Megan + Neil, Wedding at Historic Private Estate, Shenandoah Valley, VA
When I spoke with Megan and Neil about the possibility of photographing their wedding, it was at 6:30 am. Why? Because Neil was finishing up his contract playing for the Saitama Seibu Lions, a professional baseball team in Japan's Pacific League. Megan was visiting Neil during his last season, and they made time to chat with me while they were still in Japan. Megan spoke about how much she admired Neil for all the hard work he had invested to get to this level in his career. Getting to the professional level takes a lot of sacrifice and determination. Neil chimed back, that becoming a veterinarian isn’t easy either! Neil said that Megan’s drive was probably what drew him to her the most. Praising your eyes or laugh is great, but I always love it when a fiancé compliments a personality attribute, like work ethic. 💪🏻 That’s what makes us ladies melt, amIright?
The directions to the wedding location were spelled out by the hosts, for the location was secluded and uncharted by GPS. Megan had described the beauty of her cousin’s home, but when I rolled up the private drive, I was struck. A long winding drive lead each guest through a grove of tall, thick trees and then though fields that stretched to the mountains. Finally, the path stopped beside a 200 year old home. White roses climbed up the brick and flowers bloomed in every direction. Manicured boxwoods served as a hideaway for birds and, later, newlyweds. Iman and her husband of Firefly Flower Farm were putting up the archway installment, and I couldn’t believe what they had accomplished when I later stepped out of the house. It was beyond beautiful!
Megan greeted me with a warm smile and pointed to her future husband working hard to put the finishing touches on the grounds. Neil sent over a big hello and wave before getting back to work and I was escorted inside to meet the bridal party, including Neil’s cute-as-a-button daughter and Megan’s sweet golden retriever. Both were so welcoming and exceedingly photogenic.
After getting to know both sides of the bridal party, family members, and photographing tender getting ready moments, we gauged the clouds before starting the ceremony. Guests didn’t mind the drizzle and excitedly waited for Megan and her father to walk down the aisle. The rain let us for the processional and readings but then picked up again for the vows. A sacrificing guest offered their own cover and the best man served as an umbrella stand! If you look closely at the image of Neil saying his vows, you can see the raindrops amongst the bokeh, and I am not mad about it! A little rain is supposed to be good luck anyway! (A wet knot is harder to untie!)
Even still, I’m glad the weather dried up during the reception because we got to take advantage of the beautiful scenery surrounding the home. Poor Megan and Neil had to put up with my awe the entire day as it felt like it was a perfect styled shoot. Everything was just gorgeous and I couldn’t stop saying “spectacular!”
All the way till the end, from invitations to fireworks organized by a cousin, everything was meaningful and beautiful. I loved that Megan’s Pronovias dress was purchased from Church Street Bridal in Lynchburg, VA (All sales benefit victims of domestic violence). And instead of chachkies , the guests were honored by a donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of Megan’s Aunt Margaret who passed away in October of Thyroid cancer. Every detail was lovingly chosen and I can’t think of anything better.
I can’t thank Megan and Neil enough for having me along on their big day. It was so awesome to see you become a family (and Megan become a step-momma!) and meet all your “spectacular” friends and family. Everyone was so warm and eager to help one another. It was truly a great day that I wish we could do again and again! You are lucky to have such a wonderful group of love and support around you; and they are lucky to have you too!
Florals: Firefly Flower Farm , Iman Hawkins
Hair: Amanda Hearn, The Studio Salon, Moorefield, WV
Music and MC: JD at "The DJ Connection"
Cake: Crumbs & Crumbles
Catering: Papa Spanks Pigtastic BBQ (This is real lol). No website-- there was a whole pig!
Designer: Pronovias (Spain) Purchased Church Street Bridal, Lynchburg, VA
Bridesmaids dresses: Azazie
Groom : Men's Warehouse
Groomsmen Attire: Dusty Blue Ties and pocket squares from The Tie Bar