If I leave a wedding with soaked shoes, mud all over my pants, and a twig stuck in my hair, you can guarantee that I just documented a wedding that will be one of my favorites for years to come. I could document weddings like Ashley and Dans every weekend and be the happiest photographer in the world. Ballrooms are beautiful but Im just a backyard, outdoor, rolling fields and garden kind of girl! And I knew before this day even arrived that Ashley was too : ) I had been looking forward to this day for over a year, especially when Ashley described to me what she was envisioning. She was actually one of the first people to find out that Drew and I were expecting a baby! While her offer to bring Drew along and camp with everyone the night of the wedding sounded so amazing.. I had to inform her that camping with a 9 month old might not be ideal for us at that time : )
So the wedding day arrived and I woke up bright and early to leave for Ashley and Dan’s wedding at Caboose Farm in Western MD. The entire drive I prayed the sunshine would follow me up into the mountains for their big day. I knew all the beautiful things they had planned for the wedding and I did not want the weather to hinder that! On arrival, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning. But very quickly, I learned that mountain weather is quite similar to tropical weather. Pop up storms can come and go very fast and with little to no notice! But it was music to my ears when Ashley told me the ceremony would be outside, RAIN OR SHINE. I could have kissed her right then and there! After taking a walk back into the woods to see the spot where Ashley and Dan would say their vows, I knew why these two weren't going to let the weather get in the way. It was a magical grassy knoll hidden in the forest, the kind you would only read about in a fairytale but never imagine actually existed. A winding stream was just behind the wooden arbor they would stand beneath and the sun cut through the trees, creating the most beautiful golden light on everything it touched.
Alright, Im just going to stop now and be honest... I have SO much to say about this day... too much to be writing in paragraph form. I will be writing for days and you will be reading a chapter book... So with that said, I've just decided to change up the game and give you this list... it was actually a lot of fun to write!! I might be doing this more often..Enjoy : )
10 REASONS WHY ASHLEY AND DAN'S WEDDING WAS SUPER AWESOME
1. I loved the polaroid camera that was floating through the hands of bridesmaids, guests, and even the bride herself. I love that they will have my photos but also the candid polaroids that were snapped throughout the day. It even inspired me to pull out my own Polaroid camera when I got home!
2. Ashley had her wedding dress designed and custom made by two of her bridesmaids!!! How cool is that?! I know every bride has a special attachment to their wedding dress but this is on another level of sentiment! Lindsay and Diana are college friends of Ashley and own their own clothing line called Black Wednesday. I love that although their clothing line has a dark and glamorous vibe, they created a wedding dress for Ashley that was so romantic, soft, and delicate.
3. The groom and his men had some serious style too. Floral ties, suspenders, a few man buns.. it was awesome. I also LOVED Dans wooden wedding band.
4. One of Ashley's hobbies is hula hooping! Im pretty sure you want to be friends with anyone who hula hoops on their free time.. and it was so fun that Ashley and Dan included hula hooping during the reception. Taking photos of people dancing during the receptions has always been one of my favorite parts of the night.. until I photographed hula hooping. Now I will be forever disappointed when hula hoops are not a part of my future wedding receptions.
5. Ashley and Dan would be surrounded by nature when they became husband and wife and I cant imagine a more appropriate setting. Ashley works as a gardener and living a green and sustainable lifestyle is very important to both her and Dan. I absolutely love that she requested only flowers that were in season for her wedding. Flourish Floral Artistry did an amazing job with this! Not only were their bouquets and floral crowns amazing but Maddie also created the most beautiful floating flower display on the ceremony arbor. I decided that every wedding should absolutely have one of these! Still swooning..
6. Ashley and Dan had a good friend marry them and he did such an amazing job! I would have never known he wasn't a professional officiant... or that he has some serious hula hooping skills.
7. Ashley and Dan tried to use only vendors of people they knew which I thought was really awesome. To be surrounded by friendly familiar faces on your wedding day makes it even more personable. (Ashley and I graduated high school together!) She also used a friend who is a graphic designer over at Tiffani Angelone Designs for her invitations.
8. With multiple rain showers, wind, and clouds through out the day it was looking unlikely that we would see the sun at all. But the most amazing thing happened. Just as Ashley began to walk down the aisle, the sun came out. Not just a little... it was like the heavens opened up just for her! It was so magical and couldn't have been timed more perfectly.
9. Ashley and Dan had an awesome Folk band play for their ceremony and reception!
10. Even with the little bit of sunshine we got, we were still left with A LOT of mud. And this is why I love Ashley. She couldn't have cared less. Even with mud all over the bottom of her beautiful dress, she rocked it. And to be honest, it seemed almost fitting! As a gardener, and environmentally conscious person, having mud on her dress just felt right!
Ashley and Dan, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful wedding. Everything about it felt like a reflection of who you two are as individuals and as a couple. I wish you all the love in the world!