Liz and Dale were married on May 5th, 2018 at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC.
I’ve known these two since 2011 when we did Teach For America together. Even though I’ve known them for the whole time they’ve been together, I didn’t truly know the extent of their love story until their wedding day.
Seeing them interact throughout the day, hearing their vows, and the stories Vichi and Jay shared while they officiated the ceremony, I was touched by the sheer amount of love and respect they have for one another.
I’m so honored they asked me to document their wedding and allowed me to spend the day with their families and all of the friends that became like family to us during TFA.
Part of the Chinese tradition is for the bridesmaids to require the groom to perform different tasks to gain entrance to the house. Dale had to do some pushups, dance moves, and answer questions about Liz. He eventually Venmo-ed each bridesmaid $88.88 as a bribe so he could come in!
At the beginning of their day, Liz and Dale held a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. From information Liz’s sister Sarah put together: “The tea ceremony is one of the most significant events to celebrate the occasion. It includes formal introductions of the bride and groom and shoes respect to their elders for all the years of love and care.”
“Tea is served to elder honorees with two hands. Each honoree receives separate tea from the bride and groom.”
Elders present the bride and groom with jewelry and red envelopes (called “lai see” in Hong Kong and “hong bao” in other areas of China) containing monetary gifts, usually in amounts like $88 or with $0.88 added.
After the tea ceremony, Liz started to get ready for the American ceremony.
Liz and Dale chose to do a first look, since they’d already seen each other that morning, which made for a smooth and relaxed day in terms of getting all the photos they wanted!
A rare instance in which I get out from behind the camera! It was so fun to be here with so many TFA alum. I think we had from a 1997 corps member to a 2018 CM!
Lauren and Billy met years ago when they were both working a wedding at Meadowbrook Hall. So although they now live here in North Carolina, it was fitting to travel back to Michigan and get married in the same place their love story began.
I had so much fun being back with Lauren’s extended family (I shot Lauren’s sister Colby’s wedding back in 2013), and it was great to meet Billy’s family for the first time. Lauren and Billy’s ceremony was the first ever in the front circle of Meadowbrook, with the historic facade of the building as a beautiful backdrop.
It was a gorgeous day for a wedding, and I loved reliving it while editing these images. Congratulations Lauren and Billy!
I’m blessed that my wonderful friends Lauren and Billy asked me to capture their gorgeous wedding at Meadowbrook Hall in Michigan a couple weeks ago. I have so many photos I want to share from that day, but here’s a sneak peek while I’m going through the rest!
The bride and groom’s first stolen moment as husband and wife in some dreamy lens flare!
The really made my job easy!
I’m so excited to finally share Lauren and Billy’s full post!
When I first learned that Billy had proposed, I was crossing my fingers that they would choose me as their wedding photographer. I’ve been close with Lauren’s family since my second year living in North Carolina, when I became friends with her sister Colby. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share in such an important life moment for Lauren. These two are beautiful people inside and out, and were just naturals in front of the camera. I cannot wait to celebrate their wedding next summer in Michigan!
It was really hard to choose my favorites to post today, but I wanted to start with the image below. This was the tone of our whole session, and basically what Billy and Lauren looked like in between each of my other shots!
Here’s a sneak peek of Billy and Lauren at the NC State Arboretum! Are these two gorgeous or what?! This shoot was so fun, and I can’t wait to edit and share the rest.
Check back for their full post soon! I can’t wait to share more of their beautiful images!
Back in July I had the pleasure of meeting up with fellow Syracuse alumni, Emily and Keith, at the NC State Arboretum in Raleigh. It was so fun to hear their story of meeting and falling in love on campus, and starting their new life together here in Raleigh. This was my first time shooting at the arboretum, and it was an incredible place to explore. There were so many unique little spots, awesome structures, and beautiful scenery to compliment a great couple. Emily and Keith brought along a few props as well, making for some sweet photos.
I met Amber and Scott at the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham, NC on what was possibly the most humid evening of the summer. I’m not sure I’ve ever sweat so much or gotten so many mosquito bites on a shoot. But let me tell you, these two were absolute troopers! They kept their sense of humor the whole time, with the help of Amber’s daughter cracking jokes and calling out “smoochy-smoochy” whenever I asked them to kiss 🙂
I’m excited to photograph Amber and Scott’s wedding at the Weldon Country Club in November!
Back when I was a TFA corps member living in Roanoke Rapids, I spent as much time as possible on Lake Gaston. Laying out on the dock, lazy Sundays reading on the lawn, jet skiing on Memorial Day Weekend, or jumping into the lake in the middle of February for our polar bear plunge (never again!) – my favorite memories were made there. Needless to say, when Cindy and Brian told me their wedding would be at Celebrations on Lake Gaston, I was thrilled!
It was a beautiful day for a wedding. The weather had been threatening rain all week, but we lucked out and had a perfect sunny and 70s day. Their timeline was a photographer’s dream! They chose to do a first look, so we had plenty of time to take some beautiful portraits on the dock before the ceremony. Cindy and Brian did an amazing job planning this intimate ceremony and reception! I loved all of their small personal details, like the groomsmen’s Star Wars socks, the Moleskine notebooks they used to read their vows, and including the bridal party in part of their vows. I had never seen a “topless tent” before, but as the sun set over the lake and the string lights and chandeliers came on, it definitely went on my personal wedding idea list!
See some of my favorite shots below!
I was obsessed with this couch!
All the guys here are miming “way to go,” the girls are making a shocked face, and then there’s Jenna. Love when my bridal parties get silly!
Here’s my favorite couch again. Cindy and Brian don’t look half bad either! (Seriously though, isn’t she a stunning bride??)
What what did I tell you about that topless tent? Gorgeous!
Thanks for choosing me to document your day, Cindy and Brian! I had a blast!
Other vendors include:
Venue: Celebrations on Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
Wedding Planner, Flowers, Catering, Rentals: Exquisite Occasions
Hair and Makeup: Renaissance Spa and Salon, Roanoke Rapids, NC
Cake: Bakery and Simply Divine Cakes, Roanoke Rapids, NC
Music: Timothy Cummings
Dress: David’s Bridal
At the end of June, I was so happy to travel to Winston-Salem, NC to photograph Ann Howell and Kevin’s wedding. Ann Howell was in the 2011 Teach For America corps with me, and, chatting in the months leading up to her wedding made me wish I had known her better during our time in TFA. She is so cool and creative, and put her creativity into all of the lovely details of this wedding. The bride made the bouquets herself from farmer’s market flowers, and all of the reception decorations were her own inspiration and design! I loved the whimsical feel of all her handmade details! The ceremony was at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, the church Ann Howell grew up attending, and the reception followed at Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. Here are some of my favorite shots from this awesome day!
I am usually not a big cupcake fan, or frosting fan in general, but let me tell you – these cupcakes were amazing!! And most impressively, the mother of the bride made the cake and frosting, so I will be asking for the recipe.
All these handmade details really spoke to the art teacher in me. The polaroid “photobooth” was particularly awesome as well!
I don’t know if it’s a southern thing, but ALL of these guests were amazing dancers! Even the kids and teenagers! I’ve never seen that at a wedding up north, and it was so fun to watch.
Thanks again Ann Howell and Kevin! I had a blast!
Ceremony Venue: St. Leo the Great Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts
Bride and Bridesmaids dresses: J. Crew
Hair: Molly at Cheveux Salon
Cake and cupcakes: Mother of the Bride
Music: Fessa John Hook
I’m having so much fun editing this wedding! I can’t wait to share more photos with you later in the week, but for now, here’s a sneak peek of Ann Howell and Kevin’s wedding reception at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem.