Bethany + John Michael - Alabama Wedding

I was so excited that Bethany and John Michael chose me to be their wedding photographer. Bethany is such a special person to me, and it's been wonderful to watch her fall in love with John Michael. I didn't meet John Michael until the day of the wedding, but I could immediately tell that he loves Bethany, and loves her two babies. I think their new life together will be filled with love. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Bethany's dress was so beautiful! I love seeing the different personalities that wedding dresses reflect. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Little River, being just like mommy and putting on make up in front of the mirror before photos. Luckily, she just played with the brushes and didn't actually try to apply any. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Bethany and John Michael didn't want to see each other before the wedding, but they wanted an opportunity to pray together. I love that these two took a moment to just be together with God before everything got hectic. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

She's so pretty!

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Journey did an excellent job walking his mom down the aisle. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Marry someone who looks at you like this. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

After making vows to Bethany, John Michael knelt down and spoke to Journey and River. It was a private moment, and we didn't hear what was said, but this moment got me right in the feeler. If this doesn't get you, you can't get got. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

The kids are suddenly disinterested. Haha!

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

The brand new family!

Stephanie Benge Photography | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

Carmen + Paul - Bristol, Virginia Wedding

I am going to freak out in adoration about everything in this blog post. I will use the phrase "I LOVE..." about a hundred times and I'm not going to apologize. Just know that I'm not over exaggerating at all. I've been known to do that, but I'm not doing that here - I promise. I legitimately love basically everything about this wedding. Can't help it. It was an awesome wedding - you'll see. Here we go.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

I was OBSESSED with Carmen's florals. I feel like no one is going to take me seriously here because I always say that I love the flowers at every single wedding. Every time I'm over here like I LOVE THE FLOWERS. This time I really mean it though. I LOVED her flowers.

Also her wedding band reminds me of mine and it made me smile.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

Paul's gifts to his groomsmen were so awesome. Also, PAUL set it all up like this - not me. He's so skilled, right?

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

CARMEN'S DRESS. It was so beautiful and so perfectly Carmen. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

I really love first looks, but some especially great. They were both so crazy happy to see each other. You might notice the wind was going a little nuts, but I feel like it adds to the moment. Being swept up in each other's love! Is that cheesy? That's cheesy. I don't care. Going with it.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

Honestly, this photo isn't my typical style at all. There were several photos of Carmen and Paul's wedding that had me thinking that's not really how I usually do things, but I took this incredible wedding as an opportunity to try to expand my horizons. This image is essentially just an accident. I was testing my light and they were just waiting on me, but I really like it. They are being blown around and yet it looks really calm and peaceful. Thoughts?

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

The last time I took photos of Carmen and Paul we were all sweating through our clothes in the Tennessee summer humidity. This time they were snuggled up keeping each other warm. You can't tell, but it was pretty chilly outside. I love cuddly pictures though, and I don't think they cared.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

Again, the wind was in full force that day, but doesn't she have the PERFECT dress for wind?

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

I LOVE mismatched bridesmaids dresses. I want everyone to do this for forever. Carmen gave all of the girls these shawls as gifts and we decided to use them for photos since it was cold outside. I love the look of it.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, VA

Carmen potted succulents to line the aisle with and I thought they looked so cool. First, this was something I hadn't seen before which always gets me pumped up. I see a lot of the same stuff going to as many weddings as I do. These were so unique and again - so Carmen.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia

This moment GOT me, you guys. I was just snapping photos and sobbing into the back of my camera. Don't mind me.

Every wedding I've shot has included a prayer. It's a super common thing. What's significantly less common is praying with vulnerability and intimacy. Prayer is something we tend to do so casually that we forget the connection that comes with it. I think prayer is supposed to be raw and real and emotional. I think scripture talks about prayer in this way with imagery of people kneeling, tearing their clothes, raising their hands to the sky, being anointed with oil, etc. In the modern church world we tend to just bow our heads and get it done, but we miss an essential piece of prayer by doing that. Prayer becomes (in my mind) more meaningful when you do it with another person and acknowledge that by touching them. It's vulnerable and intimate to "lay hands" on someone. I thought it was so special that the people closest to Carmen and Paul physically acknowledged the blessing on their marriage. More people should do this.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia

As their unity ceremony Carmen and Paul planted a plant together with soils collected from all of the different significant locations in their relationship. SO COOL. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia

Another one that's not really "my style" that I ended up loving.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia
Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia

We'll end on this note: these two being adorable and in love.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer | Bristol, Virginia

VENDORS

Venue, Catering, Lodging, Reception Floral
The Olde Farm (Lori Boggs and Marc Eubanks)

Videography
Genesis Media Solutions (Chris & Kenda Germain)

Reception DJ
Sound Extreme Entertainment (Steven Harris)

Ceremony Music/Cocktail Hour Music
Beth Snapp

Bouquets & Floral Crown
Connie Timmons

Terrariums - DIY Carmen's sister, Naomi Huffman

Homemade Pies/Caramels - DIY Carmen's Family  

Groom/Groomsmen Attire
Turtleson

Bride's Dress
Marie Gabriel

Hair + Makeup
Lashes & Lace (Haley Cason)

Bride's Jewelry
Homegrown Silver and Stone

Zach + Stephanie | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel Wedding

It was such an honor to work with Stephanie and Zach on their wedding day! The day was all about love, fun, and creating a new family with Stephanie, Zach, and Zach's sweet daughter. Everyone was so sweet and relaxed all day and it couldn't have gone better!

Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding

Doesn't Stephanie look so "old Hollywood" here? I love it.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Lows Vanderbilt Hotel
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel | Centennial Park
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel | Centennial Park
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel | Centennial Park
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel | Centennial Park
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Loews Vanderbilt Hotel | Centennial Park
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Ruby Nashville Wedding | Tennessee Wedding Photographer

VENDORS

Rental company - Liberty Party Rental
Coordinator - Amanda Kelly
Floral Design - Cottonwood Floral by Abbigail Curtis
Catering - Chuy's
Cake - Short Cakes Cakery
Venue - Ruby
Bartending - Details Nashville
DJ - Jeff Tunks
Bridal dress- Glitz Bridal
Suits - Menswarehouse
Hair - Kaylan Bodewig
Makeup - Salon West, Chelsea Coker
Photography - Stephanie Benge Photography

Kerry + Jose - Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

I mentioned in my preview post a little bit about my trip to Cincinnati. I ate some awesome food and had my first experience at an airbnb. All of that was great, but let's talk about the real reason I was there - THIS WEDDING! 

I remember seeing Kerry at a wedding I photographed last year. At that wedding reception I remember thinking that girl is so pretty, and she looks like she is having so much fun. I wanted to be her friend. Only a a little while later I received an email from her that she'd gotten engaged and was looking for a wedding photographer! I first met Jose when I traveled to Louisville, KY for their engagement session last fall. You can see that session HERE. What I learned at their engagement session is that these two are so kind and sweet... and they are awesome dancers.

On the day of their wedding the forecast predicted rain for all day. I obsessively refreshed my weather app to see if anything had changed. It was amazing. Right as I arrived at the hotel (in the rain) the weather app said that the chance of rain was greatly reduced during the two times of day we would need to be outside. AMAZING.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

This wedding was my first ever Catholic mass! Like lots of people, I was raised in an certain religious group and I'm still practicing that faith today. I think it's so interesting (and so important) to see how people of different faiths and different denominations go about worshiping God. There's so much we can learn from our differences. It was a great experience. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

The way these two look at each other!

Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

Perfect rainless sky. Perfect time of day. Perfect newlyweds. Perfect.

Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

Doesn't she look great?

Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

I loved the toasts at this wedding. Jose's brother delivered his speech in English and Spanish, so that everyone could understand. It occurred to me how amazing it is that people can be family and be celebrating the same moment with the same amount of joy and enthusiasm and not even speak the same language. 

Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer
Stephanie Benge Photography | Cincinnati Wedding Photographer