Tom & Naomi's Wedding in Nant Peris, Wales

This wedding was featured on the Whimsical Wonderland blog on October 3, 2012.

Oh, my goodness. Being friends with fun, adventurous, kind people is something to be grateful for daily, but especially when those friends ask you to be their wedding photographer, AND their ceremony is in the mind-blowingly beautiful Welsh mountains, AND they are willing to climb hills in rain boots in their wedding outfits for portraits. Tom and Naomi are two of my favorite people on earth, and their thoughtfulness and love for each other came through in every lovely detail of their wedding, which felt like the whole village was a part of the party, and not without cause - the 90 residents of Nant Peris, where the groom's parents live, all played some role in the wedding, be it providing flowers for the entrance to the marquee, decorating the cake, and catering locally-sourced food, in addition to serving as the mountain rescue team (whose services in that role were thankfully not needed). Tom is British, and Naomi is Canadian, and they met at their international high school in Groningen when they were teens, and have been together for nearly 10 years already. As a friend, being at the wedding was a beautiful event to witness, but my talented fiancée' Elger (his photos are credited underneath) and I were even luckier to get to spend the most time with the bride and groom as their photographers. Elger spent the day of the ceremony with the groom, groomsmen and groom's family, all of whom performed in the various creative portions of the reception. Tom and Naomi are not only very creative people, but their families and many of our mutual friends are also expressive and generous, and there were musical and theatrical performances throughout the reception. It's almost impossible to describe every wonderful little thing about the wedding, and I am absolutely gushing and biased, but hopefully the photos can help to share the downright magical feeling of being there, with the misty green Welsh mountains in 360 degrees around the glowing marquee, and the love, and the music, and the lanterns, and the happiness! Congratulations, you guys :)

Naomi's bridesmaid, Johanna, gave Naomi a manicure of sorts while her hair was up in curlers.

Naomi's mom, Joyce, went along with her daughter to the salon and got her hair done for the day, too.

Photo by Elger Abbink - this was the point at which Tom, when he was beginning to get dressed, realized that, if the weather got warm enough to justify doffing his jacket (haha - it was pretty unseasonably chilly so that never happened), his shirt was a tad too transparent...

Photo by Elger Abbink - Joe, Tom's brother, and Tom quickly drove to Bangor, about 20 minutes away, to buy an undershirt for the groom.

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink

While Naomi, her bridesmaids and her mom were getting ready at the guest house where Joyce was staying, a hilarious moment of pure Welsh stereotype occured: a flock of a hundred sheep poured down the main road of the village and very briefly into the yard of the guest house. Some wedding guests were actually delayed in getting to the venue on account of the sheep traffic. Only in Wales!

The third photo in this series was featured on the excellent Moment Junkie site on September 13, 2012.

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink

Tom's family's home has a well on the grounds, Ffynnon Peris, named after an early Welsh saint, Saint Peris, where Allan conducted a blessing for the couple to close the ceremony.

Sidenote: these portraits were all actually taken on the day after the wedding, when we had the whole day to scope out the most beautiful spots around Nant Peris.

I LOVE their boots! Naomi's have pink VW Beetles on them, and Tom, the British groom, has Union Jack wellies. It gets no more British than this, folks :)

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink

Photo by Elger Abbink - Northern Wales is the home of Mt. Snowden and the biggest mountains in the country, so there are tons of hikers around (including in the back yard of the groom's family's property), and Tom and Naomi volunteered to hike a little way along the mountain pass to take advantage of the awesome view, when some hikers naturally came along.

In the Netherlands, The Impossible Project has revived the development of Polaroid film after its production ended in the United States. Tom graciously let me use his Polaroid camera with some color film to add to our photo coverage of the day!

(Yes, despite knowing the frame is square, my SLR instincts still kicked in for this frame.)

As the tent made the transition from ceremony hall to reception hall, guests were treated to bara brith cake and, naturally, tea.

Tom and Naomi are both members of an improv group, Stranger Things Have Happened, and their fellow improvers created a show for them during the reception.

Blackmon-Friedman Wedding

Bob and Randy! I had the amazing privilege of shooting the Biltmore Estate’s first ever gay commitment ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 17th, along with one of my best friends and photo role models, Lauren Carroll. Bob and Randy are both incredibly sweet guys who are clearly in love, they were both living in New York when they met ten years ago (but they met at Key West, coincidentally), and now live together in North Carolina. They spent the day surrounded by wonderful and supportive friends and family, from a fun rehearsal to an after party with catering from Bojangles. They were a blast to hang out with, especially during their pillow fight! Last year, they adopted a precious little boy, and Sarah Whitmeyer of Whitmeyer Photography did a shoot of their new addition. Congratulations and Mazeltov to Bob and Randy!

Reibold-Shaw Wedding

Jake and Sarah's fall wedding in the mountains was warm and friendly, in spite of the chilly rain throughout the day. Staying indoors was definitely a good idea, and the view of the beautiful Appalachian mountains from the Champion Hills Country Club in Hendersonville made for an etheral backdrop. Jake's father was the officiant for the wedding, making it an even more personal and meaningful ceremony. Thanks again to Sarah Whitmeyer, owner of Whitmeyer Photography, for the opportunity to share this day.