Caroline and Ed are some of the most interesting people we know! They are both biologists who study birds and met on a bird research project in the Arizona National Forest, when they happened to set up meals across from each other in the Kitchen Tent.

Ed tells their story and the process of falling in love with his Caroline so beautifully, I couldn’t leave it out of this blog post!:

“Caroline and I met while working together on a bird research project in central Arizona. Since she applied to this job on her own volition, and we would be spending the next 4 months camped as a group in the forest, I knew from the onset that we shared a lot in common. However, it was our good fortune that by coincidence of arriving later than most our coworkers, we ended up sitting across from each other in the cook-tent, which allowed us to enjoy great conversation over our passion for birds, our goals in life, and simply appreciate each other’s company. I quickly developed a fondness for Caroline and she and I spent most of our free time together that summer.

After the Arizona field season ended, we decided to embark on a vacation traveling various national parks in Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The trip was a blast, but it was our joint decision to backpack the 72-mile “Highline Trail” across the Uinta Mountains, which cemented in my mind that Caroline, was special. We subsisted mainly on bread with peanut-butter, Nutella, or jelly, mixing it up with macaroni for dinners while camping in wonderfully, remote alpine wilderness. We endured some terrifying thunderstorms above the treeline in which we cowered under our ponchos close to the ground while being pummeled by marble-sized hail, yet she didn’t complain. But it was the jubilation I felt each day simply being with Caroline while doing something we both loved (Caroline discovered during this trip, her first time backpacking, how wonderful it could be), which made the trip terrific, and let me appreciate how much I cared for her.”

These two have accomplished SO much coolness in their lives, separately and together. For example, Ed thru-hiked the 2,175 mile Appalachain Trail in 2006. He finished FIRST at the 2015 Ghosts of Yellowstone 100 in Montana (that’s 100 miles, guys). He also ‘enjoyed’ his bachelor party with his best man running a 50k just earlier this year! (I emphasis ‘enjoyed’ with sarcasm because.. c’mon.. how is running 50k enjoyable??). Let’s talk about Caroline! She has lived and worked on 4 continents, has driven across the USA alone 6 times (I can barely make it to South Carolina before dying of boredom!), and also took a 4 week tour of Europe on her own visiting 3 countries.  Together, they backpacked the 72 mile Highline Trail across the Uinta Mountains and most recently, they completed a 4 or 5 month research project in the Island of Borneo, between Malaysia and Indonesia. These two are unstoppable!

Their wedding day in Tyner, NC was a perfect reflection of their love of nature as they celebrated in the backyard of the home Caroline grew up in. Their tables and bouquets were adorned with Farm grown flowers from Yeopim Flowers Farm and everything about their wedding day celebrated them and their families.  

They have since settled into Maine where they will begin their next set of adventures together in the bird research industry and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!

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Floral Designer // Yeopim Flowers

Catering // Montero’s, Elizabeth City

Cake Artist // Sugarland, Chapel Hill

DJ // Taz-2 Productions

Wedding Dress // BHLDN

Rental Company // Distinctive Event Rentals

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Right now as I type this, Jerry is in the first few hours of his new career!!

Don’t worry, he will still be shooting weddings with me too :)

Until now Jerry has been in the construction and remodel industry as an Interior Designer for Lowes, specializing in Kitchen and Bath remodels.  He is amazing at it. But despite his extensive experience in construction and his joy of building and remodeling, his heart the last few years has been aching to take a different direction.

If you have followed Jerry’s story over the last few years then you likely know about his angels, his kiddos, Hudson and Leila.  Hudson and Leila, 3 years apart in age, were both born with a genetic brain disease called Batten’s that eventually claimed them to heaven in 2014.

They began their lives as normal kids. Talking. Running. Playing. But around age 4 for both of them, the seizures began and their speech and motor function started to decline.  With the instruction and help of special needs mentors and professionals, Jerry started implementing therapies at home that would help preserve their motor skills and speech, and keep their brains exercised as much as possible throughout the slow decline that Batten’s would take on them. He loved seeing the difference these methods would make on his kids!

When they passed away in 2014, Jerry knew immediately he would love to work with special needs children somehow, maybe through the Special Education program at the school that Hudson and Leila attended.  He inquired with them about a career there but of course a degree in special education would be a necessity and our lives at that time were not conducive to going back to school for a degree.  So the thought of a career in helping Special Needs children was on the back burner.

Fast forward to early 2016 as we grow closer and closer to some of our most favorite people in the universe – our friends Heather & Jared!  Heather, alongside her career as a wedding photographer with her husband Jared, is a Behavioral Therapist and works for a company specializing in assisting children with Autism.

In describing her job there and the joys she gets from connecting with these children and witnessing their milestones of progress, Jerry knew immediately he wanted IN.  After a lot of prayer about making this career change and so many doors opening for him to be able to do this, we knew exactly where God was leading him.

Last week, after months of preparation, Jerry passed his exam and is now a Registered Behavioral Therapist! Beginning today he will be working with children primarily diagnosed with Autism and helping them learn and develop in speech, education and life skills.

Just to clarify, our wedding photography business will remain the same! We will still be shooting weddings together and with this new work schedule having him home earlier each day, he will actually be able to accompany me to more of our engagement and bridal sessions too :)

I am SO so proud of this man of mine and his huge heart and desire to honor his kids and to be a blessing to other families in an effort to pay forward for all the blessings he received from so many others who helped him with Hudson and Leila.

But more so than my pride for him – I know without a doubt that Hudson and Leila are the most proud of their Dad!

Here are some photos we took in September of 2013 with Jerry, Hudson and Leila. Hudson is 8 here and Leila, 5:

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  • August 15, 2016 - 2:38 pm

    Kim Johnson - Wow. You are amazing parents. These photos say it all. May God Bless You and your children rest in peace. Your journey is one for telling. Maybe, after your adventure as a therapist with the kids you can write a book. Thank you for your service to those who need it. You will be rewarded tenfold I’m sure.ReplyCancel

Tuesday evening we spent the most memorable time celebrating local talent and meeting new faces at the North Eastern NC Wedding Pro’s Summer Soiree hosted by Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers.  We enjoyed tappas created by Jon and Erica of Patricia’s Grille, all of which were made from locally sourced foods, and Sangria which too was made from local wine and fruit!

From the moment we began planning our soiree, we knew that the underlying theme to our event was to showcase the multitude of talents and resources that this small area has to offer.  As we began brainstorming, designing and gathering beautiful elements and securing talented people to help bring this event to life, we decided that with all we had planned we should probably utilize every bit of it twice and create a wedding styled shoot with it all too!

Husband and Wife Wedding Videographer duo (and some of our very bestest friends!) Stacey and Bobby Layden of Layden Films were able to model their cute selves for us as a bride and groom at the site of our soiree the night before the event.  We brought out all the decor and set up the lovely maypole just for them!

Sybil adorned Stacey with a floral sash and garter (that garter though!!), flowers in her hair and a knock out bouquet, all picked fresh from her flower farm.

The maypole was definitely the center of attention for our shoot and created the most spectacular backdrop! Can you imagine a wedding ceremony taking place within those gorgeous ribbons!?

The evening was lovely and our Soiree the following night was such a fantastic celebration of collaboration and community between all of the wedding professionals in our area! Thank you to everyone who was a part of our summer beautifulness whether donating your talents or visiting as friends! We are so grateful for all of you!

Florals and Venue // Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers

Models // Bobby and Stacey of Layden Films

Hair // Alex James of True Images Salon

Makeup // Sarah Forehand of Merle Norman Elizabeth City

Calligraphy // Elizabeth Porcher Jones

Tappas // Patricia’s Grille

Local Fresh Vegetables // Somerset Farm

Dress // Rent the Runway

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Last night was fun, whimsical, heartwarming and downright magical.  

Sandra Sutton of The Bridal Lounge in Elizabeth City has been creating opportunities for local wedding professionals in the North Eastern NC area to meet, learn, and network with each other.  It’s been fantastic to learn of so many other professionals that are right here in our own neck of the woods!

Sandra asked Sybil a few months ago if she’d be interested in hosting one our “Mix and Mingles” at her flower farm in Hertford, NC.  Needless to say, She and I jumped right into planning it!  Sybil dreamed up the idea of a maypole with hints of a summer in Spain! We had tappas created by Jon of Patricia’s Grille which were made from all locally sourced food!  The Sangria was made with local wine and fruit and of course, everything was laden with Sybil’s own farm grown flowers.

The underlying theme to our event has been to showcase the multitude of talents and resources that this small area has to offer.  We have so many gifted professionals and creatives here in NENC that brides can tap into to help curate their dream wedding and we feel it’s high time all these folks get to know each other to create a community excited to share about one another!

I think our efforts were kicked into high gear last night as so many faces met new faces and folks who had only passed each other on social media got to give real hugs for the first time!

When you entered Sybil’s farm, you were first to adorn yourself with flowers from the flower cart.  Ladies (and gents too!) created sweet flower crowns and guys created boutonnieres.  Your next stop was at the Sangria table where you received a wine glass with fresh flowers hugging the stem or a drinking glass with a swizzle stick topped with a fresh Zinnia! You then passed by the giant maypole over to the farm tables nestled under the arbor full of floral creations and yummy tappas.

Bobby and Stacey of Layden Films were floating around taking footage for a video they are creating which will showcase community, friendship, and the benefits these carry into our local industry. I can’t wait to see their final product!

The evening ended with a fun dance around the maypole and so many hugs and thanks to Sybil for hosting such a perfect summer evening :)

What many of you may not know is that as Sybil and I drew closer to last night’s event, having planned for so much gorgeousness, we decided we should probably go ahead and make a styled shoot out of this shin dig because, we felt, it was going to be that beautiful!  Lucky for us, Bobby and Stacey were able to model for us as a bride and groom the night before our Mix and Mingle and they were, of course, adorned with fresh floral gorgeousness straight from the farm.  Those images are magical!

Today I wanted to share a little from last night’s fun event and tomorrow, stay tuned to see a glimpse into our styled shoot with the Laydens!

Jerry and I captured a ton of fun last night with all of you that were present, more than what you see in this blog, and we’d love for you to have access to the photos we took!  Here is the link to the gallery where you can view more, download, and definitely share all the fun that we had:

https://missylovesjerry.shootproof.com/gallery/NENCMixAndMingle

Where possible, please credit the fabulous folks that made this event happen!

Host // Sybil and her crew of Yeopim Flowers
Facebook: https//www.facebook.com/Yeopimflowers
Instagram: @yeopimflowers

Tappas // Jon and Erica of Patricia’s Grille
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patriciasgrillehertford

Fresh, Local Vegetables // Somerset Farm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Somerset-Farm-353889771322507

Calligraphy // Elizabeth Porcher Jones 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabethporcherjones
Instagram: @elizabethporcherjones

Videography // Bobby and Stacey of Layden Films
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaydenFilms
Instagram: @b_laydenfilms and @the_layden_adventure

Photography // Us :-) of Missy Loves Jerry Wedding Photography
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/missylovesjerry
Instagram: @missylovesjerry

Thank you all so much, from the bottom of our hearts for joining us last night!  We feel we definitely need to make this mix and mingling business a thing.  Let’s get together more often!

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2012: James is living in California and Suzanne is living in NC.  Suzanne visits her friends in Georgia who all plan a tubing adventure down the Chatahoochee.  James visits his friends in Georgia and they, too, plan to tube the Chatahoochee that weekend.

This is where the worlds of Suzanne and James collide.  On the 6 hour excursion these two begin chatting it up.. Suzanne even claims that James saved her life when she was stuck in the ‘rapids’ and got separated from the group!

It was definitely love at first sight :)  They were both taken aback with how unique each of them were.. James was intrigued with Suzanne’s 20’s style bathing suite and Suzanne was intrigued with James’ bald head (true story!).  They kept up communication after they met and by the following year, James had landed a job in Raleigh and moved east to finally be with his Suzanne!

In March of 2015, James surprised Suzanne with the most beautiful proposal in the Asheville mountains and thus began planning their lives together :-)  Their wedding at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, NC was nothing short of perfect.  Arguably the most perfect was that after a week of planning for 80% chance of rain that day, we were all lifting our thanks to Jesus for answered prayers when not a single drop of rain ended up falling!

Suzanne planned a sweet garden theme for their day and had the most beautiful shades of sages and pinks, and pretty little birds dotting her decor .  They had the delicious SweetWater Italian Ice cart there and the prettiest cupcakes for desert!

Aside from all the beautiful elements, the best part of the day was the focus that was kept on celebrating James + Suzanne’s love.  They had a no-see first look as they kept their eyes closed but held hands and prayed together before the ceremony! It was so perfect!  And all around them that day was the love and support and encouragement by their friends and family to see them begin their lives together.

This joyful couple was the biggest pleasure to work with!!  I will miss photographing Suzanne’s excitement and the way James looks at her with so much adoration in his eyes.  He just adores his Suzanne :-)  And while the wedding day might be over, there are so many beautiful beginnings God has in store for this couple and I look forward to watching their future blossom!

Thank you so much, Suzanne + James, for including us in your beautiful celebration!!

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Venue & Wedding Coordination // Veni Ridout, The Oaks at Salem, Apex, NC

Videographer & DJ // Damien Maass Film

Floral Designer // Marsha Snyder, Mews Florist

Cake Artist // Gigi’s Cupcakes

Hair & Makeup // Twisted Scizzors

Bridal Shop // Savvi Formal

Dress Designer // Casablanca

Bridesmaids Dresses // David’s Bridal

Men’s Attire // Men’s Wearhouse

Rental company // Party Reflections 

Caterer // Catering By Design

Violinist // Raleigh Violinist

Italian Ice Cart // Sweet Water Ices

Photobooth // Shutterbooth

Classic Get-Away Car // Dave’s Classic Car

 

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Up on the blog today is a woman that I have adored from the day I first met her! Yes, this is Jerry writing this blog!

Everyone that meets my Missy Bear knows that she has one of those contagious and glowing personalities! I love second shooting and just getting to be a part of her shinning at what she does!

In life we all have those moments or opportunities that stick out to us as something special, almost like one in a million chances. I couldn’t sleep the other night and I started thinking about the complexity of life and death. I know that is fairly deep for a blog post, but stick with me for a minute! As I got further into my crazy inward debate, I started thinking about the complexity of love. Missy has shown me so much about who she is and what she stands for.

We all know that feeling when we look at someone you’ve known for a while and immediately in your head you can come up with more than just a few words to describe who they are. You get past that love at first sight, or the feeling they can’t do any wrong that originally sets on the surface. The more I get to know this woman, the more I realize just how blessed I am to have the privilege to be her friend, let alone her husband! Yes, the woman everyone else sees is this happy, bubbly, perfect woman and all of those things are truly who she is, but there is so much more! She is that one in a lifetime, without a doubt, miracle that God sent into my life! She has been my constant in the hardest times of my life, and in the happiest times of my life.

The Bible verse we use as our business foundation is, “Always be joyful.” Missy not only lives that verse out, but she also helps everyone around her live it out! Going back to the top, her being contagious and glowing: I get to see her turn cloudy, raining days around for people every week in what she does. She is my bright and shining ray of sunshine and I’m so glad she uses her talents to share it with everyone else she encounters! Life will have its up’s and down’s, but its what we make of it that can change the world! Missy, thank you for changing my world! I love, adore and cherish every moment with you! Your life is beautiful!

A few weeks ago Sybil of Yeopim Flowers made a flower crown for us to use at one of our sessions which sadly got rained out.  Instead of letting a beautiful flower crown go to waste, I decided I needed to take some photos of Missy, being a little silly, wearing the crown in her rockin new overall’s!  This is my Missy Bear!

~Jerry

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This beautiful gal got married this past weekend! It was, of course, a fabulous day at The Pond House Inn in Elizabeth City with so many happy friends and family of Jenna + John!

It seems like ages ago that we braved the chilly March winds out at Land’s End Plantation in Hertford NC for her bridal photos, and here I am getting ready to cull through their June wedding photos.  It’s amazing how time flies!

… and while we’re on the subject of amazing can we just take a minute to drool over Jenna?!  We may have been freezing our buns off during this shoot, fighting 40mph winds, but you would never know from her joy – and I’ll tell you what – I’ll take 40mph winds any day if it will make a dress fly around like this!

I adore how free spirited her portraits feel, and more importantly, how happy her soul is to be married to her high school sweetheart, John.

Congrats to Jenna + John! I think we can all agree that John is a lucky fellow to have this lady by his side for eternity :)  I will be sharing wedding photos with you SOON!

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  • June 27, 2016 - 3:01 pm

    John Wood - Thank you for showing how beautiful my sister is!ReplyCancel

    • June 29, 2016 - 7:57 am

      admin - She is BEAUTIFUL!ReplyCancel

Yesterday you saw Amanda + DJ’s fun, relaxed day-before wedding portrait session (and hopefully you are considering doing one too! ;-) so today you get to see the whole shebang!

Lauren and Ashley of Celebrations in Elizabeth City decked out Amanda + DJ’s wedding at Albemarle Plantation in Hertford NC to the nines.  Sweet billy balls paired with succulents and pops of yellow and green all over.. it was so joyful and happy and beautiful!  Going into the day, we were incredibly thankful that we had opted to take some portraits together the day before the wedding because the weather forecast was slated to be bad.  A ton of rain, all day. We had already mentally prepared ourselves for that and it was going to work, either way.

..And then literally (Can I stress literally!) 5 minutes before we had scheduled for our First Look portraits and bridal party photos, the sky opened up!  The clouds rolled away along with the rain and the blue sky looked as if it hadn’t rained a drop that day! It was incredible!  We had bright blue skies for our portrait time and Amanda + DJ were able to have their wedding ceremony outside :-)

We have loved every minute of working with Amanda + DJ over the course of their engagement.  We felt immediately like we had been friends for  years and we’re ecstatic that now, we DO get to be friends for years!

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Vela!!

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yellow and grey albemarle plantation weddingpin

 

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VENDORS

Venue & Catering // Albemarle Plantation

Wedding Coordination and Design // Celebrations EC

Cake Artist// Natalia’s Elegant Creations

Photobooth // Sami Roy Photography

Cupcakes // Kiriel Johnson

DJ // DJ Taylor Haycox

Makeup and Hair Artist // Mollie White, Glimmer Hair and Makeup

Bridal Dress Shop // Fabulous Frocks

Dress Designer // Christos Bridal

Men’s Attire // Jos. A. Banks

yellow and grey albemarle plantation wedding

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I consider myself one lucky lady to have had an entire 2 hours of time with Amanda & DJ before their wedding day at Albemarle Plantation in Hertford NC to have a sweet First Look moment and a relaxed full portrait session.  That never happens!  On a wedding day we usually have about 20 minutes to rush through a variety of poses but to have a whole session planned to take our time getting a fun variety of photos in a super relaxed setting?  Oh it was heaven.

Amanda’s package included a bridal session but she asked to exchange that session for a Friday-before-the-wedding shoot of she and DJ.  I couldn’t have said yes any louder!  It is any photographers dream to have an opportunity to photograph a bride and groom outside of the wedding day rush and this afternoon proved to be perfect.  

The weather on that Friday was amazing.. which was lucky for us because the wedding day weather forecast was a WHOLE other ballgame.  The weather was looking to be rain all day long so we were thankful to have chosen this opportunity to photograph together in case the rain got in the way on wedding day. (You’ll have to wait and see the wedding day blog post tomorrow to see how the weather played out for us!)

If I had it my way, every couple would have a day before – or day after shoot and an opportunity to relax together and relish in this once in a lifetime moment!  I truly think Amanda and DJ enjoyed this time together as much as I did :-)

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Albemarle Plantation Wedding

 

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