A Rainy January Wedding
Sun, Clouds, Rain, and Snow. Sarah and Sean’s January wedding had it all! Rain wasn’t predicted until long after the sun went down…but it came in much earlier than expected. Bringing heavy drops mixed in with snow flurries. While rain is never ideal, we made rain photo magic that I’ve been dreaming of capturing at a wedding for a LONG time!!! It was the type of rain that shows up on a camera. Sometimes you just have to embrace the environmental conditions on your big day and that's just what we did!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Stopping in the reception hall before heading down to the bridal suite, I ran into Sarah and a group of people helping to finalize the decor. Sarah had purchased a velvet green couch to accent the sweetheart table. The couch was in pieces. A team got to work assembling the legs, back, and seat of the couch. Sarah was busy answering questions from family about flowers vases to line the aisle and Stonegate staff about cake and any other extra details that cropped up. I made eye contact and wished her a big CONGRATULATIONS!!! As we were chatting, her cake from Sugar Leaf Bakery arrived. A three tiered cake surrounded by extra large cupcakes. Elegant and beautiful. I let Sarah know that I was going to head down to tackle her details and we made our way down the walkway that leads to both the chapel and the bridal suite. She pulled out a velvet green box containing her three rings. A black box with Sean’s gold ring. Invitations. Slippers. Perfume. And dangling pearl earrings. Something unique to her day…no shoes. 😄 Sarah chose to go barefoot. Being slightly taller than Sean, shoes would have elevated her higher and she told me none of the flats looked quite right. Her dress was perfect for it though. A long sleeve satin gown with a deep v back. Buttons ran from the bottom of the v to the end of her train. A bow tied in the back completed the look. Sarah, I never got to tell you this in person, but I was obsessed. The back of that gown was so unique and it fit you so beautifully!!! We were moving so quickly once you were in the gown and then we battled the rain, we never got to talk about your dress 😂 But I LOVED it!!!! It looked so good ❤️❤️❤️. I left Sarah and her bridesmaids to have their hair and makeup done. Sean and his groomsmen had officially arrived.
The groomsmen went to work the minute they got there. Boutonnieres were delivered. A pile of bow-ties sat ready on a side table. Garment bags containing the suits were opened and everyone began to get dressed. The groomsmen also had a special visitor, Grace, also known as “Gracie.” She is one of Sarah and Sean’s three Australian Shepherds. I got to photograph her and her siblings back in the spring for their engagement session. Grace is an amazing dog! She didn’t quite know what to do with all the excitement and would stand close to Sean when things got a tad crazy. While all the groomsmen had pre-tied bow ties…Sean had a traditional tie. Velvet green. Since no one knew how to tie a tie, the go to strategy was you-tube 🤣. While it helped, poor Sean was on the struggle bus. He tied, re-tied, and tied again so many times he eventually had to concede defeat and enlist additional assistance. The texture of the tie made it extra challenging. While he was finalizing getting ready, I went to check on Sarah and her bridesmaids.
Sarah’s makeup was complete and she looked stunning. It was a little past two with the ceremony beginning at three. Bridesmaids were getting the final touches of hair and makeup done. Sarah was dressed in all white pajamas and her bridesmaids all in black. We planned to do a quick group picture of them before Sarah got her hair done for the ceremony. While we corralled everyone, Sarah peeked out the window and saw poor Gracie wandering around by herself. She must have sneaked out from the groom's suite without anyone noticing. We called her in and she instantly stood by Sarah. She even made it into the pajama photo!! ❤️❤️❤️
The groomsmen and Sean were almost officially ready. Sean was getting his boutonniere pinned. I took a few portraits of him. The light was PERFECTION on the porch at that time and then my gut told me to take a group photo of him and his groomsmen. So glad I did because it saved us later once the rain moved in ❤️❤️❤️. After photos, I went back to photograph Sarah getting into her dress.
Bridesmaids were ready. A folding privacy screen was put up for Sarah to slip into her gown. Her mom zipped the back. As her mom was looping the buttons, Heather (a staff member at Stonegate), announced that it was six minutes until the ceremony. Sarah’s face instantly showed disbelief 😂. Time is crazy on wedding days. You don’t know what time it is, but it moves so fast! She put on her earrings and a bridesmaid helped tie the bow. Sarah sat on the couch and sprayed perfume on. She was officially ready.
As the processional began, family led the way followed by the wedding party. The two stars of the show were the flower girl and Gracie. The flower girl would drop the flower petals and then instantly go to pick them up. She was very proud!!!! Next came Gracie. Gracie was dying to walk down the aisle to get to Sean 😂. I think she was devastated when they stopped her just in front of the steps. Frequent cries were heard throughout the chapel. The chapel doors closed and reopened to reveal Sarah. As she walked down the aisle. Sean's eyes glistened with tears. Gracie immediately turned her head and whined. Sarah and Sean had a traditional ceremony. Readings from the bible, followed by an exchange or rings, and finalized with a kiss! As they walked back down the aisle as husband and wife, the chapel doors opened and the rain had moved in. That didn't stop us from having the guests line up along the path to cheer Sarah and Sean on. I think Gracie loved this moment most of all! She was so happy ❤️❤️❤️
We took family photos in the chapel and decided to brave the rain and cold for the wedding party. I’ve never moved so fast. We even took one photo missing one of the groomsmen who wandered off. Nobody realized until he re-joined the group 😂. One more photo was taken with him added and we called it good!!! Next was Sarah and Sean. We headed back down to the chapel to get warm. Alex and I both had hand warmers in our pockets and let Sarah warm her feet on them. I kept forgetting that she didn’t have shoes! Taking a few photos in the chapel, we made our way outside to brave the rain. The rain was heavy. Pools of water filling the cracks. We made it a few feet up the path before I conceded slight defeat and escaped back into the bridal sweet. Sean took a diversion and went into the groom's suite. As I was standing with Sarah and her bridesmaids. I heard someone say “Snow!” We looked outside and large heavy flakes were coming down. Sarah bolted out the door yelling for Sean and I followed closely behind. Sarah entered the groomsmen suite yelling for Sean to hurry. Unfortunately we just weren't fast enough. The three minutes of snow turned back into rain. At least we tried! A few more pictures outside and it was time to enter the reception. I tried to risk one photo with Sarah train on the ground…but it started soaking up water so fast we instantly said “bad idea!!!” 😂 E for effort there.
Sarah and Sean entered the reception to cheers all around. Speeches were made and dinner was served. As the final guests sat down with their plates, Sarah and Sean prepared to cut their cake. It was the perfect cake cutting. They were both so gentle 😂 After cake cutting, they shared their first dance and then chairs were pulled out for the shoe game. Since Sarah didn’t have shoes, I spotted her heading to a bridesmaid to borrow the perfect pair 🙌 . Her and Sean sat down back to back and the questions began. This shoe game made me giggle. Some couples nail every question (their responses identical). For Sarah and Sean, I think 80% of their answers were different 🤣 In their defense, they were very abstract questions. Alex and I would have struggled too.
The bar opened at 6, right after the garter and bouquet toss. Before the official dance music began, we moved the sweetheart table to take a few photos of Sarah and Sean on their green couch. The first song to play was the “Cha Cha slide. Sarah and a few bridesmaids got up to dance. The song was followed by the Cupid shuffle. No guests got up. Alex tried to motivate people by learning the dance from Heather (a staff member) and Elijah (the DJ), but to no avail 🤣. I can say I relate through. Apart from our first dance, I never stepped foot onto the dance floor at our wedding. The rest of the evening, guests enjoyed mingling and signature cocktails from the bar. A relaxing night to a perfect day! Sarah and Sean, thank you so much for giving Alex and I the opportunity to capture these memories. I am going to live vicariously through all your travels and I wish you both the best! Congratulations!
Sarah + Sean
Venue: Stonegate Glass Chapel
Cake: Sugar Leaf Bakery
Catering: Catering Creations
Flowers: Linda's Flowers
DJ: Elijah from Stonegate Glass Chapel
Tux: Men’s Wearhouse
Gown: Normans Bridal Shoppe
Hair and Makeup: Starla Harrill
Bartending: Top Shelf
Bride’s Rings: Justice Jewelers and Zales
Groom’s Ring: Zales
Photography: Christina Zapata Photography