Karen + Paul {11 fourteen 09}

In the words of my brother-in-law, Paul, he met and married “the second woman of his dreams.”   And she really is just that.  She is smart, has a great sense of humor and she has a style all her own which I happen to really love. 

I heard about her a few months ago when Paul called me at midnight to tell me that he was taking his youngest son to the E.R.  It went like this: “Daniel fell on the fireplace and split his forehead open so I’m taking him to the hospital and oh, don’t be surprised if I get married in the next month.”

“WHAT?”  I said?  I’ll meet you in the E.R.”  so I went and checked on Daniel and heard the story of how a mutual friend set them up, or rather, introduced them when she realized that it was perfect.  Karen had a clear dream that she would marry a man who’s wife died from breast cancer and he had lots of kids.  ie, Paul.  So they met and from day one, it was as if they had known each other all their lives.  3 months later, I photographed them exchanging vows in our church, with 6 children watching closely and many friends and family rejoicing that Paul had found love again.

So I literally met Karen at David’s bridal when she called and asked me my advice on a wedding gown for a second wedding, one which she didn’t want to be a typical bride in a white dress.  I’ll meet you there, I said and drove 15 minutes and walked in the door and knew immediately that she would be my friend.  We hugged and held back tears and went to work finding the perfect dress. “What do you like?” I asked, “Red.  I like red.”  I am all about a bride getting married and having all of the details exactly the way she wants.  Bold, crazy, eccentric, wierd, out of the ordinary, you name it.  I say, GO FOR IT!  So she did.

Most of the weddings I shoot tend to focus on the bride more than the groom but this is different. Paul is my brother in law and this one hits close to home. No, closer. He has been a single father of 4 for the past 2 1/2 years after his first wife died of breast cancer 4 months after giving birth to their 4th child. Needless to say, it has been very hard for him and we have consistently prayed for God to send him another love. A mom for his children, a helper throughout his life, a teacher, lover, encourager, cheerleader and friend. And then came Karen. An answered prayer. With 2 children of her own, they had longed for the day when she too would find the perfect man. The strong example of a father and the pilar of hope and strength that a husband exudes. Along came Paul. It’s the beginning of their story as a family of 8. Lots of changes, lots of shifting, a dance of give and take and plenty of love to go around.
I’m so happy for the two of you. For your kids and your future. Thank you, Karen, for coming into our lives. I hope you and your children are blessed as much as we are.  I love you both.

I used to watch the TV program “8 is Enough” and I loved it. Now I get to watch it in person and I’m so happy for you all. Congratulations Paul and Karen. {{{{{HERE’S YOUR SLIDESHOW}}}}}}}


  1. Brittany Bennett said . . .

    Wow what a great job Shawna. I feel like I was there! I was sorry to miss it. Thank you for letting me be a part of the celebration!
    Love, Brittany

    Posted November 26, 2009 at 7:05 am | Permalink
  2. vickie roberts said . . .

    As usual, the pictures are amazing! The wedding was gorgeous and it could not have happened to two better people. I am happy and excited for both of you Paul. Thanks for inviting us to be there. It was great!!!

    Posted November 26, 2009 at 8:21 am | Permalink
  3. Lori & Virgil said . . .

    Beautiful!!!! I’m so glad you sent these to us so we could see it all! Just beautiful! Congratulations you two! May God bless you both for many years to come!

    Much love,

    Lori & Virgil

    Posted November 26, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  4. Madison said . . .

    I love those pictures! it was such a beutiful wedding!

    Posted November 27, 2009 at 12:00 am | Permalink
  5. Gabi said . . .

    What a beautiful family! An incredible story… so happy for them!

    Posted November 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  6. Robyn Johnson said . . .

    What a beautiful family.. Karen – you know how much I care about you.. I am so very, very thankful you have found the love of your life.

    I love you!!
    Your friend,

    Robyn :)

    Posted November 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  7. kcarla said . . .

    Love the photos and the dress and everything! The song could not be better! (And by my favorite artist in the world!) So glad for Paul and Karen.

    Posted December 16, 2009 at 8:00 am | Permalink

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