Phil & Kimberly {Wedding by Tessa}

I am yours.
I am yours as the stars
belong to the sky
and I am yours as
the rivers belong
to the sea.
 
I am yours as the tears
belong to your eyes
and I am yours
as your lungs belong
to the pattern in which
you breath.

Christopher Poindexter

This wedding was pure perfection, from start to finish. It was unique yet timeless and every detail was planned to a T. (Meet Kim for one moment and this would not be a shocker). Kim has just recently won New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and has been teaching at Haddonfield Memorial High School for eleven years. So what better spot to get married than the place she has invested so much of her soul into? The most fitting backdrop for the New Mr. & Mrs. Hughes. Typically, I write out a full blog post of the events but the ceremony written by Rett Janzen and Jessica Unthank Janzen was just too good not to steal. Enjoy the words and some magical images from their day! Thank you for having us, Kim and Phil, it was an honor!

This wedding was pure perfection, from start to finish. It was unique yet timeless and every details was planned to a T. (Meet Kim for one moment and this would not be a shocker 🙂 ). Kim has just recently won New Jersey Teacher of the year and has been teaching at Haddonfield Memorial High School for eleven years. So what better spot to get married then the place she has invested so much of her soul into? The most fitting backdrop for the New Mr. & Mrs. Hughes. Typically, I write out a full blog post of the events but the ceremony written by Rett Janzen and Jessica Unthank was just too good not to steal. Enjoy the words and some magical images from their day! Thank-you for having us, Kim and Phil, it was an honor!

“The story of how Phil and Kim met plays out exactly like you’d expect.  They’re at a lecture. There’s Phil, hiding in the corner, waiting for it to start and trying not to be seen.  And then there’s Kim. She notices a guy with kind eyes standing by himself and instantly decides to meet him. She deftly draws him out of his shell, and he happily shares his corner with her.  In that moment, the two poles make contact and the story of complementary super powers begins.

Now Phil and Kim might have different strengths, but they also have a lot in common.  They are both highly accomplished, independent people who’ve probably never said the word “can’t”.  Phil started his journey in the land of many trees, also known as Miti Mingi. It was the village Phil lived in while he was in Peace Corps.  And it was there Phil discovered who he was and what he wanted to do. Build a business to give African farmers an opportunity to compete globally.  He came back to the United States and gathered the skills he would need to do just that. Mavuno Harvest is now a fact because of Phil’s vision and drive.

Meanwhile, Kim came at those farmers, and communities like them around the world, from a different angle.  She became a teacher, taking her life-long passion for international engagement to the classroom, where she inspires the next generation to think and act with global conscience.  But Kim doesn’t just talk about it. She makes things happen. Actually, that should be her tagline. Kim: makes things happen. When a South Sudanese friend of ours, whom Kim hadn’t even met, was struggling to find a way to come study in the United States, Kim rallied her students and made it happen.  Garang is even here with us today.

Kim and Phil have done so much on their own.  But, on their own, they can only get so far.  

There is an African proverb that goes: Ukitaka kwenda haraka, nenda mwenyewe. Ukitaka kwenda mbali, nenda pamoja. In other words, If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

And, though they gave it their best Puddy and Elaine, Kim and Phil eventually discovered this truth, that life is better together.  Together, they are greater than the sum of their parts. Kim sees the artistry. Phil sees the mechanics. Kim has the speed of a gazelle.  Phil has the patience of a tiger. Kim has the vision, Phil knows how to get there. On their own, they are each missing a piece. But together, they are an unstoppable force.

It’s no surprise that Phil and Kim would come to realize life is better together.  They both have parents who’ve been living that reality for a combined 84 years. When I spoke to Kathleen and Howard and Rita and Phil Jr., and asked how they were so successful in their marriages, they all said the same thing.  Togetherness is at the heart of everything they do. Their love stories have stood the test of time, because they spent that time investing in each other. In growing their togetherness. And with that as their priority, the rest wasn’t so hard.

Life is better together.  Another thing Phil and Kim have in common is their commitment to add value to their communities.  Whether it’s small farmers in Africa, or all of you in this room, community matters. Recently, Phil brought Kim to Kenya.  They took in the sights, the exotic beaches, the animals on safari, and the good food.  

But, when they got to the tiny rural village of Miti Mingi, a place planted deeply in Phil’s heart, what started as a funny picture of two very different people years ago showed itself for the partnership it now is.  

Kim took the whole village into her heart and, before they’d barely gone down the road to leave, they were looking at each other, saying, “Imagine what we could do here?”

And, with their shared vision and complementary super powers, the future of whatever they set their sights on will be everything they make it.”

Second Photographer: Val Stoltzfus with Lauren Fisher Photography

Ceremony Venue: Haddonfield Memorial High School
Reception Venue: Down Town Club

VENDORS:
Videographer: New Pace Wedding
Bride Dress: Sarah Seven
Tuxedo: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair & Makeup: True Salon
Florist: Beautiful Blooms
Band: Janis Nowlan Band
Catering: Cescaphe
Cake: Cescaphe

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