As we are (finally) getting some cooler weather in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel-Hill areas, I’ve been looking forward to shooting some of the outdoor weddings for my clients. Calling it the “first” outdoor wedding is not really accurate so I’ll just call it the “first” wedding of my fall season was at the Snipes Farm Retreat in Chapel-Hill. Melissa & David chose this location because of it’s unique rustic feel and gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony area nestled underneath a large tree.
Snipes Farm Retreat consists of a converted barn and surrounding buildings including an old grain silo (which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it), an outbuilding (for a bridal preparation area) and a small pond (with dock), and really just gorgeous fields all around. This was the first time I have visited the farm and really look forward to going back whether it be to shoot, or attend, a wedding.
Melissa had her hair & makeup done at another location so when she arrived with all of her bridesmaids, they all went directly into the preparation room to get ready. David arrived a few minutes later and was getting ready in the room “above” the reception hall area (not upstairs really as it’s a “ranch” style building, but there are stairs). With it being a Jewish ceremony David & Melissa would see each other prior to the wedding for the Ketubah signing (which I always thought was a really cool element). If you are not familiar with the Ketubah, it is essentially a marriage contract between the bride & groom and, more often then not, it’s completely in Hebrew. The room was packed full of family & friends when Melissa, David and their two witnesses signed the Ketubah, making for some great wedding photos.
Shortly after the signing, we headed outside to the wedding ceremony area. We had blue skies and a great breeze which made it a perfect day for a wedding! As the ceremony progressed, I had a great opportunity to walk around a little (without being a distraction) and get a few different angles that are impossible in a church. After the glass was broken and the couple recessed, we all got ready for the reception in the barn. Another cool element of Jewish weddings are the fact that the couple goes away for a bit right after the ceremony, alone. I’m not certain of the significance but David & Melissa had written cards to each other and took this opportunity to read those cards as well as grab a bite to eat before the reception.
Inside the Snipes Farm Retreat barn, the food was hot, drinks were cold, the Christmas lights wrapped around the wood beams (with tree branches) turned on and the DJ was getting everyone warmed up. David & Melissa made their entrance and went right into their first dance while surrounded by their bridal party and family. It was a very cozy setting that was really perfect for the wedding day the happy couple had envisioned. As the night went on, the dance floor was packed and everyone really had a great time. “Retreat” being in the name really was fitting as you could certainly feel the warm isolation of being on a farm but surrounded by family!
Congratulations to both David & Melissa on their gorgeous wedding! Thank you both for having me at your wedding – it was truly an honor to get to know both you and your families! As always, here are a few choice photos from their wedding!