photographers | me + elizabeth ann photography
videographer | mason alexander films
venue | villa siena
coordinator | hannah from villa siena
dress | suzanne’s bridal
menswear | nick’s menswear
hair stylist | brittany weber
make up artist | melissa defer
florals | blume
mini cupcakes | floured cupcakes
cake + cupcakes | piece of cake
catering | magic touch catering
musicians | jaime + steve
dj | jeff barga
I know I say I love every wedding I get to photograph (but honestly I do and I’m obviously in the right vocation because I feel that way).
but this day goes down as one of my favorites.
95% because of the two the day centered itself around.
these two welcomed me into their day, into their incredible love story.
these two treated me as a valued guest and friend (as well as every one else in attendance – that blew me away),
these two oozed story and care throughout every single details they included in their day and it was joy to get to watch unfold and photograph.
if I had to narrow down what stood out to me as most heartfelt, it would be these five things.
- the first look with kaitlyn + her dad, craig. for two reasons, one – honoring your dad with allowing him a first look speaks volumes about the brides relationship with her dad. and two, the dad’s reaction to seeing his daughter first as a bride speaks volumes about his relationship with his daughter. and kaitlyn + craigs relationship is deep and beautiful to watch. after tearing up at seeing his precious daughter in her wedding dress, he gifted her a single bubble gum cigar from the day she was born. he told her that every time he looked at it since she was born that he had prayed for her and for this day and imagined her standing before him getting ready to walk down the aisle with her. he absolutely treasures her and it was beautiful to photograph.
- anthony’s first look combined with anthony watching kaitlyn walk down the aisle to him. when I meet with bride’s, one of their biggest concerns in choosing to have a first-look is robbing themselves of an emotional response from their soon-to-be husband as they walk down the aisle. (thank you pinterest.) but I hope anthony’s response to that in today’s post puts some of those fears to rest. I loved seeing his genuine ecstatic response to getting to see kaitlyn for their first look. he was like a kid on christmas day getting the present he had been dreaming about for months able to look at her, talk to her, touch her and twirl her. AND THEN, his overwhelmed happy/love response as kaitlyn beamed walked down the aisle towards him during their ceremony?! they didn’t rob themselves of anything, if anything they enhanced their time together to be able to fully enjoy each moment as the day unfolded. you could tell he felt the gravity of the moment in seeing his WIFE walk towards him down the aisle and that he knew he was becoming a HUSBAND in that moment. all that, inspite of adding a first look beforehand. it was beautiful and awesome to photograph.
- their vows. and not to each other. what?! yep. although those were beautiful too. nope, their vows to their bridesmaids/groomsmen. they fully understood the gravity of the moment in saying their vows. and then they happily surprised me as they turned to the most important friends standing next to them and asked them to help upkeep their vows. they asked their friends to walk with them when the hard set in for the them in their marriage to each other – fully understanding that the hard was inevitable. they asked their friends that when the happy moments came that they would take the time to celebrate with them. it was an awesome moment and seeing the depth of their friendship with the people they surrounded themselves with was amazing to watch and photograph. ***side note to kaitlyn’s matron of honor, dani. I’ve photographed a lot of wedding days. and been around a lot of types of women. it’s easy for bridesmaids to get caught up in the day and sort-of forget to help the bride – not always fully forget, but kind-of get busy with the day forget. not dani. she was there every.single.step.the.entire.day. and not in a subservient sort-of way…just in a way that was rare and beautiful to watch as she quietly served and loved her friend with any and everything she needed as she became a bride.
- kaitlyn honoring her grandmother. time with your grandmother can sometimes take a backseat to your wedding day. grandmother’s are there, but as a bride and groom you tend to get busy with the day and with celebrating with the other guests you’ve invited. kaitlyn had let me know ahead of time that her grandmother husband had passed away earlier in the year. I can’t imagine what that must feel like as her grandmother…to have spend the bulk of your life with your best friend and husband and then for him to be gone in milestone moments like your granddaughter’s wedding day. kaitlyn had recognized early on that this day was going to be an emotional day for her grandmother in not having her husband by her side even though she more-than-likely wouldn’t speak of it or show it. so, when it came time for the traditional bouquet toss, instead of throwing her bouquet to all the single girls in attendance, kaitlyn chose to stop the celebration and honor her grandmother. she picked up a microphone and her bouquet and walked to her grandmother surprising her as she handed her her bouquet. kaitlyn said thank you to her grandmother for being such an amazing testimony of a marriage and that she wanted to honor her and her grandfather’s legacy by gifting her her bouquet. you could tell that her grandmother could not be more thankful or treasured in that moment. it was incredible and special to get to witness and photograph.
- the last dance. no, not when all their loved ones surrounded them and sang at the top of their lungs. although that was awesome. 🙂 no, the last dance when everyone had gone out to get ready for their sparkler exit and it was just anthony + kaitlyn absorbing the last moments from their day slightly swaying together…content to be alone and married. I felt bad for interrupting them but always go in to coach my clients as they walk down to take their time and go slow walking through the sparklers…it’s their last looks and moments with their loved ones on their wedding day – savor them. anthony + kaitlyn smiled at me and then hugged me and thanked me. that’s kinda the norm. but not this time. their thanks was deep and heartfelt. not as in thanking a vendor, but as in thanking a friend they’ve had for years. it was a seriously cool non-photographed “ghost cat” memory for me and it reminded me of the joy and massively encouraged me in getting to do what I do.
so yes…THIS. day. with THESE. people.
it’s now one of my favorite memories in getting to do what I do.
congratulations and so much love to you both, anthony + kaitlyn!