Angelina + Chris | Havelock, NC wedding photographer

I did the thing only a crazy photographer does.  I agreed to be a bridesmaid and a photographer. For the same wedding.  My sister's wedding.  

Yes, it was insane.  No, I do not recommend it.  

Ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic.  But really, I don't recommend it (it's a little stressful guys).  :)  

With my sister and her fiancé fresh out of the Air Force and living on the other side of the country, much (ok, all) of the wedding planning fell on my mom and I.  It was going to be a small wedding with a modest budget, and naturally Victor and I offered our photography and, for the first time, videography.  

Initially there was a lot of back and forth about where the wedding would be held.  My sister, Angelina, and her fiancé Chris knew they wanted the wedding to be on the east coast, closer to home.  They finally settled on a hometown wedding here, where my sister was raised, in Havelock, NC.  Specifically the Hancock Lodge on MCAS Cherry Point.  With a rustic Fall theme in mind, we knew the Hancock Lodge fit the bill both in style and budget.  And we knew we could really make the space fabulous. For me, personally, it was an opportunity to showcase the beauty of the town I grew up in, a town often seen as a few annoying stoplights on the way to the beach.  I really enjoyed being able to photograph this little slice of my hometown so others can see why I personally think it's so beautiful. 

With the Lodge rented for three days, we (the bride, groom, our immediate family and extended family and friends to whom we are extremely grateful) set out to work on Friday morning with four vehicles and a UHaul trailer filled to the brim.  Victor and longtime family friend Emily were up in the big live oak tree all morning long wrapping it in white lights and hanging a white drape to act as a beautiful backdrop to their ceremony space.  All hands were on deck to set up seating, tables, centerpieces, the whole shebang.  

I fell in love with the ceremony setup we came up with.  The beautiful benches were handcrafted by my parents, the fireplace mantle was purchased off of Craigslist and refinished, the antique wooden chairs in the front 2 rows were purchased at an auction in Wilmington, and all of the mums were bought the day before the wedding at Garner Farm in Newport.  The bar, another awesome creation by my parents, was an eye-catching focal point of the reception.

So much of the wedding was DIY, but we did bring in a favorite DJ, Bryan Hales of CK Entertainment who actually DJed OUR wedding back in 2010.  His wife, Tabetha, owner of Hales Bakery, did an absolutely fantastic job on the cake and cupcakes.  

The ceremony was officiated beautifully by Emily (yes, the same one who also helped us setup all day Friday and helped clean everything up on Sunday!), our youngest sister acted as Maid of Honor and Chris' aunt was able to stand by his side as "groomsmaid."  (P.S.  You may spot our little cousin, Bodie, who has taken up an interest in photography - we recently gifted him with what was my very first DSLR and one of our old lenses, and he has since expanded his gear bag to include more lenses...naturally, he wanted to take part in helping shoot the wedding!)

On this day we welcomed not only Chris into our family (and he is an awesome brother in law), but also his sweet, spunky daughter Autumn (maybe we're a bit excited about having a niece to spoil).  She provided one of our favorite photo opportunities all day when she plopped down in her big fluffy tulle dress and devoured a cupcake after a long wedding day.  Mostly because it perfectly portrayed how I think we all felt - exhausted but so happy with how it all turned out in the end.  Oh, and really craving a cupcake.  :)