John and Carla were married at The Arbors, a stunning venue in western Rowan County near the town of Cleveland, NC. There are two major event spots on the ground; John and Carla’s ceremony took place in The Pavilion. I’d never photographed a wedding at The Arbors, and I can’t wait until the next time I get to go back. No matter the direction I pointed my camera, there was a gorgeous vista in the background. The grounds, which also function as a tree farm, are basically comprised of every kind of scenery you could hope to shoot. Beautiful copses of trees, manicured gardens, rolling fields of flowers, ponds, arbors,…the place has it all.
Our first stop during John and Carla’s day, to backtrack just a bit, was the house the couple had recently purchased together in Huntersville. I was there to shoot the details of Carla’s wedding day attire, and I tried to incorporate little touches of their lives together into the mix. The house had beautiful natural light, and I chose to use one of the dining room chairs to photograph the rings and Carla’s wedding dress. I love to do this, to layer the intimate atop of the familiar. I really loved how the images turned out.
When we arrived at The Arbors, I headed to The Pavilion with the ladies while Laura, my uber-talented second shooter, headed off with the boys. The getting-ready area for the girls was gorgeous—well appointed and elegant. The guys dressed in a cedar shake cabin on the lake. Both of us had a great time with our groups in what felt like totally different settings on the same grounds.
Carla had a first look with her dad on the patio outside The Pavilion—a truly sweet moment—and then walked her down a winding stone path to the ceremony site. As they stepped into the light, John caught sight of his bride and was overcome. His tears of happiness were sweet beyond words. At the end of the ceremony, after their vows, there was a lasso ceremony during which a beaded rosary was draped around John and Carla’s shoulders, signifying their everlasting union. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place.
One of the things I loved most about the day was how focused John and Carla had been on the kids in attendance. They had made it very obvious how much they treasured the children of their friends and family, and I’ve got to tell you, there were a LOT of kids. It was adorable and hysterical. I can’t count the times I saw babies being handed off so a parent could hit the dance floor. And man, did people dance hard. Carolina DJ Professionals handled the DJ duties, and they kept the floor packed all night.
After the final exit—a snow-fetti shower—everyone hopped on buses and headed off to the after party. It was a non-stop day and night, and I loved being around so many people who were just there to share in the joy of the day.
I’m so happy I got to be part of this union between two such kind and genuine people. I wish them all of the best things life has to offer.
Wedding Planner: Ande Cain of Lisa Pleasant Events
Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Arbors Events
Floral Design: Willow Branch Flowers & Design
Cake Artist: Cake Expressions by Lisa and Duck Donuts
Hair and Make-Up: Eye Do Makeup & Hair
Photo Booth: Carolina DJ Professionals
Thank you to my fantastic second photographer, Laura, for her beautiful images!
Be sure to check out Carla & John’s engagement session post HERE.