I'm not sure how to begin this post, other than to say that Justin and Jessica's wedding was quite possibly the best way to end my 2014 wedding season. One of my good friends and colleagues, Anna Nguyen of Zee Anna Photography referred this wonderful couple to me, and I cannot thank her enough. I think I'm going to have to send her fruit baskets for the foreseeable future to make up for this amazing connection. :) So first off, THANK YOU to Anna! :)
These two are simply some of the kindest, most genuine souls I've had the pleasure to work with, and their entire family is true to that as well. There aren't enough superlatives for me to be able to describe how wonderful of a day they had, nor can I adequately describe the love they share with one another and their families.
Waking up Saturday morning, the sky was the perfect, full of fluffy white clouds and the sun was perfect. From the moment I stepped into Jessica's hotel room at the Bayfront Inn on 5th Avenue, I was welcomed like family, and much to my delight, everyone was completely on board with any crazy idea I tossed their way -- which included moving all the furniture to one side of the hotel room, as well as taking the painting off the wall! They didn't even give a sideways glance -- they were totally game. Their wedding planner, Mary Hines, was a wonderful woman and true pleasure to work with, and she made the day run so smoothly from start to finish. I should have known then that the day was going to be spectacularly epic on every level, but they continued to surprise me time and time again.
Justin and Jessica allotted 2 hours -- yes, count 'em! -- 2 hours for us to roam Naples after their first look, making our portrait time one of my absolute favorites of the year. We captured so many different vistas, and they were such wonderful sports the entire way. From wandering in downtown Naples, to Naples Pier, to a gorgeous, must-be-out-of-a-fairytale staircase we found, Justin and Jessica showed me how truly gorgeous their town was, and it was an absolute delight.
When it came time for the ceremony, we made our way to 8th Street Avenue South, one of the many gorgeous vistas in Naples for outdoor weddings. Dubbed the "wedding park" and "wedding beach," it truly lives up to its name. A cobblestone pathway lined with mature palm trees acts as an aisle way to front, where Justin and Jessica said their vows. To top it off, it overlooks the gulf coast, creating a breathtaking scene, especially as the sun sets. The ceremony was sweet, intimate, and one of the most joyful celebrations I've had the honor to be a part of. By the end, I don't think there was a dry eye in the ceremony!
Following the ceremony, we were able to sneak off for some spectacular sunset shots; and does Naples live up to the Florida standard in sunsets! Once again this couple took my breath away as they showed me their town, and we captured some simply amazing photos for them as we chased the light.
While I was apparently wordier than I thought I could be, I must simply say...wow. That's all I can truly say to sum up the way Justin and Jessica's day went. You two, it was an absolute pleasure to get to be your photographer. Your family is so sweet, so kind, and so genuine, and it was a privilege to spend the day with you and them. Congratulations, and wish you a lifetime of happiness!