Erin + Mitch//Athens Wedding

There is so much that I loved about Erin and Mitch's wedding day.  When I took Erin and Mitch's engagement pictures I found out that they are both avid runners, i.e. the kind that qualify for the Boston Marathon type runners.  The morning of their wedding day they both ran with friends, and Erin was even featured on the online athens website in her running gear and veil in her hair!! love it (see her bridesmaid Sue and her here).  Ironically a close friend and bridesmaid in MY wedding organized/hosted a 5k (called Miles For Major) that same morning to raise money for children who are in need of hearing aids... so I also a ran 5k that morning, too!!! Certainly slower than Mitch and Erin, though:) The day was beautiful, with the ceremony held at the UGA Chapel on North Campus and reception at the Botanical Gardens.  The ceremony was officiated by a Rabbi and included both Jewish and Christian traditions.  I loved seeing the Jewish tradition of the breaking of the glass by the groom, and it was even richer to hear the Rabbi explain the tradition.  He explained how it represented that even in the most joyous occasions, the Jewish people remember the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and have joy mixed with mourning.  It can be applied more broadly that our joy is tempered by the brokenness in the world, even in the marriage relationship.  I just think that is so profound and true.  I tend to like traditions and practices that are meaningful and accurate and deep, so the breaking of the glass seemed like one of the richest illustrations of life I've seen.  As the groom breaks the glass, those around him shout "Mazel Tov!" (which means "congratulations!").  The other part of the ceremony that I just loved were the vows.  Erin and Mitch both repeated the Rabbi in a quote from The Songs of Songs saying, "I am my beloved, and my beloved is mine."  I love the simplicity and beauty of those words.  So clearly I was tearing up during the ceremony!! After the ceremony during family portraits I got to meet some of Mitch's family friends, in particular one couple who had been married 60 YEARS and then I found out that Mitch's brother, Morris, was the ring bearer in their wedding 60 years ago! So of course I had to get a picture of them all together.  The wedding reception was incredibly fun, with some out of this world dance moves from Mitch and the happiest faces I have ever seen from Erin.  And I need to note how good the music was- I heard some awesome '90s hip hop that I have never heard at a wedding before.  Made my day for sure.  And Erin's mom was caught doing "The Wobble" on the dance floor.  Last detail to mention- Erin and Mitch are major travelers so their reception had a map of all the places they've been and postcards for guests to write them a note.  Mitch has a map on his wall at home where he throws darts to pick out the next spot to visit, and he's even been to Antarctica.  So here's to Erin and Mitch who are now honeymooning on a small island off the coast in Africa-- a great big Mazel Tov!! Erin and Mitch at the UGA Chapel Bell that fans ring for major celebrations (winning football games or GETTING MARRIED!) this is Mitch's brother (center) who was a ring bearer in this couple's wedding 60 years ago!  LOVE LOVE LOVE!

AJ + Jamie//Athens Engagement

Have you ever heard about a couple meeting on a bus in downtown Atlanta, start dating, and decide to get married months later? Because AJ totally snagged Jamie using mass transit.  AJ is a pharmacist (Dr. AJ, excuse me) at Egleston Hospital in the ICU, and Jamie is a social worker for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  They went out on a date, and a few months later got engaged!  Jamie and I have some mutual friends and when she emailed me I felt like we had already known each other for a long time.  We met up in Athens by a bench where they had one of their most significant "defining the relationship" talks.  Don't worry, I got them to re-enact the conversation and get some pictures of it:) These  two are both pretty hip, but it's worth noting that AJ is super creative and artistic.  He has made Jamie different gifts throughout their dating relationship, and Jamie brought a few letters he had written and made for her.  And a really beautiful picture he framed for her (and the picture has beautiful meaning t00).  Melt the ol' heart.  These two are definitely in love, and they both share a love for each other and Jesus.  That's pretty amazing considering they had such a random meeting on a bus and it turned out they share the same values and loves.  I had such a good time hanging out with this couple and really can't wait for their wedding in a few months.  Another mutual friend is designing the wedding and coming up with the decor- it is going to be awesome.  I'm so honored that they asked me to photograph them and really grateful to see how God brings amazing people together.  Thanks you guys!!! AJ was being sneaky behind Jamie... caught! this is my favorite expression of the day for sure. Jamie you have the best face!!!!! A letter that AJ made for Jamie... I need him to design everything for me!!! the incredible ring that AJ got for Jamie. way to go AJ just need to say that I love these pictures of Jamie smiling- they make me super happy

Stephen + Megan//Norcross Engagement

This engagement session was my first time meeting die hard University of South Carolina fans, which is no surprise considering I live in Athens, GA.  So it was fun for me to learn all about USC and to hear some good things about Steve Spurrier (a coach that most Dawg fans do not like considering his reign at the University of Florida and all of Georgia's losses to the Gators).  But onto to the lovely couple... Megan and Stephen! This couple has been dating since high school, and have known each other even longer.  Megan told me that Stephen wrote in her 8th grade yearbook that he hoped he didn't have any classes with her in high school! Oh, the irony:) This couple actually went to Prom together, so they could accurately do their prom pose for engagement pictures.  I love seeing couples that have known each other for such a long time, who have memories of growing up together.  They both attended USC and are loyal gamecock fans, so we got some pictures of them in their USC attire.  And Stephen really wanted to make sure his "well-loved" (in Megan's terms, gross) hat made an appearance, too.  One last note- I showed up and Megan and Stephen were swinging on the swings in this park we met at, and I could tell they were a fun couple when Megan was jumping around on the playground!  And when I found out that Megan is a black belt in Karate and could give piggy back rides to 6 ft something Stephen.  My hero.  Thanks guys for such a fun engagement session.  I'm looking forward to this couple's wedding as they travel back from Indianapolis to Atlanta for their wedding!!