Blake and Whitney's Engagement Session: Raleigh, NC

Whitney and I went to grad school at ECU together, so I was thrilled when she asked us to be a part of their wedding day!! Thomas and I actually met Blake the night he and Whitney started dating several years ago while playing Farkle at a friend's house! A few years later, and here they are preparing to get married!! 

It was a normal, ordinary Wednesday when Blake proposed to Whitney. Whitney was at work and joked with some of her friends that Blake would probably propose on a random Tuesday, and her friend reminder her that her husband proposed on a random Thursday. Whitney joked that it might average out to happen on a random Wednesday.  Little did she know that when she got home that day, it really would happen on that random Wednesday! She was fumbling with all her work bags when she got home and glanced up to see flowers on the table and then realized Blake was in the entryway down on one knee! She said stood in shock briefly, although Blake said it was for about 30 seconds, before throwing down her bags and saying yes! 

We had so much fun doing their engagement session in Raleigh! We started in their gorgeous neighborhood to take pictures with their dog, and then we headed to downtown Raleigh to take some pictures around their wedding venue, 214 Martin Street. We just loved this whole session - the crape myrtles, cobblestone streets, and Whitney's gorgeous "husky eyes," as Blake calls them! Mostly though, we really love the two of them and can't wait to celebrate with them in April!! It's so special getting to be a part this exciting time in life for old friends! 

Jesse and Kiersten's Rainy Engagement Session: Uptown Charlotte

We did my brother and his fiancee's engagement session at the beginning of July in uptown Charlotte, and I've been so excited to share their pictures! I told them I would most likely get their pictures to them before our baby arrived as long as I finished editing our weddings. Well, I sent them their pictures late Thursday night and our little man arrived on Friday morning, so the timing worked out perfectly! :)  The city backdrop was AMAZING, especially this time of the year with the crape myrtles in bloom!  It rained for almost the whole session, but we were able to pop in and out from under a shelter when it slowed down or stopped, and it actually made for some really cool shots! Plus there was no one else crazy enough to be out in the park in the rain, so we didn't have to worry about people in the background. AND there was a huge rainbow!! We just love these two, and can't wait for their wedding in November!! We're both in the bridal party and our boys will be ring bearers, so it's going to be a blast! 

Jessica's Rustic Bridal Portraits: Greenville, NC

I met Jessica for the first time while photographing her brother's wedding last year, so I was really excited when she contacted me about shooting her bridals and wedding this year! She was such a kind, genuine, laidback bride, and that made it really fun and easy to work with her! 

When thinking about a location for a bridal session, Jessica mentioned that their wedding would be rustic and that she and Hunter would both be wearing cowboy boots. Tripp Farms came to mind immediately because it has a rustic feel and there is so much variety there!! We were able to get pictures in front of the red barn, down by the pond, in front of a magnolia tree, and in a big field! You really can't find all of that in one place anywhere else! 

Isn't Jessica stunning?  Also, when I was sorting through her pictures to pick my favorites for a blog post, I realized that I took WAY more over the shoulder shots than I usually do and that's because I'm a little bit obsessed with the lace and buttons on the back of her dress! So, so pretty! :) 

Pat and Anna's Wedding: Charlotte, NC

It doesn't seem like that long ago that we were doing Pat and Anna's engagement session, and now they are MARRIED!! I think I mentioned in their engagement session post that Anna attended our wedding with Thomas's brother almost six years ago, so it was extra special to be a part of her day years later! 

Pat and Anna had their first date a little over two years ago at Thomas Street Tavern in Charlotte. Anna recalled that her embarrassing opening line was "So...tell me about your family!" They were both able to laugh it off, making them immediately comfortable with each other, and they ended up staying together chatting for four hours, so long that they got kicked out of their table! When discussing getting married, they both thought they'd get engaged in Scotland, and Pat even planned on proposing at the peak of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh. However, they had a lot going on between both of them getting new jobs and moving, all happening right around the same time.  Anna told Pat he didn't have an elaborate plan because she just wanted to be with him, and she wouldn't mind if he just proposed in his sunroom! So one day, Anna was having wine with Pat's mom, and his mom repeatedly tried to get her to go see Pat.  Although Anna was a little confused, she headed over to Pat's condo, and she was completely surprised to find Pat on one knee with a ring that had been passed down through his family. They celebrated afterwards with dinner at Alexander Michael's, and Pat told Anna they were going to a restaurant with Anna's future initials! :) Honestly, knowing the two of them and their sweet, down-to-earth personalities, I think this simple proposal suited them even better than a proposal in Scotland! 

Their wedding day was completely perfect! Pat and Anna are some of the most kind and loving people, so I guess we should have known that their family would be just the same, but it was still such a wonderful surprise to be so welcomed and cared for throughout the day by their family and friends! We truly felt like we were just guests there to take some pictures! 

The ceremony at Saint Gabriel Catholic Church was beautiful and reverent, especially with Pat and Anna being consecrated to Mary.  They were married by Father Bob, a close family friend who Anna's mom has known since she was 13.  Back in 1991, he unexpectedly lost his wife, and he entered the seminary to become a priest five years later.  It was really unique to hear a homily at a Catholic wedding about marriage and family from someone who was once married and had several children, but it was even more special that they had such a close priest and family friend present to officiate the wedding! 

Pat and Anna planned for two receptions because they wanted to have an intimate, family gathering-type feeling to their day, but they also wanted their guests to be able to party and have a good time together! They accomplished just that, as they first had a lunch reception at Fahrenheit, which has the most amazing skyline view of Charlotte! This was where they shared their first dance as husband and wife, cut their cake, and had toasts.  Their guests enjoyed lunch together, with the city of Charlotte as the backdrop out the windows. The tables were close, the toasts made us both tear up and crack up, and the reception with long tables gave off vibes of that intimate, family feeling they were going for! Afterwards, many of the guests headed to Dandelion Market for more drinks, great food, and dancing for the rest of the night, and it was a blast!  

Overall, it was a beautiful day, and it was such an honor to be a part of it! It was evident to us that their love for one another and each other's families is deep, and I feel like the way they treasure one another and how they were focused on the most important thing, being joined in Christ, came across in the way they planned their wedding.  Enjoy a little story of their day through pictures that tell it better than I can with words! :)  

Getting Ready Hotel: Charlotte Marriott City Center 
Hair and Makeup: Cali Stott  
Ceremony: Saint Gabriel Catholic Church
Lunch Reception: Fahrenheit
After Party Reception: Dandelion Market


Clint and Clair's Engagement Session: Greenville, NC

The night before Clint and Clair's sunrise engagement session, Thomas and I got home around midnight from a wedding and set our alarm for 5am to get ready and head out for the session! Needless to say, we were pretty tired when we got up, but the lack of sleep was so, so, SO worth it for getting to spend the morning with this sweet couple, as well as having the blessing of gorgeous morning sunlight! 

Their proposal story is such a good one, and I definitely teared up watching the video of it when they showed us at the session! Clint works for a wine and beer distributer at the beach, so he was able to work with a restaurant manager to arrange a special dinner date with Clair. This restaurant doesn't have dessert menus - instead, they bring around a plate of the desserts for the night and you pick what you'd like to order. Clint designed a special dessert menu with pictures of the two of them and a sweet paragraph on the other side.  He had planned for Clair to use the dessert menu to pick her treat, but Clair already knew what she wanted for dessert when she saw the waitress showing another table the plate of desserts. When their waitress brought the menu to their table, Clair tried to order her dessert, but the waitress dropped the menu on the table and rushed off.  Clint pushed the menu towards Clair, who pushed it right back to him. He continued to push it back towards her, and she gave him a death glare since she KNEW what she wanted for dessert (haha I would so do that too) :) When she finally opened it and read what Clint wrote to her, he walked over to her, got down on one asking her to marry him, and of course, she said yes! Her reaction on video was so priceless and beautiful!! 

These two met several years ago at ECU, so it was fitting to have their engagement session in Greenville! We started off by pond by the health campus, and I'm just loving the pretty light we had and the sweetness between the two of them! :) 

After the pond, we headed over to ECU's campus. We were even able to take a few pictures in front of the building where they met while taking a class together, which is the brick building you'll see below! 

Congratulations again to Clint and Clair! We are so thankful to have gotten to know you, and we can't wait for your wedding in the fall! 

Brittney's Bridal Portraits: Mims House

Now that Matt and Brittney are married, I can finally share her bridal portraits!! I have been so eager to share these because I am in love with everything about this session, and it's definitely one of my favorite bridal sessions yet! Brittney is the most flawless bride, and her gorgeous dress accentuated her beauty! My favorite part of her look was the lace on the top of her dress and the bottom of the catherdral veil (swoon!! - I so wish I had done a long veil for my wedding!). Not to mention the fact that the Mims House made for the perfect setting - a beautiful, Southern white mansion from the 1840's with wooden floors and chandeliers! 

Alex and Anna's Engagement Session: Raleigh, NC

I really can't say enough how thankful Thomas and I are for the amazing couples we get to work with! It is such a blessing to spend time with couples who are preparing for marriage, filled with much excitement and anticipation over their future together! 

Alex and Anna are so stinking sweet together, and I think you'll agree when you see some of our favorite pictures from their session! The two of them started dating in college at NC State, but they have known each other since elementary school when Alex was in Boy Scouts with Anna's brother!! Their families lived in the same neighborhood and they went to the same church, the same church where they will be getting married in just a few months! 

I have to share the details of their proposal because it's such a sweet and sentimental one. Alex's family typically goes to Pullen Park every year for the Holiday Express to look at the Christmas lights. Anna unfortunately missed it last year because of an exam, so Alex planned a surprise date for her, taking her to Pullen Park to see the Christmas lights and drink hot chocolate so he could give her a special version of the Holiday Express. After riding on the carousel and train together, he took her up to the top of a hill to sit on a bench underneath a huge tree to watch the sunset and wait for the Christmas lights to come on. The big surprise for Anna was that there were no Christmas lights, but there was a proposal underneath that big tree - the same exact his parents got engaged under many years ago!!! How special is that?! 

We loved getting to know Alex and Anna, and it was fitting that we started at Pullen Park for their session, since they got engaged there. We had a perfect sunny day, and they danced underneath the tree they got engaged under which made us so happy! We stopped at a bridge to get a few pictures with the Raleigh skyline, and then we finished off their session at NC State. We can't get over how cute they are together, and we really can't wait to celebrate with them in June!! 

Ty and Gelly's Wedding: Chapel Hill, NC

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to second shoot Ty and Gelly's wedding in Chapel Hill with Siobhan Lorraine Photography back in March! I love learning from her, and I also love second shooting because it's more laidback and I have the chance to experiment and stretch myself creatively a little more than I'm usually able to on a typical wedding day! 

Ty and Gelly's wedding was absolutely perfect! They got married at her parent's farmhouse in Chapel Hill under their favorite tree.  As soon as I walked in the door, I started swooning over all the details, especially the soft pink roses.  Ty and Gelly read love letters to one another from when they had been dating, and the whole day was so romantic and lovely. Here are some of my favorite pictures! 

John and Laura's Wedding: Pine Knoll Shores, NC

It was such an honor to be a part of John and Laura's stunning wedding back in October at the Country Club of the Crystal Coast! Laura was absolutely flawless, and I was so struck by how laidback and calm she was throughout the entire day. It was such a joy to watch their excitement and love for one another, as well as to see their friends and family so thrilled to celebrate with them!! And it was such a fun reception with non-stop dancing the entire night! We were so grateful to be a part of this day! 

Pat and Anna's Engagement Session: Uptown Charlotte, NC

Anna is good friends with Thomas's brother, she went to our high school in Charlotte, and she actually attended our wedding with Thomas's brother over five years ago! Now we're going to be a part of her wedding, and we are so, so excited! Anna is a complete gem. She is bubbly, outgoing, and full of such joy and love of life! Her joy is contagious, and you can't help but smile and be in a good mood when you're around her.  Pat is laidback, gracious, and kind, and after spending just a little bit of time with them, it was evident he absolutely adores Anna. These two are so excited to get married and to have a title for their relationship that captures their soul-deep love for one another. 

I know I probably say this about every session, but this is seriously one of my favorite engagement sessions of all time!! We had such a wonderful time getting to know them as we walked around uptown Charlotte to do their engagement pictures! They were so, so photogenic and sweet together, and we got such a great variety of shots between a meditation garden, a hotel lobby, and the quaintest cobblestone street! I can't wait for their April wedding to get here!! Also, if any of my future brides are reading this, Anna and Pat were on point with their wardrobe, so look here if you need a little outfit inspiration! ;) 

Will and Sarah's Engagement Session: Greenville, NC

It seems like every time we shoot an engagement session, the couples we work with feel more like friends than clients! This was certainly true for Sarah and Will...I mean, how could I not like a couple that's willing to bring a bench into the middle of a field!?! I was so excited to work with them because I kept seeing all their cute pictures together pop up on Facebook, and I knew they were a couple who would not be hesitant to get close and cozy for the engagement session! I was right about that, and they were naturals at the whole modeling thing!! 

We started off the session at their beautiful wedding venue, The Barn at 400 Saint Andrews, and then we headed to a huge field for the rest of the session with their adorable pup, Waylon. He pretty much stayed still and put his model face on for the camera the whole time! I loved it!! We can't wait to be a part of their day next summer! We just know it's going to be fabulous!! 

Tina's Bridal Portraits: Belhaven, NC

Now that Tina has tied the knot, I am thrilled to be able to share some of her bridal portraits from a couple months ago!! She was such a gracious and beautiful person to work with, and I was sad I wasn't available to be a part of her wedding day this weekend. I am, however, grateful I had the privilege of taking her bridal portraits! We met at Flowers Landing, a stunning new venue out in Belhaven. There was thunder and lighting in the distance across the waterfront, but we were very fortunate to have no rain. And the storm made for the most striking blue sky in the background of our photos, and I just love how these turned out! Here are a few of my favorites! :) 

Scott and Molly's Wedding: Goldsboro, NC

Scott and Molly go on vacation together to Tampa, Florida every September.  Last year, Scott told Molly he wanted to drive instead of fly, so off they went on a road trip, stopping at St. Simon's Island for the night. Scott came up with a plan to propose at Crab Daddy's, and he even told Molly's dad the plan before they went. However, Scott's mom told him to just keep the ring in his pocket for the right moment.  As they strolled along the pier, the moment felt right. Scott asked Molly if she could see the resort from where they were standing, and when she turned back around, she found Scott on one knee ready to propose. What a great vacation, and now St. Simon's Island will forever hold a special place in their hearts! 

One year later, and their wedding was everything I thought it would be and more. Molly was the most elegant, classy bride, and it was easy to see throughout the entire night that these two are just head over heels for one another.  There was romance, passion, and joy in every aspect of the day. And oh my goodness, we had the most spectacular sunset and lighting in the evening on the golf course, making their bride and groom portraits some of my favorite ones to date!! I had to stop myself from putting every single picture of the two of them in this blog post haha! :) 

The girls got ready at Molly's parent's house, and it was a wonderfully laidback start to the day.  Molly works as a makeup artist, so her makeup was of course flawless.  Also, her parents have this huge, gorgeous window, and Molly said she has been dreaming about a picture of a wedding dress hanging on the window since they first moved in, so it was an honor to bring that vision to life! :) And now I'll leave you with the pictures, which are making me smile thinking back on that September day! 

It cracked us all up when Molly's mom got a text from the boys about how they were "getting ready"...watching the Carolina game!

The ceremony was just beautiful! The pastor prayed with Molly and the girls right before the ceremony started. And it was just lovely and romantic like the rest of the day - dim lighting, lanterns down the aisle, and the most breathtaking view of the golf course out the windows.

Congratulations, Scott and Molly! It was such a joy and just so much fun to work with you both!! 

Ceremony: Lane Tree Country Club in Goldsboro, NC
Reception: Lane Tree Country Club in Goldsboro, NC
DJ: Mike Cox
Florist: Flowers for You
Cake: Bread of Heaven
Decorator: Wendy Pitman of Engaging Events

My Brother's Proposal Story: Charleston, SC

My little brother Jesse and his sweet girlfriend Kiersten got engaged in Charleston over Labor Day weekend, and it was the most incredible proposal! He asked me a few months ago if I would come and take some pictures of him proposing, to which I wholeheartedly said YES (of course)!! Jesse picked Charleston because it's Kiersten's favorite place, as her family travels there almost every year.  That combined with the fact that Charleston is the most beautiful, charming, Southern town I ever did see, he really could not have picked a more perfect spot! 

Jesse's original plan was to propose in private (with me hiding to take pictures), and then our families were going to meet afterwards for dinner to celebrate!! Not going to lie, I was getting pretty giddy about the thought of wearing camo and a baseball cap and sneakily hiding in the bushes, but his plan slowly changed into something even better.  As he started working on the details of the proposal, he came up with the idea to send Kiersten on a tour of Charleston, incorporating both families into his plan. 

He gathered us all together really early Saturday morning to go over his plan, and we were all pretty tired, but very excited!! Especially when we saw just how much time and hard work he put into his plan! This guy not only planned a tour of Charleston, but he also wrote Kiersten a letter for each year they had been dating, along with pictures of the two of them for each of those years. He planned for a couple of family members to be at each stop to hand her one letter, give her the details on where to go next, and act as tour guides to take her to the next destination.  He printed out colorful, detailed maps with directions printed out for everyone.  One of the best parts was the survey he created for the end, asking her questions such as how to rate how helpful her tour guides were hehe! :) 

Since I was on photography duty, I was lucky enough to be a part of the entire tour, starting with Kiersten seeing her brother and his wife in a hotel lobby!  It was such a joy to be able to witness all of the emotions flowing throughout the day! She was completely and totally surprised, as they had driven all the way from Ohio to be there! Kiersten later said that once she saw them in the lobby, she knew Jesse had planned something very special.