Anniversary Edition: An Emerald-Isle Wedding: Sarah + Darren

Friends.  Sunshine.  The beach.  Time away with my sweet son. And most importantly, the opportunity to be a meaningful part of my friend’s special day. THAT is what this weekend wedding gig meant to me.  And. I. Couldn’t. Wait.  I packed up on a Thursday night after work.  Camera?  Check.  Lighting equipment?  Check.  Tyler? Check.  Luggage?  Check.  A care-free, let’s-have-a-good-time attitude?  Oh, heck yeah….Check!  I swung by my friend, Kathryn’s, house,  loaded her and her luggage in the car, and we were on our way to a fun-filled weekend in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.  And this weekend wasn’t going to be like any other weekend at the beach.  It was a weekend to celebrate one very special occasion.  And two very special people.  The occasion:  A wedding.  The people: Sarah and Darren.

The venue for the wedding was spectacular!  The views were extraordinary and the house where the bride and groom were staying, also the location for the wedding, was called the “Jewel of the Waterway.”  And a jewel, it was.  It was gorgeous, set back from the sound a bit, with a walkway leading directly from the back patio, through the greenest grass I have ever seen, to a pier on the sound.  Tables were covered in white fabric.  White chairs lined the area, facing the chuppah where the couple would wed.  A white reception tent covered the dance floor and instruments lay silent in their cases, waiting to be played as the guests would ultimately sing and dance the night away.  The sound of bullfrogs echoed in the distance.  The surroundings were sheer perfection.

Sarah and her bridesmaids dressed for the day in an upstairs room of the Jewel.  They laughed.  They drank mimosas.  And they inhaled each moment, one by one, taking in the significance of the day, and embracing it all.  Sarah was relaxed.  Her expressions were calm.  And her bridesmaids took great care to help her get dressed, to love on her, and to remind her that they were there.  Not just today.  But for always.  As her friends.  As her support.  As the ones who would walk beside her through the ups and the downs.  And they stood in a window overlooking the peaceful blue waters, and they made a toast to Sarah. And to Darren.  And to the future they would share together.

Downstairs,  Darren was just as calm, and he was as debonaire as they come…albeit his manner of preparing lacked the urgency that was seen with the women.  As far as Darren was concerned, he was getting married…in the suit Sarah had chosen for him….or his bathing suit.  To him, it didn’t much matter what he wore, as long as he was married to his Sarah by the time the day was done.  And that, he would be.

Darren waited by the patio for a peek at his bride.  And no matter how much Sarah was encouraged to stay out of view for one more short moment, she couldn’t be contained.  She was ready for her groom and made her way out onto the balcony to wave to her love before she descended the stairs of the home.  Sarah, stunning in every way, rounded the corner, bouquet in hand, and came face-to-face with the man of her dreams.  In that moment, words were unnecessary.  Sarah and Darren were meant for each other.  They were in love.  And they couldn’t wait one more day, nor minute, nor second to become husband and wife.  They walked hand-in-hand around the grounds, speaking with guests as they arrived, beaming with joy and excitement about what lay ahead.

Sarah and Darren stood beneath a chuppah on that day in October.  They pledged their love for each other.  They vowed to be together for every day for the rest of their lives.  And they meant it.  Every word.  In Jewish tradition, Darren smashed a glass beneath his right foot, the crowd enthusiastically yelled, “Mozel tov!”, and Sarah and Darren were one.  Forever.

The reception was a combination of dancing, laughing, and singing as loud as one possibly could.  The sounds of this night echoed down the waterway, and guests residing nearby yelled their “Congratulations!” to the couple as they danced beneath the North Carolina stars.

Sarah and Darren…I don’t even know where to start.  I have enjoyed every moment of our friendship, and there is no honor greater than to be asked by a friend to document such a meaningful occasion such as your wedding.  Thank you for the opportunity.  Thank you for trusting me.  And thank you, mostly, for your friendship.  I had a blast at your wedding celebration, and having known you personally for some time now, I must say…your wedding was an absolute reflection of your personalities: sweet, simple, fun, and full of life.  May you always laugh.  May you always love.  And may you always remember the day you said, “I Do” to the ups, to the downs, and to everything in between.  Much love and best wishes always.  -M xoxo

I found the shell and starfish inside the beach house and though they were a perfect representation of the day.

It was a gorgeous day!  Just looking at this picture makes me want to sit in one of those chairs for hours (or days…).  Sarah and Darren made sure to write a few words of “Thanks” to their family and friends on the wedding programs. 

Sarah’s dress was simple and elegant.  She wore it with grace.

Mimosas were a fabulous way for the ladies to start the celebration.  Sarah’s jewelry added to her overall look perfectly.

The bridesmaids made certain that every detail of Sarah’s dress was exactly as it should be. 

Making a toast to the couple.

The bouquets created by Pam’s Specialized Catering added the most perfect splash of color to the blue dresses of the bridesmaids.

Sarah and Darren took my recommendation and had a First Look.  This allowed for a much more relaxed, unhurried experience for taking those special shots with just the bride and the groom.  We were able to wander around the grounds, capturing all the moments in between.

The first time Sarah and Darren came face-to-face on their wedding day.

Sarah, you are beautiful.  And way to rock the dress!

Sarah and Darren….calm and cherishing every moment of their wedding day.

So cool. 

Perfect venue.  Perfect couple.  Perfect day.

Sarah, as her father gives her away to the love of her life.  And from the looks of it, I’d say she was thrilled!


Even a year after this wedding, and trying several gourmet cupcakes from local bakeries, I have to say…These were by far the best cupcakes I have ever had.  Hey, Sarah and Darren…Care to make a road trip sometime soon?  I’m a little bit hungry!

This is a favorite photo of mine, showing Darren singing with the band and Sarah lovingly watching from the crowd.  Darren, I was totally impressed with your vocal abilities.  And your dancing, but that’s a story for another blog…

Sarah and Darren sang, danced, and celebrated the night away. 

At sunset, I grabbed the bride and groom and headed for the pier.  Because we were on the sound side, we were able to enjoy the sun setting over the water.  The two stopped for a private moment before heading out to the end of the pier.

Love.  Pure and true. 

To see more of Sarah and Darren’s Emerald Isle Wedding, feel free to CLICK HERE for a slideshow!

Happy Friday, friends!  Hope your weekend is fab!

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