I couldn’t be more excited to share the wedding that kicked off my 2017 wedding season! Let me start by saying that ever since I met Lauren at church there are three things that have always stood out about her. First, she is very, very tender hearted. And I mean, she has this immense God-given empathy for people that moves her to tears...frequently! Second, this beautiful empathy gives way to the way you feel around her...which is a longing for more love in your own heart because you KNOW she cares deeply about those in her life...including her family, friends and church family. Third, Lauren has a sweet spirit. She is humbled by the love of God and also by the love that Alex literally showers her with...daily. I think it’s completely obvious from their wedding day photos that Alex is head-over-heels in love with Lauren, ready to spend a life of adventure, joy and sacrifice to walk hand in hand with his sweet beloved.
OK, so I am going to bring in a fourth trait...FUN. Lauren and Alex have so much fun together! The laughter flows in this relationship, friends. They even plan special fun dates together and do the “date-in-a-box!” Seriously, they inspire me to want be more intentional with planning fun dates with my own husband.
So I have to back up a bit and explain that when I first met with Lauren and Alex to talk about their wedding day and plans, we talked about the possibility of a first look and Lauren said she tends to become very emotional in intense situations and she felt like she needed that time with Alex before the ceremony. I think they were both so happy to share that intimate moment before the ceremony. And it certainly did not change Alex’s overwhelming swell in his heart at seeing his bride walk down the aisle! And wow...what a first look it was!!!
Recording their first look and the vows that they exchanged was an incredible honor. To contemplate on how far they’ve come since they first met is pretty special. In fact, they actually first “met” online two years ago after both were encouraged by friends to give it a chance. Lauren thought he was cute and sent him a smile. They got to know each other through questions and answers and eventually started emailing, then texting and then talking on the phone. Their first date in person was on New Year’s Day of 2015 and they knew then that they wanted to be together. On August 6, 2016 Alex proposed!
They had planned to go to Smith Mountain Lake that day, so the night before Alex came to see Lauren and told her that his friend needed help moving the next morning. Lauren agreed and she went to practice music at church. They agreed to go to the lake later in the day. While she was still at church, Alex texted her to say that the moving truck broke down and it was going to take much longer than expected. So friends from church convinced Lauren to go to lunch with them. After lunch Alex said he was done and to meet him at the apartment. By then, Lauren was feeling a little upset because it was definitely too late for a trip to the lake. When she arrived home, Alex was there with a note attached to the front door telling her how wonderful she is and how much he loved her...through song lyrics that they both love! Lauren opened the door and the steps going upstairs were covered in rose petals, candles, and pictures of them together. She walked to the bedroom door and there was a final note simply saying "and I could not ask for more.” She opened the door to find him on one knee, ring in hand surrounded by more roses and candles all over the room! Alex told Lauren that she was the love of his life and asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes!
So I couldn’t think of a more perfect venue for them to tie the knot than Rixey Manor. It’s charm was perfect for these two! Alex made an incredible dapper groom and Lauren literally looked like a fairy tale princess. Lauren and Alex choose silver, grey, plum and lavender as their wedding day palette...which is a perfect choice for the slightly unpredictable climate of March...which ended up being sunny at all the right moments and the rain came when they were already inside for the reception. And every detail of the day was special, with sentimental value. Even Alex had his lucky poker chip with him!
Their ceremony was full of rich details and an arbor created by her friend, Kathy Christensen. Being married under an arbor by your pastor who knows you and has provided pre-marital counseling also makes for a special ceremony. It was full of faith, love, commitment and joy...emphasizing the sincerity, seriousness and meaning of the vows they took...promising to love, respect, and honor each other while encouraging each other to draw closer to God and to each other. they also tied a cord of three stands, attempted to light a unity candle in the wind (not easy, folks) and shared communion together.
Their reception was also full of fun, love and more laughter. I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the evening was hearing Alex thank all of their guests and friends who helped with the wedding day. As he thanked both his parents and Lauren’s parents for raising them to know God and to love well, there were a lot of happy tears. Oh my goodness, these photos of Alex’s parents!
And to say that Jesse Owens is a great DJ is an understatement. He even broke out his harmonica at one point! Seriously, everyone involved was amazing. And having the privilege of photographing a wedding of two people you respect and admire so much while also spending time with bridesmaids and guests whom you call friends...well, you can’t start out the wedding season much better than that.
Thank you to all of Lauren and Alex’s friends, to our church family and especially to Lauren and Alex’s family...who were as gracious and loving as could be to both myself and my second shooter. It has been a joy and an honor to serve all of you! congratulations Lauren and Alex! I hope that Hawaii has been amazing!
Thank you to these incredibly cool cats who helped make this day super special!
Venue: Rixey Manor
Florals: Kathy Christensen
DJ: Jesse Owens
Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal
Shoes and Veil: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Banks
Videographer: Dan Nicholson
Make Up: Erin Bodo, bride’s sister
Hair: Jennifer Ezzell
Caterer: Zoe’s Kitchen
Cake/Cupcakes: Petit Four Cakes
Stationery: Craft Couture Wedding
Reception Decor: Kathy Christensen
Paster Officiant: Howie Holmes
Second Shooting: Emily Marie Photography