They say you get to know a person best during challenging circumstances. I can think of few more challenging times in my life than when I volunteered in the refugee camps in Greece for one month together with 11 other friends. Amidst the weeks of overnight shifts at overcrowded camps, I got to know my friend Haylee better than I probably would have in any other situation. To keep this short, you'd have a hard time finding someone with more compassion and love for people than this woman. From attending a YWAM school in Australia together and working side-by-side with refugees in Greece and Germany, I was then lucky enough to be the wedding videographer for Haylee's wedding to Tyler in November. Their day was filled to the brim with authentic emotion; the nervous excitement before the first look, the moments before the ceremony when their wedding party covered each of them in prayer, and their tear-filled vows to each other.
Here's how Haylee and Tyler's story started, as written by both of them:
In April of 2017, Tyler and Haylee met for the first time in his makeshift home music studio. That night, they found out they went to the same high school, graduated the same year, had a few of the same friends, and were even on the same page of the yearbook. But they never knew each other.
As she describes in her vows, when Haylee first met Tyler she prayed that if this was the man she was going to marry, for God to "open up his eyes and close her eyes to everyone else." This started a journey that would forever change the course of both of their lives. They instantly clicked and became good friends.
In August, Haylee made a decision to leave Colorado and join Circuit Riders, a traveling ministry, based in Huntington Beach, California. It was a very hard decision to make, but she felt God leading her to step out. Tyler wanted to go with her, but God kept him in Denver. The separation was difficult at best, but little did they know, it was exactly what they both needed for the next string of events to occur.
After feeling from the Lord to fix their eyes on Him alone, Tyler and Haylee broke contact and put a pause on their friendship. In the month and a half that they did not speak, Haylee came into more of her identity and became a woman of authority, love, leadership, and boldness. Her eyes were shut off to all others, except for Jesus, her Pursuer. During this same period, Tyler was brought into activation in his music, grew in confidence, transparency, leadership, and became a man that had his own faith in Jesus. He also came to realize that Haylee was someone he could not live without, and that he had strong feelings for her that he couldn’t ignore. His eyes had finally been opened. He prayed for the weeks to come, waiting on God to give him the "green light".
Haylee returned to Colorado in mid December to visit her family and planned to hangout with Tyler when she got back. When they reconnected Haylee knew something was different in Tyler. Shortly after that night, Tyler confessed his feelings for Haylee and told her that he was willing to do whatever it took to make this work. Haylee was on the same page, and two nights later they were dating, knowing that this was the forever they were looking for.
They launched into a 4 month season of long distance that tested their communication, patience, endurance, love, and commitment to each other. When Haylee finally returned home, Tyler planned a month long string of dates leading up to when he asked her to marry him. She said yes, of course, and on May 20, 2018, Tyler Budke and Haylee Carpenter became an engaged couple. On November 19, 2018, they became husband and wife.
I hope you enjoy Haylee and Tyler's emotional Christian wedding video!
Venue: Hudson Gardens Event Center
Photography: With Love Photographers
Catering: Y.Lo Epicure
Wedding Coordinator: Beulah Weddings
DJ: Kevin Odnoralov