One of the real blessings of my job is having the unique opportunity to live alongside my clients as they grow, find love, get married, have kids, etc… I love capturing these moments in the lives of my fellow humans, but it would all feel just a little…empty if not for the relationships I get to form with those people along the way. If there’s something that sets me apart as a portrait and wedding photographer, I’d like to think that my genuine affection for people, for walking alongside them through the years, is that thing. Certainly, this is why I have so cherished the time I have spent with Mary and Melodee these last couple of years.
I first became acquainted with Mary and Melodee just before their first anniversary as a dating couple. When I met the two of them in person, I was immediately struck by how in love they were. Between the two of them, there was such an obviously powerful connection, one that I thought was uncommonly deep for a couple who had been together for just under a year. As they have both said to me at separate moments in the time since then, they were just meant to be.
The next time I had the pleasure of photographing them was at Melodee’s surprise proposal to Mary in the Urban Garden of the BOA building uptown. I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into too much detail, but there was a flash mob, some initial confusion on Mary’s part, a ring, and then lots and lots of happiness. And so began the wedding planning.
Mary and Melodee were engaged in February and soon began making plans for a May wedding 15 months out. Venues were chosen, deposits made, etc. And then, a year later, just months before the wedding, COVID hit and the world went on extended hiatus. Needless to say, things had to change, and Mary and Melodee rolled with it. Luckily, so did Langtree Plantation, the wedding and reception venue they had chosen.
Langtree Plantation has a history that dates back before the Civil War. For years it stayed within the same family, and then, in the 1900s, it was added onto significantly. Just before the turn of the millennium, it was sold to a local developer named Rick Howard. Mr. Howard was swamped with calls from people interested in holding their weddings at the house, so he turned Langree into a wedding venue, refurbished it for the purpose, and now has on his hands one of the finest venues in the Charlotte area. And, I should add, one of the most accommodating.
Even with all of the COVID-related restrictions and suggestions in place this summer, Langtree Plantation came through beautifully. I had never worked there before this wedding, so I was suitably impressed not just by the beauty of the place—and it IS gorgeous—but also by how attractive a layout they were able to achieve while keeping people safe and distanced. There was seating inside and outside, meals were pre-boxed for individual selection instead of being served, and there was a free and open flow of movement so that nobody felt crowded. I commend Langtree Plantation’s sense of responsibility and courtesy to Mary and Melodee and all of their guests.
This was a lovely event celebrating two of the kindest people I’ve ever met. Mary and Melodee truly are meant for one another, and I look forward to seeing where life takes them. All of my love to these two remarkable women.
Wedding and Reception Location: Langtree Plantation Planner: Stunning and Brilliant Events Floral Design: Willow Branch Flowers and Design Wedding Videography: Love Shutter Cake Artist: Kathy Allen Ceremony Musicians: Carolina Chamber Players Hair & Makeup: Elbert Reed, Kaitlyn Kiser, and Adrian Howe Alterations: John Emily Officiant: Rev. Julia Watkins DJ: All the Right Grooves Rentals: Cooke Rentals Catering: Roots Bar: Side Bar Dancers: NC Dance District Live Painting: Gina Strumpf