{clare & andrew}

I absolutely cannot believe it is almost SEPTEMBER!!  Fall is in the air (well, perhaps not this morning when it reached 80 by 8:30am, but here's hoping it will be soon), and that means wedding season is getting ready to get crazy again!!!  I've had sooooo many gorgeous weddings (and uber-cool clients) this year, I cannot WAIT until things slow down a bit so I can start sharing them much more regularily with y'all.  In the meantime, I want to introduce Clare and Andrew.  They were married back in June and there are so many things to love about this wedding its not even funny.  When I showed up, though, the morning of the wedding, I have to say, I was a little concerned.  It was POURING and the reception was scheduled to be completely outside in Andrew's grandparents backyard...  but miracle of miracles, as soon as we shipped off for the church to start pics, the rain just all but disappeared, and only showed back up for a few minutes during the ceremony.  Anyhow, enough yapping from me... here you go...

I cannot imagine a dress more perfect for Clare.  You know how sometimes you just have a vision in your head of how something is 'supposed' to look?  Well, as weird as this may be... I always visualize what my brides are going to look like on the wedding day, and honestly, I'm rarely right! But with Clare, I was spot on.  haha.   With her kind-a vintage styling of her hair and the dress, and her young, gorgeous face, she totally looks just like Juliet from the Romeo and Juliet movie made in the 1960s.  She was absolutely soooo inspiring to shoot.

I always love the first look, but seriously, this was one of the sweetest ever!  

I adore this picture of the first look!  Sooooo precious.

Clare has great taste.  Her colors were so classic.  And I loved the snapdragon bridesmaid bouquets that were a little 'unstructured.'  Beautiful!

Clare's dad is the Father at the Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge.  To this day, after having shot over 100 weddings, I love an orthodox ceremony probably the most of any!  I love everything about it, especially the fact that it is rooted in centuries of tradition, and that there's so much meaning behind every part of the ceremony.  To top it off, I adored Father Stephen (Clare's dad), and having that personal touch is always cool.

So, when I heard this was going to be a 'backyard wedding reception,' I didn't think much about it... I've done lots of them, and typically they are pretty laid back and small and I've seen them in everything from normal sized backyards to farms...  but this was one of the most magical places I have ever been in my life.  His grandparents have built and extremely extensive garden with hidden paths, a bamboo forest, ponds, bridges, secret sitting nooks and gazebos... and they don't keep it to themselves... they built it to share with others.  Youth groups use it, teenagers take prom pics here, and sometimes folks just come to meditate or pray in one of the 50+ solitary seating areas.  Ahhhh-mazing place and ahhhh-mazing people.

 A few cool details from the reception... including firefly jars for the kids.  Cute!

And to end... just a couple of my favorite moments from the reception...

Father-daughter dance pics are the best!