Sean + Lindsey :: 05.20.17 :: Berg Event Space, Kansas City, MO

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This wedding is the reason why I’m so thankful for auto focus. . . I was crying so hard, behind the camera that I couldn’t see to focus. I have known Lindsey for over a decade, and I was so completely honored to document her wedding. I asked Lindsey if she would share more about the event in her own words, and she agreed — her story is below.

“We started planning the wedding a year before my cancer diagnosis. We knew we wanted to incorporate a science reading but didn’t know at the time how it would come full circle and be so intimately connected to our lives and our ceremony. When Sean and I first started dating, obviously I knew of Neal deGrasse Tyson, but not in a way that inspired me.  Sean is a science junkie. Every Saturday morning Sean and I would watch the latest installment of the Cosmos.  Sean and the Cosmos ignited in me a love of science.

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Then my friend Heidi got a hexagon shaped ring and I was in love with it. We started off with a claddaugh ring and planned on getting a fancier one down the road. We took all of my collected stones from family pieces and old rings of mine to Goldmakers and they helped design my ring which was surprisingly affordable when you use re-purposed stones. Fast forward a year to 7 months ago and I was diagnosed with leukemia. As things moved along – bone marrow biopsies, targeted chemotherapy, the election, the fear of an Obamacare repeal and the magnitude of everything —- and science plus my life’s dependency on it became more real. Everything felt connected.

Leading up to the wedding, every month before I head to the oncologist I read my favorite quote from Neal deGrasse Tyson.  I’m always full of anxiety as to what my blood counts will read. Neil deGrasse Tyson reminds me of the beauty in the complex universe and how every cell in my body is connected to that bigger picture.  “Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”

Then a few days later my month’s supply of targeted chemotherapy pills came in the mail. In the insert there’s an info sheet that explains to me (again) that I have Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) which is caused from a genetic mutation in my 9th and 22nd chromosomes. It is incurable but the miracle of science has produced a medicine that makes it treatable. If I had been diagnosed with this 20 years ago I would have been given 2-5 years to live. Now I have a normal life expectancy, but have to take this targeted chemotherapy, every day for the rest of my life. The insert explains how the medicine works and has little images of DNA and how these double helix form long structures, aka chromosomes. And there’s always a picture of molecular strings that look like hexagons connected by short lines.

Naturally, I think of science all the time these days. I think of my DNA, chromosomes and tiny powerful molecules doing and not doing their thing. I think of the universe and how my make-up is connected to everything so much bigger than a teeny tiny mutated 9th and 22nd chromosome. This chemistry of life is so fascinating and beautiful. Leukemia, being new parents and the craziness of the world has made Sean and I partners on a level I don’t think we could have ever imagined when we first started thinking about a wedding. Between my mutant genes (which means I lean on Sean so much for everything), the Cosmos and Sean’s love of science, I thought a science themed jewelry scheme was perfect and connected Sean, our wedding and everything happening in our lives. Some got double helix earrings and some got hexagons which remind me of molecules that build it all inside our bodies.  I rocked chromosome earrings because of the obvious (chromosome mutation causing leukemia) but also because it felt like a beautiful political statement to own my female X’s in light of the never ending war on women and the current political climate. They felt empowering to me.

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I guess the other thing I’d add is that when we picked the generic bicycle themed wedding website on wedding wire, it was because we love biking. When I would get tired on any given ride and didn’t think I could make it up a big hill Sean would always say, “Keep pedaling.” At my bone marrow biopsy the day after my tentative cancer diagnosis, while I was crying from pain and holding my hand Sean said, “keep pedaling.” On days when I’m overwhelmed by fatigue, fear or other annoying side effects Sean reminds me to keep pedaling. So I got him a tie bar with that engraved on it. Because he needs the reminder too. We all do, really.”

Roll Call:
Programs — Made by the Bride
Invitations — Made by Jenn Rogers and printed by the union print shop, Almar printing
Rings — custom from heirloom stones by Bernadette of Goldmakers in Lawrence
Bride’s necklace was originally a longer pearl strand she received from her grandma as a child and was restrung by Goldmakers to cover her thyroidectomy scar (it worked out perfectly).
Bridemaids Earrings — Various Etsy shops
Cufflinks — Handmade by the groom
Personal Bouquets and Boutonnieres — Handmade by the bride
Centerpieces – grown by the bride. 🙂
DJs: Ian Mason and Heidi Pendergast, emcees + Sean made the play list
Magnets – KC Textile Artist and friend Amy Fredman
Dress – Maggie Sottero from the Gown Gallery
Donuts — Hana’s Donuts, KCKS
Donut Stand — Made by the Brides Step-Father, Barry Christman
Hair — Emily Chapman at Calico Beard
Catering – Moxie
Venue – Berg
Planning – Hitched
Photography — Morgan Miller Photography

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Thank you Sean & Lindsey! xomo
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