I was so honored that Ashley and Chris invited me to capture one of the most special days of their lives. The day of their wedding dawned clear and beautiful, just the kind of day every bride hopes for.
Ashley chose a rustic cabin in the woods of rural Whitesburg at Historic Banning Mills as the place for her, the bridesmaids, her mother and future mother in law to get ready and relax. The cabin nestled in a beautiful forest was the perfect compliment to her country themed wedding. There was a lot of laughter, excitement and a few happy tears as the girls perfected their hair and makeup. As Ashley’s mother helped her into her wedding dress my assistant and all the bridesmaids and I were touched by this beautiful moment. Ashley and her mom seemed so close and I was once again reminded of why I love my job!
When the bridesmaids were dressed and made up to perfection and Ashley was looking stunning in her strapless beaded dress and silver cowboy boots, we headed to the lodge at Banning Mills. This building is a gorgeous venue with lots of natural wood and stone. It made the perfect backdrop for he girls’ colorful dresses from Suzy Q. They made a splash of color everywhere they went that day. I loved the way the gauzy tea length dresses looked with the cowboy boots.
Meanwhile back at The Barn at Sierra Springs where the ceremony was to take place, Josh Lamkin, my wonderful second shooter of Josh Lamkin Photography, was capturing the last single moments of Chris as he and his groomsmen donned their wedding finery. The guys wore brown jackets, vests, jeans and boots.
Ashley arrived at the barn where she was able to share some special moments with her grandfather and sister before the ceremony began. The ceremony took place directly outside the barn. The bride and her family had worked hard and made many of the decorations themselves. I loved how everything came together. There were candles, burlap, hay and sweet sayings about love. The fact that the bride put so much of herself into the décor made it so lovely and personal and I feel like this spirit was felt by each guest.
The ceremony was sweet, fun and hilarious. The wedding party got to display their personalities with a fun dance down the aisle. After the adorable entrance of the flower girl and ring bearer, it was Ashley's turn to wow the guests. As she headed through the double French doors and down the burlap aisle runner glowing on her father’s arm, the look on Chris' face was priceless. It was full of so much love and emotion. There were songs that didn’t leave a dry eye among the guests seated on the hay bales. It was everything you hope a wedding will be. As Ashley and Chris pledged their love for each other, there was not a doubt in my mind that this is the forever love that only happens once in a lifetime.
The scene was perfect as Ashley and Chris shared their first kiss and headed back up the aisle as husband and wife. The sun was just beginning it’s descent toward the horizon and streamed through the trees, showering golden light down on the happy couple and their guests. It was perfection.
After the ceremony, it was time for me to take photos of the newly weds. We had so much fun laughing and joking as I captured their first moments as man and wife. The guests enjoyed delicious cocktails out of mason jars on the side lawn.
I loved all the unique wedding décor and the personalized touches. One of my favorite moments unique to any wedding I have photographed was the couple’s introduction at the reception. Ashley pushed Chris in on a tiny toy tractor to much laughter while Little Green Tractor played. This moment perfectly captured the playfulness of their relationship and the way they view the world.
One of my favorite parts of photographing weddings is getting to know so many wonderful, fun people and getting to share this day with Ashley, Chris, their wedding party, family and friends was so amazing!
The reception was a happy whirlwind of eating, dancing, laughing and enjoying the evening. The Barn looked amazing decorated with glittering candles, lace and burlap. Each table had a cowbell that when rung, Chris and Ashley would kiss. The cowbells were put to good use that night. The dance floor was spacious with plenty of room for the guests to show off their moves to the musical stylings of DJ Brandon Higgins. The evening flew by as the some of the guests danced inside the barn and some sat outside under the stars by the glow of the large bonfire in the firepit.
Ashley and Chris departed amid the twinkle of lighted sparklers. It was a magical evening!
Congratulations Ashley and Chris! It was such an honor to be a part of your beautiful and happy day!
Venue: The Barn at Sierra Springs
Second Shooter: Josh Lamkin Photography
Event Planner: Wanda Jenkins
Wedding Dress: Suzy Q's
Bridesmaid Dresses: Suzy Q's
Hair Stylist: Paige Roberts