Ashley & Zach have known each other for years… they grew up in the same town, played basketball in the same gyms, and went to the same middle school and high school. They had always been acquaintances, but it wasn’t until their college years that they actually started connecting and becoming friends. In the fall of 2013 after Ashley had moved back home, Zach began pursuing her by visiting her at work and inviting her to events. After about 2 months of Zach’s persistence, Ashley finally agreed to meet up with him. They spent an afternoon together before Ashley had to work in the evening, and that first date had Ashley absolutely smitten… So much so that she contacted him when she got off work that night, and they went out to dinner. So their first and second date were in the same day, and they have been inseparable ever since! I love watching them together… Ashley is a firecracker who is always talking, while Zach is much more quiet and reserved, but they fit together so perfectly.
I can’t tell you how HONORED I was when Ashley reached out about photographing her wedding. I’ve worked with Ashley through weddings at the Wheeler House, where she’s in charge of marketing, vendor relations, and wedding coordination. Because she’s seen so many vendors in action, she compiled a LITERAL “dream team” of vendors for her & Zach’s big day. Honestly that was my favorite part of the day… that everyone knew each other and adored Ashley and worked together seamlessly to make all her dreams come true. We even did a “first look” with some of the vendors, and there were LOTS OF TEARS y’all. Witnessing this incredible wedding coordinator and boss-lady take her turn as the BRIDE was such a joyous and emotional experience.
I swear it had rained or stormed every single day for the two weeks leading up to the wedding. But their big day? Absolutely beautiful. The vast majority of the day was bright and sunny. It wasn’t until minutes before the ceremony that the sky turned an epic dark blue in the distance — it actually looks photoshopped in these pictures, but it isn’t!! After everyone else had made their entrance into the ceremony, guests stood to watch Ashley & her father walk down the aisle… It was at that exact moment that a huge clap of thunder rang through the sky! But still, not a drop came during their ceremony. After the ceremony ended and guests turned around to walk to the reception, they were greeted by a gorgeous double rainbow. Honestly I think God just wanted to be a visible and audible part of their day, because He was definitely there in spirit.
Honestly there are too many fantastic moments from this day to mention. I want to give a BIG shout out to all the vendors who contributed to this day. This was also my first time shooting at Historic Smithonia Farm, and WOW. Over 200 acres of rolling pastures for us to play around in. I can’t believe that this venue is only 20 minutes from my house, and I am already itching to shoot there again! Thank you, Ashley & Zach, for trusting me to capture these precious moments for you.
Venue: Historic Smithonia Farm || Planner / Coordinator: Laura from The Wheeler House || Hair: Parlour & Main Salon || Makeup: Gracie Parker || Bride’s & bridesmaids’ dresses: Bride Beautiful || Rings: Shane Company || Mens’ wear: Savvi Formal Wear || Caterer: Events by Dezine || DJ: The TC Show || Florist: Holland Daze || Videography: Bob’s Eye View || Event Rental & Design: Miss Milly’s || Photography: Claire Diana Photography
Probably my #1 favorite moment: When Ashley did a First Look with some of her vendor team.
Ashley surprised her parents with a book of bridal portraits that she had secretly taken at their home church (where they happened to get married!).
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