Nina+Vic // White House, Jamaica

Hi friends, it’s been awhile..

I am sitting on so many incredible weddings and am working my way through getting them to you! The next month will be spent featuring some of my favorite moments from the last couple of years..

Let’s kick off with Nina and Vic’s incredible wedding at Sandals South Coast Resort in White House, Jamaica!

I’m doing something a little different instead of writing about how I experienced the day.. I’m letting my couples put it in their own words and Nina took some time out to tell me about what meant the most to them and how their vision of a Tropical Jamaican Beach Wedding came to life.

Tell me about you two as a couple :

“Vic and I have been together since 2011. We got engaged on our 5th Anniversary right next to the spot where we first met. Shortly after we started dating, we opened a business together. While working together has it's challenges, we are so lucky that we get to spend every day together working on something we truly love. I get to work with my best friend every day! We currently live in Fuquay-Varina, NC with our dog Jules.” Nina+Vic own All Events DJs NC

How did you come about choosing Sandals South Coast as your wedding venue?

“Working in the Wedding industry, we felt like no matter where we got married it would feel a little bit like "work". Vic was talking courthouse and I was talking intimate venue, so we did a little research and landed on a destination Wedding! We picked Jamaica because we had been there once before and loved it (Vic had been several times). Vic is a DJ and specialized in Reggae Music during his career. Reggae has always been a big part of our lives and we wanted to include that as part of our Wedding. The resort we chose had a beautiful, new over-water chapel and some great amenities for our guests!”

Did you have any symbolic or special elements added into your day?

“My something old was my grandmother's bracelet.

Since we were doing destination, we put together Welcome Bags for our guests and included items that matched our wedding like towel clips, seahorse ornaments, personalized sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.

Music is a big part of our lives (we're both DJs!). We wanted to pick songs that were different from the weddings we worked every weekend. I walked down the aisle to Bob Marley - Could You Be Loved and our Recessional song was my favorite - Beenie Man & Future Fambo - Drinking Rum!”

What did you splurge on and what were you able to save on?

“Our resort stay!! We spent 7 days in Jamaica in a beautiful oceanfront butler suite. Having the Wedding & Honeymoon in the same place took away so much stress and let us just relax and enjoy our vacation.

Most of the Wedding was covered by the resort, but we did add a special 4-course private dinner. Our guests traveled so far to be with us, we wanted to do something special for them.

Flowers & Decor - The resort provided some beautiful linens and centerpieces. My bouquet was made of wooden flowers as was Vic's boutonniere that we ordered and brought with us to Jamaica.”

What was the greatest investment?

“Organizing a trip with 16 people was not an easy task. We wanted to make sure we had an itinerary with activities for them and to ensure we spent enough time with everyone. It took a lot of planning, but I was so happy with how it all turned out! We got to spend personal time with each person; we even got to have dinner with our Photographer and her Assistant! :) My favorite part of the trip was the day after the Wedding, almost all the guests (a few didn't make it) went snorkeling together. It was beautiful and so much fun!”

If you could give anyone planning advice, what would be your best?

“Relax and enjoy it! I had a few anxiety-ridden meltdown moments during the planning process. In the end, it all worked out. You can plan and plan, but the day is going to pan out without any control from you. For example, we planned a beautiful beachfront dinner and it rained! We moved everything inside. It wasn't my vision, but it didn't take away from how special the day was. And the rain made for some beautiful sunset photos!”

So excited to be heading back to this amazing resort in December for another spectacular destination wedding!

Love how the images turned out and what an incredible trip this was!

St Thomas Preservation Hall, Downtown Wilmington and Coastal North Carolina Wedding | Shanna+Carter

 

This isn't sometimes
Yeah, it's for always
If I'm gonna love you with all of my heart
And if there is no more time,
This always remains.
Even as the world spins itself apart...

Cause I remember them days I waited so patiently
For God to bring someone who's gonna be good to me
And then he blessed my soul

I Found You-Alabama Shakes

Shanna+Carter's first dance song has stuck with me.. I even put it on as I started typing this post.  This song fit them absolutely perfectly.  They together have a sense of style that's classic, refined, timeless.. and it was at every turn during their day.  When they arrived for their rehearsal dressed to the nines with their ray bans on in the most gorgeous golden sunset light I said "You guys look like movie stars!"  That's exactly what it feels to be around them.  They are so loved by everyone they come in contact with and they give that all back.. Hang out with them for a few minutes and you'll know exactly what I mean.

Every time we met up to discuss wedding plans or shoot their save the dates, I walked away feeling so incredibly lucky to have them in my photo family.  They both made photography so important and gave me so much incredible time for photographs!  Huge shout out to Taylor, Shanna's MOH who scoped out AMAZING locations for portraits..she has an incredible eye and I couldn't have picked better spots! and to the AWESOME Wrightsville Beach resident who came out and asked if we wanted to use her waterfront backyard and boat dock to shoot on.. "Ummmm, YES!!!!" 

You'll see below the day was emotional, beautiful, full of style, sentimental and SO MUCH FUN! These guys had such a blast with the Photo Booth and just being together to celebrate with such an amazing couple! 

Congratulations Shanna+Carter!  Honored to have spent the day with you two! <3

I am so happy you were gifted with snowflakes on your mini moon in Blowing Rock! and super excited to see photos from your Honeymoon in the Spring in Ireland!  It's at the top of my bucket list!  

Again, such amazing vendors came together for this event! I hope to work with everyone very soon!! 

Wedding Coordination & Event Planning: Brittany Koontz, Orchid Island Events // Venue: Saint Thomas Preservation Hall, Wilmington, NC// Second Photographer: Travis Hinton, Travis Hinton Creative // Videography : Thomas Blake, Thomas Blake Films // Hair Artist : Jamie Warzel, Jamie Warzel Hair & Make up // Make up Artist: Linzy Ewing // Venue Florals: Bella Florals // Bridal Party Florals: Beautiful Flowers by June // Catering: Milner's Cafe And Catering // DJ: Active DJ Entertainment // Officiant: Kennon  Pickett

 

 

Lauren+Jared: Married! Watermark Marina, Wilmington, North Carolina Wedding Photographer

I don't even know how to start this.. there's so much to say.  I fell in love with these two the moment I met them!  We spent almost an entire year documenting their love for each other and it is still one of the best relationships I've had with a couple.  Lauren's striking beauty paired with Jared's rugged good looks make them an easy couple to photograph but it's so much more.. the way they care about each other, their friends and family.  I can't wait to see them!  We've become friends and to me, that's my success. Lauren's brother James contacted me in the beginning wanting to hire me for their wedding as a gift to Lauren and Jared.  I was so worried that I wouldn't be "a good fit" without emailing/meeting or any of the initial contact I have with my couples.  I mean what if she'd had her heart set on someone else and boom, "Surprise!! I booked you a photographer!!" I would feel horrible.. but with that first email from Lauren, I knew it was a perfect match.  I can't thank Lauren enough, she's introduced me to amazing brides who I am now photographing their weddings.  The best compliment I can ever receive is when a couple refers me to their friends.  THE BEST! <3

Lauren and Jared were married at Watermark Marina which sits along The Cape Fear River in Wilmington, North Carolina.  The setting was just gorgeous!

This post is long.. I had a really hard time pairing down the shots to feature.. So stay with me, there's a lot of good stuff below.. lots of laughter and happy tears.

Thank you Lauren and Jared for being so wonderful and I look forward to seeing you and your pups soon! <3

Huge thanks to Jess for shooting alongside me and just being her awesome self..

Lauren had asked that only her mother be present when getting dressed, so they could share some intimate time together.  I would totally suggest this to all of my brides.  It made for a very special moment between a mother and daughter and the bridesmaids reactions when she finally emerged were true emotion! Real tears and "Awwwww"s that's can't be fabricated..

Burying the bourbon in the soil at your ceremony site is an old southern wive's tale to make sure there's no rain on your wedding day! It totally worked and all the wedding party had to partake! 

Lauren was surprised with an impromptu serenade from Jared and his guys of "You've Lost that Loving Feeling"!! SO GOOD!!! 

Source: http://libbymcgowanblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Rice-Wedding-920.jpg

Sadie+Justin: Married! Outer Banks, North Carolina Wedding Photographer

Sadie and Justin were married on the beach in Kill Devil Hills back in June and it was beautiful.. Total DIY wedding where Sadie and friends came together to put all the finishing touches on their day! So many KIDS!! The most amazing and beautiful children.. I had no idea there would be this many kids and how wonderful they'd be in front of my lens!  I remember asking Sadie what the significance of the Buccaneer Motel was and come to find out they'd been coming here for years from Ohio... like 12+ years ever summer.  So in a way this place totally feels like home and was the perfect setting for these two to say I will.. <3 This wedding was full of family and friends, cousins and siblings.  I had so much fun hanging out with these guys and have the opportunity to capture this super intimate wedding for them.. I wish they lived closer!!!!

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Source: http://libbymcgowanblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Outer_Banks_Wedding_Photographer-68.jpg