First Christian Church of Watkinsville | Athens, GA | March 16, 2019
I met Rachel and Jake for a consultation last fall at one of their favorite Greek restaurants in Gwinnett. I was referred to them by a good photographer friend of mine, Claire Diana, who is based out of Athens. She was unable to do their wedding, so she passed my name along to Rachel and Jake; and boy am I ever glad she did! I had such a great time at their consultation and knew that we clicked immediately. They told me by the end of the consultation that they wanted to book me for their March wedding.
We met for their engagement session in November in the middle of the crazy rainy season we had! We had to reschedule their session once, almost twice in order to make it happen because of the rain; but it worked out perfectly, because the leaves had changed colors at the best time for their engagement pictures. I had so much fun getting to hang out with them again at the engagement session and see how sweet the two of them were together. They told me that they were waiting to kiss until their wedding day, so their engagement session was one with sweet cheek and nose kisses, but nothing on the lips! They are my second couple do have never kissed before their wedding day, so I HAD to make sure to get the kiss the day of, because they said “I do” and kissed, it was for the very first time!
Rachel and Jake met as Civil War reenactors and were friends before they started courting. I’ve had lots of different ways my couples have met before including random chance encounters at Five Guys, but never as Civil War reenactors! I love it, especially because I’m a history nerd having taught Georgia History for 7 years.
I love all of the special touches of their day that Rachel and Jake included. Rachel’s dress is vintage and was altered herself and one of her bridesmaids, Jessie. She did all the repairs on the dress! I mean, come on! How cool is that?! She even made her engagement session dress she wore for their pictures. Rachel an Jake are one of the sweetest Christian couples I know. They love the Lord with all of their hearts and their lives are 100% focused on the Lord and glorifying Him. They incorporated a handful of really awesome Old Testament traditions into their ceremony. The Tallits for the Chuppah are Rachel’s parents’ and her Dad built the canopy.
After the ceremony, we headed to Trumps Catering in Athens for a fun afternoon of food and dancing. Rachel and Jake choreographed and practiced their first dance. I was very impressed with Jake’s ability to pick up Rachel in the air above his head and twirl her around a couple of times. Everyone had a blast, and we laughed pretty hard when Rachel threw the bouquet so hard into the ceiling that it hit and fell down to the ground!
Rachel and Jake opted to forego a First Look, so instead, we went to UGA’s North Campus after the reception for some couple portraits. I love it when my couples do this. It works out when the wedding is a little earlier in the day and ends and hour or two before sunset. Last year, I went with Adriana and Houston to Piedmont Park after their reception was over for portraits of the two of them. It gives us a chance to not feel rushed and get some awesome portraits of my couples. Rachel’s sister, Kathryn, is an alum of UGA, so she came with us and helped give us some “insider info” on some cool places to take pictures. I absolutely love their after-reception portraits!
Congratulations to Rachel and Jake. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your special day. I truly loved getting to be a part of it all! And special thanks to Evie for joining; and Sarah, my fabulous mentee, who joined me for her last wedding with Mandi Mitchell Photography.
Rachel surprised Jake with their names and wedding date etched into the inside of the ring. Jake had no idea! Rachel and Jake did a private moment of reading notes to each other before the ceremony. And then Rachel had a sweet moment with her parents. All three were in tears after reading Rachel’s sweet note. FIRST KISS! 🙂 Impressive lift! Sweet laughter with Daddy! Granny having a blast! Oooops! Portrait time at UGA! This is one of the spots I wouldn’t have known about or seen if Kathryn hadn’t been with us! The Redbud Trees had just bloomed and matched PERFECTLY with Rachel’s bouquet! I love this shot so much! I was excited about the symmetry and that I could close the door behind them to make it look perfect!