a wintergreen wedding

i couldn't ever say enough about how perfect this wedding was - from any perspective: as a bride, as a guest, or as a photographer. with only the couple's most beloved surrounding them - parents and siblings (and two utterly adorable nephews) - with the wide sky sheltering them, with the summer-green forest embracing them, how could their mountaintop ceremony have been any lovelier?much more than just a ceremony and reception, this wedding weekend, held at wintergreen resort in virginia's blue ridge mountains, encompassed a guided nature hike, a fly-fishing class (for the men) and a few hours of spa pampering (for the women), alongside informal (but fantastically delicious!) meals hosted in the rental homes of the two families. the bride's family is muslim, and the groom's family is mormon; the activities and the meals gave the families a chance to really get to know each other as people as well as learn more about each other's traditions. i can only say that i was truly blessed to be allowed to capture the memories of this beautiful weekend in such a magnificent setting: the rustic, tree-sheltered homes, the breathtaking views (especially when managed with a 24 mm 1.4 L lens!), the simplicity of the ceremony and the generosity of the couple's families in taking care of me and my phenomenal second shooter, sara haddad, are still with me, and will stay with me for a long time. thank you so much, to the couple, and both your wonderful families, for the opportunity and the honor, and i truly hope these images will always remind you of the best of your wedding weekend! there are, of course, hundreds more pictures than what you see here, and these only include my images so far, not sara's yet. but the following pictures show just a handful of my favorite images, and at the bottom you will find a storytelling slideshow with just a few more pictures...

view from the upper shamokin falls trail off laurel springs drive:

the groom at lake monocan, waiting his turn for a fly-fishing lesson:

the bride at the wintergarden spa, enjoying her pedicure:

the groom bows his head in prayer before lunch at the bride's family's house, before the ceremony:

the lovely bride checks her lipstick :)

arriving by car at the ceremony site!

the groom observes his stunning bride:

the sun came out, though gently and briefly, right after the ceremony: so far, i think this is one of my absolute favorite shots from the whole weekend:

more portraits taking advantage of the sky's quick blessing:

the ceremony was moving, but joyous enough that there were few tears shed, and smiles all around. but the slideshow that evening, put together by the bride's sister-in-law, capped the long day with an emotional reminder of the journeys these two people's lives took to bring them to this point...

so all these images are in the slideshow as well, but perhaps with a little more context! please click the center "play" button to start, and you can roll through the thumbnails by scrolling over the top of the slideshow if you like (or move the mouse away to let it play unencumbered!) enjoy...