Renee Back



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Backyard Autumn Wedding | Magnolia, KY

Before I tell Hannah and Corey’s autumn wedding story, let me start at the beginning. I have known Hannah since before she was a teenager. Her sister invited us to her home shortly after we met and I fell in love with the whole family right away. That fall, we took family photos and I learned immediately how much the camera loves her. Hannah had a special place in my heart because of how close she was to her family, how sweet she was and how much she loved God. Every time she would see me, she would run up and give me the biggest hug!

Last year, we photographed her sister’s wedding, which was gorgeous! So we had high expectations coming into this autumn wedding and it didn’t disappoint. We decided earlier this year that we would no longer be photographing weddings, but we wanted to make an exception for dear Hannah. She is the purest soul you’ll ever meet and it was a great honor to be invited to her wedding, no less to photograph it.

I knew before we arrived that this would be an emotion-filled day. Her sister had made her a scrapbook that I contributed a page for. When we arrived, she was looking through that with her closest friends surrounding her. Her mother had already given her a beautiful handkerchief with the sweetest message. She gave a card to her sister and they held each other and told each other how much they loved each other and couldn’t imagine life apart.

But even more than all of that was the back story behind this sweet couple. Corey’s dad, Erik, saw how comfortable the two of them were together. He could tell there was “something” between them. Erik told him that he better go after Hannah because they were so good together and if he waited too long, the opportunity would pass.

Tragically, shortly after this, Corey lost his dear father. Through the grief, he listened to his father. He and Hannah became a couple. When things progressed to proposal, his mother, Kalisha, wanted him to have her ring. Because family is everything to both of them, this was the sweetest gesture. This beautiful piece of jewelry will continue to honor the love his parents had for each other as it’s part of their growing love for each other. Corey also kept his father’s ring with him inside his suit, close to his heart.

The details of this autumn wedding were so beautiful! The flowers were so colorful. The corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets had wispy feathers. Even her shoes were adorable!

After getting up close with the details, it was time for the groom to get ready so he could see his beautiful bride. He looked so handsome in his green suit!

Hannah got some help from her beautiful mama to get into her dress and put on the most amazing veil I’ve ever seen in my life.

She couldn’t wait to see what Corey looked like, but first, she wanted to see the first man she ever fell in love with, her daddy. He kept asking “can I turn around?” No dad! You have to wait! Being the practical joker that he is, he tried to make her laugh with a fake surprised look. But once he actually looked at her, all you could see was love and pride.

After this sweet moment, she hid one more time so we could get Corey outside without seeing her. She approached him and held his hand as they read their vows to each other. The most precious moment with just enough humor sprinkled in.

Then it was time for them to actually look at each other. And you could tell they both felt they were getting the better end of the deal, that they didn’t deserve the other. And that’s how true love should be. To work harder to be better for the other.

On to bride and groom portraits. Which if you remember their engagement session, you know their love is going to brightly shine through.

Aren’t they gorgeous?!!! I love how good these two are together! They can calm whatever nerves the other has. As long as they’re together, everything will be ok.

While the girls were finishing hair and makeup, we were able to photograph the guys. I mean, guys just want to be done with photos anyway, right? But you wouldn’t know it by their amazing smiles. They had each other cracking up!

And don’t get me started on the ring bearer! He was born on our anniversary five years ago. So he already was pretty special to me 🙂 But he’s the biggest ham if I ever did see one! None of us could get him to hold on to his suspenders, so you’ll just have to imagine that photo, but look how adorable he is!

He knows he looks good 😉 I love how he looks up at Corey. This man has stolen the heart of his aunt and you can tell he has accepted him into the family with open arms. Another one of the guys! Now it was time for photos of the ladies. But he had to get a photo with his aunt before he could let the girls steal the spotlight!

Cutest. Little. Man. Ever! Ok, now he could let Hannah shine on her own again. And man, does she look gorgeous!

Aren’t those bouquets exquisite?! Perfect for an autumn wedding! Ok…now on to the girls! In their vibrant fall colors, they looked amazing! And you’ve heard the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. Well none of these girls were born when that song was written, but I’m pretty sure it was written about them! There were so many laughs during this part of the day, I was almost in tears.

These were the absolute perfect colors for a beautiful autumn wedding day! And these ladies enjoyed the day to the full! They made each other laugh. They made each other cry. And they danced the night away!

Sisters have such a special bond! These two are basically inseparable. They are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and they bring out the best in each other. There is no way to be friends with just one of them. You get them both or you don’t get either! I pick both! Their laughs are so infectious, I’m so glad they’re in my life!

The bride is inheriting a few nieces and two of them got to be flower girls. They looked so adorable in their flowered crowns, carrying crocheted flower petal baskets. The bride took a few last photos with them and then went to hide while guests were arriving. We had time to get a few shots of these little sweethearts with Uncle Corey. Priceless!

While the bride hid, we were able to get a few photos of Corey with his mom and brother. It was a very emotional time. Dad should have been in this photo. And that’s a hole that can never be filled. Corey shed plenty of tears, but he handled the day with as much grace as any man can muster. He is an amazing guy and his father would be proud.

And now the reason for the entire day… It was time for these two to become man and wife. The processional started behind this willow tree, where Corey escorted him mom and mother-in-law to their seats. Then bridesmaids and groomsmen. Next came the bride’s brother and her nephew, who was carrying a sign that read “Don’t Worry Ladies. I’m Still Single.” Haha. The things kids do for adults they love! The family’s three legged dog was escorted down the aisle on a flower leash by a groomsman. After the flower girls, the father of the bride escorted her down the aisle as she blew kisses to her mamaw who was sitting off to the side. She kissed him on the cheek and stood at the altar with her fiancé.

I thought there had been plenty of tears up to this point. But I was not prepared to see the officiant cry. I’ve known him for years. Joked with him many times. But to see his heart and his love for this couple gave me a new respect for him. I love seeing the tender side of people and he definitely showed his at this wedding. Beautiful advice was given from the Bible and the two made a lifelong commitment to each other. They exchanged rings. A prayer was said to get God’s blessing on the union. They were pronounced husband and wife and then Corey dipped Hannah into their first kiss as man and wife. It was perfect!

Yay! They’re married! After signing the marriage license, we moved on to portraits of the whole bridal party. Couldn’t forget that! And just like that, two perfect photos of the bridal party. Almost like they practiced! Or maybe they just wanted to do it right the first time so we could all go eat and have fun!

During dinner, Hannah’s dad came up to Corey and welcomed him to the family. It was a very sweet gesture and I was glad I got to witness it!

After they were done with dinner, we got the family photos. More sweet moments. And plenty more laughs!

The sun was about to set, so it was time for photos of the new husband and wife. A time we could escape and let them be alone. Just to soak it all in. They are now married. Now it can be just the two of them. And they are so comfortable in each other’s arms. They can just be.

Loooooooove them! And so happy for them! Now it was time for the first dances. Their first dance as a couple was to “Us” by James Bay. So sweet how they sang to each other.

Then on to the father daughter dance to “I Loved Her First”. This was the song I danced to with my dad at our wedding. Still brings tears to my eyes every time I see a father- daughter dance. Those moments with daddy are so precious, even when he’s being goofy. The grin on her face speaks for itself.

If I thought the father-daughter dance was emotional, I was not ready for what came next. I knew there would be tears for the mother-son dance, but this one got me more than choked up. The comfort they found in each other’s arms was felt by all. This moment was special.

Then the bride danced with her own mother, to which they incorporated Corey and then his mama into the dance. Til they’re one solid family that no one can break up. And then the bride danced with her new brother-in-law as her mother danced with her new son-in-law. These moments were profound and beautiful. Everything a wedding reception should be.

And finally for the cake cutting before we dance the rest of the night away! The cake was not only beautiful, it was one of the best wedding cakes I’ve ever tasted! So light, almost like angel food cake. It was perfect!

I was very proud of them for just being sweet. They tapped each other on the nose with a dab of frosting. And that was the end of the night for us! I’ll share one more set of photos, but these ones in black and white. Because their love is timeless. I can’t wait to watch their relationship blossom and grow!

Hannah and Corey, congratulations! And thank you so much for trusting us on such an important day! We love you and wish you all the best!

Kevin and Reneé


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