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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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Kayla & Donovan | Married | Historic Polegreen Church Spring Micro-Wedding | Mechanicsville, VA

Weddings

April 22, 2021

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Kayla and Donovan tied the knot on their original wedding date–COVID be damned! Their wedding plans had been in the works long before COVID hit the scene, so they really wanted to get married on the original wedding date they had set. That wedding looked a bit different than their original plans, but my oh my…there’s something so special to be said about intimate ceremonies in the middle of the woods.

Historic Polegreen Church was the backdrop for their vows, as they promised themselves and their lives to the service of one another in front of their 19 closest family members and friends. In fact, Kayla’s childhood best friend’s parents were the officiants of the wedding. How special is that?! I can only imagine Huxley’s best friend asking us to marry her and her future husband someday…the special, intimate details are always my favorite because they are what makes each wedding so unique.

Before their ceremony, they shared the sweetest first look. They wrote one another letters that they read before the ceremony in lieu of saying their own vows. This has got to be one of my favorite “new” traditions because I find that the bride and groom get to express their true feelings to one another without having the pressure of their guests’ eyes looking at them. It proves to bring out tender emotions, every time!

One of my favorite parts of the day was when I was doing a few bridal portraits of Kayla after their first look. Donovan was watching from the side, and I just hear this low, “Wow, you are beautiful.” When I glanced over, I saw him just mesmerized by Kayla. These, these are the moments I love about first looks and quiet, intimate moments together before the ceremony!

As you look through their images, you’ll notice the yellow roses sitting on one of the chairs in the ceremony space. These represent Kayla’s grandmother, and you could tell that they meant the world to her mother that Kayla had taken the time to include the memento. Yellow roses were her grandmother’s favorite flowers, and her mom carried them with her throughout the rest of the evening. She so sweetly asked me, “Can I hold the flowers in our family photos?” Without hesitation, I told her absolutely she should!

Kayla also wore her great grandmother’s ring that had been passed down each generation. Whenever a couple includes heirlooms in their wedding day, I am absolutely sure to photograph them because that’s what makes a family’s history rich, and that just makes my heart happy.

One other special part about this wedding for me was that I was able to shoot alongside one of my prior brides! She started her videography business shortly after her own wedding in September 2020. When she told me she was thinking about dipping her toes into the wedding world, I immediately thought of Kayla and Donovan’s ceremony that would be a great opportunity for her. After connecting the Kayla and Katelyn, they agreed that it would be a great experience for us all to have her there to document their day on video as well! I love the community that this career affords me.

After their ceremony, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds for just a moment for us to get some beautiful glowy portraits before calling it a successful evening so that Kayla and Donovan could celebrate with their guests at the home they purchased together in 2020.

Next April we get to celebrate again right after their one-year anniversary where they get to have the party they originally envisioned for the wedding day! I can’t wait to be part of their anniversary celebration!

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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.

Hey there!