Mr + Mrs Self | A Virginia Barn Wedding

Wow!  My final wedding to blog this year… Bitter sweet enough to bring a tear to my eye!

Hannah and Mike planned their wedding for the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I was expecting it to be the coldest wedding of the year!  Much to my surprise, their wedding day was one of these unseasonably warm days that we have been experiencing in Virgnia and it was perfect!!

I arrived to Hannah’s future mother in laws home that day to begin working with Hannah and her bridesmaids as they prepared for the day ahead.  As always I started with details shots (just wait until you see the brides shoes and the tulle on her dress!!).  Once Hannah’s look was complete, we did a first look with her dad (which has become one of my favorite moments to capture!)  and also took a few shots of Hannah with her sweet dog (yall know I am a sucker for dogs!). 

The shots of Hannah with her girls took place next and they all looked so phenomenal.  It was a glimpse of the gorgeousness to come that day!!  Once I was finished talking these photos,  I headed to the groom’s home to capture a few pictures of him and his groomsmen… He stood calm and confident through our time together.  While it is so natural for brides and grooms to be nervous the day of their wedding, it is beautiful to see them so calm.. its almost as if they are so confident that they are marrying the person meant for them that being nervous seem trivial.

The ceremony was short and sweet with the addition of a song sang by the bride’s cousins.  We immediately began family formals just after the ceremony followed by bridal party shots and bride and groom shots.  Pretty standard order of business but this wedding had a little bit of a twist to keep me on my toes…. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was on the verge of a panic attack before this wedding.  You see, November in Virginia means it is dark between 4:45 and 5:00 pm.  This ceremony began at 4 pm.  That means that we would have about 30 minutes to squeeze in ALL of these SUPER important shots (family formal, bridal portraits, and romantic shots of the bride and groom)!!  Yup, now you are beginning to understand the reason for my (almost) panic attacks prior to the big day. 

Well, let me back that statement up by saying that this group rocked out with me during this time!!!  Everyone understood that we were fighting for time before the light was lost and everyone did their part with my direction to make things go quickly and smoothly.  These family photos were seriously the easiest, fastest, most accurate shots that I have ever captured after a wedding ceremony!  The family and bridal party were full of laughter and so easy to work with!

After that we had a few minutes left to capture moments with the bride and groom.  We didn’t change locations from the spot that we had done family and bridal party portraits because the lighting coming through the bare, leafless trees against the bride and groom and her gorgouse purple flowered bouquet was ah-mazing!!  Seriously all I could say was “Oh yes, thats gorgeous!  Yes!!” the entire time we were shooting these images!!  We shot until sundown and I could not have been any happier with the iamges we captured during this time!!

{ Side Note:  Hannah and Mike had an engagement session with me a few months prior to their wedding.  They both seemed a little bit nervous during that time… Why shouldn’t they?  They aren’t professional models and this was their first time being directed in front of a camera!!  BUT the engagement session gave them a chance to feel these nerves and LET THEM GO!!!  That meant that we were able to get the most out of our time together for bride and groom portraits because those nerves had already been experienced, already worn off during the engagement session, and they now felt safe in front of the camera… THAT is why I include a free engagement session with The Wedding Collection and THAT is why I whole hearted believe it is necessary!}

The remainder of the evening was full of love and laughter.  The lighting in the barn was soft, warm, and romantic.  The centerpieces were reflective of the couple’s love story- filled with photos from their start of their relationship until now.  As the night progressed, the dance floor grew larger and the joy continued!!  I may have even danced for a while after my camera was put away for the night!!

Mike and Hannah’s day was beautiful and perfect in so many ways.  Looking back through these images, I can FEEL the joy that they felt that day and I am just beyond happy that they found each other.  I have been so anxious to blog the images from their special day, take a look below at my favorites!!  Congratulations Mr and Mrs Self!

  1. Ashley B says:

    The photos are amazing. Congratulations Mike and Hannah

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