November 18, 2020

Kevin & Laura | Great Marsh Estate, 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!

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Kevin & Laura | Great Marsh Estate, Virginia Wedding Photographer

I think these two love the fall season, and I would have to say I’m right there with them!!! After getting to know them during their engagement session last fall, I could hardly wait to hang out again. <3 From the first meeting, we quickly made SO many connections!!! Like the fact that we were all involved in marching band… They both met at Liberty High School (where Alex and I went to school!)… and so much more!! But during their wedding day ceremony, I got to see another side of their sweet, tender love. One of the many reasons why I LOVED being their Great Marsh Estate wedding photographer!!! Their vows had everyone in tears, including myself! I should have had a tissue on hand. Haha! I’m so grateful to have concluded the 2020 wedding season photographing this colorful celebration! It really brightened the year!! <3 Check it out below!!

Kevin & Laura | Great Marsh Estate, Virginia Wedding Photographer


Prepping for Forever.

Everything came together how the day was meant to be all along. Planning a 2020 wedding had its challenges, but Kevin and Laura persevered and made this day happen! They had their dream wedding on one beautiful fall evening!

I arrived at the Great Marsh Estate and got excited to see the fall colors showing off around the mansion. Just what we hoped!!! But inside, Kevin and Laura were in their separate quarters getting ready for their first look. Laura was in the bridal suite hanging out with the bridal party and the Best Face Forward team. While they finished up hair and makeup, I got to admire all of the feminine details Laura put together for their day! It was all eye candy, especially paired with KD Custom Events styling kit! And the colorful florals provided by Rosewood Floral Designs made the afternoon so fun to photograph!!!

Laura’s dress from Olde Town Bridal reminded me so much of what I was looking for when I went dress shopping. 🙂 So elegant, classy, and gotta love the lace sleeves!!! The jeweled-toned velvet bridesmaid dresses made it the perfect blend with her dress! After Laura slipped on her gown and jewelry, she was ready to see her family, friends, and her Prince Charming!

Speaking of which, he was downstairs enjoying the casual “bro time.” Haha! He looked so dapper in his blue suit but had a little flair by hiding fun socks under his pant legs. Both Kevin and Laura could not wait to ease their nerves and see each other for their first look!!!

The First Look.

They met their hands at the corner of the courtyard garden. After a prayer over their marriage and the day, Laura came around for Kevin to see her! I think he was having a hard time not peeking … She was SO close to him!!! I had to tell Laura to tuck her dress in so he didn’t accidentally get a glimpse of it from his peripheral vision. 😉 Haha! As soon as she came around, his eye LIT up with the biggest smile across his face! Both of them were excited to see each other and enjoy some downtime before the ceremony.

Before the ceremony, they wandered around the gorgeous Great Marsh Estate grounds enjoying some “alone” time together. Knowing that this was the only bit of time they would have alone together before celebrating with family and friends, they took full advantage of it! And by “they,” that also includes us (the photo/video team). HA! I have SO many new favorites — Kevin and Laura made photographing them so easy and fun! 🙂

The Best Friends.

Let’s talk about the COLORS!!! And not just any colors, but FUN jewel-tones!!! Kevin and Laura pulled it off in a classy, not too-in-your-face way. 🙂 And Rosewood Floral Designs knocked it out of the park with her florals! I loved Laura’s asymmetrical design while keeping the bridesmaid bouquets more contained. The guys didn’t wear loud colors … That would be interesting, right? 😉 Haha! But they wore a classic blue suit and added some color with the use of a burnt orange tie and fun socks!!!

Some family gathered behind me as I photographed the wedding party and couldn’t help but laugh at everyone enjoying their time in front of the camera! It was pretty hilarious too because I got a glimpse of the guys goofing-off on the side while I took photos of the girls (photos not included in this segment to not embarrass them. 😉 ). It was a super easy-going crew, and I can see why they are all best friends. 🙂 I know this day was just as fun for all of them as it was for Kevin and Laura!!!

The Ceremony.

Great Marsh Estate offers a variety of scenery for ceremony sites. For Kevin and Laura’s wedding, they had family and friends gather in the garden courtyard. I loved the three floral arrangements Rosewood Floral Designs made lined up along the aisle, and rose petals stretched out from the first to the last row of chairs. A beautiful touch to the simple backdrop! It turned out to be a little chilly that evening, so Kevin and Laura provided some lap blankets as guests arrived. 🙂

Laura stepped out from the mansion and made her way down the aisle to meet Kevin at the altar. His face lit up for the second time that day seeing his beautiful bride! And it wasn’t long before their officiant from Park Valley Church made them cry after exposing their hearts at the altar. They poured out their love and desires for each other as well as the type of husband/wife they will be, and … Cue the tears … That was when they had everyone tearing up! But I also loved hearing their silliness in their vows, keeping it to who they are as a couple. <3

Following their vows, Kevin and Laura walked up to a table to tie the three strands, symbolizing that they honor to keep God in the center of their marriage. Soon after, they exchanged rings and sealed the ceremony by sharing their first kiss as husband and wife!!! I love that last photo of them celebrating together!! 🙂 They are so darn cute!

The Details.

Just like the bridal party, Kevin and Laura carried the colorful jewel-toned theme into the reception details! The navy blues and burgundy colors darkened the atmosphere for a cozy, fall feel. And to make it super cozy, they had a lot of candles, especially on the farmhouse tables! I’m a big fan of gold, especially with the rustic wood inside the barn. They had gold-rimmed glasses, flatware, and other accents like golden table numbers.

A big tribute goes to Laura’s sister who LOVED designing her sister’s wedding!! She was a huge help to the bride all day long, and I know that Laura was so grateful for everything she did to make her day beautiful!!! And, of course, a HUGE factor goes into the incredible vendor team who made everything come together the day of to run efficiently!

Rosewood Floral Designs decked out the room with greenery up the beams and the chandelier, which broke up the navy/burgundy nicely!! And when it came to the cake, Kevin and Laura could not wait to see their little surprise on it!! Sweets by E did a great job putting together an elegant wedding cake, but added some unique elements making it a statement!!! I think Evan had fun creating it. 🙂

The Reception.

Kevin and Laura were introduced into the reception and walked straight into their first dance together. 🙂 To make it personal, Laura’s sister and brother-in-law both sang, which was the sweetest!!! After the delicious dinner provided by Serendipity Catering & Design (love them and their food!!!), they had their best man and maid of honor give a toast. Hearing the speeches validated Kevin and Laura’s relationship that God brought these two together, not by accident. <3

Before the party started, Kevin and Laura politely shared the cake with each other and welcomed their parents for a special dance. It was sweet scanning the room as their guests teared up watching the bride and groom each take turns with their parents. 🙂 But as soon as the last dance ended, Nate from ImtheDJ got everyone on the dance floor to strut their stuff!! He brought out the party with fun lights and even a fog machine, which got everyone excited!! It looked like everyone had the best time enjoying his music (even myself!!!) before sending the bride and groom off! 🙂 The family even broke out a little polka dancing which makes me want to learn the dance every time I see it at a wedding! One of these days… 😉

Just moments from the sparkler exit…

Kevin and Laura got together one last time in the middle of the floor to share one final special dance … Laura’s dress was the perfect twirling dress, and I’m happy she took advantage of being in it by twirling any chance she had!! 🙂 Towards the end of the night, the rain came pouring down and we weren’t really sure if the sparkler exit was going to happen. But just like how the day was, everything came together and they were able to run through the sparkling lights to wish their family and friends goodbye! The perfect ending to a perfect day!!! <3

Thank You!!

THANK YOU, Kevin and Laura, for giving me the GREATEST honor being your Great Marsh Estate photographer!!! I loved standing by your side and photographing your beautiful celebration!!! It was picture-perfect from start to finish, and I loved witnessing you two at the altar professing your raw love to each other! <3 Made me tear up… You two are so special, and I’m grateful that my business connected us!!!


Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!!

Venue: Great Marsh Estate | Wedding Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography | Assistant: Daisy Saulls Photography | Wedding Coordinator: KD Custom Events | Hair and Makeup: Best Face Forward- Skin, Makeup & Hair Artists | Caterer: Serendipity Catering & Design | Florist: Rosewood Floral Designs | Baker: Sweets by E | DJ: | Video: Paul Kwak Films | Wedding Dress: Olde Town Bridal | Officiant: Park Valley Church



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