Alyssa & Ben have such beautiful & kind souls, and getting to work with them was magical. From their venue (a Christmas tree farm! SO cool) to the heartfelt praise & worship during their ceremony, to the intimate and love-filled reception...it was all so true, and so pure.
What an honor to be part of this day, and get to witness Madison & David's unending love for each other. They are one of the most solid couples I've ever seen- just so sure of their love, and spending forever together. They've been through ups & downs, distance & hardships (just like most military couples have experienced), but here they are- stronger than ever and so in love it's blatantly obvious.
Thank you M & D, for being such kind souls and for sharing the beauty of your day with me.
Makeup: Erica Does Makeup
Dress: Lily Harris by Vows
Shoes: Angela Nuran
Bridesmaids: Hayley Paige
Jewelry: Perception Jewelry
Florals: Greenery Plus Florist
Cake: Homestyle Desserts
Favors: Jones Farm
DJ: Digital Musicians Entertainment
Videographer: ByDesign Films
Ceremony: Most Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel
Reception: Thayer Hotel
Second Shooter: Abby Jenkins Photography
I can't say enough good things about Richelle & Joe and their Brown's Revolution Hall wedding. A chill & kind couple, who is madly in love, surrounded by loved ones, getting married in a brewery- perfection. (Good craft beer is one of my favorite things in this world. Just being honest.)
I loved the laid-back pace of the day, the genuine warmth & laughter of the bridal party, and the fact that no one lost sight of what that day was for- celebrating Richelle & Joe. <3
Laura & Aaron's wedding day was pretty adventurous (by my tame standards anyway- bee stings! broken fingers! ski slopes! top of mountains! merry-go-rounds!) but that suited them perfectly, because they are an adventurous couple. They met while both stationed in Alaska, and continued their long-distance love in Korea and Nepal.
Laura didn't care about getting ready or detail shots prior to the ceremony, so I met up with her at the chapel, and saw her fully done up for the first time. I was in love with her floral crown and details- she looked magnificent. The ceremony, held at USMA's Cadet Chapel, was intimate, and even though the restrictions for photographer's can be tricky, I always love shooting there because it's just so breath-taking. I felt like Aaron had a bit of nerves before the ceremony, but once he saw Laura coming down the aisle, he relaxed.
Following the ceremony, Laura & Aaron had allotted ample time for portraits, which was amazing. We spent hours exploring the grounds of West Point and the top of Bear Mountain. (Laura might have gotten stung by a bee which then died inside the lace lining of her dress, and I might have nearly broken my finger by falling on top of Bear Mountain, but I'm confident the pictures were worth it. ;)) Both Laura & Aaron are big into the outdoors, and Aaron was on the ski patrol when he was a cadet at West Point, so we definitely hit up the ski slopes as well. (Thankfully, sans snow. I am not athletic, you guys.) And can I just say what a champ Aaron was about pictures? Most grooms barely tolerate me for 10 minutes of portraits following the ceremony. Aaron grinned (literally) and beared it for hours. Of course he was with his beautiful new wife, so it probably wasn't that torturous. ;)
Their reception was held at the Carousel Room at Bear Mountain Inn, which I was super excited about. How cool is that- a functioning carousel in the middle of your wedding reception?
I'm so excited for these two to begin their lives (finally together) in Colorado!
Venue & Catering: Bear Mountain Inn
Hair/Makeup: Bear Mountain Spa
Flowers: Lily's of the Valley
Cake: Homestyle Desserts Inc.
DJ: John from Indigo International
Organist: Mr. Craig Williams
I didn't even know what Sam & Max looked like when I arrived on their wedding day. So when I got to Cherry Island (literally my favorite venue, ever. Ever ever) and met them, I was blown away. They were stunningly beautiful (like, model good looking) and had such a peace and calmness about them. A quiet kindness that I sensed immediately. I wanted to be their friend.
So it wasn't hard to see why they had so many guests, from so many different places, that traveled all the way upstate to the 1000 Islands to celebrate the two of them. They are very much loved.
Sam & Max weren't interested in the posed, cliche pictures that sometimes accompany wedding days (although they did let me steal them for a few minutes at sunset. All the praise hands!) They stressed to me that they wanted the photography to be about their guests, the candid emotions of the day, and the beauty of Casablanca.
During the ceremony, "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer was read, and it made so much sense. I felt like it was written for them.
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Sam & Max, thank you for letting me be a part of this day. I hope I was able to tell the story of the day as beautifully as it was. <3
Venue: Casablanca on Cherry Island
Planner/coordinator: Andrea Pfeiffer
Hair: Renee Shockley
Makeup: Esthetics by Megan Bristol
Florals: Florals & Events by Vinnie
Cake: Sweets Lorraine
Catering: The Clipper Inn
Vintage Rentals: Pretty Little Vintage Company
Table Rentals: Petunia Rose
Linens & Tent: Party Rentals
DJ: Pete Souch
Second Shooter: Theyzi Clark Photography
Alright, I am in love. I have a sweet baby girl of my own, but the way little P looked at her mama was magical. She couldn't stop staring at mommy and saved all of her smiles just for Sara. If I were her mommy, I'd probably kiss those insanely kissable cheeks at least 9000 times a day (Sara said she does ;)) and get next to nothing done because I'd just be staring at her. So...it's probably for the best that I am not little P's mother.
Of course Sara & Mark made one of the most adorable babies I've ever seen. Of course they did. :)
I knew it was going to be a good session when these four strolled up- big smiles, dressed to perfection at Lusk Reservoir here at West Point. I swear, there was just so much joy abundant in them. The laughs were endless, and the playfulness was contagious. (They also informed me that there's an actual amusement park called Digger Land that has nothing but construction vehicles, and they were going the very next day. Soooo that's amazing.)
They reminded me why I love doing this. <3
Almost exactly one year ago, I creepily asked our housemates (our homes are connected) if they'd be my first West Point family session. I was brand new to West Point, and I hadn't done a family session in a while and wanted the practice in our new area. They were a beautiful family, and I had been eyeing them for photography purposes since I met them because I am a massive freak. They agreed, even though I'm pretty sure Amanda was internally giving me the side eye the entire time. But the pictures turned out nicely (in my opinion) and I continued to low-key stalk them throughout the year and take a dumb amount of photos of them.
Last year, Amanda was pregnant with baby Pete. She was beautiful pregnant, and should probably do it a dozen more times, but now with Pete here in her arms instead of her belly, she's 1000 times more radiant. We spent the evening frolicking at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall, which couldn't have been more incredible. We ended the evening with the children getting ice cream (probably organic...is there such a thing? Nevermind, they probably just got raw carrots) and me raiding their house for prosecco (or "champagne".) So, definitely a win.
I'm not going to speak on the fact that they're leaving the Winans Gang in a few short months. I'm actually refusing to acknowledge it. :) #ignorant
Anyway- here's one of my favorite families!
And because who doesn't love a good side-by-side: here's Lillian loving on Pete on the inside & now the outside. <3
I used to think I loved to travel, but then I met Katie. This girl amazes me. She is one of the most well-traveled people I know, and I love following her blog, www.thejetsettingmama.com (I may or may not live vicariously through people who get to do really exciting things. And I don't mean exciting like a trip to a Starbucks drive-thru, or Amazon Prime Day. Whatever. I don't get out much.) She also recently got her MFA in creative writing, so that's wildly awesome. Oh yeah, and she's pregnant! With a sweet baby girl, Hattie Joan.
We had such a fun time exploring JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State. Katie, Jordan, & Jude were up for anything, and I loved getting to know them and watch them interact while we checked out all of the trees & flowers. Jude was so sweet & bright, and I am anxious to see him in the role of big brother, because I know he'll be adorable.
I can't wait to see this family grow. <3
I can tell when a couple is in it for the long run.
And these two? Forever.
Suzie & Stephen could have gotten stressed out about some bumps in their day (rain on & off all day, dress malfunction, mosquitos, botched first look, groom's suit getting ripped, ETC.!) They could have been upset, pouty, and irritable, and I wouldn't have really blamed them. But they didn't. They chose to remember what that day was all about- the two of them and their love. And they had nothing but smiles and good times that day, surrounded by all of their loved ones.
The way Stephen looks at Suzie makes my heart flutter- he seemed so anxious to make sure she was okay and happy. And Suzie looked so at home in his arms, so at peace. I absolutely adored every minute (especially post-cocktail bridesmaids shenanigans ;)) and I hope you can feel their sweet, and real passion not only for one another, but for living life to the fullest.
Florals: Lisk's Florals
Venue: The Ridgeview Inn
Hairstylists: The Ritz Day Spa
Bridesmaids Makeup: The Total Look Salon
Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from Spybaby
Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell
DJ: The Majestic DJ
Second Shooter: Jenny Haury Photography
Kristen & I go way back to the college days, and share tons of fun memories together (from Bang Bang Shrimp to the streets of Rome.) I've always thought Kristen led such a cool and interesting life, and I've been thankful for social media for keeping me up to date on her. I started noticing a cute guy appearing in her photos a while back, and my interest was piqued. Then, a while later, Kristen messages me asking if I'll shoot their wedding next year. WHAT?! (Yes, duh.)
That cute guy is Josie, and he and Kristen are so in love it's ridiculous (in the best way.) I met them at Carolina Beach for their engagement session. We got there really early, so we had some drinks and caught up on the last few years of life. Kristen & Josie were what photographers dream of. They totally let loose (was it the Moscow Mules & mimosas?), and I pretty much did not exist. Their connection was fire. We played around at the boardwalk carnival for a while, then headed to the beach (which was insanely crowded. I guess I stupidly thought we'd have the beach to ourselves? Lol. No.) They got drenched in the water without thinking twice, and let me play around with fun flash stuff later at the boardwalk, so I pretty much love them to pieces.
Josie & Kristen, I hope this next year flies by for you guys so you can finally be together. I absolutely cannot wait for next May!