Emily + Brian | Interracial Memphis Wedding

I feel like I start every wedding blogpost with “Where do I begin?” But this time I’m serious. I wish you could have been there. Emily and Brian’s day was sheer celebration. The uniting of two incredible people who have seen each other’s flaws, and embraced them. Who have witnessed each other’s strengths, and only empowered one other to continue using them. Who have catalyzed growth in one another. Who are in pursuit of Christ individually to glorify God together. EEK. Y’all, I could go on. And it isn’t because I idolize Brian and Emily (like I do Kristin Bell and Dax Shepard..ehm..), but because they have welcomed wisdom, counsel, and mentorship. They have not hidden struggle for the fear of losing respect or integrity. In fact, by practicing transparency, they have only gained respect and integrity. It was a full house March 10th, let me tell you. If I hadn’t been behind the camera, my hands would have been red from clapping as they swept back down the aisle as Mr + Mrs Holmes! But I really am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the morning.

Emily was joined by some of the most wonderful ladies from every season and home of her life. The house was oozing with laughter, fruit, hairspray, and dresses. After an incredible brunch, Emily passed around some sweet letters. Mrs. Gluntz invited the  women for prayer together over Emily and her marriage, and followed with a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness and teaching through her own marriage. We all dispersed to corners of the house piling hair on the tops of heads, curling stray ends, and making funny faces in the mirror while layering mascara (we’ve all been there.) Emily chose to go minimal on her route of makeup. It was a true EmG move, and the lipstick was just the match. I hurried back from hanging with Brian to capture the most beautiful moments of her mama and aunt buttoning up the dress Eliana, her maid of honor, made over the last few months. It fit like a glove, made just for her silhouette. There were tears from all directions (including mascara draining down my cheeks as I TRIED to direct her. LOL). Brian’s best man’s daughters peeped around the corner bursting into squeals. 

Down Summer Ave a few blocks, at their soon-to-be home, Brian pulled out some fresh new shoes and his hand-made tie. Surrounded by his best friends, B greeted me at the door with a huge smile. It was THE day after all. In the living room cards were being played and jokes passed around. I pulled Brian into the kitchen for a quite moment as he opened Emily’s letter and gift addressed to her “future husband.” (If you are disgusted by how gushy and adorable it is, you need to stop now, I might put you over the edge.) Out came some awesome “nooo way, oh my gosh!”s and laughs trying to keep the tears in for later. “No she didn’t!” Inside was a book started nearly in the beginning of their story. Prints, memories, and notes of their journey so far together, followed with some incredible writing in her card (I’m sure!).

We got all the guys into the kitchen for their “groomsman” gifts. Aka, learning how to properly tie a bow tie. Not going to lie, by now I had gotten a text that Emily was ready to get her dress, so I didn’t stay for the full struggle that was going down. But rest assured, I know there was lots of blind leading the blind, lots of laughs, and of course, eleven properly tied bow ties at the end!

Em and B wanted to save their first look for down the aisle. So I took the guys to Overton Park. The nicest security guard let us snap photos and goof around in Memphis College of Art. These guys were awesome; I think you can agree, they killed it!

Next up were the ladies. Em was the only one with the traditional bouquet. She and her ladies spent the morning before wrapping and gluing eucalyptus to hoops for their “bouquets.” It looked stunning with each of their unique dresses and looks. I love all the personality and joy oozing out of these photos. The final countdown was on. We had roughly 15 minutes to get to the church when we left MCA. 

We got Em to the church just in time to have a quick prayer with her ladies. The chapel was filled with excited faces and friends greeting each other with handshakes and hugs. Everyone settled as the bridesmaids came through the doors, followed by precious flower girls, and a wagon of ring bearers pulled by one of Emily’s little sisters. We all rose as Mr. Gluntz came through the doors, with his arm linked with his eldest daughter. Em was stunning. Her elegant dress, huge smile, and swept back hair joined her down the aisle. Brian awaited his bride at the front. I’m not sure about tears between the two of them in that moment, but there were enough tears between friends and family, haha. Brian and Em wrote their vows; they had each other choking up and bursting out in laughter. It was perfect. Their mentors and parents gathered around them for a time of prayer, while the guests lifted up their own voices to the Lord.  Then they were announced Mr. and Mrs. Brian Holmes. We all went wild as they danced on stage before walking down! 

After many hugs, family photos, and all-around joyful cheers, we headed to the Brooks Museum with the wedding party. What a fun crew! Even though we were all ready to go jam at the reception, they made these photos so fun and full of memories!

Now it was time for Em + B’s portraits. The sun was setting quickly, so we only had about 10-15 minutes. We stayed in front of the Brooks for the whole time as it was the brightest spot, and just looked gorgeous with them in front! I love these photos so much. So much happiness to just be together, in each other’s arms. You can see the joy in each laugh and kiss. I love it. I love them!

My favorites. They are pretty much models at this point. 

And as the sun set, we drove to their beautiful reception where over 200 friends and family awaited the new Mr. + Mrs. Holmes! I could just gush for lines, but I’ll try to keep it short. There were beautiful details in corners, apricot jam drizzled over goat cheese, and sparkling cider for each table. After toasts and dances, the floor was open. And when I say we got down, I mean we got DOWN! There was so much freestyling and laughing going on, it was hard to keep up. Every time I turned there was an epic moment going down. Just keep scrolling!

Everything was winding down as we hustled outside! Right before Em + Brian headed into the night, they shared a last dance together. There were empty chairs, shoes spread across the room, and only a few cookies left in baskets; the room was used and loved well that night. I cherish the moment of capturing this dance so dearly. It was a timeless dance.

Emily, it was an honor to photograph your wedding. I love you guys so much, and will count it as a beloved memory forever. I cried, laughed, danced, and was so merry! I’m blessed to know y’all, and to call you dear. To many many more years of Mr. + Mrs. Holmes!

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to Jessica Lauren, who drove down from St. Louis in the midst of her own wedding season and hustle and bustle of life! Jessica, you made shooting Em and B’s wedding a dream. You were there before I even asked, you were one step a head fixing dresses, loading cars, and driving boutonnieres around. Its been an honor to get to know you better, and have you by my side. You are dear friend to Em, and I’m so thankful you got  to be here for this day.

Omar + Jenny | Mexican/Vietnamese Wedding | Memphis, Tennessee

Omar + Jenny. These two are so sweet. I received an email from Jenny over a year ago, sharing her and Omar’s story. They were highschool sweet hearts. He sat next to a cute girl at a school function, and she, I quote, “couldn’t stand up and move, that would be awkward!” They soon became friend, best friends as they grew up together. This special union brought together more then just them two, but two families, two cultures. Omar is Mexican and Jenny is Vietnamese. They brought in traditions from both sides as they planned their day. These included Jenny’s beautiful traditional red wedding gown made in Vietnam and the fun dances and games played at Mexican weddings. We had a blast all day celebrating these two. Jenny got ready with all her girls at the house. After she stepped into her gown and was all buttoned in, we jumped in the car to the beautiful Catholic Church. As per-wedding fashion, we hit every red light. After finally arriving, we tucked Jenny away in a back room till the ceremony started.

This ceremony was simply inspiring. The music, the readings, and charge. As Jenny walked down the aisle, Omar joined her half way and they walked together to the alter. There were such sweet times of prayer throughout the ceremony. They broke and greeted all their guests, came together again, took communion, and then! “Omar, you may kiss your bride!” The room erupted in claps and cheers. They were officially one. <3 The first hug they made as a married couple was their sweet son.

We had an awesome time at Overton Park laughing and dancing with their best friends. There was even sparkling apple cider, that Omar brought out. We sent them onward to the reception, and took some portraits. Gosh, I just love the way they get each other. The time was so fun. They were making each other giggle, he was spinning her around, pulling in tight. They made my job a breeze to catch that genuine laughter. We were shivering by the end, and quickly jumped in cars to head to the reception.

At the reception we ate some awesome tacos and mexican candy. Then came those dances. Omar and Jenny came together on floor. Enough chatting, you just got to see all the photos! <3

 

Thank you Jenny + Omar for giving me the honor to photograph your wedding. It has been a joy to get to know you both and capture this love story. Praying over the year and your marriage. <3 

Propcellar Wedding | Memphis, TN | Chris + Tailor Ballenger

I am so excited to catch up and start sharing 2017’s wonderful weddings.

Starting off with Chris and Tailor. This wedding was located at the Propcellar off of Summer Ave in Memphis, Tennessee. The day started with thick curtains separating sections of the large warehouse to insure they would not see each other. After stepping into her beautiful gown and he fitting and tying his shoes they prepared for their first look. He stood on one side of an indoor garage door, hands fidgeting, anxious to embrace his girl. She stood on the other side, fixing her vail, shaking and excited to see her groom. Sheer joy erupted as he ran to Tailor once the door was up. They shared laughs and giggles. We took some photos of the two of them, and other photos with their sweet wedding party. We all shuffled behind curtains as guest arrived. Once the ceremony started, you could feel the presence and sense of worship in the space. They made it priority to share the gospel through their ceremony, as well as include long time of prayer. It was beautiful as arms were stretched out over this new family unit. After they shared their first kiss, Chris and Tailor gently washed each others feet, as the first act they chose to make in marriage. After that there were tears and all smiles. They celebrated, danced, embraced, talked, screamed, and all the good things. We all headed outside at the end and waved around sparklers. What an awesome day! Enough chatting, here are the photos!!

Tennessee Lovers | Ragan + Maclin

My beautiful wonderful friends let me take more wedding photos of them post-wedding. I met them at the cabin that has been in the family for generations, built by the hands of the Williamsons. They took me to their favorite places on the land including the “party tree” where they had dreamed of having their reception. We partied together that morning. Ragan radiates beauty, she is a simply breathtaking bride and wife. Maclin cares for her in a way I dream of being cared for one day. They laugh a lot together. They hold each other tight. They believe in marriage for life. 

Fabrice + Katia | Lyon, France

This pair! What a memory to have! Back in April, I spent some time in Lyon, France visiting friends. While there, Kelly and Dave’s friends were excited to take some mock wedding photos. So they got all dressed up, and off we went for a short time in the city.

Fabrice spoke little to no English. Katia spoke English well and Kelly helped with any hard translations. Honestly, we just laughed the whole time. It was such an incredible experience to explore a city like Lyon. I couldn’t have asked for a more sweet and in love couple. I gave them questions to answer to each other to spark reflection over their relationship. I couldn’t get over the way they looked at each other, every touch with care and love. I didn’t want the session to end.

Exciting news! They just welcomed a sweet son into the world! Hope I can go back and visit one day.