Modern luxury meets country classic in this beautifully elegant styled shoot, with a background story just as romantic as the design. Unbeknownst to the design team, models Dinnah and Tony have been married for twenty two years but never had an official ceremony. Not only a visually inspiration for future brides and grooms-to-be, this styled shoot also allowed Dinnah and Tony to live out their own wedding day dreams twenty two years later…
The inspiration behind this shoot was originally to show the midwest weddings in a different light. We were going for a modern, luxury look with a country setting, incorporating blushes, whites and grays. The great thing about this styled shoot is that we were all working together to create this look, but the whole time we were actually creating something bigger than we knew.
Our models are from Kenya. Prior to the styled shoot, we knew they had been married for 22 years and as Dinnah described, “blessed in the church for four years.” What we didn’t know is that Dinnah and Tony never had a real wedding. In Kenya, there was a dowry and negotiation process that Tony and his family completed before taking Dinnah’s hand in marriage. After that, they were officially married. They never had a ceremony, Dinnah never wore a wedding gown, and until a few years ago never wore diamonds on her left hand, even though this was always a dream of Dinnah’s. When Tony met Dinnah, she was modeling for several agencies and magazine’s in Kenya. She became quite popular and began to do some regional traveling. After they were married, traveling became less of an option and because the pay was not very high for this type of work, Dinnah began attending school for fashion design. She began designing gowns and even was published in a newspaper in Kenya with a dress made out of all recycled materials! When it was time to move to the United States, all of her work was put on hold and they relocated their lives to Kansas City. Real life set in, babies, work and the move all became priorities. That didn’t change Dinnah’s heart for design and heart for a real wedding though.
When I asked Tony if they would consider modeling for us at this styled shoot, he was nervous. He knew this would give Dinnah the opportunity to once again be immersed in the creative world and also give her something that she had always dreamed of – wedding photos of the two of them.
Had we known, we may have planned a surprise vow renewal. But God’s hand was at work and the day still turned out perfect. I was standing in the reception space of the venue when Dinnah walked through the door. She looked like a princess. I turned around and saw Tony across the room. He had his arms crossed down and was staring right at her, eyes glistening. It was in that moment I knew something more than a styled shoot was taking place. It wasn’t until later that I learned their story.
I got home and quickly downloaded the photos and saw all of the creative work come together. As I looked through the images of Tony and Dinnah together, I was teary-eyed. There was something special about the way they looked at each other. I sent Tony one image that really represented the day as a sneak peek. His daughter cried because she felt like she missed the real wedding. Heartbroken over this sentiment, I pressed him and discovered the story and the gift our vendors were able to give Dinnah and Tony.
I felt so blessed to work with such an amazing team on the day of this styled shoot, but looking back, I see how it was all woven together for a reason. I am overjoyed that we are able to give Dinnah and Tony images they will be able to hang on their wall and pass down to generations.
Photography: Staci Ann Moore Photography
Dress Designer: Hayley Paige
Dress Store: Altar Bridal
Model: Dinnah Musau
Model: Tony Nyagah
Event Planner: Ashley Winters
Hair Stylist: Frankie Linse
Cake Designer: Classic Cakes
Venue: Executive Hills Polo Club
Invitations: Farmette Press
Rentals: Ultrapom Event Rental
Florals: Victorian Gardens