06.01.13 {Part 1: Diary of a Former Bride} | Stephanie Michelle | Hampton Roads Beauty and Boudoir Photographer

06.01.13 {Part 1: Diary of a Former Bride}

I don’t even know where to start with this post. First, I can’t believe we’re married! After 14 months of being engaged, it’s insane to think that the wedding has already passed! There are so many thoughts I have, so many things I would have changed, so many things I’m so glad we did…if I went through it all now, I doubt anyone would make it through the post! Β So, I’m going to do a series of posts! Since I’m a wedding photographer, I think it’s only right that I share my experience and tips I have to share after having gone through it all.

So the first installment of ‘Diary of a Former Bride’ will just be a happy recap of our beautiful day! πŸ™‚ Just because I want to relive it all. πŸ™‚

06.01.13 ended up being a beautiful day! It was a bit hot, but nothing unbearable! Β I don’t think we could have asked for a better day, honestly. All of our friends and family were there. Seriously, we had so many people travel from out of town….I was floored by all the love and support we received. I couldn’t have imagined it without them. As everyone warns, the day flew by, and before we knew it, we were on the plane to Hawaii! I wasn’t complaining, but I certainly wish we could have slowed down time for our wedding. And of course there were hiccups along the way, but it all worked out, and most importantly…we didn’t let anything take us away from being present for the day.

All photographs provided by our wedding photographer: Carrie Holbo Photography.


I made this birdcage veil for about $10 and LOVED it!









Diana Huff is amaaazing! I absolutely love what she did with my hair!


My maid of honor looking too pretty! πŸ™‚ I asked her to tone it down, so I could be the star of the show. πŸ˜‰



I couldn’t even imagine what Calvin was going to do for his wedding gift to me…I have to say, he hit it out of the park with the sweetest card and note and the engraved frame with our wedding date and the quote from a fortune cookie he received just before we got engaged (he put the fortune in the ring box when he proposed, too).. It’s “Stop searching forever, happiness is right next to you” … πŸ™‚ I got a winner, even the fortune cookie knew it! πŸ™‚ Oh and he also got me a pair of pearl earrings, which was quite convenient, because I had forgotten my earrings for the wedding!! I’m not sure how I did that, but I was more than happy to be able to wear those pearls that day. πŸ™‚


Ugly, trying not to cry face… ha









Calvin opening up his gift….I’ll share more of this later. πŸ™‚



Heyyyy boy. πŸ™‚


I never envisioned doing a first look at our wedding, I almost didn’t know what to do walking up to him…it felt so unreal! But needless to say, it was a great decision to do…for many reasons! I loved that we got to spend that moment together, just he and I. (Yes, with the camera snapping away discreetly) But it was the one time we got to ourselves that day, I’ll cherish that moment almost more than any other time that day, except when he read his vows. πŸ™‚







I LOVED my bouquet! A family friend of ours did an amazing job putting together exactly what I envisioned! PLUS, my grandma brought those pink peonies from her garden…in OHIO…and our florist was so kind to work them in to my bouquet. That meant so much to me!







My little nephew, Ronnie, was our ring bearer…he took his job SO seriously and did a perfect job. At a time when I was a little stressed out, he showed up in the room where I was waiting at the church to let me know that my ring would be on the left, and his would be on the right…before proudly marching out of the room, then turning at the doorway to say, “You got it, right, Aunt Steph?!” Β Thank goodness for that cute little guy. πŸ™‚


Our ceremony… πŸ™‚ <3 This photo is deceiving because that’s not where Calvin was at the moment that photo on the left was taken. :/ But, once I met him at the end of the aisle…our ceremony was absolutely beautiful! More than I could have ever asked for.


When the pastor asked who was giving me away, he hesitated…for a moment I was confused. Did he forget his words?! “Her mother and I” that’s not that difficult! But then I quickly realized, he couldn’t get the words out. …And I think that’s about the time I completely lost it. Calvin too. Oh and Brandi (the one back there wiping her face) she beat us all to the punch, crying her way down the aisle! πŸ™‚




The vows. <3 By far the best decision we made for our wedding. I’m so glad I pushed for us to write our own vows. It meant so much more to me to hear the words that Calvin wrote himself and the promises that he wanted to make to me. Of course, I’m planning some kind of art project so we can be reminded of the vows we made to eachother everyday.




I believe this is when he attempted to put the ring on my finger…we were both confused because it wasn’t fitting…then I realized it was because he was attempting to put it on my right hand!! Oh nerves…


First kiss actionnn! πŸ™‚


On to the reception! Honestly, everything’s a blur after the ceremony…I tend to be somewhat introverted. I like small groups and interacting one on one, so this was very overwhelming for me! We’re so lucky to have so many wonderful family and friends who made the trip to be with us, I wish I could have spent more time with everyone!


This is exactly why I LOVE the Planter’s Club! It’s so light and airy…exactly how I pictured our wedding being.





We did our first dance to Joshua Radin’s “You Got What I Need”. Β I love acoustic music and it fit perfectly for our acoustic musician, Derek Smith, to play live at the reception.



Father/daughter & Mother/son dances! I really thought I would be a mess for this, but I think it’s safe to say that by then, I was emotionally drained! I was just ready to enjoy the party! πŸ™‚



My gorgeous sorority sisters that traveled from Ohio to be here. <3 I have such amazing friends, I’m so thankful for them!


Ohh the bouquet toss. πŸ™‚ My maid of honor, Brandi, literally leaped to get the bouquet! I think we were all stunned/confused/surprised by her eagerness to hopefully be the next one to marry! πŸ™‚


Congratulations, Brandi. Now get on it! I’m ready for another wedding! πŸ™‚


Ohh Calvin, so proud that he found the garter!






Finally, of course we got a few sunset photos. πŸ™‚


Stay tuned in the coming weeks for even more details about the wedding, DIY projects I did, and tips on how to plan the perfect wedding!

Thank you to all of our vendors that were involved!

Church: Beech Grove United Methodist
Reception: Planter’s Club
Day of Wedding Coordinator: Mary Cook
Makeup: Rachel Reid Makeup Artistry
Hair: Diana Huff
Florist: Beth Smith (family friend)
Videography: Nuvoria
Acoustic Guitarist: Derek Smith
DJ/Photo Booth: Astro Entertainment
Catering: A-Rea’s
Cake: Mary Me Cakes


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  1. Stephanie, these are simply stunning. You did an amazing job creating your dream wedding. Congratulations to you and Calvin!

seduce yourself.