She clutched her brother’s arm before rounding the corner. Her head was held high and proud. Emily looked like a princess. An intricate flower crown adorned her head. Her blonde, braided locks looked ethereal with a hint of pink. She was never one to follow the crowd. Today wouldn’t be any different. A cathedral length veil cascaded down her back and blew out behind her on top of the dam of Lake Laura in Mount Jackson, Virginia. She was a vision. Today was her wedding day. On one side, her brother supported her. He pressed his lips together holding back the emotion. On the other arm, her grandfather smiled with pride. There was one man missing. A man we all loved and adored. Emily’s smile only broke once and she quickly collected herself. This was a happy day but it didn’t make her miss her father any less. Once she reached the end of the aisle where the love of her life waited, she embraced her mother, collected herself and turned to the man she loves with her whole heart. He was wearing sunglasses. All of the groomsmen were. I admit, I didn’t get the sunglasses until this moment. Then it sunk in. They smiled at each other and John gave Emily’s hands a squeeze as they turned to their officiant. He was dressed as Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek. Jean-Luc opened his mouth to speak. “Mawiage. Mawiage is what bwings us togewer today….” And on he went quoting the iconic movie lines from the book The Princess Bride.
The entire day was a dance. Emotions would tip the scales and then there they were to bring it back with some humor. As last minute as some of the details were for their wedding, the important parts were spot on. As soon as it would get heavy the bridal party was right there to lighten it right back up. It was a happy day. The best part was when Emily’s MAN of Honor put on a space suit to literally dance in front of the couple the best choreographed rendition of cats with a space man twist I have ever seen. I don’t think any of the guests will ever be the same after witnessing that performance. It was carefully planned and included help from all of the bridesmaids and men. I have never laughed so hard at a reception IN MY LIFE. (If someone could PLEASE send me a video clip, I would be eternally grateful email@example.com)
Bryce Resort hosted this grand event. From the lake view ceremony site to the two-story high ceiling, newly renovated reception hall, everything was well done. The tables were decorated with fresh flowers and some of Emily and John’s favorite books. A touch I swooned over all evening. I think every one of my favorite stories was with us that evening. Guests ranged from old friends of the couple’s parents (like my parents!) to family from near and far. Two of my kids were even in attendance and it was said throughout the evening. “If you’re here, you’re family!” I love that. These are my people and I love them.
Emily’s dad was very close to my heart. He helped coach me through one of the lowest and most difficult times of my life and I have always been grateful. A Facebook memory popped up the other day from the time when I was at my lowest. I read what I had written and cringed and then I looked at the likes. He was the ONLY one who liked that post 11 years ago. When he asked me to photograph his only daughter’s wedding weeks before he passed, I jumped at the opportunity to give back to him in the best way I know how. He was there with us all day. We could all feel him there. He must have been so proud of the way Emily, Meg and Ben stayed true to themselves, felt the feelings and celebrated the day with smiles and laughter. Each day is a gift.
Emily and John, thank you a million times over for the opportunity to be there with all of you on this day. I have never cried so much and conversely laughed as hard at a wedding EVER. You are truly special people and I am so glad that you found each other. John, I know it must have been hard to accept me into your wedding day and trust me through all of the silliness I put you and the groomsmen through never having met me before. I appreciated your ability to welcome me and all of your guests with open arms. Emily, the way you are true to who you are in your soul and the way you hold yourself with such poise and grace….I am in awe of you my dear. I hope you both enjoy this sample of photos from your lovely wedding day. And, because I know how hard it is to wait, there is a surprise in your inbox RIGHT NOW so go check….after honeymoon fun of course! XO – Love you, Megan
Emily + John’s Vendor Team
Venue, Coordination & Catering | Bryce Resort
Photographer | Megan Hoffer Photography
Hair | Statements (Chachi)
Wedding Dress Boutique | Vivid Bridal Boutique
Wedding Dress Designer | Justin Alexander
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Second Photographer | Elyse Ruth Photography