Phew, I am going to have a hard time finding the words to describe how incredible Gabi & Trey’s wedding day was. From the moment I met these two back in February for their engagement session, I knew they were special. Their love story was inspiring and romantic, and the way they interacted in front of my camera was as if I wasn’t even there (I LOVE when my couples just get lost in each other like that). After meeting them and hearing their hearts, I knew their wedding was going to be amazing. Add in the fact that their ceremony and reception would be held at a vineyard on top of mountain, and you have a photographer’s wedding day DREAM.
As a local to the North Carolina coast, it’s rare that I get the opportunity to shoot in the mountains. In fact, this was my first time shooting a wedding anywhere west of Raleigh! I had no clue where I was going most of the weekend, and my GPS often stopped working. However, the up side was that it allowed for us (my second shooter, Kelsey, & my assistant, Morgan, and I) to explore and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Luckily our Google maps got us to the location on schedule for the actual wedding day. The roads were windy and steep, but we finally made it to the top of the mountain to arrive at Longleaf Vineyard. All of our jaws dropped to the floor when we got a glimpse of the views, and we knew we were in for a spectacular day.
Gabi and I had stayed in touch over the last several months, texting and getting together every once in a while. Not only did she become a sweet friend of mine, but I also heard about all of her plans and her vision for the wedding day. So I knew how much thought went into every single decision which made photographing the tiny details of the day that much more special. To see her vision come to life on the day of was so incredible–because it turned out better than we ever could have imagined.
Some things I have learned about Gabi & Trey over the last several months are that they love each other unconditionally, they love wine and enjoying it together, and most of all– they have chosen to always put God at the center of their marriage. And that is really all you need, right? When I listened to Gabi read the letter she had written for Trey, I couldn’t stop crying. Her words were so beautiful…referencing how she would dream of this day when she was a little girl but didn’t know who the man waiting for her at the end of the aisle would be until she met Trey. And then we heard the counterpart, Trey’s words that he wrote to Gabi, promising to love her forever and to always consider it a privilege to be her husband. They also exchanged gifts — a beautiful gold pendant necklace for Gabi, and a watch & handkerchief for Trey (which had the lyrics of the song they would later dance to for the first time as husband & wife — Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheran).
Then it was time for the “I – Do’s.” Both Trey and Gabi’s father held back tears when they saw her make her dramatic entrance to the ceremony. She smiled down the aisle to meet her groom at the altar which overlooked the most gorgeous green vineyard and magnificent blue mountains. I love when couples decide to personalize their ceremonies, so it was really cool that Trey’s best man/best friend, Aaron, was the officiant! He did an excellent job with the entire ceremony. It was beautiful and heart-felt, and included vows that Gabi & Trey had written together.
They were surrounded by their families and closest friends, and you could just feel how much these two were loved. The rest of the night was a stunning celebration with a delicious meal, cake, beer, and obviously wine (at a vineyard, duh). The reception danced the night away with a live band and glow sticks when the sun started to go down. It was certainly one of those weddings that I was sad to leave when it came time…I didn’t want my time with this couple to end! But luckily it doesn’t have to…because I love nothing more than staying friends with my brides and grooms and getting to witness their marriage flourish and their love grow even more.
Thank you so much, Gabi & Trey, for inviting me into this sacred day. You love is an inspiration to all of us and I am so honored that I had the opportunity to photograph a glimpse of it. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for your lives and I hope you have the most amazing time on your honeymoon!! Love you so much!
The amazing vendor lineup:
Photography: Chelsea Allegra
Venue: Longleaf Vineyard
Planner/Coordinator: Carolina Love Events
Florist: Blue Ridge Blooms
Gown: New York Bride & Groom
Caterer/Bakery: Verbena Cakes & Catering
Reception Band: East Coast Entertainment