After shooting hundreds of weddings, I've seen it all - from quiet evenings with families to huge celebrations with raging afterparties. I'm addicted to that variety of style and size and personality, but truthfully it's the common thread of a couple's love and excitement that makes them each special. That's one of the many reasons I was so pumped to document this private elopement ceremony for Megan and Sean. Most wedding days are whirlwinds of excitement and emotions, full of details to remember and places to be and people to greet, with very little time for a couple to settle into the happiness and importance of the small moments together. After going through the possibilities in their minds, Megan and Sean decided to forgo the traditional route and instead focus on the experience together. Private destination weddings and elopements may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's a treasure of incredible times for a couple: a way of crafting a wedding day that isn't weighted by the details or pleasing the Joneses, but purely about making the most of every moment. And boy, did these two pick a hell of a spot. St. Barthélemy (or St. Bart's, to those like me who would butcher the full pronunciation) is a luxury resort island in the French West Indies, and the most exclusive destination in the Caribbean. There are no direct flights in, so it's only reachable by boat or tiny puddle-jumper planes from larger nearby islands. It's crawling with celebrities, but without any of the fan fare or tacky tourism one might expect - it's tasteful in every way, overflowing with the perfect romanticism of adventure and solitude. Megan and Sean are beautiful people inside and out and fit right at home there, which made my job of location scouting and documenting their excitement such a treat. But in all truth, even if these two were getting married in a parking lot I'd feel honored to be a part of it. They're hilarious and an absolute joy to hang around, and it was beyond humbling to be able to document this week with them. Their affection and appreciation for each other is so genuine, and it's that pride in each other that made it all so special. All the love to them and their future adventures together :)
I'm not an outwardly emotional person, and in some ways I envy those who get really shaken by heart-tugging movies (though don't even get me started on certain Pixar films, which make me all kinds of weepy). While I feign a confidence in thought and reason, deep down everything I do is fueled and inspired by emotion. It's one of the many reasons why I am forever drawn to photographing relationship stories, and approaching those worlds through the eyes of honest, heartfelt journalism. Every weddings has its own story, full of moments that a real treat to find...but once in a while I'll meet a couple like Alexandra and Stephen who spoil me absolutely rotten. They are overflowing with near constant laughter, tenderness, affection, goofiness, and deep-held respect for each other, and it was truly a privilege to see and capture glimpses of that. They're also a bit adventurous (uhhh huge weak spot), and took a month long road trip for their honeymoon. Total badasses.Below is an intentionally long form story board of their wedding celebration, full of quiet romantic moments, joyful tears, explosions of laughter, and some heavy duty partying to cap it off. Cheers to these two for a lifetime :)Photographed at Black Hawk Country Club // Hair and Makeup thanks to Beauty by Sarah Jean
Whewww boy. This wedding was a doozy, in the very best of ways: it was full of incredibly sweet and loving people, at a beautiful venue, with excellent vendors. But also you guys, it had a PAD THAI STATION. Plus entire booths for espresso, ice cream, and donuts. So basically it was a fairytale. Needless to say it's good that I wasn't a guest, or else I probably would have gained 20lbs and become 'that guy' to all of the catering staff.
But even after all of the food and festivities and decor and dancing, these two have (and are) something special. It seems like no one is ever a stranger to them (animals included), they have top notch taste in friends, and above all they love others fully and openly. Plus they're also just really good at having fun, and the entirety of the wedding day just overflowed with that happiness. They're easily some of the most genuine and kind people I've ever worked with, and to be welcomed into their story to document this chapter has been beyond humbling.
As always I've gathered waaay too many highlight images here, though in my defense everything I've ever done with these guys has been a highlight reel (seriously, look at these ridiculously amazing sessions):
A huge hug and hearty congratulations Candice and Daniel! Y'all are rockstars in my book :)A big thanks to these amazing vendors for knocking it out of the park:Planning and Coordination by Jace at Jitters and Cocktails: http://www.jittersandcocktails.com/ Venue - Chandelier Grove: Chandelier Grove - Wedding WireSecond Shooter - Justin Williams at http://jwphotographer.com/Floral - Holly at Flower Vibes: http://flowervibes.com/Cake - Dolce Designs: http://mydolcedesigns.com/Hair & Makeup - Angela Karr / Faces by Angela: http://www.angelakarr.com/ Strings - Third Floor Strings: http://thirdfloorstrings.comCatering - Astral Catering: http://astralcatering.com/Rentals - A Memorable Event: http://amemorableevent.com/Coffee Bar - Pearland Coffee Roasters: http://www.pearlandcoffeeroasters.com/
I somehow just consistently get to work with amazing people, and I'm quite thankful that train hasn't slowed. But Candice (and her husband Daniel) has darn neared messed up the whole system by being so doggone great that I've almost felt spoiled. If you've seen any of my other recent posts, you've likely read a few of the many reasons why she's amazing and they're just the very best kind of people. Being able to document the last year with them has truly been an honor, and thanks to their fun loving attitudes and badass sidekick pup, a total blast in the process. Much love and many thanks to Candice for being such a killer sport through her nature and adventure inspired bridal session :)And thanks as well to Flower Vibes for the killer bouquet!
I consider it such a privilege to meet new couples and document their relationships, learning bits and pieces about them and their stories along the way. Candice and Daniel are a perfect example, though I must admit that they cheated a bit by bringing way too much to the table. First off, Daniel has a top notch name, can't argue with that. Second, they have a ballin dog named Bo and brought him to their engagement session, with a NO HOLDS BARRED policy on me being able to pet him. Which I did, incessantly. Third, Candice knows I have long/rebellious/unwiedly hair and bought me a bottle of her favorite product to try, and it basically changed my life. They're big fans of adventure and new experiences and goofiness and all sorts of other things I'm partial to, but above all they love and support each other. Their story is an amazing and inspiring one, and as fun as it's been to goof off with them, I'm most excited (and humbled) to be a part of the documenting this piece of their journey. So without further ado, here are a few peeks into our exploration of Brazos Bend State Park, an old date spot of theirs and a locale full of interesting surprises :)
C A N D I C E & D A N I E L
(and also Bo)