I’m both happy and sad to be making this post. Happy that the wedding, family and venue were gorgeous but sad as it closes out a really wonderful 2010 wedding photography season. When I originally met Alison & Michael for their Raleigh engagement photos, they were planning an Angus barn Wedding with a slight twist, they wanted their ceremony in the world famous wine cellar. Now, as a wedding photographer I am used to (and, in fact, love to) photograph in unusual and challenging places, but a wine cellar calls for an entirely different approach to capture a wedding and as it is only the 2nd one in that location, I had no visual hints on to cheat with.
I met up with Alison at the Hair & Face Lounge in Cary, NC where her, her sister, mother mother in-law were all getting their hair & makeup done. Having never been in here before, it was a pretty chic place with pink everywhere and really unique furnishings. In other words, I had a ball photographing in here. After I left the girls, I met Michael at the gorgeous Embassy Suites at Briar Creek. Having never been here before, I was really shocked with just how stunning the architecture of the interior was. This was a double bonus as Alison & Michael wanted to see each other before their Angus Barn wedding so we could photograph the formals there – leaving them more time with their family and friends.
We selected a quiet space outside on the Embassy Suites terrace for them to see each other before the wedding. It was a bit cold outside but Alison was a real trooper as she waited for Michael to come out the doors. I really enjoy photographing couples that see each other before the wedding as you get an entirely different range of emotion that is not constricted by having 100 people looking at you. So, as Michael came around the corner, I got one of several favorite photographs of the day – a wonderfully expressive look on Alison’s face as Michael was walking behind her.
So, after the formals, we all headed over to the Angus Barn Wine Cellar for the ceremony. I won’t go into gross detail about how dark it was in here, but, I can honestly say, it is the darkest interior place I have ever photographed. Of course, it’s a wine cellar and had already devised a plan (slightly unorthodox) to capture a truly unique Angus Barn Wedding ceremony. There are two rooms and the wedding ceremony was held in the larger room in front of a fireplace at the head of the table. The table is, well, gargantuan and unable to be repositioned so I shot over the table, under the light, to capture their wedding nuptials.
After the ceremony was over, we braved the crowds (The Angus barn is tremendously busy and rightfully so – it’s a fantastic restaurant) and headed outside to do some couples portraits. As it’s Christmas time, the building was decked out with Christmas lights, 6′ tall nutcracker dolls and the usual southern decorations which makes an Angus Barn Wedding so unique. I also wanted to try something different, shooting a bridal portrait, at night, in front of the building.. I’ll just say that my “favorites” were really racking up after the portrait and couples session.
We headed back down to the Wine Cellar for Alison & Michael to celebrate and, probably the most anticipated part of the reception, the food. After dinner was over and a few toasts were made, I talked Alison & Michael into the actual Wine Cellar (where the bottle racks are kept) to do a few more couples portraits. I’ve said for a very long time the worse the lighting conditions, the more dramatic you must become. Well, that belief was never more true as I am absolutely thrilled with the results we received. After the night was over, they left their Angus Barn Wedding under a sparkler exit held by their family and friends.
I want to give a huge thank you to Alison, Michael and their wonderful families