Caroline + Andy


Andy + Caroline Paczkowski.  Their love and friendship is so incredibly apparent to anyone who knows them, and I hope these pictures can show even a fraction of it.   I really have never known a more photogenic couple, and it wasn't because they love to model in front of the camera but because they are genuinely this affectionate and sweet and fun with each other.  When Andy saw Caroline for the first time he literally gasped at how beautiful she looked.  In that moment I wished I was a videographer to capture his reaction- but these pictures will have to do for now!

Caroline and Andy have a contagious joy about them.  They can be romantic and sweet with each other, and then two seconds later break out some dance moves.  Apparently at the rehearsal dinner they taught some of their family and friends how to "Dougie" (for those of you not familiar it's a song with some awesome moves to go along with it).  I love that they brought it out on their wedding day for me to photograph!!


Caroline and Andy wrote their own wedding vows (and included tissues at the entrance of the chapel)- and I'm pretty sure there was not a dry eye in that place by the end! I really was starting to tear up so much that I had to go get tissues at good time because it was a little out of control on my part (why I love wedding photography, ps).  A close family friend married them and read their favorite poem: "How do I Love Thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  I happened to have memorized that poem in high school and have loved it ever since so it pulled on my heart strings big time.  My favorite parts are in the lines that talk about loving someone freely and purely and with passion.  And then to make it even more emotional Caroline and Andy wrote the most poetic and heartfelt vows to each other, each one tearing up while the other spoke.  I know they will treasure the video taken from their ceremony- even I want a copy!!!

The sky stayed clear until their ceremony began, and then the rain came down pretty hard.  But by the time we walked out of the chapel the rain slowed down to just a drizzle and on my way to the reception I saw a huge rainbow in the sky.  Such a good day.  You can see the tiny raindrops in the shot below with a lot of sun shining in the midst of it.

The reception was at the Foundry Inn and Spa near downtown Athens, and it's an awesome venue with an outside area filled with stringed lights and elegant indoor rooms.  Caroline and Andy are both wine connoisseurs with a love for great wine, so they used that wine theme in the reception table decor.  The centerpieces were wooden wine crates and table place cards from wine bottles and corks.  The best part is that Caroline and Andy both wrote each other letters and put them into a wine box with a really (expensive) fine wine and then nailed it shut to be opened on their 10th anniversary of marriage.  What an awesome idea.  I told them to get in touch with me in 10 years and I'd photograph the opening of that box:)

You guys just make me happy.  I am so glad I got to photograph your wedding and know that there are TONS more happy pictures for me to go through and for you to enjoy soon! A good friend of mine saw these pictures and said, "That looks like a couple I would want to be friends with..." and I really thought no truer words could be spoken about you guys.  Thanks for letting me see your passion and heart for each other and life and asking me to tell part of your story.  xoxo

Mr. + Mrs. McShane//The Real Barbie + Ken

As I was thinking of a title for this blog post it hit me- Patrick and Liz are real life Ken and Barbie!! I have been looking through their wedding pictures and I don't think it's possible for them to take a bad picture.  And I really do think they should dress up as Barbie and Ken for future Halloween parties:) Needless to say their wedding was beautiful! It's fitting for Georgia alumni to get married at the UGA Chapel, and to get pictures by the same Christmas tree where Patrick proposed a year earlier.  The Christmas lights were magical and I loved being their third wheel as we walked through downtown Athens.  And December weddings in Georgia are not frigid like in some states- only in the South can you have a wedding in the winter and it be more mild and moderate than almost any other month!

I'm not going to lie- this picture below was totally inspired by a shot I had seen online.  But I thought it'd be so special for Liz's niece to have when she gets married someday.  And in staying true to one of my favorite quotes concerning all art: "Don't try to be original, just try to be good."  I love this quote for a few reasons that probably deserve a whole other blog post, but here's the short version: God alone is the original creator, and all our work is but putting together parts of creation.  This means that we just synthesize what is already created, and hopefully that is done with some new ways of putting different things together.  No one is truly original (minus God), and there is nothing new under the sun.  So my goal isn't taking a picture that no has ever taken before, but instead putting together an image that is somehow beautiful or special.  More thoughts on that at another time- back to the wedding!

Liz and Patrick chose to do a "first look" before the ceremony, and it was so fun to see Liz's mom and bridesmaids all watching from the window!

Liz chose a neutral palette for her wedding colors and it looked amazing; these bridesmaid dresses were stunning!! and it helps that all the bridesmaids had beautiful hair, too!

A quick but significant note about the sunglasses in the below picture:  One of Patrick close friends who would have been in the wedding died a year earlier.  In honor of Whitner, 2 of his best friends started a company specializing in sunglasses that is called Red’s Outfitters.  Each style is named after a significant person.  Patrick bought each groomsman a pair of “Whitners” in honor of his close friend.  It was special seeing all the guys wearing them, and even the ringbearers:) I think it's a great idea to get groomsmen gifts that are significant in whatever way possible- and this tops the list.

Wedding receptions have become even more fun since Gangnam Style hit Youtube! These guys did an awesome rendition of it- so glad that South Korea has a little thing for pop music...

and you know a party is going well when guests from other weddings do a little wedding crashing into your reception!

Thanks Liz and Patrick- I'm so happy for y'all and grateful I got to be a part of it! And special thanks to Steven Wallace for doing an awesome job second shooting and taking great pictures!