Cristy + Dustin’s Whitestone Country Inn Wedding Memorial Day Wedding was simply breathtaking. The weather was answered prayer, and we didn’t have a single drop of rain…despite the forecast. Prayer works for the weather too ya’ll!
We shot their engagement images back in the Spring, and that day the weather was marvelous as well…but this day it knocked that day out of the park!
They opted to do a First Look in the Chapel with just the two of them, and I always love the expressions on a Groom’s face when no one else is there for him to focus on…Dustin’s smile was beaming as he walked towards his Bride.
After the First Look we started a great few hours of leisure shooting around the grounds…even commondeering a Golf cart which I used to drive around the maids + Cristy. Not THAT was entertainment 😉
We headed back down to the water, now green and lush, where we’d shot some engagement images a few months before. A snake was sighted, but quickly slithered away into the bushes as the Groom and Groomsmen sought it out. Southern Weddings ya’ll…you never know what critters are going to try to crash your session!
The Bride’s sister did her GORGEOUS peach and yellow bouquets, and my favorite “Vintage Chicks” from Vintage Inspirations gave the ceremony site and reception hall one EPIC hook-up.
Since the Bride’s father had gone on to Heaven just months before his little girl’s wedding day her uncle gave her away. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I had a feeling, watching him treat her like she was his daughter in lieu of his brother being able to do the honor, this was possibly the most precious “Escort” I’ve ever witnessed. I teared up…thankfully on the rarity a moment gets me I have a camera to camouflage the tears. Later her uncle told me he had a feeling it’s exactly what her dad would’ve wanted, and he felt like he was there the whole time.
After a sweet sermon and ceremony by one of the greatest Officiants I’ve ever heard the couple was whisked away in their Carriage Ride, and then on into the reception.
A sparkler send-off was to signal their “depart”, but I wasn’t done with them just yet…they wanted an image with the gazebo all lit up like they’d seen somewhere before. I’m not one to copy so we made it our own, and I captured the beautiful background city lights with tiny stars, and a purple hued night sky. Mission Accomplished…and it was worth all the time to get it!
Orrrr so I thought I was done…God had something else in store for not just me, but for the Bride and her family.
It was THE LAST image of the night. Literally PITCH BLACK, no speed-lites, nothing.
I had the camera in Manual focus still from shooting the gazebo shot, and was in such a hurry I NEVER EVEN CHECKED THE FOCUS.
I adjusted my settings, shot this ONE image, first try, showed it to the Bride and Groom, the wedding planner, and the few family around, and then tried to “do a better one”…didn’t happen.
Even after 7 more tries with the focus finally fixed…something was off about each subsequent try. This image was absolutely meant to be, I say it was a Gift from Heaven to me, and I cannot wait to make it a Canvas for my personal collection!
Though I can find things I’d liked to have technically done better in another try, I’ll always cherish THIS single shot as a reminder that even when I plan things out strategically, there’s extreme beauty in just letting God paint the picture that He alone allows me to capture.
The icing on the cake came while editing the image.
I noticed “a gray spot” on the bell tower…I zoomed in, and it’s actually a rainbow. Like a prism kissed the top of the steeple….in the pitch black night! I firmly believe that was meant just for Cristy and her family as a “topper” to a wonderful day. A message from her father that indeed he was there with his little girl on her big day!
So, THANK YOU Cristy, Dustin, and both of your fabulous families. It was my extreme honor capturing this start to your new life together, and I cannot wait to see what all else God has in store for you!