During Allison and Andrew’s engagement session this past fall, I’d catch these two twirling, playing, spinning, and dancing when I would put my camera down to change a lens. I would quickly put my camera back up to catch those candid moments, which I knew were important to the two of them. Because of that, photographing them was so effortless and I KNEW their wedding would be full of beautiful dances, but wow it exceeded every expectation I may have had. I captured all those moments during the reception, but let me say….I’m glad these two had videographers as well! I’m excited that I can go back and watch those dances! The evening was filled when beautiful foxtrots, ballroom dancing, and so much more. Allison’s dad, Steve even took lessons and the two of them performed a choreographed dance to the epilogue of La La Land. Yes, it was epic and all of the guests did a standing ovation for them! Allison and Andrew’s first dance was very elegant and so fluid. This family is to talented.
When Allison and Andrew trusted me to be a part of their big day, they described their June 2018 Wimbish House wedding as elegant, warm and classic which is just so perfect because it’s exactly what I saw while spending time with them during their engagement session. They also chose the Wimbish house for it’s great dance floor!
A few days before the wedding, Allison and Andrew told me that among some of the most important moments to them were their first dance together and to capture the love and warmth of the day. It stood out to me that they described a “feeling” that they wanted documented. I love it. I can understand now as their family is just that….loving and warm. It’s easy to see that they both grew up in such loving families and Allison and Andrew’s life together will be no different.
Not only did Allison’s dad, Steve, take dance classes but he buried a bottle of bourbon at the wedding venue for good luck and no rain. He also brewed his own beer for all to enjoy (even me!) All of the labels were personalized to the wedding, one being a picture that I took from their engagement session, how neat! Allison’s dad was even with her when she went dress shopping! He had helped her pick the dress and their first look was so special. It was heartfelt, emotional and very beautiful. Steve gave me a hug at the end of the night and jokingly said, so you and your husband are coming over for Thanksgiving, yes?! He said he felt like I was already part of the family and his acceptance and sweet heart meant so much to me. Allison included many heirloom pieces into her day. Her hairpiece was made up of delicate wax flowers that her grandmother had once wore. She also wore a beautiful ring from her grandmother. Allison and Andrew also gave a beautiful tribute to those who there only in heart along with many pictures of past wedding photos. Those past wedding photos of other couples in the family were beautifully displayed on a fireplace for their guests to enjoy. It makes me think about how precious my job is and how long our work lives on through the love of my couples.
During the reception, we snuck Allison and Andrew away to exchange gifts, since they wanted to share that moment together. Allison gathered the sand from the very beach Andrew proposed and had it made into a tie clip for him. Very thoughtful. Andrew handmade (yes, handmade) a jewelry box for Allison. On the front of the box was a gold plate with the wedding day etched into it. Allison was absolutely speechless! She also opened a box of 100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda. In the book, Andrew had an arrow to a particular poem he wanted Allison to read. She read it out loud. Tears came streaming down my face as I photographed these two.
“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.”
Absolutely beautiful. If my words haven’t already conveyed how lovely this couple is, then that sonnet surely does! Not only did I have the joy of working with Allison as my bride, but I also got to photograph her sister’s engagement the weekend after the wedding. I just adore this whole family and I am so very honored that they asked me to be a part of their biggest moments in life thus far.
Congratulations Allison and Andrew! I’m so happy for you two!
Associate Photographer: Nicole Herztog
Day of Coordinator: Karin Holben of The Wimbish House
Venue: The Wimbish House
Hair and Makeup: Renee Locher
DJ: Nice Entertainment
Cake: Lush Cakery
Videography: Kevin Hursch Films
Catering: Endive Atlanta
Abby Byrd is a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Atlanta specializing in joyful film photography