wedding day

Dave + Leanne | Cloverdale Barn Wedding | Rustic Virginia Wedding Photographer

With the risk of sounding like Chandler of FRIENDS, could there be a more joyful couple?

Choose a seat not a side wedding sign

Even the torrential downpour on the morning of their wedding couldn't stop Dave and Leanne from smiling as wide as the Shenandoah Valley is long. The exchanged vows at Winchester's Cloverdale Barn, tucked away in the under part of the barn, dry and cozy from any stray rain drops.

Grey and pink wedding invitation suite | Lorin Marie Photography
Pearl and diamond wedding earrings | Lorin Marie Photography
Pink ballet flats | Lorin Marie Photography

Sophisticated tones of blush and grey were sprinkled throughout their day - from Leanne's pale pink ballet slippers and the soft floral arrangements (that she made herself!) to her charcoal invitation suite and the groom and groomsmen's suits.

Beautiful diamond engagement ring | Lorin Marie Photography
Grey and pink wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
David's Bridal dress with pink sash | Lorin Marie Photography

Leanne wore a stunning white gown with a flowing pink bow that cinched around her waist and tied in the back. The butt bow, as she affectionately referred to it, just made the dress even more elegant and stunning on the bride as it swished back and forth like a chapel bell. Ding, ding, ding.

Groom getting ready | Lorin Marie Photography
Rustic barn wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
DIY bridal bouqet | Lorin Marie Photography
Vintage lace veil | Lorin Marie Photography

With a promise not to lose them, Leanne borrowed her mother's gorgeous pearl and diamond earrings. Reminders of the lost earrings of fourth grade filled the air, followed by smiles and another promise to hold on tight to these borrowed jewels. Her mother's intricate lace veil complimented her bridal details just exquisitely, later on becoming a delicate backdrop for beautiful pink iced wedding cake.

Pale pink bridesmaid dresses | Lorin Marie Photography
David's Bridal wedding dress | Lorin Marie Photography
Mother of the bride | Lorin Marie Photography

After her mother and sisters helped Leanne slip into her white dress, the bride walked along the windy gravel path from the barn down to her waiting groom. They exchanged a First Look, taking in each other and holding on to the last fleeting moments of engagement that were making room for their nuptials.

First look bride and groom | Lorin Marie Photography
First look barn wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Bride and groom first look | Lorin Marie Photography
First look wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Bride and groom portraits | Lorin Marie Photography

Underneath the barn was transformed into a twinkly lit refuge from the somewhat still dreary afternoon. Friends from childhood, college buddies, family members and guests from across the states gathered into the secluded barn alcove.

Wedding mantle | Lorin Marie Photography
Choose a seat not a side wedding sign  | Lorin Marie Photography
Twinkly lights | Lorin Marie Photography
Wedding ceremony mantle | Lorin Marie Photography
Barn wedding ceremony | Lorin Marie Photography
Father of the bride  | Lorin Marie Photography
Cute ringbearer | Lorin Marie Photography

The bride and groom asked twelve of their very best friends to stand beside them on their wedding day. So much love and support from these dozen was given throughout the day, just completely wonderful friends and siblings who truly were for the couple and wanted to celebrate their first steps of marriage with them.

Pink and grey bridal party  | Lorin Marie Photography
Mix matched bridesmaid dresses | Lorin Marie Photography
Fall bridal party | Lorin Marie Photography
Groom with pink tie | Lorin Marie Photography
Bridal party photo | Lorin Marie Photography

Such a chic and stylish group! I love how the mismatched bridesmaid dresses come together so well in the photos. The groomsmen's ties are just the right amount of pink to really add a warmth to the overall look.

Pink bridesmaid dresses | Lorin Marie Photography
Grey groomsmen suits | Lorin Marie Photography
Must have wedding photo | Lorin Marie Photography

Here's to lifelong friendship and new beginnings!

Bridal wedding bow | Lorin Marie Photography
Bride and flower girl | Lorin Marie Photography
Barn kissing photo | Lorin Marie Photography
Bridal portrait | Lorin Marie Photography
Winchester wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Bride and groom portraits | Lorin Marie Photography

To love, laughter and happily ever after.

Groom portrait | Lorin Marie Photography
Barn wedding Northern Virginia | Lorin Marie Photography
Cloverdale Barn Winchester wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Winchester Virginia wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Sunset portraits | Lorin Marie Photography

The wedding celebrating continued on in the main level of the barn, where dozens of twinkly lights hung in the warm air and wrapped around beams as guests drank, ate and danced the night away.

Cloverdale Barn wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Mr. and Mrs. wedding sign | Lorin Marie Photography
Reception dancing | Lorin Marie Photography
Silver cake server | Lorin Marie Photography
Vintage cake topper | Lorin Marie Photography
Dancing in barn | Lorin Marie Photography


Venue: Cloverdale Barn
Wedding dress:
David's Bridal
Bridesmaid dresses: Varied
Groomsmen suits: Varied

Hair and Makeup: Cindy of SAS Studio
Cake: Agape Cake
DJ: Danny's DJ Service
Catering: Top Flight BBQ
Favors: Handmade BBQ sauce

4 Ways You Can Help Your Wedding Photography Go Smoothly

Columbia South Carolina wedding photographer | Lorin Marie Photographyy

There is so much planning & preparation that goes into a wedding! Hours & hours & HOURS that all come together for one 8-10ish hour celebration - that a lot of prep work, right?! Having been both a bride who poured nights & weekends into planning my own wedding & as a photographer capturing weddings, I know there's so much to be processing, thinking about & staying on top of. all. the. time.

And the last thing you want is for something that could have been discussed before your wedding day to not turn out great simply because it wasn't discussed. So here are 4 simple things you can do to help your wedding photographer help you have a stress-free wedding day:

1. Gather all bridal details to be photographed before your photographer arrives - When a bride has her dress, shoes, jewelry & all her details ready to go when I arrive on the wedding day, that just kicks things off to a spectacular start! No photographer wants to be rushing around asking, "Sorry, do you have the wedding bands?" & "Excuse me, but have you seen the bride's veil?" By printing off & checking over a Bridal Details List, that's a great way to remember everything & have it all in one corner of the hotel suite, easily save your photographer time & energy which leaves MORE time & energy for your photos. Win WIN!

2. Have your florist deliver your bouquets to your getting-ready location - You found the perfect colors & blooms to grace your bridal bouquet so having them in place with your bridal details before any portraits are taken gives your photographer the opportunity to photograph them, along with your bridal details, which helps to connect the beautiful moments of your day & tell the story as it unfolds. Plus, if your bouquets are with you & your bridesmaids before you get dressed, they will be in place & ready for bridal party portraits! For your DIY brides, I'd suggest having a flower point person so that you aren't the one stuck doing last minute stemwork. And give way more time than you need for them to be put together. Depending upon the type of arrangement, have them finished the night before if possible.

3. Consider the natural light available when choosing a getting-ready location - If you have a choice between a room with no windows or sunlight pouring in & one that has at least one window, definitely choose the room with a window! Your photographer will thank you for allowing some of the sunshine in as he/she is capturing these once-in-a-lifetime moments of you stepping into your dress, laughing with your girls, holding back happy tears & slipping on your wedding shoes. Soft, natural light is just heavenly when it graces the lines of a bridal gown & is much more skin-tone friendly than tungsten or fluorescent bulbs buzzing overhead. 

4. Pass along the time & location for Family Portraits in advance - By letting your family know when & where they are needed for Family Portraits, you're setting up yourself for Family Portrait success! It can be difficult to wrangle a missing aunt or uncle when everyone else is in position for the photo, plus that can very quickly eat into the precious minutes set aside for portraits. As a photographer, I cannot keep the sun from setting (although it would be nice, only God has that kind of power!) so doing what you can to pass along that Family Portraits will start at this time immediately after the ceremony is so, so helpful! Less questions for your relatives to be asking you day of, less running around trying to find your missing cousin & more beautiful portraits!

Happy planning!

For even more advice for brides, check out my past posts here.

July Gratefulgrams

Newborn photos | Lorin Marie Photography
Salamander Resort | Lorin Marie Photography
Zoo date | Lorin Marie Photography
Wedding reception | Lorin Marie Photography
Winery engagement | Lorin Marie Photography
Storytime snuggles | Lorin Marie Photography

"The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances."
{Elisabeth Elliot}

Can I get an amen??

I often think, "Well, if God just changed this & this & this, then my attitude would be different or I'd have more joy..." But the truth is, I'm called to be content & have a joyful heart despite all that may be going on around me. Easier said than done but that's where His grace is. Sufficient for my life.

1. It's hard to believe our little Junebug is already 3 months old! / 2. Photographing sweet friends-turned-engaged-friends is the best! / 3. Zoo dates with Hubby / 4. Keeping a right perspective about the craziness that can be wedding days / 5. Getting back to Virginia for this lovely couple's engagement session / 6. Storytime snuggles

Advice for Brides: Keeping perspective

Advice for Brides | Lorin Marie Photography

Throughout our bridal advice series, I've talked about making decisions, deciding on your bridal party, The Top 5, seeing your groom & more (to see past blog posts, check on this link!).

And now, let's chat about when things go wrong on your wedding day.

It sounds like just about the worst thing I could share with you, right? Way to bring us all down to Debbie Downerville, Lorin (I don't think that's a thing but we're going with it!). But the truth is, there will probably be something on your special day that doesn't go according to plan/gets left behind/doesn't quite work out like you had thought it would.

Here's the secret: When something does go array, it's likely that only you, your groom & wedding planner/coordinator will even know about it!

Having been a bride who planned her wedding day down to a T, I couldn't have anticipated the few small not-according-to-plan things that happened on November 11 almost 2 years ago.

As part of our ceremony, we had decided to tie 3 cords together to represent the strength & unity of the relationship between Dean, myself & the Lord & asked our pastor to read Ecclesiastes 4:12: "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Well. In the midst of transferring boxes & boxes of decor to our venue, the lovely Cloverdale Barn, the beautiful woven rope Dean & I had picked out online & had shipped to us. somehow. went. missing.

Ahh! What's a bride to do? Insert incredible wedding planner! She pulled together 3 long pieces of beautiful gold ribbon that we were able to tie instead. And none of our guests knew the difference. Just another reason that having a planner/coordinator/day-of coordinator is so crucial to making your wedding day a success!

So what if something happens that your guests do notice? It can make for a great story to laugh about later on!

Like I mentioned in this post about remembering your wedding day, as my sister was carrying the train of my wedding dress, she lost her footing and fell, scraping her knee in the process. Just seconds before she was supposed to walk down the aisle. Once again, incredible wedding planner Sam to the rescue! She quickly wiped off Chelsea's bloody knee & set her on her way.

Because the bridesmaid dresses fell just to the knee, however, Chelsea's freshly scratched leg was visible for our guests to see. I was later told that one of our guests sitting near the bridal party kept trying to pass along a handkerchief for Chelsea's wound. Right after the ceremony we were all able to laugh about the situation & give my sister a big hug for being such a trooper. And to this day, it's still one of the highlight moments of our wedding.

Another not-as-planned moment: after I finished walking down the aisle with my dad, our ceremony playlist continued playing, switching from A Fine Frenzy's sweet ballad "What I Wouldn't Do" to our upbeat recessional song, "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers. After the music was quickly shut off, our witty pastor addressed our guests saying, "Ho hey ho, everybody!" Such a fun, nerve-squashing moment that really helped to set the mood for our ceremony. Otherwise I know I would have cried my happy tears the whole time, instead of just most of the way through.

If something on your wedding day doesn't get delivered in time, or goes off schedule, or gets lost between your getting-ready location & the venue, or if your music continues on, or if your MOH trips & scratches her knee, don't sweat it.

It secretly happens to most of us brides & makes for the most memorable stories to share & laugh about for years to come!

Advice for Brides: Bridal details checklist

Advice for Brides: 8 Fabulous date night ideas

Advice for Brides: Making Decisions

Advice for Brides: Get more sleep

Advice for Brides: Seeing your groom

Advice for Brides: Your bridal party

Advice for Brides: Putting the wed in wedding

Jonathan + Crissy | Sneak peek | Folly Beach Wedding Photographer

Folly Beach wedding | Lorin Marie Photography
Folly Beach wedding photos | Lorin Marie Photography

So much joy & laughter filled the day as Jonathan & Crissy became Mr. & Mrs. Etter!

This down-to-earth, sweet as iced tea couple exchanged vows & joined their hands in marriage on the warm sand of Folly Beach on - wait for it - 5/15/15. What a great wedding date for an incredibly great couple! And an incredibly great wedding date that's also conveniently easy remember :)