Have you ever stopped to really look for the miraculous in your day to day life? Sometimes we limit miracles to larger-than-life experiences that you might see if you happen to be in the right place at the right time. Well, I’ve realized that the love of a family is one of the greatest miracles on earth. It’s such a simple concept--often overlooked--but the power of it is far reaching.
I was blessed to witness such a miracle at Anna and Nathan’s wedding. They were so intentional in the way they celebrated their families. All of their brothers and sisters (and the spouses of their brothers and sisters) were in the bridal party. You could see the love they all had for each other written on every expression and movement. All of the bridesmaids cried as Anna walked down the aisle. Joy was everywhere on everyone and everything. Such a testament to the power of a family’s love. And the warmth of family wasn’t limited to blood. They were such a welcoming bunch! If you’re a friend, well then you’re a part of the family.
Anna and Nathan are long-time friends and lovers. They have been committed to each other for 5 years. Fun and easy to be around, you can’t help but feel comfortable when you’re with them. Anna’s easy, calm personality is so perfectly matched by Nathan’s thoughtfulness. She walks in a gracefulness that complements him so well. You can catch a glimpse of the depth of his love for her in his eyes when he looks at her, and she meets his eyes with the sweetest smile that can’t be contained. There probably aren’t words that could really describe how much in love they are.
As we were getting ready for the First Look, Nathan was a bit anxious -- he wanted everything to be absolutely perfect for Anna who was at that moment stressed about her hair. All the nerves just fizzled away when they finally saw each other. That’s why I love First Look moments. All the details that can start to get to you simply fade away in the realization that you are about to marry the love of your life. What can be more important than that? Their First Look was at Frick Art Museum -- such a lovely area. I can’t stress enough the importance of choosing a good First Look location to future brides. You’ll be so glad you did!
The ceremony and reception were held at the Twentieth Century Club in downtown Pittsburgh. Famous for its Art Deco ballrooms, it provided the perfect background to Anna’s classically elegant choices. It was City Wedding meets Southern Charm at its finest. Charcoal gray bridesmaids’ dresses. A chalkboard menu. Gray and gold striped straws accented their signature cocktail - Mint Julep Sweet Tea. And who could forget Nathan’s family tradition - a cookie table!
There were so many sweet touches to this wedding. Anna’s mom stitched a part of her mother’s lace dress onto Anna’s dress. Since Anna’s father is Jewish, they included several Jewish customs in their celebration. They did the “breaking of the glass” where they stomp on the glass wrapped in a white cloth. During the reception, they hoisted Anna and Nathan up on chairs. They held the ends of a white cloth while all the guests danced around them in circles. Rather than dancing the entire time, Anna and Nathan took the time to go to every single table and personally thank everyone who came to join in the celebration of their marriage.
Wow. Today's wedding was breathtaking. This was my first time in this part of North Carolina, and it is a hidden gem. I can't get enough of the rolling hills, acres of lush green vineyards, and the intricate details of Ralffaldini Vineyard. This is honestly one of the most naturally beautiful weddings that I've ever photographed. Carley was absolutely ravishing. I can't get over how beautiful and happy she looked today. From the moment I walked in and she was getting ready, I knew that today was all about marrying the love of her life. Nothing seemed to distract from that fact. Ryan was so handsome. He was calm, relaxed, and ready for Carley to become his wife. I loved the way Carley and Ryan chose to celebrate their day....with their closest friends and family, and surrounded by rows of vineyards and engulfed in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This wedding celebrated the happiness of their love, and the heart of their union. It was such an honor to be the one who photographed these memories for them. Here's a little sneak peek.
Noelle and Brent's wedding today was simply stunning! They are such genuine, and kind-hearted people. Their love for each other is rooted in their deep friendship and it's the kind of love that you know is going to last. Photographing at Warner Hall Plantation was a dream. The very soil we walked on today was saturated with history, beauty, and love. I can't say enough great things about today's wedding. It was a privilege to photograph Noelle's wedding. Here's a little sneak peek...