Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Destination Wedding: Mc Kinney Texas. Alvin + Sandra


It has taken me forever to write this post, partly because there is SO much to say! Most of the time when I photograph a wedding, I am there for anywhere from 6 to 12  hours. This last November, though, I did my first destination wedding. Pretty rad, right!? I was there for a total of 3 days, so there is a whole lot more to say!
The wedding was in an adorable little town in Texas just outside Dallas called McKinney, and the antique, old western vibe was completely charming. Brick storefronts with hanging signs lined the main road through town.
The venue, called Gather, which is a restaurant turned event venue, was even more charming if that's possible. Intimate, beautifully decorated, and with the original advertisement painting from the outside of the next building as the inside of one of their walls! How cool is that!?



I brought along the tremendous Olga of Olga Tenyanin Photography to second shoot for me so that we could cover every angle of this wedding. I can't say how nice it was to have her there.

We flew into Dallas just in time to catch the bride at her bachelorette dinner at the Cheescake factory...nom nom nom...and then get everything unpacked and crash out in our hotel room.

The next day was spent checking out the venue to get a feel for the lighting, the scenery and plan out angles and shots we knew we would want to take. We also spent some time at the mall, because it's what you do, and I got introduced to this AH-mazing thing called a "LoveSac." If you have never seen or sat in one of these stupendous creations, you are missing out, my friend! This is my first experience with one...


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We also found a killer white faux fur jacket at Forever21 that was the perfect thing to keep our bride warm for some outdoor photos. Did I mention it was freezing down there? Isn't Texas supposed to be warm? Someone lied to me...

SO, we headed from there down the to venue for the rehersal so Olga and I could find out exactly how the wedding was going to go down, what angles we needed to use to get all the shots without being in each others frame, and how the lighting was going to be at that time of day. It was definitely nice to be there for that because it made the wedding itself flow so smoothly.
We were lucky enough to come hang with the Bride and Groom and the wedding party at the rehersal dinner as well. BIG Thanks to Alvin and Sandra for making Olga and me feel like such a part of the wedding. If anything, it made us feel the emotional attachment to all the special moments that much more deeply.

I will admit, we probably stayed up way too late that night. We cleaned sensors and lenses, chatted about gear, formatted memory cards, made sure everything was charged and prepped and in tip-top shape, and then we chatted some more. When I woke up in the AM, I was wishing we hadn't done so much chatting, but totally down to start capturing all the great moments of the big day!

First stop for me was Von Anthony Salon in Frisco, Tx. From the moment the bridal party walked in the door I was impressed.
I have been in a lot of salons in my day but I have never seen so much hospitality and professionalism. The owner was there taking coats and introducing people, hosts were getting refreshments, and the bridal party was pretty much completely pampered. Not only was the salon beautifully appointed, but the stylists were skilled and professional and the entire staff was warm and inviting. Hands down the best salon I have ever been in, period.
I climbed all over that place to get creative shots, and I am not kidding you. The owner even brought me out a ladder so I could get up high and find some fun angles.





 








While I was performing stunning feats of acrobatics, Olga was hanging out with the Groom and his groomsmen catching some behind the scenes moments while they got ready for the wedding. I think it's safe to say that they fellas were probably a little more relaxed than the ladies...but the ladies looked a lot prettier.








Once everyone was ready, we met at the venue. Can I just say again how great this little place is? They had decorated everything and candles were glowing everywhere. We got some beautiful detail shots of all the lovingly crafted decorations from the centerpieces down to the adorable little twig-like colored pencils for the kids table and the (delicious) gifts of homemade jam for each guest. This is the same time that we photograph the rings, shoes, and any other detail so that the Bride and Groom will have plenty of time to enjoy all the things that are happening around them and can still be able to enjoy and appreciate the smaller things they might not have had time to see.














We coordinated with the DJ and videographer, from Uptown Sound, planning out shots and angles so that everyone could get the coverage they needed without being in the way.


I headed upstairs to catch a few more shots of the Bride putting on her dress, earrings, shoes, doing those last minute fix ups and finally seeing herself completely prepared in the gown she would wear to pledge the rest of her life to the man she loves.











I absolutely LOVED the look on the Groom's face when he saw his gorgeous bride, in her Stunning Vera Wang dress and absolutely glowing, for the first time...


After the First Look, we headed into the Unique Unique Designs side of the building for the Formals...or...informals, as it were. The bride and groom had told me that they wanted their formals to be relaxed and casual, so that is exactly what we did. Of course, we had to make it fun, so there was a lot of laughter and big smiles.









Then came my FAVORITE part. It's always my favorite. It's the time that I get to steal the Bride and Groom away, put them in a gorgeous location, and capture a few quiet, tender moments stolen during the whirlwind of activity that is a wedding day. We were able to have access to the store that adjoins Gather, called Unique Unique Design. It is like a fairy tale inside that place. The designer is a genius and has an absolutely unique style that marries a kind of rustic-country-chic with timeless ease. The most fun part is that Unique Unique Design ALSO did the decorating for the wedding!
Sandy, the bride, had already told me that she wanted to get some portraits done in that part of the store and I was ALL for that. I believe we caught some truly beautiful moments.










At last, it was time for the wedding ceremony itself. There was laughter, tears, tenderness, the heartfelt promises of forever, and a triumphant kiss to end it all.









 YAY for receptions!
The food was fantastic. The company was lively and infectious. The music was spot on and the dancing was both sweet and tender, wiggly and jiggly, and the "Carlton" was even busted out!











My favorite part was getting to capture those tender moments that couples steal on the dancefloor; the whole world seems to fade away and it's just the two of them.


You always get to see love at a wedding, but you don't always get to see two people who find each other so often, whose hands always seem to reach out, whose eyes always seem to touch, who make it clear that all they really want is to be near each other.

Alvin and Sandra; that you SO much for choosing me to capture your memories. I was honored.

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