marine wedding, marine engagement shoot, Carolina beach engagement shoot, wilmington nc engagement photographer, wilmington nc marine wedding, carolina beach state park engagement shoot, carolina beach state parkErica and Cameron’s engagement started off bright and early. We scheduled a sunrise session and the light was super fantastical!

These two traveled from Sneads Ferry, NC to the Carolina Beach State Park. Cameron is a Marine and Erica is a doctor in training finishing up her schooling in Tennessee. She was down for the weekend and we capitalized on these two being together to do their engagement shoot. Erica had emailed me about shooting their session and I was really excited to get to know these two.

Erica and I had conversed through email several times and she explained that the two were not from the area but wanted something that reflected their home town areas and also, a session that captured their love and what their relationship was. It was a love that started off through school but was essentially them communicating back and forth with letters, and gifts to one another.

I LOVED this part of their story.  🙂 I love the fact that these two actually took time to write one another. Not only is it an incredibly awesome gesture, but it’s something that can be an heirloom to their children one day. A storybook of their love if you will.

And with that said, my job was to showcase their love in photos. I truly hope that I captured their long distance romance, and their love for one another.

Both of these two sweet people, are just that, incredibly sweet, polite, caring individuals. Cameron is truly a gentlemen. I would compare him to a southern gentlemen but he’s originally from Colorado. He is very aware of Erica, and very protective of her. Extremely well spoken, and even though he has the tall and handsome thing down, it’s sweet to see how Erica brings out his soft side. And ultimately to me that is when you know a man is truly in love. When he can let his guard down, and that he did.

As our session progressed, he held her stuff, and made sure to grab her hand as we went through the wet sand. Erica wore heels at some parts of our session, and Cameron was very quick to make sure she was okay, and not sinking 🙂 It was really sweet.

Erica is cheery, bright, extremely sweet.  Like sugar tooth cutie pie, sweet! She literally exudes glitter and rainbows. Her personality is really passive, and easy going. Erica’s back story is a little different from Cameron’s. She’s originally from California.  During our shoot, I definitely shared my  my west coast envy with her.  And we all agreed that we were missing that no humidity factor while we were shooting.  Boy, was it humid!  She was a trooper for sure! (they truly both were).

One bad thing about shooting near water, well you guessed it, it’s mosquitos! Although Carolina Beach state park offers a really nice change to our typical beach locations, their is tons of spots where creepy crawlers and all kinds of insects like to live.  And we had a bunch, and poor Erica was definitely their favorite. But, she didn’t miss a beat, she was gorgeous and stylish, and I think anyone can see that Cameron definitely noticed how beautiful his girl is. Watching them together makes you feel all giggly, they have a very strong love for one another. It’s like Erica was molded just for Cameron’s arms to be wrapped around her.

Again, I am lucky to have met two more wonderful people. And I hope that your love translated as you wanted in our session.  I hope our paths cross again and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you guys.  Thank you for seeking me out to commemorate a special moment in your lives <3  I hope you guys had as much fun as I did through our hike through the woods 🙂

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So, let me tell you a little about Cheryl and William’s wedding….  It was the perfect end to my summer weddings. I even got to visit somewhere I probably would have never thought of going to!

Their wedding was a  gorgeous vineyard destination wedding!

It was a South Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, all kinds of coast kinda wedding. Cheryl and William were currently living in Charlottesville, VA where William was finishing up his medical PHD at the University of Virginia.

I actually drove up Thursday to do some scouting around the area, and I am so happy I did. Charlottesville, VA is a beautiful city. And the mountain towns surrounding it are literally breathtaking. I actually met William the day before at their apartment.  He was really sweet and extremely helpful with gathering all the items that Cheryl wanted photographed.  I knew Cheryl from working with her in South Florida. She had emailed me letting me know she was engaged and that she wanted me to shoot her wedding. As you can imagine, I was honored and so excited! When I shot with her editorially we just clicked. She is one of those people who I don’t think you can’t get along with. She is super easy going, and I couldn’t have been more honored to be with her on her wedding day.

The ceremony and venue site were all at the same location. The wedding took place in Crozet, VA. Ever heard of it? I hadn’t until I actually went. It’s a quaint, and beautiful mountain town. Among having gorgeous roads to wind in and out of,  it had good food too! We actually visited a neighborhood pizza place twice. (Yes, it was that good). On Friday we actually shot our details and I was definitely excited to start photographing them once I saw how pretty everything truly was!

The invitations were almost like watercolor prints. They had gorgeous flowers on them that bordered the sides. What was cool about the venue was the elevation and your views. The estate was literally nestled in mountain views. The vineyard was filled with grapes ready to be pulled for wine. And they even had their own peach trees that were growing on the side of the home.  Cheryl and Williams guest were greeted with outdoor furniture as well as a seating area for the actual ceremony. It was the perfect setting for a beautiful day. We worried about the weather leading up to the day. The day prior it rained like it was a hurricane. But luckily for all of us, as the day progressed on Saturday, so did the sun.

William was patiently waiting with his groomsmen when I arrived at the estate. He was very dapper and handsome in a classic navy suit that was lined with a modern twist. His bowtie was a blush pink color that definitely complimented the bridesmaids dresses that were chosen. He also incorporated gorgeous M cufflinks that represented his last name. William is one of 4. He has three other brothers and a little sister. And you can just tell that this group of siblings were definitely a handful! The boys were really sweet trying to get William ready, and relaxed for his big day.  You could definitely feel the closeness within their families dynamic.

Cheryl’s dress was completely all in lace. A dress you could only believe was made for her. It was really classic, and light. Her accessories to embellish her outfit were nothing but classy. She had a gold jeweled clutch, tear drop earrings, and a studded hair pin.  And to top it off, she wore Jewel shoes by Badgley Mischka. ( I’m a shoe girl, and I loved her shoes.. They were soooo pretty and truly the prefect accent to her dress).

All of the bridesmaids wore floral robes while they got their last minute touches for the day. Cheryl’s mom snuck into the room to help with putting on her dress, as the girls did a celebratory toast.

 

After Cheryl was all dressed, the girls gathered up to the balcony, and had a final toast  before the day’s festivities! Their energy, and love for one another was so contagious, you could tell these gals have a really strong bond. It was really nice to be a part of such a beautiful sisterhood.

 

 

For gifts Cheryl gave out handkerchiefs, each one was delicately crafted to commemorate the day.

Her mom’s read, “I will always be your little girl”. When I met Cheryl’s mom earlier in the week, she welcomed me with a warm hug and embrace. I immediately fell in love with her calm demeanor and sweet smile.   Her reaction was really cute as she read her handkerchief.

 

 

While we photographed all the girls individually, William’s mom made an appearance and of course I had to take advantage of Cheryl with her two moms.

Mrs. Munoz looked stunning in a navy flower embellished dress. It was really pretty in person, and if anything the pictures of the dress don’t do it justice. It had that right bit of sparkle that glistened in the sun. She also was given a handkerchief, which read, “thank you for raising the man of my dreams”.

 

Cheryl’s handkerchief was to celebrate the day, it had her name and Williams and their date of the wedding. Really pretty keepsake of the day.

While we waited on Cheryl’s dad to come up for his first look, I took some images of Cheryl’s details. Her wedding gown was exquisite. It fit her like a glove. She was nothing but confident, elegant, and gorgeous as she showed of the back and sides of her gown. I love photographing this girl!  She literally was beaming and owned every minute of being a bride. I could have photographed her all day.  <3

 

 

One of my favorite things of the day, was the first look between Cheryl and her dad.

I think the first look between a daughter and her dad are becoming my new favorite moment to capture. Traditionally neither party was able to see one another till the ceremony and even sometimes the dad was able to see his daughter right at the alter before he walked her. But, now new traditions have been made, and this is one, I truly love documenting. Her dad was a complete cutie pie with his reaction to seeing Cheryl in her dress. It was such a genuine surprise.

Of course he got a special momento as well. His read, “thank you for always walking by my side”. Which is definitely worth of an “AWE”.. I mean… ! I can’t say I didn’t have some tears rolling in at this point. Luckily, I had my camera in front of me, but definitely a sweet moment!

 

 

While Cheryl and William got prepared for their first look, I got to spend some time with these five beautiful ladies. We had four different styles of dress, and I can’t say I had a favorite. They were all gorgeous! Extremely stunning in a blush champagne combo. Each one, definitely flattered each girl’s beautiful shape. The girls accentuated their dress with a rose blush eculputus bouquet.  This color trend has been popping up everywhere, and It’s truly the epitomy of feminity. It’s so dainty, and gorgeous. I truly think it’s one of those trends that will be here for a long time. Truly classic. These girls were troopers too! We walked a lot on the wedding day, and they were nothing but awesome! I loved my time with them, they were all so much fun and definitely made my time go by quickly!

 

Cheryl and Williams romance was actually sparked at a friend’s wedding. So, it was really sweet to hear how their love kinda came about full circle. What was an invitation to a friends wedding in Charleston, SC truly lead up to this moment of William seeing his future wife. I love the serendipitous quality of their love. I mean, talk about falling in love at first sight. From what I have been told, it was like their hearts locked, and all they saw that getaway weekend to Charleston, was one another. Kinda gives you faith that if it’s your time, love will find a way to bring you to your soul mate. And the fact that their friends were awesome, for causing this wonderful meeting!!!

 

Cheryl was really cute as she awaited William (Wills). She was a wee bit nervous and it was such an innocent moment between the two. You can tell William is completely inlove with Cheryl’s every move. I think he was a happy guy when he laid eyes on her in her dress. They shared a couple of moments together before we headed off to the ceremony site.

 

William headed to the ceremony site, and Cheryl followed into the bridal suite.

The best part of the day was about to start and as the guest settled in, so did our groom and his groomsmen. Cheryl’s niece’s and nephew were the ring bearer and flower girls.  The officiant was actually Cheryl and Williams friend, who was the same friend that his wedding actually helped their paths cross. I thought this was really nice to add to the special feel of the day. And how cool it was that he could have such an influential part in the adjoining of two lives. There ceremony had some laughs, and some tears, and some giggles. And of course,  a wonderful first kiss as husband and wife.

 

Because there was just a lot of pictures I fell in love with, to finish off the day, I leave you with a few of my favorites from the reception including a really sweet tribute to William’s dad who unfortunately had passed, but so awesome in showing he was there in spirit. They had the cutest MR + MRS. table toppers as well, I have never seen anything like them, and they were absolutely adorable.  And you can’t have a reception without toast, and dancing! And a little bit of more couple portraits afterwards 🙂

 

 

-Cheryl and Wills, Thank you for having me!!! I can’t express how grateful and honored I was to share on your big day. Thank you for allowing me to document it, and for having me there as a friend. I wish you an eternity of love, and happiness, and growing together. –

 

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The day started off  by going through a few windy roads and finally ending up in what felt like a secret location. The weather was nothing but impressive. Temperatures were forecasted in the 90s and some predictions were calling for 100 degree weather. But, when true love is at stake, who cares about sweating right? ( hmmm.. well that’s what we told ourselves, at least).

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Jen and her ladies got ready at the barn’s main home. The girls got into their dresses while Jen touched up her makeup downstairs and started to get into her dress. Jen was gorgeous and radiant in her beautiful wedding dress. Her mom and best friend helped her put on the final touches.

The girls finally joined her and we were able to spend some time with Jennifer’s two main girls, Abby and Lola.

 

Jen and her dad share a really special kind of relationship, and she opted to do a first look not only with Josh, but with her dad. We joked all day about the showers that we were going to witness, and his reaction was priceless.

 

I loved this first look because of the execution. Jen initially wanted to go towards the main door that would be used for the ceremony, but because guest were already there we opted to go a different route. Usually on a wedding day, what you have planned usually doesn’t necessarily happen that way. And you know it’s okay. We roll with it, and make our own visions, and make our own moments shine.  There is seriously nothing better than a candid moment. And, to me, even though these two didn’t look at one another, the emotions and feels were definitely candid. Josh’s love for Jen is so contagious and so adoring.  Jen held onto Josh’s hand and comforted him as they were back to back.

 

As I was watching it all play out, all I wanted to do was give both of them a hug, and it was so hard not to get in the moment along with my couple. Their love is gentle, kind, innocent,  and everlasting.

 

After the first look, Jen retreated back to the main home, and Josh to the barn side. It was literally 15minutes till the ceremony would start.

 

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I left the girls and headed to see our groom. He was patiently waiting for his own time with his girls, as well as his original ladies in his life.

Josh’s mom helped him put on his boutineer, and his sister Jade also assisted in showing off his handkerchief that was part of his grandpa’s jersey.

 

Josh and his groomsmen got their final touches on, and celebrated with an honorary shot that included fireballs, and a non alcholic shot for his youngest groomsmen.

The ceremony site was held outside near a pond and they had their aisle decorated with petals. The entrance was a barn door that was made out of reclaimed wood and they had old luggage cases with wild flowers that complimented the vintage theme.

 

Jen arrived by a vintage truck and her entrance again was very emotional and out of a movie. She was graceful as she clinched onto her dad’s hand. The cutest thing was how close Josh is already to Jen’s parents. When Jen and her dad reached Josh, he grabbed his hand and held it tightly. It was a really sweet moment to see, not only was he giving away his daughter, but already had gained a son who he was supporting as well.

The ceremony had a nice little change on who was going to do their vows first.  Jen and Josh decided to do rock, paper, scissors to see who was going to read their vows first. It was really cute! You can tell how playful their relationship is and their is nothing better than being able to be goofy with your best friend.

 

Once the I do’s were done, all that was left was the kiss! And this was epic, epicly executed with confetti that filled the air.

It was a fairytale moment that even included Abby their Labrador enjoying the fun!

 

 

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After the ceremony, we headed over and did a few portraits and than it was off to the reception.  We definitely got some really pretty images. Jen and Josh are perfection!

 

 

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The bride and groom were greeted by all their guest at the barn. This was definitely a fun group, and they kicked it off right away! Jen and Josh entered right into a dance, that was followed by Jen’s dad thanking everyone for their participation on such a momentous occasion.  The barn was decorated in blush and white linens. The tables were lined with  eucalyptus and roses.  It was a very delicate, and feminine touch to what is usually a rustic location.

 

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There was cake, and their was toasting, their was dancing, and some more dancing, and a little bit of more dancing.. I think this group could have partied till sunrise. They definitely entertained!

Congrats to the beautiful couple! Here are a little more images of the wedding night to finish off the story. Thank you for having me and letting me in on your special kind of relationship. It was a true pleasure getting to know you guys and  I am so grateful for getting to document your big day!!

 

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