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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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Mary & Will | Married | Patriotic & Sentimental Summer Wedding | Manassas, Virginia

Weddings

July 7, 2021

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When you meet Mary and Will, you just get a sense that you will be taken care of. They have that air of Southern hospitality that shows you care and grace. They have known each other since they were 11 and 14! But get this–they didn’t start dating until her senior year of college at Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!!). Will was persistent…every year when she came home from college, he would take her out on a date. He even told her, “I’m gonna marry you someday.” Lo and behold, he sure did make her his wife!

Now, if that wasn’t sweet enough…fast forward to their wedding day when their families came together to celebrate their love. The first thing I did when I woke up was check the forecast and text Mary. They were married on July 3rd and I don’t think the temperature broke 80. Somehow there was no humidity in the air AND a slight breeze. Throughout the whole day, Mary’s dad kept insisting that “God was smiling,” and indeed He was!

Mary and Will were married at Mary’s childhood church. I was lucky enough to get to visit it before their actual wedding day, and Will told me all the improvements he was going to make to it before the big day. He powerwashed and prepped and painted to make their wedding day as special and beautiful as possible. She was getting ready with her friends and sisters (she has six!) before the wedding, and at one point one of her sisters started to tear up because it was getting real that her sister was getting married!

Their ceremony was sweet and heartfelt and they tied a cord of three strands, symbolizing themselves and their union with God, with which they will start their journey of marriage together. After departing from the church, we headed to their reception at the Lake Jackson Fire Department where Will is a volunteer firefighter.

One thing I was able to cross off my photography bucket list–take wedding portraits with a firetruck on the 3rd (almost 4th) of July! The entire department came together to make these portraits happen! We thought maybe they wouldn’t because the truck was out on a call, but they made it back right in time and parked it for us, ready for Mary and Will to be perfectly posed in front of it.

As always, the parent dances get me every time…more now than they ever have before! Once we had children, all I can think about is the moment Huxley dances with her dad on her wedding day or when Jackson pulls me out onto the dance floor after he says, “I do!” Mary and her father chose a song I had never heard as a father/daughter dance, but man was it perfect! Zac Brown Band sang “The Man Who Loves You the Most” and throughout the song her dad would point to Will whenever the line, “I hope you find a guy that treats you right, On your wedding night, I’ll raise a toast. Hope he understands I’ll always be the man that loves you the most.” Cue the tears! Will and his mother’s dance was a beautiful moment as well, preceded by a toast from Will’s father that provoked happy tears and belly laughs with stories of the first time he met Mary when she and Will were working on a car together!

After the dances and toasts were complete, they danced the night away with their guests to some of their favorite line dances…Caleb even got out on the dance floor for a few songs! That man cannot resist Copperhead Road boot stompin’!

The night ended with a sparkler send-off and many jokes about how we were in the safest place to do so in case anything went wrong. I am happy to report that the sparkler exit went off without a hitch (we had already had one of those that day…I’m corny, I know!).


Vendor Team
Photographer | Ali Rae Haney Photography
Ceremony Venue | Jehoash Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue | Lake Jackson Fire Department
Bridal Boutique | Bridal Impressions
Bridal Hair & Makeup | Elizabeth Lauterbach
Bridesmaids Hair & Makeup | Elizabeth Lauterbach
Florist | Forget Me Not Flowers
Baker | Knakals Bakery
Caterer | Rodney & Bekka Jones
Paper Goods | Canva
Ceremony Musicians | Linda Egan
DJ | Gene Griffin
Bartender | Brit’s Bar and PR

  1. Warren Prados says:

    This is a beautiful piece of work. I am at a loss for words, not for teary eyes.

  2. K.C. says:

    You both did a fantastic job! You managed to get great shots that nobody notice you were taking! Thank you for getting all of the special moments.

  3. Emily Gray says:

    You did a beautiful job capturing their special day. Thank you for immortializing their memories and sharing them.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

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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!