They say rain on your wedding day is good luck, which is great news for Katherine & Andy given that we dodged thunder storms pretty much all day for their outdoor Duke Gardens wedding ceremony a few weeks ago. Everything was looking fine in the morning, but the grey skies rolled in right as we got to the gardens and pretty much all our plans for the first look and portraits before the ceremony had to be pushed back by about an hour.
Luckily, the skies eventually cleared and we were able to get outside and make some beautiful images. I love bright, sunny days, but, as en Englishman, I have a very soft spot for rainy days too! The grey skies and flat light actually add a really nice mood to the images and I really love the juxtaposition of the elegance and timelessness of black & white photos with the bright pop of colour from the gardens and beautiful flowers from Tre Bella.
As you can see, Katherine and Andrew both looked amazing and I got to spend some time shooting bridal portraits for Katherine. With the wet ground and not wanting to get the dress dirty, I worked pretty hard to keep Katherine in more or less the same spot and just move myself around and switch up lens selections to provide a variety of shots. I even got to pay homage to Katherine’s mum who was also married at Duke and wanted a similar photo of Katherine to one of her own bridal portraits.
Sally from Sally Oakley Events did a great job keeping an eye on the weather and the decision of whether to do the ceremony inside or outside, with the threat of rain always looming, really went down to the wire. In the end, I’m pleased to say the weather behaved itself and we were able to do the ceremony outside. Shooting indoors is fine, but nothing beats photographing weddings at the Angle Amphitheater with the pergola and Virtue Peace Pond providing lots of opportunity for creative compositions.
Following the wedding, we took a couple of quick family photos and Katherine and Andy were then able to enjoy their cocktail hour. I am a big fan of first looks for many reasons, but getting time to chat and mingle with your guests after the ceremony is definitely one of the biggest benefits of getting the majority of family and couple portraits out of the way earlier in the day. On top of that, the rain started coming down again right on cue after the ceremony so I was so pleased to have those images in the can already.
The reception was a lot of fun. Dinner and toasts took place outside under a marquee tent. From there, Katherine changed into a different dress for the party and the dances got under way. Katherine and her dad had choreographed a really fun dance routine together that they had been practising for several months. Hats off to Katherine and her dad, Scott, for putting the work in. It really was worth it!
I want to take a second to thank everyone involved in putting together such a great day and rolling with the punches the weather threw at us. Here is the roll of honour:
Ceremony & Reception: Sarah P Duke Gardens, Durham, NC | Event Coordination: Sally Oakley Weddings & Events, Raleigh, NC | Florist: Tre Bella, Raleigh, NC | Catering: Catering Works, Raleigh, NC | Cake: Mad Hatter’s Café & Bakeshop, Durham, NC | Hair & Makeup: OnloKtion Makeup Artistry, Raleigh, NC | Ceremony Musician: Arioso Strings, Apex, NC | Officiant: Rev. Barbara Lodge, Chapel Hill, NC | Band: Mr Potato Head, Raleigh, NC| Rentals: Party Reflections, Raleigh | Dress: Pronovias at Nitsa’s, Winston-Salem, NC | Tuxedos: Menguin, Louisville, KY | Assistant Photographer: Steve Jamroz, Raleigh, NC
Finally, thanks to Katherine and Andy for entrusting the documentation of their wedding day to me. Good luck for a long and happy life together, guys!