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sara + bryan | intimate riverside wedding in pembroke, va

Sara + Bryan told me when we met for their consultation that they were envisioning a very intimate, relaxed ceremony right on the riverside, and if you ask me, they brought their vision to life perfectly!  Not only that, but they did it in about 2 months’ time, which is amazing – and the list of things that Sara did herself (and did so well!) is seriously impressive!!!

From the moment I arrived on site at their airbnb that morning, there was such a relaxed joy that radiated from all the friends and family who were there.  Sara’s niece did her hair and makeup, and her sister helped her into her dress.  Sara’s daughters, Ellie and Claire, joined her for a few quick photos in their cabin before heading right across the street to walk with their mama down the aisle.  Sara and Bryan exchanged the sweetest handwritten vows, and then they each presented gifts to Ellie and Claire before Sara’s brother-in-law pronounced them husband and wife!  They joined their guests back at the cabin for a brief cocktail hour, and then we took a handful of family photos before slowing things down for their bride + groom portraits.  (When we drafted their initial wedding day timeline and Sara asked if we could add a little more time to bride + groom portraits, because they were so important to her, I knew she was a woman after my own heart!)  Then we headed off to spend the last hour of the evening enjoying dinner with their guests at the nearby Palisades Restaurant!

I’m so glad I was able to be part of this season and this wedding day with these two (and Ellie and Claire), and I’m SO excited to share my favorites from their riverside wedding with you today!


Remember how I told you Sara did SO many things herself?  (Like, literally almost all the things!)  She altered some of the jewel detailing on her girls’ dresses (below) AND dyed them herself!  Oh, and these bouquets?  She put those together too!

This next photo on the left is one of the matching necklaces that Sara gave to her girls during the ceremony!


I love this next black + white on the right.  It’s Sara’s oldest girl, Ellie, right before she told her mama how beautiful she looked!

I loved the way they set up their ceremony site – from their welcome sign to the bench seating, to the moon arbor that Bryan welded himself (!!!) and Sara adorned with fresh greenery and florals, every detail was intentional and it all came together beautifully!


Love this next twirling shot in black + white!

blacksburg-va-wedding-photographerWe had gorgeous glowy light for the first part of bride + groom portraits, and then I was SO excited that the light got just soft enough for us to spend the last few minutes of our bride + groom portrait time at the arbor that the two of them made!  I just love this next shot on the left!riverside-wedding-pembroke-vacharlottesville-va-wedding-photographerlexington-va-wedding-photographer

GAH!  Here’s another one of my top faves!!


One more thing Sara did herself – and she knocked it out of the park – was the cake!  She tells me she’s had zero professional cake-baking experience and that this was her very first attempt, but y’all, I don’t think I believe her because this cake is gorgeous!!

By this time, I’d spent an evening with Sara’s girls during their engagement session, and I’d spent the entire wedding day with them, so it’s safe to say we were officially friends and they were cool with letting me hang out with them during dinner.  😉

Sara, Bryan, thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this season with y’all!  It has been such a pleasure getting to know you and the girls, and it was an honor to get to share your wedding day with you!!!

Special thank you’s to the vendors who helped bring Sara + Bryan’s vision to life!

ceremony site | airbnb private residence

reception dinner location + catering | Palisades Restaurant

hair + makeup | hair by avery


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