When Zac and Abby told me they were having a Castle Hill of Oxford Wedding, I went straight to Google to view all images and digest any info I could get my hands on! I knew it would be a fun time! After having shot their engagements at Fort Morgan and riding the ferry together, I knew my time with them on their wedding weekend would be nothing shy of perfect!
This was my first time in Oxford, and although it was a very short trip, I really enjoyed my time there. I had a wonderful stay at the Graduate Oxford Hotel, where I was greeted by the Bride’s precious mom! She had already checked me in, then walked me to the elevator, gave me all the wedding festivity details so far, and I was off to the third floor for a good night’s sleep!
The next morning I woke up and had a super delicious breakfast at First Watch, and I’ll be honest-it was nice to have a meal all by myself. Growing up, I would have never gone out to eat alone. However, I really enjoyed drinking my coffee while it was still hot, because #momlife, ya know?
A cute family of four was seated next to me. The mom and dad quickly began entertaining the kiddos with crayons, snacks, etc. Watching this family was bittersweet because it made me miss my kids, but then I quickly remembered the joy of sipping hot coffee! I remember the little girl turning and looking at me, smiling! She and her brother were living the dream, syrup and all.
When I went up front to pay for my meal, I also secretly paid for theirs. And boy did it feel good! We had never met, but I understand what a struggle it is to simply go out to eat with toddlers, and there is nothing simple about it.
As I walked out, I prayed that their free breakfast would be the start to a really wonderful day, and that maybe one day, they would pay it forward, too.
When I arrived at the venue that morning, I grabbed all the details to photograph, and I mean EVERYTHING. I gathered the wedding rings, shoes, the veil, her fur shawl, the invitation suit, a few fresh flowers, the bouquet, personalized wedding dress hanger, perfume bottle, you name it!
I pulled out my styling mats, and got busy. The detail shots are some of my favorite to photograph! I am most attracted to the straight lines, the attention to detail, the display of everything sentimental; it makes me so giddy!
As I finished up with details, I moved to the bridal suite, where the bride poured mimosas for her girls. They were enjoying each other’s company, as they did their hair and makeup, smiling with anticipation for what the day would bring!
It was obvious that Zac and Abby were meant to be, and everyone there agreed!
It came time for Abby to put on her dress, and WOWZA-talk about a stunning bride! This wedding gown was sleek and sexy, and fit her hour glass shape like a glove.
I would highly recommend using Bliss Bridal Hattiesburg! They did a phenomenal job, and had our bride looking fresh and sophisticated.
Abby immediately jumped into first looks! We started off with Abby’s squad. The girls came out to the foyer, in their floral printed silk robes, and laughed/cried/squealed at seeing Abby for the first time!
I stepped back and photographed each reaction as it happened, because I knew sweet Abby would cherish those surprised faces for a long time!
Then, it was Daddy’s turn. This one gets me every time. Abby gifted him a beautiful pair of cuff links, and they squeezed each other in an embrace that only a Dad can give.
It was a quiet, precious moment in time that I was honored to document as part of her wedding story. The smile on his face when he saw Abby for the first time is pure joy. See for yourself!
Following that, we did a few bridal shots of Abby in her get up, and then situated her on the front porch of the Colonel’s quarters at Castle Hill to prepare for her first look with Zac.
The excitement and hopefulness for the First Look was all over Abby’s face. Her mom led Zac to his spot in front of the door, stepped out of the frame, and watched the moment unfold from inside. Zac opened his eyes and couldn’t get to Abby fast enough.
They embraced each other, shared a few soft kisses, and simply took it all in. Please know that if you choose to do a first look, this moment will probably be your favorite from the entire day!
We finished up portraits of the bride and groom, bridal party, and formal family portraits. Following those, as guests started arriving, I did one last sweep through the entire venue to photograph décor photos.
This is where I like to get images that set the scene for the viewer, once the wedding gallery is complete. These images will include the building or venue, the floral arrangements, the entry way, the two violinists playing softly as guests make their way to their seats, etc.
I find these images to be just as significant as any other on a wedding day! The reason for this is because my couples have spent so much time and money investing in their big day. I want them to have photographs of every detail, because let’s be honest-they may not have time to see every inch of their wedding day! Because, ya know, they are busy getting married!
Check out some of these details that help paint the picture:
As the ceremony began, there was a peace that filled the courtyard. Everything was in its place, the bridal party was making their way down the aisle, and the officiant escorted Zac to his spot up front. Although Zac and Abby had already seen each other, this moment was exhilarating nonetheless! I could tell he was emotional, as Abby and her dad glided down the stairs to the aisle.
In addition to capturing reactions from both Zac and Abby, I also snagged a few shots of Zac’s parents’ reactions, as they sat on the front row. The image of Zac’s mom looking up at him with the biggest smile, as he was gazing at Abby, gets me all emotional. See, the wedding day isn’t 100% about the bride and groom. It was obvious that Zac and Abby’s parents were emotionally invested in their children’s lives, and that deserves to be documented, as well.
The ceremony was filled with beautiful moments, as they giggled together, combined the perfect wine mixture and poured a glass to cheers to, and shed a few tears as they promised their lives to one another.
Marriage is more than the wedding day; it’s a lifelong commitment, one that Zac and Abby do not take lightly. Their union was one for the books, and I am so excited for them!
After the ceremony, my sweet couple and I ran off to a private room where they exchanged 3 gifts with each other, consisting of something sweet and funny.
Abby gifted Zac a log book for his flights, a very nice compass, and a lego set of a bride and groom! It was so cute! Zac gifted Abby a set of coasters, a very nice cutting board with her new monogram, as well as a legit charcuterie board, also monogrammed! Zac knows what’s up lol
The night transitioned from a meaningful, intimate ceremony, to a party like no other! People were dancing, laughing, and singing! I could tell everyone had been anticipating this wedding for quite some time, and couldn’t wait to celebrate! This is where I struggle to not put the camera down and get on the dance floor myself 😉 lol!
Partying ensued as we cut the cake, danced, tossed the bouquet and garter, and screamed YMCA to the top of our lungs! This was an unforgettable reception!
Following the reception, we ended the night with a sparkler send off. Thing is, they snuck back inside to grab a few pictures of their officiant/friend signing the marriage license, and then made me take a picture with them! If I’m honest, although I felt like a hot mess in that moment, they made me feel like a winner-winner-chicken-dinner. Their words of affirmation fueled this heart of mine and had me feeling so valuable to them.
Zac and Abby, you will never know the pure joy that you made me feel and continue to feel with your kind words through text, Facebook recommendations, and Google reviews (because you’ve done them all. I’m literally crying.) Talk about the BEST clients, yall!
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Osborne! Est. 2020. I thoroughly enjoyed your Castle Hill of Oxford Wedding!
Ps. Here’s that cell phone pic I was referring to, where my heart was so full. Low quality pic, high quality bride and groom.
Castle Hill of Oxford | Bliss Bridal Hattiesburg | Men’s Wearhouse | Documart Oxford, MS | Jareds | Castle Hill catering | Bette’s Flowers of Oxford | Rachel DeLashmit of RK Beauty Bar | The Cakery of Oxford | Magnolia Rentals
For another exciting vow exchange, check out Rick and Anna in the journal!