Jun 30-14

JuneGratefulsCallie

Callie

Hiking Cinque Terre (one of my favorite spots in Italy!) / Corn field engagement session / Viewing our INCREDIBLE wedding pictures with lemonade and popcorn! / Kitchen process: cabinets are installed! / Megan & Spencer's sweet Fearrington wedding featured in The Knot Carolina / Just holding up the leaning tower of Pisa

JuneGratefulsElizabeth

Elizabeth

Thunderstorms on the bay / This gorgeous wedding and new friends! / A beautiful trip to the Gulf of Mexico with family
A stunning Bald Head Island wedding / A trip to NYC with hubby / A vacation with the Fields family

JuneGratefulsNancy

Nancy

A sweet Charleston wedding / Walking the US Open with Will / The most amazing going away party/wedding I've ever seen! / So grateful for sweet Jamie, our amazing intern. We are going to miss her! / Celebrating Will's grandparents: 60 years of marriage! / Breakfast business brainstorming dates with my partner in crime

JuneGratefulsWill

Will

Saying goodbye to being the Youth Ministries Director at our church, and saying hello to a new chapter of life as a Financial Coach - in style! (Gotta love my tuxedo shirt.) / Days on Lake Gaston / Returning to (and jumping off of) my favorite waterfall in Boone / One Nation. One Team. #usausausa / Morning run with Winston / Enjoying Boone with Nancy - the place  we began our lives together

JuneGratefulsJamie

Jamie

Custom handmade pillows for my new apartment / Little Washington adventures with Scott / Grateful for the reminders that doing life together is what really matters. (Add this to your reading list right now!) / Celebrated Meredith and Matt's wedding / Thursday treat on a gloomy day / Scott met Winston! (and Nancy tried her best to convince Scott go get a great dane!)

•••

We are especially grateful for Jamie, our sweet Intern, who finished her internship at the end of June. We love you, Jamie! We will miss you so much!

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Jun 23-14

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I could photograph Emily and John all the time and never tire of them. They are truly some of the most kindhearted people I've ever met! Softspoken, always smiling, caring, loving, and full of joy - these two are a breath of fresh air. Emily and John never focus on themselves, as they are completely selfless and loving towards one another, their friends, and their families. Even on their own wedding day, when all the attention was on them, they kept a close eye on the other - always making sure they were okay and taken care of. And walked around with smiles they couldn't shake! (John's smile is just the best. He couldn't hide it if he tried!) They are the perfect fit for one another. The focus of their reception was undoubtedly their guests, and boy did they have a good time! I've never seen such dancing in my life! 99.9% of the guests were on the dance floor 99.9% of the time. It was an exciting celebration enjoyed by all. Every aspect of this wedding was beautiful and full of joy. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Melvin!

Film Processing: Indie Film Lab
Ceremony Venue: St. Mary's Chapel
Reception Venue: Angus Barn
Cake Artist: Sweet Memories Bakery
Caterer: Angus Barn
Florist: Warthen Interiors
Event Coordinator: Angus Barn
DJ/Band: Horizon
Stationary: PaperBuzz
Wedding Programs & Reception Favors: Paper Buzz
Bridesmaid Dresses: Serendipity Bridal & Events
Tuxes: VIP Formalwear
Bride's Wedding Gown: Liancarlo from Alexia's Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka

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Below: I had to include this sweet photograph of Emily's brick, right next to her grandmother's brick. These were located just a few steps from St. Mary's Chapel. I love it when couples choose to get married in places full of meaning and heritage!

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Comments: 1

  1. Carrie June 24, 2014 11:20 am

    Oh, how I love that little chapel. I spent every Tuesday and Friday in that space for four years. You captured it beautifully.

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Jun 22-14

nm_w-0615

(Walters and Walters)

Happy 6th anniversary to the love of my life. William, I wouldn't want to do life with anyone else but you.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls  and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecc 4:9-12

Comments: 3

  1. Lauren Thomas June 22, 2014 5:21 pm

    Happy anniversary!! Congratulations on 6 years!!

  2. Kristen Johnson June 23, 2014 11:42 am

    Happy Anniversary Will and Nancy!

  3. Lorin June 23, 2014 12:50 pm

    Such a beautiful passage to represent y’alls relationship together & with the Lord. Happy anniversary!

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Jun 18-14
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I will never forget this sweet day.

We found ourselves with no plans on a Sunday afternoon, which is rare for us. Usually, Sundays are full of 2 church services, lunch, and a Bible study or two in the evening.  It's also our laundry day and planning day. Our home is also usually a bit disheveled after being away shooting a wedding on Saturday, so tidying up and staying busy it our usual routine.

But not this day!

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We went to church that morning, then decided to plan out our unexpected day-to-ourselves so we would be intentional with our rest and time together. After lunch, we went to pick fresh strawberries on a local farm! It was so relaxing to just spend time together in the sunshine. I'm so glad I brought my camera with me.

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We returned home, washed the strawberries, made our favorite dinner (fiery fish tacos!), and watched our new favorite movie: About Time. This movie. Honestly - I haven't seen a movie this good in ages. As tears were streaming down my face a few hours later as the credits rolled, I was overcome with gratitude for my life. For our lives, together. For this gift we are given every day. (I don't want to spoil the movie, so you should just see it for yourself!)

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I want to slow down and have more days like these. Part of what made this day so special was the fact that we are so busy right now. Between our 2 demanding jobs, life can be downright exhausting. But as Will's job changes and life takes on a different pace these next few months, I've decided to stop and try to appreciate every moment. Busyness will be a constant option in life.  Slowing down has to be an intentional choice these days - a choice that's not always an easy one. I'm willing to fight for it - to create more days with space like this one.

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Note to self (and my photographer friends out there): bring your camera with you more often. You're really good at capturing everyone else's life. Make time to document your own. You won't regret it!

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We're all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.
-"Tim" in About Time

Comments: 5

  1. Faith June 18, 2014 8:12 pm

    I LOVED “About Time”! So good!!!! I love this blog post, too. :)

  2. Amy June 18, 2014 8:57 pm

    Hi Nancy! The link you posted to Lyon Farms actually goes to the website for a pumpkin farm in Tennessee! I think this is the link you meant to share: http://www.lyonfarms.com/aboutus.html

    Can’t wait to visit there! The strawberries look delicious!

  3. Jen June 19, 2014 2:06 am

    OOOH!! I’ve wanted to see this movie! Rachel McAdams is one of my absolute favorites. Glad to hear it’s a must see! :)
    Beautiful pictures and so sweet that you were able to capture a fun day together on camera.

  4. Hannah June 19, 2014 4:31 am

    This looks so fun! I think I will see if there are any local farms near where I live and do this too! Good to know “About Time” is good! I’ve been meaning to see it!

  5. Kellie June 29, 2014 10:43 pm

    About Time was such a great movie! What a fun Sunday!

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Jun 16-14

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I knew I would love this couple from the minute I met them. What I didn't realize was how much I would come to admire them individuals, how much I would grow to love their families, how much Will and I would connect with them as friends. I have loved every minute I've spent with Joel and Jordan! They love one another deeply, they are confident and content in who they are, they love Jesus, they have friends who are more like brothers and sisters than anything else. I honestly felt refreshed after spending time with them, whether it was for their engagement session, Jordan's bridal session, or their wedding day. Their genuine personalities are so real and honest. They are the kind of people who don't try to prove anything, but their focus is always on the person in front of them. I felt so loved and cared for every time I interacted with them! I am so grateful for the opportunity to not only capture this sweet season of their lives, but to also get to know their hearts.

Before we continue on to the photos - I have to share a little bit of the story of Sally. Sally is the most adorable pup you'll see pictured below, and she played quite the important role in their relationship! When  Joel and Jordan began dating, Jordan would take Sally running with her. (Yes, I also have a soft spot for pups who are running buddies!) Shortly after they began dating, Jordan and Joel decided it wasn't going to work out between them anymore, so they stopped seeing each other. But Jordan simply couldn't bring herself to say goodbye to Sally quite yet, so she kept swinging by Joel's house to pick her up to go running. After many runs with Sally the dog, and after spending much time in thought and prayer, Jordan realized she was pretty miserable without Joel in her life. They tried dating again, and the rest is history! I love how Sally was part of their wedding day. She was the special messenger who delivered the notes and gifts prior to the ceremony, even in the rain!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Fleming! So happy for you two.

Venue: The Cotton Room
Cake Artist: Cinda's Creative Cakes
Caterer: Triangle Catering Company/ The Cotton Room
Florist: Aldena Frye
Event Designer & Coordinator: The Cotton Room/ Triangle Catering Company
DJ: Triad DJ and Events
Videographer: Heartstone Films
Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Aireal Christy
Makeup Artist: Brittany at Bobbi Brown
Stationary: Val Marie Paper
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

Thank you to The Lovely Find for featuring this beautiful wedding!

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Comments: 2

  1. Samantha June 16, 2014 7:55 pm

    Nancy, this is lovely! Beautiful images xo!

  2. Em June 16, 2014 11:58 pm

    Love the bouquet tossing shot, and the one of Joel holding Sally! :)

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Jun 12-14

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After nine long months of wedding planning, house renovations and major life changes, I could not be more excited to jet set to the beautiful caribbean island of Antigua with my wonderful husband. Our wedding weekend was truly the best weekend of our lives, but what was even more wonderful was just being together away from all the hustle and bustle of normal life. We had no one to attend to, no emails or work, and no distractions. Our honeymoon week was about Callie and Jamie and our marriage.

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We stayed at the amazing Coco Bay Resort, which we would highly recommend and can't wait to visit again. When planning our honeymoon, we realized that we definitely wanted an all-inclusive resort, but we didn't want some huge resort where we felt lost. Coco Bay was the perfect place for us. Our cottage was exactly what we had hoped for and the staff was incredible!

I learned on this trip the importance and sweetness of a honeymoon, whether it is to a beautiful caribbean island for a whole week or a couple of nights at a local bed & breakfast. After our amazing experience, Jamie and I would recommend these four things when planning for your honeymoon:

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1. Go on a honeymoon immediately after your wedding

To some this may be a no brainer, but to those of you who believe you can't make it work with scheduling and other conflicts, we would tell you to do everything you can to try and make it work. Here's why: We believe that this is a vital time to get away, relax, rest and recharge before you come back as a married couple to your normal lives. The time that we shared and enjoyed together on our honeymoon was so necessary and has established a strong foundation in our marriage so far.

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2. Plan accordingly for flights

Because there is only one flight a day to Antigua and it so happened to be a 7:00am flight, Jamie and I decided to leave for our honeymoon on Monday instead of leaving the morning after our wedding. This turned out to be one of the greatest blessings because we were able to sleep in and enjoy our morning together instead of getting minimal sleep and being grumpy on our first day of marriage. Your first thought may be that it doesn't matter and you'll just want to get to that caribbean island (this was my thought), but I am so glad that we had this extra day and the extra sleep after our wedding.

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3. Plan it together 

In the beginning of our engagement, I was all about having Jamie plan our whole honeymoon so that it would be a surprise to me. Here's why I am so glad that we decided against it: If you haven't been on or planned a trip together, you will quickly realize that if you don't communicate thoroughly about your expectations of the trip, you will find out that they could be quite different. (Ours were!) We had so much fun planning our trip together and talking about how much we were looking forward to it when wedding planning got frustrating.

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4. Plan to do nothing

When planning your trip, we would recommend not planning any activities beforehand. You really won't know what you want to do or feel like doing until you get there and honestly, Jamie and I did nothing. As we sat by the beach and pool everyday reading and relaxing, we laughed about the answer that we would tell people when they asked what we did: nothing. But nothing is exactly what we needed. We needed to be bored, read a good book and lay in the sun for countless hours. We needed to eat good food, laugh a lot and have meaningful conversations.

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If you are planning to go on your honeymoon, have a blast! Take advantage of every minute together with your new husband and enjoy the time away from distractions. Focus on each other, focus on relaxing and focus on the meaning of marriage!

Comments: 8

  1. Lisa June 12, 2014 12:00 pm

    Love these tips, Callie!! Definitely saving this to refer to when Dave and I start planning our honeymoon!

  2. Alison June 12, 2014 12:07 pm

    This is wonderful, Callie! Love your pictures, and this makes me even more excited for ours!

  3. Hannah June 12, 2014 4:03 pm

    Gorgeous photos! And I love those tips! My fiancé and I are planning our honeymoon right now and plan to take a similar tropical vacation at an all inclusive. Love your take on “doing nothing”. That’s exactly what we want to do as well. This gets me excited for it to come!

  4. Lauren June 12, 2014 4:41 pm

    Callie – I totally agree with all of your points! My husband and I got married last year and had a very similar honeymoon experience. (That we still talk about all the time)

    It made it so much easier to come home and start “real life.” So excited for you as you enjoy your first married summer. I still remember just sitting down and watching TV together, thinking it was the best thing in the whole world.

  5. Jasmine Marciniak June 13, 2014 4:34 pm

    We went to the same exact place for our honeymoon two years ago and looks like we stayed in the same bungalow :) My favorite part was they didn’t have any technology there so you could truly focus on your new spouse. I would recommend Coco Bay to anyone!!

  6. Stephanie June 18, 2014 1:04 am

    These tips are spot on; thanks for sharing! And your pictures are all just breath-taking!!

  7. Kaycie Karpinski June 23, 2014 2:52 am

    Callie,
    I meant to read this post before Kevin & I headed to our honeymoon this past week, but after reading I feel so great knowing we did all of the exact same things!!! Left Monday, did nothing, planned together. It was so amazing. So thankful for you & Elizabeth and we cannot WAIT to see our pictures!!!!!! :-) :-)

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Jun 10-14

Thank you so much for following along with my Organization series! This is my final post in this series, but I would love to hear your thoughts or questions in the comments if you have any. To recap, here are my previous Organization Posts:

Organization in Work: Part 1

Organization in Work: Part 2

Organization in Time

Organization in the Home

Organization in Finance

Organization in my Personal Life

Organization in my Spiritual Life: Part 1

Organization in my Spiritual Life: Part 2

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I hope you enjoy these final thoughts on the importance of Spiritual Organization!

•••

6. Learn from others more mature than myself

Placing wise mentors, teachers, and friends in my life is key to staying on the right track and organized spiritually. This list goes far beyond my pastor! I want to learn from as many people as possible. My list of mentors includes:

My pastors, elders, co-leaders in our youth ministry, my friends in church, members of our connect group, my parents, my family, and my close friends outside of church who share faith in Jesus.

Jim Rohn said, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." Choose your friends and mentors wisely. This is so incredibly important.

7. Memorize verses

There's nothing better than having a verse come to mind when I need it most. Memorized scripture can be a lifeline in life's darkest moments. That doesn't happen by accident either. It takes time and effort to commit scripture to memory, and often times we don't feel like doing it because it's not important today. However, we don't know when it will be important to us! There are several ways that I have memorized scripture in the past:

- Write verses on my chalk wall in my kitchen
- Write verses on notecards, but them in a ziploc bag, and place them in my shower
- Write verses on our bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker
- Test myself by writing out verses I'm memorizing in my journal before looking at them

This is honestly the place where I feel weakest and most disorganized. I'm hoping to make this more of a priority this year! Memorization is lost in our current culture of google, You version, and having everything at our fingertips. I never want to use our abundance (readily available Bibles and internet and resources) as an excuse not to memorize scripture. I need it engraved on my heart.

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8. Tithe

The word "tithe" means 10%. Scripture tells us to bring our tithe - 10% of our income / increase - to the Lord. An offering is anything above that 10% tithe.  Notice I said "bring" and not "give!" We are bringing the tithe and returning it to the Lord, for it's already His. We cannot "give" something that is not ours to begin with, so we bring our tithes to our church.

Money is such a personal thing, y'all. Organizing your spiritual life touches all aspects of your life -including how you manage your money. To make this a priority for us, we include our tithe on the first line of our monthly budget.

Tithing is directly related to our spiritual organization, and it's an act of obedience that all believers should participate in. God commands us to tithe, but sadly only 10-25% of a normal congregation tithe regularly, and Christians on average are only giving 2.5%. It's time to get organized in our finances and in our spiritual lives and make this priority. We could do so much for God's kingdom if we yielded our finances to Him in obedience!

9. Renew my mind by what I hear

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Romans 12:2

We  live in an incredible day and time where we can listen to podcasts and sermons from churches all over the world. I am constantly listening to podcasts and encouraging sermons while I run, while I work, and while I drive!

Books are another amazing resource where we can learn from others who have much wisdom to offer. Ordering Your Private World is a book I've referenced several times in this post, and it's worth the read. I'm thankful for Gordon MacDonald, the author, who has been one voice in my life that has changed me for good.

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10. Make it a daily habit

I believe the key to staying organized spiritually is making it a daily habit! My relationship with my husband is a daily thing, and it requires time and attention. Why should my relationship with the Lord be any different?  I set aside at least 1 hour every morning to read (#1) and to journal (#2)  and to pray (#3) and to listen (#4). I sometimes memorize scripture (#7) in my mornings as well! That is 5 out of my 10 habits of staying organized spiritually. My morning routine is incredibly important to me, and I rarely miss it.

Whether it's the morning or the evening, it doesn't matter. As long as you make this a daily habit, you will begin to see the benefits of staying organized in your spiritual life. I cannot say it enough:

It's all about your relationship with the Lord. It's all about making Him your greatest priority.

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•••

Brothers and sister, the Lord never intended for us to feel disorganized, insecure, and scattered in our spiritual walks. He intended us to walk in our inheritance, in a real relationship with Him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in authority as sons and daughters of a King.

...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly places,  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.  And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church,  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:17-23

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God...

Ephesians 2:19

Oh that we would understand what it means to walk as sons and daughters of the Living God!

OK, so what does that have to do with organizing my spiritual life?  It's simple: You must take the time to get to know God and know His word.

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When I organize my spiritual life, I simply decide to make it a priority. I make space for it in my busy world. We aren't molded by life's circumstances as much as we are molded by the Spirit of God, and that takes time and devotion. When I am disorganized, the urgent demands of my day take over. When I am organized, my priorities of prayer, scripture, and time listening to the Lord do not get overlooked or overshadowed. They become THE most important thing, as they well should be.

I look at it this way: if I am a daughter of the King, if I am part of the family of God, if I have access to an incredible inheritance because of the sacrifice of Jesus (which I do), then I should live like it. I should make time to know my Father's heart. I should ask for His advice, I should honor Him, I should talk with Him, I should listen to Him, I should live my life with all of this in the forefront of my mind.

No, I'm not perfect or successful at this every day. But I do have some wonderful tools and habits that have helped me stay organized in my spiritual life, intentionally making it to be my first priority.

Comments: 7

  1. Angélique June 10, 2014 8:53 pm

    Thank you for this serie, I really like all of your tips!

    Your devotion to your morning routine really inspires me! But I was wondering, do you the same routine on the weekends??

    Thanks and have a nice day!

  2. Lindsay Ann Corrigan June 11, 2014 1:21 am

    Nancy, thank you for sharing this with the world! It is so encouraging and real. You are one of the people that has really moved me to get better organized and put systems in place – way back to Branches and Light when you shared your processes and made organization in my life look possible. You have a wonderful gift of showing people how to make order out of chaos. I am grateful for you!

  3. Kate Robinson June 16, 2014 12:20 am

    Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for sharing the wisdom from your heart. It’s been such an encouragement to me! Lots of the time I feel like I don’t know where to begin when it comes to reading my bible and spending time with God. You have suggested practical ways which have really inspired me and I am committed to making my time with the Lord a priority in the mornings. Keep blogging and sharing! Thank you so much, Kate x

  4. Caitlyn July 21, 2014 3:08 pm

    Hi! Do you use a study bible/what bible do you use?! This is so incredibly helpful and convicting, “my relationship with my husband is a daily thing and it requires time and attention” Wow, what a great perspective – keeping this is mind when thinking I don’t have time or it can wait. I need to pursue the Lord just as I do my husband with more intention. I’m loving all of these helpful steps! Thank you!!

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Jun 09-14

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I'll never forget Whitney's bridal session. After a long drive from Raleigh, I arrived at Lowndes Grove Plantation with Jamie, my sweet intern. We walked the beautiful property on an absolutely perfect day - no humidity, sunshine, and a slight breeze. We walked inside and up the stairs, and after Whitney had put on her dress and veil, I took her into the room next to us and began to photograph her. I stopped taking pictures for a moment and simply said, "Whitney, you are beautiful." Tears began to fill her eyes. Overcome with so many feelings - I am a bride! This is real! Is this really happening!? - Whitney looked at me with her big brown eyes and began to cry. I began to tear up, too. It was a beautiful reminder of how important those moments are. All of the planning, the hair, the nails, the makeup, the dress... all of it pays off when you simply stop and take it all in.

Whitney wrote me the sweetest thank you note (as she is always so kind to do!) after her session, and said, "You were the first person to make me cry... which was awesome!" I took that as the highest compliment. Too often we fight our emotions, but I think it's beautiful when we embrace them. When we stop to really feel what is happening, it allows me to photograph the real you. That is why Whitney is so stunning in all of these images! She is authentically beautiful - unafraid to be herself. I have loved getting to know her.

Whitney and Nick's Charleston wedding this past weekend was so beautiful - no surprise there! I cannot wait to share their lovely photos.

Film processing: Indie Film Lab

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Comments: 1

  1. Whitney June 10, 2014 7:58 pm

    Can we do it all again, Nancy?!I loved every moment along the way! Please stay in touch!

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Photographer, wife, and worshiper... I am a Southern girl who looks most forward to waking up each morning to drink my coffee, read my Bible, and soak in the beauty that surrounds me. These pages chronicle my work, my life, and the things that I love most. You'll also hear from Callie, Will, and Elizabeth - my amazing team who has so much to offer. Thanks for visiting, I do hope you stay a while!
Nancy Ray
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