April 30, 2011

Sneak Peek: Allen, Texas Wedding - Anna & Harper

I had a wonderful time photographing Anna & Harper's wedding today in my hometown. The sermon during mass was one of the most touching I've ever heard, and the reception was just the perfect blend of fun, practical, and beautiful. I can't wait to share the rest of the photos with you! Here are a few to tide us all over for now though!

April 25, 2011

Dalhousie Castle Wedding: Jada & Jon - Part II

Here's the second half of Jada & Jon's Scotland wedding, as promised. As I mentioned, there were only ten of us, the bride, groom and myself included, who attended this intimate destination wedding. As such, you'll see literally every guest (except me!) in the photos that follow.

After the ceremony, we retired to the library bar for some celebratory drinks before heading out into the fog for portraits.

It's a little bit hilarious how much Corona was consumed on this trip, despite being in Scotland. You can take the Texan out of Texas...

I couldn't ask for a better backdrop for portraits than a 13th century castle and the foggy green rolling hills we found in Midlothian, Scotland. I desperately wish we could have venues like this at home!

After portraits, we headed back inside for the cake cutting. Jada's mom had brought along a cake cutter, but little did we know the bagpiper had other plans, accompanied by another speech.

Now that is a cake cutter. I want to say it's actually a Scottish Dirk, but I could be mixing up terms. Anyway, it's a heck of a big knife.

The piper offered some final words of wisdom and well wishes, and at that point I was relieved of my duties in order to enjoy a fantastic five course meal in the castle dungeon. Clearly I wasn't already being spoiled enough by being brought to Scotland and having the opportunity to photograph an unbelievably beautiful wedding. Thanks again to all of the Barnes/Graff crew!

April 23, 2011

Dalhousie Castle Wedding: Jada & Jon - Part I

In March, I accompanied nine other people to Edinburgh, Scotland. We stayed together in two apartments (I guess "flats" would be the proper term) for a full week, and celebrated the marriage of two among us in the middle of the week. The bride, Jada, and I were friends back in middle school but our social circles drifted apart in high school. I saw her groom, Jon, around school but probably never knew his name. By the end of a week in a foreign country with them, their immediate family and two of their closest friends, I'd say we're friends again and anew.

Jada and Jon were best friends throughout high school and beyond. They both fell for one another long before they made anything official as a fear of ruining their friendship with a relationship kept things from going further. The good news is that a relationship with your best friend is the best kind there is and they finally figured that out too.

Jon's dream was to move to Hawaii after high school. He scrimped and saved and eventually made the move, only to realize how desperately he and Jada missed each other. She quickly hopped on a plane and joined him there. They've since moved back to good ol' Allen, Texas, but I guess they were due for another adventure, since they had their wedding at beautiful Dalhousie Castle outside of Edinburgh. I can't thank them enough for taking me along.

The day started out with unseasonably blue skies, but a thick fog rolled in while everyone was getting ready. Jada wanted some authentic Scottish weather for her Scottish wedding, so it was perfect.

As this was a destination wedding, most everything was arranged sight unseen by a variety of vendors coordinated by the lovely Highland Country Weddings. Jada was a little nervous about her bouquet, but it turned out beautifully.

The boys relaxed in the library bar while the girls got ready upstairs. Then they were off for an important duty at the falconry on the castle grounds.

I loved that Jada's dad placed a silver sixpence in her awesome wedding shoes.

Jada looked so, so beautiful. I'm still ridiculously in love with her tattoos as well.

With shoes and veil and everything in place, it was time to head down to the chapel, led by a bagpiper, naturally.

Jon and Jada included an Irish Handfasting in their ceremony. It's the origin of the "tying the knot" idiom, and one of my favorite wedding traditions.

Remember that trip to the falconry that the boys made before the ceremony? The best man Willy had to go learn how to catch an owl ring bearer.

The marriage license had to be signed on the day of the wedding by the bride, groom, officiant and two witnesses to be made official.

The bagpiper made one of his many speeches to the new bride and groom and then led them out of the chapel.

Be sure to check back Monday for Jon & Jada's portraits, cake cutting, and their candid post-ceremony celebrations!

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