Josh & Avery's Secluded Estate Wedding, Pt. II: Ceremony & Reception | Virginia Wedding Photographers at Claytor Nature Study Center
And then it began. The mountain view vanished under the roaring curtain of rain that was heading straight for the hilltop where the ceremony was supposed to take place. The guests ran for shelter, clustering in the hallways and rooms of the home, or just outside under the massive trees. But RA Bistro immediately started pushing hors d'oeuvres out of the kitchen and the guests were having a great time. But Avery was concerned for everyone else, and finally the anxiety and the delayed ceremony was too much. The family stepped in and we started ushering guests out of the halls to clear a spot for Avery and Josh to have an impromptu first-look-no-peek around a corner.
The rain began to lighten up, so with umbrellas and giant rolls of paper towels in hand, the guests made their way out to the ceremony site and began drying off chairs. Josh took his place down front, and when he finally was able to catch a glimpse of Avery in her dress through the sea of umbrellas, he began to sob. Their ceremony was abbreviated due to the rain, which began to beat down harder again - but it was just as perfect and as worshipful as if they were able to do all that they had planned on. Their testimony of deep love and commitment, made in the pouring rain before God and their loved ones, will forever be remembered.
Everyone dashed back the house to dry off and get ready for dinner. Josh and Avery, however, needed a few minutes. We cleared a getaway route and took them away, and their were able to catch their breath while we took their first photos together as husband and wife. Downstairs - and upstairs, and every room of the mansion - was filled with laughter and joy. Guests kicked off their shoes, shook out their damp hair, and relaxed together.
By the time dinner was finished, the rain had stopped. The guests filled the lawn again for first dances, and toasts from Avery's little sister and Josh's little brother. The delicious naked cake was cut and the dessert bar was served, then we went back outside to mingle and dance.
And then, finally, the clouds split apart over the ridge. The sunset burst through and the whole mountain came back to life. This is what we had hoped and prayed for all day. Part III of their wedding day is next.