When I say that I have never seen two people more happy to be married, I ain’t lying. Amber and Patrick are individually amazing people. They’re kind, considerate of others including myself and Kenny, and are absolutely crazy about their families. But when they’re together, its like this spark just ignites and surrounds them with this fire. They are immediately happier, laugh EVEN more than they do normally, and all of the stars are sparkling in their eyes. Especially when they look at each other.
When I look at the two of them, it was sort of like looking in a mirror of how much I love Kenny. I’ve never seen that fierce of a love in anyone else until I was around these two cuties. You know, every single bride and groom looks forward to their wedding. To their WEDDING. But so few people look forward to the day for BEING MARRIED. These two could not wait to BE MARRIED. They could care less about how beautiful it was, or if it was 90+ degrees outside, or if flowers got droopy, or if the champagne tricked me into thinking it was sparkling juice. They just wanted to be married. And gosh, it was so dang refreshing!!
But that being said. Their day was pretty dang perfect. We got to Avonlea Farms in good time despite a little bit of traffic, and as soon as we started rolling down that tree lined lane we knew we were in for a treat once we reached the clearing. It opened up to gorgeous green fields, two stunning houses to get ready in. Oh and did I mention they were separated by a serene lil lake? No? How about the fact that the amazingly kind staff shuttle you from house to house with their luxury golf carts. And they were big enough for 4 of us AND all of our gear. Which is no small feat. I mean if you’ve seen us then you know, we have a LOT of equipment we roll up with.
While Kenny, was with Patrick in one house, I was with Amber and her lil entourage in her house upstairs in the loft. Avonlea Farms has THE nicest upstairs space for a bride and her tribe to get ready. Tall big windows that let in all the indirect light, soft colored walls, bathroom upstairs as well as multiple getting ready tables and some closets! It’s probably one of the nicer ones I’ve seen. The grooms house is equally as beautiful and is suited (did ya see what I did there?) for men to get ready. There’s a pool table, video games, a fridge and darker tones for a more manly vibe. Avonlea nails the getting ready spaces.
So while us girls all boohoo’d when Amber slipped on her dress, the boys were already ready. Patrick was so ready to start that ceremony already haha. Once Amber was done with her getting ready photos with me, we coordinated her first look with her daddy and for her and Patrick, their first touch and letter reading that they opted for. They didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony but still wanted to share a special moment for just them prior to the whole wedding day getting underway. We snuck them to a corner on the wide covered porch, moved some furniture real quick and got to work. They were both nervous but as soon as they held hands around the corner, those nerves went away. That’s one of the reasons I love first looks and touches! They give the wedding couple some moments of peace and serenity with each other not shared with the rest of the wedding guests. Weddings can be crazy! It’s nice to have a few minutes away with your honey before you have to extrovert the whole day.
If I wasn’t convinced of how much they loved each other then, I sure as heck was after they read their letters. I myself was crying right along with them. It especially got me when Patricks voice quivered and Amber had to look up at the ceiling with tears streaming. I mean COME ON. Imagine me, literally hugging one of the porch pillars to get my angle, trying to take photos and tears and fog just filling my viewfinder. It was a sight. We gave them some tissues. I wiped mine on my dress sleeve. And we snuck her back inside and got ready to do the dang thing!!
We quick walked over to the ceremony site where our amazing new videographer friends Devin and Tay were already setting up. Y’all I aint never worked with another hubby wife media team that was so flawless and fun. They are absolutely awesome and we were all cackling and exchanging Instagram handles by the end of the afternoon. Me, being the main photographer and Devin being the main videographer of the day, I so appreciated his approach to capturing the day as well as his courtesy towards my part. Core work memory was me standing in the middle of the aisle as he looked at the back of one of the cameras on a tripod, saying “can you see me yet” *step* “can you see me yet” *step* . I love being able to communicate and discuss a game plan for the day despite never having met or worked with them before.
All heads were turned when Amber came cascading down the hill in the field towards the pews beneath the tree. She gave me one last little scrunchy smile, a classic for her, and gave her a little nose scrunch in return. After that, she had eyes for only Patrick. I LOVE this moment at a wedding. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that this is my favorite moment of the day. When the bride looks at me for one last encouragement and then immediately locks eyes with the groom at the end of the aisle.
They said their I do’s excitedly under that big ole tree wrapped in linen. I swear, once you scroll down and see the photos you’ll see how majestic that tree was. I never would have imagined that it would be that stunning with one simple run of fabric over the branches. But dang if it was. One ceremony celebration that I’ve not seen until their wedding and now I’m obsessed with is colored streamers. They had their JMU colors of purple and gold. The officiant had kindly taught us all how to throw them prior to the ceremony so when they started bouncing down aisle, they had the most colorful exit ever. Patrick and Amber stopped midway back down the aisle where he proceeded to dip her ridiculously low and kiss the heck outta her. When they stood back up they were literally covered in streamers head to shoe, and they drug them all behind them as they made the rest of their way down and out.
We knocked out family photos quickly and I absolutely loved how cooperative their families were. Everyone was on the just married high and it lit their faces up in every photo. Even on the family photo with literally everyone in it, I didn’t even have to adjust eyes in post!
We snuck them over to take a few portraits on this beautiful tree swing before heading over to the reception hall. After crying profusely at their dances, the 4 of us snuck them away for some golden hour photos and laughs. The way the realization that they were married started to really hit them at this point was just too stinkin cute. Every so often you hear, “That’s my HUSSSband!” And then we’d all giggle and they’d smooch as if it was air they needed to breathe. I literally have no other words to express how sweet these two are other than that I’m still obsessed with them and their wedding day. Congratulations Amber and Patrick, love you guys forever!!