Top of the Market is one of the best wedding venues in Dayton, so any time I have an inquiry for a wedding there, I know that the wedding couple is going to be amazing. Cord + Haley proved this theory right once more, by proceeding to have one of the most fun weddings at Top of the Market to date! From football in the snow, to quiet, beautiful moments before the ceremony, to the raucous wedding reception at the end, these two know how to have fun, and it was a joy to be their wedding photographer!
As a wedding photographer, one of my goals is to get to know my couples before the wedding day, so I know how to best serve them and capture their moments on their wedding day for them. Sometimes that means photographing an engagement session, or having Skype calls, or simply texting. No matter what, though, it’s important to me as a photographer to understand my couple before the wedding, and since Cord + Haley live in Alabama, we had the chance to chat on the phone, but I hadn’t met them personally before the wedding day. But, when I arrived that morning and met them for the first time, it was as though we were already friends, and their trust was amazing. Their friends and family were absolutely incredible, and having met Haley’s mother at a tasting at Top of the Market a few weeks before, it was a blast getting to meet more of their loved ones and see why they were so important to the two of them. First up, getting ready was underway, which looked slightly different between the bride and the groom!
One of the most fun parts of the day as a wedding photographer is the getting ready process; it’s when we meet the wedding party, and when many fun events happen that really tell the wedding day story. For Cord, it was starting with a fun game of pickup football in a field near the hotel with his groomsmen, ushers, and friends. Cord is a quarterback at Auburn University, and many of his friends are exceptional athletes, so it was actually quite fun to capture their game. And, thanks to having an incredible second photographer with me for their wedding day (Chad Winstead of Winstead Photo), while they played football, I headed to hang with Haley and her crew back at the hotel, who were just as fun! Photographing Haley and her bridesmaids was great; they were easy going, hilarious, and Whitley, one of her flower girls, was an absolute hoot. I mean, really, when you meet someone who allows you to hop up on their bed, straddle them, and start taking photos of them lounging around after only 20 minutes of interaction, you know it’s going to be a fantastic day! Laughter abounded, and everyone was truly a joy to get to know. And, when it was time to head to Top of the Market for the wedding, it was only a five minute drive away. Perfect!
One of the cool things about Top of the Market as a wedding venue is that it boasts two spaces for weddings: the loft upstairs, and the warehouse downstairs. I’ve photographed plenty of weddings in both, but never have I had a wedding where both were used for a single wedding! It was incredible, and a really wonderful way to keep the pace going throughout the evening. When we arrived, we headed upstairs for the ceremony, where it had been beautifully adorned with florals from Haley’s Aunt Lori. The warmth and welcoming feel was tangible, and it was elegant from start to finish. But, before the ceremony began, Cord + Haley exchanged letters…and proceeded to have us all in tears from how they both seek to love the other so unconditionally. Tears flowed as they prayed together — but from around corners, so as to not see one another before the ceremony — then parted ways until it was time to come down the aisle.
And talk about an amazing ceremony! Haley’s brother officiated, and I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the house as all eyes turned to Haley coming down the aisle to Cord, who was amazed by his stunning bride. It was a beautiful ceremony, and celebration rang out as they were announced Mr. & Mrs.!
But, as with all amazing weddings at Top of the Market, I would be remiss to not touch on what transpired after the ceremony, which was one of the most epic dance parties I have ever seen! Cord + Haley started the party off right, with Haley using her bouquet to throw a touchdown pass to Cord on the Dance floor during their entrance, and from there, it all was hilarious, no-holds-barred shenaniganry for the remainder of the night. Imaginary jump rope dance offs ensued, photo booth props found their way to the dance floor, shirts were lost in the course of the night, and even late night pizza deliveries occurred. And, from start to finish, these two, along with their loved ones, celebrated the start of their newest adventure together in the best fashion possible: together!
Cord + Haley, thank you so very much for entrusting me to be your wedding photographer. It was truly an honor to get to document your day for you, and I can’t wait to see what adventures come your way from here on out. And, of course, I can’t sign off without giving a “Go War Eagles!” (Tell Cord’s coach to keep you warmed up on the sideline, Haley. I’ve seen what you’re capable of with a bouquet, so I think you have a future in football!)
And, I must give a huge, huge thank you to Chad for coming from North Carolina to photograph this wedding with me. He is one of my dear friends, and after having celebrated his own wedding with another one of my friends, Beth, (and his better half…don’t worry, he knows it!) it was a treat to get to work alongside him on a wedding. This guy is incredible, and I want to thank him for his tireless work and creative eye from start to finish on this one. Let’s do it again soon!