Continuing on in our series of destination weddings…
I’m fairly used to getting emails from girls who are planning their wedding before they actually have a ring in hand (let’s be honest, I was planning my wedding before I even had a boyfriend, so I can’t begrudge a girl who wants to get a head start on her planning!). However, getting an email from a groom-to-be before the proposal is definitely something that doesn’t happen on a regular basis, so when Doug contacted me months before he was planning to pop the question, my curiosity was piqued. He and his then-girlfriend were both photographers in the New Orleans area, so naturally photography was one of the most important vendors to them, so much so that Doug was prepared to drop a deposit in front of me before he had even dropped to one knee in from of CheyAnne! A few months later, a very excited (and newly engaged) CheyAnne inquired with me, ready to book her photographer, not even knowing that her sweet fiance had already beaten her to the punch. As New Orleans is hands-down my favorite city in the United States, I was thrilled at the chance to go there not once, not twice, but three separate times to capture their engagements, bridals, and wedding, and I felt that as I got the know the city of NOLA better and better, I also got to know CheyAnne and Doug better and better. I learned about the struggles they faced together, how important their families are to them, how active they are in the New Orleans community, how passionate they are about their photography business and their clients, their love of New Orleans Saints and LSU football, and how long CheyAnne has been patiently waiting for this day to come! When CheyAnne and Doug finally danced down the aisle, surrounded by friends, family, and curious tourists peering through the gates of Jackson Square, I truly felt like I was sharing the day with them, rather than just documenting it, and it made the experience that much more special. Here are some of my favorite images from their day:
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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.
Am I the worst blogger ever? YES. I am so sorry this is so delayed.. I had a huge event going on this past weekend, and it required a lot more of my time than I expected it to, so my blog unfortunately went neglected for a few days.. Major apologies to all of you who checked the blog expecting to see posts that didn’t show up. I am a bad, bad blogger :(
That said, here is the long awaited second half to Darbi & Neil’s awesome Nebraska destination wedding!
A few details from the ceremony location…
And everyone’s favorite.. The ring!
After the ceremony, we headed to a “Little Mexico” area near Bellvue for some fun wedding party shots
Then it was off to the Livestock Exchange Building for the wedding reception!
A few of my favorite reception details. Have I mentioned that photographers throw the best weddings?
A few photos from the first dance…
Darbi and her dad, one of the coolest, funniest, most outrageous dads I have ever met!
My favorite part of this wedding was the toasts at the wedding reception. The toasts ranged from emotional to funny to earmuff-worthy, courtesy of Darbi and Neil’s very entertaining families and wedding party. I loved the toasts so much I had to do a collage of the images Lara and I took.
After the normal garter and bouquet toss, Darbi and Neil added a special twist.. They had the girl who caught the bouquet (Wendy) put on the garter, and had the guy who caught the garter pull it off…. with his teeth! Note Wendy’s boyfriend standing in the background, keeping a close eye on the situation ;)
Finally it was time to DANCE!
Neil’s groomsman and fellow bandmate Mike Quinn (who also performed Darbi’s song at the ceremony) sang a song for Darbi and Neil that he wrote himself.
Darbi with her two loves.. Neil and, of course, her Canon 5D.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, so finally the lovebirds had to say their goodbyes and head off to JAMAICA!
One last photo of Darbi and Neil outside the Livestock Exchange Building in Omaha
Darbi and Neil, thanks again for letting me be a part of your wedding day and flying me all the way to Nebraska to be there. I’m so glad you got to come visit me in Dallas this past weekend! Hopefully I will see you again soon in October! ;)
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! :)
Anyone who reads this blog at all will know that I shoot a lot – A LOT – of Aggie weddings (for those of you who have not had the pleasure of living in Texas, an Aggie is a student/former student/fan of Texas A&M University, Texas’ first and best public university). The other day I actually sat down and calculated it out, and 85% of the weddings I have shot have had either an Aggie bride, Aggie groom, or both. However, very few of the weddings have been as “redass” (Aggie term meaning “spirited”) as Julie and Jeff’s. Julie and I met at A&M in an organization called “Freshman Aggies Spreading Traditions,” otherwise known as FAST, an group dedicated to teaching new freshmen about school spirit and traditions. Jeff was a member of A&M’s pride and origin, the Corps of Cadets, Julie’s brother is a player on the Fightin’ Texas Aggie football team, and most of the bridesmaids and groomsmen were also Aggies, as well. There is nothing that brings me more joy in life than spending a day with my fellow Ags, so you can imagine how excited I was for this wedding!
I knew it was going to be a great day when I showed up and realized this was the ceremony location…
Can you guess what the wedding colors were? ;)
I found my Mini Me!!!
What would a blog post be without the ring shots?
And now finally onto the good stuff.. Some of Julie’s bridesmaids are avid readers of the blog, so I know they have been anxiously awaiting seeing themselves here. Here you go, girls – looking good! Work that laugh!
They may look classy and elegant, but these girls can rock out, too!
Can’t forget the sexy boys (and the photo that almost got us kicked out!)
Another special request.. the “mafia shot”
Julie and Jeff opted to do a “First Look,” which worked out perfectly with the lovely weather and gorgeous location. We snuck out to a private garden, stepped back and gave these two some private (well, semi-private) moments together.
The photo on the left is probably my favorite photo of the day. Julie and Jeff are such happy, friendly people, and they’re SO in love, I really think that photo just sums them up so well.
Jake got this awesome shot through some tree branches.. That’s why I keep him around! ;)
A few more.. I just love this location! Everywhere I turned was another cool photo op!
One of my favorite wedding party shots to date.. It’s so nice when we can get out of the chapel and do something colorful and different!
Even though we had been shooting for hours, the day had barely begun. We still had to get these two married! Here is Julie tucked away with her dad…
And Jeff, so happy to be seeing his wife-to-be coming to meet him at the altar!
Since we had already finished almost all of the photos before the ceremony, afterwards we took a few quick family photos and headed to the reception, which was held at one of my favorite venues – Mediterranean Villa!
Mr. and Mrs. Cash got the party off to a great start with a fun entrance!
Their first dance, surrounded by friends and family :)
I am not even remotely exaggerating when I say that this wedding had some of the most animated dancers I have ever seen. It was SOOO hard for me to go through the proofs, because I had so many hilarious, awesome dancing photos. I had to show off a few of my favorites!
Random side note: Jeff is one of the few grooms that I have seen really get into the reception of his weddings. A lot of grooms spend most of the time sitting on the side, talking to friends or catching up with relatives, content to let their wives boogie down on the dance floor, but Jeff truly gave Julie a run for her money. He was out there having fun and getting down with the best of them. I think it really turned the party up a notch. Grooms, take a lesson from Jeff – it’s YOUR wedding reception, get on that dance floor and enjoy it!
Julie and Jeff, I had the best time with the two of you. Your wedding was one of the most beautiful I have had the pleasure of being a part of – beautiful locations, beautiful weather, beautiful decor, beautiful wedding party, and of course, beautiful couple! :) Your love for each other is so strong and genuine, it’s really inspiring to see, even for someone like me who sees couples in love every day. I am so thankful that I got to be a part of your wedding!
No real humpdates this week because a) I have already shared my exciting news with you this week, and b) I am furiously trying to finish everything before I leave for Nebraska this weekend for Darbi and Neil’s wedding in Omaha!
Right now I am working on Julie & Jeff’s amazingly beautiful wedding from last weekend.. Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel “ON,” like everything you do is awesome? I feel like that with Julie and Jeff’s wedding.. Everything just worked out so perfectly that day, and the photos we got are incredible, I cannot wait to share them with you guys soon! In the meantime, here is a small sneak peek at a few of Julie’s bridals!
We shot these on a very very hot day at the Dallas Arboretum, and although it could not have been fun wandering around in the sun in a big, heavy dress, Julie was a total pro! Luckily we were able to shoot on a weekday (weekends at the Arboretum are insane, brides EVERYWHERE!), so for the most part, we had the place to ourselves. Here are a couple of my favorites: