May 12, 2018. It was a toasty afternoon in the countrysides of Goochland County, at Clover Forest Plantation. Kathy and Phil were getting ready for their big day, in their respective areas. The bride-to-be and her bridesmaids indoors with the air conditioning, and Phil and the groomsmen in the outhouse 😅
But hey, grooms don't have to worry about makeup, so I think that's fair!
The couple didn't care too much for getting ready shots, so we skipped to the pre-ceremony portraits. We took some lovely backlit portraits of Kathy, and photos of Phil and his groomsmen.
We proceeded to the ceremony on the beautiful hillside of the plantation. It was a truly gorgeous venue! The ceremony kicked off with a stair-based procession.
For the most part, things went as expected. The pastor gave his speech and proctored the vows. The bridesmaids shed some tears, the groomsmen fidgeted with anticipation for the festivities to come. It came time to exchange the rings, and it was discovered the rings was switched! Phil's dad (also the best man) was the suspected culprit.
It was revealed to be a mistake, but an entertaining moment nonetheless. The ring exchange was completed, and the two shared their first kiss as man and wife.
The ceremony recessed, and cocktail hour began. During this time, we took bridal party and family photos. It was a large group, but we managed to make it work! Thankfully, in the shade.
Check out the rest of these portraits here!
After the group photos, we moved onto the fun stuff - bride and groom portraits. The couple had one photo they wanted to take - a portrait by the lakeside at sunset. However, we were still several hours from sunset so we took some other photos around the venue, and later on, as the sun set, we were able to take the dream photo they desired.
As the sun set, the reception kicked off with dinner. The couple opted out of introductions. Instead, they simply joined the party and, of course, the partaking of food and drink. Dinner was a delicious country meal consisting of pork tenderloin, zesty Italian chicken pasta, and sides of veggies, mac and cheese, and bread rolls, provided by Riverwood Events and Catering.
My seat was with Phil's ex-band and friends, and they were quite the group. As photographer, I eat my meal at the same time as the couple, which, incidentally, ended up being before my table was called. They teased me for it, but I decided to do them the favor of eating at a different table to spare them the sweet aromas.
Phil's interaction with this group and his groomsmen turned out to be a good source of entertainment throughout the night. One phrase, "FOR THE BOYS!" was shouted out at least a hundred times. Phil being a gamer, I suspected it might be a reference to "For the Horde!" from WarCraft, but either way, it was a good sign of camaraderie.
Throughout dinner, Kathy and Phil made their way around to all the table to say hello and thank them for their attendance and support. The children present were excited and insisted on discussing all-things Fortnite with Phil and Kathy.
As dinner ended, speeches were shared, jokes were told, and Kathy did her bouquet toss. Kathy was about to just chuck it at the single ladies, but I was able to catch her, and I (having seen plenty of bouquet tosses in my time) advised her to toss it underhand, behind her.
Next, the couple shared their first dance. Phil, clearly, had things planned, whereas Kathy more so appeared to just be along for the ride!