After shooting weddings for almost a decade, I’ve seen a lot of white dresses, frilly table tops, and venues that you spend enough on to purchase a car. That’s normal, it’s beautiful, and a great way to celebrate your very important day. However, every now and then I get a wedding that is completely different. The couple throws caution to the wind and plans a wedding that speaks to their hearts rather than the status quo. That is why I love this business, no wedding is completely identical.
Meredith & Zach are just such a couple. They searched and searched for a wedding venue that “fit” them and just couldn’t decide. When Zach’s mom offered her Greensboro, NC backyard, their hearts jumped as if to say “Yes! That’s perfect!” Nothing is more special to Meredith & Zach than family & friends and how reflective was that sweet backyard to their love of heart and home.
When I met Meredith, I knew that she had a tender heart and such a love for everyone. She immediately befriended me and brought me over to the backyard where it was all going to happen. As a side note, Zach’s parent’s home is incredible! The colors and decorating…seriously my dream home. The front steps leading into their home I just drool over…*sigh* so beautiful. After I cleaned up my drool, Meredith & I sat on those very front steps daydreaming about what was to come.
The day arrived sunny and hot as most of this spring & summer was. But there wasn’t much call for rain…until about a 1/2 hour before the ceremony was set to begin. After we finished family pictures, drip drop, the rain started to trickle down. Meredith & Zach stole away upstairs as guest scurried from their cars and snuggled in tightly to wait out the passing thunderstorm. That extra time Meredith & Zach got to spend together tucked away was so special and calming and one of my favorite parts to their story.
The rain did eventually pass and everyone – family, friend, and even caterer – helped clear the tables, wipe down chairs, and get things presentable for their favorite couple. Meredith & Zach walked each other down the isle, arm and arm, ready to be officially united. The rain still dribbled down here and there, but by the end of their absolutely gorgeous ceremony where they laughed and cried time and time again, the sun peaked out in celebration of their union!
The rest of the evening was filled surprise cakes, sweet dance moves, and so much emotion my heart could burst! My friends, this little wedding was something so very special and Daniel and I were incredibly honored to document it all. Thank you to Meredith and Zach for allowing us into your circle of sweet sweet family and friends. We’re overjoyed that you’re officially married and hope we get to spend time together again very soon!
Tell me about the planning process of your wedding (i.e. how did you pick the venue, colors, what was unique/special, ect..):
We considered many different venues in our home state of NC, but all of our initial choices seemed to be lacking something sentimental. The answer was probably staring us right in the face the whole time, and when Zach’s parents offered their backyard as a location, it immediately felt right for the kind of gathering we imagined. The natural setting was just what we wanted and so many beloved family and friends put in countless long days to get the venue ready. When the day arrived, it was absolutely perfect – everything we could have imagined! We didn’t have any set colors or themes, we mostly just tried to pick items that seemed beautiful – things that we liked or had some special meaning to us.
What was the hardest part when planning your wedding?
Envisioning the the flow and structure of the ceremony seemed very difficult at first. We knew how we wanted it to feel, but it was hard to think in the kind of voice that the event seemed to deserve. Thankfully, we had one incredible helper – the incomparable Reverend Wilma Reichard, who just happened to be our officiant (and the same person who married Zach’s parents). In the end, we provided themes and wrote our promises and vows (maybe even the night before over room service), but it was Wilma’s gift of language and understanding of the moment that really allowed the sentiment of the day to shine through.
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
There are so, so many indelible memories to choose from, but getting ready together, just the two of us was so special. Besides that, the way that our two families came together to get the house and the yard ready in the days and hours before the wedding was incredibly touching. The entire event was truly a labor of love and we are forever grateful to all those who made it happen.
What was the funniest moment of your day?
Meredith’s car (our getaway vehicle) had a dead battery! Thankfully, many of our dear friends were still at the party to help us push it out of the neighbor’s driveway and to a safe place on the street. Sarah (Meredith’s sister) did the honor of steering.
If you had to do it all over again is there anything you’d do differently?
Not a thing.
Any advice to future brides & grooms?
It’s all going to turn out exactly the way it is supposed to turn out. Our wedding day had a zero percent chance of rain. Zero. And yet, about 30 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to begin, dark clouds began to roll in. A few minutes before the appointed start time, a minor downpour. Uncles and dads went racing into the backyard to put plastic over the tables. With everyone huddled downstairs, Meredith and I stayed upstairs (with some calming influence from Maybn and Daniel) and waited out the rain.The rain stopped and the guests took their seats, but a few drops were falling even as we walked down the aisle together and took our places. But then, the clouds parted as we delivered our vows and it turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous night! In hindsight, we would not have had it any other way.
What about Mabyn Ludke Photography stood out and caused you to book?
An authentic, warm, and artful vision for photography. In her sample galleries, we noticed not just beautiful photos of the bride and groom, but attention to the little things. Her style is genuine and nuanced.
What, specifically, was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?
Two things. The incredible care and attention to detail that goes into their work. And also their calm presence and ability to capture every aspect of the ever-evolving celebration throughout the evening.
If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say?
Can’t recommend highly enough! Wedding photos were a part of our wedding that we knew we would come back to time and time again – it was an important decision. If you want to work with someone who is incredibly professional while still being unbelievably friendly, than this is your photographer!