There is a time in every photographer’s career where they feel like they made the right decision and that all the hard work has paid off. That being a photographer was meant to be. Well, I have to admit, the past couple of years has been a little stressful in the learning department. I still feel like I’m learning and I’m definitely my worst critique. After every session/wedding I feel like I could have always done more, shot a different way or thought of better positions. That’s definitely not the case with Dane and Haley’s wedding. This wedding was the first time where I truly felt like I was in the right place at the right time. A feeling like this is exactly what I’m meant to be doing. I felt that moment right as Dane was saying his vows to Haley and her daughter Hannah. It was such a special moment and I was glad I was able to capture it for them.
I met Haley and her stylist, Sami, at the Holiday Inn in Sparta. Since Dane and Haley were doing a “first look” she was getting her hair done first. Now, a normal “first look” is when a bride and groom see each other before the wedding to get portraits taken IN THEIR WEDDING ATTIRE but Dane didn’t want to see Haley in her dress yet. So Haley decided to wear a 2nd dress because she really really wanted a “first look”. She wanted to make sure they had a lot of portraits on their wedding day.
Once the “first look” was finished I waited around for the groomsmen to show up to start their pictures. They were such a fun group to work with. They definitely had some great ideas, like the “football pose” and “jump” pictures. I told them that I like to battle the groomsmen and bridesmaids to see who can get the best pics. When you throw out a competition, you get better results. Well, when the bridesmaids came for their pictures they wanted to be more sassy, like the cover of the movie Bridesmaids. It’s always a more popular choice by bridesmaids, to show off attitude, and I was glad. They are some of my favorite bridesmaids pictures ever.
It was finally time to head to the World Shooting Recreational Complex, a wonderful venue for weddings and receptions. Their wedding was set up to overlook the water right when you came outside of 17th Street Bar and Grill. It was beautiful!!!!! Okay, I’ll admit, I usually cry at weddings, but this wedding was so sweet at the end of the ceremony the pastor said “Dane, you may now kiss the girl God made for you”. I guess you shouldn’t quote me on that, I can’t remember ever word exactly, but when I heard that it just made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I was crying so much I was hoping that my pictures were going to be focused correctly LOL.
After a few more photos with the families and bridal party, it was time to start the reception. It was beautifully decorated with burlap, rhinestones and flowers everywhere. A vintage feel with some elegance. Simply stunning. The toasts where beautiful, the ones who caught the bouquet and garter were actually a couple (it’s like fate man), and the first dances were magical. It was a great way to end a perfect day. I’m so glad that Dane and Haley trusted me with their big day. I will forever remember this wedding for so many reasons, but mainly because it was the first day I realized I’m meant to be doing this.
Dane and Haley, I wish you two all the best. You are so perfect together and I know your little family will be blessed with all the good things God has planned for you. Thank you for letting me apart of your special day.
P.S. I just want to give a special shout out to my good friend Myssie. She was able to come along with me and be my 2nd shooter/assistant. I shoot a lot of my weddings solo and I can express how amazing it was to have a little bit of help. It made my day go smoothly and you’ll see some of her shots below!!!
Haley’s sister and mother getting her in her dress.
Haley and her daughter Hannah and then Haley reading a letter from Dane. So sweet.
Look how happy they are!
Dane reading his letter from Haley.
Haley, you are gorgeous!
Please notice the groomsmen Tebowing LOL. Love this pic.
And the attitude came out!
Loved her bouquet! Amazing.
Dane, you may now kiss the God made for you.
They both have this look like “That’s right, I’m married!!!!”
FAVORITE bridal party picture ever!
Myssie took this shot!!! How awesome!
Their wonderful cake. So simple and gorgeous.
The Newlywed Game.
The competitive energy was flowing. Look how focused these girls are! LOL
Another shot of Myssie’s. It’s beautiful.
I just love how happy Dane is in this picture.