Continuing on in our series of destination weddings, today I’m featuring one of my favorite commissions in my entire career. When Erin and Tyler first booked me, their wedding seemed fairly normal – a ceremony at a beautiful church followed by a lovely reception with all their friends and family. However, as the weeks of planning went on and the guest list grew, Erin and Tyler realized that all they really wanted was to be married, and the rest was just details. They decided to eschew the fancy centerpieces and table linens and pare their wedding down to the people and places that mattered most. I’ll never forget the day when Erin called me up and asked, almost apologetically, if I would be willing to fly with her, Tyler, and their pastor to Dublin, Ireland, the place that they met and had their very first date, and document their elopement. Naturally I just about jumped out of my seat with excitement, and a few months later we were off to the Emerald Isle!
I can never thank Erin and Tyler enough for introducing me to the beautiful wonderland that is Ireland. Traveling throughout Ireland is like walking into a postcard. Everywhere you turn is a new breathtaking vista – rolling hills thick with lush green grass, packs of sheep wandering alongside winding gravel roads, craggy mountains stretching up to the clouds, and rainbows everywhere you turn! As if the stunning natural landscape wasn’t enough, the people of Ireland are by far the nicest on planet Earth (high praise, coming from a Texan!). Everywhere we went, the locals embraced us with open arms and big smiles. I’ll never forget walking into an ancient looking pub in the middle of a tiny Irish town, hoping only for a drink and a warm meal, and instead being seized upon by a group of locals who had clearly known each other for decades, but they took us in as if we were old friends, and we drank and sang and danced into the wee hours of the morning. From the bustling city of Dublin to the little villages dotting the Ring of Kerry, every place and person we encountered was a charm. I understand now why Erin and Tyler were so anxious to return there to say their vows, and I am counting the days until I get to return there myself!
True to their mission of focusing only on the things that mattered most to them, Erin put a whole new meaning to the term “last minute.” When I shot their engagement session a mere week before we were to leave for Ireland, I asked Erin about her wedding dress, at which point she just shrugged, gave me her genuine and infectious smile, and said “I don’t have one yet.” You could have picked my jaw off the floor! Being a very planning-oriented person, my mind immediately raced with all of the options she had left – perhaps a sample sale, or Craigslist, or maybe she could borrow one from a friend – but Erin was unphased. She gave another shrug and a smile, and told me that she trusted God would make it happen for her. Sure enough, Erin found a gorgeous lace wedding dress online, had the owner overnight it to her (and crossed her fingers that it would fit), and with only a handful of hours left before she had to board the plane, she picked up her dress from the mail and we set off across the globe. When we arrived in Dublin, Erin called up a local florist and asked them to put together a bouquet with whatever they had lying around, and she grabbed a small cake-for-two from a local baker. Everything came together and Erin and Tyler got exactly what they had been hoping for – a beautiful, meaningful beginning to their marriage. Here are some of my favorites from their day:
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I love New Orleans. I mean, I don’t just love it, I looooooove it. Not a week goes by that Jason and I don’t talk about when our next trip will be, and every time we do go down to the Big Easy, we come back making plans to pack up and move down there. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Texas girl born and bred, I love my Dallas roots, but there’s something so magical about New Orleans. The music is the best in the world, the food is to die for, the architecture is beautiful, and there’s always something fun and exciting to do. It’s also a photographer’s dream city – everywhere you look is a photo op, and it’s virtually impossible to run out of stunning backdrops for portraits and weddings and environmental shots. Any chance I get to take photos in New Orleans, I absolutely jump on, so I was beyond thrilled when Annie and Chris invited me to photograph their NOLA wedding earlier this year. Annie took me under her wing and taught me some very valuable Big Easy staples – the to-go cup, the St. Charles street car, Magazine Street, the glorious Muriel’s Restaurant, and my absolute favorite wedding tradition of all time – the Second Line. I loved it so much, I decided to do it at my own wedding! I will forever be grateful to Annie and Chris for showing me a side to the Crescent City that I never knew existed. Here are a few (okay, a LOT!) of my favorites from their wedding day:
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. Photographers throw the best weddings!! When Mark Elkins, my friend through an online photography community, began his search for a destination wedding photographer, I knew I had to be the one to shoot his wedding. He and his then-fianceé Jaclyn are super sexy, their wedding was going to be an intimate affair in a tiny town outside of Atlanta (one of my favorite cities!), the wanted to do a Day After session (and you KNOW how I love those), and of course, that unbeatable photo-factor. Working with photographers is such a joy because they totally “get” me and understand what I am going for when I do something unusual. I also had the pleasure of bringing along friend and fellow photographer Kelly Niemann to shoot with me, and we had an absolute blast cavorting all over Georgia!
Jaclyn and Mark’s wedding was a very unique one, for many reasons. First and foremost, instead of throwing a huge bash, they stuck to their small-town roots and had their wedding at Mark’s parents’ home, with just their family and closest friends in attendance. Here are a few details from the day:
I absolutely LOVED Jaclyn’s dress.. I am a sucker for ruffles :)
Don’t you just love her hair? Stunning!
Writing his vows before the ceremony.. Slacker ;) Just kidding!
My favorite.. The rings!
Coming down the stairs for the ceremony
Some quick formals after the ceremony. Jaclyn and Mark’s Best Man and Maid of Honor are also married – Cool, huh?
Their reception was a very short one. They shared a sweet first dance..
Ate some cake…
And hung out with all their friends!
I love little details like this one of Mark fiddling with his new ring. I think it’s the tiny moments like this that really tell the story of the day.
Check back soon for images from their awesome, awesome, AWESOME Day After Session. Big thanks to my second shooter Kelly for taking several of these gorgeous images!
How do I love Nikole and Chris… Let me count the ways!
First of all, they are Canadian, and I am more than slightly obsessed with all things Canadian. It started when I was younger and took a few trips up north with my mom. All I can remember is that the country was beautiful, the people were nice, the weather was good, and I had a blast. Fast forward to about two years ago, when I moved into my former condo and had what seemed like 600 TV channels, including one that focused solely on Canadian TV shows. I fell in love with the Canadian accent and sense of humor, and I have been a canuck-lover ever since. I only wish I could go visit again (hint, hint Canadian brides!!).
Furthermore, Nikole is a photography enthusiast, and you know what I always say – photographers throw the BEST weddings. Chris and Nikole’s wedding was no disappointment there. Everything from the wedding party attire to the decor to the location was super photogenic, and I was in heaven capturing all the cool details.
It also didn’t hurt that Nikole and Chris’ wedding also served as a much-needed vacation for Jason and I. Every year I pick one destination wedding and make that my vacation for the year, and I stay for an extra 4-6 days to relax and have fun. I am extremely lucky to have a boyfriend who is also a talented photographer in his own right, so he can serve as my second shooter as well as my traveling companion.
This was the first time I have ever shown up to shoot a wedding without ever having met the bride and groom in person beforehand, so I was a little unsure of what to expect, but luckily I had no reason to fear. Nikole and Chris are warm, friendly people who went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable and having as much fun as they were. It was very clear that their top priority on their wedding day was to make sure everyone had a great time, and that’s definitely what happened!
I am in love with ALL of the photos I took that day, but here are a few that I think really tell the story:
The current Mrs. Bordato and the soon-to-be-other Mrs. Bordato getting primped and prepped at the spa… I don’t think Chris’ mom was super happy with how her hair was progressing.
Nikole added these cool brooches to each of the bridesmaid’s bouquets. I thought that was a really cool gift to her girls, not to mention a fantastic decor detail.
Nikole’s classic J. Crew gown – light and airy, perfect for an island wedding!
Why do I get all the beautiful brides??
The ladies arriving at the ceremony in style!
The reaction every girl wants to see as she’s walking down the aisle!
Mr. and Mrs. Bordato!
Canadians can JUMP!
And pose like rockstars…
And laugh like they mean it!
The reception was held in a cool hut just off the ocean, right next to a flamingo habitat.
The single greatest entrance I have ever seen
Holy cow! I have to stop posting photos or I will go all day! Don’t worry though, I have a lot more great stuff from their wedding week to show you.. Including a fun family portrait session and the most smokingest hot Day After session you have EVER seen.
I am so excited to finally be blogging Darbi and Neil’s Nebraska destination wedding. There’s only one problem.. Lara and I took so many cool photos, I can’t possibly fit it into one blog post! So I am splitting them up into two posts, today and Thursday (with an extremely long Humpdate in between).
Darbi, a wedding photographer from Missouri, and I have known each other for awhile through an online wedding photography community. I also was familiar with Neil, although I didn’t know it until the wedding day. Neil was the drummer for one of my favorite bands ever, The Juliana Theory. I have been listening to his music for years and didn’t even know it! He has now moved on to a band called Confident Years (Check out their song She’s The Killer, it’s awesome!). I should have known that these two fun, artistic souls would have the most creative wedding ever. The details were amazing (photographers plan the BEST weddings, we have seen it all!), the guests were all really cool people, and the whole weddings was just a fun, laid back, unique celebration of Darbi and Neil’s love. It was also great to get to shoot the wedding with another talented photographer, Darbi and I’s mutual friend Omaha wedding photographer Lara Adkins. Thanks so much Lara for helping me out!
Check out some of my favorite images from the preparation and ceremony:
Darbi’s bridesmaid taking notes from the hairstylist on how to correctly position Darbi’s veil
Darbi, her mom, her sister, and Lara checking out one of Lara’s amazing shots!
Makeup time on the couch!
Darbi warned me she had a poofy dress, but I had no clue just how poofy it truly was until the wedding day.
I love how it just swallows her body in these two shots!
Darbi brought these cute pink umbrellas just in case of rain. Thankfully the whole day was sunny and perfect, but we had to get a few cute photos with them!
Aren’t Darbi’s bridesmaids so hot? Give me a break! It made my job way too easy.
I adore this shot of the girls walking, it looks like they belong on a magazine spread!
We got these two photos of Darbi in a small room in the back of the chapel as she was waiting quietly to walk down the aisle with her father. I love how peaceful and happy she looks.
Meanwhile, here is why grooms and groomsmen should never be left alone with a room full of old costumes:
Neil taking a quick moment alone to write a note to his soon-to-be wife.
Relaxing before the ceremony, tucked away in a closet so he won’t run accidentally catch a glimpse of Darbi.
The quintessential cool groomsmen shot
So, there may or may not have been a cool rented trolley sitting in front of the church.. And it may or may not have ACTUALLY been for the wedding scheduled just before Darbi and Neil’s.. And we may or may not have hijacked it for a few photos while the other ceremony was taking place. It’s hard to say. :)
Any clue what Neil and his ushers are spelling out? Here’s a hint.. That first letter is supposed to be an N. ;)
Inside the cute, oooooold chapel (it’s a state landmark!)
A few details from the ceremony…
Despite having their minister cancel on them the morning of the wedding, Darbi and Neil’s ceremony was hands down the most entertaining ceremony I have ever seen. From the ringbearer beating his drum and shouting “The bride is coming!” after a trip down, back up, and then back down the aisle, the adorable flowergirl setting down one petal at a time, then returning back down the aisle to pick up each petal one at a time, Darbi and Neil’s hilarious vows (my favorite line: “I love you like a snail loves the sidewalk”), the wax sand candles that requires a little empty-ketchup-bottle-esque smacking to empty out, the groomsmen’s synchronized dancing, and the extremely entertaining replacement minister, I laughed and cried virtually the entire ceremony. My favorite moment was when Neil’s bandmate and his wife surprised Neil with a song Darbi had secretly written. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Mr. and Mrs. Hebrank! Woohoo!!
The best photos are yet to come – Thursday I will show you some of the AAAAWESOME details Darbi created for the wedding, the cool wedding party shots we got in Little Mexico, and of course, the reception! In the meantime, leave me a message and tell me how awesome Darbi and Neil are! :)