The sun flickered through the newly opened leaves of a silver maple. The moment hung in mid air as Michael picked up his guitar for one song, a surprise. He began. His fingers plucked the strings of bronze as he sang Drew Holcomb’s “I’ll Never Forget the Way You Made Me Feel.” Tears rolled out of everyone’s eyes, including his, and I knew that I was witnessing something like a “core memory” from the movie Inside Out. If you haven’t seen the movie, core memories represent key moments in a life that define someone, that they come back to for happiness in years to come, that even mold and shape your personality moving forward. And there’s no better way to describe this culminating moment of their relationship– their wedding– as that. 

Kara got ready at her mom’s house and then headed to the ceremony which took place at Michael’s mom’s house. From an outsider’s perspective, this house was made to host a wedding celebration, though I know that there was A LOT of work behind the beautiful set up! And though they couldn’t physically have everyone present that they wanted, there was NO shortage of people on Zoom calls, FaceTimes with [international] friends, and drive-by well-wishers. Though the actual guest count was under 10, the love of well over 100 family and friends from afar was certainly palpable throughout the day.

Above all, watching my best friend marry someone who cherishes her was the penultimate moment for me. I loved spending the day witnessing their love express itself in both tender and excited ways. The first time I met Michael was on a double date. Dom and I were driving home and I turned to Dom and said, “she’s going to marry him.” I’m pretty sure Kara knew that pretty early on, and it’s easy to see why. Michael has a heart of gold, he is a talented musician, and a loyal friend. I’m over the moon that he’s now officially part of the family, and I know the Fleharty and Benzinger clans feel the same about the newest addition to the family. Cheers to the Benzingers!!

I loved how Pastor Brian had them turn and acknowledge all of the people watching via Zoom/ FaceTime!

Kara’s face here says it all!!

Checking out the new bling!

I thought this was so creative: Kara’s cousins decorated a 6 ft. long pole, AND surprised them by decorating Kara’s car during the ceremony!

  1. Nancy says:

    Beautiful pictures!!!
    You did an amazing job Christi!!
    Thank you, Aunt Nan

  2. Debbie Schultz says:

    This was absolutely beautiful you did an amazing job capturing all the love between these 2!!!

  3. Corrine Donewald says:

    Joyful tears while reviewing these beautiful pictures. So happy for the newlyweds!
    Congratulations Michael and Kara.

  4. Absolutely fabulous!!! Michael is a lucky man. What a creative life these two week have together. Much, much love❤️

  5. Mark and Patti Eney says:

    Oh my! These pictures are beautiful! “Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10: 9

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