Wedding Photography | Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, NC
A wedding photography story of a young couple in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
From Engagement to Honeymoon
Couple: Karly & Mike
Photographer: Yuliya Panchenko
Locations: Vizcaya Villa wedding Venue, Fox Hollow Wedding Venue, Wilmington Beach | NC
Karly and Mike are a young beautiful couple living in Fayetteville NC. I was contacted by Karly for her wedding photography at Vizcaya Villa, NC. After meeting Karly and her fiancé, Mike, I fell in love with this cute couple and offered them a full-story photo session from engagement to a honeymoon. I photographed their post-engagement session in Wilmington, NC; their wedding at Vizcaya Villa wedding venue in Fayetteville, NC; their post-wedding photography at Fox Hollow wedding venue in Fayetteville, NC; and their pre-honeymoon photo session at Hampton Inn & Suits Carolina Beach, Wilmington, NC.
Wilmington, NC Post-Engagement Shoot: The day we arrived at Wilmington for the post-engagement session, the weather was not suitable for photography. It was extremely windy and cold. We were planning to do a fashion inspired photo shoot, and a Behind The Scene (BTS) video with some drone footages. Besides the weather, I had a few other challenges. I switched my strobe Nikon flashlight to Elinchrom battery pack lighting system that I never tried before. On the good side, I had a perfect couple, and it turns out that my new equipment is phenomenal.
Mike and Karly are both athletes and runners, and both came to the shoot very casual. I noticed Karly’s beautiful and delicate skin and body is perfect for an open back dress. Luckily, I had the perfect dress for her that fit her beautifully, and she just looked gorgeous in it. I was very satisfied with the outfits, light, and photos.
Wilmington Beach, NC Post-Engagement Shoot: Our first session was at the hotel lobby. After the shoot in the lobby, the weather got much better, but still windy. I really wanted to create a few fashion inspired photos by the beach taking advantage of the couple’s beauty, so we gave it a try.
Karly’s Proposal Story: This was a total surprise for me. We planned a quick trip to Harper’s Ferry, WV. We have been a couple of times to hike on the Appalachian trail an it is one of my favorite places to be. It was a dreadfully hot day in August and we were celebrating our dating anniversary a little early due to some other obligations. Along the Appalachian Trail near downtown Harpers Ferry, there are ruins of an episcopal church. Mike proposed right there. It was pretty magical. He had hired a photographer to capture the moment and we went from there into taking engagement photos. All in all it was a pretty exciting day.
If there is one wedding venue in Fayetteville that is convenient, spacious, bright, and has a well-decorated bride’s room, that would be in Vizcaya Villa. I always achieve the best “Getting Ready” photos in Vizcaya Villa because of its elegant and beaituful design. Most of my photos of the bride wearing her jewelry or makeup is a mirror-shot through the beautiful large mirror in bride’s suite at Vizcaya Villa. My second shooter was photographing the groom at the moment. The groom’s room, on the other hand, was suitable for guys. It was a darker setup with brown leather couches and a bar - a perfect place for a groom and his friends. I was very satisfied with my second shooter’s work. I usually use my Elinchrom lighting equipment for that room because it is a little bit darker. However my second shooter managed to use another source of light.
The wedding day went by so fast and due to the schedule, we didn’t have enough time to do the Bride and Groom’s portraits. Therefore, we planned to do a post-wedding photo session. I always recommend post-wedding sessions because a couple is more relaxed, free of distractions and stress, and have some privacy to express their love.
Karly’s story of the wedding Day at Vizcaya Villa: Once we realized we would probably need to get married in NC, the hunt was on for a venue. The planning part of hosting a wedding never really appealed to me. This was one of the reasons we picked Vizcaya Villa. It was such a relief not to have to sift through 50 different shades of white for the perfect table cloth. All I had to do was pick from their selection and they took care of EVERYTHING else. I truly don’t think I would have been able to relax as much on my wedding day if we had gone with a different venue. The wedding day went by so fast. It was a very warm day in August and I was pretty stuck on having an outdoor wedding. I am hoping that the sweat in Mike’s eyes can be mistaken for tears in the photos. I was very surreal to walk down the aisle and say our vows. I know it was an unbearably hot August day, but it will always be one of my favorite memories. We tried to take the advice given by a couple of our guests and get some time to sneak away and just enjoy the moment, if you let it, your wedding can just slip right by and be over before you know it. We managed to slip off onto the rooftop patio at Vizcaya and look in at the party going on inside. It really helped to slow the night down a little and gave us a moment to enjoy each other’s company.
I wanted the post-wedding photos to look different than the main wedding, so I looked for a different location, and I was fortunate enough to rent Fox Hollow Wedding Venue in Fayetteville, NC for this purpose. The venue was magical and elegant and exactly what I needed. Elisha Seaton, one of the best makeup artists in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg area, was our makeup artist for the shoot. She did Karly’s makeup and hair, and she was present during the entire shoot to make sure everything looks perfect. I had my assistant and videographer with me as well for a Behind The Scene (BTS) video.
The Story of Karly and Make’s first meeting: Mike and I met in a Safeway parking lot in Dover, Delaware. I was selling my English Textbook and he was buying it (cost him $40!). We started dating pretty shortly after. He didn’t remember my name after our initial meeting and spent the next couple of weeks trying to get me to tell him without me realizing he did not know my name. Don’t worry, he found out and I was none the wiser.
For the pre-honeymoon shoot, we were back in Hampton Inn & Suits Carolina Beach, Wilmington, NC. I knew what I wanted to photograph and had a story board for my shoot. As I was preparing my equipment, I saw Karly standing in the balcony looking at the beach in Mike’s button-up shirt. I called Karly as she was standing in the balcony, and when she glanced over her shoulder, I captured her image. That image turned out to be one of my most popular and favorite photo. From that point, my entire plan for the photo session changed. I wanted to capture exactly what I saw in its most natural and beautiful way. I then asked Mike and Karly to be as casual as they can be, to disregard me in the room, and feel free to do what they would do on a Saturday morning in the hotel by the ocean. As Karly and Mike celebrated their romance, I captured their moments of love and passion for one another.