Oh this wedding. This was such a unique experience for me. I've known Nicole, well probably as long as she can remember. Since I rang her family's doorbell every morning so that I could walk to the bus stop with her older sister and my best friend Kristen, starting at age 10. I went on nearly every Hamlin family vacation with them from then on out and I've literally seen Nicole grow up before my eyes. In fact, she's probably the person I have photographed the most in my entire time as a photographer... she was my FIRST portrait client when I did her senior session long ago. I took some "just because" portraits of her and Stephen when I was filming a promo video for my website. We did the engagement session this past summer. And now of course, the wedding.
Ah, this wedding. I've been looking forward to Holly and Bryan's wedding day ever since I met them. Ever since Holly and I gushed about Pride and Prejudice on the phone when she booked her wedding with me. I just knew this would be a fun, inspiring day. Add to that, shooting at Upper Shirley Vineyard, a brand new wedding venue! I'm always psyched to learn about vineyards in the Richmond area, personally and professionally, and Upper Shirley did not disappoint! It was incredibly gorgeous and the owner was so sweet, driving Holly, Bryan, and I around to pretty spots on his property, showing us the river, the horses, the vineyard. It was a beautiful place for a wedding, or just for hanging with some wine. I'll definitely be back for the wine hanging fun myself! ;)
Say hello to some familiar faces! Back in the Fall, Kate and Will's wedding was the infamous Hurricane Matthew wedding at Amber Grove. They were troopers and we made their rainy wedding day work, but you don't book a beautiful outdoor wedding venue like Amber Grove without wanting some scenic country pictures to go with it. Kate contacted me about doing some extra bride and groom portraits on a nicer day, and I was SO THRILLED that she did.
This wedding was quintessentially sweet and Southern! I seriously love a rustic, outdoor wedding. It's home to me and my photographic style. When Savanna described her rustic, country wedding to me, I was SO excited. And that was before I even realized how much time and effort she was putting into this dream wedding.
Bridal portraits are basically the hardest thing for a photographer. I take all these beautiful photos of this perfect bride... I get to take my time and not worry about wedding day timelines... and then, I can't share the photos for weeks or months! It's terrible! Haha! But it is always fun once I finally do.
I'm not going to lie. When I realized a HURRICANE would be blowing through on the day of this wedding, I was disappointed. I always reassure my couples that it doesn't matter what the weather does on the day of their wedding, we will get gorgeous pictures anyway. And that is always true. But I still hope it doesn't happen because I know it's not the mental image you have when you're planning your wedding and have booked a beautiful venue and a photographer you trust. It happened to me when I planned my wedding in the trees 5 years ago and wound up spending an extra thousand dollars for the security of a tent that I didn't want in the first place. I was disappointed! But then the day itself happened and everything turned out so beautifully. My pictures were fabulous and everyone had fun.
I thought it would take me weeks to edit this wedding. I seriously did. With Willow only sleeping 45 minutes at a time, the ENORMOUS number of photos I took at this gorgeous wedding, and a generally sporadic schedule this week, I just figured it would take me a little longer than normal. I was wrong. As soon as I dug into the editing for this wedding, I got completely swept up in it all over again. I'm so thankful that my first wedding in so long was such a perfect one. Though, who am I kidding? I tend to book some stellar brides and gorgeous weddings, so I'd probably be saying that no matter what. But SERIOUSLY, this one was amazing. Just wait and see.