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Lila & Spencer | Wedding Reception at the NC Botanical Gardens

I get to know most of the couples I work with over several months of meetings and engagement sessions and coffee dates and a beer or three so that by the time we get to the wedding itself, it's like I'm photographing an old friend's big day. Lila and Spencer were a bit different, though: I met them first on a three-way phone call back in late August, then again for a quick cup of tea at Weaver Street, and finally - most recently - at their wedding reception a couple of Saturdays ago (the wedding itself was just the two of them and a gorgeous sunset in Jamaica). What's crazy is that in just that very short period of time, they still managed to feel like old friends... and one day I really hope I can call them that. Here are a few portraits from that beautiful fall evening... more soon!






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A Handmade Wedding | Christine & Jason

I won't pretend this blog post isn't almost a year late. It is. And I'm sorry. The truth is, it was SUCH a great wedding, with SO MANY great photos, that I knew the post was going to be huge, and so it kept getting shuffled to the back of the queue. Christine and Jason (who you may remember from their engagement session here) are such fun, genuine people, and spending the day with them means you can pretty much count on a sore face from laughing. A lot. I knew their wedding was going to be amazing, but even I was blown away at the level of awesome: the ceremony was very emotional and beautifully done, and the food/booze/music combo kept everyone happy, but the thing that made this wedding stand out was an incredible number of handmade touches that really drove home how committed these two were to creating a wedding that required as much attention and care as any good relationship does.

Take, for instance, Christine's bouquet, which she made from brooches collected from all the women in hers and Jason's family:

Cookery Wedding Durham Handmade Bouquet

Christine & Jason had a brunch wedding at the Cookery, so I arrived at the Umstead Hotel at 5:30am to photograph the ladies getting ready. You wouldn't expect this kind of enthusiasm at that hour from most people...Umstead Hotel Bridal Hair and MakeupUmstead_Hotel_Cary_Bridal_Suite_WeddingsUmstead_Hotel_Cary_Bridal_Suite_WeddingsUmstead_Hotel_Cary_Bridal_Suite_WeddingsUmstead_Hotel_Cary_Bridal_Suite_WeddingsUmstead_Hotel_Cary_Bridal_Suite_Weddingsumstead-hotel-bridal-portraits

Christine made Jason's silk boutonniere, which was a gorgeous backdrop for their ring shot. All the groomsmen, bridesmaids, and mothers/grandmothers had silk flowers as well... it was incredible!Handmade-Silk-Rose-BoutonniereUmstead_Hotel_Groomsmen_Wedding_PhotographerUmstead-Hotel-first-look-wedding-photographerumstead-hotel-wedding-photographyumstead-hotel-bridal-portraits

After their first look and some family portraits, we headed off to the Cookery, where the details just continued: great programs, menus, & signs, along with everyone's favorite brunch foods and beverages.Cookery-Durham-Front-Room-BrunchDurham-Cookery-Wedding-Photographer

Rev. Barbara Lodge was there to officiate... and I always love it when she is. She's a busy lady, but somehow manages to get to know each and every one of her couples, which is reflected in truly personal ceremonies that rarely leave a dry eye in the house.Barbara-Lodge-Weddings-PhotographersCookery-front-room-durham-wedding-photographerCookery-Front-Room-Wedding-PhotographersCookery-Durham-Front-Room-Wedding-PhotographyCookery-Durham-Brunch-WeddingsCookery-Durham-Dancing-Wedding-Photographers

I don't know how people found room, but when the Parlour truck showed up, they seemed to manage...Parlour-Ice-Cream-Truck-WeddingsDurham-Cookery-Weddings-PhotographersDurham-Cookery-Front-Room-Wedding-PhotographerDurham-Cookery-Front-Room-Wedding-PhotographersCookery-Durham-Front-Room-Weddings

It's no easy job getting people to dance in the middle of the day. For real. As you can see, that wasn't an issue here, but the dads totally stole the show: Jason's dad on the left, Christine's on the right :DDurham-Cookery-Front-Room-Wedding-Photographers

One of the benefits of a daytime wedding is having the chance to make a few photos after everything's all said and done. In the afternoon, I went back to the Umstead with Christine & Jason where Theo was waiting for them for family portrait numero uno:Pet-Friendly-Wedding-Photographers-Durham


Christine & Jason, I've said it before, but for real: thank you so much for letting me be a part of your day. I'm pretty sure everyone in attendance would say the same!



Associate Photographer: Jessi Blakely

Venue: The Front Room at the Cookery (Durham)

Getting Ready: The Umstead Hotel (Cary)

Officiant: Barbara Lodge

Catering: Durham Catering Company

DJ: Island Sound & Video

PhotoBooth: NC Shutterbooth

Ice Cream: The Parlour

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