As a wedding photographer, I find myself at parties a lot – but they usually involve bouquet tosses, sweet father/daughter dances, and a bride and groom. It’s not very often, though, that we do just a party… not that Karen’s surprise birthday party at the Church on Main could be considered JUST a party. This was a full-blown celebration, complete with planning from Morgan and the phenomenal Soirees team, a fun twist on decorations by Balloons Over Atlanta, great entertainment from Total Package, and a scrumptious setup from Michelle at Events With Taste. Karen’s husband and her two daughters did an amazing job getting their closest friends and family members to come from near and far to surprise Karen for her 60th birthday. And boy was she surprised! After a little shock and awe, a few tears, and a lot of amazing greetings and hugs, the party was just getting started. This crowd laughed, sang, and danced the night away like pros. (No really, they are all very, very good dancers – check out the group picture with their Fred Astaire Dance Studio crowd!)
Karen’s husband Mike explained during his toast that this was much more than a birthday celebration – it was a celebration of Karen, and everything she is. Despite being diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer last year, Karen has continued to live life to the fullest, pouring into her family, friends, and community. She and Mike established the Mike and Karen Collins Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, to help fight one of the most lethal forms of cancer women can face. Just a year after being diagnosed, Karen has now finished treatment and is completely cancer-free.
It was truly amazing to be a part of this night, and to see the amount of love and support around this family. Congrats to Karen, and thanks to the Collins family for letting me be a part of such a special occasion.
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