This beautiful church wedding with Katie and Travis was full of family love and the lord. It took place at New Hope Baptist church in Robinsville Nc which is about an hour from me. I arrived and could immediately feel the families love and urgency to start the day. Katie was getting ready in a Sunday school room and Travis had not yet arrived. I started taking pictures of the reception area where her family and members of the church were setting up and preparing food, they were all very warm and welcoming! As I was getting decor shots, I was talking with the pastor's wife Tina she expressed some disappointment in a previous photographer when it came to what was captured and what was not at a previous event. This helped me set a base for my key photos to take throughout the day. I just want to add that EVERYONE was nice and inviting towards me and I appreciate it because I had my own preconceived judgement about going to Robinsville especially alone due to it having a reputation of racism. It made me revaluate judging before knowing people.
While brides are getting ready, I like to ask about timelines and confirm what will be going on throughout the day while also getting shots of them and their brides maids getting ready. Katie didn't have bridesmaids and Travis didn't have groomsman so that made it easier to focus on them. As more people arrived including Travis, I could tell she was growing more anxious. The build up to getting married is in my opinion the most stressful part. You are waiting for everyone to stare at you while you walk down a long aisle to the love of your life! A little time passes by, and I get all my flat lay items and go to the "sitting room" before the congregation and start getting details of the rings and what not. I got some shots of Travis with his dad helping him get dressed, dress photos and photos of the congregation. By the time I came back it was time for the bride to put her dress on. This for me is where my adrenaline kicks up a tad because of excitement and knowing that it's getting down to the wire. It is always emotional to see brides in the dress the family is looking at them in awe and they are just stunning! Of course, she looked fabulous everyone in the room was just full of joy seeing her.
Now it's time for the ceremony, Travis walks his mom down then the ring bearer and Katie's mom, then the flower girl. Here comes the bride with her dad walking down to a crying Travis (ugh I am getting teary eyed just thinking about it). She gets to the preacher and her soon to be husband and the preacher begins. Before I get into my favorite part of the ceremony, I do want to bring attention to something for future brides and photographers. CELL PHONES. I know your family is excited, and they want photos, but you don't want to look back on your day and there's someone standing in a picture with a cell phone. It ruins the picture. One interesting thing that they did that stood out to me is a unity cross. Each person takes a section of the cross and puts in on a board then a nail. This signifies the wedding covenant and is a reminder of the Bride and Groom coming together with their faith in Christ. Now I am more spiritual, but I respect everyone's religions and as a photographer it is my job to show case it if that's what is important to them. After this the preacher prays and Travis may now kiss his bride (ughhhh so sweet).
Before the reception I like to take the bride and groom to get some pictures with each other and let them enjoy each other even if only for a couple of minutes. This was easy because there wasn't really a bridal party and we had already taken family photos. There wasn't originally time for bride and groom portraits, this is important, because yes pictures with family are nice and memorable, but the day is about you two, so you want to be able to look back and see portraits of you two happily and newly married. So, if you're planning a wedding keep that in mind. Everyone sits down to eat, and again I have to brag on this whole crew, numerous people family included asked me if I had eaten and got full. they were just all so kind. It's cake cutting time and let me brag on the cake maker he is absolutely amazing, Logan Silvers is his name. Cake Your Day is his business name, he is out of Wayensville, NC, but will travel wherever. I had been talking to him on and off throughout the reception and we talked about doing photography a little but mainly making cakes. He was incredibly humble. I went back in and started talking to Tina who I find out is his mom (it was a long day and my brain was not working at that point lol), we start talking about his business and she shows me his page. Some of the best, most creative cakes I have ever seen. I highly recommend him, he makes everything from scratch and puts his all into it.
That's all folks
After the reception and marriage license signing it was almost time for me to go, I took Katie and Travis out to get some amazing portraits. While I was waiting her grandma was outside sitting in her chair enjoying some sun, so I snapped a few photos of her. She is so little and precious! As I said before this was a truly spiritual and loving day. I am super appreciative that I got to experience it with them.