This weekend marked the end of an epic trilogy 17+ months in the making. The last of the Nichols' brides! The second HANNA AND BRYAN GOT ENGAGED we had our fingers crossed that they'd bestow upon us the honor of shooting the wedding. We were elated when they asked and had a blast over the last few months dreaming about their special day together, recreating their MEMORABLE PROPOSAL in historic Williamsburg, and taking beautiful BRIDAL PHOTOS on an unseasonably warm December day.
Bryan's childhood church, MONUMENT HEIGHTS BAPTIST CHURCH, was the setting for the ceremony and final hair and makeup touches by BRIDEFACE RICHMOND were under way when we arrived. After the customary family reunion style hugs, we found Hanna looking majestic in her white monogrammed robe. It's always so classy to see the bride and bridesmaids in complementing robes! The gentlemen weren't far behind and arrived en masse wearing matching gray suits, purple ties, and individualized cuff links. As previously mentioned, Bryan is a consummate handyman and not only did he hand make several metal "love" signs for the reception (as seen in HANNA'S SISTER'S WEDDING), but he custom made each pair of cufflinks to match the groomsmen's favorite sports teams! Talk about a personalized present.
Hanna and Bryan chose not to see each other before the ceremony, but did share an intimate moment at the enormous front door of the church. She held his arm, he told her how excited he was to be marrying her, and they shared a private prayer before parting ways for their last few minutes of "singledom". These moments are always so special and a memorable way to take a quick breather before reentering the wedding day fray.
Sunlight streamed through the stained glass windows as the guests began to arrive. Rusty, the youth pastor partially responsible for Hanna and Bryan's first meeting, led the assembly of family and friends through prayer and a short message. The musical aspect of the ceremony was mostly a family affair. Hanna's oldest sister, Kristen, played a beautiful piece on the piano as Hanna's cousin, Blair, sang with the voice of a songbird. Hanna and Bryan used that time to take communion together, light a unity candle, and tie three strands of rope symbolizing the verse from Ecclesiastes 4. Bryan crafted the wooden backing out of reclaimed wood! Before long, they were pronounced husband/wife and shared one of their first public kisses. It was smiles from ear to ear for this happy couple!
We made a quick pit-stop for a sunset gazebo shot and pulled up to the DOMINION CLUB in the midst of a rainstorm. The rain did nothing to dampen Hanna and Bryan's spirits nor did it diminish the beauty of the property. Stunning! The bridal party announcement was the first of many fun special events throughout the night. The dance floor was on a lower level so each pairing in the bridal party made a grand entrance down the cascading staircase and each made a stop at the balcony to strike a pose or make funny faces. The couple went straight into their first dance, mother/son, and father/daughter dance. Tears welled up in everyone's eyes as Bryan's mom enjoyed a special moment with her first born and Hanna's dad enjoyed a dance with his youngest daughter. His tears may have stemmed from the joy of closing his "bridal bank account", but we will never know....
Wedding guests enjoyed gourmet mac n'cheese, pasta saute, beef carving station, and even a sweets table full of cookies and brownies. The plates weren't even removed before they hit the dance floor. Song after song, the floor was full and Hanna was spotlighted as she shared several traditional dances with family friends. Memorable moments came one after the other. Hanna was serenaded by her dad's fraternity brothers, Bryan was welcomed into a Nichols' spouse support group, and the best man gave the couple several practical gifts. A wooden placard for a "house divided" (UVA vs VA Tech), ear plugs for peaceful sleeping, and an air horn for Hanna to combat Bryan's hatred for alarm clocks.
Too soon, it was time for the last dance. The guests grabbed their coats and headed out into the cold for a sparkler exit. So many stayed that they had to stack 2-3 deep in most places! Hanna and Bryan made a triumphant exit under a shower of sparks and then drove off into a different type of shower. Rain on a wedding day is good luck right....? (WE HOPE SO, IT HURRICANED ON OUR WEDDING NIGHT!)
We were sad to close this bridal chapter of the Nichols' story, but we loved being part of Hanna and Bryan's special day. They are such a fun couple and the sheer size of their bridal party and guest count proves that they are loved and a very special part of many people's lives. Cheers to the Killians!
Here are a few of our favorite pictures. Share a memory below in the comments if you were in attendance!
| CREATIVE TEAM |
PHOTOGRAPHERS | Allie & Brad Strouse of Strouse Photography VIDEOGRAPHER | C.Y. Wedding Films RECEPTION VENUE | The Dominion Club RECEPTION COORDINATORS | Davis Walker & Caroline Allen WEDDING VENUE | Monument Heights Baptist Church WEDDING COORDINATOR | Cheryl Rose & Terry Hood MAKE UP | BRIDEface Richmond HAIR | Melanie Mendenhall FLORIST | FashionTouch by Elena Polko CATERING | The Dominion Club BAKERY | WPA Bakery INVITATIONS | Groom WEDDING GOWN | Tiffanys Bridal BRIDESMAID DRESSES | Weddington Way GROOMS ATTIRE | Joseph A. Bank RINGS | Diamonds Direct - Richmond