Tori & Chris The Granary Wedding | Staunton Wedding Photographer

After dating for 6 years Tori and Chris said their vows at their spring wedding this May filled with family, friends, and so much love! Tori and Chris chose the colors of light pink and light green to create a beautiful spring tone. The bridesmaids worse an array of light pink and light green dresses in different styles and wore the cutest tan shoes again all in different styles! The men looked dashing in their light green and light pink ties with classic gray suits. Tori and Chris chose to get married at The Granary at Valley Pike because of their love for the outdoors. They had planned for an outdoor wedding but due to weather they decided to have their ceremony indoors which was equally as beautiful with the restored barnwood and natural light!

The Granary at Valley Pike is a newer wedding venue and I was so excited to get to shoot a wedding there, especially this wedding! The fields were so green in contrast to the white and brown barn. Their bridal and groom suites are so pretty too and the girls robes looked perfect in the white washed wood room. Tori had the sweetest first look with her dad while finishing getting ready, there wasn't a dry eye in the room!!

Tori and Chris are so laid back and their entire wedding day reflected the ease and comfort they share in their love. They chose to spend a few minutes alone after their ceremony which is such a special time to have. While they followed most of the common wedding traditions they also added a few unique details to their wedding, like the visit from the Virginia Tech Hokie bird. The Hokie bird joined us for some fun portraits and spent time with the guests at the start of the reception too. They also had the Bella Luna Pizza truck which was so delicious. They ended the day with a bubble exit.

While spring weather may be unpredictable the lighting after rain is always beautiful. So after their bubble exit and the final rainfall for the day we went back into the fields for some beautiful bride and groom portraits. I loved the timing of these portraits because most of the guests had left and the bride and groom were feeling elated from being married, but also relaxed and at ease from the pressure of their wedding day. Tori's wedding dress was so much fun to photograph because it was so full of movement. They walked, danced, and twirled all around the The Granary and Valley Pike Market! She also chose to wear comfortable and cute crotched Tom shoes which were perfect. Enjoy this the images from this beautiful mostly outdoor spring wedding at The Granary!

Special thanks to all the amazing vendors that made Tori and Chris' wedding day perfect!

Venue: The Granary at Valley Pike Farm Market

Second Shooter: Hannah Joy Photography

Videography: Nvision Photography

Wedding Coordinator: Sheryl Green

Florist: Upsy-Daisy

Wedding bands from Kay Jewelers

Dress: Studio I Do Bridals

Suits/Tux: Men's Wearhouse

Hair & Make-up: Kaylyn Mays

Cake: Country Confections

Caterer: Bella Luna Pizza

Invitations: Minted

 

Cassie & Robert's Cross Keys Vineyard Wedding| Harrisonburg Wedding Photographer

After "meeting" over the phone and finally in person at a Cross Keys Vineyard bridal luncheon, I was so excited for Robert and Cassie's engagement session at the State Arboretum in Winchester. They were so loving and affectionate with one another it made their session so easy. Fast forward to a warm September day at Cross Keys Vineyards, their wedding day was finally here! I'm always so excited to see the dress and details the bride has chosen when I first arrive and Cassie's dress was no exception. Her dress was so beautiful on the hanger I spent at least 10 minutes with her dress alone! Then, it was the sparkly blue Kate Spade shoes that Robert bought her that stole my attention next!!

Cassie and Robert chose not to do a first look. However, they did talk to each other before the ceremony over the balcony which then led to some amazing bridal portraits as well. Cassie's dress was not only gorgeous, but it fit her so perfectly. She was simply stunning and you can see just how stunning by Robert's reaction to seeing her walking down the aisle. Their ceremony was so emotional, filled with both tears and some great reactions from Robert when he finally got to put on his ring! I loved watching these two become husband and wife and the joy on the faces of their friends and family spoke volumes.

After their outdoor ceremony, we took family and group photos but quickly snuck away to spend most of our time on bride and groom portraits. I always ask each couple to prioritize their photo time so they get more of the types of images they want and can also maximize their time spent with friends and family. Cassie and Robert wanted to do some of their portraits in the wine cellar and vineyards which is a perfect way to commemorate getting married at a vineyard. We also spent a few minutes in the gorgeous golden hour as the sun set over the vines, it was truly the most perfect light!!

Cassie and Robert's reception started with a lot of first dances, and a few more tears. Next they had a delicious meal followed by some fun games, cake cutting, and a lot of dancing. Mid way through the night they put out a s'mores bar on the outdoor patio just as it started to cool off a bit outside. Another hour or so into the night there was a taco bar for a "midnight" snack. Cassie and Robert chose a sparkler exit to end their night as they left for their next adventure..... an even more romantic honeymoon!!

Best wishes to these newlyweds as you begin your new life together as husband and wife!

Vendors

Second Shooter - Kara Lofton

Flowers- Faded Poppy

Wedding Coordinator- Ariel Watters

Dress-Kleinfeld Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses- Bridal Impressions

Suits-Lapel

Hair and Make up- SAS Salon

Cake and favors- Jessica Cisler J Maries Home Cakery

Catering - CrossKeys Vineyards

Invitations- Minted

Megan and Zack Hermitage Hill Wedding | Waynesboro Wedding Photographer

I first met Megan and Zack for their engagement session in the late spring. We ventured out into the middle of nowhere to an empty summer camp which was so worth the drive. Their engagement session was so much fun and the images were amazing. You can check out this feature or my blog post to see their engagement session.

I was so excited for Megan and Zack's wedding because it was my first of two weddings I have scheduled at Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables. I've heard so many wonderful things about this new venue and couldn't wait to shoot there. I also knew that Megan's wedding gown which was custom made by White Dress by Greta Kay was going to be gorgeous. The weather was so perfect for their wedding day, it was a warm and sunny October afternoon. The girls were getting ready in the bridal suite while the guys were hanging out in Hermitage Hill's brewery, Stable Craft. I love the main reception room at Hermitage Hill. There is so much natural light and lots of warmth from the wood decor. Megan chose a simple yet elegant decorations of gold and rose throughout the room.

Megan's dress was in fact amazing. She told me she wanted to look like a princess and that's exactly what she looked liked in her custom gown and headpiece. This dress had so many layers and buttons the whole way down the train. It was so much fun to photograph. The bridesmaid's dresses, also custom made by White Dress by Greta Kay were equally as stunning. They sparkled in the sunlight and fit each bridesmaid so perfectly. They even found matching flower girl dresses online, and these flower girls were so precious!

Their ceremony was held outside in the horse rink of Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables. Megan and Zack did not do a first look before their ceremony, and it was so special as they saw each other for the first time. With handwritten wooden signs and rose petals lining the aisle, Megan looked beautiful walking to meet her future husband. The flower girls and ring bearers did a great job walking down the aisle too. The sun glistened against the rose and gold sequin dresses. It was the perfect outdoor ceremony.

The reception decor inside Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables was perfect for Megan's fairy tale wedding. The gold chairs and table runners with her rose accents were delicate and beautiful. There was a large dance floor, a buffet of delicious BBQ, and a table stacked with cupcakes with a cheesecake on top! There was a lot of dancing and the couple made an exit lined with glow sticks to end the night.

Vendor List

Venue- Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables

Photographer- Christy McKee Photography

Photography assistant- Aubrey Johnson from Aubrey Gee Photography

Wedding Gown- White Dress by Greta Kay

Bridesmaids' Dresses- White Dress by Greta Kay

Menswear- Behar tuxedo rentals by White Dress by Greta Kay

Florist- Harmony harvest farm.

Rings- Bride, Kay Jewelers and Groom, Lemons' Jewelry

Hair and make up- High tech salon and spa studios and Elizabeth Colopy

Catering- Hanks BBQ

Sound production and DJ- Troy Keller with Event XTC

Invitations (not photographed)-Viking forge

Amanda & Matt Kyle House Wedding | Roanoake Wedding Photographer

Amanda and Matt were married in Fincastle, VA at The Kyle House, a very unique venue that I was very excited to see!! Amanda chose The Kyle house for it's quiet, rustic, and romantic environment. The barn at The Kyle House glows with warm light and rustic wood. The gardens are filled with lush greens, flowers, a pond, and strung lights throughout. Amanda had told me that the venue is even better at night and she was right! As the sun set the gardens began to glow even more.

Amanda chose pink and peach as her wedding colors. She was raised in southern Georgia, so peaches were always special to her and she knew she wanted to have peach roses and flowers. These soft colors fit in perfectly at the venue and in the gardens. Amanda also chose to arrive and exitthe ceremony in horse and carriage. The guests took carriage rides after the ceremony while we took family portraits.

The reception area of The Kyle House has exposed brick and beautiful chandeliers and plenty of room for dancing. The charm of the old house with it's arched doorways and etched fireplaces was so intimate. The old charm of downtown Fincastle was a gorgeous setting for a wedding.

Venue: The Kyle House Fincastle, VA

Day of Coordinator: Charlene Smith

Florist: Charlene Smith

Rings: Zales & Finks Diamonds

Dress: Davids Bridal

Bridesmaids: Davids Bridal

Suits/Tux: Mens Warehouse

Horses & Carriage: Lexington Carriage Co

Cake: Mary Micek

Catering: Jim Schaal (Kyle House)

Invitations: Minted.com

 

Urban Vineyard Wedding | Staunton Wedding Photographer

Jill and Blake had a lot of help planning their destination wedding. Coming from the Midwest they enlisted the help of several family members to find the perfect Church and reception venue for their Virginia wedding. I first met with the mother of the groom to learn all the details of their trendy wedding. It was going to be filled with beautiful dresses, flowers, an adorable "best girl", and an exciting exit. One thing I was most excited about when planning out the wedding photography details was taking the wedding party to downtown Staunton for portraits. Their BHLDN dresses were perfect for an urban backdrop and I had already had several spots in mind.

Church weddings are becoming more popular this year and this couple chose a gorgeous Catholic church in downtown Staunton, St. Francis of Assisi. The church just finished a complete renovation of their stonework and their rooms inside are filled with natural light. The best girl was on hand to help the bride get ready.

The ceremony took place at St. Francsis of Assisi Catholic Church in downtown Staunton. It's a beautiful church and their ceremony was equally beautiful!

As I mentioned earlier, I was very excited to have the chance to do portraits downtown. I love urban settings and this wedding party was dressed perfectly for this setting. We took a bus to a few spots in the downtown area. Unfortunately, after our first stop the skies decided to open up and the entire wedding party was soaked. They all took it in stride and we hid out for a few minutes, and while some ran to the bus the bride and groom decided to keep on going!

As fate has it, as soon as we boarded the bus the rain stopped! The wedding party took the time to dry off and freshen up and we all headed to Barren Ridge Vineyards for the reception. Barren Ridge is such a beautiful location all year. This time of year the vines are very green and lush. We decided to do a few more portraits in the vineyards before the reception began.

The reception was indoors at Barren Ridge Vineyards. The room had a warm glow and was filled with beautiful flowers, a cake that looked almost too good to eat,  and photographs of the couple. The views from the balcony off the reception hall are amazing and wait until you see their sunset photos!! Barren Ridge has the best sunsets in the valley.

Photography: Christy McKee Photography

Second Shooter: Jessica Barrett Photography

Wedding gown by BHLDN

Bridesmaid's dresses by Adrianna Papell

Flower girl dress worn during ceremony by Greta Kay

Bouquet and Boutonnieres by The Faded Poppy

Wedding Coordinator: Sara Kite, The Faded Poppy

Cake: Paris Cake Co.

Caterer: Eric Stamer Catering

D.J.: Rick Haggard

Hair and Make up by Mill Street Spa

Reception flowers: Mother of the groom Keena Neal and sisters

Reception venue: Barren Ridge Vineyards

Ceremony: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Staunton, VA

Blue Ridge Mountain Wedding | Staunton Wedding Photographer

By chance I was lucky enough to become Jessica and Shane's wedding photographer just months before their wedding day. They were getting married on the Blue Ridge Parkway on a spring day which couldn't sound more prefect to me! Jessica and Shane are both in the arts industry so they are creative at heart and you can see this in each wedding detail they designed!

It was a warm and sunny spring day on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Skyline Resort. Jessica was getting ready while Shane was helping set up the reception area. The bridal suite was such a calm environment with soft music, lots of natural light, and two best friends.

The men were also very laid back and able to get ready in 5 min, aren't they lucky! The couple decided to do a first look with the Blue Ridge mountains as their backdrop. The sun was shining bright and so was their love when they first saw each other. Jessica's dress is so beautiful with the lace and button details. Shane was daper with his dark suit and pale tie.

Jessica and Shane had some of the most beautiful bridal and grooms portraits in the wood. The leaves hadn't quite bloomed yet creating such an ethereal look which matched them perfectly.

Their ceremony was also outdoors. Guests sat amongst wooden benches and and the warm April sun while Jessica and Shane exchanged their vows and became husband and wife.

The reception was filled with unique and creative details all designed by the couple. Each detail fit perfectly into the setting of the Shenandoah mountains. After dancing and cake the couple headed back outdoors for a gorgeous sunset and then roasting smores by the fire.

Hiring a Second Shooter For Your Wedding Day | Staunton Wedding Photographer

Every bride need to consider the idea of hiring a second shooter for their wedding day. However, not all brides need a second shooter. I will discuss, in my opinion, the benefits of having a second shooter as well as when a second shooter is necessary.

Here are some questions I always ask my couple's when deciding if they "need" a second shooter. Are you both getting ready at the same location? How many getting ready moments do you want to capture for both the bride and groom? Do you want to have a first look with the groom or father of the bride? How close is the getting ready suite to the ceremony site? How close is the reception to the ceremony site? If you are not having a first look with the groom, how long after the ceremony do we have for portraits? How large is your wedding party? How many family portraits would you like to have?

Regardless of how you answer these questions having a second shooter is always an added benefit to your wedding day. A second shooter will provide you with more images from your wedding day, as well as more of a variety of shots. A second shooter can be beside the photographer catching different angles or at a different location capturing other events. If the bride and groom are getting ready at separate locations , or you're having a first look, a second shooter is so nice to have. If you're choosing not to see each other before the ceremony and want to take all your bridal party photos before the ceremony this is also a really great time to have a second shooter. A second shooter can be hired for fewer hours than your wedding photographer, or the same amount of time depending on your needs.

If you're undecided on hiring a second shooter consider the questions above and discuss them with your photographer. Together you will make a decision that is right for you and your wedding day!

I'm including some photos I took when I had the opportunity to second shoot with a wonderful photographer in Culpepper, VA. Michelle from Leib Photographic is an amazing photographer to work with. These photos are great examples of how a second shooter can enhance your wedding day.

50's Inspired Styled Wedding | Staunton Wedding Photographer

This session highlights so many things that I love about photography! First, I love all things vintage! I love the outdoors and shooting near water because the light is amazing. I also love working with and supporting local vendors which is really what a styled shoot is all about. Take a look at this gorgeous styled wedding that was featured on Glamour and Grace!

I met with Liz from Gaie Lea to discuss putting together a styled shoot that showed how beautiful her venue is during all seasons. This shoot was actually done during the fall but it would also be the perfect spring or summer wedding concept.  We both wanted to focus on the 1950’s which is when the venue was built. We wanted to highlight the use of family heirlooms and using items from your mother’s wedding. I decided a casual picnic theme would be perfect by the water, but still keeping a sense of elegance and formality from the 50’s. We stayed very true to the era in terms of wardrobe, hair, and make up. We used all original 1950’s family heirlooms for the styling, most of which belonged to the venue owner’s own mother and grandmother.  Other vintage props were supplied by Valley Heirlooms.

Sara Kite from The Faded Poppy styled the shoot. She always find the most amazing vintage pieces and did such a great job combining them with the family pieces we borrowed from Gaie Lea. Sara, and her adorable puppy Charley (seen below) designed the perfect tablescape and reception setting. Sara has such a creative eye and can work with any vision. Sara also created the retro inspired bouquet. This petite bouquet comprised of a soft palette mix of locally sourced blooms including cream mums, peach roses, white limonium and fresh sage & thyme sourced from Gaie Lea's herb garden.

We had a team of three doing the hair and makeup. They matched the true style of the 1950's so perfectly. Omar De Leon Molina owner of Omar's Hair Salon did a wonderful job styling our models hair. The before and after was simply amazing. Veronica Vargas from Glamorous Makeup and Hair by Judith Veronica did a beautiful job defining the look with the glamorous red lips and minimal, but bold, Sophia Lauren eyes. Make up was such an iconic part of 1950's fashion and Veronica portrayed that perfectly. 

The wedding dress, named  Betty, was custom designed by wedding dress designer Greta Kay. The dress is fashioned with a sweetheart neckline and full tea length skirt. It features hand-beaded alencon lace on tulle. The shoes which can be found at White Dress by Greta Kay were the perfect accessory to this dress.

 I decided I didn’t want to use a traditional cake so I decided to use pies which were very popular in the 50’s and went along with the picnic theme. Paris Cake Co. supplied pies in two sizes and they were both beautiful and delicious!

For jewelry I visited the new owners of H.L. Lang & Co.,  a jewelry store that carries estate and other fine jewelry. They owner and her mother chose original 1950’s pieces that were perfect for the shoot. They chose a red colored stone for the engagement ring, graduated pearls, and a beautiful pin. This theme was so much fun to plan to see through. Everyone involved had so much fun researching the era and finding fun ways to incorporate traditions and era specific details.

Photographer: Christy McKee Photography www.christymckeephotography.com

Venue: Gaie Lea Staunton, VA http://www.gaielea.com/

Styling: Sara Kite, The Faded Popppy www.thefadedpoppy.com

Florals: The Faded Poppy

Wedding dress, shoes, and wardrobe styling: White Dress by Greta kay www.whitedressbridals.com

Jewelry: H.L. Lang & Cohttp://hllang.com/

Pies: Paris Cake Company http://pariscakeco.wix.com/erinn#!

Vintage Rentals: Valley Heirlooms http://valleyheirlooms.com/

Hair: Omar’s Hair Salon (no current web page)

Make Up: Veronica Vargas https://www.facebook.com/Glamorous-Makeup-Hair-by-Judith-Veronica-LLC-599549603554721/

 

 

Favorite Wedding Photos: The Portraits | Staunton Wedding Photographer

My favorite wedding photos series part 2 is all about the portraits. Portraits consist or bridal, groom, and couple portraits as well as the bridal parties. If your wedding day schedule is tight and there isn't a lot of time for portraits, or there are a wide variety of portraits you would like to have, you may want to consider scheduling bridal portraits before your wedding day. I suggest that brides think of any general poses they would like to capture and discuss this in your pre wedding meeting. However, I do not recommend making or printing a long list of "Pinterest" poses for the day. Doing this can take a lot of time and also ruin a lot of natural moments that occur during the portraits. If you find something on Pinterest that you would really love to re create we can discuss this ahead of time and definitely work it into the portraits.

Couple portraits are such a fun part of your wedding day. Portraits can be done before and/or after the wedding ceremony. This will depend or rather or not you chose to do a "first look" check out a separate blog post about considering a first look! I suggest finding a quiet place without any guests, family members, or bridal party to take the couple portraits. This is a great time for the bride and groom to have a quiet moment "alone" (with your photographer) as well as capturing some memorable images.  I prefer all portraits to be less staged and more natural. Allowing the bride and groom to just be together and talk is a great way to capture true emotion and those real moments from the day. Of course your photographer will guide you when the time is right to look at the camera or to do some poses as well.

The bridal party and family portraits can be a time of creativity and fun. This is also a great time to have a wedding coordinator or designated family member to help organize groups and make sure everyone is around for their group. If the photographer or bridal party member is spending time finding or waiting on missing guests then opportunities for more photos as well as time is lost.

So my advice for portraits is to plan ahead and work closely with your photographer to schedule them appropriately. It's also very helpful to have a wedding coordinator or other helper.

Favorite Wedding Photos; The Details | Staunton Wedding Photographer

Continuing with my series on wedding favorites, part one of is all about the details!! I love photographing the details of a wedding. Most guests don't realize how much thought, effort, and time go into every single detail of your wedding. Some of my favorite details to photograph are rings, dress details, flowers, and shoes, but of course I will also capture all the other details of your day too!

How can you help organize your wedding day so your photographer can capture all of these details? Knowing all the information from your vendors is a great place to start. Keeping track of the specific delivery times for the cake and flowers, etc.  so they can be added to your wedding day timeline is very helpful. Take some time to consider what details you would like to have photographed and discuss this with your photographer. If you have a special perfume you'll be wearing, or a pin to place on your bouquet these special items all deserve to be documented as part of your wedding day. Also, consider designating a person to bring your invitation suite, rings, and other special items that you wish to have photographed and adding this to your timeline as well. It is helpful as a photographer to have time set aside in the schedule to photograph details before the bride starts getting ready. Photographers will often need to take the details into better light, or set up lighting to capture great images of each item, so it's important to allow time in the wedding day schedule for the detail shots.