"Commit To The G" - Callie and Michael - Dawsonville, GA

Callie and Michael’s wedding was one-of-a-kind. They started the day at their family’s campground. There, “tents”, 2 story wooden cabins, served as the perfect place to get ready for the big day. They both have spent much time at the campground so it held deep value to them. In the center of the campground their is a large pavilion that serves as a beautiful sanctuary. They chose not to see each other, but hid around an old Oak tree and Michael prayed the most sacred prayer over them. A prayer for their wedding, their marriage, their future children and their purposes. I felt honored to have been witness to it! The ceremony was packed out, the largest wedding I have shot to date! It was clear that they are deeply loved. After the ceremony we set out for The Barn at Valley Brook Farm where we shared a wonderful southern dinner and ventured out into the gorgeous fields at sunset. The night was capped with a hysterical classic, “The Shoe Game”, before sending the lovely couple off to spend two weeks in Alaska! It was a wonderful evening! 

 

Amazing Second Shooter: Abby Stancil Photography

Reception Venue: The Barn at Valley Brook

Hightower Wedding - The Walter's Barn - Lula, Ga

What a beautiful day it was on April 28th! Kelsey and Matthew got married at The Walter’s Barn in Lula, Ga. This venue is actually the sister venue of the last wedding I shot at, Willow Creek! The accommodating staff were definitely consistent in their love and care, not just for the bride and groom, but even the vendors on site! One of the most beautiful and unique aspects of Kelsey and Matt’s wedding was right at the end. They decided that as their guests lined up outside to say farewell with handfuls of flower petals, that they would take that time for one last dance. Just them, in an empty reception hall. With the remnants of the greatest day still on tables, they just took a moment to soak one another in. I was lucky enough to get to stay and preview it all - and man, all I kept thinking was, “I wish I had thought of that for my wedding!” It was such a beautiful day. Matthew is a marine, and it is such an honor to get to serve a couple who has so selflessly served our nation! Of course these photos wouldn’t have happened without some AMAZING vendors! A huge shout-out to the amazing Abby Stancil for being the most phenomenal assistant photographer! 

Venue: The Walter's Barn

Cake:  Sugartopia

Grooms Cake: Brittney Grant Quillians Bakery

Coordination: Soirees Southern Events

Florals: Soirees Southern Events

Make Up:  Beth Rooks with Make Me Up Georgia

Videographer: Company Films Joseph Edwards

Caterer: Luna’s Restaurant Gainesville

DJ: NDL Entertainment

2nd Shooter: Abby Stancil Photography

Sealed With A McKinnis! - Willow Creek Farm, Cleveland GA

Grace and Austin wed under a beautiful backdrop of weeping willow trees at (the appropriately named venue) Willow Creek Farms in Cleveland, Ga. The sound of the slow-rushing stream behind them leant for the most beautiful, moving ceremony. You would be hard pressed to find a livelier bunch of people! And of course, like all weddings - these images wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing vendors! Take a walk through the story of Grace and Austin’s beautiful day! #SealedwithaMckinnis

 

Planner and Flowers: Soirees Southern Events

Catering: Smokehouse

Cake: Sugartopia

Video: Blake Pace Productions

Second Shooter: Amanda Hamlin Photography

Mandy and Brandon - Sacramento, CA

I have known Mandy for almost a decade now as she was my college roommate! Immediately when I met her, I was drawn to her. (Pretty much anyone who meets her is!) She is filled-to-the-brim with kindness and one of the most encouraging people I have ever met. 

When she reached out to me to shoot her wedding in Sacramento, CA I was ALL-IN! I would have never imagined that a few years ago, I would be flying across the country, doing what I love and being united with good friends - God is good! 

Mandy and Brandon's wedding was incredibly unique. Every detail of the day had their personalities written all over them! (And Mandy's amazing mom and family made most of the things by hand!) They both ROCKED Nike's in leu of fancy footwear - BRILLIANT! 

The event was held at the Smith Flat House, and the staff could not have been kinder or more accommodating. (Not to mention their top-notch food!) And I loved that the bride herself made the Coca Cola cake that we all INDULGED in! (I sometimes dream of that cake!) 

The day couldn't have been more beautiful. Perfect skies, even a paraglider made an appearance right before she walked down that aisle! It definitely carried a "Fall" feel which was perfect as it was just days before Halloween! (Which made the adorable pumpkin decorations super appropriate!) 

Mandy and Brandon are free-spirits, the life of the party! 

I have truly come to love shooting intimate ceremonies. There is something about the simplicity of events like this that pull my heart strings. 

Mandy and Brandon, or "Brandy!", I wish you guys a lifetime of happiness and peace. I pray you never stop seeking out adventure with one another, and that your marriage is a light to many. What an honor it was to get to capture your most beautiful day and see your side of the world! 

Kennedy and Tyler - The Dwell Hotel - Chattanooga, TN

"They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops. And that is true." - Big Fish 

The scene opens under a big top, a circus is in full swing when the lead male figure in the movie "Big Fish" sees the love of his life for the first time. He is so enamored by this woman that the hustle and bustle of the circus freezes while the popcorn that she is holding... well, it floats. (See scene here.) 

Tyler has hung on to that scene and jokingly shared with friends that until the "popcorn floats" he would wait on getting married. "Lofty standards", some may say.

Then Kennedy walked in, time stopped - the popcorn floated. 

Their story is a whirlwind romance, unconventional and a bit wild, and their wedding at the "Dwell Hotel" in Chattanooga, TN couldn't have been a better backdrop. 

Their day started in the woods - just the two of them. (Not even the photographer was invited to this party!) They both have dreamed of marrying in the woods, and though there was no "formal" exchange of vows... two beautiful souls stood behind a giant oak tree, vows in hand, tears on cheeks and committed themselves to one another. It wasn't about the charades and the production, it was about a mutual promise, about one another.

After a while, they emerged together and we took a few quick portraits before heading off to their wedding together.  (Our ride back over consisted of a quick practice session of a song they would conclude their ceremony with. It was the most fun I have ever had being a third wheel! ;) 

An intimate ceremony of 50 people gathered around tables with fine food and laughter. Minutes later, Kennedy and Tyler appeared at the top of a large staircase. After a beautiful speech by Kennedy's dad, they commenced the evening by sharing their story. For many, this was the first time hearing their journey. By the end of them sharing, there was hardly a dry eye. My eye cups on my cameras had puddles of their very own! 

As dinner was served, one after another, influential people in the couple's life got up to speak wisdom, share in HYSTERICAL stories, and encourage the couple. We took a brief break to squeeze the last few minutes of sunlight and grab a group shot of ... well, you guessed it. "Floating popcorn!" (Swooooon)

We came back in, finished speeches and after everyone was full, there came time to officially commit their lives to one another. Promises were made, and then communion and worship ensued. It was unlike anything I have yet to see in this lifetime. The spirit of God fell on the room and people began speaking prophetic words over the lives of these two. There was joy-filled weeping and laughter. A subtle peace blanketed the room. 

Finally, a blessing was spoken over the couple and the two sealed the deal in a steamy kiss. Then, to everyone's surprise (though not mine!) they grabbed mics and sang a song which perfectly described their love to one another. Everyone couldn't stop clapping and cheering. 

Oh, and the parting gift? TATOOS. You read that right. Guests had the option of getting the word "Dwell" tattooed pretty much anywhere! Whaaaaaaat?!

In full Kennedy and Tyler fashion, the wedding was perfectly imperfect. No formal aisles, throwing of the bouquet, first dances or cake smashes but yet - perfect. It was a highlight in my career for many reasons and I couldn't be happier for the two leading roles.

They reinstate hope to anyone out there waiting, holding out and keeping lofty standards that this God we serve is fully capable and willing to give us beyond what we could ever ask for, think of or imagine.

He can even make the popcorn float.