I love all of my couples, but as a photographer you click with some more than others. Such was the case with Cassady and Ross! When they met me for our consultation to look over samples, not only did they know what they were looking for in their wedding photography, but they came prepared with a check to book me! And it was all fun and games from there; the essence of an ease-going couple despite multiple obstacles on their day.
We began our day at a little cottage in West Asheville where the ladies were getting ready. It was fantastic having the entire house to work with, particularly for detail shots as I got to incorporate the gorgeous door frames, wood floors and vibrant colors. Even in the midst of the prepping stress, the whole group was loose and goofy; dancing, laughing and even joking (in Cassady's case) with the coordinator. Well, that might have been a bit of the stress talking as the joke was about taking off to Mexico. Nonetheless, we had fun, even creating a few simple portraits of the bride (in the laundry room!) before heading off to the venue.
Dress on, makeup and hair done, nerves on full blast, we were ready for the first look. While I certainly don't push first looks if the couple really doesn't want to do one, I'm thrilled when they opt for it as this is always one of my favorite parts of the day. That look of awe on the groom's face and pure joy on the bride's gets me every single time. Once we'd captured the first look and some couple's portraits in the beautiful tree-lined lane, Erin and I gave the bride- and groom-to-be a few minutes to themselves. Though I still photographed with my telephoto lens, naturally.
One of the most practical things about the first look is the ability to do all wedding party photos before the ceremony, so that we have plenty of time to get the formals as well as the personality portraits. While we didn't have quite enough time to photograph the whole party, we were able to knock out the groomsmen's photos and the full group. They had been laughing and joking around together before the photos, but the guys immediately snapped into serious mode channeling all of their GQ powers as they walked through the woods. This solemnity did not last long though, and they brought all of the jocular personality back for their solo portraits with the groom. We grabbed a few photos with the whole group - incorporating the swing, of course, as it's one of my favorite posing tools at this venue - and then everyone headed back inside to finish last minute touches before the ceremony.
One of the main challenges of June weddings (and outdoor weddings in general) is trying to predict the weather. While we'd initially planned for an outdoor mountain-view ceremony, the rain clouds had other plans so at the last minute the fantastic staff moved everything into the barn. This presented a bit more of a challenge to me light-wise as I wanted to, of course, have the couple's faces nicely lit while still maintaining the beautiful natural backdrop through the barn door's opening. Thank goodness for speed lights and white walls to bounce the light. True to form, Cassady and Ross had quite a short ceremony ending with a handshake and high five, making for some fantastic candid moments that totally encapsulate their personalities.
The funny thing about the weather is that it changes. As it turned out, we had a gorgeous afternoon and could do all of our portraits outside in the meadow in front of the mountains. We did our formal photos first, then finished up with the ladies' shots. I love when couple have poses in mind that they'd really like to do, and Cassady had the brilliant idea of recreating the iconic Bridesmaids movie photo, so her now-husband pulled up the poster to help us recreate the image. It totally fit the personality of the group.
We then sent everyone else off and spent a few more minutes capturing just the bride and groom. Knowing that we wanted our portraits to be fun and personality-filled, rather than have Cassady simply do the "softly look down at your bouquet" shot, we traded flowers for beer. I love how the couple's photos turned out; from the beer and flower "clinking" to the sweet kisses ending with a long, happy hug.
The rest of the night was candids only - barring our one sunset portrait - capturing the dancing, the cake cutting, the garter toss and the glow stick exit. The whole evening was a ton of fun as almost every wedding guest hit the dance floor at one point, most staying the whole time. And the ever-goofy bride hid a beer under her dress in place of the garter, to add one last shenanigan to the day.
All in all, I had a fantastic time shooting Cassady and Ross's sweet day, getting to tell their story. You can see their full storybook album here.
Venue: Yesterday Spaces
Accommodations: Airbnb, Country Inn and Suites, Sleep In
Alterations: Kim's Alterations
MC: Mike Charlton
Bar: Dining Innovations
Bridal Shop: Amazon
Cake & cupcakes: Merida Penland
Catering: Dining Innovations
Officiant: Bill Berdahl
Florist: Joni Burke (Mother of the Bride)
Gifts: Discount Mugs
Hair & Makeup: Holly Loflin
Photo booth: DIY
Planner: Michelle LaCosse of Party Envy
Rehearsal Dinner: Yesterday Spaces/ Dining Innovations
Rings & Jewelry: Amazon (!)
Rentals: Classic Event Rental