After the death of her cousin, photographer Jodi Hutton knew she had to do something to honor her life.
CLEVELAND — On a beautiful fall day, two souls were united as one among a small group of family friends beneath the golden sun.
Melissa and Kimberly Connelly are married now. Their wedding — donated. All of it. From the stunning dresses, to the breathtaking pictures. And it’s all thanks to photographer Jodi Hutton.
“This was a labor of love because I wanted to pay it forward,” Jodi told us. “I wanted to do something where we gave back to our community.”
Jodi is honoring the life of a special girl taken far too soon: Her cousin, Raivyn. A year ago, Jodi started the nonprofit “Rai of Love” in her name. Raivyn died eight years ago in an ATV accident at just 14 years old.
“I get to do this in her honor and that feels really magical, and so it means everything to me,” Jodi said.
Rai of Love chooses one lucky couple to have the wedding of their dreams for free. Jodi picked the right deserving couple.
“It was so beyond incredible, from the flowers to the limo. It’s unbelievable that somebody could redirect sadness and turn it into pure joy. To be the recipients of that, and be able to actually just help her see her vision through? It’s more than I can even say, being on the receiving end of it, just to watch her joy and seeing it come to life,” Melissa said through tears.
The love between Melissa and Kimberly shines, just like the Rai of Love that was beaming down on the best day of their lives.
And for Jodi? She knows Raivyn had something to do with the joy.
“I think she’s really proud. She was one of my biggest supporters. I think she dipped her hand all over this,” Jodi shared with us.
For more information on Rai of Love, click HERE.