Hillary and Derek | Married | Warsaw, Virginia

May 31, 2017

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Hillary and Derek’s beautiful hometown church ceremony and creek side reception was my third and final wedding for the month of May.  It was the perfect end to a busy month in wedding season before it starts again at the end of June!  

Hillary and Derek have been on my calendar for a year and a half!  We photographed their engagement session last summer and I couldn’t wait to get them in front of the camera again!!  I arrived at Hillary’s mom’s house to greet the bride and her bridesmaids enjoying the day with professional hair and make up.  You know you’ve got a great group of friends when their joy on your wedding day is as grand as your own!  I worked on the detail shots while snapping a few images of the girls laughing together and soon enough it was time to get Hillary in her dress.  Pandora played in the background, set on a wedding day mix, and the perfect song began to play as Hillary stepped into her dress.  It was as if someone had planned that moment down to perfection and the happy tears began for the day!!  

After those special bridal moments, I then headed to the reception site to photograph it before guests arrived.  The reception was held at Hillary’s father’s home.  A large white tent was set up outdoors with a perfect view of the dock and the calm, quiet creek.  Candles, gold sparkles, pearls, tulle and glowing lights were just a few of the details that covered the tent, as well as photos of Hillary and Derek on each table from their childhood until now.

Once finished, I then headed to the church where the ceremony would be held.  The pews were laced with tulle and greenery and a tall cross stood overlooking the entire room while natural light flooded in through the large windows.  Soon enough, it was time for Hillary to walk down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams awaiting her at the end of that aisle.  Their service was so sweet and such a good reminder for all married couples in the room.  

Their minister spoke of a couple that she knew celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  She recalled asking how they made it through sixty years and recited the answer that she was given…. “It wasn’t love that has kept us together for 60 years.  The truth is that we have fallen in and out of love a dozen times over the years.  What kept us together was the fact that sixty years ago there was a wedding and we promised to be there for better or worse and we made it work through the tough times.”

If that isn’t such a strong testament to remember and such a sweet reminder on your wedding day as you vow forever to each other then I don’t know what is!!

Hillary had stated to her minister that the thing she loved most about being with Derek is that he loved her no matter what mood she was in.  Derek had stated that he loved who he was when they were together.  The two had met at a cookout some years ago and thank goodness for that cookout to have brought them together and make them realize how perfectly their hearts were paired together, leading to a joyful wedding, and hopes for such a joyful marriage.

Time After Time was sang while Hillary and Derek stood next to each other, read to vow forever.  As rings were exchanged, Hillary’s bridal party was in tears and Derek’s smile had never been bigger.  His head was held high as they walked down the aisle as husband and wife and you can feel that joy radiating off of him!

Soon after formal portraits, the reception began.  Heartfelt, tear filled speeches took place after dinner and first dances, then rest of the night was a huge blur of joy and laughter, fireworks and fireball shots!  The dance floor was packed all night and it was obvious that everyone was having such a wonderful time celebrating the happy couple.

Hillary and Derek, thank y’all so much for having me there to celebrate along side you and capture your wedding day.  I am just so happy that the two of you found each other and I hope that you keep celebrating life and your marriage the way that you celebrated Saturday night!  Enjoy your honeymoon!!!!!

My favorites from their wedding day are below!!  Cheers to the happy couple and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness!!!


Hair: Spencer Gaulding

Make Up: Morgan Jones

Florals: Commonwealth Florist

Cake: Terri Martin

Custom Cookies: The Rule of Crumb


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  1. hillary says:

    I will never forget this day ever! you were wonderful to work with! thank you so much!

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Important Information about Abby Hudson Photography . . .

It has been an amazing 11 years working with so many sweet seniors, families, and brides.  This business has grown beyond my wildest dreams and I am so grateful for the support I've received.  With that being said, Abby Hudson Photography has closed as I venture into a new season of life. 

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