Venessa & Mike – 07.24.10

I’m just going to set the scene here by, once again, letting you know that we’re still in the middle of a crazy heat-wave. I am signed up to receive severe weather updates from the county, and yesterday’s warning stated that “prolonged periods of extreme temperatures will occur,” and that we could expect a heat index of 110 degrees! BUT, during Venessa and Mike’s wedding yesterday, the temperature didn’t feel terrible to me, strangely enough. I absolutely adore Venessa and Mike, and would have been honored to photograph their wedding in 110 degree heat or 30 degrees below zero. The occasion was as sweet and as fun as I expected it to be! Onto the photos…

I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped when I saw Venessa’s dress out of the bag. The beading was just exquisite.

Reviewing the vows that she wrote:

In lieu of melting before the ceremony even started, I offered to do some portraits of Venessa inside, to which she jokingly replied something like, “Might as well – this is the best I’m going to look all day!” But I have to respectfully disagree, because Venessa looked this gorgeous All. Day. Long. I’m not even exaggerating.

And actually, both Venessa and Mike looked amazing the whole time! Case in point, these next two were actually taken after the ceremony:

The ceremony was one of the sweetest I’ve ever witnessed. Lots of family, and lots of cute kids:

The lawn at Overhills Mansion provided a bit of shade, and with the breeze and some paper fans provided by Venessa and Mike for their guests, the temperature was actually bearable.

My absolute favorite part of the ceremony was the ring warming – each member of the bridal party and all of the parents held the rings in a special satchel, and provided their blessings for Venessa and Mike’s marriage. It was incredibly touching to witness.

Venessa and Mike also wrote their own vows to each other (which were just so wonderful), and they did a Celtic hand-fasting as well, which all made the ceremony just so personal and lovely.After the ceremony, we did a quick few portraits and then went inside to enjoy the reception (and the air conditioning!).

The reception details were so fun and reflective of one of Venessa and Mike’s favorite pastimes: games!

The escort card-holders were adorned with dice, and the cake (made by a very talented friend/guest!) had a chess piece theme:

The reception had the usual elements like a sweet first dance…

Hilarious and slightly embarrassing toasts…

Cake cutting…

And lots of dancing. (I’m going somewhere with this, hang on!)

But it also included karaoke performances!

And a truly amazing choreographed dance by the bride and groom! I was BLOWN AWAY by their talent. When I was reviewing their schedule before the wedding, I saw the performance listed as a special surprise and I couldn’t have been more excited. But I had no idea they would be THAT amazing! Like, it made me want to put down my camera and watch, and that’s saying something. I hope someone posts it on youtube soon!

I loved seeing the guests’ reactions to their performance:

Here’s everyone!

And I’ll leave you with this last shot that my fantastic second-shooter and guest photographer for the day, Emily Goodstein, captured – check out Venessa’s get-away dress! Red HOT:

Venessa and Mike – what can I say?! I knew your wedding was going to be so amazing, and it was beyond my expectations. You were both such gracious hosts, and I had a wonderful time celebrating and documenting this day with you. All the best for a lifetime of happiness to you both!

  • Jill MyersJuly 25, 2010 - 7:20 pm

    Beautiful work, Susan! Everyone looks so happy….

  • theresachoiJuly 25, 2010 - 9:19 pm

    What a sweet wedding and you captured it beautifully! I love the ring warming idea, how unique! :)

  • Rachael PriceJuly 25, 2010 - 10:01 pm

    You are an INCREDIBLE photographer! I wish I’d known about you for my wedding way back in ’96. V has never looked more beautiful (and that’s saying something) and your pictures incredibly capture the awesomness that her wedding was. She is so lucky to have found you.

    Gorgeous pictures and you did an incredibly awesome job! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

  • AndreaJuly 26, 2010 - 9:03 am

    Ohh!!! Beauuuutiful!! I love all the colors in these shots! I can’t believe it was really that hot this day, because you can’t tell at all! You’re incredible…my fav is their surprise dance picture!

  • MeganJuly 26, 2010 - 7:39 pm

    These photos are absolutely stunning. Venessa is one of my favorite people in the whole world, and even though I wasn’t there your photos brought the whole event to life. Just wonderful. Thank you for sharing these with those of us who couldn’t be there. :)

  • Sandra GadsdenJuly 28, 2010 - 4:47 pm

    You are an amazing photographer! Your assistant was also fantastic! I can’t wait to see all of the shots from the entire day. I hope you also do portrait work for the future!

  • Venessa and MikeJuly 28, 2010 - 9:33 pm

    Just taking a break from our fun in the sun to tell you (and Emily!) what an honor it was for us to have you as our wedding photographer. As a matter of fact, we were a little conflicted over it – you’ve been a friend to us from the beginning, and could easily have fit in among our cherished guests. The photographs are just so beautiful – we get emotional just looking at them! Thank you again for sharing your unbelievable talent with us, and hopefully our wedding won’t be the last time we get together!

    Much love, Venessa & Mike

  • Edward DanielsJuly 28, 2010 - 9:47 pm

    These photos are awesome. Congrats again Venessa & Michael! Such a fun time and these photos capture some great & genuinely happy moments! Yay!

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