually it was time to head to bed and get some beauty sleep.
The wedding day arrived and I was SO excited! Another childhood friend from Mongolia picked me up bright and early to take me to the venue (thanks Johnny Sebald!), which turned out to be beautiful beyond my wildest imaginings! Stephens Performing Arts Center was grand, spacious, and filled with all kinds of beautiful light. (Score!) The girls soon arrived to get ready, and the day officially began. Dorian had her hair and makeup done by Heather Cofer, her soon-to-be sister-in-law, and like always, Heather did an AMAZING job! Time flew by and suddenly Cam and Dorian’s First Look had arrived. The two love birds giggled and hugged as they first set eyes on each other, and after taking a few moments for portraits, it was time for the wedding party to join in!
Let’s just say, Cameron is one lovable guy. In fact, although he was able to narrow the list down to 7 official groomsmen, he had SO many close guy friends that he ended up asking almost 20 of them to wear groomsmen attire! And little did he know that they had a surprise in store for him. As soon as I lined them up for a group picture, one of the gentlemen grabbed a guitar from a corner and the whole crowd joined in a song. “Cameron’s getting married today! Hooray!” they sang on the top of their lungs, the melody ringing through the cathedral-like venue. What an awesome start to the festivities! Lots of laughter ensued as we wrapped up family pictures, and then it was time to get in place for the ceremony!
Sunlight streamed through the towering windows as Dorian was escorted down the aisle on the arm of her father. The couple tenderly said their vows, exchanged rings and lit their unity candle. Then Cameron requested for the crowd to stand as they sang along to In Christ Alone. Voices and hands were raised to the lyrics, “And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me! For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ!” The song ended as Cameron and Dorian were pronounced husband and wife. YAY! Then a footstool was brought over for Dorian to stand on as Cameron leaned in to kiss her for the first time EVER! Married at LAST!
And so the reception began. The room was transformed into a dining hall, the couple made their entrance, and instead of claiming the first dance for himself, Cameron handed Dorian back to her Father (does the sweetness never END?!). Delicious Thai food was served for dinner as the guests fellowshipped with each other. The wedding party was introduced by Cam and Dorian, and then speeches were made to encourage and exhort the new husband and wife. Time went by quickly, which meant that sweet and sad goodbyes had to be made. Since so many of their friends had come from overseas, the goodbyes were tearful and heart wrenching. Let’s just say I teared up more than once! The family and friends then lined the exit outside with sparklers, which led to Cameron’s car which had been graced with all kinds of “decor” (check out that chicken!). As Cam and Dorian drove away, I hopped into a car with my awesome new friend, Lana, and we followed along behind.
We drove our cars outside of the city and up into the foothills of Pocatello. The sun was just setting behind the horizon, and we were able to savor a quiet moment or two with the sparkling city lights behind us. What an evening! The air was crisp, the sky was clear, and the view was just breathtaking. However, right after we said our goodbyes, Lana tried to start her car up again only to discover that the battery had died! Thankfully Cameron gave us the jump we needed! They both laughed as Lana and I apologized for the delay. Cameron grinned and said, “I just always tell myself, count it all joy!” This guy had truly become a man after God’s own heart, and to see him drive off with a woman like Dorian was nothing less than spectacular.
I slept long and hard that night. What a wedding! I woke up the next morning to a long journey ahead of me, but the hours gave me plenty of time to think. My heart was heavy after leaving these friends again, and to be honest, I’ve grown sick of goodbyes. But this weekend had reminded me of the promise of REUNION. Not only do we have a future in the presence of our Maker and Savior to look forward to, but we also know that for those who belong to Him, goodbyes are NEVER forever! Matthew 19:29 echoed in my heart as I flew back over the country, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” Here were dozens of people who had left their home country to serve the Kingdom overseas, and yet God had given them a harvest of community unlike anything most of the world will ever know. Amazing!
At the end of the day friends, it is all about Jesus. Don’t waste your life on lesser pleasures. Only he is worthy, and in the end, He is the bridegroom that we await with eager longing. Purify yourself as His bride, and turn your eyes from the things of this world and onto His lovely, lovely face.
Like always, this wedding could not have happened without the hard work of an amazing team! A huge thank you to the Planner, Coordinator, and Florist extraordinaire, LD Wolfley! Heather Cofer (and Jesse Cofer) provided the amazing hair and makeup service, Nathan Chandler designed the wedding cake, and the wedding/bridesmaid dresses were either bought or made in Thailand. The invitations were hand painted by Cameron’s aunt Laurel, the food was catered by Chartwells, and Stephen’s Performing Arts Center provided the lovely space. Well done everyone!
And now without further ado, please enjoy the pictures from Cam and Dorian’s day!