The Riley Wedding

September 20, 2012  •  Leave a Comment


I remember when Danielle and Heath got engaged.  Of course I was so happy for them, but another part of me was thrilled to know she would have an amazing photographer.  Both Danielle and her mom, Kim, love photography.  Kim is my Aunt Kim, and Danielle is my cousin.  My Aunt Kim and I have shared this passion for photography over the past several years, and I knew that they could afford the best, the sky was the limit and they had plenty of time to book whoever they desired.  I imagined sitting at the ceremony and watching a high-end pro perfectly capture the day, then stalk that photographer online to see the outcome of her hard work!  
However, they shocked me.  Completely.  They asked me to photograph Danielle's wedding.  "Wait, what?" 

Their faith in me was wonderful and terrifying.  Good thing I had over a year to wrap my head around it.  And you know what?  It was amazing! 
Danielle had a family friend's yard transformed into a gorgeous venue for a breathtaking garden party wedding and reception.  

Let's just start talking about Larry Polston for a couple of minutes.  He was the Event Designer for Danielle and Heath.  I don't think I have ever met a more humble, gentle-spirited man.  He is truly servant hearted and an amazing visionary.  Larry and his professional team transformed a lovely green space that was dappled by golden light shining through a canopy of oak trees into a resort-like venue complete with gems hanging from each hand tied bow on the back of every chair.

Danielle picked green and purple for her wedding colors, and Bonifay Florist rose to the occasion with stunning orchids and a variety of complementary floral arrangements.  

I could go on and on about the details and the process of how they made a few acres of woods into one of the prettiest weddings I have ever seen, but let's move on to the story of Heath and Danielle, and Heath's two precious girls.

Danielle loves God and her family.  Her relationship with her mother, father and sister is filled with love and a closeness rarely seen.  They were with her every step of the day, just like they have been her whole life.  Her dad was on the scene making sure the setup was seamless, and her mom and sister were by her side, helping her get ready along with Brittany Wright of Bella Salon.  Even though this wedding with it's year and half planning process with 400 guests was about to happen, every thing was calm.  The first moment of realization hit Danielle when she put on her dress.  The joy that came over Danielle was beautiful.  

Meanwhile, Heath was getting ready with his father's help.  He had not seen Danielle or his girls yet.  There were two "first looks" planned that day.  The first one was of him and Danielle, and the second was of him and his two daughters.  

Then came the first look with Heath and his girls.  The girls were thrilled to share this day with their daddy and Danielle.  

Then came the ceremony!  Danielle had selected the ceremony time to perfectly coincide with the setting sun.  Honestly, I don't think anyone could have envisioned how perfect the light was going to be that afternoon.  

Not only did Danielle make vows to Heath, but she also made them to his girls.  She had custom-made necklaces for the occasion and presented them to the girls as a surprise and a promise.  

One of the most clever ideas I have seen at a reception is a privacy tent.  After the bride and groom signed the marriage certificate, they had a quiet moment together as they shared their first meal as husband and wife.

Yes, the meal was hamburgers, mac n cheese and Coca Cola!  I'm not going to lie, best reception meal ever! We stole away for a few moments to take some more portraits with the glowing sun.

Congratulations Heath and Danielle!

 

Photography:  Leah Langley Photography

Event Design: Weddings by Larry

Hair and Makeup: Brittany Newsome Wright

Florist: Bonifay Florist

Second Shooter: Jordan Weiland Photography

 

 


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