it's not every day you get to be a part of someone's story. being there to photograph Sam + Kate's big day marked a special chapter in a story i've been seeing for the past year.
last spring i first meet Sam when i was working with his co-venture, the Chalet Supply, on capturing photos of their products. i was able to work with his business partner, Anthony, on a shoot around OKC, then was invited to see the team work in their shop as they stained, burned wood, molded leather, and joked back and forth.
that summer, i heard from Sam that he had asked Kate to marry him, and of course, she said yes. we began planning an engagement shoot that would stand out. something different.
we ended up three hours away from our homes on a salt plain that stretched for miles.
fast forward and it's suddenly june of 2017. i'm pulling into the same gravel road i did a year ago. the beautiful property that houses the workshop for Chalet Supply is suddenly abuzz with family members and friends finalizing seating, details, and placements under the white tent set up on the lawn. the pond and rolling hills create a beautiful green background as the clouds come and go on the sky above.
i find Kate and her bridesmaids putting on their makeup. in the midst of wedding day blunders, her bridesmaids continue to make her smile and laugh as the commotion goes on. nothing can put a damper on the day. i get caught up on the stories of partying the night away, and get to admire the details they put in the color scheme of the day. the mix of navy, gold, and whites create a dreamy feel with the cooler tones cast by the clouds and set amongst so much green outside.
the next stop was the groom and his group of groomsmen and friends. one of the joys of being a wedding photographer is getting to hold impromptu courses on pinning boutonnieres and adjusting ties. its a great way to break the ice and build camaraderie with the less photogenic party. in no time we were laughing together and trading stories.
now it's not everyday the groom comes up with ideas for photos. so when that does happen, you best bet it's going to look absolutely terrible or more amazing than anything you could've imagined.
luckily, when Sam told me he had some ideas for photos, it was amazing.
Balvenie Scotch made its way into highballs, a gesture of gratitude to his groomsmen for helping him celebrate. toasts were made, laughs were traded, and tips on how to savor the flavor of the aged whisky shared.
after photos of Sam and Kate with their wedding party, it was time for the ceremony.
it's always interesting to see how each wedding has their own personality mixed into the day. as a photographer, it's fun to try and notice the details and how the couple influenced it in the direction it went.
this ceremony was unlike any other.
from the silent reading of each other's vows, to the mixing of wine to symbolize their union, and most of all the music selection: the ceremony was Sam + Kate from start to finish.
as a storyteller, it was so amazing to witness and capture.
another special moment to this day was being able to be a witness on their marriage certificate. as a photographer it was a first, but it's exactly why i love my job. by the time you get done going through the wedding day with a couple, you feel a part of the family. you got to witness all the emotions, work with them through any obstacles, and be there for the biggest moments in their lives.
it was an honor getting to sign Mr. and Mrs. Ashford's Marriage Certificate.
after the signing, it was time for the group photos with the wedding party.
as always, it was a blast getting to work with Sam + Kate. their personalities kept it fun and lighthearted, keeping everyone smiling and each other laughing.
the cloud cover and green trees provided an amazing afternoon to shoot the happy couple in their gorgeous gown and spruced up tux.
finally. it was time to celebrate.
Sam and Kate,
thank you for letting me be a part of your special day! The love you guys have for each other is truly inspiring! I hope everyone can find the perfect fit like you two have found in each other. Your day was incredible from start to finish, I cannot express enough appreciation for embracing your personalities and letting it shine in all the details.
Here's to years of happiness and memories! I hope these photos can be living memroies of how your next chapter began!