I am so excited about what I have to share today! I've been anticipating my first wedding photography experience for a few months now, and I must admit that there was a lot of anxiety involved. No more! Gretchen and Stuart's wedding was the PERFECT first wedding for me. It was some of the most fun I've had in a long time, and I feel so honored that I got to be the one to document this wonderful event. I should have known it would be a relaxed and down-to-earth occasion--after all, it took place at Shaggy's! What better place could there be for a chill, beachy celebration?!
Its location right next to the lovely South Beach Hotel was perfect, too. Gretchen and Stuart's guests traveled from near and far (Scotland!) for their wedding, and I'm sure they were not disappointed by the accommodations.
I had so much fun playing with all the accessories when I got to the bride's suite--especially her fabulous "something blue" shoes! (Don't worry: my lovely assistant/husband Alex was standing by to make sure I didn't drop one of them off the balcony into the pool.)
Aren't the dresses and flowers gorgeous? Rachael at Pine Hills did such a beautiful job with the bouquets. And how convenient that the outside wall was so precisely color-coordinated!
The "getting ready" shots were some of my favorites to capture. Such excited anticipation! With just a little help from hairspray, bobby pins, and the hair-styling magic of Laura from Todd Boswell Salon, everyone looked gorgeous.
Including the groom! Check out the kilt and tartan on this handsome Scot!
He was so excited to see his STUNNING bride! Their "first look" on the balcony was such a sweet moment. I'm not naming any names, but there may have been a few tears shed. ;)
See how happy this new family is?! Their joy really was contagious. I still can't look at these without smiling. :)
Did I mention that Gretchen & Stuart have a quirky sense of humor? Despite being a tad overdressed, they wanted their affection for Waffle House to play a role on their big day! It was hilarious.
Off to the beach!
I had been nervous about doing portraits in the open sunlight, but the good Lord answered my prayers, moving some clouds in front of the sun to create this soft, diffused light. Such a perfect setting for these joyful smiles.
Such a beautiful wedding party! I could have taken pictures of them in this spot all day.
But of course, it was time for the main event!
The ceremony was thoughtfully planned by Gretchen and Stuart. I loved that the amazingly talented bagpiper, J. B. Griffith, led the processional for the entire family.
It's rare for wedding ceremonies to be this meaningful. Amid the graceful officiating of Jean from After the Proposal, both families exchanged blessings, and Gretchen and Stuart shared beautifully-written personal vows. They drank from a common quaich (a fancy Scottish cup) to symbolize sharing the "cup of life" for the rest of their lives, and the best man tied a tartan around their hands to symbolize their unity.
The bride and groom spent a few very special moments alone (well, except for me) on the beach to take in the monumental joy of becoming husband and wife.
Then it was time to party!
Their adorable first dance...
...was followed by LOTS of good food and drinks.
And seriously fun fellowship. There really was love all around.
DJ Grant Garrigues kept the tunes comin', and this crowd was full of impressive dance moves!
Everyone was having so much fun dancing that the couple almost forgot to toss the bouqet and garter, but the single folks were ready to catch!
I loved that there were so many people enthusiastically lining up to participate in this tradition. I don't blame them for wanting to "catch" what these newlyweds have! It is real love, and I feel blessed to have captured it in these images. Congratulations, you two! Thanks for inviting me into your love story.
Uninvented Colors Photography is now booking 2014 weddings, but my next couples have big (blue) shoes to fill. :)