Dennis + Christina / Classy AF Winery Wedding / by Jessica Lawson

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I first met Christina three years ago for senior portraits. Her mom came along which is isn’t super unusual, but it seemed like they did everything together ... They were both fantastic. Truly kind, truly excited. I had started freelancing full time a few months before, but even more so, I had just started driving after I broke my arm almost two months before. So I was very excited to be shooting. But Christina was so enjoyable to get to know. We laughed about stupid things about our college. We came up with some great ideas for poses. We walked all over downtown and then finished with sunset magic back on campus. Her mom shared with me while Christina was changing outfits that she was adopted and that her dad had passed away a number of years ago. These two, were genuinely best of friends. Over the next three years, I got to photograph these two hugging, smiling, laughing, and loving each other quite a bit. And this Dodd family became the first family that chose to let me into their lives continually (not just for one shoot). And at Christina’s wedding I realized this is what I want to offer people— a lifelong friend + photographer. Granted this family is so special to me. The way they have cheered for me back as I cheered for them. Christina said on her wedding day, “if you didn’t shoot our wedding you would of been invited” and my heart soared. Photographers get to come into your lives for a moment, take pretty pictures, and hope you hire them for their next mini session day. Friends root for you. They let you into their lives too. And I’m going to give myself permission to be more of myself and let more and more folks into my life. Because Christina and Teri and Dennis showed me how wonderful and easy it can be. These are incredible people. They love hard. And I want to be more like them. By the way a little bit about Dennis … he comes off as a tough guy. He is a great cop. A strong dad. But you see him become so gentle and sweet with Christina.
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So there were a few moments I wanted to share with y’all where my heart soared and my eyes leaked a bit.

Terri mouthing “I love you” to her daughter before they walk down the aisle.
His reaction to seeing his bride for the first time was like a little kid on Christmas. It was SO beautiful to witness. There was a point where he might of started tearing up and Christina pointed it out and he literally ran away for a moment 😂 and I might of bawled. I LOVE these two.
Lastly, during their last dance of the night. I have never seen either of them look so elated. They were filled with joy and love. It was beautiful. These are special people. Please enjoy their wedding.

TIPS FOR BRIDES + GROOMS

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First Look Tips
If you want special people at the most intimate moment of the day, please please talk to photographer ahead of time. There were wild shadows in this situation and we NEEDED the bridesmaids and family to be backed up. Not to exclude them, but so Tam’s shadow doesn’t end up on the dress! Do your wedding day how you want to! But tell your vendor team! We can help execute it better. 

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Pro-tip. Tell your photographer what your colors are when you’re thinking about picking them. You may check the color a million times, but you don’t know how our editing will make them work. Let us be involved! I personally LOVE helping with the whole planning process.