November 7, 2018

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I’m Stephanie Messick, a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Warrenton, VA. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels right at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John and Shannon … Talk about one GORGEOUS couple. Geez. They made my job easy. 😉 Shannon reached out to me the summer of 2017 regarding her wedding at the lovely Big Spring Farm in Lexington, Virginia (one of my favorite venues!!)! And maybe because the owners are pretty awesome. 😉 It’s so wonderful when I have the opportunity to work with friends in the industry … As we like to call them, “friendors!” It was a pleasure working with new friendors from John and Shannon’s wedding!! But before we dive into their wedding day, I want to ramble on about John and Shannon for a bit. <3

After John, Shannon, and I hit it off during our initial meeting, we got together at an apple orchard in Northern Virginia (hey, Hartlands Orchard!!!) to embrace the fall season! If you missed their engagement session last year, check it out HERE!!! They have a love for fall, trees, and views, so we had all of that plus SUNFLOWERS!!! It was unexpected, but turned out to be one of my favorite parts of our time together! Also, if you haven’t read John and Shannon’s love story, check it out HERE because I had to laugh again when I read John’s perspective of their love story! Only because one of his best men said in his speech said that he was completely numb when he had to ask Shannon’s parents for her hand in marriage, and I guess it was true if John admitted to that!! Although, I can only imagine how intimidating it must have been. But, John, you did it!!! You won the girl of your dreams!!! <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I was excited to return to Big Spring Farm after just being there for another wedding a couple of weekends ago. 🙂 John and Shannon’s super romantic day was going to incorporate a lot of navy, gold, and wine colors to contrast well with the colors of fall. Little did they know that fall was actually peaking on the day of their wedding! SO LUCKY! As I said above, they love trees, so to have beautiful fall colors with leaves still intact was absolutely magical. The second I drove onto the property, I spotted one visible maple tree and thought, “That’s the one!!” You know Shannon and John were ecstatic about the picture-perfect day, especially after a little threat of rain earlier in the week! It ended up to be the most magical, dreamy fall day you could imagine. <3

JOHN & SHANNON’S WEDDING DAY

Saturday was literally a picture-perfect fall day in Lexington, VA at the beautiful Big Spring Farm!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Look at those colors!!! This tree had this wedding written all over it. <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I met up with the girls inside where Shannon was still admiring her Hayley Paige gown … alike the rest of us!!!! I still cannot get over it! I also couldn’t help but admire the hair pieces Shannon and her maid of honors wore. I think that’s a great way to make the MOHs stand out a little bit. Also, let’s take a moment and admire Shannon’s hair! GOODNESS!!! I envy how much hair she has!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

One of the very first things Shannon said to me when I walked through the door … John surprised me with my FAVORITE cupcakes, and I already ate three of them! HAHAHA! I love her … and I love Georgetown Cupcakes! What a sweet gesture and a great idea, John! Yet again, you stole her heart. 🙂

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Gosh, Shannon looked AMAZING. And I loved how each girl wore a different style dress!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I absolutely love the detailing on the top part of her dress!!! Although the beading was quite extensive and weighed down the sleeves, it was worth it!!! And the bracelet she wore on Saturday was so special and sentimental because her grandmother gifted it to her when she was born. <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

That bouquet… University Florist did a beautiful job, especially with the cascading flowers in the front! Gorgeous!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

15-minutes before the ceremony, John reached for her hand to say a couple of words right before seeing her, and then passed her a letter that obviously made her smile from ear to ear!!! 🙂 So sweet!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John was stunned seeing his gorgeous bride. <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Also!!! John made this fireplace mantel!!! I LOVE IT — So impressed because I thought it was something they bought. It was funny hearing Shannon talk about it because she had no idea that he could do it! It looks like he knows how to keep surprising her. 🙂 Sitting by the mantel are their parent’s wedding portraits. A beautiful reminder!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Shannon and John wrote vows to recite in front of their family and friends, which is one of my favorite testimonies to witness during a ceremony. John was clever, though, because he first started his vows by saying, “I’m sorry if I misunderstood, I thought I was supposed to say my ‘vow-els,’ A-E-I-O-U.” HAHAHA!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

YAYAYYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John and Shannon, you did it! <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

It was so much fun gathering John and Shannon’s closest friends for group photos!!! I especially loved how the girl’s dresses played off the coloring of the tree. 🙂

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Ring security was ready for action!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Oh, but that flower girl!!!! How precious!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

HAHAHA! This reminds me of Forrest Gump!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I had WAY too much fun taking John and Shannon’s portraits around the property… I could have easily photographed them all day long … Which I really did photograph them all day long. 😉 But look how stunning they are!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

GOODNESS. One good looking couple! <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

One of many, many favorites!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Wow. That LIGHT.

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

 John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Beautifullllll!!!! AH! I know a veil can sometimes be a hassle, but gosh, it looks GREAT in photographs!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

And I love a good cozy photo. <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Another favorite!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Work ittttt, girl!!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

We caught the tail end of the sun setting, but the lighting was so beautiful!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

The colors!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

SERIOUSLY, STUNNING.

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Shannon was SO pumped about this while we were chatting during their final meeting. When I saw the setup, I understood why!!! “Find your party animal!” How cute!!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I love how they carried the party animals inside to hold up the table numbers!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

This was fun! They had a shot of limoncello at every place setting. After the last best man speech, everyone threw up the shot to kick off the party!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John and Shannon had a personal cake for them, but in Shannon fashion, cupcakes for everyone!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Shannon could not believe how beautiful everything looked!! After months of planning, her vision came to life and exceeded her expectations. 🙂

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Everyone had their party animal name card and their limoncello shot which meant it was finally time to kick off the party!!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John and his mom surprised everyone when the music switched to an upbeat song! So fun!!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

It was so sweet hearing Shannon’s sisters talk about how much they adore her. <3 A lot of tears shed!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

And the party started on cue!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

The traditional Polish dance — One of my favorites!!!! If you aren’t familiar with this tradition, every person has the opportunity to dance with the bride after graciously contributing money. The bride’s father is the last one to dance with her, and everyone has to surround and try to keep the groom from getting to her. Of course, John found his way to his bride!!! <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

They were excited!!!! Haha!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer  John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

ODU friends!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

First, I love how John and Shannon made their own version of how to cut the cake. HAHAHA! Also, I love this little detail — Shannon gifted her dad these cufflinks. A great gift idea!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I promise he didn’t fall; he was spinning and making moves on the dance floor! 😉

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

You would have thought the song, “SHOUT!” was on looking at the photo above to this one of John being thrown in the air! HAHA!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

I stumbled across John’s parents enjoying a little time with the grandbabies. <3

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

Shannon was pumped for the Chicken Dance! Haha! So cute!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

A quick moment to themselves under the fairy lights. So magical!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

YAY!!! Love these two!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

These sparkler exit shots are magical!!!

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

John & Shannon | Big Spring Farm, Wedding Photographer

THANK YOU, John and Shannon, for giving me the GREATEST honor of photographing your engagement and wedding day!!!! I could not have pictured a more beautiful celebration. I hope you enjoy these photos from my perspective — It was a pleasure being by your side from start to finish!! XOXO!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Thanks to the vendors who made this day so special!!!

Venue: Big Spring Farms 

Wedding Coordinator: Michelle Amarillo Event Planning 

Hair and Makeup: Faces by Joy 

Caterer: Chef’s Catering 

Florist: University Florist 

Baker: Little Hill Pastries

DJ: Bow Tied Weddings 

Stationery: Minted 

Dress Designer: Hayley Paige

Officiant: Kimberly Farmer

Rentals: Festive Fare

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