Sheldon & Veronica

July 10, 2013

bride and groom

Sheldon & Veronica grew up and fell in love in beautiful Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.  It was a pleasure to meet them and share their day of celebration.  A day that held mixed emotions since Veronica said goodbye to her mom and dad as they ended their individual fights with cancer in the year prior.  It was an honor to meet their family, to see the strength of their love for each other and they way they hold each other up as they continue to live life well.

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Veronica chose a beautiful cobalt blue color for her bridesmaids dresses and coupled it with charcoal accents and sweet wild flowers at the reception.  The effect was stunning.

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I loved her calm demeanor and the way she chose fun foods (grilled hamburgers, anyone?) for the menu because it’s one of their favorite foods.

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And what’s not to love about the sparkle happening in their eyes?!

Sheldon and Veronica, may you always choose to love each other so well!

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Jevon & Abigail

June 10, 2013

Jevon & Abigail met when their families were both missionaries in Kenya, Africa.  Their love goes way, way back.  So far back that, in Jevon’s words, it might be embarrassing.

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Sort of the equivalent of high school sweethearts (ok, maybe longer), these two clearly have a relationship based on a strong friendship couple with so much romantic love it was inspiring just being around them!  The “can this be true? She’s finally mine” was almost palpable!

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Ohio was just beautiful at the end of May ……….. green and glorious if a little chilly in the morning.  Abigail picked a beautiful spot not so far from her home for their portraits in the morning.  The sun peeked over the hill warming the earth and reflecting off the dew drops clinging to the grass.

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Their ceremony was a lovely, emotion-packed service under huge shade trees Abigail’s grandmother tended years and years ago.

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The reception was on the same grounds making it so easy for guests to mingle, enjoying the food and the company of each other as ushers easily formed circles with the chairs that were previously set in straight lines for the ceremony.

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It was so obvious that Jevon & Abigail are close to both their families, both immediate and extended and that their life is rich with friends who love them dearly.

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The day was punctuated by laughter and joyous celebration by many, but most of all, by the happy couple themselves.

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Wishing you all the best, Jevon & Abbi!  May you always be so in love!


Shannon & Janelle

April 30, 2013

Shannon & Janelle said, “I do” on a day that was bursting with love, sunshine, and the beauty of Spring. Weeks of rain delayed the arrival of Spring and now, here it was, vibrantly blooming at it’s peak on the very day they’d chosen to get married. There was so much love and happiness happening between those two, I don’t know if they even noticed, but coming from a still-shrouded-in-winter Maryland, you can bet I did!

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Janelle’s dress was simply elegant, a glimpse of the elegance that was to follow in their ceremony and reception.

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The handsome groom from Pennsylvania.

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The contrast of red in their bridal party was so striking against the blacks and whites and surrounded by the vibrance of the green outdoors.

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The charming beauty of Abbeville’s historic square was not lost on any of us; but the love between these two outshone it all.

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Congratulations, Shannon & Janelle!  May you celebrate your dreams together for years and years to come.


Craig & Jessica :: wedding

December 15, 2012

When Jessica told me her wedding date, I knew we were pushing the season. Because I do almost all natural light photography, I try to schedule only events that take advantage of the gorgeous spring, summer, and fall seasons. Of course, you never know what will happen. The day you expect to be perfect in June may turn out to be rainy. Early March may be the epitome of Spring or surprise you with a snow shower. Or like this year, a Virginia wedding in October makes you think of glorious autumn leaves and this year it was cold! Yet Craig and Jessica’s November 30th wedding was a balmy 65 degrees on a sunny afternoon. And did we ever make the most of it!

Jessica and Craig chose to do their first look session at her house close to Harrisonburg. From there we traveled to the historic section of Staunton. Our first stop was the Miller House, now a private residence, but earlier a bed and breakfast where Jessica worked. A few miles further West we drove into Gypsy Hill Park. Jessica slipped into a cute pair of tennis shoes and Craig bent to tie them as she held her lovely skirt out of the way. David and I followed them up the hill at breath catching speed. Had she not been dashing up the hill WITH her handsome fiancee, Jessica could have modeled for the Runaway Bride! A few shots at the top of the hill where Craig popped the pivotal question months earlier and then on to downtown Staunton where we found a delightful golden tunnel, picturesque doorways, and an old train station.

Their wedding was vintage elegance personified! After a beautiful ceremony that included darling little flower babies being pushed down the aisle in a vintage carriage, gorgeous violin music, and a surprise song to Craig that Jessica recorded at a local studio earlier, guests were ushered into a warm reception absolutely overflowing with beauty. Every table centerpiece was a unique collection of antiques and dried floral arrangements. A vintage chandelier added ambience to the bridal table and a gorgeous hand-crafted wreath drew everyone’s attention toward the buffet. Grilled chicken, fettuccine alfredo {made with homemade noodles, I might add}, steamed broccoli, garlic bread knots, and a lovely salad with celery seed dressing. From the handmade after dinner mints to the perfect spice of mulled cider, it was perfection, beauty and happiness. But the best part of the day by far was seeing Craig and Jessica so happy to be together!

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Craig and Jessica, it was pure delight to share your wedding day! Thank you for the honor.


Mark & Mary :: wedding

October 24, 2012

Mark and Mary celebrated the beginning of their life together on a frosty morning in October. We met at a local winery minutes before the sun came up in a huge red ball, valiantly trying to warm the frozen air. The light was golden and glorious as it always is when it first arrives and then bright and cloudless leaving us longing for it’s warmth and simultaneously trying to soften it’s intensity.

Mark and Mary were proof indeed that love is warm enough to not only survive, but to laugh and enjoy! I loved the way embraced life for what it is. They were giddy with love as all newly wed couples are, but their wedding ceremony also graciously and openly spoke of the events that transpired to bring this day to pass. I loved seeing Mark’s children welcome Mary into their family with so much love and without holding back, even when tears and memories of their mom glistened in their eyes. In them, I saw such Jesus love. Not just accepting life, but embracing it. Living life well. Grieving loss. Loving without reserve. While celebration may seem like a strange word to choose for a wedding that held depths of so much more, I can’t think of a more fitting word. Mark and Mary, their extended families, and friends celebrating the healing love of Jesus and the newness of their love. Could anything be more beautiful?

When I think of the day, this quick snapshot of Mark and Mary just before they walked down to the reception is one of my favorites. I love their happiness and it goes without saying that Mark is thinking, “I can’t believe she’s really mine!”

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A few more favorite images from the day:

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The girls {trying very hard to pretend they were on a warm beach in Hawaii}
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Mark and his sons
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Whenever the cold threatened to make them feel stiff, Mark would send everyone into the warmth of laughter with his gymnastics. I caught him just as he was getting back into position. Mary wasn’t joking when she kept telling me, “He is so much fun!”

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Congratulations, you two love birds!


Sheldon & Julia :: wedding

August 22, 2012

It was a gorgeous day in August. Warm sunshine spilled through leafy trees and slight breezes carried the sound of the Shenandoah River. Sheldon and Julia planned a gorgeous outdoor ceremony right on the banks of the river. There was plenty of room for a tent to house the reception and the entire day felt infused with sunlight, celebration, beauty, and love. Every wedding is unique because every bride and groom is unique. While some of the elements stay the same, there are always subtle differences that give a wedding ownership. There are obvious ways … differences in decor, color, details on the brides dress, the bouquet, the menu … each crafted to make this day uniquely his and hers. There are subtle differences, too. Even though almost all my brides say similar words, their weddings always have a particular strength. Sometimes I drive away being so inspired with how fresh and beautiful and pure love is. Sometimes I want to pump my fists and yell, “YES!” because once again, a bride has shown me what a celebration marriage is. Sheldon and Julia exuded an incredible desire to honor God. They are both gorgeous individuals, but they both seemed as though they’d forgotten about themselves, even on their wedding day. In a dozen tiny ways, they pointed the day to each other and to God throughout our time together. Their love carried an undercurrent of strength to it that spoke of learning to love unselfishly through difficulty. I’d never met either of them before the day of their wedding, but in our last minutes together just before they left on their honeymoon, we got to talk for a few minutes. In a few sentences they confirmed what I’d been feeling all day … that Sheldon and Julia had learned already what it meant when God talked about agape love. That kind of love is a love unmeasurable. Sheldon & Julia, I’m so proud of you both and honored to have shared your day!

David usually co-shoots the weddings I do; but he had commitments at camp that couldn’t be re-schedule. I was so grateful to my sister-in-law, Ro, for coming to help me out that day. She kept me hydrated and fed, carried camera bags, and shot a few images. Thanks, Ro!

And now, let me introduce the gorgeous couple!

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John & Joni ll wedding

August 17, 2012

John and Joni said their vows in a lovely ceremony earlier this month. Unfortunately, Joni’s morning didn’t go the way she’d hoped and the bride and groom picture time got cancelled. Joni, however, appeared unruffled when I met her. Her dress was gorgeous, her hair done beautifully, and there were no tears (unlike what I would have felt like in her shoes … Speaking of which, her shoes were a gorgeous hot pink. I’d kind of like a turn in them.)

We got just a few shots before the bridal party appeared and luckily managed to take a few at Chris Greene in the last few minutes of daylight after the reception.

Joni’s reception was full of personality. Vibrant turquoise and a fun hot pink. I loved the train on her dress, and especially the exquisite beadwork. Just what every princess wants!

Wishing you a beautiful ever after!