Name | Jimmy and Haley
Date | 11/24/2018
Ceremony & Reception | The Bluff Venue, Kingsland, GA
Wedding Photography | Dez Merrow Photography
I’ve been fortunate enough to have known this family for a very very long time, Since the youngest of the boys was a toddler so it was an honor to be asked to photograph one of their family weddings. Jimmy and Haley are the sweetest couple. They totally pushed all of their preconceived notions about wedding photography out of their minds and told me they put their trust in me. That’s such an incredible feeling. We had lots of time set aside for photographing the wedding party and formal photographs, and even more for their wedding portraits finishing up just before the rain started. Most people would get upset at the prospect of a few sprinkles on their wedding day but Jimmy and Haley took it in stride and we we able to get the magnificent, epic images that they came specifically to me for.
People often say, when it comes to photographing the weddings of friends, wouldn’t you rather put the camera down and just be a guest so you can enjoy it instead? My answer is always, “All the weddings I shoot are of people that I consider friends regardless of how long I’ve known them.” That will never change for me because my goal as a wedding photographer is to not just take the photos they will love for life, but to make lasting friendships with the people I photograph.
Scroll all the way down to hear how Haley and Jimmy’s wedding day experience went.
Location of Wedding and Reception: The Bluff Venue
Cake Maker: Sweet Luncheonette, LLC
DJ: Ben Jammin Entertainment
First Dance Song: If It Ain’t You by Smithfield
Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal, Jacksonville, FL
Florist: Kings Bay Florist
How did you two meet?
My memory fails me of the moment we met, but it was through a mutual friend while still in high school. We met up again in 2013, at a music festival in Jacksonville Beach(my hometown). It was about a year after he had graduated school and I was in my junior year.
How long have the two of you been together?
6 years in April
How did Jimmy pop the question?
We were at his family’s cabin Easter weekend and we were about to go get lunch at their favorite restaurant nearby. We were about to leave the cabin and I was walking toward the truck, then he got down on one knee behind me and asked. I was was so shocked in that moment that my first response was, “what?” I did say, “yes!” but it did take a moment for me to believe it was actually happening.
What was your favorite moment from the wedding?
During the ceremony after my dad had given me away, Jimmy and I were holding hands and he looked at me and told me “you are so beautiful.” It’s a small moment but I will never forget it.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
Thanks to everyone who helped with planning or helping during the day of it was fantastic. We definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of our family members.
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Take your time and take advice from the people who have experienced planning a wedding, but don’t forget that it is your day. A piece of advice that my aunt gave me “at the end of the day, all that matters is that you are happy and you get what you want because it is YOUR wedding.” And also, don’t feel pressured to make everyone happy because you can’t. Do what makes you happy.
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?
Stick to a schedule the day of, and find a photographer that you can connect with! It helps tremendously when you feel comfortable and confident with your photographer.
Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
I got it at David’s Bridal. I had been searching for less than a month and I found the dress online first. I saw the picture and I couldn’t stop looking at the dress. It is strapless with a sweetheart neckline and has antique lace laid over a blush base. Honestly something pretty close to the opposite of what I thought I wanted, but I had a strong feeling that it was going to be my dress. I wanted to try it on before I bought it off the website, so I enlisted the help of my maid of honor Ali, and we went to the store so I could try this dress on. The dress fit perfectly and made me feel good, but as soon as I saw myself in the mirror I wanted to cry. I had no doubt in my mind that this was the dress I was meant to wear. And I did eventually cry when I imagined myself wearing it while marrying the man of my dreams.
How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?
Fun! I had no doubt that the pictures would come out perfect. Your experience and eye for detail Is incredible!
Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos?
Have a shot list of the pictures you absolutely have to have- and give it to your photographer. Make sure your make up is done the way you want it, always smile when a camera is around so that you don’t look upset on such a happy day, and remember to listen to your photographer!
Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party for the photos? What did you tell them, how did you get them to cooperate, what did you do or what would you have done differently?
Tell your wedding party to smile when walking down the aisle and during the ceremony. I forgot to tell mine so some of the people who hadn’t been in a wedding before looked a little upset in the candid pictures. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s always nice to look back at smiling faces. I would also recommend to have someone keep the bridal on track while getting ready so that no one is missing from any group pictures.
Any tips on what to bring?
Your basics for getting ready for a normal day, a fashion emergency kit, comfortable shoes to wear at the reception, and a list of all the things you brought so you don’t forget anything at the venue.
What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?
I was nervous that the day would be off schedule and wouldn’t go as planned, but everything turned out perfectly because of our incredible family and friends.