I remember when I first got an email from April about doing a couples session at Hanging Rock, followed up by covering her wedding at the end of September. I could not have been more thrilled, as it appealed to all of the sides of my personality. She was adventurous and fun, courageous and creative from the very beginning. She told me to bring all the fun and crazy ideas, something that resulted in breathtaking smoky photos at the top of a rock ledge.
I was so excited to finally celebrate their wedding with them this weekend. They said their vows on a crisp, golden day in front of a waterfall at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, NC surrounded by family and friends. We started out the day with all of the girls getting ready at the visitors center looking out on the beautiful forests that had just begun to change color. Upon exiting the timberframe building, there was a peak to peak trail running race taking place -- something that April was all to excited to partake in (well, maybe she just ran through the finish line in her wedding dress). Either way, she did it with grace, determination, and a lot of laughs.
We all piled into an SUV, and realizing that there were not enough seats, I squeezed into the trunk and they closed the hatchback on me--carefully holding all of my camera gear. All I can I say is those girls can DRIVE. We made it down the twisty-windy mountain roads to the trailhead and everyone began making their way to the stone steps descending to the ceremony location. The maid of honor and the flower girl walked down the steps, their pale pink dresses fluttering in the lilting breeze. April quickly followed, and MIke's smile said it all. The girls looked on as their mother took the role of beautiful queen for the day and Mike beamed in adoration -- a look that I saw frequently throughout their couple's session -- pure love, respect, and admiration of an incredible woman.
They said their vows, and kissed as the babbling waterfall sparkled with the first sun rays peaking down into the gulley. With an unusually large gust, the sky was filled with a fluttering of golden leaves and everyone's faces beamed with joy. Afterwards, we had way too much fun frolicking in the golden light, climbing on waterfalls in wedding dresses, and hiking back up the trail. The whole event was capped off by a beautiful reception. Congratulations April & Mike.