Josh & Avery's Secluded Estate Wedding, Pt. I: Getting Ready | Virginia Wedding Photographers at Claytor Nature Study Center
The property was once a large estate in the 1800's, and tucked way back up in the hills is the beautiful house surrounded by gardens and a tree-lined entrance. Avery was upstairs, and her sister did her hair and makeup while her mother and bridesmaids surrounded her in the sunroom. RA's Bistro arrived with a caravan of cars and begun setting up the food. Outside on the lawn, tables and chairs were set up, but the staff was waiting until the last minute to set the decor. There was a chance of storms throughout the day, but for now, the overcast skies were just creating a beautiful soft light for us.
Josh and his groomsmen arrived at the event center on the nature reserve. The weather was so nice, and the venue so private, that the guys just started stripping down and putting on their suits outside on the deck. Josh was more calm than anyone, helping his groomsmen with suspenders and teaching them how to fold a pocket square. He inquired about Avery, if she was doing okay, if there was anything stressing her out, if there was anything she needed. He was dying to see her, but they had agreed not to do so until the ceremony.
But back at the house, Avery was about to see her father. He's a hulking bear of a man, but he turned to mush when he saw her. As he took his little girl on one last walk, hand-in-hand through the garden, all he could talk about was how incredibly blessed he and Avery's mother had been to have her, how full of grace and mercy she was. What an honor to have blessings spoken over her from her father on her wedding day.
After he went back inside, we stayed outside for bridal portraits in her beautiful princess ballgown dress. We walked around the property and talked about things - how they hadn't decided where to go on their wedding night yet, or when was the first time that Josh farted in front of her - but mostly, Avery was just soaking in the day. She had dreamed about this for years, and had exhaustively planned it for months. Everything was coming together so beautifully, and she couldn't believe it was actually here.
But the clouds were getting darker on the horizon, and the caterers were watching with a wary eye. Coming in Part II.