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Tessa and Shaun’s wedding at Resurrection Church and the Bertram Inn was my final wedding of 2019, and it was certainly a day I’ll never forget. There are so many things I could say about this celebration. I could tell you how the classic black and ivory color scheme made it the picture of elegance. I could talk about how we braved the wind and cold temperatures to take wedding portraits in beautiful Chagrin Falls. I could even talk about how full of life and energy the day was. The wedding was all those things. What made this wedding so meaningful, though, was that it put Shaun and Tessa’s hearts on display all day long.


As a wedding photographer, my job is to jump into the joy, love, and even the heartache of people’s stories to capture it honestly. I wish every wedding day was only about celebration, but sometimes life mixes in a little pain, too. Shaun lost his mother, Gail, years before he and Tessa were married this past November. Throughout their celebration, the Forsters beautifully wove Gail into every piece and part of their day. Shaun’s sister made him custom cufflinks – one had a photo of his mom and him together, the other had “I love you” written in her handwriting. They saved a seat for Gail during the ceremony and decorated it with linen and a rose. They also had a memory table with her photo and all the other friends and family who couldn’t be at the wedding. Over and over, they honored her life, her love, and memory. It was beautiful. I was so captivated by their heart for each other and for family.


I’ll always remember the Forster’s wedding day as a celebration full of life in all of its complexity, depth, and color.


Tessa and Shaun – you are a special kind of couple, bold, vibrant, and loving. I was so honored you let me be the one to capture your wedding story. I hope you’ll enjoy reliving the joy and meaning of this incredible day in your lives. I know I’ve enjoyed every second getting to know you. – Kate


Tessa & Shaun: A Black and Ivory Celebration



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