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When Two Marines Fall In Love...

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“Hey, I’m proposing to Hannah tonight,” Ben said.

As any good friend would do in response to this situation, I allowed my vocal chords to surpass average mortal frequencies as I squealed in delight. 

My friendship with Ben began freshman year of high school. Through soccer games, band practice, musicals and just about every class every day, we began a brother/sister relationship.

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There were many emotions to share when graduation rolled around and my long time friend announced his definite enrollment in the United States Marines Corps. This occurred yet again when he called me to inform me of his proposal to Hannah (who was only weeks away from joining the USMC as well).

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After months of basic training and separation from one another, Private First Class Hannah Roat and Lance Corporal Benjamin Wittel were joined in marriage on November 6th, 2016. 

My “marine friends” (as I called them) had asked me to photograph their wedding even before Ben had proposed. The day was as picturesque as we would've dreamed, and boy was I proud to be the one to catch it!

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With a sore throat and a sunburn, the bride hugged family and friends as they filed into her dressing room. Story after story spilled out and into the air as the girls got all dolled up.

The men on the other hand, were up to their typical shenanigans. Youtube videos were watched, Sour Patch Kids consumed, and even a coveted Chipotle burrito made an appearance as these groomsmen got ready and simultaneously rid themselves of any title other than “brother.”

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My favorite part of any wedding day is watching the groom’s face when he see’s his bride for the first time. Ben and Hannah opted for a first look moment on their big day - a perfect choice for them. The two met on the balcony of the venue and shared a tender moment of prayer. Shortly after, we began bridal party shots.

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As the evening went on, guests arrived, the ceremony began, vows were exchanged and just like that, a new Mr. and Mrs. was presented to the world.

Joyfully, I snapped photo after photo – working to get every unique angle and candid shot I could. As the tender dances with loved ones came to an end, the cake was presented.

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Now, I've never been in the armed forces myself, but I do know a few things about theses marines..

wedding hype    x    a drop of alcohol   +   a precious white wedding cake = the sweet violence that is shoving dessert into each other's face. 

Actual magic.

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After saying my goodbyes and driving back to my place, I crawled into bed with the usual post-wedding-day symptoms: sore feet, aching wrists, tired eyes, and a smile on my face. Only this time, the smile stretched a bit wider, the undeniable evidence of happiness - not merely my own, but the happiness of two dear friends who had just shared arguably the biggest day of their lives

…and I got to capture it all.

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One thought on “When Two Marines Fall In Love...”

  • Stacie O.

    What a lovely story in more ways than one. Thanks Mr. and Mrs. Wittel for your service to our country. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and may he keep safe and protected in his care.

    Reply
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