Wedding Photography

 

The Tar Heel and I had a very thorough process  for selecting our wedding photographer.  We both tend to love the same style of photography, but the wedding photography market is SO saturated right now… it is hard to tell from a fancy website and a few cute baby pictures who has a genuine gift, in addition to the experience worthy of shooting someone’s wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that people can turn a hobby into a business.  But there are some photographers who have made photography their life‘s work.  It is a calling for them, much like a calling to be a doctor or any profession.  We weren’t as concerned about how much they charged — we knew we had to spend a little (ok a lot) more on the photography than the flowers – and for obvious reasons (I hope). But we mostly wanted someone who is incredibly passionate about what they do.  We knew that the end result, then, would be incredibly passionate photography.  We found everything we wanted and more in Julie Mixon Photography.  Our sweet friend Travis Bartlett, a true photographer himself, first told us about Julie.  Julie is a wedding photographer, photography instructor and undeniably wonderful artist. She was so easy to work with, and I immediately felt comfortable with her behind the cam. Julie recently gave her beautiful blog a little update and lo and behold, our little wedding made her Featured Weddings portfolio. If you are in the NC/SC area (she lives in SC now but continues to shoot for us NC folk) then give her a call.  She is fantastically talented and a jewel to work with.  Oh and we got our wedding pictures (all four discs of them) back in record time….2 weeks after our wedding.  Literally.  Ah-mazing.

 

One year

I can’t believe just one short year ago this weekend (July 09, 2010 to be exact) we were getting engaged in beautiful Charleston.  What a wonderful year it has been.  And for the record, I would say yes again and again.  :)

Photos above  by With A K Photography
Photo by Julie Mixon Photography

Read about the proposal post from last year Here.

Read about the proposal post part II from last year Here.

Read about the classic story of Dustin asking my parent’s for my hand in marriage Here.

Ever After

At 5:30 pm on March 19, Dustin and I walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! After a quick photo shoot with our family and bridal party, we were finally on our way to our wedding reception!!

Well before Dustin and I even met, and definitely before we started dating, I had this vision for my wedding reception.  In all my years before getting engaged, I never had a “vision” about what my wedding dress would look like, or whether I would leave in a horse drawn carriage or what flowers I would have or anything like that. (I told you I’ve never been ALL about my wedding!)  But I always knew I wanted my wedding reception to be one heck of a party!

Maybe it’s from my years of Pi Phi formals and themed parties, or from my toddler days when my mom loves to tell me how I would always walk into daycare telling her we were going to “party hardy” that day.  Regardless, I have always envisioned my wedding reception as being one of the most memorable and fun nights of all time!

My only other requirement besides a lot of FUN for our wedding reception was to have Twinkle Lights.  Oh, my sweet little twinkle lights.  It took a lot of searching, but my awesome and Amazing Wedding Planners finally found a fantastic deal on having Twinkle Lights installed in our venue for the wedding reception.  And they turned out so perfect.  There were so many details at the reception that I probably stressed about more than necessary, but at the end of the day I was so thrilled to walk into our reception and see all of our family and friends AND the many little details that made the whole experience very “us.”

After introducing our wedding party, we started off our reception with our First Dance.  Dustin and I chose a fun/sweet little medley of Alan Jackson’s “Right on the Money” which carried right in to Jack Johnson’s “Angel.” We then ate as fast as possible and headed out to the Cape Fear River Deck for some amazing sunset pictures.

When we came back to the reception, everyone was finishing up dinner and I changed from my wedding dress to something a little more conducive for dancing!  I also made a shoe switch.  As you all know, the most important aspects of my wedding day attire were my fabulous Kate Spade heels.  As luck would have it, Kate Spade was brilliant enough to make a flat shoe complement to my stiletto high-heeled perfection. My day would not have been complete without sporting both the Kate Spade “Charm” and the Kate Spade “Nell.” As a side note, I did come to find throughout my wedding planning that the phrase “But it’s for my wedding!”  could essentially justify any and all purchases.  Literally.  I have explained the complex concept to Dustin several times that buying two pairs of shoes for my wedding was actually an investment, considering if I were to wear my shoes every day for the rest of my life they would really cancel out their cost entirely.  It makes sense if you think about it… :)

Annnyway, we ended up having an amazing time and my little sparkling shoes danced until they couldn’t dance anymore.  There were so many fun times, I couldn’t pick just one so I made a Top 10.  (This list is in no particular order and is definitely not all-inclusive.)

I think Dustin and I must have said a thousand times…. “Can you believe it?  We just got married!”  That feeling of elation and love is something I hope to never forget.

Seriously, our wedding reception made me want to renew our vows next year!  Who’s coming? :)

…And we lived Happily Ever After!

Don’t Stop Believing

Hey yall!

I wanted to start this post with a quick shout out to my new readers; Welcome to the blog!  I have been so excited and humbled by reading your comments on Facebook about the wedding posts and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me!  I honestly started this blog as a little journal for myself to never forget the little things and at the end of the year, I print my posts.  I am so bad at scrapbooking, so this is my “scrapbook”.  I am so glad there are people out there who enjoy reading this considering how very much I enjoy writing it!  Anywho, Thanks for stopping by!  And to Mama Kay and Aunt Brenda, thanks for passing along the links!  :)

I am still working on our Reception post, and don’t want to leave you guys hanging so here’s a quick little clip of audio from our wedding reception as a preview.

Our wedding Party People (the people who brought the party to our wedding – every wedding has them but ours were the best!) had some fun with the DJ while singing one of my absolute favorite songs of all time, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing.  Let me TELL YOU how much I felt like I was back in college when this song came on at our reception!!!  Best.Song.Ever!  It was incredible. I loved having all my girls around for this!!

So, click here for the clip.

I’ll return to posting the ending to our amazing wedding after my certification test on Tuesday!  (more on that later)  Thanks for checking back — some of my favorite pictures are still to come!

Marry Me

Forever Starts Today.

One of the most stunning photos I found in the planning process was a shot of the back of a wedding program with three simple words on it:  Forever Starts Today.  I fell in love with the photo and was convinced from that day on that my wedding programs had to have the same, but on the front.  What really meant so much to me was the truth behind those three simple words.  It’s what the idea of marriage was built upon from the beginning–forever.

For Dustin and me, our marriage was never about our wedding.  While we were thrilled to share our commitment ceremony with friends and family, the glitz and glam and over-the-top shenanigans were never really our thing.  In all honesty, (whether you believe me or not!:) ) I pushed for a private ceremony  for a long time.  Maybe I was intimidated by the thought of a huge wedding with all the bells and whistles.  At the end of the day, I really just felt that something intimate might be lost with an incredible number of eyes watching us, and that this might cause me to fail to remember our vows and what I was repeating to the person I was going to spend my life with.  And that was the important part!  The flowers, the video, the pictures — none of THAT makes a wedding.  Our vows.  The committment.  The Heavenly Covenant that we enter causing us to no longer be individuals, but rather two parts of a whole.  THAT is what makes a wedding.  And that is what I wanted to be sure I remembered.

Dustin finally changed my mind and insisted that I would end up regretting the decision to have a private ceremony.  Now, I can truly say he was 100% right.  [Did you read that, Dustin? You were right my love. :)]  We compromised and agreed upon having only the closest of friends and families there, but even that was incredibly difficult to narrow down.  Regardless of the number of people who came, of all the things I remember from our wedding day, the part that shines brighter in my mind than any other aspect was standing in front of my sweet Dustin, holding his hands and reciting our vows to one another.

Seeing Dustin standing at the end of that aisle was everything I dreamed it would be and more.  Every single tear that was shed in agony and brokenness during my walk of faith to lead me to Dustin was worth it.  Every bit of hurt, rejection and fear that I experienced along the way was worth it.  Every bit of me that believed I deserved to have the kind of love the Lord intended for us was worth it! My goodness how I wish I could impress upon every young girl I meet the importance of maintaining the belief in yourself and your Savior that He does have someone out there for every one, and that you owe it to yourself to believe you will find them.  I am so proud of myself and Dustin.  We both could have settled, but we chose not to because we knew the best kind of love was still out there for us.  There are so many things that could have been done differently in our lives.  Instead, we chose to believe in the Lord’s plan for us and to believe in each other.  We simply trusted in Him to lead us to each other, and you know what?  He did!!

As I started walking down the aisle to Dustin, we were both crying a pretty impressive amount of happy tears.  When we recited our vows, neither of us could get through them without having to pause and regain our composure.  We chatted the entire time we were standing up there, telling each other how much we loved one another and how beautiful/handsome we each looked.  I literally felt as though it were only Dustin, myself and our minister standing at the front of that church.  Literally!  After our ceremony, Dustin’s dad came up and jokingly told him he couldn’t believe Dustin started crying before they even opened the doors with me standing there, and he had to hold back tears the entire service.  Our videographer’s second shooter overheard his comment and said “Just be glad you couldn’t hear everything they were saying to each other at the front of the church, we were all about to cry the whole time!”  And it was true.  We were so happy, the tears of joy would not stop flowing.  This day meant so much to us as a couple and was such a special day in our spiritual walks.

A few days after the wedding, I was catching up with a dear friend who was there to celebrate our wedding day.  She told me our ceremony was so special, and she could just feel something inside her stir and motivate her to try and find that same kind of love that we shared.  The next week she found herself visiting a new church for the first time.  Needless to say, I got off the phone in complete awe.  What more evidence do we need to show how much the Lord leads us to certain people, situations and circumstances for our good?  God was already using our love and I was amazed by this.  I was so touched and I couldn’t help but feel that Dustin and I are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

I am so excited to trust and see what the Lord has in store for us!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17