Celebration Cottage Wedding, Atlantic Beach

This close bond, all started out by John practically escorting us along downtown Raleigh for their Engagements to make sure that we were safe! I’m not going to lie, I was pretttttty nervous to be in a bit of a sketchy area. BUT, with John as our ‘bodyguard’ we proceeded onward!

Shortly after, Kelci and I met up to take her bridals. Literally, Kelci is THEE definition of what I imagine a ‘Southern Bell’ is. From her southern drawl to her cute little snort that sneaks up every once in a while in a giggle! Add in her huge heart and she had me practically crying by the end of her wedding day!

Kelci and John give their whole heart and soul to being present and in the moment. As I listened to the vows given back and forth between these two, it opened up a story. Not a story that they told me in words, but one through their expressions.

You can tell when two people get to a point that they are SO ready to be married; they are so ready to start their life together because the ‘wedding day chaos’ that can sometimes accompanies a wedding, doesn’t exist. Every time you look at the two of them they almost suck you into this third dimension where nothing BUT the two of them exists. And you get to be apart of this little moment, between them.

Over and over, again I saw each of them mouth the word’s ‘I Love you’ to the other. Not caring who saw, not acknowledging others were there. Just the two of them. The best part about it is knowing and being apart of the most beautiful and high point in their marriage. When you get to a wedding day, you know that it hasn’t all been easy and great. You know that behind the joy has been hardships or difficulty and that’s what makes finding one another so sweet. I loved seeing the pure love and joy every time they looked at one another!

Then, I HAVE to tell you guys about THE SWEETEST surprise dance between Kelci and her mom that had me in TEARS! These two are so close that beyond the initial ‘first dances,’ Kelci decided to surprise her mom with a dance of her ownas well. Clenching one another, tears poring down cheeks…more than just her and her mom, but the whole crowd. As we watched the two of them sway, we cried, and we watched some more, and cried some more. It was one of those nights where you’re outside with the salty warm ocean breeze and you just think to yourself, this couldn’t get any better than it is right here.

I included photos of these two and they are tear jerkers!

Last, I have to say, the way that I felt leaving the wedding, was completely. . .valued. As a photographer, I value my bride and groom’s, and their families so much. Like, I genuinely LOVE THEM ALL! I take pride in their joys, and pride in their memories. But it says something about these incredible people I get to serve when I leave, feeling just as valued myself. I felt so ‘apart of the family’ that I didn’t even hesitate jumping on the dance floor for a little bit of ‘boogying!’ (Now, I’m not trying to sound conceited or anything, but everyone needs their cup filled.) And Kelci and John definitely filled mine. I left feeling cared about more than just the services I give, but loved as a person.

That’s the kind of people John and Kelsey are. My heart is full, and my gratitude is endless today.

Happy 1 week you guys! I love you two and wish you guys the best! Thank you for being who you are! Thank you for your sweet, kind hearts!

Special thanks to all the AMAZING vendors!!

Venue | Celebration Cottage

Planner, Florist | Knot a Second Thought

Caterer | The Island Grille

Men’s Suites | Men’s Wearhouse

Hair and Makeup | Ariel Rivera

Rentals | Crystal Coast Event Rentals

Entertainment | Generations Event Services

Videographer | Mcleod Jones Videography

To see Kelci and John’s Downtown Raleigh engagement session, click here!

To see more of my recent weddings, click here!

  1. Ashlynn Miller

    May 10th, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    YOU are the BEST. This is my favorite. Your work is always so, so good.

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