Anna and Barrett's lovely rehearsal dinner was held at the Angus Barn Pavilion. It was everything a summer rehearsal dinner should be! I've never seen a bigger groom's cake, or so many sets of corn hole, or heard so many wonderful toasts. The group of friends that honored Anna and Barrett stepped up, one by one, with beautiful speeches prepared. I'm not exaggerating when I say the entire room was laughing one moment, then crying the next! (Including me!) It was such a meaningful time of sharing; it truly was how every rehearsal dinner should be. To end the evening, Anna and Barrett strolled over by the open fire pit to roast some s'mores and chat with their family. It was a beautiful evening, all around.
Ceremony Venue: St. Michael's Episcopal
Reception Venue: Renaissance North Hills
Cake Artist: Upper Crust
Florist: Greg Warren Flowers
DJ: Joe Bunn DJ Company
Hair & Makeup Artist: Von Kekel
Bride's Dress: Victorian Rose/La Sposa
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Bride and Bridesmaid's Jewelry: Jennifer-Betty-Jewelry
Bride & Bridesmaid Shoes: Nine West
Groom & Groomsmen Tuxes: VIP Formal Wear
Stationary: Katherine and Darden Coe
Katherine and Chris's wedding day was truly a day not to be forgotten. Every detail was carefully selected by the bride, and she and her groom absolutely relished every moment of their big day. From the sweet moments getting ready to their friends and family dancing the night away and all moments in between, they celebrated and shared in the joy of starting their lives together with a room full of people who adore them. Oh, and the weather was phenomenal - one of those rare dry, warm May days that happen before the North Carolina humidity sets in for the summer. What more could you possibly ask for?
This couple is precious. Throughout the past year, in doing their engagement session, chatting on the phone with them, communicating back and forth via email and then all day on their wedding day - I've really enjoyed getting to know them. They are - truth be told - reserved at first. But with each conversation and each meeting, you see their personalities start to blossom right in front of your eyes and you really understand why they are perfect for each other.
Katherine and Chris - thank you for allowing us to shoot your wedding. Congratulations on the beginning of a beautiful life together!
If you know Anna, you know she is overflowing with pure joy! She is genuine, gracious, and so much fun to be around. She is confident in who she is, and I love that about her! I have known sweet Anna for years; we went to the same high school, we go to the same church, we are now in the same connect group at church. I grew closest to Anna and saw her sweet heart last year when we traveled to Nicaragua together, and I love how our friendship has grown over the years.
Last summer, while we were raising money for our Nicaragua trip, Anna and I sat together at Moe's after running in the "Nicaragua 5K." I vividly remember a conversation I had with her about the guy she was going to marry one day. At the time, she was single and Peter was not even in the picture. She said, "He definitely has to love fitness and healthy living. He has to lead me. He has to love the Lord more than anything." We chatted about the fact that she was single and she had no idea where she would meet her future husband, but she was just trusting the Lord as she was waiting.
Just one year later, I met Anna and Peter for a morning engagement session. Their wedding is only months away!
Peter is everything Anna said she wanted in a husband. He certainly loves fitness as he's been a personal trainer for years. He loves healthy living. He is constantly learning about scripture, he leads Anna, and he loves the Lord with all his heart.
I love stories like this, and while I don't often get to watch relationships unfold as I've watched this one, it is a joy to be able to do so. I am so honored to be capturing this season of their lives! Enjoy this sweet breakfast engagement session!
Film Processing: Indie Film Lab
One thing that I love about Anna and Peter is how passionate they are about health and fitness. I was so excited that the last part of their session was in casual work out clothes, doing what they love most: working out together!
Caroline and Kevin are simply in love. They have been dating for four years - three of those years have been long distance, but as Caroline told me, "It has only made us closer." They are most excited to be married and together in the same city, doing life together as one. (What a sweet thing that I took for granted throughout my own engagement!) Our session took place on NC State's campus, where they both attended college and then we headed downtown to City Market. I love the way they laughed throughout the session and held each other close as we walked around together on a hot summer evening.
Isn't Caroline's ring gorgeous! I love when I was taking this picture, she shared with me how excited she was to have a picture of it. Caroline is a nurse in the operating room and she isn't able to wear her ring most of the day. As a newly engaged woman, I can't imagine how hard it would be to take it off so often! I'm thankful that marriage isn't something that you can just take off, but it is something that we choose to walk in every single day. I am so excited for Caroline and Kevin to be married this fall!
In the past few months, I've collaborated with my talented and gracious friend Becca, founder and creative director of Rebecca Rose Events, based in Winston-Salem. She's had this secret project up her sleeve to debut along with her new website, which launched just last week! These images showcase the RRE team, Becca's creative styling, and the process of planning that she leads each of her couples through.
Let me first tell you that photographing Becca and the RRE team, along with these beautiful details, has been one of the highlights of my year thus far. Truly, working with these women in their studio was equivalent to a day full of laughter. I don't know how they do it, but somehow they are professional and lighthearted at the same time, and I adore it. They challenge me to be creative, brave, and joyful. I've known Becca the longest and have come to call her a dear friend. I am always challenged and inspired by her. I love the way she sees things - she is an artist to her very core. She loves her clients well, and she loves to create. Not to mention - she loves film. So when she began to explain the vision behind this shoot, I was all in!
Film processing: Indie Film Lab
I am happy to introduce our guest blogger today, Miss Jamie Hopkins, our Spring Intern! She has been such a joy to have around!
Over the past three months I have had the great pleasure to intern with Nancy Ray Photography. This experience has allowed me to spend two days a week in the studio and numerous weekends assisting Nancy at weddings. Looking back, I am most thankful for the moments spent in the studio with Nancy and Callie (& Winston, too)! The entire NRP team welcomed me with open arms and taught me the in and outs of their business. This internship has taught me so much about the wedding industry, photography and myself- so I figured I would share with you 5 things I learned while working with NRP!
1. Communication is key. Nancy and her team do a great job communicating with everyone. Before, during and after the wedding- Nancy stays in connection with these couples and their families too.
2. Film is not dead. I now fully understand and appreciate why Nancy has switched to film. It is beautiful and every image takes my breath away.
3. The importance of developing a relationship with clients. NRP does a great job of making booked clients feel comfortable with their photographer, and vice versa. I've noticed how comfortable couples are around Nancy on their wedding day- and it has made a huge difference!
4. Organization. One of the many things Nancy and I have in common is our love for organization and finding new ways to stay organized. I have applied many of Nancy's organizational tips to my own life in many ways!
5. Find joy in everything. I will always remember the first wedding when I assisted Nancy. The weather was a little crazy: it was raining and the ceremony was moved to a new location just a few hours before the wedding. Nancy remained calm and full of joy this entire day! Her patience and attitude is something I genuinely admire.
Interning with Nancy Ray Photography over the past three months has been an experience I will never forget. It is still hard for me to believe that I was given this opportunity and was able to work with someone I have admired for years. Nancy- thank you so much for this opportunity and sharing your life and business with me!
Ally, our 2nd shooter for the day with Jamie, assisting at a wedding
Meredith and AC's wedding was one of the sweetest weddings I've ever photographed. I admit it - I have a thing for small, intimate weddings. Then you add the fact that this sweet wedding took place in the small rural town of Clinton, North Carolina - the town where my mama grew up - and this photographer couldn't have been happier. Then you add the fact that the bride and groom wanted to have their portraits made in a nearby cornfield, and I was just beside myself with happiness! (Yes - keep scrolling. Those cornfield images are worth it!)
I think most of all, though, my favorite thing about this wedding was how Meredith and AC didn't want a lot of "fanfare" surrounding their big day. In a world of Pinterest and blogs and details, this mindset was just so refreshing. They had meaningful details, but they kept things simple. They wanted conversation rather than dancing. They wanted a Scripture filled ceremony in the church Meredith grew up in more than they wanted a popular venue. They wanted to love on their families more than they wanted to be the center of attention. And it showed - in every way, this couple loved. They loved one another, they loved their families, they loved their guests. They played with the kids and they visited every table. And at the end of the evening, when the sparklers faded and the sky was a rich blue, I know that this sweet couple had no regrets. They had a beautiful, simple wedding, filled with a lot of love.
Congratulations, Meredith and AC!
Here we are! Half of the year is done. It's time to stop and re-evaluate my 2014 goals from January 1st. Here's an update on how I'm doing! I've
crossed off the goals I've completed, and I'm giving updates on all the rest. Honesty is tough sometimes but necessary nonetheless!
Read 20 books - on track! I've read 8 so far. I'll need to step it up a bit to reach 20, but I'm thankful that several books to come are novels, and they will be read much more quickly!
Write letters to our 3 sponsored kids monthly - Sad to say, I'm not doing so great writing these letters. I think I put too much pressure on myself to write the perfect words! I need to remember they are kids, and they'll enjoy something sweet and simple. Excited to actually meet one of our sponsored kids in Nicaragua later this month! I think that will definitely give me the inspiration I need.
Make the art and organization of my home purposeful and meaningful - I re-hung our gallery wall, got a custom dining room table, updated photos in frames. Next up: clean out table linens (to fit our new table), finish purchasing chairs to go along with our beautiful table, organize our books on our ladder shelves. Coming along!
Complete a triathlon - Well, friends, my ankle has taken me 3x as long as expected to heal. July 4th will be my 1 year anniversary from my injury, and I'm still not 100%. I'm hoping to complete a sprint triathlon late summer/early fall, depending on my flexibility/swelling/pain.
Declutter every space in my home and studio - HA! Nope. The clutter has to go, y'all.
Memorize a verse each month and truly meditate on it. - I've memorized a few verses this year, but not monthly. Looking forward to incorporating this into my monthly goals.
Run a half marathon (I'll be starting from scratch, friends. Let me know if you want to join me from the ground up!) - Ok friends, I'm planning on running the City of Oaks Half Marathon, and my training starts NOW. However, I've learned that my training will be slow going because of my ankle, and I might not be able to race at all, depending on how it heals. I am hoping hoping hoping it will cooperate! If you want to join me, email me!
Eat desserts 2x-3x week (not daily. desserts are meant to be special!) - I've done a great job at this all year... except the month of June. Getting back on this train!
Fast from social media 2 days/week. - My favorite 2 days every week. I love it.
Embrace clipless petals on my road bike. I can do this! (scared!) - Planning on September, ankle-dependent.
Have an intentional, guiltless Sabbath once a week. - I think I've only missed a week or two this year. HUGE improvement for me! Go camping in Boone with friends Went camping in June!
Read the entire Bible with Will - Halfway done!
Simplify and streamline the organization and workflow of my business (I'm looking at you ShootQ & Drobo!)
Implement business structure given in The Advantage - Plan to re-read and implement this fall.
Shoot in film - all year long!
Take our boat out and go water skiing at least 5 times this summer - 3 down, 2 to go
Photograph less weddings as Callie and Elizabeth photograph more
Host a workshop, mentor photographers, & speak more in general. (After Making Things Happen and my Influence-net talk, I have learned I really love teaching. A lot.) - Praying about a workshop. Speaking much more and mentoring photographers much more as well!
Do the hard work to correct my posture. This includes a personal trainer + chiropractic care + daily exercises at home. - Had a strong start to the year, but haven't been consistent these past few months. Stepping it up with my personal trainer.
Plan a vacation to the Beaufort house Spending July 4th here with family!
Continue to learn to play the guitar and fill in at youth group when I can - Planning on playing in Nicaragua at the end of this month. Nervous and excited!
Well, that just felt really good and really bad.
Really good, because I feel renewed to focus on some big picture things in my life that I've clearly put on the back burner: de-cluttering my home, implementing The Advantage in my business, achieving fitness goals and races.
Really bad, because I can see how I've really fallen off the bandwagon in some areas: not writing letters, not correcting my posture, not planning to clean out and declutter like I should.
The good news? It's the beginning of a new month, and we still have HALF the year left! With that in mind, let's focus on JULY. What can I do this month to start tackling these unfinished goals?
Read 20 in 12: The Storyteller, Smart Money Smart Kids, The Advantage (again)
NRP missions statement: finalize and print for the studio
Declutter laptop photos
Finish an Artifact Uprising book for our first 5 years of marriage
Declutter File System on my computers
Go to Nicaragua on a Missions Trip
Purchase dining room chairs
Clean out/giveaway old table linens
Write 1 short letter to each of our sponsored kids and mail by 7/10
Write out triathlon training plan
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
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
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
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
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!
I met Maegan and Nate at Duke Gardens on a gorgeous summer evening. Although I had never been there before, I had the best time exploring the beautiful grounds with these two! It seemed fitting that we were amongst such lovely foliage since Nate is a landscape architect. I appreciated his patience as we walked through the gardens. I pointed at every beautiful flower asking what it was called, and he each time he told me it's funny classified name! I love the opportunity to get to know people who have a passion for something that I know nothing about.
Maegan and Nate are comfortable and simple. They love being around each other, which made taking pictures of them so much fun. I love the way that Nate makes Maegan laugh! They have been dating for six years and engaged for three, which makes me incredibly excited to be a part of their wedding celebration in September! I know their wedding day will be even sweeter because they waited for the perfect time. Congratulations, Maegan and Nathan!