Andrea and Hunter: Married

I have photographed weddings for people I “know” before, but this was different. I have known Andrea for the majority of my life. She was probably 2 or 3 when we first met at church functions and family birthday parties. She grew up just a few miles from me. We have so many memories together and a friendship that has seen many years and seasons. This wedding was a a bit more personal to me than most and when Andrea asked me to photograph her and Hunter saying “I Do”, I had no idea that I would be sitting in a room with a great group of girls before Andrea walked down the isle crying tears of hope and joy for my sweet friend as they prayed over her. She was (and is) so happy and it was tangible.

These images will help us all remember that truly wonderful day, but there are a few words and moments that I will honestly never forget. Andrea gave Hunter a journal before the wedding and I think she filled it 2/3’s of the way with notes to Hunter. He patiently read through every word quietly, until one page – I don’t know what it said – when his eyes teared up and his voice cracked as he said, “She got me”, followed by sweet laughter. Hunter wrote a letter for Andrea as well and when she opened it she said, “He never writes this much!” Andrea read it quietly in a room with me and the videographer while making good use of her new monogrammed handkerchief, and when she finished she looked up teary eyed and shrugged her shoulders a little. I looked at her inquiring what that shrug meant and she replied SO honestly and sweetly, “I just can’t believe this is happening. It feels too good to be true.” It is true, and I’ll never forget it or the complete joy I felt for her in that moment.

I have to remember that you’re likely here for these pictures, not for my longwinded recollection of the day, but guys, it was SUCH a good day. I remember the joyful exclamations and “Whoooos!” when Andrea declared that she was getting married outside rain or no rain. I remember how it rained ALL day until the sky perfectly cleared up minutes before the ceremony started and not another drop of rain fell. I remember how Hunter was so ready to marry his bride, so much so that he exclaimed, “I WILL.” after the first line of Pastor Jeffrey’s “Do you take Andrea..” charge (there were several more lines to go). I remember giving the camera a rest for a minute and dancing with my best friends. I remember a coffee date months ago where Andrea and I sat and talked for hours about life and God and planning and family and marriage, and we both cried and thought forward to what this day would mean. I don’t think either of us foresaw the perfection that it was. I don’t use the word “perfect” lightly, but it’s the word Andrea has used repeatedly since the conclusion of that day, and if it was perfect to her and Hunter, then I will use it with pride.

Hunter & Andrea, your wedding was unforgettable. I’m so happy I could witness the start of your life together, and I am so excited that you two get to take it on with each other, and more importantly with the God you have included in your wedding day and in your life. Something you both know well is that life is not perfect. On the days of life that don’t live up to the sheer perfection you experienced this September, I pray that you two will be each others stream in the desert and that you will look to the One who joined you. What God brought together let no man separate. I love you and hope these images help you hold on to every piece of your wedding day. Congratulations once again, friends. ❤

Here are a few of my favorites from the day! There is a link at the bottom to see the full day!

 

 

 

 

 

I love this picture because I told Hunter to say something sweet in Andrea’s ear and he proceeded to sing the lyrics to Whisper….”hey Lil’ Mama lemme whisper in your ear”. Needless to say, that is a genuine laugh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view Full Day’s Gallery click here!

 

Andrea: Bridal

When Andrea suggested we do her bridal portrait session at a lavender farm, I was ALL in. She scheduled an appointment with White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I told Andrea that I had never been there before and I was so excited to shoot in a new location! When I pulled into the farm I realized that not only had I been there before, but I had shot there before about 5 or 6 years ago when I was in college. (whoops). Nonetheless, I could not have been more excited for this shoot. You can see why!

Andrea’s mother-in-law, Sandra, had the date added to Andrea’s dress – something blue. 🙂

The day we shot these foreshadowed Andrea and Hunter’s wedding day and we didn’t even know it! It was calling for rain the entire day, but Andrea and I held out and prayed that the skies would hold back and we could have the bridal shoot that she had dreamed of – and just like this past weekend on her wedding day – prayers were answered and we had exactly what we’d hoped for. It began to rain the second we got into our cars to leave the farm, and I looked up and thanked the Lord!

I will forever be obsessed with this image!

Lavender is in full bloom in June and July. Andrea’s session was in mid August, so again, we were hopeful that there would be lavender left to make an appearence in her portraits, and it was!

Andrea, I know I have said it a dozen times, but I am so glad I was the one to capture this season of your life. You are truly beautiful, but how gorgeous you are in these pictures pales in comparison to the who you are – to your character. I am so happy to call you a friend. Could you imagine when we were 8 and 9 years old in dance classes and Sunday school together or in high school show choir and me crashing half of your family gatherings that our lives would unfold and merge in this way? I definitely didn’t, but I am joyous that they have. Love you, friend. I can’t wait to share your wedding day!

Venue: White Oak Lavender Farm Dress:  Celebration Bridal, Flowers: Bloom by Doyle’s, Hair: Carrie Anne England with Arte Dei Capelli Salon, Make-up: Chantay with In Your Face Make-Up Art

Katherine & Bill: Married

Katherine and Bill are married! When I first met Katherine and Bill and shot their engagement session months ago, I knew this day was going to be a good day. They are so kind, so down to earth, and this day reflected who they are so well! They has a beautiful Catholic ceremony at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church followed by a lively reception at the Sheraton in Reston, VA. There was a lot of dancing, a lot of laughter and a lot of love! I’m so happy to have met this couple and been a witness to this day. Katherine’s family is Peruvian and seeing their traditions sprinkled into the day was so cool! (as well as watching the men in Bill’s family have an air-guitar-off in the middle of the dance floor). Congratulations, Katherine and Bill! Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this day. I wish I could share the hundreds of images from this day, but here is a look inside their wedding day!!

 Look at this Church!!

Katherine thought she wouldn’t cry, but walking down that isle changed things a bit!

They did it!

The Brides father made their cake at his bakery, Gianina’s Bakery.

They legitimately danced the night away!

The Westermans

Mary & Wayne: Married

Mary has been ready for this day for quite some time! We’ve talked about the dress, the shoes, the man (OohRah is what she calls her Marine) for months now, and every time we did, her giddiness was tangible! We also talked about the dock and the overlook of the lake at Lake of the Woods where she and OohRah were to be married. So, day of, Mary is tucked away in her room getting into hair, makeup and that beautiful dress when a call comes in saying that a reunion has taken over the lake spot where she was to be married. The intoxicated party guests were immovable in time for the ceremony (in an hour…).

If there was ever a time for someone to have a bridezilla moment, this was it, but Mary handled it SO gracefully. She responded, “Ask Wayne.. We’ll do what he says.” This was a great illustration of a statement she made later in their handwritten vows. She promised to always look to Wayne as the head of their household. When I told Wayne what was going on, he had the best answer. He said, “I don’t care where we get married. By the end of the day I am putting a ring on that woman’s finger. That’s what I want. It makes no difference to me where that happens. Let’s do it in the backyard.” So, that’s what happened. Every part of this wedding day took place in the home and yard that Mary and Wayne have built and will continue to build together, and it fit them perfectly. Congratulations, Mary and Wayne! Here are some of my favorites from the day!

Mary LOVES Paris and Beauty and the Beast! The Eiffel Tower makes quite a few cameos in her wedding decor.

The garter set was made out of the camis that Wayne wore during his last tour in Iraq!

Beauty and the beast ring box!

First dance and cake fun with this Beauty and her Beast

Sara & Thomas: Married

May 20th was a busy day for me! Directly after watching my little sister graduate from high school, I hopped in my jeep and headed to photograph Sara and Thomas Easter’s wedding alongside Heather Atkins (Kidd Photography .. she’s lovely, check her out!).

If you know me, this next sequence of events will come as no surprise to you. As I pull into the mile long gravel driveway of the Bride’s parents house to begin “before” pictures, I must’ve popped a tire on a sharp rock. As soon as I got out of the car I can hear the air quickly escaping my tire. Knowing that I still had to travel to the church and the reception location, I greeted everyone with a lovely, “Hi, everyone! I’ve popped a tire. (help me please)”. Thankfully the Father of the Bride and a family friend/videographer patched my tire and filled it with air while we started photographing. (Thanks again!!!)

All’s well that end’s well, right?! WELL, when I got to the church I did something I do at least once a month, if not more. I locked my keys in my car. There was still time before the ceremony and owning a soft top Jeep means I can unzip that back window and crawl through – crisis averted. EXCEPT.. it decided to storm before the night was over and my unzipped windows allowed for a few inches of standing water in my vehicle…nothing a good old shop vac can’t fix. This is my life, friends.

This was a fun story to tell, but the most important thing that happened while all of that was also happening, was these two GOT MARRIED! My scatterbrained-ness aside, it was a beautiful day. Man, when Thomas kissed Sara, he KISSED her. Their love was tangible. Here’s a look into their day!

Vendors:

Dress: Celebration Bridal – Lynchburg, VA

Bridesmaids: Azazie

Invitations: Zazzle

Catering: Magnolia Foods

Venue:  Ceremony – Oakdale Baptist Chruch, Reception – Historic Riverview by the James

Hair and Make-up: Hot Spot Salon

Coordination and Planning: Sarah Proctor with Historic Riverview at the James

Flowers: Irvington Springs Farm

Basic Invite

As you may have seen on my page last week, basicinvite.com ran a feature on me as a photographer on their blog (Click here to check it out!), and I wanted to share a little bit more about what my partnership with them entails! Everyone needs what basicinvite.com offers at some point or another – wedding, party or event invitations, baby announcements, stationary, place cards, gift tags, business resources and more! I am so pleased to be able to offer an ongoing discount with this company, especially since my business serves a lot of the people in the same realm. By partnering with basicinvite.com, I can offer a 20% discount site wide on any and everything that basic invite offers as well as free shipping!

With EJR Photography’s personal discount code: EJRPHOTO, you can take advantage of this discount and simultaneously support two pretty great businesses! 😉

I hope you take the time to check it out! Also, check out the blog post on their site that is featuring photographers from all over! I got to combine writing, another passion of mine, with some of my favorite images for their blog post. Below is a little snippet of it, but see the whole post here!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

– Em

The Bookers: Nashville Wedding

My first trip back to Nashville after I moved to Virginia was to shoot a wedding for Talia and Cortney – the now Mr. & Mrs. Booker! From the moment Talia hired me early in the year she has been nothing but a joy to work with. We met in a Starbucks for our first meeting, and I loved the fact that Cortney came with her! The brides tend to run she show where photography is concerned, but Cortney was by her side from the start.

The had such a sweet ceremony at Schrader Lane Church of Christ, where Talia tearfully met her groom, exchanged vows, and assembled a unity cross with two sections and three pins to represent the two of them becoming one held together by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I loved seeing this unity cross assembled again, as it brought back memories from my sisters wedding almost exactly two years ago where she and her husband did the same.

I think one the most memorable part of this day was Talia’s father daughter dance with her dad, Henry. She laid her head on his shoulder and just cried as they danced to “Dances with My Father.” I had to stop and just watch for a moment.

So thankful to be allowed to capture these moments for Talia and Cortney!