When I think of 2021, I will always be reminded of a life-changing year. It was the busiest wedding season since photographing weddings in 2017! I put over 20,000 miles on my car driving to and from 23 engagement sessions and 38 wedding days. This year forced me to grow in the best of ways.
Sitting down reflecting on this year I’m baffled, to say the least. Every year has its challenges and new exciting chapters. In June I left Charlottesville and started a new life in Richmond, Virginia. So far, I have loved Richmond and can’t wait to photograph more Richmond weddings in 2022 and 2023! And yes, I still plan to travel to Charlottesville and NOVA for weddings!
I can’t express my gratitude enough for all the wonderful vendors I’ve collaborated with this year that helped provide a seamless experience for the couples who finally got to say “I Do”. This year was like no other with all the rescheduling from the previous wedding season. I couldn’t have done it without the support and patience from my clients and fellow vendors.
To celebrate all of my couples this year, I wanted to highlight each AE Couple with fun superlatives / awards. This has been one of my favorite posts to write! It’s been a joy to reminisce on each wedding!
And now I present to you… the best of 2021 weddings!
The cake speaks for itself! Christiana and Justin had an elegant wedding at The Market at Grelen. In 2021 I noticed a trend in more colorful wedding bouquets and decor. I loved the pop of coral colors throughout their wedding day and the flowers on every tier of the cake! This cake was a statement piece at their reception!
Meet Riley, a good boy who never fails to smile for some treats! Megan and Chance included their 1 year old pup for a couple of minutes during portraits. Pro-tip for puppy portraits: bring treats and a helper! It was such an honor to capture Megan and Chance’s wedding in a secluded area of Southwest Virginia.
Jordan & AJ’s wedding was one to never forget, partially because of their first dance. It started off with the sweetest first look with Jordan’s bridesmaids followed by a first look with AJ. From the moment Jordan and I first spoke on the phone, I was looking forward to this day! Two of Jordan’s bridesmaids were past brides of mine. A second honorable award could be “Most AEP Couples in One Place”. As you’ll see, their “Best First Dance” superlative was well earned with a memorable flip! This set the bar for their reception. It was bittersweet to see them wave goodbye in the limo.
The whole day I forgot I was in Virginia and felt like I was whisked away to Napa Valley or the wine regions of Italy. Justin and Andrea’s day was an intimate wedding surrounded by their closest family and friends in Southern Virginia. They shared the sweetest first look in the vineyard then read heartfelt letters written to each other! It was such a joy to capture all of the sweet moments shared between them!
Shelly and Nick are incredibly kind and light-hearted which made everything from our first email to their sparkler exit smooth and peaceful! It was so great to witness them finally tie the knot and dance with their family and friends. I couldn’t believe it when Shelly showed me her bouquet and told me she had purchased them from Something Borrowed Blooms. I was amazed at how real the flowers looked!!
Emily and I went to the same college but didn’t cross paths. During their engagement session, it was so great to officially meet her and get to know the both of them! Throughout our time together they’ve become more like friends and they even came to Richmond for a mini session after their wedding for pictures with their new pup! Before heading out to Emily and Christian’s wedding I triple checked that I had all my clear umbrellas in the trunk. It was pouring and the weather wasn’t looking to be in our favor. Up until after the first look, we took all the photos under covered porches. The rain eventually stopped and we were able to go outside for the rest of the evening! They say “rain is good luck on your wedding day” and we sure lucked out! Emily and Christian, your smiles are contagious and I adore you two!
Nicole and Hunter’s Keswick Vineyards wedding was a lively event. As you see some of their wedding photos, you’ll notice that their energy and laughter are infectious! There was nothing but pure laughter and joy! Their wedding party brought on the party! Check out more from their wedding here!
Erin and Roy were originally set to get married in May of 2020 and ended up postponing until September. Come September of 2020, the pandemic hadn’t ended and they decided to elope at The Greenbrier. A year later, they celebrated with their loved ones. There was a live band, an exquisitely decorated room inspired by The Greenbrier, and a lovely dinner. It was so great to finally see Erin and Roy come together with their friend and family after literally years of planning.
In 2021 I captured 38 wedding days, 2 of which were associate shooting for Heather Dodge Photography. Katie and Kelsey was my first associate wedding for Heather! It was such an honor to photograph their wedding day. These two spent the morning getting ready together but kept their first dresses a surprise. They shared an emotional first look followed by reading their vows in private. After the ceremony, they changed into matching jumpsuits for the reception!
Emily’s dress wins the award for the most custom-designed wedding dress! After the pandemic impacted their original wedding plans, Emily and Chris shared their vows during an intimate ceremony with just a handful of loved ones. A year later, they came together with both their families and friends and renewed their vows. It was such a special day to have everyone gathered together! One of my favorite moments was when Emily surprised Chris with a new look- the skirt of her wedding dress was able to come off for a shorter dress to dance in during the reception!
I will forever be dreaming of Tara and Babar’s wedding. Every detail throughout the day was elegant and didn’t take away from Keswick Vineyards view. A second award could be some of the best muted pastel florals!! This was my second wedding associate shooting for Heather Dodge Photography and I am so thankful to have been there to photograph Tara and Babar’s wedding at Keswick Vineyards. They were beyond kind and welcoming!
From the first time Erin and I chatted, we imminently clicked and I felt like we were old friends! Over the year we exchanged emails and Instagram DMs. She told me she couldn’t wait for me to meet her bridesmaids because she knew we’d all mesh so well together! It’s always special when you find “your people” who make you feel at home. Luke and Erin win the award for the windiest ceremony. I almost always check the weather for rain but never have I thought to check for wind before! Not once did I hear Erin or Luke complain about the wind or cold temperatures. The wind added the most dramatic flair to their ceremony photos at King Family Vineyards!
I’ve only ever seen photos on Pinterest of hoop bridal bouquets and was so excited when I walked into the bridal suite and saw the unique design Kristin had picked out! The hoop bridal bouquet was the perfect alternative to a traditional bouquet!
I almost gave these two the “longest engagement award”! Their original date was set back for the Spring of 2020!! Their November 2022 wedding was blessed with a late Fall and just in time for peak foliage. The Fall colors were unreal from Moss Vineyards. Truly some of the prettiest colors I’ve ever seen!
Throughout our time together, Evans kept saying she was praying for great weather so they could do their ceremony outside at Agecroft Hall. It’s not that she didn’t want an inside ceremony, but she really wanted to be able to get married at the same location as her grandparents! The week of the wedding the weather wasn’t looking promising and it even rained most of the morning. Thankfully, it ended up clearing out and being one of the warmest December weddings one could ever wish for!!
My last wedding of the year was at King Family Vineyards and it was by farthest the coldest wedding of the year. Andrea and Lucas shared their vows in private after their first look before heading to the ceremony. After the ceremony, I asked her if she would be okay bracing the cold one more time for portraits. We waited inside until the light was perfect and then whisked away to chase the light and these were some of my favorite golden hour pictures of the year!
Preserving the powerful and fleeting moments which make your day incredibly meaningful- that's my goal as your wedding photographer. Most couples say the day goes by in the blink of an eye and they wish they could relive their wedding. There’s nothing more meaningful than delivering a gallery with pictures that make the memories come flooding back.
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