Venue: Skyland Resort
Dress: Essence of Australia
Hair & Make-up: Ashley Sandgren-PR @ Partners Gainesville Virginia
Invitations: Dana Forkel- Danabae Etsy
Wedding Planner: Linda Mowery
Photographers: House of Amsel Photography- Second Shooter Raquel Arnold RA IMAGES
On the evening of November 2nd 2018 my bestfriend and business partner Alexandra got married. She married her best match, Mr. Matthew Baker.
The wedding had been in the making for a year, to which destiny had been planning for a lifetime.
I believe if you can get through wedding planning for a year, then your marriage will for sure last forever! kidding aside. The days leading up to the “big day” were surely crazy. Then just like that the morning of the wedding came and everything seemed to be in place and as it should. The stress was off and the celebration had begun. Both Matt and Alex’s families lovingly surrounded them. Taking in each and every moment they could. As a friend watching this, it was just amazing. Photographing it, wait.. did I mention I was photographing this thing? Well, I did. So, watching this unfold in front of me was surreal. I wanted everything to be perfect. Every detail and emotion to be captured. It was hard. Thankfully I had a friend 2nd shooting with me. Thank you Raquel. That helped so much!
Back to the story. The venue was magical. If you have never been to the Shenandoah, you absolutely need to make a visit. The Blue Ridge mountains are breathtaking. Matt and Alex have an immense love for nature. Like, every day off together they are exploring and hiking every inch of Virginia. Vacations don’t include a spa or martinis on a beach. They include 14+ mile a day hikes through the countries largest mountain ranges(maybe a nice distillery here and there). This is them. So, I really couldn't imagine a better place for them to get hitched. Saying “I do” atop a cliff seems unreal to most. To me? friggin magical.
The entire day fog rolled over the mountain peaks. Clouds kept lingering making it known that soon the rain would come. Thankfully, the day before the couple made the decision to have a private ceremony at the Stoneyman Summit. The only thing Alex wanted was to have pictures on the mountain. The couple, myself and children, their parents , the officiant/bestfriend, his wife and bridal party, climbed a half mile to the top. Oh yes, their puppies Kai and Ellie hiked up there too! I can’t believe I forgot to mention Kai. The only other “man” Alex would ever marry. In my opinion her true love. Can we take a moment to thank Jesus for making dogs?… Amen.
Since the portraits were already done, we didn’t have to worry about the pesky rain.
Promptly at 4:30pm the rain began while Matt watched his bride walk down the aisle, accompanied by her dad and handsome Kai. They gave both the dogs bones to keep them occupied at the ceremony and proceeded with their vows. Which included some comments about their love of football followed by sealing the deal with a kiss! The weather made the ceremony so cozy. The stone fireplace was roaring while adorned with beautiful florals. The wagon wheel chandeliers’’ were glowing a warm yellow. It was quiet enough to hear the crackling of the fresh fire wood while the guests listened so intently as they professed the love they intend to share with each other forever.
The reception was essentially a love balled for the two of them. Family and friends gave their stories and thanks one by one. Each had one commonality, they both are amazing people. Matt’s grandfather closed the speeches with a lovely toast followed by dinner. A huge BBQ dinner with all the fixins’ . Then it was party central with the most rockin’ live band. No, not a traditional wedding band. “The Holly Montgomery Band”
We(Matt, Alex , my husband , and myself) saw this band the night they got engaged. This was the day Tom Petty died. We danced while this band played in remembrance of him and in celebration of engagement literally until the placed closed for the night. When we left the establishment all Alex could say was “I am booking them for my wedding”. That they did. The band serenaded the couple with their rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey” then proceeded to bring the house down with raspy blues struck voices and guitar riffs to die for.
It was a day to remember.
Matt and Alex I wish you many years of love.- Stefanie
It was really hard to narrow down a photograph story for this post. But, I believe 90 something images will do the trick. I hope you enjoyed the story now take a look Below!
Stay Tuned for the private mountain top ceremony and portrait session!