I had been looking forward to Alyssa and Michael’s wedding all year long. I connected with them so well the moment that we began chatting and their engagement session just made me fall in love with them, their love story, and the way they care for each other with such kindness.
I don’t cry much. I cried at our own wedding, I’ve cried at a few friends’ weddings, and I cried at their wedding. There were so many sweet sweet sentiments throughout the day that just tugged on your heart strings (and I mean tugged hard)!
Alyssa’s father has just recently and suddenly passed earlier in the year and that was a tough reality to experience during such a sweet time in their life. Knowing that he would be greatly missed on their wedding day, Michael gifted Alyssa a necklace with her father’s signature as well as a card that he had written as if to have come from her father speaking about how proud he was and how happy he was for her on this special day.
As if that wasn’t sweet enough, one of his groomsmen came in to see Alyssa before final preparations began for she and her bridesmaids. He handed her Michael’s phone which then played a video that Michael had recorded for her telling her how much he loved her and how excited he was to marry her in a few short hours. After watching the video, she was handed a box with a gift from him inside. The room was in tears!
Alyssa’s bridesmaids hadn’t seen her in her dress yet, so her wedding planner, Karla Crisp of Petals and Lace Events, helped her into her dress before she walked out to surprise her bridesmaids with how wonderful she looked in her gown. She told us how she had completely ruled that dress out before every trying it on, until she was convinced to “try it on to officially rule it out”, in which case she and everyone with her were in tears over how perfect it was for her.
Their wedding was held at Castle Glen Winery in Doswell, Virginia. The ceremony location had been revamped due to the rain we were experiencing. It had poured hard all day the day before and, while it wasn’t as heavy, the rain was still not letting off for their wedding. Much to our surprise, the rain actually stopped just in time for the ceremony and didn’t return until after all of their portraits were finished and they were introduced into the reception!
The look on Michael’s face as Alyssa walked down the aisle was the one aspect that Alyssa was looking most forward to witnessing during their ceremony and he did not disappoint!! Emotion filled his face in the best of ways the moment that he saw his bride and she took looked back at him, both with such longing to begin forever together. It was enough to bring more tear to anyones face, including my own!!!
The ceremony was perfectly them! As wine lovers they decided to mix white and red wine and share a sip of the mixture together to symbolize the two wines, like their own hearts, being inseparable. We moved right into portraits after the ceremony where laughs were shared in full force. We shot near the vineyards where they were originally supposed to be married since the rain had held off. During bride and groom portraits, their experience in front of the camera during the engagement session came flooding back to them and we were able to capture so many portraits in the half an hour that we had for their just married portraits. I was so grateful for the extra portrait time to work with them!
Alyssa and Michael then shared in celebration with their guests over a Mediterranean style dinner followed by amazing cupcakes and cake made by Sorby Sweets. The dance floor soon opened and the rain began again which offered the perfect opportunity for a few night time portraits in the rain with a clear umbrella. Their wedding planner, Karla, had actually messaged me with that idea the night before and I was so excited to see those images come to life!
The night soon ended with a sparkler exit and more cheer and joy flooding through the venue than ever imaginable.
Alyssa and Michael, thank you so so much for trusting me to capture your wedding day. You two are perfect together. The kindness you show each other, the commitment, the drive to consistently take care of each other and bring a smile to each others faces… Its such a beautiful thing to witness and document. I am so happy for you two as you begin this new chapter as husband and wife. Congratulations y’all!
Venue: Castle Glen Winery
Wedding Planner: Karla Crisp, Petals and Lace Events
Hair and Make Up: Mesa Phillips
Florals: Love Clay Flowers
Cake: Sorby Sweets
Caterer: Baba Ganoush
Bridal Gown: Formal Envy
Bridesmaids: Azizie Bridal
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse