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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 | Anniversary Celebration | Brix & Columns Winery | McGaheysville, VA

Weddings

May 16, 2022

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COVID certainly brought the entire world some challenges, but I think it also brought us a different perspective, a way to think outside of the box when it comes to the way things “have always been done.” Kayla and Donovan’s wedding day and anniversary celebration is a perfect example of that.

Last year they were married near their Richmond home at Pole Green Church with only their closest family and friends around. In fact, you can see images from their ceremony here! But then…a year later, they finally had their celebration that came in the form of a one-year anniversary party. It was such a fun day to shoot for me because I had already met all of their closest friends and family at their ceremony a year prior. It was like catching up with old friends! On the day of the anniversary celebration, there was no pressure of the formalities of a typical wedding day. The vows already been committed, so the nerves were far less than that of most wedding days.

Just to give you a little background on Kayla and Donovan–they’re vast underachievers…Donovan is completing is his residency in psychiatry and Kayla is working full-time as a Special Education teacher while pursuing her second Masters degree. Needless to say, their combined life of service is something remarkable. Together, they really do make the world a better place by serving in some of the career fields that take the most dedication!

For their one-year anniversary celebration, we recreated their ceremony day at Brix and Columns Winery. Kayla wore the same dress, Donovan the same suit, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen were all on board to bring back the impeccable dusty blue and sage green color palette from the original ceremony date.

Brix and Columns is a hidden gem–I am from Virginia and had never heard of this particular winery, despite it only being about an hour from where I grew up! Kayla and Donovan are both Hokies, but fell in love with the Jeffersonian architecture that characterizes the entire winery. With tall white columns, circular windows, and a magnificent spiral staircase in the main estate, it was breathtaking any way you turned…and I haven’t even mentioned the grand view of the Massanutten mountain that welcomes each guest as they come out of the reception hall!

We enjoyed a beautiful spring day in the mountains while we got to know Kayla a bit better from her co-Maids of Honor, Brigid and Darlene. They have been friends since middle school, which is so rare in today’s world. It was great to learn more about how they met and how Kayla with the coolest middle schooler. Donovan’s brother also delivered a beautiful toast that was complete with disclosure to the entire guest list of Donovan’s elementary school crush–the pink Power Ranger–who apparently resembles Kayla pretty closely!

These two threw a great anniversary party that honestly could not have been more perfectly fitting for the two of them. We ended the night with some epic nighttime images that illuminated the columns of the reception hall as well as the love that Kayla and Donovan have cultivated throughout their first year of marriage!

Cheers to one year and many more, K&D!

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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!