Once H and I booked our wedding venue, the next thing we did was start looking for our wedding photographer. Since we only had a few months until the wedding, I knew a lot of photographers would already be booked for our date. The photographer I liked from the Williamsburg Inn’s preferred vendor list wasn’t available, but he referred us to his good friends Michael and Carina Photography, a husband-and-wife photography team from Richmond. I loved their artistic style, and once I met with them I knew they would be perfect!
The day of the wedding, Michael, Carina, and their assistant started in my room taking styled photos of our wedding details, like the rings, the invitation and save the date, and my accessories. They took pictures of me putting the final touches on my hair and makeup with my mom and the maid of honor and then headed over to the Lodge to capture H getting ready with the groomsmen.
Once I was in my wedding dress, Michael and Carina took a few portraits of me descending the stairs at the Williamsburg Inn. I’m a sucker for a grand staircase moment (at one point I was only considering reception venues with huge staircases) and the Williamsburg Inn has a photo of Queen Elizabeth on the same staircase during her visit to Colonial Williamsburg in 1957, which I obviously had to recreate.
Next H and I had our first look under the wisteria arch at the Williamsburg Inn, so that we could take photos before the ceremony and have more time to enjoy our reception. I waited in the hotel lobby while Michael and Carina set up so H wouldn’t accidentally see me before he was supposed to, but it took forever for the photographers and the rest of the bridal party to rendezvous with H, since he and the best man were wandering around the grounds looking for the wisteria arch. Finally, he was in position and I got to surprise him (although he claimed he saw me sneaking past earlier in his peripheral vision). It was such a sweet moment, and we were so excited to see each other!
After a few more pictures under the wisteria arch and at the Fountain Garden, we piled into the waiting cars to drive to the William & Mary campus for photos on the Crim Dell bridge and outside the Wren Building, where we had originally planned to have our ceremony. We had arranged for H’s mom and dad to drive us to campus—it’s not far, but we weren’t moving very fast in our wedding attire. I was relieved to get in the air-conditioned car, since after just a few minutes in the August heat I felt like I was going to melt.
Hilariously, William and Mary move-in was happening that weekend, so we had to drive incredibly slowly down the one-way campus roads, dodging parents and college kids toting huge plastic containers and carts full of cleaning supplies. Finally we made it to the Crim Dell, and Michael and Carina took some beautiful pictures, a few from far away, so you can see H and me on the arch of the iconic Crim Dell bridge, and some lovely close-ups of the wedding party. Our next stop was the Wren Building, which was under construction and had scaffolding all over it, of course, but Michael and Carina got just the right angle from the campus side to have the building, but not the scaffolding, in the background. I was so happy that the Wren Building was still a part of our wedding day, since it’s a special place for H and me.
After that, we drove to the Oval Garden, where our extended family was waiting to take family portraits before the ceremony. We were running slightly behind schedule, but Michael and Carina quickly got everyone organized and started calling up different family members for pictures. Once we were finished with family photos, we took our places for the ceremony, and I was beyond excited for the wedding itself to begin.
Because of the thunderstorm after the ceremony, we had to postpone our carriage ride to the Governor’s Palace, where we had planned to take more photos. I was disappointed in the moment, but I loved attending cocktail hour with our guests, especially during a year when we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with our extended family. Overall, I’m glad that we planned to have a first look and plenty of time for photos before the ceremony, and I’m thrilled that we had such amazing photographers! Michael and Carina did a wonderful job, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.