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karen + steve: married! | raleigh wedding photographer

I love weddings. I truly do. I love going to weddings. And I especially love photographing weddings. The beautiful gowns. The amazing shoes. The champagne. The party. The emotions. The laugher. The tears. The joy. I don’t think there’s a day that’s any happier than when a girl marries her best friend.

Karen and Steve’s wedding was no different. I photographed this wedding with my dear friend Amanda Eller, a fantastic photographer up in Salisbury. Carrigan Farms in Mooresville provided an incredible backdrop for the wedding and reception — it was like something out of a movie. As impressed as I was at the scenery, I was even more amazed at the love and support I witnessed throughout the entire event. Karen and Steve were surrounded by an amazing and supportive group of friends and family, all there to share in their love that day. Tears of joy and the laughter of love and happiness spilled out of each guests as the minister told Karen & Steve’s love story and shared his message about love and marriage and the importance of faith, compromise and continued friendship throughout their life together.

And that’s my wish for you two – that you never lose faith in each other and that you always continue to make each other laugh as much as you laughed on this day!

A big thank you to Bella Lago Salon in Mooresville for the amazing job they did with hair and makeup for Karen and her girls! You rock!

While the girls were getting ready, the guys were hanging out at the hotel. Here’s Steve, the handsome groom, and his dashing dad!
A stunning Karen getting into her gown with the help of her mom and her gorgeous girls… This little charm was Karen’s great-grandmothers and was pinned in the hem of her gown by her mother…so sweet! A little pre-ceremony bubbly…. CHEERS!
I love a happy bride and Karen was just that….she’s so animated and has such an infectious laugh, it’s hard not to be happy around her. Here she is with her mom just before leaving for the ceremony… The entrance to Carrigan Farms… I love details…. like this little basket for the programs…. and the tub of “dancin’ shoes”! One of my favorite images from the day…Karen arriving at the ceremony site – all smiles, of course! Love these images of Karen and her dad. He’s one proud papa! The processional….it was a long but gorgeous walk to where Steve was waiting… …but getting there was definitely worth the wait! One look at each other and they were just beaming…
Karen got a little misty during the vows…
But was all smiles again by the time they exchanged rings….

Smiles that turned to laughter as she put the wrong on the wrong hand the first time…. Karen and Steve decided not to have the traditional unity candle or even the more current sand ceremony. But, the minister had something even more appropo up his sleeve to unify them after the vows. He surprised everyone there, including Karen, when he brought out handcuffs and linked Karen and Steve together. (Steve is a police officer, btw.)
The new Mr. and Mrs. — sealed with a kiss!
The happy couple… …and an awesome bridal party… A special request from the groom – this was such a fun group of guys and gals! One of my all-time favorite images….is this place gorgeous or what?  More details…gorgeous flowers on the “boardwalk”… and pretty tablescapes… Their first dance…Karen is just smitten with her new husband…

So happy and in love… Moving toasts from the best man and maid of honor…

We all know how I feel about cake…I love bride’s who do things a little out of the norm, and this chocolate cake was very unusual…
A very emotional father-daughter dance… The DJ had the dance floor hopping all night – such a fun crowd! This parting shot was taken at the end of the night — after most of the guys in the wedding party went cliff diving into the quarry…
Congratulations and best wishes to you both for a long, happy life together!

Love ~ Renee

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