Marcus + Kayla's Radford Theater Wedding Photos | Radford, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Marcus and Kayla’s wedding was a bit of a whirlwind due to the hurricane coming through, you may have even read about it on the cover of the Roanoke Times last week: “Hurricane Michael flooding can't stop dream wedding fit for the silver screen” by Jacob Demmitt. Their original plan was to have an outdoor wedding by the river, unfortunately, two days before they were set to be wed their entire venue was underwater. The situation looked a little hopeless, I cannot imagine how stressful it must have been at that time. Thankfully, Paul, the owner of Radford Theatre where the couple likes to volunteer, stepped up to save the day. He canceled a showing of “Venom” to allow them to move their nuptials to the stave of the theatre. They were then able to secure The Side Door for their reception and the wedding was back on track!

Marcus and Kayla have been together for 14 years since they were high school sweethearts. They are kind, considerate, and a hell of a lot of fun – traits that they have passed along to their sweet son, Leo. I consider myself extremely fortunate to call them my friends. I met them at The Side Door that Saturday as they were putting the finishing touches on their almost fully DIY wedding décor. Once everyone was dressed [the fellas in white shirts, brown pants and suspenders and the ladies in mismatched bridesmaid dresses of their own choosing with Kayla rocking her boho Free People dress], we all took a leisurely stroll through downtown Radford to the ceremony. Radford Theatre provided free popcorn for Marcus and Kayla’s wedding guests as everyone was ushered into the center row seats. The couple exchanged vows up on stage with their illustrated likeness drawn by the bride was projected on the screen.

Afterward, we meandered back to The Side Door for their reception. I love their eclectic bohemian wedding décor – vintage mismatched plates and glasses; dreamcatchers [by yours truly]; centerpieces of wine and whiskey bottles with tapered candles, Himalayan salt tea light holders, succulents, and agate slices. In lieu of a guestbook, they had a photo booth with a backdrop made by Kayla’s mom and a Fuji Instax mini – after guests took their photo, they were pinned up on a braided cord for everyone to enjoy. Kayla’s sister made a delicious red velvet cake and cupcakes decorated with dried flowers and baby’s breath. Their cake topper was articulated paper dolls of Marcus and Kayla.

Wedding Vendors
Radford Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Venue: Radford Theatre
Reception Venue: The Side Door
Wedding Dress: Free People
Dried Flower Bouquet: Betty from the Newbern Fall Festival
Wedding Cake: Michelle Crowder aka Go Bake a Cake Shell!
Entertainment: DJ D Hood
Décor Assistance: Kirstin at JoAnn Fabrics
Everything Else: DIY by the Bride!

Russell + Emily's German Club at Virginia Tech Wedding | Blacksburg, Virginia Wedding Photographers

I am eternally grateful to Stephanie of Diamond Events for connecting me with Russell and Emily.  We hit it off immediately from our initial phone call to our in-person meeting, I just love this couple so much! They told me the story of how they met when they were students at Virginia Tech where Emily tutored Russell at math.  One of my favorite parts of the reception was when the maid of honor retold this story complete with flip charts and in story form inspired by Dr. Seuss. Russell proposed to Emily by having her best friend and maid of honor dress up Emily’s favorite horse in the barn at Virginia Tech where he asked her to be his wife.

When I arrived at the German Club Manor at Virginia Tech on the day of their wedding, the weather for the day was starting to look a little ominous.  Sure enough, by the time Emily was putting on her Allure Bridals wedding dress, Blacksburg was hit with a downpour complete with a flash flood watch.  We didn’t let the cloudburst ruin our fun, the first look we had planned for Duck Pond was scooted over to the porch of Solitude.  It was here that we first got a look at Russell’s hot pink chicken and waffles socks and his Virginia Tech suspenders.  In a real-life Cinderella moment, Russell helped Emily into a pair of hiking boots, so she wouldn’t ruin her custom “something blue” wedding shoes while walking through the mud.  We caught a break between showers and did end up being able to take some photos by the Duck Pond before we headed back to the Manor for the wedding ceremony and reception.

Diamond Events put together a beautiful ceremony space with a large wooden altar draped in white flowing fabric and the aisle lined in a garland of white, pink, and maroon flowers which they magically flipped during the cocktail hour to double as the reception location.  Kanta Bosniak officiated their wedding ceremony and did a lovely job of telling Russell and Emily’s love story and was kind enough to share her words with me for this blog post:

They met in the fall of 2012 when Emily was his math tutor at the student success center. He chose her because her name was the only one on the list he could pronounce. They saw each other every week and became friends. In a move that may have been part education and part attraction related, he persistently convinced her to tutor him for Calc 2. They began hanging out in the spring of 2013 and by the late winter, their friendship had deepened. They had their first kiss in February 2014 and in March, on the first day of spring break, they decided to call it “dating.”

As synchronicity would have it, they both went on spring break on the same island in South Carolina. She was meeting a friend there and he was on a Habitat for Humanity service trip. It was during this trip that they both realized they had met their special person. Russell developed a plan and implemented it with the help of family and friends. First, he asked Emily’s Dad and Mom for their blessing in January 2017. In the spring, he initiated phase 2. In May, he asked their friend Andrea to help coordinate and set the stage at the Equestrian Center at Virginia Tech. 

On Mother’s Day Weekend, she invited Emily to come to meet her at the barn on the way to Mother’s Day dinner at the Palisades. All their family was to be present at the dinner and both were aware of what was about to happen. When Emily arrived, Andrea left… and there was Russell with candles lit and roses. He led her to a photo-collage of pictures of them over the years, dropped down on one knee, and they made each other a promise that is fulfilled today.

Following their ceremony, we were lucky enough to get another break in the rain to take photos which I was so thrilled about – sorry not sorry for the 4 million bride and groom photos in this blog post.

Kidd Carter of Blue Ridge Entertainment and K92 provided the entertainment for the night.  Who gets starstruck by a local radio DJ?  This girl.  Russell and Emily’s friends and family members are so much fun, as soon as the first special dances were over, EVERYONE hit the dance floor.  This provided the perfect opportunity for me to run directly over to the buffet stations from Hazelbea Catering including a mac and cheese station, Mexican food, and Asian lettuce wraps.  Speaking of the first dance, Russell and Emily rocked it big time and had obviously been practicing because I was able to get tons of stunning spinning dress photos!  Once everyone had danced to the Hokie Pokey, played air guitar, and completely danced their butts off, it was time to send off the happy couple with a sparkler send-off complete with a dip and a kiss.  Congratulations to Emily and Russell, thank you for letting me document your special day!

 

Blacksburg Wedding Vendors
Blacksburg, Virginia Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Planner and Florist: Diamond Events
Wedding Officiant: Kanta Bosniak
Hair and Makeup: Elite Style Salon
Cake Baker: Casey’s Cake
Caterer: Hazelbea Catering
Wedding Bands: Brilliant Earth
DJ: Kidd Carter, Blue Ridge Entertainment
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals from The Bride’s House
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Banks
Videographer: SJ Video
Wedding Venue: German Club Manor, Virginia Tech

Mallary + Steven Intimate Asheville, North Carolina Wedding

I was so excited to make the trip down to Asheville, North Carolina to photograph Mallary and Steven’s wedding. The ceremony took place on the porch of a home overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains where they spent a long weekend celebrating with their families. It was a huge honor to be invited to spend their special day with them and work with them for the second time. If you want to see more of this adorable couple, check out Mallary + Steven's Blacksburg Engagement Session.

Bill + Emma's Intimate Winery Wedding at Chateau Morrisette | Floyd, Virginia Wedding Photographers

An Intimate Winery Wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia

Emma and Bill came to the small town of Floyd, Virginia for their wedding all the way from New Zealand! As a Floyd native, I am still blown away by how far folks come to see a place that as I child I figured was invisible to the outside world [especially since it is so small it only needs one stop light]. Bill’s family traveled in from New Zealand, Emma’s family came in from Roanoke, Virginia, as well as some friends and family from the UK. Their hope was to gather their loved ones for a beautiful, relaxed, and comfortable celebration surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When I arrived at Chateau Morrisette, I found Emma’s sister Phoebe carefully finalizing the floral arrangements and wedding decor in the stained glass room of the restaurant. A long, family-style table was draped in a white tablecloth and decorated with pink and white roses along with white candles in silver and mercury glass holders. When Emma arrived with her father, we all gathered in the shade of the large oak tree in front of the Chateau Morrisette restaurant for the wedding ceremony. A string duo played as the bride made her way down the aisle. Emma and Bill’s officiant, Rev. Kanta Bosniak told the story of their relationship so beautifully, she was kind enough to share her words so that I could include them here:

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Bill and Emma and hearing their love story. How they met in New Zealand in 2008, just under 10 years ago, at Bill's place. She was looking for a flat and he a flatmate. Emma came around and they got on really well. Though she ended up moving to a place nearby to work, their great connection was supported by synchronicity. They bumped into each other in a supermarket. Bill gave Emma a ride home and Emma asked him out for a spontaneous adventure. They went to see a movie and really clicked. Bill then asked Emma out for their first official date, to a nice restaurant. It went wonderfully. They both knew they had found their right person and they've been together ever since. Since then they have traveled around the South Island of New Zealand and even went tandem hang gliding together. On April 10, 2017, they got dressed up and went to visit a beautiful historic garden in Christchurch. It was in this beautiful setting that Bill got down on one knee and proposed. He gave her a ring... and they made each other a promise that is fulfilled today.

Floyd, Virginia Wedding Vendor Team

Floyd, Virginia Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Venue: Chateau Morrisette – Virginia Winery and Restaurant
Officiant: Rev. Kanta Bosniak, custom ceremony services
Hair and Makeup: Glamhouse Day Spa, Roanoke

Jason + Cassie's Beliveau Estate Winery Wedding | Blacksburg, Virginia Wedding Photography

It was an honor to be present with Jason and Cassie along with their friends and family as they exchanged vows at Beliveau Estate Winery. I arrived at the winery while Cassie and her bridesmaids were finishing up with their hair and makeup appointment at Innovations Salon & Day Spa, so I passed a little time assisting her friends with arranging some beautiful flowers from Stonecrop Farms into centerpieces. Soon the wedding party arrived and began the final steps or preparing for the wedding. Cassie’s mother helped her into her beautiful Maggie Sottero wedding gown from Chantilly Lace which paired up beautifully with her ivory lace Blue by Betsey Johnson Leah ballet flats. The bridesmaids wore white sleeveless tops with pretty pink tulle maxi skirts from Tulle and Chantilly while the groom and groomsmen looked sharp in their grey suits from JoS. A. Bank.

The wedding ceremony took place atop a hill overlooking the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains where the altar was decorated with two wine barrels and gorgeous large pink, green, white, and magenta floral arrangements. As Cassie reached the beginning of the aisle, she teared up and took a moment to gather herself before walking to the altar arm in arm with her father.

Cassie and Jason’s officiant, Rev. Kanta Bosniak told the story of their relationship so beautifully, she was kind enough to share her words so that I could include them here:

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jason and Cassie and hearing their love story. How they met in the summer of 2012 when Cassie picked up some hitchhikers hiking the Appalachian Trail. Jason was a hiker too, and they were mutual friends with him. In late July, they connected again through their friend Miles, hiking together and staying at a hostel in Rutland, Vermont. Jason took on a protective role, giving Cassie water and food. In mid-August, they visited in Hanover, New Hampshire, where they went into town and had both their first date... and their first kiss. Their friendship deepened into love. And they maintained a long distance relationship. She was in Pawling, New York, and his home base was in Michigan. They kept in touch, talking and Skyping every day and sharing romantic gestures. Once a week, he’d play a song and send it to her. She sent him videos of cooking and gardening… “A Day in the Life of Cassie.” In January of 2013, she went to Grand Rapids and spent a week. The 0 degrees temperatures and daily snow were no impediment to the warmth of their affection. They became an official couple and began planning a future together. Jason moved to Pawling in late April and they spent two years together there working at a landscaping company. In January of 2015, they moved to Virginia. He came back to school to finish his degree and she started teaching yoga and creating a business. The following year, Jason developed and implemented a plan. He bought her a Buddha and adorned it with love notes and her grandmother’s ring. On December 21, 2016, the night before driving up to see family for Christmas, he set the stage and started the soundtrack. Playing the Van Morrison song, “Sweet Thing,” from “Astral Weeks,” he took the ring off the Buddha, got down on one knee, and proposed… And they made each other a promise that is fulfilled today.

Following the ceremony, (and a brief intermission for photos) we sat down for a meal prepared by the wonderful folks at Beliveau Estate Winery while their DJ from A Party’s Favorite Entertainment provided music. After dinner and dancing, I learned of a tradition from Cassie’s family – a giant glass vase is filled with beer and passed down the line for everyone to take a swig. Once everyone has had their turn, it is up to the bride and groom to share what is left in the vase. Their friends and family were so eager to help the newlyweds that they finished off the vase a couple of times and it had to be refilled to be sure that Cassie and Jason were able to enjoy their fair share as well!


Blacksburg Wedding Vendor Team

Blacksburg Wedding Photographer: Holly Cromer
Wedding Venue: Beliveau Estate Winery
Hair + Makeup: Innovations Salon & Day Spa
Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero from Chantilly Lace Bridals
Wedding Shoes:  Blue by Betsey Johnson Leah Ballet Flats
Bridesmaid Dresses: Tulle and Chantilly
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: JoS. A. Bank
Florist: Stonecrop Farms
Officiant: Rev. Kanta Bosniak, custom ceremony services
Wedding Rings: Heirloom engagement ring; Wedding band from Kay Jewelers, Christiansburg
DJ: A Party’s Favorite Entertainment, Roanoke