A Shrine Mont Wedding: Caroline + Joe


In 2001, a red-headed, freckle-faced ninth grader packed her bags for summer camp.  She was full of life and full of excitement about what lay ahead.  Caroline arrived at camp Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, Virginia and soon met an incredibly cool camp staffer named Joe.  Joe was a college student and was working at Shrine Mont for the summer.  Caroline can recount the events of that summer well.   Evidently, Joe was not only incredibly cool, but he was also incredibly cute.  Caroline was smitten.  And she knew, leaving camp that summer, that Joe’s incredibly cute face would not be easily forgotten.  And Caroline did not forget Joe.  Not ever.  Which is why, in 2008, when she saw Joe’s familiar, incredibly cute, face 1000 miles away from the place they first met, in New Orleans, Louisiana, she was floored.  How could she and the incredibly cute camp staffer from Virginia find each other in New Orleans, Louisiana?!?!  Both Caroline and Joe had traveled to New Orleans to offer assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  And while this encounter seemed unlikely, it had happened.  And this time, Caroline wasn’t just a summer-camper with a crush on her camp counselor. She was a woman.  A beautiful, generous, and amazing woman.  And she had caught Joe’s eye.  Joe’s heart soon followed, and this fairytale romance began.

Caroline and Joe returned to the place of their first encounter to take their wedding vows.  There was a sense of purpose in the air as people put the final touches on the vintage-inspired wedding details.  But Caroline was calm.  She was certain that she was exactly where she was meant to be with exactly the right person at exactly the right time.  And nothing could shake her.  Her warm and gracious bridesmaids pampered her as she prepared to meet her groom, and Caroline embraced every moment.  They laughed together.  They cried together.  And yes…they even sang some pop tunes together.  And in every. single. moment., they loved together.  They held Caroline’s hand as they led her to meet Joe on a grassy hill overlooking the Shrine for the First Look.  Heart strings were pulled as Joe turned to see Caroline for the first time, standing before him in her lace gown, glowing in the late afternoon sunlight.  In that moment, it became perfectly clear.  Caroline and Joe were head-over-heels in love.

At 4:00pm, Caroline and her father made thier way to the alter of the all stone, open-air cathedral.  She took Joe’s hand and the two promised to grow old together.  They thanked God for the blessing of their love, and they received promises of support from their loved ones.  Later at the reception, Caroline’s father stood and toasted his daughter and her new husband.  He said, “I believe that coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous.”  It’s true.  It was no accident that Caroline and Joe had met, or that their paths had later crossed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  It was part of a Plan.  And what a falwless Plan it was.

Caroline and Joe…To meet you was to meet warmth, authenticity, and compassion.  You exude kindness, and the fact that you are both extremely funny and have super-awesome friends is just a bonus!  I am incredibly honored to have been a part of your wedding day.  It was perfect in every way and represented your love wonderfully.  Thank you for welcoming me into your world.  And thank you for trusting me.  I wish you many years of love and laughter together.

Much love! M xoxo


Caroline planned a vintage-inspired wedding, including a bouquet combining florals and broaches. 

This lace gown fit wonderfully into Caroline’s wedding theme.  Not to mention the fact that it fit her like. a. glove. Utter perfection.

One of Caroline’s bridesmaids styled her hair, while her sister and Maid of Honor acted as makeup artist.  Good job, Sarah and MP!

Isn’t she glowing?!? You are beautiful, Caroline!

Caroline’s mother and sister helped her complete her wedding day look with some fabulous jewelry.

Caroline, you are so loved.  You are blessed.

I wonder where Caroline got her looks….  Hi, Mrs. Nance!

This photo did not do it justice, but do you see the bracelet on Mary Page’s wrist?  Caroline’s mother and other family members hand-made vintage-inspired bracelets for all the women in the bridal party.  How’s that for DIY?!?!

There’s that incredibly cute smile!

There are soooo many reasons why I love the First Look…. moments like those in the next few images are one of them. 

Gorge.  Seriously.  Gorge.  And look at the girl rocking the red lipstick! 

One of my favs.  F’sure.

The open-air cathedral and a simple, yet beautiful detail from the ceremony location.

God was there.  In everything.  And all around.  See Matthew 18:20.

Such a tender moment between father and daughter. 

It’s time.  Finally….after all these years.

Two happy campers!  Get it?  Happy campers?  Pun totally intended.

I cannot get enough of these two.

The first moments as husband and wife.

The DIY, themed elements of this wedding were breathtaking.  I understand a pretty amazing Maid of Honor/Sister-of-the-Bride had a lot to do with that.  Way to go, MP!  You are fab.

I haven’t posted photos of all of them, but there were cakes everywhere.  Exquisite, pink cakes.  And I loved ’em all.  Thank you, Sur La Pointe Bakery

Again…DIY elements.  Stunning.

I absolutely adored the display of antique frames holding table assignments.  I especially loved the decorative books and that The Taming of the Shrew was included.  A bit of humor is never a bad thing.

Caroline and Joe chose I Will by Alison Krauss as the song for their first dance.

We headed out on the balcony during the reception to capture a few images  overlooking the Shenandoah mountains. 

To view more of A Shrine Mont Wedding: Caroline + Joe, please CLICK HERE for a slideshow!

Thanks for dropping by. xoxo


Sneak Peek! A Shrine Mont Wedding: Caroline + Joe

For most of us, Mondays kinda stink.  But not this Monday!  I had the privilege of photographing a super awesome wedding yesterday in the spectacular Virginia mountains!  Looking at their photos has totally made me smile today, despite it being a Monday, and I hope this gorgeous couple and a quick Sneak Peek makes you smile, too!

Congratulations,  Caroline and Joe!  Thank you for making my job so easy!  Have a fabulous honeymoon, and I’ll see ya on the flip side!

Much love, M. xoxo