January 16, 2018
Sydney and Ryan have one of the coolest love stories we have ever had the chance to tell – we are SO thankful they chose us as their wedding photographer and videographer! The two grew up in Suwanee, Georgia, where they met in middle school and began dating their senior year of high school. They went separate ways for college – Sydney went one way to dance and Ryan went to Mercer University to play baseball. They have each been doing their sport since the age of 3 and I love the passion and drive that shines through them as individuals, and as a couple. (They incorporated dance + baseball in their engagement blog and it was adorable!). Now they continue to pursue their passions together, yet in their own way. Sydney is in PT school in Savannah and Ryan is now playing baseball professionally for the Tampa Bay Rays! Even though they will be separated a little longer, I know they will handle the distance with grace and strength.
Sydney and Ryan’s long and deep history together was laced throughout the entire wedding day – every detail and word spoken commemorated their beautiful love story together.
When I first arrived at Ashton Gardens, I saw her wedding dress hung up and fluffed in the bridal suite and I was in awe of how beautiful it was. When Sydney put the dress on, I remember saying “that dress looks like it was made for you!!” Everyone in the room laughed because it was – literally! Sydney’s family friend designed and made ALL of the dresses herself – and they were stunning of everyone. I was floored by how perfect everyone looked!
We took the couple and their bridal party to Sims Lake Park for portraits. When I asked Sydney if that location would work, she laughed again and told me that Ryan proposed to her there, “so yeah, it’s perfect!” The morning light was just right and though it was a cold December day, the whole group toughed it out and looked great doing it.
The ceremony was yet another personal and unique piece of the wedding day. The pastor gave an eloquent and inspiring history of both families during his message, and it was such a cool reminder to me of how miraculous a marriage really is. Sydney and Ryan had a sand ceremony to symbolize their separate lives becoming one while a friend of theirs sang a stunning piece.
We were then blown away by how much fun and entertainment was fit into their Sunday afternoon reception. DJ Rob, who is a member of Sydney’s parents church, kicked off the party immediately, and had guests serenading the couple by table (in exchange for a kiss between the bride and groom, of course). Evan and I listened to the table karaoke while we ate and laughed the whole time. Much more fun than the traditional clinking of the glasses.
One of our favorite parts was Sydney’s father of the bride speech. It about made me tear up, and I almost never do that. He told the story of how Sydney once went through a church program about love as a young girl and she gave him a key to represent the key to her heart. He has had it hanging on his bathroom mirror for the past 10 years and he pulled it out of his pocket to give to Ryan at the end of his toast. So sweet!
To end the day, Sydney came out for the bubble exit wearing a stunning red dress for their getaway! A perfect ending to their Christmastime wedding. We could not imagine a more perfect wedding day for this couple, who are so kind and gracious and easy to love. It is no surprise that their wedding was so large, and yet every piece and detail was personal and meaningful and provided by someone who loves them, creating one of the most intimate big weddings we’ve ever seen.
Congratulations, Sydney and Ryan – we are so blessed to know you and can’t wait to see where life takes you together!
Vendors: Venue: Ashton Gardens | Florist: Rachael Byce | Cake: Cynthia Cakes & Cookies | DJ: Rob Clark Entertainment | Hair: Rhonda Wilkerson | Wedding + Bridemsaids Dress: Janice Petit of J. Marie Designs | Mens Wear: Men’s Warehouse