The Earlyhouse, a historic home located just outside of Richmond, served as the beautiful backdrop for Lauren and Chris' wedding. After a week of rain and humid heat, we were so excited to wake up to sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.
We arrived to find the girls sipping mimosas and getting the final touches of makeup applied by RheaClare in the upstairs bridal suite. They were all smiles in their purple embroidered bridal party shirts which you'll soon learn is par for the course with this DIY couple. The guys could be found in the basement man cave nursing Old Fashiones and watching Arkansas football. We immediately knew these guys were going to be a blast when they started trading barbs about last weekends Razorback vs, Auburn game (which of course Auburn won), and that was only the beginning of a day filled with laughter and special moments.
Lauren's dress was simple, sparkly, and so incredibly beautiful with elements of silk and lace. Her sister and maid of honor, Kaitlyn, is one of our favorite former clients and was married just under a year ago! Check out John and Kaitlyn's story here. The girls were in purple which was a perfect contrast to the guy's gray tuxes and purple ties.
We took Lauren and Chris on a short walk to a shaded river bridge for their first look. The couple shared an intimate moment, a few handkerchief wipes of both tears and sweat, and some uninterrupted sighs of relief that their event was finally underway.
After some bridal party photos and family photos, it was time to move down the hill to the ceremony site. The actual ceremony space sits on a small island in the middle of the lake which is accessed by a wooden bridge. Lauren and Chris (along with some help from their families) had planned their decor down to the finest detail. There were handcrafted wooden signs (Lauren's brother), lush flower arrangements (Chris' mom), and wait until you see the cookie table (a la Lauren's mom, our favorite cookie maker in the state). Memorized vows were exchanged, several special readings presented, and then a romantic kiss shared to seal the deal!
Guests moved up to the reception hall where they were greeted with a Mission BBQ spread that included mac N cheese, green beans, carved turkey, brisket, and cornbread. After dinner, the dance floor filled up fast with young and older dancers alike. Chris and Lauren's first dance was one of the most adorably choreographed routines we've ever seen. They chose an OAR song for their special dance and it included spins, dips, and cute kiss pecks. The rest of the night was full of sing-alongs and smiles.
Lauren and Chris decided to forego the typical wedding cake and instead provided a cookie and milk table! They broke a massive chocolate chip cookie, feed each other a bite, and then assumed the typical champagne sipping position with some milk. Cookie options included sugar, peanut butter, snickerdoodle, brownies, and traditional chocolate chip. They even bought a custom cookie stamp with their name and date to use on the sugar cookies! Milk options included traditional white, chocolate, and strawberry.
Guests (and photographers) pulled themselves away from the cookie table to enjoy a final dance or two before lining the stone steps for a big farewell. The guests cheered as Lauren and Chris exited in a shower of sparks.
Joining the Gemmell family for another incredible event was such an honor. We are so thankful for couples who treat us like family and honored to have been included in Lauren and Chris' special day.
Our favorite part of getting to know them was seeing how they make each other laugh. It's truly the way they show their love for each other and it's infectious. We laughed so many time during our shoots with them and were still laughing last night on the way home as we reflected on their unforgettable wedding.
We wish you nothing but the best in your future together and of course.....'Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!' (unless you are playing Auburn but especially if you are playing Alabama).