When Brooke contacted me about photographing her wedding, she told me she and Garrett were planning on getting married at Sweeney Barn. I was so excited to hear this because I had done a styled shoot there earlier in the year and was familiar with the beauty and some of the history of the barn. Once a functioning dairy barn, it now is a show stopping event space. Sweeney Barn provides so many different vignettes for the different events of the day. From its outdoor ceremony space, to its downstairs indoor white cocktail hour area, to its grand reception hall with barn wood upstairs, the guests were met with gorgeous scenery throughout each portion of the day.
Brooke grew up down the road in Woodbridge, Virginia, so when we planned their engagement session, she knew all the good spots. We settled on Leesylvania State Park because it had the best of both worlds–tall grass and water! Although it took us a little bit to settle on a location, one thing was for sure–Chloe, their fur baby, HAD to be included! Their wedding day was no different. Chloe made her appearance as the flower girl for Brooke and Garrett, escorted by Brooke’s brother.
The bride decided to keep her dress a surprise from not only the groom and her father, but also from her bridesmaids. They were so excited to see her in it…and my goodness, was she a vision! The dress fit her perfectly; she even personalized it to add lace sleeves for a more formal ceremony look before removing them for the reception. It was unique and perfectly Brooke. Because it was a surprise to everyone but the mother of the bride, Brooke and her mother had some quiet time together while she helped her into her dress. Those moments are so special on a wedding day–the ones that will only happen once in a lifetime. Once she was in her gown, her father came in for an impromptu daddy-daughter first look. Her father’s reaction matched that of the bridesmaids–happiness and speechlessness. When Garrett finally saw Brooke in the gown, he was no exception. His smile was priceless, and I think I even saw a few tears begin to well up.
It was a little chilly during their ceremony, so the guests huddled together with winter coats and blankets, but Brooke braved the cold with only her dress throughout the evening and somehow looked flawless the entire time. We were so lucky that just as the sun was setting, the clouds parted and we got some of that glowy, warm fall light that we all love. Golden hour was perfect with these two!
Once the reception started, everyone warmed up by dancing their hearts out on the dance floor. Brooke and Garrett’s friends and family certainly do know how to keep a party poppin’! The DJ even played a few throwbacks for the 90s girl in all of us, which I loveddd. One of the things I loved the most about Brooke and Garrett’s wedding was the Newlywed Shoe Game. It was so funny to watch them answer the DJ’s questions (like “Who wears the pants in the relationship?” and “Who said ‘I love you’ first?”) and how well they knew one another. Seeing their reactions was asking was priceless!
At the end of the night, I asked them to come out onto the balcony with me to see if I could grab a shot I had been wanting at Sweeney Barn since they told me their venue. They were such troopers in the 30 degree cold! To say they nailed it is an understatement; I mean, look at them!
To Brooke & Garrett, thank you for choosing me to photograph your wedding day. I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness, and adventure.
Venue | Sweeney Barn
Photographer | Ali Rae Haney Photography
Bridal Gown Designer | Casablanca
Bridal Gown Boutique | White Swan Bridal
Bridal Hair & Makeup | Extreme Beauty Makeup
Bridesmaids’ Hair & Makeup | Extreme Beauty Makeup
Bridesmaids’ Dresses | Azazie
Event Designer/Planner | M&M Wedding Solutions
Florist | M&M Wedding Solutions
Caterer & Baker | Purple Onion Catering
DJ | DJ Paul Entertainment
I had to include this shot in the blog post—Caleb would find the two guys live streaming the LSU-Alabama game so he could periodically check in. 😂
I leave you with this epic shot of Mr. and Mrs. Howell. ♥️