For two years of my time spent at Liberty, I worked as a RA (Resident Assistant), which meant that I got to meet and live with so many wonderful girls. Being a Christian university, one of Liberty’s favorite things in the world is seeing their students get a “ring by spring”, and a way that they make sure this happens is by assigning every girl dorm with a “brother dorm”. My first year, I was on a dorm with almost 70 girls, most of whom were freshmen. Yeah, that’s A LOT of estrogen. One of those freshman girls was Caitlin – blue-eyed, beautiful, driven, and so excited about life. It was in the fall semester of 2009 that Caitlin met Chase through our brother dorm, and while she didn’t get it by that spring, she did finally get her ring by the spring of 2013. I hadn’t seen Caitlin or Chase in over 2 years but like a normal person, I stalked their relationship on Facebook. Don’t judge. You know you do it too. When Caitlin emailed me in October to tell me she and Chase were engaged (which I, as a stalker, already knew) and were interested in booking me for their wedding, I was so excited!

Being able to travel back to Virginia this past weekend was so fun! I had forgotten how beautiful Lynchburg and the surrounding areas are… You really can’t beat their mountains, huge flowery fields, and you DEFINITELY can’t beat their sunsets! On the afternoon of Caitlin and Chase’s wedding, I drove through the gorgeous mountains into Blue Ridge, Virginia. I always know I’m in for a great time of shooting when I have to turn down multiple gravel roads to get to the venue. :) When I pulled up to Diamond V Farms, I might have been freaking out a little because it was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, y’all… Most gorgeous venue I’ve ever shot at, and totally my cup of tea! Caitlin had poured her heart into all the little details of their wedding day, and it was so worth it because their wedding was the perfect representation of she and Chase. They were surrounded by their amazing families and one of the most fun bridal parties I’ve ever experienced! We kept joking throughout the day that Caitlin only picked girls who were beautiful to be her bridesmaids, but hey… I’m not complaining. :)

Caitlin and Chase – Thank y’all so much for flying me to Virginia and giving me the privilege of capturing your day. I know y’all will LOVE marriage because it is rooted so deeply in the love of Christ. I hope Curasol (definitely had to Google the spelling of that) is incredible, and feel free to send a little tan my way. :)

I just loved these invitations!

Beautiful ladies and an AMAZING colors. Good job picking those, Caitlin. :)

Love the image on the left… That’s her reaction to seeing herself for the first time. :)

Colleen, you are probably the most awesome Mother of the Bride I’ve ever worked with!

Y’all are gorgeous!

Caitlin. STOP IT!

This bouquet is EASILY my favorite I’ve ever photographed…
I was dying over it all day!

Thanks to my second shooter, Erin, for capturing these next few of the men getting ready. :)

These guys had me laughing A LOT!

Chase, you made such a handsome groom!

Prepare for some amazing details coming your way!

I didn’t know a cake table had the ability to be this beautiful! I could have shot it all day!

If you’re wondering if it tasted as good as it look, the answer is yes. :)

I LOVE that they had childhood pictures of each other eating cake on the table! So creative!

This tablecloth was handmade by Caitlin’s godmother. I so badly wanted to steal it and bring it home to Arkansas!

Y’all KNOW I loved this combo of peach and lace!

Caitlin’s mom spent the last 6 months searching for different pieces of china they used at their wedding. Each was a little different and added so much character to the space!

Amazing!

I loved seeing Chase’s reaction to his beautiful bride.

Caitlin, you are breathtaking!

Married!!

Doesn’t this picture just make you want to be friends with all of them?!

Caitlin read my blog post on Sunset Time, so they decided to have all of their portraits done at this time!
I was so thankful that they prioritized great light and gave me so much time with just the two of them. :)

Be prepared for a lot of favorites here!

Love the simplicity of this…

Caitlin, you are adorable!

Oh, Virginia. You SLAY me!

Get it, girl!

A favorite, for sure!

It isn’t a TRUE southern wedding without a John Deere!

More of the cake table because I was STILL mesmerized by it!

Such a fun reception! These people know how to get down!

All of these beautiful girls started as freshmen on my hall at LU, and it was so great to see them. I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 YEARS since their move-in day!

Maybe one of these days I’ll be smart and take this picture at the beginning of the day, instead of waiting until I’ve sweated every ounce of makeup off. :)

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Pritt!

  • June 6, 2013 - 1:59 pm

    Fallyn - What absolutely breathtaking photos of my beautiful cousin;s wedding! I am devastated that I could not be there to share in their special day. What a beautiful couple. I love you, Caitlin and am so very happy for you! <3ReplyCancel

  • June 6, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Erin fetterhoff - Love these Kelsey! You’re so talented & captured Chase & Caitlin’s day perfectly! Thanks for letting me shoot with you!ReplyCancel

  • June 6, 2013 - 7:13 pm

    Colleen Green - Wow Kelsey! I’m absolutely speechless!! These photos are amazing!! Caitlin and I both agreed during the wedding planning stage that the photographer was probably THE single most important vendor that needed to be picked first. That was one area that we knew we didn’t want to skimp on. And your photography has proved our point! You did a fantastic job capturing the details that we worked so hard on and more importantly the entire overall mood and emotions of the day. I personally will be forever grateful to you for capturing these memories for us! Love you so much!ReplyCancel

  • June 6, 2013 - 7:57 pm

    Avery - These pictures literally made me cry.. You are awesome Kelsey!!! And of course, Caitlin and Chase are unbelievably good looking. I love my best friends!ReplyCancel

  • June 13, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Caitlin & Chase| Blue Ridge Wedding Second Shooter » - […] awesome privilege of being a second shooter for Caitlin & Chase’s wedding with Kelsey of Kelsey Tice Photography! When Kelsey asked me to be her second shooter, I must admit that I fan-girled a little bit! I have […]ReplyCancel

  • October 27, 2013 - 7:46 am

    Robin Jones - Your photos are just lovely! My daughter is getting married at the Diamond V next June and I wondered what time the ceremony was for Caitlin and Chase? Trying to pick the best time so that heat won’t be too much of an issue for guests. Plus the lighting in your photographs is just perfect. Thanks for your help!
    Robin JonesReplyCancel

I wholeheartedly believe that I became SUCH a better wedding photographer after experiencing what it was like to be a bride myself. I finally understood firsthand what exactly went into planning, the nearly impossible task of trying to stay on budget, having to prepare for a new life after the wedding, and dealing with all of this while on a crazy roller coaster of emotions. It’s definitely one of those things that you can’t fully understand until you experience it yourself.

Prior to getting married, one of the things that I didn’t understand was why family pictures were so important to my brides & grooms. I know, that makes me sound like the most insensitive and cold-hearted person of all time. Honestly, getting a list two pages long of different family photo combinations tended to annoy me. I just didn’t understand why my couples would want to “waste” 30 minutes of their precious photo time on boring pictures like that. Can’t you have a friend take those at the rehearsal dinner or next family vacation to save time?

…And then I got married.

After Aaron & I got back from our honeymoon, I was like every other woman who has ever gotten married and was DYING to see my pictures. Yes, I was probably most excited about the portraits that our photographers did with just Aaron and I, but I also had a great excitement to see our family pictures. What? Those boring, stiff pictures that took up so much precious photo time on the wedding day?? Yep. I cared more about those than pictures of our ceremony and reception. This could have something to do with the fact that I had just moved over 1000 miles away and was starting a brand new life far from my family. Regardless of the reason why, I finally understood why these pictures are SUCH a priority to brides & grooms on their wedding day. Because of this, today I want to share some tips on getting the most out of your family pictures.

1. Communicate. This principle can be applied to almost every aspect of your wedding (and life in general), but it couldn’t be more important with family pictures. It is ESSENTIAL that your family knows when and where they are supposed to be in order than these pictures are captured in a timely manner. For instance, if you’ve planned all your extended family shots to follow immediately after the ceremony, instruct your family to stay seated while all other guests exit to cocktail hour. If Uncle Bob wanders off looking for a shrimp cocktail, that could EASILY delay pictures for 5-10 minutes – time that you do not have to waste!

2. Get a head start. Regardless of whether or not you and your fiance have chosen to have a First Look, you can usually knock out a good chunk of immediate family pictures before the ceremony begins. Having a majority of these pictures done ahead of time will allow you to focus on the masses (extended family) after the ceremony, without having to feel as rushed.

3. Look for good light. Ultimately, this will depend on the preference of your photographer, but I will ALWAYS choose good light over the convenience of not having to change locations. A lot of times, especially for couples getting married in churches, the lighting is not ideal. I am a natural-light photographer, which means that I only use flash when absolutely necessary because it completely changes the look of images. Be open to allowing your photographer to pick a place that will give the most flattering light, even if that means not having your family pictures taken on the altar of the church.

4. Make a list. Oh, I cannot stress this point enough! Write down EVERY combination of family pictures that you and your fiance want taken on your wedding day and give it to your photographer ahead of time. If you plan on “winging it”, you will inevitably forget someone/a combination of people, everyone will be stressed out, and it will end up taking FOREVER… This is every photographer’s worst nightmare. Here’s two tips when making your list: #1 – Avoid using nicknames. Your photographer will have a hard time knowing who “Grandma” is, especially if you have four of them, so use first names to avoid confusion. #2 – Compile your list in a way that will flow. If Grandma Eleanor is in 4 different combinations of photos, try to have those grouped together, instead of spreading them apart. This will cut down on time, and it will allow family members to head to the reception as soon as they’re done.

5. Have fun! There is a reason that I do not call family pictures “family formals”. Gross. That makes me think of my days working high school Proms as a studio photographer… Starry night backdrops and awkward poses galore. It’s not bad to have some photos where everyone is standing straight and smiling at the photographer, but don’t be afraid to put your arms around each other, lean in, and have a good laugh. Those are my personal favorite because THAT is real life.

And just for fun, here’s a shot of our families on our wedding day. I treasure this picture!

photo by Julie Cate

Happy Wednesday! :)

  • June 5, 2013 - 3:48 pm

    Erica - Very good tips, Kelsey! I learned so much about weddings just from the one I helped you on & I am definitely using lists for any future brides I photograph :)ReplyCancel

Such a busy, fun month!

Highlights of June:

-Visiting Jacksonville to shoot a wedding. It was perfect timing because I got to spend Mother’s Day with my amazing mom & grandmother, go to my best friend’s bridal shower, and spend time at the beach & on the river!
-30 Day Shred. This is only a highlight because I somehow finished it.
-Sweet friends in our small group had their first baby! Hudson is so beautiful.
-Shot an amazing, southern wedding in Clarendon, Arkansas.
-Made a 24-hour trip to Kansas City to see the Royals play the Angels. Super fun!
-Date night in a fort that we made in our living room. Yes, we’re 12.
-Had a cookout with the awesome people of our small group. I’m still in denial that it was to say goodbye to our amazing leaders. :(
-Almost finished the Harry Potter series. I say “almost” because I still have 2 chapters to read, and I refuse to read them because I don’t want it to end!
-Spent some time crafting, which is always therapeutic.
-Visited Lynchburg, VA (home of my alma mater) to shoot a wedding. It had been 2 years since I’d been there, and it was insane to see all the changes that have been made to LU since then!

Happy Tuesday!