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As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

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Stephanie & Jeff | Wrightsville Beach & Airlie Gardens Engagement Session

Portraits

March 31, 2021

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Y’all, Stephanie and Jeff KILLED it at their engagement session. We explored all through Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington and were even able to grab breakfast halfway through their session. I tell ya, when clients become fast friends, that’s when you know you’re in the right career. These two traveled from Raleigh to meet me at the beach for their engagement session. I am just thankful that the stars aligned and we were able to make it an adventure for all three of us!

Our morning started out before the sun rose. As we waited for the clouds to part in the public parking right off of the Wrightsville Beach pier, all I could think about was a line from the movie Frozen because Huxley says it all the time: “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake, so I have to playyyy.” But the sky wasn’t even awake, and they still agreed to meet me and trust me in every lighting scenario! And I am so thankful they did because look at the magic we made!!

While we were at Wrightsville Beach, we were greeted by a spritely group of runners, trotting along the beach doing Burpees and screaming congratulations at Stephanie and Jeff…it sounds weird, but it was actually perfect.

Once the sweet couple thawed out from being on the beach at sunrise in mid-March, we ventured to grab breakfast at a cute little restaurant. When Stephanie ordered the shrimp and grits, it just reaffirmed the fact that we were going to be fast friends!

Afterward, we made it to our final stop for their session, Airlie Botanical Gardens in Wilmington. I always forget how much I love shooting around Spanish moss, but then when I am brought back to it, I am quickly reminded why. It has just such a romantic feel to it. When it blows in the wind, it feels like time slows down and I could watch it dance forever. Stephanie’s emerald dress paired with Jeff’s navy sport coat made for the perfect romantic outfits amidst the garden’s many backdrops. From a pier, to tulips, to Spanish moss, to a white church, to a very European fountain…they were always game to make my vision come true–even if that meant walking the quarter mile back to the last spot we were while I stayed across the water (you’ll have to scroll to see that one!).

Their wedding planning is beginning to fall into place. I cannot wait to celebrate with them and their families this October at the Home of the Commandant in Washington, D.C. Stephanie, pick those flowers! Jeff, you are one lucky man!

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Facebook Copy-color Created with Sketch.
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Explore

As a prior English teacher, I love telling each of my couple's love story. Each story is unique and in a culmination of love and a little planning, the wedding day brings that love to life in front of family and friends. As a lover of heirlooms and legacies, it's a joy to be alongside each of my couples as they create memories that will last forever for their children and grandchildren!

I'm ali rae.

Hey there!