Once in a while you come across a love story literally written better than a fairy tale. Such is the tale of Rachel and Stephen.
Their stunning Alabama Wedding took place at the breathtaking Huntsville Botannical Garden and Trinity Baptist Church in Madison, Alabama. Shades of purple flowers, purple bridesmaids dresses, and grey suits for the gents created a wedding after this purple lovers own heart.
Actual high-school sweethearts whose love story started as friends, but jumped to more the day severe weather caused their school to close early.
The tale goes he’d planned to ask her out that day, and given that his time was cut short to do so he ran down the hall to find her. There in the midst of a busy hallway he asked, and the rest, as they say, is history!
They were both avid band members in high-school, and even now both play in the Auburn University Band! How fantastic is that!? Though I’m a Roll Tide gal myself 😉 , I have to give credit for their team spirit…breaking out into wedding party fight song chants without prompting tells me they clearly love their school and team. 🙂
If you’ve follwed my blogs at all you’re undobtedly aware I’m a believer in First Looks being the grandest, most beautiful moment a bride and groom get to share on their wedding day! These two only concreted that sentiment!
BUT there was another First Look that morning that would almost steal the show…. Rachel’s dad didn’t even make it through the bridal suite door before tears started to fall at the sight of his girl in her gown. As they embraced there was not.a.dry.eye.in.the.room people!
A few bridal portraits at the breathtaking spanish moss ladden archway, and it was time for the main event…
Watching his face LIGHT.UP. when he removed his blindfold to walk to his blushing bride, and then their embrace is simply a magcial moment you just do not get without that First Look.
She shed beautiful tears of joy as he kissed her and held her ever so softly while she blotted both their eyes in simple picture perfection. Not going to lie, I teared up myself.
From there we started to do Bridal Party portraits, but the rain that’d been a 60% chance all morning finally showed it’s face. Being always prepared their wedding planner Yvonne and I made sure to round up a plethora of umbrellas the day before “just in case”…though I was praying that rain away!
It turned out to be a fun memory as we all huddled under a row of Crepe Myrtle Trees and a cluster of umbrellas. The quick passing shower was brief, and the jokes and laughter resonating under the umbrella cloud solidified that an awesome bridal party is key to a wonderful wedding.
We headed back as the clouds were parting to get ready to head to the Church, but I had one more pitstop in mind before we headed for lunch at Church…
I’d seen images of the Lily Pond and Pagoda, and as fate would have it getting lost that morning led to the discovery of it’s location. We loaded up vehicles, and made that one final stop just as another round of rain clouds gathered as we wrapped up.
Possibly my favorite portrait location of all time. The lilys were in bloom, the enormous lil pad leaves made you day dream of playing leap frog across the pond, and the whole Bridal Party peeking through the artchitecture was just the perfect icing on the cake.
After a brief lunch break it was go.time! I grabbed a few images of the Bride and her maids surrounding her in prayer only moments before they left her, that one last time, as a single woman.
Their ceremony was as beautiful and effortless as the rest of the day! Complete with scripture readings by each of their mothers, one of the groom’s friends and groomsmen leading a song of worship, the unity candle that wouldn’t stay lit leading to a sanctuary filled with sweet sounds of laughter, and fianlly cheers erupting as the new Mr. and Mrs. Evans were introduced! Truly a spirit filled ceremony from two Jesus loving people.
A few more pictures afterward, again with Heavenly timing…just after the rain had stopped, and it was reception time!
We headed back to the Botannical Gardens where the party commenced surrounded by a plethora of their family and friends. This crew has some killer dance moves, as do Mr. and Mrs. Evans ya’ll! They can WOP like no group I’ve seen 😉
Dances, cake cuttings, toasts, The Shoe Game, slideshow, and a shower of flower petals to send them on their way topped off their perfect day!
Here’s to a Happily EVANS After Rachel and Stephen! Thank you for letting me take part, and capture the start of your new life together!