Claire and I met on her wedding day; however, for me, it didn't feel like it one bit. Claire is a published author--her first novel at 18 (so writing this blog post wasn't intimidating one bit!!). I had extensively stalked her writer Facebook page, blog, and checked out her books on Amazon, so I (admittedly) had a bit of a head start. But when I arrived, my distant observations were all confirmed. According to her dad, she has always been independent, ambitious, and strong-willed. At a young age, she decided her given name, Hannah Claire Taylor, would no longer do, so she let her family know from that day forward, she should be called, "Claire." And she was. And on a foggy day, at a wooded homestead just outside of Austin, she took on a new name--the last one this time.
I love shooting weddings because I truly feel like a wedding can be (and often is) one of the most extravagant expressions of one's self. You see two people on one of the most special days of their lives--surrounded by family and friends, both old and new. You observe the dynamics of their relationships, the choices they make for their wedding, the way they respond when something inevitably doesn't go according to plan, and you begin to develop a picture of their priorities, their lives and what makes them tick.
Claire is witty, observant, humble, open, and incredibly loving and loyal. She also has an amazing crew of intelligent, kind, and silly friends and family around her. The best part of all of that is that when I got to know John, I quickly learned that he, too, was all of these things. Just a few days before the wedding, John had graduated into the ranks of Austin's police force, and Claire could not have been more proud and supportive of him. According to his friends, he is a closet-writer, and one of the funniest and most clever guys they know. It became immediately evident that John is loyal, respectful, humble, and true--and loves their dogs! Claire and John both adore each other with a complete, respectful, and mature love. Seeing them together was so inspiring and a great reminder of who I want to be every day in my marriage and in the world.
Their wedding was beautiful--incredibly meaningful, and they seemed to really have a grasp on what was meaningful to them: lots of love, lots of thought, lots of good people, food, booze, and dancing. The House on the Hill was the perfect hill country venue for their soiree. Gorgeous light poured through the rooms, expansive balconies sprawled from every space to enjoy the views, and the grounds felt a bit like your own. Claire crafted all the bouquets and boutonnieres herself, using actual pages from her published books to create paper flowers. The groomsmen had speckled the space with whiskey and classic novels--and I think they were actually reading them! Everyone was relaxed, in love, having a good time--embracing a spirit of celebration for Claire and John. I couldn't have been more honored to document their day and the start of their forever-life together.
All the best to you two, and I can't wait to look back some day and see all you have accomplished by each other's side!
Venue: House on the Hill - Austin // Dress: David's Bridal // Alterations: Lillian May Bridals - Austin // Shoes: Zappos // Flowers: Handmade by Bride from her published novels // Cupcakes: Delish Bakery - Austin //Catering: Robert Mayberry // Groom's Suit: Dandy's - Austin // Coordinators: Wolf Weddings - San Antonio //Shooting with me: Paige Newton