We love weddings. They are pretty much our favorite thing to photograph. So after being to many, many weddings you may wonder if they all start to blend together for us. What could possibly make one wedding stand out from another? The answer is, Special Moments. Memorable moments. Unique moments. Moments that are so unique and special to that wedding that they make it unforgettable and distinguishable from all the others we’ve been to. Every wedding has them. I have yet to go to a single wedding and not experience at least one. This wedding was absolutely beautiful and wonderful from start to finish and had a couple of these very special moments that made this wedding an unforgettable one for me. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite photos we took of their big day, and I hope these special moments they shared on their wedding day touch you as they have me.
Where or where to begin? For me it’s the VENUE! All I can say is “Wow!” I had never heard of this venue until Clarissa and Taylor booked with us. The pictures online looked really pretty and I was excited to shoot there. However, when we rolled up on the morning of the wedding and saw it with out own eyes I was speechless. I kept saying, “I want to get married again (to the same guy of course 😉 ) and have our wedding be here!” Not only is it beautiful, but the sweet lady who was the owner of the venue didn’t just drop they keys and bounce. She was there all day, attending to details, keeping things clean and presentable, and overall just taking pride in her venue. She stayed behind the scenes but I watched how much care she took in making sure that the couple had a great experience at her venue. One of my favorite parts was the “getting ready” rooms they had off the reception barn. It made it SOO nice to have everyone getting ready in one location.
Speaking of “getting ready” I always love to get a couple preparation shots as the bride and her bridal party are finalizing their hair and make-up. When Clarissa’s mother-in-law saw her for the first time it was so special. I’m pretty sure she was overwhelmed at how beautiful Clarissa looked just like the rest of us. She looked absolutely stunning.
One of my favorite parts of the day is capturing all those little details. Clarissa had a GORGEOUS ring! I had to pull myself away from taking a million pictures of it. Taylor’s pizza socks were so awesome! I love when the groom has cool, quirky details! Also, Taylor and Clarissa wrote their own vows which is something you don’t see to often anymore and was such a nice touch. More on this during the ceremony pictures!
One of the really special moments of the day included the bride and groom’s gift to each other. It was so neat, because they had no idea what the other one was doing but they got each other a very similar gift. Clarissa shared with me the back story of her gift to Taylor and it was so awesome I wanted to share it. Clarissa wanted to give Taylor a gift that was unique and showed him he was loved. She had looked through old journals and had found letters to God she had written about and for her future husband, long before she had ever even met Taylor. The farthest one dated back to March 28, 2011 when she was a sophomore in high school. She had also been keeping handwritten prayers for Taylor and their marriage, each with it’s own theme, while they were engaged. She made copies of those prayers and letters and put them into this journal that actually came from Taylor’s mom! Such a unique and meaningful gift! You can see that they both loved the gifts when they were delivered to each of them. It was such a beautiful thing to witness.
The couple wanted to honor the tradition of waiting to see each other until the ceremony. Taylor was taking a break from the morning craziness to get himself ready for the ceremony, and Clarissa and I snuck out and got some really beautiful portraits before the guests arrived. I kept saying that this dress was LITERALLY made for her! It was so gorgeous and so flattering. She absolutely rocked it!
Then the beautiful ceremony started!
The groom had his grandfather stand up with him as his best man. Isn’t he just the cutest?! It was so touching to see this special bond between these guys. You could tell he was really proud of Taylor.
If you follow me on facebook you will already see that I posted this as a sneak peek. I love getting shots of the reactions of the bride and groom’s friends and family. This is so touching!
Like I said earlier, the bride and groom wrote their own vows and they did not disappoint. I may have shed a tear or two during this part. Vows like these seem so much more personal and deep as opposed to reciting after the pastor. I wish I had been brave enough to do this for my wedding. It was such a treat for all of us to get to hear.
My hands down favorite part of the ceremony was this special part that was not in the program and no one knew about. They kept this is a surprise and incorporated it into their ceremony as opposed to doing a unity candle. I may have teared up during the vows, but during this part, there may have been a sob or two. There is something so special about a foot washing. It sends such a message. It is such an absolute act of servanthood, which is exactly what two people are pledging to do for the rest of their lives on their wedding day. That is the only way marriage works is if we serve one another, putting each other’s needs before our own. These two have clearly already got that figured out. I have a lot of respect for them for incorporating this into their day.
Bride and groom portrait time is my favorite time of day. After a long day of picture taking, we busted these out in record time so that they could enjoy the rest of their evening. I’m so pleased with how they turned out! Also I had to include a few family shots and wedding party shots, too!
The couple opted for a very simple, tasteful reception. They had cheesecake instead of cake (YUM) and did a few special dances. I think it was the perfect ending to a beautiful day. I always love getting dancing shots and I’m glad we got to get a few of those in as well! The night ended with their grand exit! We had such a great day with Clarissa & Taylor and all their family and friends. I hope you enjoyed their pictures. I know I enjoyed taking them 🙂