Driving through the mountains of Richlands, VA with my best friend/second shooter, Kam, I knew we were in for a gorgeous weekend, but nothing could have prepared me for just HOW gorgeous and sentimental Scotty and Kristen's big day would be. Photographing a wedding in the mountains had always been on my photoggy bucket list. There's just something about a country skyline and the humble feeling you get when you take in the grandness of a mountain 4,000x your size that makes my heart flutter. Another big ticket item on my bucket list has always been to photograph a bride and groom near a log cabin, so when I received a wedding inquiry from a couple who promised BOTH, I knew this was an experience I couldn't pass up.
When Scotty contacted me as a referral from a friend, I immediately knew I was destined to photograph his and Kristen's wedding. The way he gushed about the love of his life, his desire to pull off the wedding he had always dreamed of, and the fact that he wanted to be super hands-on with each and every detail made me instantly drawn to be a part of it. While their wedding party was fairly small and their ceremony was quite intimate, I can assert that those factors only added to the sweet and romantic, gentle vibe felt throughout the day. Touches of magenta and yellow created vibrant pops of contrast against the luscious greens that surrounded us. A bright blue sky full of puffy white clouds whisped above us, as if someone had hand-painted the crisp view as a wedding gift. Windy dirt roads, old wooden fences, and colorful wildflowers kissed every corner of the day, and I was lucky enough to be the one to document all this beauty.
Meeting Kristen and Scotty in person only validated my 99 reasons why I was excited for this day to come. Their love for each other is evident in even the candid photos they didn't know I was taking, which is only what I pray for before every single wedding I ever shoot. Words of well wishes and cherished memories echoed from every room throughout the church, confirming my belief that everyone else was just as happy for the beautiful couple as I was. Friends and family broke bread together in celebration of the new Mr. and Mrs. Anderson's vow exchange in a gathering area below the church, which was a nice change of pace for a wedding photographer who almost always spends 4+ hours in party mode on a typical wedding day. Scotty and Kristen's guests sipped on southern sweet tea instead of lining up for an open bar, they munched on everyone's favorite comfort food instead of waiting to be served an exotic plate of food some people have never heard of, and they spent their time catching up on old stories with friends they hadn't seen in years instead of participating in group dances like the Wobble or the Cupid Shuffle. And you know what? It was the perfect change of pace. There was one classic wedding tradition at the end of the evening, though; an always-beautiful sparkler exit.
These photos take me back to a day where the bride and groom were relaxed and easy-going, where time for pictures was plentiful, and where there was only one goal in mind- to celebrate a love between two people who were promising each other forever. I'm so thankful to have been a part of this beautiful southern union, and I wish Scotty and Kristen nothing but the best in their future together. Thanks for crossing off some items on my bucket list, and for trusting me with your big day!
*** As always, I am so honored to have been a part of this breath-taking day, and I truly can't thank Kristen, Scotty, or their sweet friends and family enough for their amazing treatment. I also have to give another huuuuuge shout-out to my super talented second-shooter/BFF (who captured a bunch of these awesome shots), Kam Goodrich of Kam Goodrich Photography; I could not have done this without you. ***
Cabin Venue: Cuz's Cabins
Coordinator: Kristy Anderson Northern
Cake: Cindy Lambert
Officiant: Doug Northern
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Bethel Assembly of God
Groom's Tux and Groomsmen Suits: Brighton Tux Shop
Bride's Gown: LaceMarry
Bridesmaid Dresses: RenzRags
Catering: Kim Johnson of Lunch Box
Hair & Makeup: DIY
Photography: Sarah Elizabeth Kelly of Sarah Elizabeth Photography
Second-Photographer: Kamaron Goodrich of Kam Goodrich Photography
I'm Sarah Elizabeth! I specialize in engagements, weddings, and boudoir photography! Happily servicing Richmond and surrounding areas since 2013, but will gladly come to you!