Heather + Matthew | Rustic Family Wedding

Matthew was the man in the pew in front of Heather each Sunday at Mass, leading his three little girls in the faith. He often turned to greet Heather and her own three daughters with a smile and handshake. It was Heather’s six-year-old who fell in love with Matthew first, saying that man up there in the pew was the one her mama would marry.

From the Bride: It took a little under a year, the involvement of our priest, and of countless friends from our church community to finally bring Matthew and I together.

After 6 months of waiting and watching and one failed first date, we had our "second first date" and clicked. Just four months later, Matthew was down on one knee in front of me our six girls, in the chapel of local seminary, asking me for my hand in marriage.

And now we are a family of eight, married by the priest who first felt compelled to bring us together, along with our current priest and in front of 350 of our closest friends and family members.

Our wedding, planned in just eight weeks time, felt almost like what I imagine weddings used to be like: people came out of the woodwork to bring it together for us. Over 40 friends brought homemade dishes for our potluck-style reception. A college classmate, turned baker, created the most beautiful cake shaped like a birch tree in honor of my groom’s arborist career.

A dear friend and part-time photographer captured the day’s memories in a way no outsider would have been able to.

More friends from church, a dear young couple expecting their first baby boy, handled our music; I walked down the aisle to Chris Tomlin's “Good Good Father.”

And at the center of it all was our Lord. The Father that had brought us through some of the most unimaginable storms was fully present in the sacrament we exchanged. The love between us, our daughters, and our heavenly Father was palpable that day, and I believe it will carry us through the years ahead.

Overwhelmingly I felt our Father's love. It all just made sense in that moment. The years of pain and heartache, the questioning, the brokenness, all came together in a picture I could have never envisioned. He led us here.

Photography: MessyFace | Church: St John Neumann Catholic Church Sunbury, OH | Reception: St. John Neumann Catholic Church Sunbury, OH | Flowers: Maple Lee Flowers | Dress: Gabriele Bridal