The doorbell rang. "What did I order?" I thought. My mind immediately tried to bring up a screenshot of my email inbox from memory. I tried to picture any "Your Amazon order has shipped" notifications as I walked to the front door. As the delivery man handed me the box, I quickly searched the label before signing and saw "The Knot New Jersey" was the shipper.

I knew this would be coming for a few months now, but I had no idea exactly when to expect it. I knew that inside the box would be a copy of the newest edition of The Knot NJ wedding magazine (Fall/Winter 2014 issue), and I frantically grabbed the scissors and ran to the couch. (Kids, don't run with scissors).

I turned the pages quickly at first, but reminded myself to slow down seeing as the feature of Donna & Oleg's wedding wouldn't just disappear if I took too long to find it. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait too long...there it was on page 77 (out of 496).

I can't explain it and I surprised myself, but I was overcome with emotion and I felt...proud. I just sat there alone in my living room staring at my photos and instead of picturing my inbox, I was remembering a time almost 4 years ago when I said "Maybe someday I'll have my photos in a magazine...maybe." In what felt like an hour (but was probably only 60 seconds), I relived flashes of my struggles, my first bookings, the laughter, the tears, and all that has brought me to this moment. And all I could do was cry. Not like ugly-cry-my-life-is-over kind of crying...just a few single tears rolled down my cheek. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I know, I know, it's just a magazine. But, it symbolizes so much. So many dreams, so much hard work, so many sacrifices...

When I came back to reality, I laughed out loud at myself for crying, and patted myself on the back. Literally. Like, I actually patted my own back. Yup. #toosoonforthestraightjacket?


Obviously none of this would be possible without Donna and Oleg's AMAZING wedding planning skills! How stinkin' beautiful are all of their personal touches?!


Thank you to all of the family, friends, and wedding professionals who came together to create such an epic wedding day! :)


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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey & Destination wedding photographer
that specializes in vineyard, estate, and waterfront weddings!