Joe and MK's Engagement Session: Davidson, NC

MK and I used to ride the bus together back in high school (along with Matt, whose wedding we did in the spring), but she was a few years younger than me, so I never really got to know her. She was a guest at a couple of the weddings we shot this year, we enjoyed talking with her at those weddings, and we were really excited when she asked us if we'd be a part of her wedding! Small word! 

Joe and MK met through a family friend, and they've been together for about a year and a half now.  Joe proposed after a strenuous hike to the top of Grandfather Mountain -she said he made her work for it haha! In all seriousness, I can't even imagine how she must have been feeling in that moment, surrounded by the most beautiful view while her man asked for her hand in marriage! While Joe and MK have enjoyed the wedding planning, their main focus has been on the marriage preparation, the ceremony, and the Sacrament of marriage, which is just so wonderful. We can't wait to watch as her grandfather marries them in April at a beautiful Catholic wedding! 

We did their session in the cutest area in Davidson! I found out about the back of this neighborhood when a senior asked to do her session there, and I fell in love with it! It is such a hidden gem, as you'd never know the red, covered bridge and cute paths are behind it, so I was excited when MK and Joe were up for doing the session there. Here are some of our favorites from their session!

Nic and Morgan's Engagement Session: Greenville, NC

Thomas and I are both enjoying this time of year with all of the engagement sessions and getting to know the wonderful couples whose weddings we will capture next year! Nic and Morgan are one of those couples, and they are just adorable together (see the pictures for proof ;) ! They're in school at ECU, and our time with them made us think back on our sweet days of dating and wedding planning while finishing up our undergrad degrees. So much work, but also so much excitement and anticipation!

ECU's campus was the obvious location option for their session because it is such an emotionally significant place for them. Nic and Morgan met on campus through doing a campus ministry together.  Not only did they meet there, but Nic also proposed at the fountain on campus! Back in April, Nic told Morgan he was going to pick her up for a date and suggested they take a walk on campus before going to dinner together. Little did she know, he went to buy her engagement ring that morning! They walked around campus for a bit and Morgan was completely unaware of his plans.  She even told him her feet hurt and wanted to go back to the car, but he convinced her to keep walking.  When they finally got to the fountain in the center of campus, Nic got down on one knee and asked Morgan to marry him! After asking several times if he was serious, she gave a resounding "Yes, of course!" She said she had never been so surprised in her life! She turned around to see Nic's mom and brother taking pictures, and then found out that Nic had arranged for their families and loved ones to celebrate together afterwards! So sweet!

From our time with them, we could tell that they are such genuine, caring people with hearts of gold! When they graduate, Morgan will be a nurse and Nic will be a PE teacher, both in fields where I think they are going to make a huge impact on others! Nic loves the way Morgan cares about others so well, and Morgan loves how Nic is steadfast in his beliefs and remembers that loving other people is what matters the most.  Seriously, such a sweet couple. We are so looking forward to their wedding in April, when we'll get to see their campus minister (who has known them throughout college) marry them in the church where Morgan grew up! 

Enjoy their photos from a perfect overcast day! The brick building in the pictures is the one where they met one another in their campus ministry! 

Elliot and Copeland's Engagement Session: Chapel Hill, NC

We met Elliot and Copeland while photographing Copeland's sister Mallory's wedding last year! Funnily enough, I initially thought that Elliot was their brother because he was included in their family shot, only to find out later that night at the reception that they were dating! Then we just recently found out that when they were in town for Mallory's wedding last year, Elliot had asked Copeland's parents for their blessing for their marriage! 

Elliot and Copeland met while working at an internship at the Meridian International Center in Washington DC, and that's where they will be getting married in December! How special to get married at the spot where they met!! They are a true power couple, both working in international affairs. They went to grad school together in ENGLAND, and they left us living vicariously through all of their European travels. Elliot's proposal was seriously straight out of a romance movie, as he proposed on the rooftop of their favorite restaurant in London, complete with champagne and cheers from everyone on the rooftop! 

We were supposed to do their engagement session over the summer when they were in town, but it ended up getting rained out, so I was anxiously watching the weather all week praying for the rainy forecast to go away since it was the last time they'd be here before the wedding! We were so thankful that the rain held off and that we had an overcast day instead!! We started at UNC Chapel Hill's campus in the arboretum, the same spot where Thomas and I had some of our engagement photos taken SEVEN years ago (um, when did that happen?!) It was so much fun to walk through campus for the first time in ages and reminisce on our college days! We then headed to Maple View Farm, which made Thomas and I want to go back there this summer to sit in the rocking chairs on the front porch at sunset with ice cream.

Copeland is just as sweet, generous, and thoughtful as her sister Mallory, so Thomas and I are thrilled to be a part of another beautiful Barnes wedding and can't wait for December! Enjoy the pictures from their session. Their outfit coordination is so on point I couldn't have picked better options myself! ;) 

Matt and Brittney's Wedding: Charlotte, NC

Back in high school (over 10 years ago, which I really cannot believe!), Matt and I rode the bus to school together. He was a few years younger than me, so I never had the chance to get to know him then.  Fast forward to now when my mom and his mom work together, and I was excited when they contacted us to talk about wedding photography! After meeting over coffee with Matt and his gorgeous fiance Brittney - a charming, organized, sweet pre-school teacher, as well doing their engagement session and photographing Brittney's bridals, Thomas and I were both SO excited to be a part of their wedding! They make a perfect pair. Matt loves Brittney's electric personality and the way she lights up the room with her smile.  Brittney loves how passionate, hardworking, and goofy Matt is. Their joy and the way that have so much fun just being around one another was contagious!  

Everything about their wedding day was stunning, as I imagined it would be after talking to Brittney about all the details. I loved seeing her vision come together. I especially loved the neutral colors, her dress (!!!), the adorable floral robes for getting ready, the historic church with beautiful woodwork, and the Kate Spade shoes with bows! 

Thomas and I had so many favorite moments throughout the day! Her first look with her dad. Her "first touch" with Matt where they held hands around the door of the church and prayed together before the ceremony. Matt's teary-eyed look as Brittney walked down the aisle with her dad. So much sweetness!! And their reception was a BLAST! They told us to look forward to a party because their families are both so fun, and it definitely was a party! There was a huge crowd on the dance floor the entire night, and it made it so much fun for us! Also, the Big Chill (the reception venue) was really unique because there were spotlights on for the dances and speeches, making for more dramatic pictures than our usual style, and I'm kind of loving it! Their exit incorporated purple and gold pom poms because they attended and met at ECU, the perfect finishing touch, and with that they were off for a Jamaican honeymoon! 

Enjoy the pictures of those moments and the rest of their beautiful day! :)

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!