I know I’ve said this several times before, but there is something special about shooting a wedding of someone you know. I’ve read so many opinions about not shooting for relatives or friends, but I continue to go against that advice, probably because I have such a good time at these weddings. Caroline’s Fayetteville, Arkansas wedding was the same way. Caroline was a year younger than me, so we didn’t interact that much in high school, but she was on the dance team with my cousin, so we did have that connection.
Fayetteville, Arkansas Wedding: Chancellor Hotel
My day started off at the Chancellor Hotel where the ladies were getting ready. Caroline had a giant suite toward the top, so there was plenty of space for things to happen. In the living room area, makeup was being done by a very talented friend of mine, Sarah Paul. While they finished up some things, I took all the details into one of the bedrooms and knocked out some pretty shots. When it was time to get into the dress, we had something cute happen that I haven’t seen at other weddings. Caroline’s dress had a sash that went around the front. All the girls and her mom tried to find a good way to tie it, but nothing worked. They brought in her father to tie a bow in the back. It doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve never seen a father help out in this way.
Fayetteville, Arkansas Wedding: The Square
Right up the road from the Chancellor is the Fayetteville Square. It’s a great place for photos, so we decided to use this nearby location for our first look and couple portraits. First, I had to go collect our groom. Funny enough, I found him sleeping in a back room at the Town Center where the ceremony would be. Guys have it so much easier than the girls.
The first look was a bit difficult to pull off. First of all, it was hot, really hot. It was tough to find a place where the sun wasn’t just blazing down. When I did find a spot, I had to avoid an interview that was happening. I put Jerry in his spot and just waited. The girls appeared a minute later, put down Caroline’s dress, and then popped into a hiding spot. Jerry has an interesting sense of humor, so his reaction in the first look really fit who he is.
We moved just about 30 feet to a walkway to get some portraits. Above the walkway was a set of trees with white flowers that created a perfect archway. The Square is a busy place, so I had to avoid cars and people, but the shots were gorgeous. On the other side of the Square, we used a set of stairs to get portraits of just Caroline. Her dress looked great flowing down the steps, and the architecture really added something special. At this point, we were short on time and all burning up, so we rushed over to the Town Center for family portraits.
Fayetteville, Arkansas Wedding: Ceremony at the Town Center
I’ve been in the Town Center several times in the past, but I was blown away by the transformation that took place. The rooms are normally very plain and boring, but they created a wedding chapel feel.
During the ceremony, there were a few moments that stuck out in my mind. There were a few different readings during the ceremony. I always enjoying listening to the passage they pick; it’s always something deep. Toward the end of the ceremony, both families came up on stage for a group prayer. I love the connection of the families, and I love that they are so willing to show off their beliefs; I believe both family and religion can help in a marriage.
Right after the ceremony, magic happened again. Everyone went outside, and they totally flipped the two rooms into a reception, and again, it was like nothing I have ever seen before. There were accent lights, cloth strung from the ceiling, and balloons.
Besides being beautiful, the reception was a lot of fun. They brought in a band that consisted of about 8 people and all types of instruments. People were dancing, and even better, I got to watch and hang out with a bunch of people I knew, including my cousin. On another note, this was also a big night in basketball when Kentucky went down in the Final Four. The guys were glued to their phones.
I would have loved this Fayetteville, Arkansas wedding no matter what, but it was even more special for me because I knew the bride. I loved being a part of her big day and seeing how happy she was. We also did a video of the day, so I’ll be posting that on the blog soon as well.