I had been tracking the forecast all week long, and it seemed like the closer to Dallas & Amanda’s big day we got, the higher the chance of thunderstorms got. It was sunny when we arrived at the ladies house, but dark clouds loomed off in the distance. Despite the impending clouds, the mood amongst the bridal party was upbeat, chill, and celebratory. I think they almost had to encourage me that everything was going to be ok!
If you don’t know Dallas & Amanda then just let me say, you’re missing out. Totally chill, down for anything, and the types that love for each other and others just pours out naturally. I knew that no matter what the weather brought…it was going to be an epic day. You may remember these guys from my post of their Looking Glass Falls engagement session. Once again, these guys didn’t disappoint.
The day was full of laughter, shots, mimosas, happy tears, puppies, and love. Yes, I said puppies. Click-bait? Maybe, ha. This day contained one of my favorite ceremony moments to date. The pastor said that the couple had “failed to thank everyone that made the day possible”. He then proceeded to call over the young ring bearer, who also happened to be the matron of honor’s son. It turns out that Dallas and Amanda actually met at the hospital after the young man’s entry into the world. If it weren’t for his birth…maybe they wouldn’t have met and been standing in front of each other at the altar that day. Amanda couldn’t contain her emotions and gratitude as the young man stood there looking up at her at the altar. The officiant did such an amazing job, keeping the main thing the main thing, and weaving humor into his ceremony. He then told Dallas that he needed to thank the young man as well…with a twenty dollar bill! (It’s all below captured in images, don’t worry).
We made it through the ceremony with perfect overcast lighting and only a few rain drops. However, as soon as we wrapped up the ceremony and formal portraits, the bottom absolutely dropped out of the sky! Wind, sideways rain…even rain that came up from below (cheesy Forrest Gump reference). We just missed it, however, I had big plans for some intimate, dockside portraits of the couple at sunset. The night went on with toasts, dances, drinks, fun, and it continued to pour rain. However, around 8:15pm I realized that the rain had shut down. I almost decided to just forget about trying to pull the couple outside…”its so wet out”, “its so dark”, “the photos won’t turn out”. All the excuses, fears, and worries set in. But, I decided to go for it anyways, and I’m SO glad I did. They may be a lil’ grainy and raw, but we got some of the most moody, intimate, emotional shots I’ve ever snagged. (Also below, so don’t worry)
The night ended with a beautiful sparkler send off and the rest is history. I could keep talking, but why? You just want to check out this beautiful day, so without further ado, enjoy Dallas & Amanda’s Lake Tillery, North Carolina wedding!
Somewhere along the line I have definitely became the “mountain/waterfall/hiking” engagement session guy. So when Chelsea told me she was thinking about a beach engagement session, I was totally stoked to change up the scenery. The week we shot her session I actually did a “tour” of North Carolina. Craggy Gardens outside of Asheville, NC on Monday, and Holden Beach on Saturday!
We started out with a couple of drinks at the famous, Provision Company Holden Beach. Courtney and I immediately knew that we were going to have a blast with Matt & Chelsea…super down to earth, not afraid to be in front of the lens, and most importantly…madly in love. You could just feel the love and energy between these two and it was nothing short of contagious. It made me want to redo mine and Courtney’s engagement session, haha. We chatted between shots and sips of our drinks as we meandered around the dock in front of the famous watering hole. We even spent some time inside at the bar chatting with some of the locals. You know you’re in North Carolina when the locals treat you like family. There were several congratulations from the patrons to our couple, and we actually realized that we had some friends in common with the folks at the bar.
The walls and ceiling of the bar are notoriously covered with dollar bills. Matt & Chelsea added their very own dollar to the rafters including their names and their wedding date. Their engagement session and memories are now forever tied to the history of the building! I could tell that these guys loved the beach and I can only imagine them revisiting Provision Company years from now, stepping up to the bar to order their favorite beverage, and looking up at their dollar, taking them back in time to their engagement session. Come on! So cool to be a part of this memory!
We loaded up from there and headed to the also famous Holden Beach Fishing Pier minutes down the road for a sunset session. Walking out to the water I realized that we literally had the beach almost completely to ourselves. The sun was setting…casting a beautiful orange and pink glow everywhere you turned. This was going to be epic. Matt & Chelsea danced and kissed under the pier in a more than effortless way. It seemed so natural for them. They were most definitely in their element. We finished up the session as the last golden rays of sun disappeared beneath the horizon.
I don’t know that photos could do our evening justice, but I think we got darn close! I’m proud and honored to present to you…Matt & Chelsea’s Holden Beach engagement session!
Have you ever been apart of something that was beautifully emotional? So many emotions swarming around. The emotions of anticipation, celebration, and reverent remembrance all in one day. That’s exactly what Makayla and Parker’s day was like, and it was such a beautiful thing to witness and have the privilege of documenting. It was a celebration of Parker & Makayla joining their families in marriage, but also a remembrance of Parker’s dad, David. I know David was proud looking down on the day at the way he was so joyfully remembered and included in the day. No one can ever take the place of your dad, but it was so warming to see the number of men in Parker’s life who have stepped in as “dad” and friend.
It was a beautiful day in North Carolina, and the families Airbnb was teeming with bridesmaids, makeup artists, and hair stylists. Makayla had such a cool and calm demeanor about her that day. The nerves seemed to be low, and everyone in such good spirits.
The groom and groomsmen were hanging out just up the hill at Parker’s house. I had a blast capturing the guys and they’re prep time. It was filled with jokes, drinks, laughter, and some occasional tears and bro hugs. I immediately felt like part of the gang, as they included me in on the fun.
We all loaded up for the ceremony that was right down the road in a small country church with crisp white walls, rich wooden pews, and full of the couple’s closest family and friends. Makayla looked amazingly beautiful as she entered the back of the church , and Parker must have agreed because he couldn’t contain his emotions (nothing wrong with that grooms!). It was a beautiful ceremony filled with Scripture readings, communion, and the exchanging of vows.
We loaded up once again and headed, yet again, right down the road to the Stanly County Agri Civic Center for the reception and dinner. Can I just say, what a dinner spread! Low country boil, cheeses, wines, local craft beer…you name it.
The night was filled with heartfelt speeches, good eating, and of course dancing, as you’ll see below. I am so honored and happy to have gotten the chance to become a part of Parker & Makayla’s story.
It’s my pleasure to share with you…Makayla and Parker’s big day!
Have you ever been somewhere and thought to yourself, “It’s so hard to believe that we’re in the middle of a huge city!” That’s the exact thought I had as I walked through the wrought iron gates of Charlotte, NC’s McGill Rose Garden. Nestled in the concrete jungle of the city is this incredibly picturesque “Secret Garden”.
While I’ve known Phillip for years, it was my first time meeting his beautiful fiancé Kathryn. She was a little shy at first, but once I got these two comfortable, it was magic. The secluded feel of the garden certainly helped the couple loosen up, as the natural growth and beauty totally envelopes the inner garden and hides it away form the hustle and bustle of the city. They had so much fun with each other…laughter, kisses, and even a little dancing.
Please enjoy Phillip & Kathryn’s rose garden engagement session: