September feels like a lifetime ago. I’m ashamed to say it has taken me this long to share some of the details of our wedding day with you! Life definitely gets busy when you become a Mrs., that’s for sure! But the holidays are coming up. I am furiously trying to design parent albums for my mom, dad, and in-laws. And that means I get to relive our “best day ever” through the beautiful photos Katelyn James captured for us!
As I reflect back on my wedding day, there are a lot of things that went absolutely perfectly – and a lot that didn’t. Being a wedding photographer both served me well and did me a major disservice when it came to planning my own wedding. I was a well-informed bride, but also a picky one. God bless my family and bridal party for not disowning me when I sent them 12-page documents on everything they needed to do and know.
But I thought I’d share my experience with you all, so you can learn from my mistakes AND my wins. Here are the moments and details in my wedding day that I loved the most and recommend to other brides.
My Dad’s First Look was probably a top 5 memory not just for my wedding day, but in my life too. I am a total Daddy’s Little Girl, and we both balled our eyes out as soon as he walked into the room to see me in my dress. We dried most of our tears and hugged until my makeup rubbed onto his suit.
To add to this sweet moment, our amazing florist, Antonina’s Floral Design, gifted us with a surprise boutonniere to match my bouquet! I already DIY’ed bouts for Kevin and his groomsmen, so I decided to let my dad wear the fresh one so he matched my bouquet as he walked me down the aisle. Pinning the boutonniere on his jacket after we finally pulled ourselves together was a sweet moment for me. It was like I got to symbolically remind my Dad that it’ll be him and I walking that aisle together.
This little white chapel on the property at our wedding venue was a God send. It was the reason we picked our wedding venue, because I thought it was the cutest spot for a ceremony. But its beauty was deeper than its appearance. Our wedding day saw pouring rain (like, cats and dogs downpour). We originally wanted to get married in front of the chapel, but inside was so white and cozy. We felt absolutely surrounded by our loved ones, and staying dry in the meantime.
And it saved the day for our portrait time! I was pretty devastated by the rain and not getting photos by the shore of Smith Mountain Lake. But Katelyn took stunning, bright photos inside this chapel after our ceremony was over. They became some of my favorite shots of the entire day.
As a wedding photographer, I have photographed A LOT of sparkler exits. And they’re great. But they go by so fast that I always imagined it being a rushed memory for the bride and groom. So, because I am dramatic and wanted to soak up every minute of movie-magic sparklers, we decided to do our Last Dance in the middle of our guests holding sparklers. And the photos were AMAZING, but the moment was even more amazing!
It was so romantic and beautiful. We danced to Moon River (the JJ Heller cover version) and soaked in all the memories from the day as the 36 inch sparklers burned out. The rain held off just long enough to fit this moment in, but at the end it began to drizzle which only added a magical sparkly backdrop in our photos. Then it poured just as we were saying goodbye to everyone. The perfect timing and ending to our day.
All Photo Creds: Katelyn James Photography
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Wedding days can be stressful, but they don't have to be. One of the number one causes of wedding day stress is a disorganized, tight timeline. In this guide, I'm sharing a sample wedding day timeline I use to craft all my brides' wedding day timelines, as well as diving into some pro tips only a photographer might know.