When we last spent time with Michael and Grace it was during their spectacular engagement session at Ponce City Market and the Atlanta Beltline. It was there where we quickly came to appreciate their unique energy as a couple. Not to mention the fact that they love to travel the world as much as we do. So immediately we hit it off. Fast forward several months and here we are. Ready to document their big wedding day and we couldn’t be more thrilled to do so.
The wedding venue
Historic 550 Trackside was the scene of this memorable day. 550 began as a cotton warehouse in 1904 but across its storied existence it has also been known as The Langley General Store, The Mercantile Exchange, the Grinder and the Goldkist Building.
Made from granite pulled directly from Stone Mountain and 100-year-old wood it provides an elegant space perfect for occasions like this.
Tell me about the vibe
Really the word that best sums up the feeling for this wedding is relaxed. From the moment we arrived at the venue both the bride and groom were totally calm and enjoying the company of their closest friends. Not the usual nerves you see with so many other weddings. Since 550 Trackside has ample room, everyone was able to get ready at the venue. Guests arrived on time and even participated in helping put together the final touches on the decorations.
Nonetheless, a visual storyline will communicate the feel and beauty of the couple better than we can with our words. So please sit back and enjoy a few favorites from this fantastic wedding. Also, be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the latest with Viridian Images Photography, Atlanta’s premier wedding photographers.
The team that made this wedding the fabulous event it was:
A while back we introduced Isabelle & Charlie via their wonderful engagement session at Lake Lanier. You might recall their PineIsle Pointe shoot included a labradoodle, a romp through the high grass fields and shoreline stroll that ultimately ended up in the water. Now we get a chance to share the other side of their journey as a couple. The wedding!
It was a perfect October day in Georgia. Not too cold, but just right for tying the knot. Isabelle & Charlie had just recently purchased a home at a country club. But not just any country club; it was TPC Sugarloaf!
Golfers in the South will immediately recognize that name. It has long been a prized member of the PGA TOUR’s acclaimed TPC Network of premier clubs. Designed by the Australian professional golfer Greg Norman and situated on 1,200 acres of Georgia’s countryside; it’s first class all the way. So a portion of their lovely 60,000 square-foot clubhouse would serve as the setting for both their ceremony and reception.
The day begins
As usual our storytelling style of coverage begins with the getting ready portion of the day. Isabelle chose to get ready at the clubhouse while Charlie hosted his buddies at their house. Since they had just recently purchased the house, they didn’t have much furniture. However one key piece was their gorgeous grand piano in the center of the house against a huge wall of windows. Charlie actually had a little extra time on his hands to play a little bit. Meanwhile Isabelle was going through her hair and makeup session as she was surrounded by loved ones. Once they were ready we moved right in to the couple’s first look in the center courtyard; next to Charlie’s favorite red Japanese maple where he stood patiently as she made her approach. After a few minutes of privacy we jumped into their bridal portraits, which included shots by the garden and a gigantic oak tree.
First look in the courtyard
Let the ceremony begin
The spot for the wedding was actually situated just outside the clubhouse on a perfectly manicured lawn with a trellis that overlooked the lake and the golf course. The ceremony was a simple but relaxed affair with a nice soft breeze comforting the couple as they exchanged their vows. After a few moments to greet family and friends we took them right back out for some additional portraits with the tall feather grass gardens by the lake.
A few more bridal portraits during cocktail hour
It’s time to get this party started
Finally the reception arrived. It was brisk and to the point. Introductions, the first dance and their cake cutting. All designed get to the most important portion of the evening, dinner and some fun on the dance floor. The night concluded with a fantastic sparkler exit.
Let them eat cake
Time for farewell to our lovely couple
All throughout this journey we had a great time getting to know Isabelle and Charlie and we are truly grateful to have been chosen to document this time in their life. We can’t wait to see how they continue to grow as a family in the future!
The team that made this wedding the fabulous event it was:
The start of 2020 will hopefully mean a chance to catch up with posting on our website but in the mean time we decided to do something we haven’t done in a long time. A year-end summary of our favorite images from 2019. It’s not just a “best of” compilation. But a collection of images that have a little extra meaning to us. A big thank you to all the couples that partnered with us in 2019 as well as those whos weddings take place in 2020. We can’t wait to document new memories and create visual art for you.
If you like what you see here, please share with friends and loved ones. So, with further delay, here we go. Check out the video slideshow first as it will include more images beyond the stills posted here. Enjoy!
It was a blistering hot start to this beautiful sunny day in June. Summer had arrived as evidenced by the beads of sweat forming on our foreheads as we take inventory of our gear in the car. Yet the moment we arrive to the setting of today’s wedding you totally forget the high temps.
After all, today we get to work in Rockmart’s dreamy In the Woods wedding venue! A 250 acre of lush woodlands surround a modern-rustic ceremony pavilion and a peaceful lake. A total gem in Georgia’s vast northwestern landscape.
The only thing better than shooting at this location is spending time with Casi and Kyle themselves. Such incredibly friendly people; it’s easy to lose track of time just hanging out with them. You may remember their lovely fall engagement session at Piedmont Park. If not, now might be a good time to check out their engagement blog post to get a better feel for how they met and who they are.
After several hellos and hugs, we split up to begin our getting ready coverage for the day. The groom and his buddies have their own private spot by the pool near the entrance of the venue. While Casi and the girls enjoy the bridal suite cabin overlooking the lake and the chapel.
Kyle, a pilot, enjoys a very
relaxed but animated conversation with his groomsmen on a fluffy couch over
drinks. Some are in the same industry and others are just close friends. A
varying array of topics are on display with most sentences beginning with “remember
when”. Then ending with side-splitting laughs.
Meanwhile Casi is having her own fun with the girls as they finish up their hair and makeup. With all the ladies in colorful matching robes moving swiftly around the suite; it’s almost like watching a painting in motion. They enjoy a little champagne as we breeze through some quick group portraits. Finally, the time comes to get dressed. Casi’s dress arrives hand delivered by mom and her maid of honor. A beautiful strapless ball gown from Stella York Design purchased at Suite Bridal. It’s perfect! She’s in the dress and ready to go in almost record time. By now the guys are almost done getting dressed. Their last hurdle is getting those tie knots perfect. This is one of our favorite parts of the day to shoot. There’s nothing like watching several guys cramming over a mirror as they flip long silky pieces of fabric around as if it were a synchronized event at the Olympics. Success! Kyle looks like a million bucks. So, we quickly take some group shots with his groomsmen outside by the pool and on the way the way back to the cabin. In about 10 minutes we return to their room, so they can enjoy the comfort of some air conditioning on this very hot day.
The first look
Just about that time the phone rings and we get word from
the coordinator that Casi is ready for the first look. So, Kyle is quickly
shuttled to the dock on the lake and we get him set up for her approach. What a
trooper. The sun is beating down on him as his bride makes her way from the
cabin. Nonetheless he patiently waits.
Something made much easier when your view includes a glass-like lake,
blue skies and trees that wrap this scene up in a million shades of green.
At last! She taps him on the shoulder and he gets to see his beauty. A very tender moment; so, we give them a little time alone as we photograph from a distance.
Now we can have some fun with portraits. This venue provides so many great photography spots it’s almost hard to decide where to begin. But we quickly make use of the dock, a dry creek bridge and the neighboring woods before heading into the honeymoon suite to cool down again and freshen up.
Time to get married
Next up is the ceremony. The chapel is already buzzing with guests and the groomsmen are doing their job. No, they’re not just welcoming friends and ushering folks to their seats under the cool breeze of the chapel’s monstrous airplane propeller ceiling fans. No, they are ribbing and making the groom laugh as he waits. Basically, making him feel relaxed and at ease.
Meanwhile the bride is on her way to the back entrance of
the chapel with her father. A large wooden gate and a stone pathway provides a
grand entrance for Casi. There’s a quiet moment before the music begins and
those large doors slowly open. We’re off! The bride and groom connect eyes
immediately as she makes her way to the front and the ceremony begins. The
bridal party flanks the couple on either side of the stage as the audience follow
the proceedings. About 30 minutes later it’s official. They’re married, and a kiss
seals the deal.
After a quick session of family photos, we sneak in a few more
bridal portraits before packing up our gear to head to the reception.
Time to get this party started
The reception hall is so warm and inviting! 5200 square feet of space designed with an elegant-rustic flair, befitting the natural setting of the country side. Exceptional landscaping surrounds the stone courtyard and the outdoor bar used for cocktail hour. Another highlight; the massive bar doors that lead guests into the building. Casi’s style is evident both with the details chosen to decorate this large space.
But everyone is hungry and ready to party. So, we roll right
into the start of the reception with the introductions of the bridal party and the
couple. This is quickly followed by the first dances and the toasts. As dinner
begins we utilize this down time for additional scouting and gear prep to set
ourselves up for some creative night time portraits. All the time we’re keeping
and eye on sunset and twilight times, so we can make the most of a colorful
As we make our way back in, the dance floor is ready to open. No shy folks here. With the first song there are 5 or 6 couples getting down. Covering the dance floor is another one of our favorite times at a wedding because we can document so many special moments as people let loose. Casi is right in the middle of it all with her bridesmaids. A little further along into the festivities we move to the cake cutting. A beautiful cake produced by Gabriel’s Desserts.
We peek outside and it’s just about the right time to take
advantage of the changing light as we approach sunset. So, we rush over to the
couple and ask for just 20 minutes of their time, so we can create some very
special images for them. By now we’ve also spoken to the coordinator and they
have a golf cart ready to zip us over to our pre-scouted locations. So off we
go. We head back to the water and the dock to get some romantic portraits using
some creative off camera flash work to highlight the couple in this setting. The
orange string lights add to the mood and feel of the moment. Then we rush over
to find the tallest hill on the property, so we can tower the couple over the
tree line against the colorful evening sky.
Before you know it we’re back at the party and we’re feeling stoked about having such a productive portrait session. Now it’s just about having fun and boy did they all have fun. The reception continued for a couple of hours before it was time for their sparkler-limo exit. What a spectacular day working with Kyle and Casi while meeting so many new folks. We highly recommend In the Woods as one of the top venues in Georgia to have your wedding unfold. Need more firsthand details about how to plan your photography for this venue? Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist!
The team that made this wedding the fabulous event it was:
Planning and coordination by the spectacular: Kathie Shramm — In the Woods
Many of you may remember Omar and Sam from their rocking engagement session at the Goat Farm. We had known Sam for several years but it was truly a blast getting to know Omar for the first time during that shoot. Fast forward several months and it was time for them to get married. If their e-session was any indication, their wedding was going to be a thriller. It surely didn’t disappoint!
Our coverage began very early in the day in two separate locations. Omar and his groomsmen chose to get ready at his apartment while Sam and the girls set up shop in one of the hidden rooms at their venue, Ambient+Studio in Atlanta
What is Ambient+Studio
For those not familiar with Ambient+Studio, it’s truly a unique space for a wedding. This building was first built in 1910 and created to function as a factory for transforming raw cotton into fire-retardant fabrics. For roughly 90 years it carried on this mission until the building was abandoned. In 2007 it got a rebirth as a daylight studio. A contemporary loft-type space, which is really one large blank canvas; capable of being transformed hundreds of ways. A transformation is exactly what happened. The couple’s wedding designer and planner Jaqueline (JAX) Vizcaino with Three Thirty Design Studio, brought their understated elegant vision to life. A romantic color palette and cohesive guest experiences throughout the evening made for a wonderful celebration of love.
Let’s get ready
The getting ready portions on either side mirrored the same fun, easy-going, laid back personalities this couple exudes. A lot of storytelling, a lot of jokes, a lot of fun. As soon as the guys were ready, they made their way towards the venue but not before making one very important stop. A few miles down the road, their local Krispy Kreme store had several boxes of hot doughnuts waiting for them. Seriously, what’s more interesting than having a groom all decked out, hauling dozens of doughnuts out of a Krispy Kreme store? Not something you see every day, but these glazed treats were headed for a huge doughnut wall at the venue for the guests.
Did they have a first look
It was time for the first look. We chose a specific portion of the space that had large, elegant and expansive drapes by Unique Event Elements. This allowed the couple some measure of privacy for the first look but it also offered an opportunity to shoot through the sheer drapes for some creative bokeh-like layers for the images. As soon as they had concluded their first look we began working through a series of wedding portraits. You really don’t have to go far for interesting locations; there’s plenty to use inside the venue. The large windows, rustic floors, industrial ceilings and stairs all provide simplicity and charm for these types of photos.
So the limo arrives and we all begin to pack into the car to make our way to the ceremony. Once we get there, it’s a fairly quick service with lovely heartfelt advice from the scriptures for the couple. Fast track through dozens of family photos and before you know it we are back at Ambient+Studio to begin the reception.
Let the party begin
Not that it hasn’t been like this since the beginning of the day; but once the reception begins, our coverage goes into heavy documentary mode. Just shooting all of the little moments between the couple and their guests. All the funny dance moves on the dance floor. All the silly photo booth moments.
This was truly a dream couple to work with. From the very start they made creative photography the focal point of their wedding journey. Carving out significant amounts of time within their wedding schedule to insure artistic imagery led the way. We can’t thank them enough for placing the emphasis on this. Thank you Omar+Sam for trusting us with one of the most important days of your life.
Sam had a custom-made wedding dress for her special day. She looked absolutely beautiful!
Xclusive DJ Group had the everyone on their feet.
I know you want to see more. Click on the link to our YouTube channel for more from Omar+Sam’s wedding.
The team that made this wedding the fabulous event it was:
It was a cool November morning when we drove up to Walnut Hill Farm to begin our coverage of Andrew and Danielle’s wedding. Located in Dalton, Georgia this venue provides a tranquil setting around some of the state’s most scenic rolling hills. Everywhere you look shades of red, orange and yellow. Fall had officially begun making a statement. Just in time for this special day.
As usual we immediately split up to begin documenting the getting ready portion of the day. Danielle and the bridesmaids enjoyed the suite above the Hilltop Farm while Andrew and the boys were clear across the property at the Carriage house.
Let’s get ready
Where nerves can sometimes set in for couples the day of the wedding, both Andrew and Danielle had a very calm and relaxed approached to each step leading up to the ceremony. The guys enjoyed a drink and some old childhood stories before swapping comfortable jeans for some sharp suits. The ladies enjoyed their own drinks while getting their hair and makeup completed.
Before it seemed possible, the time had come for the first look. We took the couple outside and under a long extended trellis surrounded by roses. They took turns reading personal notes before turning around to see each other. After giving them a few private minutes together we were ready to begin shooting bridal portraits.
Wedding portraits in this setting…ahhhhhh
What a spectacular day for photographing a couple outside. The sun was shining, the temperatures were comfortable and the property had a beautiful garden around the Carriage House. Nonetheless what made their portraits so fantastic was the chemistry they obviously have with each other. To know Andrew and Danielle is to know they are incredibly good-natured, selfless and always positive. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s truly how they are. But above all else, their love is evident at every turn.
It’s show time
Finally the time had come to begin the ceremony. Overlooking the valley they united for their vows. Surrounded by family and friends and one of their service dogs too; they made it official. A big sweeping kiss and several family photos later, it was now time to party!
And in the end…
We are so grateful we met Andrew and Danielle. It was truly a pleasure to cover their entire journey from engagement to the moment they said: “I do”!
We couldn’t have done it without the talents of the following:
Destination Wedding Photographer in Cancun Mexico!
It’s 84 degrees with 71% humidity and a slight breeze at 10 miles per hour. A typical day in July you might say? No, actually this was the setting for a balmy December day as we stepped off the plane in Cancun, Mexico. This represented the beginning of our adventure covering Miguel and Lauren’s fantastic destination wedding. This is the life of a destination wedding photographer.
A quick stop for a cool drink while our gear is loaded on the shuttle bus and just like that we’re off. Roughly 40 minutes later we arrive at the resort. Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun is a lovely property located in the Playa del Carmen area of Quintana Roo. After getting our room settled, we begin to explore the grounds. What a fantastic setup! The entire lobby of the resort has a constant breeze blowing through the grand staircase located in the very middle of the building. A beautiful pond sits inside the hotel just under the stairs. But… this place is all about what’s outside. So as we make our way around a pool that almost stretches the entire length of the property, we encounter our couple enjoying the sun with their family and friends. The party has already begun and the wedding is still a couple of days away. Herein lies one of the advantages of a destination wedding. It’s like having a reception before the ceremony. Except everyone is in the water with an umbrella drink; relaxed and having a blast. Miguel and Lauren warmly welcome us into the festivities and we take a moment to catch up with them on some small details.
So…how did we get here?
We first met Lauren while working a styled shoot in a very high-end wedding venue in Atlanta called Ventanas. Sporting sweeping all glass views of the city, this location offers a helipad for the ultimate in wedding exits. Not to mention the best spot in the city to photograph bridal portraits with epic sunsets. It was impressive to see Lauren handle everything like a pro. It was an extremely hot summer afternoon in Atlanta that day and she was modeling a very delicate and expensive Zuhair Murad dress ($13,000) from Elite Pour La Vie. Despite the heat, the hectic pace of the schedule and having so many other folks pulling at her, she was always cool, calm and collected. In passing we heard her mention to someone that she was engaged. Of course a statement like that always makes a photographer’s ears perk. However we sort of assumed she already had a photographer for her wedding by that time. So we proceeded to complete the shoot and a few days later we delivered all of the images. Several weeks passed and we jumped into our fall wedding schedule. The heaviest time of the year for us which included two weeks in Iceland shooting a couples session and a wedding. When we finally got back into town we received great feedback from Lauren of the photos from the Ventanas shoot. So at that moment we struck up the nerve to ask if she had secured a wedding photographer, thoroughly expecting to be turned down. To our surprise she had not settled on a photographer and was hoping that we were still available for her December destination wedding. Before we knew it we were booked with plane tickets to the Yucatan Peninsula. Funny how things come together.
So here we are, on the beach scouting the property for photo locations. While we were on the job, Lauren wanted to make sure we had a day to ourselves. This blessing gave us a little time to unwind from the non-stop wedding schedule we had completed through the fall. We even managed to get a spa day in prior to the wedding. By nightfall all of the guests had arrived on site and everyone was enjoying a breezy evening on the beach for the rehearsal dinner (after a downpour). A great time for us to meet and get to know everyone better.
Wedding day is here
So Saturday morning arrives. It’s wedding day! It’s about 7AM and a family of White-nosed Coati greets us on our patio. In case you’re wondering Coati’s are Mexico’s version of a raccoon. Just so much more exotic in appearance. Totally unafraid, they tap on our glass doors. They even swipe an apple from our hand. In the distance a huge iguana keeps a close watch on the scene. While all of this is great fun we’ve got a wedding to shoot. So we grab all our gear and head off to our individual assignments.
The getting ready portions were simple, relaxed and very straightforward. There was one challenge. The girls lost power to their suite for a significant amount of time. Nonetheless they kept moving forward with their activities. This gave me a chance to photograph the details for Lauren outside their suite. Check out Lauren’s beautiful wedding gown by Martina Liana Bridal.
Let’s meet our bride Lauren
One look at Lauren and it’s easy to understand why she’s a model. A stunningly beautiful woman with a personality to match. She’s also an actress with commercial, film and television credits to her name. However, perhaps her proudest accomplishment would be teaming up with her sister and Matron of Honor Lena and creating their own line of high performing natural and organic cosmetics called Adeline Campbell.
Let’s meet the groom…Miguel
Miguel is a personal trainer and a program manager for one of the largest fitness companies in America. He lives and breaths exercise and graciously shares ideas and tips across various platforms for shaping a healthier lifestyle. (Check out his instagram feed for exceptional workout demos). His efforts have changed the lives of many people in Atlanta.
So Miguel and his groomsmen had it a little easier. They had full power and as is the case with most guys, they were dressed so quickly they had time to hang out and have a chess match.
It’s show time!
Finally it’s time for the ceremony. A beautiful flower trellis stands right by the shoreline of the beach. All the guests have been seated and Miguel makes his way to his spot. From a distance it’s a picture perfect postcard of an intimate wedding. Here’s when the emotions begin to flow. Miguel begins to tear up the moment Lauren turns a corner escorted by her father. A truly genuine feeling that lasts well into the ceremony. After a ring exchange and a sweeping kiss, it’s official. They’re married!
Next stop, bridal portraits!
One of the best parts of any wedding for photographers, particularly when you’re in paradise. There’s only one problem. Storms are building in the distance. So we have a limited amount of time to take advantage of the views to secure some epic shots while also completing the family photos. Somehow, some way we’re able to grab all of the essentials before the clouds open up and drop buckets of rain on us. Everyone scurries indoors and we continue our coverage inside. Thankfully this resort offers a vast array of interior locations to create gorgeous wedding images. The bride and groom take a few minutes to freshen up and before you know it we’re shooting again. Just about every corner of the building offers something unique to shoot with. From the large Mexican paintings on the wall to the expansive ornate hallways to the grand staircase and the golden dome ceiling at the very top of the hotel. However the lantern foyer is truly a unique spot that everyone remembers fondly.
Thankfully Miguel and Lauren appreciate the importance of photography. So we had plenty of time to create a variety of images before having to head back to attend to their guests.
Let’s get this party started
The reception was a fast moving series events. A beautifully tender first dance from the couple was followed by tearful dances with their parents. The toasts were heartfelt but hilarious and straight to the point. The dinner was fabulous and the cake cutting was playful. But make no mistake about it. The focus for this evening was on getting down. So the dancing began. This wasn’t a 400 guest wedding. It was a much more intimate group. Yet they could party like nobody’s business!
In the end we are truly grateful we had the opportunity meet and work with Miguel and Lauren. Not only are they beautiful people on the outside, better yet they a beautiful people on the inside. It was a privilege to watch their story unfold before our eyes and we are excited for their future moving forward.
If you are recently engaged and planning a wedding anywhere in the world, we would like to visually tell your story through images that stand the test of time. Your adventure can begin right here!
The word special doesn’t begin to describe Jibran and Leia’s wedding. It goes far beyond that. Exceptional, noteworthy and outstanding are adjectives that also play a role in describing this remarkable union. It just feels like a more unique or sophisticated synonym is required for such a brilliant couple. Jibran and Leia hosted their wedding in Midtown, Atlanta. One of the most popular areas of the city known for its cultural attractions. On this Saturday afternoon their family and friends enjoyed a truly unforgettable day.
We first met Jibran and Leia during the winter many months prior to the wedding. It was there we began to document their story. Perhaps you may remember some of the images from their engagement session. They both met on the steps of the Carlos Hall shortly after beginning college at Emory University. They hit it off right from the start and the rest is history as they say. With budding law careers on the rise these young professionals were ready to move on to the next stage of their lives; marriage.
So the planning began. To say they had a lot to prepare is also an understatement. The fusion of Pakistani traditions with American traditions to generate one wedding weekend requires careful consideration. Nonetheless they were able to create a 3-day wedding weekend that incorporated everything they needed from each culture.
In particular guests were treated to a lavish ceremony and reception at the iconic Georgian Terrace hotel. An architectural landmark in Atlanta that combines modern luxury with southern sophistication. Dating back to 1911 this beautiful building hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Calvin Coolidge. It allowed Arthur Murray to start teaching his dance lessons and it was the site of the Gone with the Wind premier. Yet with all of its modern amenities and contemporary upgrades, you’d think it was designed just recently.
All the details and decorations mirrored the brilliance of the setting. Jibran and Leia looked impeccable in their attire. Though what really stood out about their big day is what always grabs your attention every single time you’re in their presence. It’s their kindness. It’s their personalities. Most of all it’s their sincere relationship. There’s always a warmth to their interactions. Their first look was a perfect representation of this. Tears flowing endlessly, which later cascaded into their ceremony. It’s no wonder so many people gravitate to them. They are loved for who they are and how they share that with others.
Jibran and Leia, all we can say is we truly had a fantastic time documenting your wedding. Your parents are endearing and your friends are wonderful. Thank you for placing your trust in us to deliver these moments in photographs. We are grateful to have taken this journey with you!
The Pronovias princia style wedding dress was jaw-dropping.
Leia’s Pronovias wedding dress was a lace gown with train, fit and flair/mermaid fit and included a long sleeve, lace jacket worn for the ceremony.
Jibran wore a traditional black tuxedo, white shirt and bow tie from The Black Tux.
These lovely ladies below wore a fabulous Monique Lhuillier‘s back cutout pleat tulle bridesmaid gown in the color sea.
Over the past three years we’ve been blessed with opportunities to photograph weddings in far away destinations. Recently, The Travel Channel wrote an article highlighting some of the most exotic locations couples have chosen for their weddings. We are so grateful that one of our weddings was selected for their special feature.
First and foremost we would like to thank David and Rachel for bringing us along for this Iceland destination wedding. Secondly, we want to thank The Travel Channel for taking the time to consider us for this article.
It’s 5 a.m. in the morning and we can’t sleep. It’s not because of the hotel. The Stracta Hotel is charming and quite comfortable. It’s not the weather outside. Everything is calm and serene. It’s not even the threat of the towering Hekla volcano in the distance that has been rumbling in recent days. No, it’s none of those things. It’s simply the fact that David and Rachel’s nuptials are just hours away and we have the incredible privilege of documenting their day. How surreal is this? We’re in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a Nordic island the size of the state of Kentucky. Outside our window is the small town of Hella. A population of roughly 780 but sheep and horses seem to dominate the view across the fields. Anticipation and adrenaline mix into this dreamlike state. There’s so many opportunities to create photographic memories with a setting like this. It’s no wonder we’re ready to get out of bed so early.
How did we get to Iceland in the first place?
Everything begins in the capitol city of Reykjavík. David and Rachel decided to move here from England to create a new life for themselves filled with adventure. Reykjavík provided the perfect balance for their lifestyle. Mixing professional careers with their love for the outdoors. David could follow his path as a software engineer and Rachel could expand her rise as a talented graphic designer. With gorgeous terrain and shorelines all around them, every afternoon becomes an opportunity for exploration.
In 2016 something totally unique occurred. Following an old leap year tradition, Rachel proposed to David on the 29th of February. They were soaking in a local hot springs pool by the city lighthouse when she popped the question. Of course he said yes and the rest is history. It was now time to begin planning an intimate destination wedding for their family and friends from England. Thankfully, photography was high atop their list as one of the primary items to secure. Through a series of emails and Skype video calls, we were able to finalize arrangements to photograph their wedding.
In late August we arrived in Iceland. Several days before the wedding so we could do our own sightseeing. Before heading out on our mini vacation, we were able to connect with David and Rachel and enjoy a wonderful dinner at Snaps Bistro. We were also able to enjoy an afternoon hike with them which yielded one of the most impressive sunsets we’ve ever seen.
Planning an intimate wedding in Iceland
So how exactly do you plan an intimate wedding in Iceland that takes advantage of the southern coast of the country? Well, allow us to take you through a visual journey of David and Rachel’s big day. In the end it may serve as a rough draft for future brides looking to elope or host an intimate wedding in Iceland.
If possible, plan to make a grand entrance. The wedding ceremony was set to take place in a small church in Hella, but the bride was getting reading in Reykjavík; about an hour and a half away. So she reached out to a close friend who happens to be a pilot so she could be flown to the countryside church. Not only was this a notable way to arrive for the occasion, but it also allowed her to enjoy a scenic tour of the coastline from the air with her father. He had never been to Iceland before.
We rushed over to the grassy runway with a our cameras to capture every angle possible. As we were waiting for the plane to arrive we ran into another group on a bachelor party weekend. Their groom was about to parachute in as they were enjoying some drinks and a feisty game of football (soccer for us American folks).
At last Rachel arrives with her father by her side and we quickly make our way over to the small quaint church.
the ceremony, we grab a few quick photographs in the sprawling fields and hills around the church.
Throughout the morning we’ve enjoyed sunny blue skies but in Iceland, the weather can break at any moment. As we make our way further east to seek out a waterfall for some epic portraits, the clouds begin to roll in and droplets hit our windshield. Nonetheless we push through and arrive at Seljalandsfoss, one of the best known waterfalls in the southern region just off the Ring Road on Route 1.
It’s also one of the only falls where you can actually hike up the side of the mountain and walk directly behind the cascading water. Our brave bride makes the trek up the mountain in heels with water spraying everywhere. Every step a slippery adventure. Thankfully the weather holds off long enough to get several images on and around the waterfall.
It’s now time to make the commute back to Reykjavík to meet up with family and friends for the festivities. On the way back into the capitol city, we make a quick stop at Heiðmörk as we try to squeeze in a few more portraits in between rain clouds.
Finally we arrive a Flóran Café Bistro, the site of David and Rachel’s intimate wedding reception. A wonderful spot located inside the Botanical Gardens of Reykjavík.
Without a doubt, Iceland left a gigantic impression on us. A dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields and massive glaciers. So many photographic options for a destination wedding. We sincerely thank David and Rachel for bringing us along to document such an important day.
If you are considering a simple elopement or an intimate wedding in Iceland; we’d love to speak with you. After traveling through this great island, we have many tips on how to plan your wedding on a mountaintop, the countryside or on a black sand beach. We can also share other suggestions on hotels, Airbnb’s and great places to eat. Feel free to pick our brain. Contact us here to begin your journey!