All right, everyone... get ready for a doozy of a post. Kari and Greg's wedding was epic... I worked on narrowing these photos down, but between the loveliness of the wedding and the rather unusual twist it took at the end, I just couldn't help myself. I hope you'll understand! I met up with Kari and her bridesmaids on a gorgeous late-summer afternoon - all puffy white clouds and blue skies. They were getting ready at the hotel where most of the wedding guests were staying, and I had fun shooting details and pictures of the girls while they primped and preened...

Pine Lake Pavilion WeddingPine Lake Pavilion Wedding Pine Lake Pavilion WeddingNormally, I like to take pictures of the wedding gown by itself, but as gorgeous as this dress was, it seemed a shame to photograph it without the stunning bride it appeared to be made for. Kari, you look like you stepped straight out of a couture wedding magazine...

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And then there's this next image. As we were getting ready to leave the hotel and head to the ceremony site, Kari grabbed an umbrella and laughed... "Just in case." The forecast called for 30% chance of showers, but the day was beautiful, with deep blue skies and big puffy white clouds. Folks, this is what we call foreshadowing.

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Meanwhile, while I was having fun with the girls, my lovely associate photographer Rebecca Ferguson was busy shooting Greg and his groomsmen at Pine Lake Pavilion.

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These two were amazing... and I have never seen a more enthusiastic flower girl  :D

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The reception was off to a great start... the bar was open, the food was fantastic, and the DJ was getting the crowd warmed up. During dinner, I stepped outside to try to catch some of the (very distant) lightning over the lake...

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...and that's where the wedding coordinator found me and told me that there was a huge storm headed our way - complete with high level tornado warnings - and that we had to evacuate the wedding.

Let me repeat: the party was over, just after it started, and completely out of the blue. There were some quick toasts...

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...a cake cutting...

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...and a simultaneous father/daughter, mother/son dance.

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And then everyone ran to their cars as the first drops of what would become a veritable tempest fell. But did they run home? Oh no... people came from all over the country to celebrate this day, and they were determined to keep the party going! But where to go at the last minute on a stormy Saturday night in Mebane, NC?

As it turns out, Ruby Tuesday...

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Weddings are a big deal. Anyone who has ever had a wedding knows the amount of pressure on the day: your own hopes and plans combined with the pressures, politics, and responsibilities of hosting dozens of guests, and then the small matter of committing your life to another person in front of everyone you know and love. Yeah... a big deal. Emotions run high, and the tiniest of glitches can set everyone off. No one would argue that the completely unforeseen turn of events at this wedding would've been enough to derail even the most laid-back of couples, but Kari & Greg (and their families and friends) honestly made it feel like Ruby Tuesday was their second choice venue to begin with. It took a lot of class and grace to make that transition and carry it off with a smile, and witnessing it was nearly as inspiring as witnessing their vows.

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Congratulations, Kari & Greg. I honestly believe you have a beautiful life ahead of you... no matter what may come!

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xox,

annemie

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