They say that the invitation completely sets the tone for an event, so when I opened the one that Heather and Franklin sent me for their wedding, I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped. Or maybe squealed. Either way, it was dramatic. ;) If I had to judge anything about their wedding based on the gold-scalloped envelope lining or the gorgeous pale pink, dark grey, and gold color palette alone, I imagined it would be a Gatsby-worthy kind of party. And ohhh, how very right I was!
I already knew Heather and Franklin had crazy good style from the Mad Men-inspired engagement session we did in Los Angeles last year, and I’ve gotten to know them from other weddings I’ve shot in their group of friends. But the best part about spending the weekend with them in Charlottesville, Virginia for their wedding was witnessing their story being pieced together by the emotional speeches, funny stories told by friends and family, and the vows they spoke to each other. I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version: these two have known each other since they were kids and their families have always been extremely close, but they didn’t start dating until Heather was in college. They’ve been inseparable for the past 10 or so years, and this wedding had been in the making for a long time. There were plenty of happy tears to prove it.
One of my favorite moments was during Franklin’s mother’s speech, when she talked about Franklin and Heather’s group of friends, many of whom are originally from Charlottesville and went to school together, and now live in Los Angeles working in the film and television industry in one way or another. She said they were so remarkable because most kids only *dream* of going to Hollywood, and they actually made it happen. Together. Yes, I had chills and may or may not have been shedding a tear or two behind the camera. :)
Anyway, I’ll spare you any more of my gushing and get on with the photos. But first, I have to give a HUGE shout out to Meredith Sledge, who is based in Virginia and so graciously agreed to second shoot for me. She was amazing! And we loved working with coordinator-extraordinaire Dickie Morris of Just a Little Ditty, who made sure the day ran smoothly (even with a ceremony rain delay!) and every detail came together perfectly. It was also great to meet and work alongside local cinematographers Shaking Hands Productions all day!
Oh, and before we get to the wedding, I just have to share a few portraits we did of Heather and Franklin before their rehearsal dinner. Yes, their rehearsal dinner. They are just that stylish! :)
Huge thanks to Lora Kelley for her incredible hair and makeup skills!
So is Heather pretty much a supermodel or what?
Castle Hill Cider was an absolutely stunning venue to shoot at. Such a perfect rustic yet modern space for a wedding like this!
The tears! Can’t even handle it!
The cocktail hour was so much fun! They served oysters out of a huge rowboat and had a step-and-repeat red carpet photo booth as a nod to their careers. Despite the drizzly weather, I think Jay Gatsby would’ve approved. ;)
And now, for one of my favorite aspects of the whole day: the DECOR! It was incredible to see Heather’s Southern-rustic-meets-Hollywood-glam vision come to life. From the custom table runners created by her friend Caroline Hurley (whose work has recently been featured on the likes of Design*Sponge and DesignLoveFest) to the table “numbers” based on their favorite TV shows (which coincidentally were most of my favorites too, from Breaking Bad to Friday Night Lights to 30 Rock), every detail was so well thought-out and executed. LOVED all the rustic wood with the gold and sparkles and peachy-pink florals. Perfection!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. California knows how to party. :)
I couldn’t let the reception end without getting a photo with all of my past couples from this group of friends. From left to right: Lane and Susan (whose Salt Lake City wedding started it all), Clay and Mary (whose wedding I shot at the Smog Shoppe in L.A. last year), and of course me and Franklin and Heather. I posted this one on my Facebook page and talked about how ridiculously happy it made me, and how honored I am to have been trusted time and again with these wonderful weddings across the country. It’s the best feeling to see familiar faces when I shoot weddings. Love these guys!
Congratulations Heather and Franklin! It was such a joy to capture your incredible weekend!