In this crazy world we live in, I’ve never been more certain of anything: We need more love. That’s part of the reason why I have the best job in the world. I get to photograph the single most important day in a couples’ life: their beginning; I get to capture the moment they promise their hearts to each other for the rest of time. Is there anything more comforting than knowing that you’ll have your person through every twist of fate? Through every imaginable triumph and sorrow? I think not.
Another thing I love? Watching the couples’ style come to life in the choices they make for their weddings. Christina and Preston’s wedding was no different, even though they planned the entire thing from afar (they live in Florida!).
Christina & Preston’s Love Story
The bride and groom met over three years ago in Richmond, Virginia over a dating app. They bonded over dogs (they have two sweet Golden Retrievers who were included in their wedding day) and their mutual affection for all things athletic. Together, Christina and Preston spend a lot of time golfing, running, playing soccer, and hiking. They also love the beach and travelling together. While they describe their personal style as classic and traditional, you can’t help but feel the passionate, fun chemistry that Preston & Christina share.
A Southern Wedding Vision
When Christina and Preston described their wedding as “rustic,” I knew it was going to be full of fun, but I had NO idea how beautifully they’d infuse southern, romantic charm into every single detail.
From the stunning rustic backdrop of the open air chapel and event barn at Alturia Farm to the wood flowers handmade by the bride and her sister, every detail of this southern wedding was dripping with personality!
Q: What drew you to choose your venue? Was the location of your wedding what youʼd always dreamed of? What was your favorite part about the space?
A: We loved the rustic feel and layout of our venue. It was absolutely perfect!
Q: Did your wedding have a particular theme, color scheme, or décor style? How did you choose to decorate your space for the ceremony and reception? Was any part of the wedding DIY?
A: My sister and I made our bouquets out of sola wood, which I think was unique and special – they ended up looking amazing and very realistic. We can keep them forever and she may even end up using them in her future wedding! As far as the rest of the decorations go, we thought that less is more – the venue was already so beautiful and we just did simple centerpieces with baby’s breath in vases with floating candles.
Q: Did you have an initial idea of what you wanted to wear? What about your partner? The bridal party? Describe the looks in detail.
A: I always new I wanted a dress to fit close my upper body that would be fun to dance in. For the groomsmen and bridal party, we thought navy and taupe would look great with the rustic feel of our venue.
One of the beautiful things about weddings is that they’re not exclusively a celebration love between the soon to be wedded couple. Love truly surrounds the couple throughout the day – from the wedding party, parents, grandparents, guests, and even pets!
A First Look Fit for a Traditional Southern Wedding
Christina chose to reserve a first look for her father, which was truly a special moment, and one I adored capturing!
A Traditional Southern Wedding Ceremony
The couple chose to forego the recently popular first look option, instead opting in favor of tradition. They wrote letters to one another to read the morning of.
The first time Preston saw his bride was as Christina walked down the aisle towards him. That moment is always a crowd favorite – breathtaking and raw and honest – witnessing the couples’ faces as they see each other for the first time in a symbolic gesture as old as time – moving towards their forever together. I loved the simple hexagon wedding arch draped with greenery.
A Southern Wedding Tradition: Burying the Bourbon
Preston and Christina chose to partake in a southern wedding tradition known as “Burying the Bourbon.” The couple buries a bottle of bourbon at the site where they’re going to be married. Folklore has it that this simple gesture prevents rain from falling on the couple on their wedding day. The bottle is then dug up and enjoyed on the wedding day!
A Southern Wedding Reception
If you guessed that Christina and Preston’s wedding would be full of delicious southern delicacies, you’d be right. From the mini chicken and waffle appetizers to the old fashioned cocktails, simple but scrumptious southern tastes abounded!
Q: Tell us about the reception. What kinds of personal touches did you choose to include? (Traditions, food, entertainment, music, etc.)
A: One part that I thought was special was playing my parents’ wedding song – it wasn’t announced or anything but they had been practicing their dance for weeks.
The Grand Exit
Romantic sparklers set against a gorgeous barn backdrop for the win!
From the Couple’s Point of View
Q: What was the most anticipated moment of your wedding day?
A: Seeing each other for the first time
Q: Whatʼs one word you would choose to describe your wedding day?
Q: Do you have any advice for couples planning their big day?
A: Hire a wedding planner early on in the planning process!
Q: Tell me about life post-wedding? What is your best advice for newlyweds AFTER the wedding?
A: Try to focus on everything that went well rather than small things you wish were different!
Q: When you look back at your day, what are the moments that truly stand out in your memory?
A: The first dances with my husband and dad, saying our vows to each other, dancing!
Venue: Alturia Farm
Planner & Coordinator: Danielle Morgan of KD Productions Entertainment
Photographer: Emmiclaire Photography
Videographer: Alex James Prior
Hair & Makeup: Cameron B. Carson, LLC
Wedding Dress: Bridal Suite Pensecola
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Caterer: Edward’s Catering
Cake Artist: Jasmine Clouser Couture Cakery
DJ: Lamero Mason of KD Productions Entertainment
Invitations: The Knot