I was so excited to get to photograph this wedding in a city that I had never been. One of the best things about being a photographer is the opportunities to travel to new places and see new things. Upon arriving at Richmond, Virginia, I was immediately struck by the beautiful architecture and history of the city. Many of the buildings are constructed of brick and are hundreds of years old, something I am not used to seeing in Miami. I arrived a day early so that I had plenty of time to scout the locations and see the city. From a photography perspective I also found it interesting how the quality of the light is totally different. Because Richmond is so much further to the North, it gets pitch black about an hour earlier than Miami even though we are in the same time zone, however the quality of the light throughout the day is much nicer than in Miami which has a very harsh light most hours. The light in Richmond was beautiful and soft. Combine that with the textures of bricks and history, add a beautiful couple who is deeply in love and you have the recipe for an amazing wedding.
It was 40 degrees that day in Richmond with chance of snow. That weather would make a lot of brides and grooms want to be huddled up by a fire (I’m from Florida, to me 40 degrees is freezing!) but Blakely and Caleb were open to any picture idea. Inside, outside, cold, hot, rain, snow…it didn’t matter to them. They just wanted to spend the day together and take great pictures. I suggested they do a first look so that we could do most of the pictures prior to the ceremony because even though they wanted to take lots of fun portraits I still feel its important to not spend too much time after the ceremony taking pictures since we need to be respectful of family and friends. To me photography is a priority but it should never be more important than the experience of being with loved ones. I think Blakely and Caleb agreed and appreciated that as well. That is number one in my book, always. I was able to manage the timeline with them in a way that allowed for great pictures but still have that quality time with loved ones and plenty of candids.
Special thanks to Joey Pulone who helped me photograph this event and to Elizabeth Palmer Singleton who helped Caleb and Blakely with all the logistics and planning for this event.
Blakely got ready with her friends at the Marriott in Downtown, Richmond.
Caleb got ready with the groomsmen at his house.
Because the streets were wet from rain, Blakely decided to put on the dress at the church instead of the hotel so the dress wouldn’t drag. The church is the oldest church in Richmond, over 200 years old. Monumental Church has the simple beauty of that age period and so much character. I absolutely loved the simplicity yet gorgeous history implicit in the walls of this church.
We “stashed” Caleb in a private part of the church in order to bring up Blakely to him for the first look. It was so special.
Just a few minutes before game time, Caleb chilled with the boys in the back room.
Just a few minutes before game time, the girls lifted up Blakely in prayer.
Just a few minutes before game time, family and friends waited for the ceremony to begin.
The reception took place at another historic site, Main Street Station. An actual working train station with a gorgeous atrium and lobby. Decor
Prior to the wedding, I asked Blakely some questions:
Q. How long have you been dating?
A. WE HAD BEEN DATING A LITTLE OVER 3 YEARS BEFORE WE GOT ENGAGED IN JANUARY 2012.
Q. How did you first meet?
A. WE MET IN RALEIGH, NC WHEN BLAKELY WAS IN TOWN VISITING FOR A 5 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. WE MET THROUGH MUTUAL FRIENDS.
Q. What made you choose your venue?
A. WE DECIDED TO GET MARRIED IN RICHMOND, VA BECAUSE IT WAS THE FIRST CITY WE BOTH LIVED IN WHILE DATING. WE HAD A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP UNTIL BLAKELY MOVED TO RICHMOND IN JUNE 2011. WE DECIDED TO SELECT MONUMENTAL CHURCH AS OUR CEREMONY VENUE AND MAIN STREET STATION AS OUR RECEPTION VENUE BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH HISTORIC VENUES LOCATED IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN RICHMOND. WE LOVE THE CHARACTER OF EACH PLACE.
Q. What are you most looking forward to on the wedding day?
A. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO CELEBRATING WITH BOTH OF OUR FAMILIES AND CLOSE FRIENDS. IT WILL BE FUN TO HAVE THE PEOPLE CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS ALTOGETHER FOR THE START OF OUR JOURNEY AS HUSBAND AND WIFE.
I then asked Blakely some follow up questions after the wedding:
Q. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
A. Our favorite part of our wedding day was the moment when we were walking down the aisle after we were announced husband and wife. As we exited the church, all we could think about was how special the ceremony was, and we also looked forward to celebrating with everyone at the reception.
Q. What was the most emotional part of your wedding day?
A. For both of us, the vows were the most emotional part of our wedding day. Saying our vows aloud in front of friends and family filled the moment with emotion.
Q. What was something you were glad you did on your wedding day that not everyone may realize?
A. We are glad that we decided to do a “First Look” prior to the ceremony. It gave us an opportunity to experience a more intimate moment. It calmed our nerves before the ceremony and allowed us to get to the reception quickly since most of the photographs had been taken earlier.
Q. What is one piece of advice you would give a bride planning her wedding?
A. Count on your friends and family to provide support throughout the wedding planning process.
If you’re going to splurge on one thing, wedding photography is a good investment. I may not remember the food we had, but I’ll have the photos to look back on for a lifetime.
Coordinator- Liz Palmer Singleton
Venue ceremony- Monumental Church
Venue reception- Main Street Station
Florist- VOGUE FLOWERS
Dress Designer- BRIDAL BLISS DESIGNS
Shoe Designer- BCBG
Bridesmaid dress designer- SWEATER: BANANA REPUBLIC, SKIRT: ANN TAYLOR