It started with awkward staring, as Markie likes to tell it. And really this story of how they met says so much about these two. They're both so good natured and have awesome senses of humor. And Andrew's such a good sport for going along with Markie's version of the story, although his version is maybe a little different. :)
"We met through friends at college," Markie said. "One evening we went to eat at Chipotle and then watched a movie at a friend's house ... and Andrew spent the whole night staring awkwardly at me."
In this case, awkward staring worked! (Guys take note. ;) ) Markie and Andrew found that they had similar values and a huge heart for the Lord.
When they first started dating, Markie asked Andrew to tell her a story a day and she said it was the day he described one of his childhood friends that she realized how genuine and loving he is. That was also when she realized she had found her person.
Markie and Andrew's wedding was 100% genuine, just like them. I'm so thankful to have been asked to capture it, especially because Markie is like the most creative person I know, along with being a photographer! Cheers to these two!
Markie did her own hair ... and then she did her bridesmaids' hair!
Markie's grandma made the cake, and it was so delicious!
LOVED her bouquet! Markie and her bridesmaids made their bouquets with the help of The Flowerman. So cool!
Off to get married!
Love that one on the left down there. All thanks to my second shooter, Emily! :)
This wedding was, in one word, sweet. The respect and care that these two have for one another is so inspiring. I feel so thankful that I was asked to capture it! Markie is uber creative (she was even doing her bridesmaids' hair that morning!) and knew exactly what she wanted from her day. Her mom helped piece all the details together perfectly, but what I love most is that the marriage shone through on this wedding day. Andrew could not get enough of his bride, and their faith poured out of them as the beautiful, sunny, spring day unfolded.
Much more soon but for now ...
When you see them together, it just makes sense. That photo up there is a perfect representation of Elissa and Steve. They have this awesome mutual respect for each other no matter what, and they both look at each other like they're right there in the moment but also looking into the future.
They met in Lexington, Va., where Elissa went to school and Steve is from, but during the course of their relationship, they've lived just about everywhere else ... which tells you how dedicated they are to each other.
"We spent two years driving three hours each way back and forth between Lexington and Washington, D.C. [where I had moved for a new job] to see each other until, in a moment of sweet recklessness, Steve quit his job and moved up to D.C. so we could be near each other," Elissa said.
Around the same time, Elissa was accepted to Stanford Law (yes, she's a smart girl!) and Steve convinced her that she had to take the opportunity, so off they went to California.
"I think I most admire how steady he is," Elissa said. "I have always seen him as this grounding, peaceful force—he knows what is important to him, he prioritizes the things he loves, and he goes after them quietly and capably."
Steve may have a quiet presence, but there's nothing quiet about how he wants his future to go with his new wife. When asked what he's most looking forward to in this new life? "Having a partner to explore the great, wide open."
I think that's pretty perfect. :)
(Just a little warning: You'll want to grab some coffee and get comfy cozy with this post. There are SO many details and portraits and I just couldn't narrow it down. :) Plus, you'll probably need the caffeine to keep you scrolling! Or you can watch their slideshow at the bottom of the post, complete with their first dance song!)
I loved the way Elissa planned her morning: Just her and her family taking their time to soak in the beautiful day and get ready. It wasn't rushed or stressed or fussy.
Alright, I need to pause for a moment here and tell you about Elissa's dress. Isn't it gorgeous?? Her mom MADE it! It's so intricate and feminine and ... I just can't believe how talented she is! Elissa danced her whole life and this dress was definitely the perfect dress for a ballerina.
Elissa's family is so close. I loved getting to hang out with them and feel their warmth all day!
Um ... yes. Gorgeous bride, gorgeous dress.
They exchanged gifts and my husband, Nathan, hung out at Steve's house while I stayed with Elissa.
So many sweet moments throughout the day.
Bethany Lutheran Church is set back on miles of farmland with a view of mountains in the background. Yep, Lexington is gorgeous.
So beautiful ...
That's a favorite up there.
And Nathan took this one below. He's getting good!
OK, another favorite up there on the right (and it's Nathan's!). You two are just so sweet together.
Then it was off to the charming House Mountain Inn for the reception. Get ready for detail overload ... most of which was DIYed by Elissa's mom, Lorna.
Lorna collected silverware from estate sales so that everyone could have a unique piece at their place setting. I think that's brilliant because then you get to reuse it!
A perfect end to a perfect night ...
Nathan and I had such an amazing time in Lexington, and we feel so blessed that we were able to document Elissa and Steve's wedding. These families and all their friends were incredibly welcoming (we actually kind of felt like part of Elissa's family!), always asking how we were and making sure we had what we needed. This photography journey has taken me so many places, but this ranks right up there at the top as one of my very best experiences. I smile every time I think of those mountains. :) THANK YOU to every, single one of you. And Elissa and Steve, we will be bugging you for a visit one of these days. So much love to you two!
Ohhh, you guys. I don't even know where to start with this one. I mentioned yesterday that Nathan and I traveled to Lexington, Va., to shoot Elissa and Steve's wedding over the weekend. Elissa and Steve entered my giveaway last year. Alas, they came in second but they still booked me, and I have been looking forward to this wedding ever since!
Elissa and Steve are fabulous, and their families made us feel so welcome, like just another part of the family! I have never been so impressed with a group of people before! They are all so kind, generous, intelligent and talented. I wish we lived closer so we could see them all the time. :)
I'm counting down the days until I can show you this entire wedding, but here's a little peek in the meantime.