Katie + JT, Cape Charles, VA | Wedding

Today's blog post is a game changer. 

It's beautiful and sweet, heartfelt and joy-filled. The photos are dreamy and Katie's commentary gives us all kinds of behind-the-scenes info on planning a different kind of destination wedding. As she puts it, she wanted guests to "feel like they were at some seaside getaway, like they were on vacation and enjoying a night out with good friends they hadn't seen in years." ....LOVE. Love love love. I have had so much fun going over the photos and stories that went into creating this blog post and it makes me so happy to be able to share everything with you today--so lets get started!

(read more about Katie and JT by checking out their engagement post)

A wedding's "theme" isn't necessarily tied to it's decor. Some weddings are traditional and sweet, some weddings are low key and rustic--Katie and JT's wedding was romantic. A seaside venue, roses, peonies, candlelight and crystal. They incorporated more than a dozen vintage heirlooms without an ounce of "stuffy" or "old". Instead, the pieces felt timeless and classy--and honored, "people that we loved deeply or had huge impacts on our lives." Watch for them in the pictures (my favorite is her grandmother's Bible which Katie carried down the aisle!). 

Their wedding day began like something out of the 1920s: the groomsmen, dressed and awaiting further instructions, decided to play a round of croquet. The bridesmaids, in their monogramed button-downs, surprised Katie with a box of encouraging letters they'd each written for her on this big day. Also in the box was a letter from her groom; Katie had gifted JT a journal which he opened before their first look. One thing that stuck out through the entire morning was how laid back everyone was! Zero drama, zero stress. Katie's explanation? 

 "I've been in 29 weddings and I feel like I have seen the gamut of wedding stress, details gone wrong, and emotional roller coasters. We had a wedding later in the day and I was so thankful for that. It was so great to take the day eating, laughing, drinking and resting with my family and bridesmaids. I loved that we were all in the same place, doing hair and makeup, praying, giggling and enjoying the day. I was so thankful to soak up those moments and to trust in the people I had asked to setup the wedding."

As a photographer, I love this! Photos of a carefree bride are always the most beautiful. But how do you plan a wedding well enough that you can actually sit back and enjoy the day? "Google Docs." :) And of course, regardless of planning, Katie's advice is to remember the reason why you are having a wedding:

"Its to celebrate the love that was bound together by the Lord. To share all of this with all of your friends and family. Don't get lost in making it "pinterest perfect" or what will impress others because truly no one will remember if the bows were tied perfectly."


As the morning turned into afternoon, the grey clouds turned into light rain. The ceremony set up was moved off of the grass and under the covered deck. And as the ceremony started, the light rain turned into a full on monsoon. I'm pretty sure it was bordering on a hurricane. At one point in the ceremony, as the wind bent trees over sideways behind us, an employee (of the venue) pulled me aside and said, "You guys need to think about moving this indoors" Ha! Like I am going to make that call. 

Katie's thoughts on the ceremony: "...it was funny, shared our faith intimately, was romantic and felt so honest and real. I'm so thankful, we wanted to share our faith and how much fun we have honoring God."

We all survived the storm and made it to their seaside getaway reception! The tabletops were elegant and DIY-free.  I quickly became obsessed with their tiered, monochromatic wedding cake! So timeless and uncomplicated--I love it. Another awesome detail of their wedding? They set up a Polaroid guest book. It was a hit! Guests had so much fun snapping polaroids and writing notes to the bride and groom. If you're planning a wedding right now--definitely look into doing this!

Such a fun, fun wedding. Thank you, everyone who made this wedding so magical! Katie and JT, you two deserve all the very, very best. Thank you for letting me photograph your wedding day! I had an amazing second shooter, Eva Fuze, who I have to thank as well (she should also move to Georgia). Final thoughts to leave you with come from Katie:

I pray that everyone experiences this joy of getting to be loved and cared for. I pray they rest and then walk down an aisle and see the love of your life staring back at them with tears in their eyes, it feels like nothing bad or sad could ever happen again. Even if its a monsoon it just feels quiet and right, and oh so fun. I pray that when people read this blog they would be excited, not stressed for their wedding. It honestly was the best day of my life, and I always thought because of all those previous weddings I would just think "its just another wedding this time its just mine, with all the stress and drama" and I'm so very thankful it wasn't it was special and different and the best.

Love it. Thanks everyone! 

Lydia Phillips

athens, GA, USA