Brides Brittany and Lindsay along with their four lovely bridesmaids spent the morning prepping for the wedding day at The Storefront in Staunton, Virginia. This unique little spot is located in the heart of downtown that, on this particular dreary day, was bustling with coffee-drinkers and mom-n-pop shoppers. The girls grabbed their umbrellas and we hit the streets until the droplets became more persistent. The day was the epitome of fall in the Valley: gray skies, drizzle, a calm coolness in the air and brilliant, radiant changing leaves. The ceremony and reception was held at the Octagonal Barn at the Frontier Culture Museum. Personal touches could be found in many forms. The table clothes were made from upcylced Lucas Roasting Company coffee bean sacks; hand-written thank you notes (one for each guest!) hung by clothespin on a line; they carried flower bouquets handmade by Caite (a bridesmaid) from old book pages; the fire pit was crafted and personalized by Brittany’s father; Brittany and Lindsay even baked homemade scones to pass out and share with each of their guests during the ceremony. As guests warmed their souls with A Bowl of Good soup, Three Brothers brew and dance floor shenanigans, the beauty of the event became more present. They had love (and soup and beer and dancing) what more do you really need?
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On the day of their wedding, Kimberly and Greg meandered the same farm land without catching a glimpse of each other pre-ceremony. They were equally giddy and pleasant, eager to see each other and say their vows under blue skies. The wedding took place on a family friend’s farm in Linville, Virginia. Kimberly and Greg created a very thoughtful event that was a comforting representation of the two of them. Their day was complete with hand-touched goodies like dried flower bouquets, bow ties made by their friend Morgan, a beautiful painted watercolor tree/guestbook by their friend Marcia, a precious mini wooden bride and groom set painted by the groom and centerpieces made with tree bark collected by the bride and groom on their many hikes together. Even our post-ceremony couples photos included a hillside hike that made them both beam with joy. (Yes, the bride was happy about hiking up her wedding dress and tromping through dirt. That’s because she is awesome.) But it wasn’t just the decor that had personal meaning, they had a ceremony duet by Maggie and Jordan, who both attend their church, a ceremony led by the bride’s step father, a solo by the groom’s father, hand-churned apple cider that turned into team effort, dinner by local favorite A Bowl of Good, a cake baked by the bride’s uncle and iced on the spot and live music by local band Many Nights Ahead to keep the reception lively.
From start to finish, guests smiled and hugged and celebrated their joy. To close the evening, everyone gathered outside while the couple attempted to light a paper lantern as the wind gusts picked up. There on that hill in Linville, we all stood together under millions of stars as the groom’s father began singing “This Little Light of Mine”…and all the guests joined in. It felt very symbolic to hear this beautiful sound coming from their loved ones, surrounding them, in the complete darkness.
And of course….a few of my favorite sillies!
I’m convinced the Whistleman boys wake up with sneakers on because surely they hit the ground mid-sprint each morning. What a pleasure it was to meet up with these two fast-paced bundles of energy…and the parents that keep up with them(!) for a family mini-session on Storybook Trail. The sun was low in the sky and kept saying good night as our session continued. But I managed to get some shots and a decent workout. Successful evening.
I met the Layman Family one brisk Friday evening after school. The park had not yet become busy with families so we took advantage of the tucked-away and beautiful Timberville Park. Little Owen wooed me with his silly faces, Madison was polite and gave me her super sweet smile. I’d say this is a pretty decent way to start off any weekend.
As I parked on Sunny Slope Farms, I did a mental fist-pump when the fall clouds parted and blue skies appeared. I’ve known Caleb for many years…and knowing him made me very excited to meet the woman that won his heart over. Laura hops out of their car, walks over to me in her noticeably-cute Frye boots and hands me a bag of chocolates. Um, can I marry her? Laura is sweet as pie and fun, too. And she loves to laugh…which is perfect because Caleb can be very laughable! They are a complimentary pair and as we wandered around the farm that evening I imagined them back there, in just a few months, in a wedding gown and tuxedo with all their crazy friends, saying “I do” and sealing it all with a kiss under the same set of trees. They’re in the middle of an exciting journey and I’m so happy to be a part of it.
Jen and Shawn’s friends and family gathered and filled the yard of a family home just outside of Harrisonburg on a very fall-like September Saturday. Brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles chipped in to help with to-do lists while kids ran and screamed and laughed. The cows watched the day unfold as the grey skies turned to blue and two lovers became one family. It was a perfect backyard gathering complete with mason jars, barbecue chicken, glow sticks, soft blankets and a glowing fire. Cheers to you, Jen and Shawn….and to many more lovely evenings, just like this one.
Not only did the world gain a precious child…but the family pup gained a baby sister. And now it is his sole duty to watch her every move and raise an ear to her every whimper. Delissa Ana, or Dela, was a quiet, sweet babe on the evening I met her. But I was not fooled…I could sense a depth of personality in those stare-a-hole-right-through-me eyes. This girl will do great things. Thanks for spending an evening of your life with me, Ashley & Mahan!
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