Bethany & Lucas | Swiftwater Cellars Wedding Photographer

swiftwater cellars at suncadia is one of those absolutely breathtaking venues. you drive up and there's a wow factor for sure, with the winery nestled in the hills and a stellar view to boot. it served as the perfect backdrop for a bethany and lucas' absolutely stunning wedding day in september. 

it was such an honor to photograph this wedding. a beautiful couple. gorgeous fall weather. deep, rich tones. golden light. a super fun wedding party. and enchanting reception in a swiftwater's wine cellar. it was all a treat to behold. 

bethany and lucas bring out the very best in each other and in those around them. it was a celebration of great love, one that every one in attendance won't soon forget. 

congratulations, you two. what an incredible day it was.

Our Wedding | April 26, 2014

it's been forever, i know. half a year since our wedding day. the truth is, i've had our wedding in the blogging queue for months but i felt like every thing i wanted to say about that perfect day sounded so contrived. how is one supposed to share all the emotion, the truth, and the wonder of your own wedding day? well, you just do it. and you let the photos speak volumes. it turns out that blogging and telling the story about our own wedding is far more difficult than blogging and telling the story of my clients' wedding days. when it happens to you, it's a bit harder to talk about. it's difficult to put into words the feelings from that day. but...better late than never, right? 

looking back on that day after 6 months of being married, we know that our wedding day dreams came true on that spring day, april 26, 2014, in chicago. every inch of planning had culminated to a few blissful days in the windy city with our community surrounding us. we rented a vacation home and invited all of our bridal party to stay with us in that two story house. having everyone around us at all moments during the weekend was a must. 

it's the most surreal feeling, when everyone that you care most deeply about in the world is in one place with you to celebrate with you. there is nothing more comforting, more happy, or more blissful that your own wedding day. 

some details about our day that made it completely us:

• billy wrote me 10 reasons why he can't wait for me to be his wife, 1 reason each day for 10 days leading up to our wedding day. he handed me reason #1 the morning of our wedding day with his wedding gift. he also wrote a letter to me the night he proposed that he kept all the way up to the night before our wedding. those little reasons and that letter will always be my most treasured items.

• my girls lined up to say "just wait til you see her" and we texted that little photo to billy to build up some anticipation.

• during our ceremony, we passed our rings up through our guests before they got to us. it was important to us that each and every guest was individually tied to our promises to each other. guests prayed and blessed our rings before we exchanged them.

• dear friends played very significant roles in pulling our day together - tiffany kim, my bridesmaid, sang "make you feel my love" while my dad accompanied her. kadie smith designed and handcrafted our guestbook. kelly goggins, bridesmaid, designed all of the programs, invitations, and menus. jenna farris, bridesmaid, hand wrote all of the place settings. mike smith and danny lampton were killer DJs. david butler, a long-time, dear family friend honored us so much by marrying us. it was so deeply important to us that our day purposefully included individuals who had played key roles in our relationship.

• during the reception, we were super proud to serve lamb & beef burgers to our guests, complete with gourmet toppings family style. have you ever had a burger at a wedding? we served various types of potatoes but our favorites were the sweet potato fries wrapped in cones made from pages from our college newspaper, "the breeze."

• we played "the kissing game" during our reception. if glasses were clinked, the djs would call out a couple that was at the wedding. they would have to kiss and however they chose to do it, we'd have to copy. it took the mundane out of clinking glasses and was entertaining for everyone.

• billy surprised the bridal party with our very own cookie skillet. if you know us, you know it's our very favorite dessert of all time. amazing.

• we served moscow mules (my favorite drink) and late night chicken and waffles. 

• in pittsburgh (where billy is from) there is a wedding tradition called the "cookie table." many friends and family of the bride and groom come together contribute a favorite cookie to the dessert table at the wedding reception. we had a cookie table at our wedding. and it was unreal. so thankful to everyone who helped and made that table a star element of the reception.

there were so many intricate details and moments that combined to make that entire day an expression of us as a couple. it was a day that belonged somewhere between perfection and total bliss. even after 6 months, i well up looking at the photos of that day. it all goes by in the blink of an eye and you can barely grasp a minute of it all. but it truly was the best day of our lives. with every minute richer than the last. we will forever be so grateful for all the participation, for all the hands on deck, for all of our glorious vendors, and for our families who committed so much of their time and resources to make this such a dream of a day for us.

and thank you a million times to marissa maharaj and rebecca read for capturing our day so effortlessly and with so much style. we will treasure these images for decades to come.

the wedding day itself was the most perfect celebration for us. but it is true what they say, it's so much more than that day. marriage after that day is about saying, "i do." it's about starting a life together. it's about all that you'll endure together in the days to come after the wedding day. it's about always saying yes to each other each one of those days. it's a promise to grow along with each other. it's about finding a love that casts out fear. because when you give all of yourself to that person, there's no more room to be afraid. all you can do is jump in and promise forever.