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Shannon & Chris | St. Thomas Wedding Magens Bay | St. Thomas U.S.V.I.

Let us be the first to tell everyone that we had the most fantastic week photographing Shannon & Chris’ beautiful St. Thomas wedding!  To start our story, I never thought that we would get this chance of a lifetime to not only go on a little mini-vacation during wedding season but also to do what we love the most- and that is capturing a love story in one of the most beautiful places on earth!

When we first met Shannon & Chris, we had an instant connection! They were so down to earth and then we found out that they love Harry Potter (if you don’t know, Rach is a little obsessed).  Originally the two of them were planning a destination wedding in the Outer Banks but quickly decided that wasn’t the wedding that they particularly wanted.  They changed their plans and decided to take all of their immediate family & close friends on the Norwegian Escape (cruise) and planned their St. Thomas wedding while they were docked at port.  When Shannon & Chris decided to hire us, we were ecstatic! Beach weddings are terrific and all (we see a lot of them), but the thought of crystal clear water and swaying palm trees made our heart skip a beat!

Fast forward to the big destination adventure…

We flew from Washington DC to Miami, FL on Friday to photograph their welcome dinner at Prime One Twelve.  The dinner was absolutely fantastic and we were not only excited to be there, but also to be treated as we were part of the family.

On Saturday, we boarded the cruise ship and we were sailing away on the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Caribbean where Ryan and I spent the first few days preparing for the wedding and catching up on some much needed naps- yes, wedding season took a little toll on us this year so some much needed R&R (no pun intended) was definitely a welcomed perk to the trip.

Miami Beach Wedding PhotographerMiami Beach Skyline at Night

Our first port was beautiful St. Thomas (Wedding Day)!  We woke up early and made our way to the fabulous spa located on board the ship where Shannon and her bridesmaid’s were pampered with hair & makeup services.  Shannon put on her beautiful Maggie Sottero gown and she was absolutely stunning! When we left the ship, we were greeted by Presidential Limousine in St. Thomas where they escorted us to the beautiful wedding located at Magens Bay.  Magens Bay is breath-taking with pristine white sandy beaches, clear sapphire blue water, swaying palm trees, and the view of the mountain peaks emerging from the waters of the Virgin Islands.  The location is picture perfect and post card worthy.  After a 30-minute delay (due to mother nature’s crying fit), the ceremony began as Chris’ sister officiated the heartfelt ceremony.  Irie Matrimony were rockstars at coordinating & planning the wedding and wonderful vendors were chosen for their big day!  St. John Catering served some of the best food that I have ever tasted! The carribean jerk chicken was to die for! Shannon & Chris’ family & friends enjoyed the views, danced to carribean music, and swam in the beautiful water (yes, some even in their wedding attire).

Cruise Wedding PhotographerHarry Potter Wedding DetailsSt. Thomas Wedding Magens BaySt. Thomas Wedding Magens BaySt. Thomas Wedding Magens BaySt. Thomas Wedding Magens BaySt. Thomas Wedding Magens BaySt. Thomas Wedding Magens BayMagens Bay Wedding Photography St. Thomas

The day was magical and everything that we could have dreamed it would be!

As I type this blog post, I am sitting in the lobby of the ship overlooking the ocean and continuing to sail to the Bahamas! I could get used to this!  To the future bride’s & groom’s considering a destination wedding, all I can say is DO IT!

Wedding Vendors:

Hair & Makeup- Mandara Spa & Salon (located on the Norwegian Escape)

Accomodations- Norwegian Escape

Wedding Dress- Maggie Sottero

Ceremony & Reception Location- Magens Bay (St. Thomas)

Wedding Planner- Irie Matrimony

Catering & Bar- St. John Catering and Mathayom Private Chefs

Transportation- Presidential Limosine

Flowers- East End Flower Shop

Wedding Cake & Cupcakes- VI Desserts

Mary Kathryn & Mark | 108 Budleigh Wedding | Manteo, NC

Mary Kathryn & Mark's 108 Budleigh Wedding in Manteo, NC was STUNNING! From the glitzy tables adorned with the most perfect mix-matched china to the vintage camper converted bar.. It was a wedding for the books!

We met Mary back in 2013 when she was a bridesmaid for her friend Rachel's vineyard wedding in Virginia.  Since we are on this topic, let me touch on the fact that we booked quite a few weddings from that one Virginia wedding.  It just goes to show that if you really give your clients the best experience ever, you will get so much more in return!!!  It is so important for Ryan and I to give our clients the world.  We want to be there for them every step of the way, we want to get to know them, and we want them to know that they are not just a dollar sign to us! They are our advocates & our friends and we truly mean that.

So with that being said, Mary Kathryn & her mom, Kim attended the 2015 Outer Banks Wedding Expo and that is where we reconnected with her after Rachel's wedding.  She let us know that she was engaged and wanted to have an Outer Banks Wedding. We were so excited and could not contain ourselves when she booked us for her big day!

On the wedding day, Mary Kathryn was all smiles and super excited to marry her best friend! She spent her morning relaxing at their Pirates Cove rental house in Manteo while sipping on Mimosas and laughing with her best friends.  She had special bridesmaid t-shirts made for all of her girls and we were able to capture some really great candid moments with her besties!  It was super important to Mary Kathryn for her soon-to-be hubby to be casual and comfortable for the wedding, so she chose the men to wear white linen shirts with khaki shorts.  It was a great idea too because their wedding day happened to be one of the most humid days of the summer.  The weather did not matter however because the day ended up being the most perfect day ever!

108 Budleigh WeddingCamp Cocktail 108 Budleigh WeddingPirates Cove Wedding Manteo NCPirates Cove Wedding Manteo NC

As Mary Kathryn made her way with her Dad to the Marshes Lighthouse for the ceremony, her perfect lace & tulle ballgown floated effortlessly in the breeze and I remembered thinking to myself that she had to be one of the most glowing and beautiful brides that I have ever seen.  Everything about the ceremony was so heartfelt as the bride decided to have her favorite cousin officiate the wedding. After the kiss, I couldn't help but notice all of the love that the bride & groom had for one another at that moment... All the nervous feelings and wedding jitters came to a holt and I never saw the smiles stop.

Marshes Lighthouse Wedding Manteo NCMarshes Lighthouse Wedding Manteo NCMarshes Lighthouse Wedding Manteo NCManteo NC Outer Banks WeddingManteo NC Outer Banks WeddingManteo NC Outer Banks WeddingManteo NC Outer Banks WeddingCamp Cocktail 108 Budleigh Wedding108 Budleigh Wedding108 Budleigh Wedding

I have to give a shoutout to the vendors for making this day the best day ever for the bride & groom! First off, thank you so much to Courtney Hathaway for second shooting and being an amazing rockstar! Secondly, thank you so much to Ashley Earnhardt with Southern Hospitality Weddings for all of her hard work and coordination throughout the day!  Please see a complete list from all of the other rockstar vendors below! Without you, this wedding could not have been possible.  We love working with all of you and value all of the hard work that you put into each wedding!

Vendors:

Venue- 108 Budleigh

Coordination- Southern Hospitality Weddings

Flowers & Decor- Bells & Whistles

Catering & Desserts- Cafe Lachine

Bar & Spirits- Camp Cocktail

Rentals & Linens- Barefoot Rentals

Cake- Linda Bradley

Ceremony Music- Club Violin

Reception DJ- Outer Banks Music Masters

 

Earthly Elements & Windswept Beauties | Outer Banks Styled Shoot

Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE an Outer Banks Styled Shoot and I especially love when it includes some Windswept beauties and Earthly Elements!  I mean, this place that we call home is one of the most breathtaking places on this earth and I am so proud to share all of the hard work that was put into this gorgeous photo shoot with some of the most beautiful models and talented vendors that we have ever worked with!

When Ryan and I approached Ashley Earnhardt with Southern Hospitality Weddings, we knew exactly what we wanted. The look and feel of the shoot was key. Ashley is truly a rockstar in every single way.  She really brought our vision to life on such short notice. From the gorgeous coral pieces to the geodes & oyster shell garlands, it was everything that we had hoped for and more!  Ashley teamed up with the talented Page Roper from The Flower Girls OBX to create the most perfect bouquets and headpieces for the photo shoot to fit the style of both of our brides.  Our model, Samantha went with the more colorful bouquet and embellished headpiece while our other model, Katie went a completely different route with a more bohemian/earthy look.  Mollie Gregory with Glimmer Hair & Makeup perfected their look with beautiful makeup and hair.  Mollie is truly the BOMB and we absolutely love working with her on many occasions.  Ocean Atlantic Event Rentals provided the farm table and benches that were just perfect for our earthy look and Heather Rollins with HLR Designs rocked out some amazing invitations & place cards!  Heather is such an artist and we are always excited when our brides are using her talents.  Katie's Nha Khanh dress, Ben-Amun hair comb and emerald pear stud earrings were all rented from Rent the Runway and we couldn't have been happier with how the look came together!  Samantha wore her beautiful lace wedding gown and crystal headpiece and she looked absolutely stunning!

Outer Banks Styled ShootOuter Banks Styled ShootOuter Banks Styled Shoot

Now, I have to give a little back story to this shoot as it was one of the more difficult photo shoots to date.  We had a completely different plan for this day.  The location was moved at the last minute due to the weather.  When I am saying the weather was bad, it was horrible!  We were bummed with the 30-40 MPH winds but when we watched the radar and knew the impending rain could completely ruin our day, we were truly devastated.  Knowing that the photo shoot may not happen at all and that all of these amazing people put so much hard work into making it perfect, we knew that there was no choice and we went for it anyway!   Yes, we all had a great exfoliation that day from the amount of sand that was blasting us but the photos from our Windswept Dunes styled shoot are some of our favorites from 2015.  We cannot wait to work again with all of these wonderful vendors and a special thanks to Katie & Samantha for letting us photograph them on one of the windiest days of the year!

Styled shoot was recently featured in the 2016 edition of Outer Banks Bride.

Vendors:

Southern Hospitality Weddings

HLR Designs

Flower Girls OBX

Ocean Atlantic Rentals

Glimmer Hair & Makeup

Rent the Runway