Archive for September, 2009

If you close your eyes and picture the perfect fairytale wedding, what would it look like?

After Christina & Shane’s wedding, I think my vision of the perfect fairytale wedding would have to be a ceremony in a beautiful, ornate church with rich, red carpet and jewel-toned stained glass windows. The groom would be waiting anxiously and nervously at the altar as he and the crowd stand in anticipation of the bride. The doors would open and reveal the most beautiful bride anyone has seen, her long white gloves locked through the arms of her father as he escorts her to her beloved.

Sigh… wouldn’t that just be a dream wedding? Well, for Christina & Shane that dream came true on September 19th. They held their wedding at the Riverside Park United Methodist Church. Following the ceremony they were escorted by limo to their wedding reception at the Florida Yacht Club. The reception was an elegant and entertaining celebration with music by The Faze Band. The band was sooooo awesome and kept everyone dancing the night away! Later in the evening, Christina took the mic and sang “All The Way” to her new husband, Shane! Her voice is every bit as lovely as she is!

So how do you end the perfect fairytale wedding? How about a grand exit through a shower of fireworks to a gorgeous yacht appropriately named “Blessed” that takes you away toward the lights of beautiful downtown Jacksonville?! It was an amazing evening and we’ve been waiting for Christina & Shane to return from their honeymoon to share these photos! We must have looked at them a hundred times already and can’t wait to finish editing the rest!

Welcome back, Christina & Shane! We hope you had a lovely time on your honeymoon!! Congratulations! : )

Christina sings "All The Way" to Shane

Cathy & Shawn had the perfect plan for their destination wedding in the Outer Banks. They rented a gorgeous beach house and just the two of them went out to the shore to pledge their love to one another between no one but themselves and God (and an officiant and two really cool photographers). It was perhaps the most personal, intimate wedding we have ever witnessed and was absolutely beautiful!

After the ceremony and some gorgeous shots on the beach as the sun was setting, Cathy & Shawn went back to the beach house for some champagne and cake. We were really impressed to find out that Cathy made the gorgeous cake herself! And, in true OBX style, they went out to a fishing dock and picked up a bunch of fresh blue crab for a fabulous wedding dinner! Really, does it get any better than that?!

It was such a wonderful coincidence that Cathy & Shawn were getting married when we were already planning on being in OBX! We hope that we helped them capture beautiful memories of their intimate destination wedding! Congrats Cathy & Shawn!! Hopefully we’ll get to catch up with you when we head to Ohio next month! : )

Traveling to the Outer Banks of North Carolina is like traveling to another world. You drive for hours through North Carolina with barely any bars on your cell phone and nothing to see out the window but trees or maybe some cotton fields. You may get lucky and take a side street where you see a house with goats and one of the goats happens to be standing on the roof of the car (would have made a great pic – should have stopped!). But just when you think you will never get there, you cross over the most pristine waterways and natural landscapes and you know your destination is close. You start driving through the coastal towns, rich with history and charm, and it’s like you’ve been transcended into another time.

This is particularly true in the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island, famous for being the site of the “Lost Colony” that we all learned about in school. When Samantha & David got engaged, they knew they wanted to have their destination wedding in the Outer Banks. because it was such a special place to them. They held their wedding at the Elizabethan Gardens, which is one of the most spectacular sites in the Outer Banks. Witnessed by their closest family and friends, Sam & Dave shared their vows in the Sunken Garden, vibrant with green and pink hues that glistened from the September sun. It was a fairytale kind of wedding and Sam looked like a princess in a vintage style dress of beads and lace. Her prince waited by the fountain anxiously when finally she appeared from the path beyond the garden wall. They had waited eight years for this day and were so excited that their journey had brought them to this place for this occasion!

We didn’t have a chance to meet Sam & Dave before their wedding day, but we certainly hope to see them again the next time we get up to the DC area! They are such a sweet couple and so much in love that it’s inspiring!

Sam & Dave, thank you so much for letting us be part of this day with you! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in the Outer Banks and hope you enjoy sharing your photos with everyone at your reception back home!! Best wishes! : )

I love this shot that Matt captured of Sam just before she made her grand entrance!

We have been so fortunate to shoot some pretty amazing weddings, but Erin & Aaron’s wedding at Marineland has to be among the top of the list as far as being unique. It was absolutely magical! The bridal suite included a large window looking into one of the dolphin tanks! When we went to hang the dress to capture photos (just thinking the blue would look “cool” behind the dress) the dolphins came by to check everything out! It was possibly the coolest place to get ready… EVER!

In all fairness, the guys did have a pretty sweet room also. It had gorgeous light and vibrant colors, plus some cool nautical stuff that Matt used for some detail shots! Oh, and did I mention it was Sunday and the guys got to watch football on a nice flat screen TV? Uh, lucky!!

The ceremony took place in front of the dolphin pools and toward the end of the ceremony the dolphins decided to give their well-wishes to the happy couple by swimming around and pushing water up to where they were standing! Erin’s bridesmaids were on top of it and saved her dress from getting too wet! The guys came prepared in flip flops, so I don’t think they were phased too much!

After the ceremony we were blessed with some of the most beautiful sunlight and a vibrant blue sky! It was stunning! We used the fisheye to capture all of the beauty of the ocean and the sky on Erin & Aaron’s perfect day!

We are so happy that everything turned out so beautifully for Erin & Aaron! They really are two of the sweetest people you will ever meet! We have been SOOOOO anxious to share these photos with you, but just before we do let’s take a quick look back at their engagement photos at Ravine Gardens State Park…

And now… their wedding photos! Erin & Aaron, we hope these bring back memories for years and years to come! Congrats!!

Even during the prayer during the ceremony, Aaron had to sneak a peek at Erin! He couldnt keep his eyes off his beautiful bride! So sweet!!

Even during the prayer during the ceremony, Aaron had to sneak a peek at Erin! He couldn't keep his eyes off his beautiful bride! So sweet!!

We don't usually edit stuff with a vintage or antique look, but this shot just reminded me of "The Notebook." We didn't tell them to do this, either! We were following behind them and it was very spontaneous!

Over Labor Day weekend, we had the honor of shooting Sheba & Nolan’s wedding! We’ve waited to post the photos because they were on their honeymoon, but they should be back tomorrow! We wanted to make sure that they were among the first people to see their photos!

Their wedding at the Garden Club of Jacksonville proved to be as unique and special as they are. Sheba & Nolan were able to weave traditional elements from both the Jewish and Persian cultures into a beautiful tapestry that we were honored to be able to witness and capture for them.

Sheba & Nolan’s ceremony included the traditional Jewish rituals of the Ketubah signing, standing under the chuppah, and smashing the glass. They also included Persian traditions by incorporating a table full of different foods and liquids, each one representing a blessing for the couple.

After exchanging rings and smashing the glass, Sheba & Nolan fed honey to each other, symbolizing bringing sweetness into their lives as husband and wife. And then they shared their first kiss. Isn’t that sweet?!

The rest of the evening was spent celebrating, with good friends, family, food, music and dancing. It was so much fun to be a part of and we can’t thank Sheba & Nolan enough for letting us share their special day with them. We wish them nothing but the best as they start their new life together! Congratulations, Sheba & Nolan!

Growing up, I always my life to be a musical. Every experience, every feeling could be expressed better in a song than just plain words. I think that is part of why I love creating slideshows for our couples. It not only tells the whole story of the wedding day, but it brings that story to life!

It’s so hard to believe that just two weeks ago today Yolanda & Chris held their wedding at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel. I just finished editing their photos last night (we’re about to head out of town and I didn’t want to make them wait!), so I couldn’t wait to get the slideshow together! The slideshow features two songs by Taylor Hayward (definitely check out his website and some of his other pieces). When Matt sat down to watch the slideshow he commented on how beautiful the music was. I went through several songs before choosing these two, but as soon as I heard them I knew it would be the right choice to help tell Yolanda & Chris’s story!

Before we share the slideshow, here’s a look back at Yolanda & Chris in photos previously posted on the blog:

Engagement Photos in Downtown Jacksonville

Wedding at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel

Now here is a longer look at their beautiful August wedding!

This engagement session was a long time in the making! I’ve been talking to Andrea since April, about a month before she moved down to Jacksonville to be with her fiance, TJ. He is a naval officer at Mayport and a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis (where they are also planning their dream wedding next fall). Between Andrea moving and starting a new job and Matt & I traveling a lot this summer we had to do a lot of rescheduling for our first meeting (seems like something always got in the way of our plans!).

When the temperatures cooled down, we finally got their engagement session scheduled and wouldn’t you know it – those nasty Florida thunderstorms got in the way of our plans!! But God more than made up for it with an absolutely beautiful day this past Monday, including one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen (definitely ranks among the top 3). Good things definitely come to those who wait! : )

We started off at one of their favorite date locations (can’t tell you where – it’s classified! :p ). Andrea was a bit shy in front of the camera at first (most people are!) but I think that the two of them laughing and being so cutesy was the perfect way to capture them as a couple. I think when people see the photos, whether they know Andrea & TJ or not, they will see two people who will always fill each other with laughter. Going through the photos trying to prepare for the blog I couldn’t help but laugh at Andrea’s faces and also TJ as he teased her to make her laugh more and then ended up laughing himself! We shot by the water for a while and then headed inside the restaurant for some cold beverages.

After cooling off, we went back outside to do a few more shots before heading to location #2. The second half of the shoot was still a little playful, but as the sun began to descend it set the tone for romance. Seriously, we didn’t add all these colors into the sunset photos. The sky really was the most brilliant orange you’ve ever seen! We kept saying it looked like something out of a movie because it was unreal!

Thanks so much to Faythe Mesic who did Andrea’s makeup and Lyndsey (Andrea’s cousin) for coming out and hanging with us through the whole e-session! It was such a fun time and I’m so excited to share these photos because they are so breathtaking!

Andrea & TJ, thanks so much for having us capture this important time in your lives! Next time, the beers and Long Islands are on us! ; )

We are so excited about Sheba & Nolan’s upcoming wedding this weekend that we had to post the slideshow from their St. Augustine engagement photo session! It was so nice thinking back on the fun time we had down in St. Augustine that day! Oh, my! We are looking forward to seeing them again on Sunday in what promises to be a very beautiful, unique, and FUN wedding at the Jacksonville Garden Club!

For this slideshow, I found a song called “Joker With Honey Lips” by Dan-O (Free Music by I thought it was so appropriate consider the poker theme for their shoot and it’s also just a great song!

Sheba & Nolan, we look forward to seeing you and all of your friends & family soon!! : )

A few months ago, one of our brides (Beth) invited us to participate in an auction to benefit the Jax Humane Society. We donated a portrait session and originally I thought it would be used for pet portraits! Haha! Fortunately, the winner decided to do a family session! I love animals and they are cute, but I’m pretty sure we had a lot more fun with this session!

We don’t usually do family sessions because we decided to focus on weddings and seniors, but Matt & I had so much fun with Patty, Gerry, and little Emily that we are starting to think we should do more of these sessions! Little Miss E was so full of energy and constant laughter. Just being around her you couldn’t help but feel joy! Oh, to be three years old again!

I think you’ll see what we mean in these pics! I had to giggle as I was editing pics for the blog because Emily is just so adorable! Fun times! Thank you all for being so much fun to work with! We hope you had fun, too, and that these photos will bring back wonderful memories through the years!