Wedding {Matt and Kelci}

“We’re all about good food, good memories, and sweet time spent with those closest to us. From the beginning, we wanted our day to reflect that. As we planned the wedding, we tried not to focus so much on theatrics, and opted instead to put energy into details that would make our guests feel loved and appreciated.

From the beginning, I wanted our wedding to feel romantic, nostalgic, and heartfelt. Because of the small group, I was able to devote more time to each person both during my planning and the weekend. I was in love with our venue, which made decorating easier, since we did everything ourselves. Instead of a theme or color scheme, I decided on several elements that I liked and incorporated them throughout the entire day: from invites to favors. Not only was this cost effective, but it made figuring out each element of the day a little easier, since I had a template to choose from. One of my inspirations was a line from one of our favorite songs, “I love you like the stars above, I love you til I die.” Drawing from this, I incorporated silver stars throughout the weekend. We never spelled this out for guests though, so it felt like a little private love song was woven throughout the day, just for us.”

I’ve thought long and hard about this blog post. In fact, I’ve been sitting and staring at the screen for about ten minutes, starting and then deleting everything I wrote because my words don’t seem good enough.

To say this wedding was “special” or “pretty” would be a gross understatement of how beautiful this weekend was.

When I got the text message a year or so ago from Kelci telling me that Matt proposed, I remember instantly starting to cry out of total joy. You see, Kelci and Matt have been together since our junior year of high school, and Kelci and I have been best friends for 15, 16 years now. I can truly say that I know maybe two other couples who love each other as passionately as Kelci and Matt do.

I don’t want to write up some huge story about the weekend and the details- that’s for another post. Maybe.

I’ve included an excerpt from Kelci’s write-up at the top of the post that’s going to be featured in a few days on stylemepretty because only she can truly convey into words what the rest of us felt.

I was reading Jonas Peterson’s blog post (see here) about minimalism and weddings, I found myself agreeing. I love feathers and mason jars and antique couches as much as the next girl, but weddings are rarely focused solely on the union of the couple. More and more wedding photographers and brides alike are getting caught up the production of a wedding, versus the intimate details of the day.

Will we remember who made Kelci’s dress, or her shoes? Will we remember how much they spent on the wedding, or the the adornments of the vast space they paid ridiculous amounts for? Probably not (mainly because that’s hypothetical). But I WILL remember the plane ride to New York with two of the six of my other best friends (we all met around the same time in grade school and have maintained close friendships since), and feeling the excitement in the air when we got off the subway to meet Kelci, Matt and the rest of the guests on the Brooklyn side of the bridge at the ice cream factory where they treated us with a scoop of our choice. I’ll remember bowling in Brooklyn and eating cupcakes and pizza with 40 other people for the “rehearsal dinner”.. I’ll also remember Megan, Kelci, Casey and I staying up until midnight the night before her wedding, talking about a smash journal from 8th grade with clips of old AIM conversations, giggling (cliche, I know) with wet hair and (not really) sleeping.. only to wake up on our best friend’s wedding day with her.

I’ll remember asking Matt if he’s nervous, and seeing that slow smile spread across his face, knowing that he couldn’t have been more ready for anything in his entire life. The ceremony, the prayers, the love that reverberated off the walls.. the homemade touches of vintage NYC postcards wrapped with red and white twine, dedicated to each guest, loving us for being a part of their day. And on a more personal note (why not?) the one part of the day that will *forever* be engrained in my mind? The slow beginning of “Flume” by Bon Iver (my favorite band, a song they say reminds them of me)- beginning to play lightly in the background, with candlelight and low murmurs of conversation– where I found myself looking up and catching Matt and Kelci’s eyes, only long enough to acknowledge this quick, special moment between the three of us.

It’s the special, intimate moments that really make a wedding and when Kelci asked me to be her photographer, I couldn’t have been more nervous or excited to  be the one to help them capture and remember this beautiful day for the rest of their lives. They are an affirmation of why I do what I do.

So, here are some images from that special day. The stylemepretty article will be posted live on Dec 26th, but I wanted to get my personal post out here for you before then, so you can understand why I am so floored for this feature. I hope you feel the love that we all felt that entire weekend.


// Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. // Jeremiah 1:5

I am an odd bird. I’m one of those people who saves conversations until there’s time to really discuss. I hate eating my dinner in the car, I have to be sitting down at home in sweatpants. I don’t like writing e-mails on my cell because I prefer to have a keyboard to type them out on.

That being said, I was literally hiding this session because I am so in love with it (which doesn’t make any sense). I wasn’t planning on sharing this until mid-March, but I knew I had to once I heard that sweet Christina finally gave birth to a very healthy and beautiful little girl!

World, welcome sweet Marlowe Pearl!! And a round of applause for Christina to look this gorgeous after giving birth?!

(Christina.. please don’t think I’m creepy. I just had to share this!)

I am so blessed to call Christina a friend. We haven’t known each other long, but I have such immense respect for her as both a mother and a photographer. She’s always been an encouragement to me with my work, and I’ve always appreciated her honesty.. she’s absolutely hilarious and you can tell she has a phenomenal heart for her family. She didn’t do maternity sessions for her other two boys (who are, by the way, the definition of adorable) and I’m so glad she chose me to document this special time in her life.

If you can’t tell already, she’s gorgeous and glowing and we had so much fun galavanting around this secret spot. We managed to laugh pretty much the entire time, between dodging mice in the field and battling the wind (which was actually a great thing for her and her gorgeous hair) and it has made me want to pursue more and more maternity portraits. I hope she feels as gorgeous as she looked when she shares these with Marlowe in the years to come!

Christina, I can’t wait to do the family portraits for you and your brood. Massive amounts of love and congratulations to you and your boys!!
^ these four are my favorite from the session. Mama, you’re killing it!

Caitlin and Charlie are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever been blessed to know.

I really don’t even know if I can adequately put into words how much I adore them.

I met Caitlin when we were either juniors or seniors in college… so, almost 5 years ago. She’s one of those friends where you can go months without talking or seeing each other and as soon as you do, it’s all smiles and hugs and a mile a minute catch-up. She’s gentle-hearted and full of so much love for Charlie, her awesome family, and sweet friends. When she asked me to shoot their wedding, there was no hesitation.

I knew I had to.
I wanted to.
I’m so glad I did.

A little glimpse into their love: when it came time for Charlie and Caitlin’s time to shoot their portraits, they literally just held each other. Yeah, it was freezing. I mean, like blue lips kinda freezing. But Charlie just held Caitlin in his arms, whispering in her ear, tugging her closer. I didn’t interrupt, I didn’t pose them, I just let them be. We shot around them. I thought it was important to just let them soak in the moment, to remember how it felt. Their love truly warms my heart.

The wedding party was a hodgepodge of siblings and best friends, and it just felt like a group of friends hanging out after not seeing each other for a long time. There was no stress to the day, no drama. Caitlin’s brothers are hilarious, stylish, and care so much for their sister. And they love Charlie like another brother. As the youngest sister of four, I can tell you that’s the love siblings share is unmatched by anyone or anything else. It was just so awesome to see how much they all care for one another.

We were back in our stomping grounds in Boone, NC.. home away from home. They were married at Boone United Methodist Church with a reception at the Solarium on campus. How cool is that?! Here’s part one of their beautiful wedding.. I couldn’t decide how to narrow my images down, so prepare yourselves!