There’s something really beautiful about unconventional, intimate weddings. They’re less cookie-cutter, more focused on the details, more tightly knit. When Meaghan and Chris described their vision for their small, September wedding on the Eastern Shore, I knew it was an affair I wouldn’t want to miss—even though my newborn would be only three weeks old at the time.

So, camera in one hand and pump in the other, I made my way to the serene, waterfront property where the couple was getting ready. Right away, I could feel the sense of family that resonated among the guests, and despite having been hired to document the occasion, I was made to feel like kin. I was grateful to spend my first several hours away from my son with such a lovely crowd.

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before she weds

In days of old, when it was rare for couples to have their nuptials photographed, it wasn’t at all uncommon for a bride’s family to commission a photographer in advance of the wedding to create bridal portraits to commemorate the occasion. You’ve seen them – faded but treasured family heirlooms tucked away in your grandparents’ albums; blushing brides in black and white.

A modern take on this custom lives on today, mainly south of the Mason-Dixon line. I had the opportunity to capture bridals for Kelli on a very cold day this winter, just days before she wed — and what an afternoon it was. She was all smiles and butterflies, wearing her gown for the first time, and realizing how soon she would become a Mrs. Thank you, Kelli, for braving the snow and frigid air to grab some beauties in the oh-so-lovely winter light. You were a vision! xo

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