Shooting this wedding came up out of the blue for us. I got a call less than a month out asking if I could shoot this weekday evening wedding. I didn’t have anything else scheduled so I booked it.

I’m so glad I did.

There was one terrifying factor to this wedding — the ceremony was going to be a candle-lit outdoor wedding . . . at night. Not sunset. Pitch black + candles. I’m not typically one to shy away from a challenge so I decided James and I would make it work.

I had talked to the bride and groom, Elena and Steven, to see how they’d like their wedding photographed — with or without flash and they said their hope was for mostly atmospheric shooting that didn’t detract from the ceremony. So James and I sloooooooowwwwwwwed our shutter speeds and shot with available light and I very much enjoy how the images turned out so true to the atmosphere of the ceremony.

Directly after the kiss, Steven prepared to stomped on a glass in the Jewish tradition. Right as this was about to happen I hear James hit the ground with a soft thud. I think I remember guffawing behind my camera while shooting the breaking of the glass because I honestly thought that James had tripped on a tree root because it was seriously SODARK. BUT when I saw the image that James got by hitting the ground so fast I wanted to hug him and throw him a party.

After the ceremony we took family portraits followed by some moody off-camera flash bride-groom portraits.

The above image is still one of my favorite bride-groom portraits of all time. And that’s coming from a photographer who would choose shooting with natural light instead of flash 10 times out of 10.

 I loved this wedding that popped into my life so unexpectedly with its last minute booking because it turned into hitting the ground for a shot of breaking glass, using flash photography to photograph a newlywed couple running through the woods at night and getting to work with one of the nicest group of people we have had the pleasure of meeting.

Remember Claudia and Doug? Well they’re married now and have the same last name. Here are a few shots from their lovely wedding day — full of joy, intentionality and love. Lots and lots of love.

As you can tell, Claudia had a lovely start to her morning with her (now) sister-in-law doing her hair and make-up (Laura, you did some FLAWLESS work, by the way), and one of her bridesmaids massaging her bridal shoulders.

This is actually the dress I wore on my  wedding day too! When I pulled it out of the dress bag I did a happy little surprised dance. Claudia, you have excellent taste!

(side-note: I accidentally used the wrong color sash in the picture — I didn’t even realize there were any other sashes in the bag! Sorry, Claudia.)

James set up and shot this above detail photo and I’m just really proud of it.

Claudia and Doug are intentional people. For instance, their wedding colors — a very specific teal and pink — were plucked from the very sunset the evening that Doug proposed. That is what I mean by intentional.

As I mentioned in their blissfully engaged post, Claudia and Doug are both photographers, so it was an honor to be chose to photographically document their wedding day. Notice they even used some of the vintage cameras from their engagement shoot in their wedding decorations!

Claudia made the cute bird cake-topper herself!

Doug and his groomsmen formed a tie-tying support group in the men’s room.

Here Claudia’s sweet maid-of-honor admires her best friend as she just donned her wedding dress.

I loved the mass of shots I got of Claudia’s dad seeing her in her dress for the first time. Here are just a couple of my favorites of that moment.

As I mentioned above, Claudia and Doug are photographers which makes photos a very special component of their wedding day. For these reasons Claudia and Doug opted to do a “first look” before their ceremony.

Claudia, I’m pretty sure you were a hit.

Every time I’ve been around these two, Doug has had this precious way of looking at Claudia that seems as if he can’t believe it’s really her standing next to him. This look was even more prevalent this day.

Because Doug and Claudia chose to do a first look, we had plenty of time to follow that special moment with some portraits of the two of them soaking up their soon-to-be-wedded bliss.

We followed the bride and groom portraits with some shots of the wedding party.

A few minutes before the ceremony James came and found me with an excited smile on his face. “Get Claudia to make the face that shows how she feels right before she gets married.”

These were our Doug and Claudia’s “I’m-about-to-get-married” faces:

I pair photos together in diptychs such as this one and the two aisle shots paired above to show some of the advantages of having a second-shooter on one’s wedding day — you get to see the wedding day from two different vantage points.

The ceremony started with their friend leading the group in “In Christ Alone” and it was a sweet time of worshipping Jesus.

In being around these two, you’ll find that they’re the type of people you consider an honor to know, and an honor to get the opportunity to witness such love.

Doug and Claudia were so overjoyed they could barely contain it — and it was contagious. Joy was everywhere at this wedding. Just everywhere.

After some shots with sweet family, Doug, Claudia and I ran up to the balcony to catch the tail end of the sunset.

And on that note we entered the reception, where the celebration ensued with dinner and some sincere toasts from the best man and maid-of-honor and that led us up to some lovely outdoor dancing.

And then they were off — all married and sharing the same last name.

It was such a beautiful wedding, Claudia and Doug. This single post couldn’t even contain all that was lovely from your day.

Thank you for letting me be there to document your big, big love for each other.

Do you remember Phoebe and Nathan? These two tied the knot at the end of April, and I am just now getting to blogging it. Forgive me.

The lovely ceremony and reception took place at Willow Lake Wedding Gardens in Weatherford.

And one of Phoebe’s main colors? Purple. I love me some purple.

The bracelet and the earrings belonged to Phoebe’s great grandmother and the necklace was a gift from Phoebe’s mother, Celeste.

Phoebe was one of those brides who wanted to play an active role in the decorating and preparation for the reception, so it was quite an accomplishment to get her to sit down, get her hair done and be still before the ceremony.

I love the photojournalistic feel of this above photo of the flower girl going in to hug the bride. And I know, I’m blogging a lot of shots that don’t show Phoebe’s beautiful face but I promise it’s just because I happened to like the angles of these shots — I’m not trying to hide her identity or anything.

I must admit, I fell pretty hard for this precious ring bearer.

(This is my LAST SHOT where I don’t show her face! Promise!)

Therrrrrrre she is! Miss Amerrrrrica!

She wasn’t really Miss America (as far as I know). I was just singing that one song. But I’m sure if she competed in such a pageant, she’d do swimmingly!

A captured moment between Phoebe and her dear matron of honor moment

A pre-wedding prayer ending in some pre-wedding laughter

And it’s NOT called stalking when you keep taking pictures of the cute little boy AND you’re the wedding photographer!

Of course I got several, standard shots of Phoebe and her sweet father walking down the aisle, but this is the one I chose to blog because it’s composition evokes a different feeling for me.

(And this doesn’t count as breaking my promise because you can see most of her face . . .)

Nathan awaited his bride at the end of the aisle with a face that was just full — full of eager expectation.

Gosh, Phoebe. Your face is just lit. up. to be getting married to Nathan.

During the course of the ceremony Nathan’s face sunk into a what looked like a state of complete contentment. It was so, so sweet to watch how Phoebe’s presence affects this otherwise reserved man.

And now it’s sealed with a kiss.

After the ceremony we had about 20 minutes of light left to work in some shots of the wedding party and the bride and groom. This next one was my favorite from the bridesmaid bunch.

Right as the light was leaving us, we had just enough time to stop and take a few shots of the newlyweds basking in the sweet newly-wed-ness of it all.

Then on into the reception we went.

This sweet reception was a slower scene with lots of intimate laughter between friends and quiet and pleasant conversations amongst the guests over dinner. But what I loved most were the toasts that followed dinner. Oh, those toasts. Such kind, thoughtful words were spoken about Phoebe and Nathan as individuals and together. The toasts were kicked off by the matron of honor.

I love using atmospheric light. If I can get away with not using my flash, then I won’t use it. This spotlight made for moody, dramatic pictures that I never would have been able to capture the same way with a flash.

In the above photo, the man with the glasses in the right foreground is giving the toast and Phoebe was just giggly as. can. be.

I don’t even remember how many toasts were given in honor of Phoebe and Nathan — my pictures tell me there were at least eleven. Each telling their unique role in the lives of the bride and groom — the Phoebe-Nathan story that led up to the marriage that they all witnessed only a couple of hours earlier, the marriage they were all now celebrating with their stories.

A first dance between Phoebe and Nathan brought the lovely evening to a close.

Phoebe and Nathan, I hope y’all are still basking in the newly-wed-ness of it all! Best wishes to y’all!

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