James + Darlene: Cat-n-Bird Winery

I can confidently say that James and Darlene’s wedding day is one of the most special days I have ever photographed. All you need is one look at these two together, and you’ll know they’re meant for each other! They booked me for just a few hours to capture their ceremony and some portraits afterwards, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it all.

James and Darlene took the liberty of nicknaming their day “the surprised by joy celebration,” and boy¬†was it joyful. Seeing two people in love is always special, but this particular celebration blew me away.



Their ceremony even included some audience participation! Guests had lines that they had to stand up and recite, and it was so sweet to watch all of James and Darlene’s supporters be a part of their ceremony so directly! As people stood up to speak, I found myself wiping away tears of thankfulness. There’s something incredibly special about witnessing a community come together to celebrate love, and this ceremony was a perfect example!



It was the moment after James and Darlene’s first kiss that truly took my breath away. Instead of a traditional recessional, they shared their first dance at the altar, right then and there! It was such a unique and deeply touching was to begin their life as a married couple.



After the ceremony, we headed out into a neighboring field for some couples portraits. Darlene even had a surprise up her sleeve: she brought some bubbles to blow during the shoot! It was a fun and playful addition that perfectly matched their personalities.


Though I was only there for a short time, I could see the celebration was just getting started. The joy and laughter among guests was infections, and I left wishing I could stay for the entire day. Thank you, James and Darlene, for allowing me to capture this special celebration!