September 9, 2020

Mike & Lauren | Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia Wedding Photographer

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels 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!

light chaser, dreamer, go-getter.

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Mike & Lauren | Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia Wedding Photographer

When I look through these photos below (especially the ones at sunset), it looked like a DREAM! Fortunately, it wasn’t a dream … Mike and Lauren are MARRIED!!!! And while their Virginia wedding didn’t happen in the Shenandoah Mountains, they celebrated with their immediate family back in May at the Athenaeum. πŸ™‚ …Yes. During the lockdown!!! Due to the pandemic, we had to restrategize their contract and decided to go someplace “epic” to take wedding portraits later in the year. Even though I REALLY wanted to be by their side back in May, I’m so glad they had another chance to get all dolled up again and celebrate their marriage. <3 And you might remember them from their engagement session a while back ago at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. Hard to believe that was over two years ago! They were definitely ready to tie the knot, pandemic, or not!! πŸ™‚

Mike & Lauren | Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Tying the Knot in a Lockdown

To get to where Mike and Lauren are today took a LOT of work. It wasn’t quite the journey they imagined when they planned their spring 2020 wedding. My heart broke for them as they made hard decisions to move forward and figure out how to work with the new restrictions. They said they have no regrets at the end of the day and are so happy they pushed forward, despite the challenges earlier this year! πŸ™‚ Between job changes, family health, and re-planning all of their vendors (I cannot even imagine), they conquered that season!

They also had to drastically cut down their guest list to just their parents (at the time, the restriction was no more than a ten-person gathering). Lauren couldn’t have a professional hair/makeup artist because that wasn’t considered safe at the time. They also had to refigure a little cake at the last second, along with many other changes. Their celebration looked a lot different from what they imagined, but they hope to gather family and friends later to have a party. Clearly, it was worth pushing forward in the meantime, especially with all of the unknowns. πŸ™‚ And while it’s not the typical wedding planning story, it’s so unique that it makes it special. No pandemic stopped their love!! πŸ™‚

When we scheduled these wedding portraits to happen on the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia, I could hardly wait to photograph these newlyweds!!! Lauren had her sweet friends help her assemble the GORGEOUS bouquet as well as her hair and makeup. I felt like I was transformed back to their May wedding day! πŸ™‚ Mike and Lauren looked picture-perfect!!! And they brought their model game with them too… GOSH! SO many favorites!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Check them out below!!!

Thank You!!!

Thank you, Mike and Lauren, for trusting me to document your vision for this shoot!!! πŸ™‚ GOSH! I’m still pinching myself because these portraits don’t even look real! The epic sunset definitely showed up just for your and your portraits!!! I’m so happy you two are FINALLY Mr. and Mrs., and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you! <3 I know it’s a bright one!! XOXO!!! CONGRATS!!!

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is located on the Florida Panhandle, but also serves Northern + Central + the Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia as a family, and wedding photographer. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE and ask about the Destin, Florida Portrait Photographer Special if you’re visiting! Or contact her for information when she will be in Virginia for weddings/sessions!

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