It’s not uncommon for me to tear up when the crowd rises to welcome the bride. It’s emotional. The moment is slowed and you can see clearer, feel the air around you and the sound of a crying baby fades into the distance. When it’s one of my best friends that happens to be in that bridal gown, clasping her Daddy’s arm…well, let’s just say I’m thankful I have a camera to hide behind…as I say a quick prayer that auto-focus is doing it’s job because everything is blurry through the tears. Crystal Folmar was my roommate when she met Brad Fink. After their first date she was long gone in la-la-Fink-land. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would stare at them from behind my camera lens and document their special day. This event couldn’t have been more perfect for the two of them. We’re talkin’ cowboy boots, a barn party, homemade food, the smell of barbecued chicken and pork filling the air, country music, Loretta-style-ruffles, green grass, blue skies, tears of joy, belly toning laughter, endless brew and lots and lots of love. Hit play on your favorite country playlist and enjoy their special day through the photos below.
May the wind be at your back. …and in your face and up your nose and through your hair and…well, you get it. The day was windy, to say the least. When I arrived at the scenic Barn at Kline’s Mill, to the view of rolling hills and 360˚ blue skies all around me, the breeze grabbed a hold of me and nearly gave me whiplash – jolted me right into photo mode quicker than my morning coffee. Good thing, too, because I was in for a photographic treat of a wedding!
This wedding marks a record for me. It was just held on November 2…which means I cranked this sucker out in a whopping two weeks! That never happens…but I couldn’t help it really. The joy of the day was so contagious it followed me home. Plugging in my camera was like opening a really awesome gift. Catie and Daniel hosted their wedding like it was their job and everything was hand touched and personalized. From the homemade wedding arch to the table settings to the wedding dress worn by Catie’s mother and grandmother to the veil that has been worn by every female in Catie’s family to the superhero undershirts worn by the groom and his men. And from the white daisies in empty chairs representing the absence of beloved family members to the superman pin on Catie’s bouquet to memorialize her father to the soil ceremony combining soil from Catie’s hometown (Sterling, VA)/Daniel’s hometown (Blacksburg, VA)/and the town they met and married (Harrisonburg VA). The ceremony included communion served to guests by the almost-bride-&-groom and the wedding cake itself was made by Catie’s aunt! And if that’s not personal enough for you, even the meal was catered by their local favorites such as Mr. J’s Bagel and Deli and Italian Touch which also happened to be the spot of their first date. AND they had a Kline’s Dairy ice cream station with singing and dancing dippers! Their family and friends relaxed and mingled in place of the usual pre-wedding hustle bustle almost as if they were hired to show up and look happy and help out. Talk about a good group of people to be around…I was in the right place. It was great fun to watch this day unfold through my lens and I’m excited to share these images with you.
Amisha and I have scheduled half a dozen photo shoots in the passed two months but the late spring rain was not falling in our favor. When this day finally came, it was a sunshiny miracle! Braelea, her daughter, hopped out of the car saying “cheeeeese” and flinging phrases like “Oh pickle juice!” around. She is a hoot! Her personality shouts through these images and had me smiling and oohing and EEEing all the way through the editing process. And Amisha! Not only is she gorgeous(!) but she jumped a barbed wire fence with me for a photo op. In a dress. And sandals. Ok so we switched shoes for a hot minute but she was up for it and still looked stunning standing in that wheat field. One tick, an eskimo kiss and a few rosy cheeks later, our session came to an end and we drove away smiling.
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The beauty of this day truly caught me off guard. I dropped my kids off with their grandpa and hopped on the interstate to Lauren and JoAnn’s wedding. It was a nice day. *for once* I mapped my way to Lauren’s mother’s farm where I found family and friends scurrying around to make sure all the details were in place. I blended into the background for bit to take some photos of the simple and elegant details. Everything fell into place just in time for the ceremony as everyone gathered in the front yard to partake in the front porch union. There was an energy in the air that I hadn’t experienced at a wedding until this day. The birds and the wind and leaves were all on cue. It was a moment I feel so blessed to have shared with the guests that day and it couldn’t have been more reassuring that something spectacular was happening right before my lens.
I have photographed Rachel and Daniel’s family in the past and they are so much fun to be around. They’ve made me feel like an adopted member…which I am totally cool with. At one point during the wedding a family member made me put my camera down, fill a plate with food and down a beer. True story. This was a down home, intimate wedding that I am so happy I was a part of .
A promising 60% chance of rain didn’t stop these two from making the trek from Richmond to the ‘burg. Not nobody not nohow! The grey clouds chased us, the thunder roared, and the rain did fall…but the weather forecast did not warn us of the gigantic spiders! *yehehegh* Amanda and Pete might be one of my favorite couples to shoot…and man they make me look good! So naturally loving and genuine. Who wouldn’t want to take pictures of that?