As I was driving from Raleigh to Eden, NC for Abby and Chandler’s wedding, I had a feeling this wedding was going to be a dream to be a part of. The autumn leaves were at their peak, and the wind had the perfect “chill” in the air that makes you love sitting by a fireplace, wearing plaid, and drinking a warm cup of cider. Little did I know, the venue they chose was a cozy hunting lodge that was an Autumn-lover’s dream. As I drove down the long gravel driveway to the ceremony site, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Willow Oaks Plantation. There were fields of wheat surrounding the driveway, and as you arrive over the hill the most perfect landscape unfolds before your very eyes. On one side, there’s a gorgeous plantation home. On the other, there’s the most quaint hunting lodge. This plantation was a haven, and the perfect backdrop for Abby and Chandler’s fall wedding.
My weekend with Abby and Chandler began at the rehearsal. Abby was relaxed, funny, and so excited about her wedding. I didn’t notice an ounce of anxiety or nervousness…she was the very picture of a joyful bride. Chandler is an absolute gem. Every time I’m around him, I’m impressed by his character. He’s easy to talk to, and genuinely grateful for every person that’s in his life. During the speeches, Abby’s emotions spilled over with tears, and Chandler stood still, quietly taking in every word of each speech. I could see tears brimming in his eyes, and that was the only moment I lost it during their wedding weekend. There’s something that really gets me during a rehearsal. I think it’s the moment that all your plans are beginning to unfold, and when you look around the room, you see all the faces of those you love the most. The amount of honor you feel is overwhelming, and I enjoyed watching Abby and Chandler live in that moment. I could see the love and honor overwhelming them, and that is one of the most beautiful parts of a wedding.
The rehearsal set the stage for the most perfect wedding day. Everyone surrounding Abby and Chandler were full of joy and happiness. It was easy to capture authentic emotions through their day. My favorite part of the whole weekend was when Abby walked down the aisle. Leading up to this moment, there were multiple emotional moments with her bridesmaids, but Abby held it together through them all...except, the moment she walked down the aisle. She both laughed and cried uncontrollably, and when she approached the front, she said “Typical”. Everyone else started laughing with her. I haven’t known Abby for long, but when she said that, I realized that it’s typical of Abby to get emotional at the part in the day that she didn’t expect it. It was so cute watching both of them laugh and cry throughout their vows.
The rest of the day was just a effortless as the first. We had an amazing time during portraits, and I captured some of my all-time favorite images during this time. The reception was also a blast. All of Abby and Chandler’s guests were eager to let loose on the dance floor, and once again, it was so easy to capture authentic emotions.