On December 11, 2016, Dinah Medrano said, “I do” to Kody Ibarra.
Dinah and Kody met at The Door Christian Fellowship church in Austin, TX. Kody came to Christ in his teenage years, and Dinah came to Christ when she was in college at University of Texas. Dinah started attending The Door because her grandfather was a pillar at the San Antonio campus of The Door. As Dinah started attending church, she opened her heart to Christ. Kody noticed Dinah as she started attending services and became more involved with the church. However, soon after her joining the church, she went on a semester-long study abroad trip. Kody still had feelings for Dinah during her absence, but as soon as Dinah returned from her study abroad, Kody went on a mission trip. During Kody’s absence, Dinah met his family and started to get to know them through the church’s different ministry programs. Dinah found that she enjoyed being around Kody’s family, and when Kody returned home, she finally met him. Dinah wanted to talk to Kody about his mission trip, but Kody was so shy because he liked Dinah so much! Kody was eventually able to work up the courage to ask their pastor for advice, and Kody moved on from there. He and Dinah started spending time together on a friends basis. Eventually they started dating, and they agreed to not touch the other - at all. Kody and Dinah dated for two years until in July 2016, Kody proposed to Dinah at the top of Mt. Bonnell.
The Big Day
Jump forward about six months, and I walked up to the Holiday Inn Express in Buda where Dinah is with her family getting ready for her wedding day. It was an overcast, warm, and slightly humid day. This was definitely better than the frigid cold and rain that Austin experienced just days before. In one hotel room, we managed to fit Dinah, her parents, sisters, hair stylist, brother, and me. As Dinah was finishing getting ready, I left to meet the groom and his family at Thistlewood Manor and Gardens for the morning portrait session and the first looks. Dinah’s father had not seen his little girl in her wedding dress yet, and she wanted to make a special moment for the both of them. Her father arrived to the venue first, and I had him turn around as Dinah’s mother and I helped Dinah enter the manor. When I gave the go-ahead, Dinah’s father turned around and looked at his little girl all grown up in her wedding dress. I watched as a I saw this man smile, tear up, and hug his daughter. After Dinah and her father had enough time, I led her outside to meet her groom. Kody was turned around as well, and when I gave the go ahead, he turned around and saw his bride. I will never forget the huge smile that spread across Kody’s face. Dinah and Kody still weren’t touching at this point, so they walked up to each other with their big grins. I then ushered everyone around for portraits. After the family portraits, we made our way to the The Door Christian Fellowship. Dinah and Kody were married during the church service. Before participating in the ceremony part of the service, Dinah and Kody each gave their testimonies in front of the congregation. When the pastor called them both up to the altar, they held hands for the first time. Moments later, they exchanged their vows and shared their first kiss. Of course, the congregations erupted in cheers. The newlyweds and wedding party walked down and returned to their seats for the remainder of the service where a sermon, worship, and altar call proceeded.
Dinah and Kody said they wanted a Jesus people wedding: surrounded by family, friends, their church community, and getting married on a Sunday. The two accomplished all of those aspects. I know being married in their church, by their pastor, and in front of their church family meant the world to them. The reception at Thistlewood went off beautifully. I loved taking the newlyweds around the garden grounds for their portraits. While we were outside, the little family members would run up to Dinah and Kody as we made our way across the grounds! It was such a joy watching Dinah interact with her young siblings and nieces. Capturing those honest moments was one of my favorite parts of the day.