Long distance relationships are definitely not for everyone. You have to have a super-positive outlook and always find a way to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But if the love two people share can stand the test of time and distance, it is truly something special. And what Annie and Mat have definitely falls into this category.
These two met in graduate school at UNC. Mat was just finishing up his masters as Annie was entering the program for chemistry, and for a few years after he graduated Mat stayed in the Chapel Hill area, working and searching for a good job (he’s in the medical field). When he eventually found it…it was in Canada (Mat is Canadian)! But because this couple is so loving and unconditionally supportive of one another, they’ve made it work long distance for nearly four years. During that time, Annie was offered her own dream job in East Tennessee and of course Mat encouraged her to follow her heart and take it. And now the stars have finally aligned: Mat recently found out he landed a residency in the same location! I am so happy for them that they can finally be together again…and soon as husband and wife!
Our recent engagement session took place at this gorgeous house in Afton, VA that Annie’s parents (both architects) built. This stunning property is a perfect, unique mix of modern and rustic. It’s like the beautiful scenery outside is part of the interior design too, thanks to tall glass walls that let the light and sights in. Magnificent! Though I have to admit, the biggest pleasure was getting to see Annie and Mat together. Mat drove down from Canada the day before the session, a 17 hour journey, and they were so happy to be reunited. Near the end of the session, Annie’s parents joined in for a few shots, which was very special to me. And then there was Lily! She is an absolutely adorable mutt who loves some cuddles! We were able to wrangle her for a couple of shots before she went back to exploring the area. She had her doggie priorities! Truly a wonderful time spent in the morning with a very loving couple and family. Enjoy this selection from their engagement session!
Lily is the most adorable photo bomber, she ran in and lovely stepped on Annie’s beautiful dress! hehehehe
Charlottesville Wedding Photographer
Where do I begin with such a wonderful experience? I started looking forward to Kelly and Drew’s wedding back when I worked with them on their engagement session. From the moment I arrived to photograph their rehearsal dinner this weekend, I could tell the event was going to be even more of a treat than I’d imagined! Right away, Kelly greeted me with a hug and a big smile, and both of the families made me feel so welcome. Kelly’s mom took the time to introduce me to some of their South American guests, so sweet! Also, some of their guests made a point of telling me how much they loved the couple’s engagement photos!
Given how kind these two and their families are, it wasn’t a surprise that the ceremony itself was incredibly touching. The wedding took place at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, NC…a sweet location that the couple made even more beautiful with their unique decor. Everything was done with vibrant greenery, from the ceremony to the reception. The dance floor was very special, with suspended bistro lights and a gorgeous chandelier type arrangement for guests to dance under…so perfect for an early summer wedding! I’m not at all surprised that everything looked so beautiful though, because the couple has great taste and A Southern Soiree was behind it! Such a pleasure to work with them again, and with Kelley Ann specifically this time. She has amazing energy, so talented and organized!
This celebration held so many beautiful moments…the kind that make me grateful to be a wedding photographer. Kelly looked absolutely stunning in her Paloma Blanca elegant wedding dress! And I loved learning new things about the bride and groom during the heartfelt toasts. Apparently, both of their families are huge dog lovers (Drew’s parents have a golden retriever too!). There was warm laughter at the story of how before Drew met Kelly, he mentioned to a friend that his future wife would have to love dogs! Truly my kind of people!! And so well-loved by their entire circle of friends and family. I wish them all the best, and hope you enjoy these photos from their day!
Stunning rings! Drew designed Kelly’s engagement ring himself!
The Umstead Weddings
Thanks Jamie Vinson for being a wonderful second photographer. You are the best!
Design and coordination: A Southern Soiree / Venue The Umstead Hotel and Spa / Band: The After Party Experience / Cake: Cinda’s Creative Cakes / Florist: Embellished Blooms / Lighting: GetLit SpecialEvent Lighting / Rentals: ThemeWorks, Cottage Luxe and CE Rental / Stationary: PaperBuzz / Hair and makeup: The Makeup Culture / Island Sound & Video / Dress: Paloma Blanca from Traditions by Anna / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids dresses: Lula Kate / Groom and Groomsmen’s attire: The Black Tux
A wedding changes not just the lives of the two people who are becoming man and wife. It transforms the lives of both their families, joining together more than just the bride and groom. Usually I find myself watching their families at some point, seeing so much pride and joy in their eyes, so much excitement for the next step their loved ones are taking together. I was honored to photograph Sam and Jay’s beautiful Jewish wedding recently, which was filled with family and friends…and a particularly strong bond between sisters.
As deeply as Sam and Jay are connected to their families, the bride’s relationship with her sister Robin truly stood out to me. Robin communicated with me frequently during the planning process and it was clear how much she wanted the day to be special and perfect for Sam and Jay. During her speech, Robin said she would do anything to make Sam happy. Such love between these sisters! The ceremony and reception took place at Dover Hall Estate in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. What a gorgeous, picturesque location for photos! The Estate itself is very luxurious, with a perfect set-up, especially for the portraits. It was a pleasure to take pictures there! And seeing Sam and Jay dance together in front of the dramatic façade of Dover Hall…a special moment indeed!
As for Sam and Jay themselves…these two met online and have been together for five years and a half. They are sweet, animal-lovers, with a teacup poodle named Grover and three cats…Mashel, Nala and Kofax! I know that their connection to their family and friends is very important to them, and I could see in both of their faces the light of excitement for the start of their lives as man and wife. I wish them the very best, and hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their day!
Dover Hall Estate Weddings
Thanks Sarah Der photography for shooting this wedding with me, you are amazing!
Coordinator: McBride Events / Videographer: Wolfcrest Photography / Florist: Amanda Day Rose / Stationary: William Arthur by Crane / Cake Artist: Sweet Fix / Catering: Mosaic Catering and Events / Ceremony music: Somerset Trio / Reception music: In Full
Make-up and hair: Lou Steven’s Glam Squad / Wedding Dress: MZ2 by Mark Zunino Sweetheart A-Line Gown in Tulle / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids dress: Dessy / Groom’s attire: Hugo Boss / Groomsmen’s attire: Calvin Klein
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
(Wildlife Photographer & Preservationist)
Meeting clients who dote on their animals as much as I dote on my golden retriever Ronon is always a pleasure. And that pleasure is easily doubled when the couples’ pup is included in their wedding! Last Saturday I had the great good fortune to be Cara and Trey’s wedding photographer, and their black lab Luna (whom they call their “puppy-daughter”) was a huge part of the festivities on their day! What a treat for me and everyone else too!
Luna is one of the sweetest, most well-behaved pups I have ever met! She walked down the aisle with Cara’s maid of honor Brittney, and got a huge dose of love from everyone present! The happy grin on Luna’s face showed all day long how full of love and life she is…but I think that’s to be expected, considering how kind and generous her parents are. Cara is one of the most genuinely sweet brides I have ever worked with, she and Trey took the time to talk to each and every one of their guests and make them feel special. Cara’s emotion during the ceremony was so beautiful to see. And her Hayley Paige striped dress was completely unique! I am such a sucker for stripes, and this flowing gown was a great combination of elegance and fun!
The ceremony and reception took place at the Deep Run Hunt Club in Virginia, and we had the most beautiful weather for an outdoor wedding! This location was new to me, and it had some serious rustic charm. It was perfect for Cara and Trey and their puppy-daughter, just about half an hour away from where the bride and groom first met at Randolph-Macon College. I love it when couples keep their celebration in their community, it can mean so much to them and their family and friends. I wish Cara, Trey and Luna all the best, and hope you enjoy this sneak peak of their gorgeous outdoor Virginia wedding!
Richmond wedding photographer
Thanks Sarah Der for shooting this wedding with me and for being wonderful to work with! I love the photos you took!
Ceremony and reception location: Deep Run Hunt Club / Coordinator: Make It Posh Events / Florist: Petals and Twigs / Stationary: English Tea Paperie / Cake Artist: Sweet Fix Bakery Catering: A Sharper Palate / Ceremony music: Belle Arte String Quartet / Reception music: Klaxton Brown Band / Make-up: Zoe Shebelski with Bobbi Brown / Hair: Rachel Jones with Aveda / Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige from Annalise Bridal Boutique / Shoes: J. Crew / Bridesmaids dress: Alfred Sung / Groom and Groomsmen’s attire: Calvin Klein / Custom wooden bench: Lazy Guy DIY / Alterations: Claudia Villegas with Seams Alterations
Finding “The One” feels a lot like coming home. And home, of course, is the place where we can truly be ourselves. At home we can say whatever we feel without fear of judgment. We feel calm and like our best selves there. Home is the best place to be. And it’s exactly where Camille and Bryan are when they’re together…and does it show! The love they have for one another seems to spill over and touch everyone around them. So it was an absolute joy and privilege to photograph their wedding!
Given how at home they are with one another, I think it’s a funny twist that Camille was initially hesitant (even nervous!) to meet Bryan. Their first connection was on Match.com…they set up a date through the site. But Camille got cold feet and canceled! Luckily, Bryan was persistent and when Camille finally agreed to meet, they both fell hard and fast! But Camille wasn’t the only one head-over-heels for Bryan, her Shar-Pei Kai hopped in his lap on their second date and wouldn’t leave him alone! These three have been inseparable ever since! So when Bryan proposed with the biggest diamond ring I’ve seen, Camille’s response was an immediate “Yes!” Afterwards, they drove to Bryan’s grandparents’ home and danced in the driveway to share the news. So, so sweet!
Both the wedding and reception took place at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. The space was absolutely beautiful, such a classic and elegant décor and the perfect coordination and design by A Southern Soiree. This is the second time I’ve worked with Gina, and I cannot say enough about her. She’s so talented, organized and calm…the day went by without a hitch! That also had a lot to do with Camille and Bryan themselves. I truly believe that the atmosphere of a wedding starts with the bride and groom, they were kind to all their vendors and so enjoyed the company of their loved ones. It had been a long time since Camille’s extended family had all been together in one place, and they were so happy! I felt so welcomed by all the family and friends in attendance. At one point, I found myself talking with the groom’s mom, and she said something that really rang true: “Camille is such a genuine person.” Yes, she is! And Bryan’s mom had hit the nail on the head about why I was loving working with her. Camille and Bryan are both truly genuine, and truly at home with one another…so it’s easy to feel at home with them! Enjoy this sneak peak of their beautiful day.
The Umstead Wedding
Thanks Jamie Vinson for shooting this wedding with and for being wonderful to work with!
Planning and design: A Southern Soiree / Venue, cake and catering: The Umstead Hotel & Spa / Florist: Fresh Affairs / Stationary: Maria Scheel Invitations / Calligraphy by Carrie / Make-up: Natural Beauties by Vee / Hair: Toria’s Hair Essentials / Wedding Dress: Liancarlo from Alexia’s Bridal Boutique / Veil: Alencon Lace Mantilla Elbow Length Veil from Etsy / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids dress: White by Vera Wang / Rentals: CE Rental / Ice cream: Andia Ice Cream