The first time we ever met Samantha and Slay, we knew we had to shoot their wedding. Yes, they are amazingly good looking. I mean, just scroll down a little. Did you see her??? It’s completely unfair that one person can have that many good genes! But that’s not the reason. Not even close. We always care way more about what’s on the inside than what’s on the outside. And their outsides have nothing on what’s inside! They both have amazing hearts that were built to serve others. They are some of the most caring, selfless people we’ve ever met, and we love them for that!
We recently got the chance to photograph our first courthouse wedding, and we can’t wait to do it again! I’ve always thought that civil ceremonies are so intimate and sweet! It’s a private affair, with only a few family members and friends. It completely removes all the stress and (most of) the planning that a formal wedding involves, and makes it all about the couple. It really concentrates on the most important part of wedding… getting married!
Greg was shy. He was so shy, he could barely say two words to Kimel when he met her. When a friend introduced them, she tried to engage him in conversation but soon gave up when she thought he wasn’t interested. In fact, she thought he was a jerk, albeit a good-looking jerk. So when the friend told Kimel that Greg wanted her number, she was surprised to find out that Greg thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.
Sarah was very close to her grandmother when she was a girl. Unfortunately, her grandmother is no longer with her, but she was there in spirit on Sarah’s wedding day. Sarah included her not only in photos, memories, and prayers, but she wore the love of her grandmother on her sleeve. Literally. Sarah chose to wear the very same wedding dress that her grandmother wore when she was married, and it couldn’t have been more perfect for her.
Gary put careful thought into his wedding attire as well. Being a proud Marine officer, he wanted nothing more than to wear his uniform on the most important day of his life. After spending some time training in California, Gary came to Memphis to wed his bride, with the support and blessings of his friends and family. He had to leave for training again right after the wedding, so Sarah and Gary must put the honeymoon on hold. They will be awaiting orders to move to Japan soon after, where they will begin their new life together as husband and wife.
Sarah and Gary held their ceremony and reception at St. Philip Episcopal Church, and they both prepared for the day there.
Sarah’s grandmother’s dress was a beautiful mix of lace and satin. Sarah’s new veil was custom dyed to age it.
We all waited patiently for the multitude of buttons that would transform Sarah into a bride.
Sarah, you could not have been a more beautiful, timeless bride.
Gary looked so dapper and legit in his Marines uniform.
Sarah and Gary chose to see each other before the ceremony, and I love it when we can capture the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time.
They shared a few tears, a few laughs, and a few hugs during this tender, private moment.
The weather was perfect for some beautiful, sunny portraits!
Sarah, you are stunning.
I love love love the mood of this photo that Ed captured.
The entire wedding party came from out of state to celebrate with Sarah and Gary.
Ed captured these fabulous candid moments.
LOVE this one of the girls.
Gayle from A Garden Secret made the church look beautiful, and the smell of roses filled the entire room.
Sarah was all smiles as she saw her groom from the end of the isle.
My favorite photo from the ceremony was a private moment between the new man and wife as they examined their rings as friends and family exchanged hugs and greetings.
So happy to be married!
We ran back outside for a few minutes to grab a few shots of Sarah’s and Gary’s first married moments, right before sunset.
The reception was everything Sarah and Gary wanted: laughter, tears, and lots of love. Sarah’s great-aunt (her grandmother’s sister) gave a special toast that shared stories of the special relationship that Sarah had with her grandmother.
As Sarah and Gary prepared to leave, their family and friends hugged them long and tight. Since Sarah and Gary will both be moving to Japan very soon, they are not sure when they will be with their loved ones next. For now, they will have to count on and live off of the tremendous love that they have for each other. Something tells me that will be enough.
CLICK HERE to see more photos from Sarah’s and Gary’s wedding day. Here’s to timelessness. And wearing love on your sleeve. And a love that spans continents. Cheers!
Sarah picked up the phone and called her mom right after she first met Gary. “Mom,” she said, “I found the man I’m going to marry.” Gary, however, had no idea that she was even interested in him. They met their junior year at Citadel, a military college in Charleston. Sarah chose the college because she wanted to challenge herself. Gary chose it because he had always known he would become a Marine. But it wasn’t until their Senior year when a mutual friend decided that they were perfect for each other. With a there’s-no-reason-you-two-shouldn’t-be-dating mentality, she arranged for Gary to ask Sarah out. Being a proper Marine man, Gary did it right. He picked up the phone and called Sarah’s dad for permission to ask her out. A year later, he picked up the phone again to ask Sarah’s dad for her hand.
Sarah has been hurriedly planning their wedding while Gary was stationed in Japan. After the challenge of a relationship in completely different timezones, planning a wedding in less than 5 months was easy. They will wed in May, and will immediately move back to Japan, this time together.
Gary returned to the States recently for training, and Ed and I were able to meet him and Sarah at Shelby Farms for their engagement session. We were thrilled to have the opportunity, since none of us were sure exactly if and when he would return before the wedding. We saw right away that their friend was totally right about them. They are perfect for each other.
Sarah and Gary compliment each other so well. Sarah is more quiet and reserved, while Gary would rather joke around and have fun. They bring out the best in each other…
Including the smiles.
Ed captured this photo, and I have to admit, I’m jealous.
Sarah, Gary is one lucky guy!
You are truly beautiful, inside and out.
Right before sunset, we found a field full. of. buttercups!
They are such good sports!
I mean, seriously. How many times in your life do you get to say that you made out in a field of buttercups??
Gary had never heard of the buttercup-under-the-chin superstition, so of course we had to check.
Sarah and Gary, thank you for spending some of your precious time together with us. We know how important those few days are, and we are honored that we got to spend one of them with you. We can’t wait for the wedding!
CLICK HERE to see more images from Sarah’s and Gary’s engagement session. Here’s to being old school. And making every day count. And buttercups! Cheers!