Lately I’ve had the honor of photographing some beautiful brides at Pembroke Hall in Edenton, NC, but Mandy + Trey’s wedding was the first wedding day I’ve had the privilege of photographing at this fabulous venue!  And let me tell you… it is a wedding photographer’s dream location.  Brightly lit rooms, minimalist decor, fabulous rustic floors and antique finishings in this stunning historic mansion.  Everything about this property is the perfect accent for a classic Southern Wedding.  Mandy chose touches of yellow with a summery watermelon pink to brighten her wedding day. Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers (who I could blog on and on and on about!) pulled together her gorgeous floral design and the wonderful team over at Inner Banks Inn curated the delicious meal and amazing wedding cake.

I could flip through these photos all day long and never get enough of how beautiful Mandy + Trey’s wedding day was!  I’m so glad Jerry and I were able to be a part of their celebration and I’m also looking so forward to another Pembroke Hall wedding happening this upcoming October!

Congrats Mandy + Trey!!

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 Pembroke Hall Wedding

Photography: Melissa Stallings Photography

Floral Design: Sybil Skinner, Yeopim Flowers

Catering and Cake: Inner Banks Inn

DJ: DJ Cowboy

Dress Shop: Alexia’s Bridal

Dress Designer: Monique Lhuiller

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse

Ceremony Violinist: Club Violin, Nags Head

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Mother nature will dish out anything she wishes, at any time.. and sometimes that dish is cold rain on an April wedding day.  Fortunately, Karen and Chip (check out their Outer Banks Engagement Session!) didn’t let a little rain come between them and their love for each other!  They rocked their rainy wedding day like nobody’s business and by the end of the night, we were all having so much fun we hardly even remembered it had rained!  I’ll be honest, the Bride and Groom portraits that we made in the tiniest 3ft x 3ft space of light in the hallway of the church are some of my favorite portraits ever.  I love the dramatic look of the sparse white hallway and low window light, combined with his dapper black tuxedo… classic… 

Karen + Chip were married at Rocky Hock Baptist church in Edenton, NC and had an oh-so-fun reception nearby in her father’s backyard on the Chowan River, complete with live band Hipshack that traveled in from Charlotte, NC to keep the dance floor hoppin’!  They chose the most beautiful shade of aqua and peachy colors for her palette and had sweet little nautical anchors sprinkled throughout her decor to symbolize not only their mutual love of the water but that they are each other’s ‘anchor’ in life.  SO perfect!

Jerry and I were over the moon thrilled to have been a part of this fun event and we’re so glad that Karen + Chip’s love for each other won’t let a little rain, rain on their parade :-)

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Edenton NC Wedding

Live Band: Hipshack, Charlotte NC

Floral Bouquets: Evan’s Florist, Edenton NC

Cake: Anita’s Creative Cakes, Edenton NC

Catering: Leon Nixon Catering, Edenton NC

Dress shop for Bride and Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse

Hair: Brooke Harris of Jus’ Teezin’, Edenton NC

Makeup: Megan Elliot of Making ME Blush

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This gorgeous lady got married last weekend!  Mandy Parrish is now Mrs. Trey Overman and we were so honored to be a part of celebrating their wedding day with them.  Pembroke Hall has been the location of so many beautiful shoots I’ve had this year and as a photographer who adores historic, beautiful homes.. I couldn’t be more tickled that this gem of a venue is in our own backyard of Edenton NC.

Sybil Skinner of Yeopim Flowers (who also was the mastermind behind my own wedding floral design!) provided her bridal bouquet for this shoot and the floral design for her wedding day.  You are going to melt when you see what Sybil did for Mandy + Trey’s wedding.  SO gorgeous!  Until I’ve sorted through their fabulous wedding gallery, here is a peak of the new Mrs. Overman to hold you over.

Safe travels to Mandy + Trey as they enjoy a honeymoon in Ireland right now!!

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 Pembroke Hall Bridal Portraits

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I have had the privilege of photographing some gorgeous ladies at Pembroke Hall in Edenton NC lately!  And the brand new Mrs. Karen Pruden is one of them.  Karen + Chip (be sure to check out their Outer Banks Engagement Session!) were married in Chowan County last weekend and today, as I work on their wedding gallery, I wanted to share her bridal portraits!

This upcoming weekend I get the honor of also photographing Karen’s cousin Mandy and her fiance Trey as they say their vows to each other, also at Pembroke Hall!  Their wedding is going to be fabulous!

I can’t wait to share Karen+Chip’s wedding day with you soon, shortly followed by Mandy+Trey.

Wedding season is officially kicked in!

Congrats to Karen + Chip… Chip is one lucky hubby :-)

 

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Pembroke Hall Bridal Portraits

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Jerry and I were so honored to kick off our wedding season with such a happy couple!  Kathryn and Chris (check out their Hertford NC engagement session!) were married on April 11th at Tripp Farms in Greenville NC on the most fabulous day.  Not only was this wedding special because it was the first of our exciting lineup of weddings for 2015, but it was the first wedding Jerry and I got to shoot together as husband and wife ourselves!  We are still soaring from how perfect our vision came to life for our wedding day and, although we are always honored to be there to photograph a wedding day for our couples, it means even more to us now having just had our own wedding and experiencing all the joys and excitement that go along with receiving our wedding photos!  It truly is an honor in the biggest form to be a part of celebrating with each of our brides and grooms!

Mr. & Mrs. Bloomberg’s wedding was a fabulous mix of lavenders, peaches and greens with a sweet hint of spring.  They had the always amazing Taz 2 Productions as the Emcee for their day and the delicious TopSide Restaurant catering the southern style meal with barbecue and chicken.  Kathryn and Chris even made their own Hot Sauce to send home as a gift to their guests!  So fun!

Thank you Kathryn + Chris for having us there to celebrate your marriage alongside you!

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Tripp Farms Wedding

Venue – Tripp Farms, Greenville NC

DJ – Taz 2 Productions, Elizabeth City NC

Catering – TopSide Restaurant, Camden NC

Tuxes – Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding Dress – Maggie Sottero, purchased at All the Rage, Chesapeake VA

Cake – Kathryn’s cousin Melinda Lewis

Flowers – Kathryn’s cousin Hannah Boswood

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Today is the next installment of my Best of 2014 Series!  Be sure to check out Rings, Shoes, Florals from last week too!

So picking out * o n e * portrait from each of my weddings last year proved to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated..  When I started thinking about this blog post I assumed it would be a breeze because just from memory I can think back to each of my weddings and remember a photo that made my heart sing!  .. Only problem was that once I started sorting through the galleries, I realized there were a heck of a lot more than * a * photo from each wedding that made that heart of mine sing!!

I ended up selecting at least 5 photos from each gallery and pretty much had to rely on the good ole’ Ennie-Meanie-Minie-Moe method with my eyes closed to pick that final single image :-)

The images that I found myself narrowing down to did, however, have some rhyme and reason.  Some of them I selected because of the tender moment, some because of the killer amazing light, some of them because the bride is just drop dead gorgeous and some of them because of the motion and movement of the photo just makes you feel like you are there.  There’s so many reasons that photos make my heart sing and I’m happy to showcase some of those photos from last year!

You know, Jerry and I are getting married in 4 days so this is probably the last blog post I’ll make before I become Mrs. Mimlitsch!!

Once Jerry and I return from our little honeymoon to Ocracoke Island, we’ll be getting started on Wedding season 2015!  I am over the moon excited about all of my 2015 Brides and Grooms and I simply can’t wait to celebrate their weddings with some heart-singing photos too!

Signing off for the last time as Melissa Stallings :-)

xoxoxo

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It’s wedding week for me and Jerry!! By this time next week we will officially be hitched :-) So of course my heart is fluttering around all things *LOVE* this week and I’m relishing on the most common verse we hear about the definition of Love..

But I think we (myself totally included!) forget to consult this verse when our picture of what *LOVE* is begins to get cloudy. We remember the first two lines, and the last as we see those often, but take a moment to read this perfect definition of *LOVE* in it’s entirety and apply it to your own marriage or relationship or friendship – do the words you say to one another, and the way you treat each other reflect this definition of love?

Join me in posting this verse everywhere you will see it – your home, your office, your car, your desktop, phone background, etc, to remind you daily of exactly how to treat the ones around you that you *LOVE* with all your heart! Happy Love week everybody!!!

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Yesterday I had hoped to post my favorite Bridal Bouquet photos as the next installment of my Favorites of 2014 series (check out Rings and Shoes too!) but I rolled out of bed yesterday morning and started cleaning up my house, coffee in hand, and it just. didn’t. end.  Yall, it was bad… I was cleaning all day, even up to folding socks from the last load of laundry right before crawling into bed. But thankfully that is my last big clean-up before my family starts to roll in this week to help us prepare for our wedding.. ONE WEEK from tomorrow!

So, one day late, here are my favorite photos of all the gorgeous bridal bouquets from last year!  I think next week I’ll be showcasing my favorite Bride and Groom Portraits!

Happy Friday!

Stephanie + Travis, Hertford NC

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 Hannah + Brian, Wilmington NC

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 Joanna + Eddie, Manteo NC

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 Laura + Billy, Virginia Beach VA

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 Elena + Patrick, Outer Banks NC

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 Janie + Marshall, Camden NC

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 Katie + Brandon, Elizabeth City NC

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Bonnie + Nic, Morehead City NC

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Sam + Adam, Hertford NC

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 Codie + Scott, Windsor NC

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 Bailey + Nick, Corolla NC

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 Chelsea + Ryan, Hertford NC

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 Michelle + Aaron, Virgina Beach VA

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So yesterday I started a little series reminiscing on last year’s fabulous wedding season as I draw closer to kicking off this year’s wedding season.  I showcased all the Bling of 2014 in a blog post dedicated to wedding ring photographs!  If you missed it be sure to check it out.  Today I wanted to talk about shoes.. I think shoes might be my favorite wedding attire element to photograph because you can stage them and style them in so many ways!

I loved looking back at all the gorgeous foot ware from last year and I’m excited to see what shoe shots 2015 has in store for me!

Here is Bridal Shoes 2014!

Codie + Scott, Windsor NC

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 Bonnie + Nic, Morehead City NC

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 Michelle + Aaron, Virginia Beach, VA

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 Laura + Billy, Virginia Beach, VA

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 Joanna + Eddie, Manteo, NC

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 Sam + Adam, Hertford NC

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Elena + Patrick, Outer Banks, NC 

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 Bailey + Nick, Corolla, NC

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 Stephanie + Travis, Hertford, NC

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 Katie + Brandon, Elizabeth City NC

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 Janie + Marshall, Camden, NC

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 We opted for less detail shots at Hannah + Brian’s Wilmington wedding, so no shots of ‘just’ thier shoes..

but I did snag a shot of their cute feets together :-)

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We are officially 2.5 weeks away from kicking off wedding season 2015!  But the even cooler thing is that we are only 1.5 weeks away from our own wedding!!  We get to officially kick off wedding season this year with OUR wedding.. how awesome is that!?  Jerry and I have been busy little bees the last few months prepping my backyard and thrift storing like crazy to make our vision come to life for our wedding day… and yall.. it’s going to be perfect!  I can’t wait to be able to share our celebration with you!

As we get all pumped up for our wedding, followed by 14 more weddings for this year so far, I wanted reminisce on some of the beautifulness that we got to photograph last year :-)  I thought it would be fun to start a series of ‘Bests’ from 2014!

Today I want to showcase my favorite ring shots from each of our weddings last year and next… I think I’ll showcase shoes! Shoes may very well be my absolute favorite detail to photograph.. That’s going to be a fun post :-)

But first, take a look at some of the seriously gorgeous Bling from 2014!

 

Well, of course I have to start with my own engagement ring.. I’m not biased or anything ;-)

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Joanna + Eddie, Manteo NC 

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Laura + Billy, Virginia Beach, VA

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Bonnie + Nic, Morehead City, NC

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Sam + Adam, Hertford NC 

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Janie + Marshall, Camden, NC

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Katie + Brandon, Elizabeth City NC

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Hannah + Brian, Wilmington NC 

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Michelle + Aaron, Virginia Beach, VA

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Codie + Scott, Windsor, NC 

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Stephanie + Travis, Hertford NC

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Elena + Patrick, Outer Banks, NC

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Bailey + Nick, Corolla, NC

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Chelsea + Ryan, Hertford NC

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The Balcony on Dock Street Weddingpin 

I knew Hannah was a girl after my own heart when her email read that she’d prefer to spend the majority of my time photographing her wedding day focused on photographing the people there rather than the usual detail photographs of decor.  Don’t get me wrong!  I absolutely love photographing the pretty little details on a wedding day of the dress and shoes and rings and flowers and decor!  Love Love LOVE all those pretty details and they are one of the things I look most forward to compiling in my blog posts!

…But knowing that what was important to Hannah wasn’t all those ‘things’ … it was her people… that made my heart smile :-)

So photography focused on Hannah + Brian’s closest family and friends celebrating at The Balcony on Dock Street in Wilmington, NC last October is what we did!  Of course I got a few photos of her stunning floral design and a couple shots of their rings and cake but that was the extent of my “detail photography” for their wedding day.

It was relaxing.  Having the opportunity to have a one track mind as a photojournalist on a wedding day and having less of a need to use the stylist part of my brain in tandem was refreshing!  I will always remember Hannah + Brian’s wedding as one of the most celebratory and family focused weddings I’ve ever photographed!

 

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 The Balcony on Dock Street Wedding

 

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It’s almost spring!! Oh I can’t wait.. the past few days I’ve actually been able to wear short sleeves outside without my buns freezing off.  But as much as I am longing for spring, there is a part of me that’s not ready to let winter go.

I’ve sort of grown attached to winter since I became an on-location photographer… you see, folks usually don’t want portrait sessions and weddings in the frigid winter temperatures! So that means that beyond some back-end catch up work at my desk, there’s not a lot for an on-location photographer to photograph during the winter months.

So those winter months are my months.  My months to get some stuff done around the house! Like remodel a kitchen, as was this year’s winter project, or redo all the floors in my house as was last year’s winter project!  I look so forward to having those few months sort of ‘off’ to focus on some things other than work.

One of my most favorite things to do when I have extra time, is shoot film and process and scan it at home.. because see, film is expensive.  And sending it off to the lab to be processed and scanned, while its so much easier and produces more consistent results, is expensive.  And my pockets simply ain’t deep!  So the only way I’ve found to afford to play with film is by mixing my own chemicals and processing/scanning at home.

But it takes time!  And it seems as though once the busy season kicks in I just don’t get the extra time to devote to my film photography and it gets put to the side until Winter.  In fact, when I pulled out my film camera to photograph Evie in the awesome snow we got this month, I realized I hadn’t processed any film since last spring!! Way too long..

I would love to say that my goal this year is going to be to ‘shoot more film’ and process ‘x’ rolls a month, but let’s be honest, life happens, and it may not be until next spring that I can play with film again but at least I know my trusty 35mm and chemicals are there waiting for me if I get inspired :-)

Till next time, here’s my Evie playing in the beautiful North Carolina Snow we got this month!

F100 + 85mm | Portra 400 | Home processed and scanned
(The black and whites are Kodak Gold converted to B/W)

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