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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People are always asking me what’s my favorite thing to shoot, and earlier in my career, I probably would have said that Bridal portraits were tops in my book. There’s something so rewarding about taking photos of a woman who looks and feels so beautiful, and showing off that inner glow that brides have when they slip on their dress. It’s a magical thing, for me, and I could shoot a thousand bridal sessions and never get sick of them.
However, lately I have been booking and shooting quite a lot of elopements. I know from current experience that planning a wedding can be overwhelming, stressful, and expensive, and the lure of abandoning all the planning in favor of a simple, intimate elopement ceremony in a beautiful location is definitely appealing. That’s exactly what Jacqueline and Danny had in mind when they called me up asking if I would be willing to come with them to a small local park where they used to walk their dogs early on in their relationship to make their love official, and I jumped at the chance. Jacqueline has an amazing aesthetic and sense of style, so of course her wedding details were ethereal and lovely. I’m thrilled to share them on my website, now that Style Me Pretty has featured them! Here are some of my favorite elopement photographs from their beautiful day:
I’m thrilled to finally be publishing these images, now that the feature has been revealed on Wedding Chicks! Holly and Shane’s wedding will forever be one of the most memorable things I’ve ever been a part of. When they told me they wanted to elope on a Thursday morning at a Houston ranch, I really had no clue what to expect. I know that the only people present would be them, myself, and the officiant, but other than that, I was clueless. Would she be wearing a dress? Would he be wearing a tux? Would there be dancing? Would they see each other before the ceremony? I arrived expecting nothing, and prepared to simply “go with the flow” (which is a crucial ability when you work in the wedding industry). What I discovered was an event that taught me what weddings are truly about – not the big fancy centerpieces, not the 20 piece band, and not even the room full of family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors – but about the love between a man and a woman, and the beginning of their lives together. I get a little emotional just thinking about it! Whenever I get caught up or stressed out with my own wedding planning, I just think back and remember this wedding, and I realize that as long as my beloved is there by my side (and the photographer, of course!), the rest is just details. Here are some of my favorites from their gorgeous intimate ceremony: