I truly don’t know if I can find appropriate words to describe this wedding day with Kyle and Abby. I’ll start by saying this, usually after a long wedding day I’m beat. Typically, I have sore feet and an aching back from a camera strung around my neck all day, and I’m a little dehydrated – especially on the day of a beach wedding. I normally want to pack up my equipment and crawl my way to my bed at the end of the day.
However, Eric and I were running from the venue to the main hotel at the end of the night (trying to escape the downpour), and once we reached some dry land we looked at each other and said, “That didn’t even feel like work. It was so fun!” This was probably Eric’s last wedding as my main second shooter since he’ll start practicing as a Chiropractor later this month, and it was the perfect wedding with the most perfect couple for us to close a chapter of our career of shooting together. But enough about us, I just wanted to paint a clear picture of how happy we were that Kyle and Abby chose us to be their photographers. We were energized by their presence, we had fun, and we felt like we had known the couple, their bridal party, and family for years!
They were extremely laid back, which is almost a necessary attitude to have on a wedding day where it rains. Their personalities allowed me the freedom to be creative and not feel limited in my posing, locations, and lighting due to the rain. They had a positive attitude, and I didn’t hear them complain once about the rain or how hot it was – they were just excited to be husband and wife. If you scroll to the end of this post you’ll see that they had a blast with not just their wedding party, but everyone in attendance at their destination beach wedding. Kyle completely rocked the no jacket look, which gave him a little relief from the humidity; and Abby pulled off the beachy waves in her hair flawlessly.
When it was time for beach portraits, everyone embraced the storm moving in. The girls cooled off by going barefoot into the water, and a couple of them fully committed and took the plunge all the way into the ocean in their bridesmaid’s dresses. I normally like a warm, soft, sunkissed image, but the storm clouds gave me the perfect opportunity to go out of the norm and get a few dramatic black and white photos while we were out on the beach.
No doubt this wedding was fun and laid back, but what made it extra special from an outside perspective was the amount of gratitude this couple had. They expressed their gratitude to not only us in the most genuine way, but we witnessed it several times throughout their day and their interactions with other people. I’ve been a wedding photographer for 10 years now and the one takeaway after all this time is that the couples that are the most grateful – towards others, and maybe more importantly, towards and for each other, are the ones that seem to be the most joyful, are easiest to be around, have the ability to cultivate deep relationships with other couples, and have the ability to get through really hard times together.
This is getting long. I know ya’ll are just here for the pictures, but I can’t leave without one last comment.
KYLE’S TEARS! Sorry, Kyle, but these were the most authentic tears I’ve ever witnessed. His first look with his stunning bride is self explanatory. She was so beautiful that I think I even teared up when I first saw her. You’ll also see his tears in a few of the groomsmen photos, too. If you aren’t aware, Kyle has one brother that was unable to attend the wedding due to his military service (THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY) and Kyle rightfully got a little choked up at the presence of his brother on the other end of the phone. We tried to include him via facetime during groomsmen portraits, family portraits, and even during the ceremony. Other than this, everything was all smiles and laughs that continued from the time I showed up to the venue until we were running toward the hotel after calling it a night.
Photography: Jessica & Eric Simonton | Jessica Simonton Photography
Venue: Sonesta HHI
Videography: 314 Collective
Hair/makeup: True beauty by Joanna Marie
Cake: Bloom custom cakes
Dress Shop: Formalities by Tracina Fisher
Dress Designer: Enchanting by MonCheri
Suit: Jos a bank
DJ: Alan Palchak
Decor: Carolina Weddings
Lighting: Crush Entertainment