From the photographer
I had scheduled a venue visit with Tara from Magnolia Mansion a month before Gretchen and Gary’s wedding day. Immediately after leaving the mansion, I sent a text to my second shooter: I HAVE to tell you about the venue!!!
It was just. that. gorgeous. A large mansion with perfect white pillars reaching to the second-floor front porch. Orange and yellow wooded grounds leading up to the stairwell, not to mention a little, rickety old ladder attached to the side of a tree that leads you to a lookout point high above everyone else. Plus, cocktail hour would be surrounding a gorgeous in-ground pool, a stony walkway, and fountains dotted along the way. I couldn’t wait to photograph Gretchen and Gary on such a stunning v enue!
When the day finally came, the weather was on our side. No rain, not too cold, and perfect fall leaves. When we arrived at the Magnolia Mansion, Sarah told me, “If I were getting married again, it would be at this venue on this day. It’s perfect.” I eagerly agreed with her.
Walking into the bridal suite to find Gretchen, her mom, and her bridesmaids all getting ready was like walking into a hot bowl of excitement! The girls were giggling and having fun, everyone cozied up in their bathrobes. Gretchen’s hair was just about finished and she would soon be starting her make up. It was such a fun start to a wedding day! Just below them, one floor down, Gary and his groomsmen hung out around snacks and a TV, as chill as can be. The difference between the two atmospheres was quite obvious…and just a little funny.
But then time catapulted forward and suddenly everyone was in their dresses and Gary was waiting outside to see his bride for the first time. Gretchen’s walk under the archway was the perfect segue into their First Look. Tears were shed on both sides, and nervousness was met with embraces, comforting hugs and familiar kisses.
…And the day carried on in this way. Familiar, yet exciting. New and yet inviting and warm. Friends, new and old, family with history and family with future. All came together in one night to celebrate a new life started between Gretchen and Gary. Sarah and I were privileged to be there, capturing it all and witnessing the love. I just know these two will find a lifetime of happiness with each other!