It was, at first, proving difficult to write this blog post, to extract these memories, so many months after Alexis and James's wedding. But that's why we have wedding photography, right?! As I looked through their images, selecting which ones I thought best showcased the day, there were a few key things that stuck out to me.
The first: family. James presented Alexis's parents with a wooden duck at the beginning of their wedding ceremony, a Korean custom symbolizing the importance of their commitment as mandarin ducks mate for life. I love that they integrated this tradition into their ceremony, as an homage to his heritage and a way to make their otherwise non-traditional ceremony their own. Their families also played a huge part in bringing together all the unique elements of their big day. Not only did Alexis's parents in partnership with James create all of the beautiful bottle art (hooray for recycling!) but Alexis's mom even sewed her dress! Not to mention, Alexis's niece made all of the delicious owl cupcakes, which were quite a hoot. As much as the wedding was about Alexis and James committing their lives to each other, it was also a display of the couple's wholehearted love for their families and vice versa.
Bottle art (windchimes, cheese boards, water bottles)- Gaye and Len Baker (Parents of Bride) and James Quattlebaum (Groom)
Cake and Cupcakes: Hey Hey Cupcake
Chocolate Owl Cupcakes: Cammy Holt (Niece of Bride)
Dinner Catering: Jen Mohr
Dress: Gaye Baker (Mother of Bride)
Flower, Centerpieces, and Signs: Jeannie Rebecca Paint + Fiber
Groom's Suit: Men's Wearhouse
Hair and Makeup for bride: Priscilla Nesbitt
Hat: Rubina Millinery
Musicians: Friddle and Dyer
Necklace and Earrings: heirlooms from maternal and paternal grandmothers (respectively)
Officiant: Murphy Funkhouser Capps
Rings: Averie Art & Jewelry
Puzzle Guestbook: Havoly Designs
Speaking of all of the custom decor, I especially loved each little owl touch! I sometimes refer to my couples as "lovebirds" in their blog posts, so perhaps I will call these two "love-owls"? Either way, the creatures provided an adorable touch to the artsy and rustic decor. As they live in Virginia, these two understand the allure of the outdoors, and all of their decor spoke to quiet, natural beauty of their wedding venue in Black Mountain.
While I typically think of "detail photos" as those showcasing the bride's gown and accessories, the flowers, the rings and any heirlooms they may have, it was these little decor details that struck me as the most personality-filled. As such, they graced quite a few pages of their wedding album so that Alexis and James could remember just how much thought and hard work they and their families put into making their day special.
Finally, I loved how comfortable they were together! Some people are more shy in front of the camera than others, but as soon as they looked at each other it was like the rest of the world suddenly melted away. While I must admit that my favorite images of couples are almost always of laughter (and these were no exception!) I also try to showcase the nuanced pieces of each couple's relationship; the more serious side if they're goofy, the more passionate side if they're shy, the more playful side if they're reserved. For Alexis and James, as soon as I saw that spotlight of natural light shining into the stairwell, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Though they were a quiet couple to work with, I could feel their enthusiasm for their new commitment to each other, so I wanted to showcase their more passionately romantic side. You'll know the photo I'm talking about when you see it, and it's still one of my favorite wedding photos to date because of the more film noir-esque lighting.
Otherwise, we just had fun! In the middle of portraits, James's niece and nephew came over for a quick game of tag, providing perfect content for candid images of the couple in their element. We ended the evening with a few relaxed portraits of the "love-owls" pretending to nap, resting from the exhaustion of planning and attending their wedding while simultaneously soaking in the calm of being together.
I had so much fun photographing Alexis and James's sweet wedding day and can't wait to share their wedding album!