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Brittney & Rod’s Surprise Wedding // Carrigan Farms // Mooresville, NC

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing something very special. This was one day that even the bride kept saying over and over, “Is this real? Did this really just happen?”

On a Monday Brittney contacted me to let me know that she would be getting married the following Friday at the courthouse in downtown Charlotte, NC and would like to have portraits taken outside of the building after all the legalities were squared away. I agreed and was excited to be photographing something a little different from the average wedding day. During our phone conversation, she let me know that the decision to go to the courthouse and get married was extremely last minute and that they’d actually been engaged for a while, but wedding planning had become crazy a long the way and less of a priority with a number of life-changes coming in between them and their big day (having a sweet little boy, graduating from Grad School, finding a job, etc.) So they finally said, “Let’s just get married next week.”

A few days later I get a message from Brittney’s fiance, Rod, who informs me that his plans for their wedding day were going to be a little different from what Brittney had anticipated. Rod wanted to surprise Brittney with the wedding of her dreams at The Quarry at Carrigan Farms in Mooresville, NC. He had arranged plans for close friends and family to join them as they exchanged vows on Friday, August 1, 2014. Rod had the owner of The Quarry prepare a lunch for the crowd, and made arrangements for someone to have a bouquet, boutonnieres, and a cake ready. As he and I talked on the phone for the first time, I could literally hear the mile-wide grin on his face as he explained all the plans to me. His intentions were to tell Brittney that he had planned a special photo shoot with a photographer that he chose at a special location before their appointment at the courthouse. He explained to her that she needed to have hair and makeup done by a specific time so that he could drive her (blindfolded) to their surprise location.

The plan worked out perfectly. Rod sent out a mass email to everyone involved in the wedding and let everyone in on the surprise plans and thanked everyone for their participation. The morning of their wedding day, the sky fell out and there was a torrential downpour. I stopped by Walmart on the way to the venue to pick up some rain boots and was actually pretty pumped about shooting in the rain. I could tell just by only speaking to Brittney and Rod on the phone that they were the type of people that if it were to continue to rain on their parade, they’d likely dance in it. That’s just what I was hoping for.

Instead… another surprise happened. About 30 minutes before Brittney and Rod were set to arrive the sky cleared and the sun began to shine through the clouds. Those are the moments when you look up and know that God is real and that his timing is always perfect. At this point, family and friends took their places at their seats in the sand and Brittney’s father, step-dad, and I strolled up to the top of the walkway. We watched Brittney and Rod pull up and from around the corner popped out a beautiful bride with her eyes sealed shut, a beaming groom, and their handsome little boy. When Rod instructed Brittney to open her eyes, she knew exactly where they were and then turned around to see both of her dads standing behind her. With a big question mark on her face, she hugged them, glanced at me, and looked back at Rod to ask, “Are we getting married HERE today? Are you two our witnesses?” Everyone laughed and said, “Yep.” At this point she still couldn’t see the crowd that was waiting for her at the end of the walk way. Rod and their son, Reid, took the walk down the path first and Brittney and her escorts came down second. Half way down the aisle she looked over and could see white chairs and smiling faces looking back at her through the trees. That’s when she realized the man of her dreams had planned the perfect wedding day for them in only one week. What a guy?

rainy wedding day

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Belinda - Wow! What a great blog post and even better photos! Brought tears to my eyes! Nice job :-)

Allison - Beautiful and heart warming. I am so happy for Brit and Rodney and love them very much. You captured this beautiful moment wonderfully!

Personal // 2014 A Year In Review » Brook Rudolph Photography - […] year I photographed indoor weddings, outdoor weddings, a surprise wedding, a rainy day wedding, second & third marriages, a wedding in the city, a wedding in the […]

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Personal // I Always Go Overboard Event Planning

Many of you who follow my posts may have noticed that my friend, Allison, knows how to host a killer event. Whether it is a birthday party, a baby shower, or a bachelorette bash, this girl has got it going on! Every last detail of her events are perfectly detailed and executed. Even with two sweet babes running around her house, she still finds time to create most of her own decorations, design layouts, and plan everything about her parties from what glasses will be used to the music to be played to what the front door will look like as guests arrive. I’ve posted a few detail shots from her parties onto Pinterest and they always catch over a 100 repins within a couple days of posting. With Allison, you know you’ll be getting NEW ideas, not just recreations straight from pinterest. Allison has launched her new event planning and styling business named I Always Go Overboard and I’m proud to call her Brook Rudolph Photography’s partner in crime. After looking through some of these pictures from events she has hosted, hop over the Facebook to ‘Like’ her page and follow @ialwaysgooverboard on Instagram!

First, Aubrey’s Winter ONEderland Birthday Party…

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Cayden’s John Deere Themed Birthday Party…b4CaydensThirdBirthday-12b3.2PTM+Storyboard+3+Up+Bb8PTM+Storyboard+2+Upb6CaydensThirdBirthday-7b2CaydensThirdBirthday-87

A Happy Camper themed Baby Shower…a2PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticala3PTM Storyboard 2 Upa7horizontal Collage Templatea9PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticala4PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticala14PTM Storyboard 2 Up VerticalCayden’s Carnival Birthday Party…297014_453963754635268_1354614901_n

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Personal // 2014 A Year In Review » Brook Rudolph Photography - […] Terpsichore’s Dance Centre‘s Spring Dance Recital, and too many events to count for I Always Go Overboard: Events.I accomplished a personal goal this year of photographing a preschool. It was a big deal for me for […]

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Engaged // Megan & Rick // Iron Station, NC

These two couldn’t stop giggling the entire time during our engagement session together at their wedding venue at Vesuvius Vineyard in Iron Station, NC. I’ll take an adorable couple like these two any day. I know you’ll be able to see in both of their eyes that these two are inseparable and madly in love.

We had originally set a date for engagement photos a couple of weeks before we actually got together for these, but the weather during the original date was gloomy with scattered showers. We rescheduled and the result was fabulous. The weather was absolutely perfect. Crisp summer air, a little bit breezy, and cloud coverage that made the light through the trees a photographer’s dream.

We started the session with sweetness and ended it by incorporating their favorite hobby together. Those photos will be posted at a later date!:)Megan and Rick are runners and Rick proposed to Megan on stage after they finished the Cooper River Bridge Run together this past spring. I’m a sucker for a good love story, therefore, YES… yes, I DID cry when I watched the video!!!! Gosh, I’m so excited that these two asked me to be their photog!!! If you know what’s good for you, you’ll watch the video linked at the bottom of this post!

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And here is the link to Rick’s Proposal to Megan at the Cooper River Bridge Run … http://www.live5news.com/story/25180727/she-said-yes-man-proposes-after-cooper-river-bridge-run

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Newborn // Kason’s First Photo Session // Maiden, NC

This little guy has one of the sweetest little faces I’ve ever seen. He was very attentive the whole time I was at his house in Maiden to photograph his Lifestyle Newborn Session. Our goal for this session was to photograph tiny baby Kason and his family in their home in their own element. Opting for a Lifestyle Newborn Session, or any Lifestyle Family Session for that matter, allows you to not only capture the people in the photos the way that they are exactly at this moment in time, but also your house, your pets, and your living atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing my studio sessions, but lifestyle sessions are my favorite. I’m all about telling stories with my photos and I’m so happy that the Weddle family opted for this type of session. I know that they will look back and not only see how little Kason was, but also how their home looked and felt like “back when”. It’s a full story wrapped up in one session. Check out how loved Baby Kason is in all of these photos…k1PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticalk2PTM Storyboard 2 Upk3PTM Storyboard 3 Up Bk4PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticalk5PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticalk6PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticalk7PTM Storyboard 2 Upk8PTM Storyboard 2 Upk8PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticalk9PTM Storyboard 2 Up Verticalk10PTM Storyboard 2 Upk11PTM Storyboard 2 Up Vertical

Brandi Weddle - I am so in love with these pictures! You do such amazing work!

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Wedding // Casey & Josh // Fallston, NC // Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard

I woke up early on June 7, 2014 and immediately checked my phone to see what the weather forecast was for the day. Anxiety set in when I read that there was a 40-50% chance of thunderstorms all evening for Cherryville, NC. Since I had been to Casey and Josh’s reception venue ( Baker Buffalo Creek Vineyard and Winery ) a few times already for their engagement photos and bridal portraits, I knew that the event would mostly be outdoors and that Casey had requested most of their bridal party portraits to be taken there. Preparing for the worst, I stuffed my backpack full of plastic bags for photography gear protection and gathered all of my clear umbrellas for photo props. I had to give myself a little pep talk to assure myself that even in the rain, we could make the best out of the situation and get some really amazing photos. Overall, I felt most anxious for Casey and Josh knowing that rain could really give the wedding reception a different mood than I was sure they were hoping for. It’s my duty as a wedding photographer to get emotionally attached to each wedding that I photograph. I feel that if I wasn’t emotionally attached and I didn’t care about my couple’s feelings then this wouldn’t the be the right job for me. So to say that I was nervous for Casey and Josh is a bit of an understatement. I just kept praying on the way to meet with Casey and the girls that everything would run smoothly, even with the rain coming. Little did I know that God had other plans for Casey & Josh’s big day…

When I say that this was the PERFECT day, I’m NOT exaggerating. Mom (my second shooter) and I kept looking at each other asking, “Is this real?” The entire day was smooth sailing from the time we arrived to photograph Casey getting ready until the moment we slide our shoes off in the car on the way home. Every thing ran on schedule, the weather was perfect, the overcast clouds helped to add some soft light to their pictures, the wedding party was fun and inviting, Jeff and Dana (Casey’s parents) treated us like we were family and not just “the hired help,” and there was so much love between everyone that was there it makes my heart swell just thinking about it. As cheesy as it sounds, all that kept running through my head that evening was, “This is what love, laughter, and happily ever-after looks like.” I know… I know… That was a cheese-fest comment for me to say, but I’m dead serious. It was the PERFECT day. Weddings like Casey and Josh’s are the reason why I love what I do.

g2PTM Storyboard 3 Up BI arrived on the scene just after Casey had opened her gifts and hand-written gifts that Josh had sent for her. What a sweet husband!

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XOXO- Brook and Eva

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