WOAH. I believe you all are in for a TREAT today! There will forever be a soft spot on my heart for my hometown, especially when it involves photographing the sweetest of couples!! When Nathan and Mandi reached out to me about photographing their engagement and wedding day, I was ecstatic!! We all went to high school together and being the small town it is, we have seen each other at different social events (mostly weddings)! Finally, it was their turn to tie the knot!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Nathan and Mandi go all the way back to high school when their love story began. But it wasn’t until they left for college when they realized that they were meant to be. <3 They said that living long distance made them stronger and closer than ever. After dating for years, Nathan decided to pop the question at Mandi’s half marathon in OBX surrounded by family and friends. Mandi said that he has always been her number one fan and she loves seeing how proud he is of her when she crosses the finish line. 🙂 After the race, everyone headed to the beach to take photos with the medals and despite being cold and “hangry” (Mandi said, haha!) Nathan still wanted to make the proposal happen. He bent down on one knee and she couldn’t say yes fast enough!! Mandi was so excited to email me about her dream wedding, and I couldn’t wait to get them in front of my camera! So we planned an engagement session to happen at the Great Marsh Estate because of the beautiful property and greenery. Mandi LOVES greenery and fields, as you’ll see below! If you want to check out their romantic estate engagement session, check it out HERE! Now after seeing her family farm, I see why the Great Marsh reflected many qualities she loved about her grandparent’s property. 🙂
So I told you in yesterday’s blog post about how we received a “State of Emergency” alert earlier last week due to the anticipated hurricane. Well, I wasn’t too concerned about the Friday’s celebration, but when I thought about Nathan and Mandi’s Saturday farm wedding, my heart sank a little bit. Only because I knew that their entire wedding was going to happen outside under a tent in the field on a farm. Of course, though, I’m going to tell you I would have made it work!! Just a lot of umbrellas and cute rain boots. 😉 BUT when I received notice that we were anticipating 14 inches of rain, down trees, power outages, and … TORNADOS … I didn’t know what to expect. I started to look up tornado survival tips when you’re in a field. Jk. But seriously, I’m SO glad we experienced a completely different side of Saturday! The funny part was Mandi was oddly calm even when the hurricane was projected to hit us. I thought to myself, she must know something I don’t know. Well, it turned out she is secretly a meteorologist! Not really. But she had so much optimism that everything would work out. 🙂 And it did because the hurricane steered away from their wedding and they were able to have the wedding of their dreams with their favorite people! <3
When envisioning their big day, Nathan and Mandi wanted it to be focused on their family/friends because they have shaped them into who they are today. There was no mistake there because they easily had over 200 guests who LOVE to dance and have fun! When she described her wedding style, she mentioned that she was going for a rustic theme, which made sense for a farm wedding. But what I didn’t expect was the beautiful southern, classic charm she tied into the decor! With a magnolia tree situated right next to the tent, the magnolia leaves sprinkled every table which added a bit of color to the timeless, neutral table decor. I also love how they took the idea of the traditional head table and made it different by using two long tables for each side of the wedding party while having their own sweetheart table decorated with that southern charm I mentioned. Mandi achieved the timeless look with the neutral color tones, greenery, and accents of gold throughout the reception space as well as the flowers and wedding party attire. Mandi was also a classic beauty in her Leann Belter dress!!! Between the weather and the party, they pulled everything off, and I’m SO relieved because it would have been a completely different look if we had 14 inches of rain and flying cows in the background. 😉 Enjoy this preview from my perspective!
Warning — This is photo overload!!!! Sorry, but not sorry!! 😉 I’m just excited!!!
Nathan & Mandi’s Wedding Day
Last Saturday, I met with the girls at a nearby super spacious cabin. It was definitely a great social/party house, which was ideal for the wedding party! When I first saw Mandi, she was just how I described above, super chill and optimistic about the entire day! I appreciated her enthusiasm, especially since we weren’t battling inclement weather. 🙂
Gosh, not only is Mandi the sweetest, but so beautiful from the inside-out!
The girls were SO excited for Mandi!!! Great group of friends. <3
30 minutes away, Nathan was getting ready with his crew at Whiffle tree Farm.
While the guys were getting ready, the girls were partying! 😉 Actually, this part was pretty comical because I had all nine of them sit on a not so stable bed… The reactions were priceless!
Then it was time to get dressed!!!! AH!
Gotta love a fun sock, especially when you’re a fan of your school!
Sister love. <3
The girls knew she would make the most beautiful bride, but they were all still amazed when they got to see her. 🙂
And so was her dad. <3
When Mandi’s father showed up at the cabin, tears were running down the bridal party’s faces from the sight of his tie. The tie he wore on Saturday was one Mandi made for him in elementary school with her hand print. <3 What a sweet surprise!!!
It was finally time to see her soon-to-be-hubby!
The anticipation built up as everyone awaited her entrance…
In fact, Nathan surprised me when I looked over to see him in awe from Mandi. <3 I mean, how could you not be in awe because she was the most beautiful bride!!
Goodness. So much admiration in his eyes!!!! Made my heart melt…
They moved forward with a tented ceremony just to make sure that the rain wasn’t going to ruin their celebration. The sun came out for the special occassion as well! 🙂
The sweetest flower girls. <3
I loved photographing this bunch!!! So much fun!
And the girls were TROOPERS as the rain came down for a short while!!! Good luck, right?! The rain looks so magical in this photo. 🙂
Nathan, Mandi, and I played around the farm property taking photos — <3 these two!!!! SO many favorites!!!
Mandi, you’re seriously a classic southern beauty!
WHOA. GIRL. That veil shot is unreal.
YESSSSSSS!!!! This tree lined driveway was magical!
ADORABLE. Love the colors!!! It was special to take photos in front of this barn because Mandi and her grandmother planted these flowers. 🙂 Just a little example of the labor of love prepping for the big day!
I love their playful sense of humor together!
I love the delicate lace top of her dress with the deep-V back!
Did someone order the Beyonce fan because I love that flow in the veil! Forget Beyonce … That’s all natural! 🙂
Mandi, I could photograph you all day!
Those arms will hold you forever. <3
I love this behind the scenes shot! 🙂 Thanks, Megan!!!
Love their simple, southern belle details!
“Cheers to many years & Hokie Football” — HA! Cute!!
Cute sweetheart table set up with the “My dashing/darling” signs and the beautiful mirror behind!
The “His/Her” wreaths were the perfect chair detail!
One of my favorite quotes of the night from Corey — “In nine months, you better name your little one Florence!”
Nothing like a beautiful father/daughter bond!!!
Nathan and his mom surprised all of the guests by breaking down on the dance floor!!! Even Mandi looked surprised — Which I meant to ask her if she knew about this because it wasn’t mentioned in our final meeting together… Hmmm. 😉 HA! It was AWESOME!!!!!!!
Nathan’s grandmother is the cutest! She pulled me off to the side and we had a wonderful conversation about life. 🙂 But what really got me laughing was when she asked for me to take a photo of her slippers because growing up, Nathan despised them. She told him that she would wear them on his wedding day. She didn’t forget so she pulled them out last week and she was surprised that they still fit! I thought it was comical that she wanted to make sure he saw this, so what a better way than to showcase it on the blog for him to really take notice of her thoughtfulness?! 😉 She’s a woman of her word!
MY. FAVORITE. Scratch that … EVERYBODY’S FAVORITE.
Hokies in the HOUSE!!!
I love the energy of this shot! 🙂
Gosh, I adore these two!!! <3
Thank you, Nathan and Mandi, for giving me one heck of a party to photograph!!!! I knew I was in for a treat! 🙂 I’m going to be gushing over these photos for a LONG time! Holy cow … You made me fall in love with my job all over again. <3 I hope you’re having the BEST time driving Route 1!!
Thanks to the vendors who made this day so special!!!
Venue: Family Farm
Wedding Planner: Eventfully Yours by Brittany
Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography
Assistant Photographer: Megan Rei Photography
Hair: Alyssa Walker
Makeup: Makeup by SAC
Caterer: Shawn and Wendy Butler
Florist: Forget Me Not Flowers
Baker: Knakal’s Bakery
DJ: CJ tha DJ
Ceremony Vocalist: Sophia Hernandez
Videographer: G Nathan Smith Productions
Dress Designer: Leann Belter from The Bridal Room
Tent Rental: Gibson Rental
Officiant: Rev. Delbert Roberts/Zoar Baptist Church
Rentals: Bride and Joy