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Hi, I'm Leslee!
So nice to meet you!

What a JOY it is to be sharing Nicole and Vernon’s Arkansas wedding today on the blog! I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with these two in this amazing season of their lives. From the moment I met Nicole and Vernon, it was obvious how truly kind, sweet, and genuine these two are. They have a warmth that would make anyone feel welcome in their presence. Best of all, their love for each other radiates from them, and has a way of making you feel so thankful they found one another. Being in their presence means you get to experience it, and their wedding day was intentional and emotional in all the best ways.

Personal Wedding Details

Every detail was chosen thoughtfully. Every moment was planned with purpose.

I had the honor of learning more about their relationship and their wedding planning process directly from the bride and groom. I asked a few questions and they answered them all in detail. Enjoy Nicole and Vernon’s writing along with my own commentary and several curated photos from their full gallery of over 800 images.

A Question for the Couple

Leslee: How did you two meet and fall in love?

Vernon: I had the good fortune to have Nicole as my orthodontist. In strolled this brilliant, sweet, gorgeous orthodontist and I was just so impressed. After a few visits (and some encouragement from her staff), I asked her out. She said “yes!”—-and then promptly dated someone else for a year. Haha, that’s an oversimplification I always make with her in jest, but I happened to ask right at the wrong time.  I didn’t think things through, but by asking out my orthodontist, I placed her in an awkward spot when she took care of me in later visits.  Her shyness after turning me down made her squirm a bit, but it was sort of cute and entertaining to me.  After that other relationship had run its course, she gave me a chance, and I have to say I’m a very lucky man that she did. 

Intimate Wedding Party Photos

A few photos, both candid and posed, of the small group of friends and family that spent the morning getting ready with Nicole and Vernon.

The First Look

Nicole and Vernon chose to do a first look a few hours before their ceremony. It rained all morning, but cleared up right after the first few photos of Vernon were taken. If you look closely you can see the rainfall.

As soon as it dried up, we brought Nicole outside on her porch for a sweet, intimate first look. Vernon was just as in awe as all of us were seeing Nicole looking stunning in a dreamy Monique L’Huillier gown and Jimmy Choo diamond strapped shoes.

A Question About Wedding Photography

Leslee: What would you say to couples who are trying to decide on who to hire for photography? Any tips? Anything you specifically liked about working with me and my team?

Vernon and Nicole: You and your assistant were so incredibly skilled at putting us at ease. Naturally, wedding days can be full of jitters, but you two were a source of calm and confidence. This helped us relax and enjoy the photography process.  You’re obviously a fantastic photographer (the results speak for themselves), but you’re also very warm and caring. It didn’t feel like a stranger with us on this journey, and that helped add to the intimacy of the wedding service. 

(Thank you so much! Your kind words mean the world to me.)

Wedding Portraits

We chose to stay at Nicole’s home for bride and groom portraits as well as wedding party portraits. Since the ground was still wet, we had plenty of help from the absolute best wedding planner, Anne-Claire Allen, who made sure Nicole’s dress stayed dry as we moved to a few beautiful photo spots, all right there at Nicole’s home. So easy and convenient for the couple, and most importantly, the location has special significance to Nicole and Vernon.

A Question About the Ceremony

Leslee: Tell us about your ceremony. How did you choose your venue?

Vernon:

When my three sisters and I were little children, my grandparents attended that small, country church.  As you can see, worship there was simple but beautiful, and it made a real impression on me: the short drive from their home down rolling country lanes, and the white church building shaded by large trees in the midst of fields and meadows. Sometimes we would walk out of Sunday service and an artist would be across the road painting the peaceful scene. 

Inside the building, I suspect little has changed from the 1950s (the guest book has signature pages predating even that). The four of us siblings would often increase the congregation from 8 to 12 or from 14 to 18. I can remember the Sunday school lessons in the back of the church that still looks exactly the same. I can still hear the timeless songs of Heavenly Highway Hymns. Our Grandparents thought it important that they instill in us that good, honest Faith, and we wanted to honor the values they modeled in their every day living. 

An Emotional, Meaningful Ceremony

Vernon: (continued) When I grew old enough to attend youth group, I started attending church in my hometown, and later in college, medical school, and residency, I grew to love the liturgy and beautiful meaning of high church, but deep in my heart I carried those country Sundays with Grandma and Grandpa with me.  Years before our own wedding, I gave away my sister in marriage in that church, and thought it the perfect tribute to our Grandparents, and so I was delighted to be able to have the wedding service there. 

Golden Hour Portraits

During cocktail hour, as guests were enjoying a glass of wine and passed hors d’oeuvres, we took advantage of the private bar area to get some classic style noir photos. Then we snuck out the back door to snap some photos of Nicole and Vernon on this beautiful old bridge as the golden light filtered through the trees. Here is a small sample of over 30 final images captured during this quick 20 minute session.

An Arkansas Wedding Reception Dream Come True

Leslee: Tell us about your wedding reception design. Why did you choose your venue and your different design elements?

Vernon and Nicole: In addition to the intimate family wedding service, we also wanted a fun party for all of our friends. The venue we eventually chose for the reception had the space for the dance floor, dinner areas, bar space, and quiet corners for old friends who wanted to catch up. 

Our wedding coordinator’s genius transformed this historic building by adding a touch of elegance to its innate rustic charm.  There’s something fun about seeing chandeliers hanging in an old factory. 

The springtime season of our wedding helped provide our colors: white, gold, and green. We envisioned fresh spring flowers enhancing the simple church building and filling the party venue. And we loved all the twinkling lights and candles!

Favorite Moments

Leslee: What are your favorite moments from your wedding day?

Nicole and Vernon: The ceremony—everything about it: the intimacy for those gathered, the religious meaning of the service, and the historic family significance of the church. There were plenty of laughter and tears. 

We also loved seeing all our friends from the different stages in our life come together and have a blast.

The dance floor: we always love a great dance party! The band was amazing, and we think everyone had a fun time.

Party Time!

Manhattan Band by Jordan Kahn Music Company kept the party going all night. Everyone danced, sang, and made memories while taking themed Jello “shots” from syringes – a nod to Vernon’s career as an anesthesiologist.

A Word From the Wedding Planner

I asked Anne-Claire Allen if she’d like to add anything to Nicole and Vernon’s blog. She blessed my heart with these words:

“Working with Leslee and her team on Nicole and Vernon’s wedding was a dream.  Despite a very rainy morning that day, Leslee powered through and made everyone feel comfortable and at ease. From the photographs, it’s hard to even know it was raining that day!  Leslee and her team worked so hard that day to truly create a peaceful process and seeing the beautiful photos come through my inbox the following week was truly the cherry on top to a wonderful wedding weekend!  I truly couldn’t recommend her enough.”

A Fun End to an Incredible Day

As friends and family lined the sidewalk, Vernon led Nicole out onto the empty dance floor for one last private dance. When the final notes faded, the new Mr and Mrs stepped outdoors to the cheers of the guests waving sparklers and wishing them farewell. The horn section of the band followed them out, playing music while Nicole and Vernon climbed into the awaiting getaway car with the biggest smiles on their faces. An incredible wedding day for an even more incredible couple!

Thank You!

Thank you, Nicole and Vernon, for trusting my team and I with your unforgettable wedding day. You are SO loved by everyone who witnessed your marriage covenant!

Thank you, also, to this amazing team of top notch wedding vendors. Wow! You all brought your A game!

A special HUG and THANK YOU to my talented friend, Rachelle Kappler, for being my second shooter and my dear friend. You make this life better everywhere you go.

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