This is not their wedding blog but it is a little about their wedding. I was editing this morning and thought about what a unique couple this is. Melody and Justin were referred to me from a fellow photographer who was booked on their wedding date. We emailed and spoke on the phone and met for the first time for their engagement session. They were really just getting started on their wedding planning but were so sweet that I knew the day would be lovely.
On wedding day, I met Melody and all her friends and family at the bridal house they were getting ready in at Bottom View Farms. She was so calm and smiling ear to ear. Her makeup was done and her hair was perfect. There was a quiet happy hum to the room but everyone was in sweet spirits - even Melody and Justin's dog Max! As we were taking some detail shots of the dress Melody came over and quietly touched my arm. She requested that I check on Justin. She didn't know where her phone was and they didn't have great service in the area of the house, so they hadn't spoken all day. She knew he would be nervous worrying about - her. She was nervous about him worrying about her. Neither of them were worried about the day or the weather we were expecting. Neither worried about bridal party not getting along or family fights. None of that crossed their minds!! She wanted me to check on Justin and let him know she was excited to see him. This is what makes them so special to me.
When I arrived at the reception barn and outdoor wedding area I could hear the murmur of male conversation, but more than that I could hear laughter. That warmed my heart. We weren't down there 5 minutes before Justin came out to say hi. The first thing he asked? If I had spoken to Melody yet. I assured him I had and that she was not nervous but instead excited to see him. He immediately looked like a weight left him. Why? Because he was worried about her and her comfort. Just as she had been concerned for his. NEITHER OF THEM MENTIONED WEATHER - EVEN THOUGH STORMS WERE POSSIBLE.
When I walked into where the men were getting ready I noticed something right away. There was a comfort among these men that comes from years of knowing each other. They had history. They were men who knew each others silly stories and shared them with each other and us. They were true friends. That explained all the laughter. Later in the day, they would show what kind of men they were and they impressed me so!
As I went back to get ready for the first look I assured Melody that Justin was good - just worried for her - just as she suspected. I explained how funny these guys were! She just laughed because she knew they would be. After the first look we did bridal party shots before rain came in. Melody and Justin were more worried about getting pictures with their friends than they were about a million formals of themselves. They wanted the fun of the day documented. As I was editing these I had to delete so many because the bridal party was laughing throughout the time I shared with them.
I did manage to get some serious ones that were far more traditional but I thought these laughing ones were more who this couple was and who their friends were.
While I was photographing the ladies I noticed something. Not one bridesmaid was negative or unhappy! They wanted Melody to be comfortable and happy. It was just fun and beauty. I could tell these ladies could be family and their closeness and joy felt for Melody was so obvious to see. I feel like these people they invited into their bridal party showed the type of couple Justin and Melody are. They are aware of others feelings and their concern for others is shown in a million different ways. When the rain came in with the clap of thunder and lightening, the groomsmen showed up at the reception barn dressed in their tuxedo's and ran back and forth to the outside ceremony site to grab chairs. They moved tables and fans. They wiped down wet chairs and they checked with me to ask about how the pictures would look with this moved here. One of the groomsmen remarked that the pictures would last forever so there was nothing to heavy to relocate. That is the type of people Justin and Melody know. The ceremony turned out so romantic and so beautiful. I can't wait to share the whole wedding with you all. I just could not let another day pass without remarking on the care Justin and Melody have for one another and the sweet souls they asked to be part of their wedding party. I hope all enjoy this little glimpse into the day.
When I started photography people I used to work with were so supportive of my journey. Through the years they have commented on posts or liked images they saw. Cynthia Rogers was one of those supporters. She was a teacher when I was first a cafeteria monitor then an educational assistant. She is one of the most talented teachers I have ever worked with and everyone loved her! I was so excited when she messaged me. She was tentative in her message. She was planning a small intimate wedding with her fiancé. She knew she wanted it photographed but wasn't sure if it would be worth my time. The funny thing is I have ALWAYS wanted to photograph elopements and small weddings. IT IS MY DREAM! I, of course, being a professional played it cool. I SCREAMED and wrote when and where in all caps back to her. lol. (I am so not cool!)
I met Cynthia and Jeff at Starbucks and I immediately was struck by how attentive they were to each other. Then they spoke and I came to tears a couple of times. You see Jeff would talk about Cynthia's sweet boy and what a great little buddy he was and he would have tears in his eyes. Cynthia would talk with pride about Jeffs girls and they would hold hands and laugh. Then they told me the story of how they met and their first date. We laughed so hard and I loved hearing their stories.
They got married at Cynthia's parents house and Cynthia's step father went all out and was so excited. (The entire family were just so happy!!). They were so laid back and just truly glad to get married. They made it so exciting!!
They even used their antique prayer bench!!
I love how two families became one.
I LOVE how the kids love each other.
This guy didn't want any pictures alone. He wanted his new sisters to be with him in each picture. It was the cutest thing ever. During the ceremony the kids stood right by the bride and groom and they were so adorable.
They kind of stole the show at times, I will say. Since I know this bride and groom I can say they will laugh when I say that!
I loved when little B was holding the rings in his pockets and gave Jeff the wrong one. We all got tickled!!
This is my favorite of how cute the kids were.
During the ceremony I loved how they looked at each other and just how happy they were!
During the ceremony they had a prayer and asked all couples to hold hands and reaffirm their own vows and I LVOED that!!!
Soon the ceremony was over - but it was so excellently done! Then we did group. pictures of all the guests and with all the guests.
This was just such a pretty March day! The wind was lovely and the sunshine was gorgeous!
If you want to know how everyone felt after the ceremony was over - to finally be a family, this describes them to perfection!
Yay!!!!!! EVERYONE was so happy!! I am thankful for this family. I am thankful they asked me to shoot this wedding. They weren't sure since it was small. I offer elopement packages that start at one and a half hours JUST for this. What a fun day!
In 2013 I was a super new photographer and the Holt family from my church trusted me to shoot Isabella's senior pictures. I was super new.
Anyway, I have seen her really grow and mature through the years and was so excited when she and her mom asked me to shoot her wedding!
On July 16, 2016 Isabella Holt married Justin Herren, father of Abigail Herren, at Freedom Point in Clarksville, Tennessee. I met Isabella and her mom, Melanie at the Riverview Inn where they were getting dressed for the day. When I got to the hotel with my assistant Nicole, we were greeted by Isabella wearing the cutest monogrammed shirt, monogrammed by Amy Barrett. Her hair and makeup were fixed and she was stunning. She was attended by her maid of honor and sister, Olivia Holt as well as her bridesmaids, Miranda Tidwell, Crystal Gosa, and Junior Bridesmaid, Elissa Shultz.
The ladies were all dressed in their matching shirts. They were having such fun getting ready and doing last minute stuff together that my assistant and I took some items outside and did detail shots of them. They had gorgeous wedding boots for Isabella AND Abbie, her sweet soon to be step daughter. Melanie did all of the flower arrangements herself.
One of my favorite parts of Isabella and Justin's wedding were the stories and the sentiment that seemed to follow every little detail. When Melanie married Brian Holt on June 28, 1997, sweet little 18 month old Isabella wore a beautiful flower crown. They saved that headpiece and all these years later, sweet little Abbie wore the VERY SAME headpiece when her daddy married Isabella and made Isabella a step mom!! They lovingly added a few new flowers and Abbie looked like an absolute angel. More about that in a minute.
When it was time for Isabella to get her dress on her mom and her sister assisted her. I loved Isabella's dress and felt like it really was SO her and perfect for her day!
Once the dress was on Isabella and Melanie had time alone together. Melanie presented her sweet daughter with a gorgeous bracelet to wear and to cherish. It was a surprise and tears were shed by all three of us. I mean, to say Melanie worked tirelessly for the wedding was an understatement. Both of them worked hard and grew even closer in the process.
When we arrived at Freedom Point, part of the Clarksville Parks and Rec facilities at Clarksville Marina, I immediately noticed the beautiful alter built by Justin and his groomsman Evan. They actually cut the cedar tree themselves a created this beautiful alter, and once it was all set up ladies lovingly decorated it.
Justin and Isabella decided to do a first look. As Justin waited for Isabella I saw this very laid back man be almost breathless, he was so anxious to see her. Being a wedding photographer I must admit, private first looks are my favorite part of the wedding. Oh the romantic magic! In fact Justin said later that, "Isabella was so beautiful but when I saw her as my soon to be wife I was stunned by how beautiful she was." I am not going to say how they both reacted but I will say Justin was holding Isabella so hard that I though he was going to break her and she was BEAMING!
LOVE LOVE LOVE the first look!
After we all relaxed for a few minutes they had their first look with sweet Abbie. They both though she was breathtaking and she looked just like an angel. She ran to them with the most precious expression!
We took some time to do portraits then! The ladies wore dresses from Belk. I thought the color and cut was so flattering on them. I loved Isabellas dress from David's Bridal.
Then we did some portraits of Justin and his best man, Kyllor DeGraff and his groomsmen Evan Hollingsworth, and Kyle Bunch. Their ties and vest and shirts were all from the Men's warehouse and they pared those with their own jeans.
At 6:00pm it was time for the ceremony! Tom Payne officiated the marriage ceremony. I thought they couldn't have picked a more beautiful time of day for the wedding! Everyone looked so nice while they stood over looking the water pledging their lives to each other with friends and family looking over.
The reception was so pretty! Bobby Ogg blessed the food before our delicious meal. All of the food came from Gordon Food and I can tell you it was delicious! I loved how Melanie, Isabella and friends of the Holts, decorated the venue. There were pictures and even a fishing themed grooms table. His grooms cake was the cutest I have ever seen! L & M Bakery did a wonderful jobs on all the cakes including the wedding cake and cupcakes. Everyone was raving over the delicious baked goods. I wished I could have enjoyed them but since I can't have gluten I sure couldn't but they were pretty to look at and photograph!
Soon the party was winding down and the family all gathered to chat and enjoy the beautiful evening! Even though it was July, the evening air was soft and there was a cool breeze. It was a perfect day to be married. I was so honored to watch this young couple begin a new chapter in their love story. Thank you Justin and Isabella for allowing me to be the one to capture that story! I will leave you all with more images of the evening!
Thank y'all for stopping in!!
So a couple of weeks ago I wrote part one but there was more to Kevin and Lacey's love story. So much more. They are having a sweet new baby!!! I am so excited for them. They are just so excited to announce it to the world!!!! New baby Fee is on the way!! Can you believe how many moments and stories I get to be part of? Yeah me neither. My life is a dream!
This one is my favorite!!
Oh the love stories!! Contact me soon to schedule yours!
January 2016, I got the opportunity to meet Monica and Seth. Someone Monica worked with gave her my name when Monica was planning her wedding in Clarksville, Tennessee. When I met them they seemed so in love and so excited to be getting married. They were in love and planning the wedding but Seth was still planning the official engagement. When he did give her the ring and ask her, it was a total surprise to Monica. They videoed the whole thing and posted it on Facebook. I cried when I saw it!! It was so sweet!
They planned on using a friend to capture their engagement photos but their friend had to leave town suddenly so they asked if they could do that rather last minute with me. I agreed and was so excited to meet them in downtown Clarksville . I think they were a little nervous, especially Seth, so I really wanted them to see how easy working with me could be, so that wedding day, we would have a really nice laid back day. Well within minutes of the engagement, shoot Seth was laughing and smiling and almost forgot we were shooting pictures!
This was about the time Seth began to trust that this would be a relaxing day. Plus he could go home and watch the Super Bowl later. lol!
We walked around Downtown Clarksville and then we went to the the Clarksville Marina. I laughed and so did they the whole time!!! I was so grateful for that shoot because I knew working with them would be so fun and they trusted me so completely. Plus I knew how to make them laugh!! lol!
Their Wedding day was April 23, 2016. The day was overcast a little bit chilly. The grass was super green from spring rains and the dew. My assistant, Nicole and I arrived at Bible Baptist Church early that day so we could look around and decide where to shoot. We walked around the entire building. We loved the long tree lined drive, the little red barn, and the green grass. While we were looking, we found one solitary tree. Upon closer inspection the tree was budding purple flowers. This was significant to me because I knew their colors were shades of purple. I filed this away in my brain for later.
When we walked in to the building we were greeted by Monica's bridesmaids who were leisurely getting ready for the day. Sara, Rebecca and Katie, plus Monica and her Mom (Tamara) were all at a long table getting makeup on. The room was rather quiet and subdued I guess everyone was still sleepy because as the day went on there were so many jokes and so much laughter! I fell in love with the bridesmaids dresses! They were almost an eggplant color and perfect for every single body type. I think they are some of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen. The wedding dress and the bridesmaids dresses were from David's Bridal.
The bridal gown for Monica was a cool shade of white with lovely embellishments. I remember wondering how she would style her short hair but it was so beautiful. I thought she looked sort of old school glamourous. She just looked like she KNEW she was doing the best thing in her life that day. Her bridesmaids and mom were there to do whatever it was she asked all day. Everyone got along and laughed. When you shoot weddings you don't always get to see that perfect love with the bridal party but Seth and Monica chose so well. We began the day shooting on the drive but quickly decided that the flowering purple tree made the perfect decoration for photos. It complimented the dresses and flowers so perfectly. I know it was chilly and damp at first but NO ONE complained about where I asked them to go!!
The groomsmen and Seth came in about an hour before time for pictures to begin. I loved their grey suits from the Men's Warehouse. I thought they really complimented the simple old school glamour theme I really had in my head. Monica really isn't a trendy sort of bride, to me. To me, she and Seth are very traditional. I think her dress will look gorgeous years from now too.
As you can see from some of the photos, the bridal party were all funny and got along with one another! Seth's groomsmen were Bobby, Zack and Chris. Zack is Monica's brother and Rebecca's husband. They have the cutest little guy!!! I did try to steal him away or photograph him all day long!! lol!
Monica and Seth wanted beautiful images but they were way more about the emotion of the day. In fact when we were making the shot list, Monica wanted me to know and understand she wanted the day to be about the two of them -- not just about her. I LOVED that sentiment! They did not do a first look so we split up our time and images.
One thing they both wanted to do was exchanged letters and pray together before the wedding. I think the anticipation of the day was pretty magnificent during the time they were inches from each other in the hall and holding hands. I cried like a baby during this time but apparently Seth's letter to Monica had some funny things in it to ease her nervousness because she got tickled and was laughing which made him laugh too. I think this was my second favorite part of the day.
My first favorite part of the day was definitely who Monica chose to be her flower girl. The beautiful NANA!! There was nothing that could have been sweeter, to me. This shows how much they love their family. This is perfect Monica and Seth.
Monica and Seth had lanterns decorating the sanctuary and flowers decorating their cake and Monica ordered special shoes for the day. I tried to capture pieces of these details to show you all. The flowers were from Adam and Tiffany Moore and the baker was Sara Pendergrass at Cakes By Sara.
Soon it was almost time for the wedding to begin and everyone was nervous. Heck I was nervous and it wasn't even my wedding!! I want to say this before I go farther. Monica's mom and dad won me over. I love them. They were kind and loved to joke and laugh. At one point after the wedding was over they met me in town and gifted me homemade applesauce and strawberry preserves. They are the best people. Seriously, they NEVER made me feel any less than a member of the family. They were so perfect and must be powerful mentors in their church family.
When it was time for the wedding to start I looked at Seth and could see every emotion on his face. Later he said that his favorite part of the wedding was that moment right before the doors opened, when the anticipation was killing him because he couldn't see her and didn't know what she looked like. Next his favorite thing was when the doors first opened. He said to Monica of the moment, "First when the doors first opened and you had that glow when you had the dress on and you were all beautifully decorated with make up and your hair done!" When she walked in he was moved to tears and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room!
Their ceremony was so full of love and the celebration of what they were doing. I especially loved how serious Pastor Bryan Baggett took this ceremony. He made it about them and their covenant with God and each other. Nothing was theatrical but beautiful interwoven with scripture. It was a perfect ceremony for them.
After the wedding, guests were treated to snacks in the reception hall and I took the new husband and wife and bridal party outside for portraits. I advised them to spend extra time with me so their first moments as a team could be captured. They built this into their timeline and actually when I asked them their favorite wedding day memories Monica said, "I am so glad I listened to you about taking the time for pictures because those are memories I will never lose."
Monica also said she loved remembering Seth's reaction to seeing her for the first time. About the pictures she said, " Lastly, honestly, one of my favorite things about the wedding were the pictures between me and him after the ceremony. I love those pictures and I loved the closeness of taking them." I think doing the engagement session helped prepare them for the way we could work together and help flow their day. They gave me their trust and I hope their wedding day wishes came true.
Today Monica and Seth are still deliriously happy and are currently buying their first home together. They are a blessing to know and I am so happy I played a small part in their day. With one of their anniversary gifts to them from me, I hope to capture them at home in their new house, where we can continue documenting their love story. Thank you Monica and Seth for choosing me.