Nick and Caitlin met in the summer of 2014 after they both graduated from undergrad. They were both working as summer program staff at Camp Twin Lakes- a camp for children with chronic illnesses, disabilities and other life challenges. That summer they both applied for and were chosen for a year-long fellowship position. They spent the next year living at camp, working alongside each other as fellows for countless week-long and weekend camps, and by the next summer they were best friends!
On June 9, 2018, Nick picked Caitlin up for a nice date night. He surprised her by making a stop at Camp Twin Lakes on their way to dinner. He led Caitlin to the exact spot where their first date took place, got down on one knee, and asked Caitlin to marry him. It was the easiest question she’s ever answered and of course she said YES…and that was the beginning of their journey to the alter.
I’ve had a lot of weddings where the forecast was looking dreary the week before…and then we ended up having a beautiful day after all….but I’ve never had one where we were watching the 95% chance of storms in real time and the pop up showers surrounding us….and yet the entire day it only rained 5 minutes. A lot of prayers went up for Caitlin and Nick to have a gorgeous wedding day….and y’all…those prayers were answered in the most amazing way!
I customize a photography timeline with every one of my couples…and Caitlin and I spent time going over it, making sure it would flow and work for her day. We were ready…but then the forecast changed all of that. Going into the day, I knew if the forecast held, the only chance of getting portraits of Nick and Caitlin together minus umbrellas would be earlier in the day…earlier than we had planned. I spoke with Caitlin and her hair dresser and make-up artist who were so awesome in being flexible…and they agreed to have Caitlin and her sweet mother ready within the hour so we could get to the first look.
Jenn, Caitlin’s Maid of Honor and the other girls were so sweet, accommodating and easy to work with…they all agreed that Caitlin and Nick’s photos were the most important and were more than happy to do anything they could to help me make those happen. So, with the timeline thrown out the window, we set into the rainy day back-up plan.
Once Caitlin’s mother, Nancy, zipped her into her gorgeous gown in front of the arched window at the James Madison Inn, we grabbed a few family shots and then I walked with Caitlin across the street for her first look with Nick. Trish, my second shooter, was on radar duty…and between helping me and shooting she was checking the storms on her phone. We saw they were approaching and the dark gray clouds in the distance and wind picking up confirmed they weren’t far away.
We like to make the first look as close to the bride walking down the aisle as possible….and a lot of photographers will have the bride walk up to the groom and tap them on the shoulder, but we’ve found that by doing that the groom can’t see all of his bride…so we like to have the bride walk toward the groom and call his name. That way, when he turns around, he gets the full effect of his bride walking toward him just as she would down the aisle. When Caitlin called Nick’s name, his face lit up with a huge smile as he turned to see her walking toward him. They shared a few sweet, private moments and then we went right into portraits to beat the coming storms.
When you have a cathedral length veil and long gown, wind can be your best friend during portraits…and that was the case with Caitlin! The wind tossed and blew her veil and we got some amazing shots!! We worked fast and then took them back to the James Madison to get a few more in front of the inn. Trish warned me we only had minutes until the storm was on us, and just as we finished we felt a slight drizzle. And then…the most amazing thing happened on the radar. The pop up storm that was imminent fizzled out and disappeared. It was as if we had a shield over us, and we had 2-3 minutes of drizzle and then back to gray skies, but no rain.
The next hour and a half was just the same as we worked to get in the bridal party photos….a storm would approach, we were sure it would hit, and then it would either break and go North or dissipate before it reached us. Amazing…but God was at work and answering prayers!
Nick and Caitlin’s ceremony was Christ-centered and sweet…they tied three cords together in a braid to symbolize how their relationship was grounded in Christ, and sealed their vows with a kiss. After the ceremony, we grabbed a few “just married” photos and then it was time to celebrate!
The reception was gorgeous, and as always, Chasity, the coordinator at Variety Works did a fantastic job setting up. Prayers were answered and we avoided rain and storms…and the day turned out just as beautiful as Caitlin and Nick had hoped and prayed for. Proverbs 18:22 says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Nick and Caitlin—I believe you have both found a good thing in one another….may the Lord’s favor fall upon you as you begin this amazing journey of marriage. Thank you for the privilege of capturing these memories for you!
Second Photographer: Trish Meadows
Venue: The Variety Works James Madison Inn
Wedding Coordinator: Chasity Burroughs
Flowers: Danielle Rector
Cakes: Laurie Duncan
Dress: Charme Bridal & Prom
Designer: Allure Bridal