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A Backyard Wedding on Back Creek

McKenzie and Caleb’s wedding took place at a family home on Back Creek in Seaford, Virginia.  The home has been in the family for several generations and has also been the wedding location for several couples in the family, including the current owners, McKenzie’s aunt and uncle.  The rich family history of weddings at her aunt and uncle’s waterfront home made the location to celebrate their love really special. 

I was thrilled when McKenzie contacted me to photograph her August wedding in July!  I have known her family for years, and as a side note, McKenzie is a wedding planner (go check her out brides!, so it was truly an honor to serve her and her sweet family. 

How They Met

McKenzie and Caleb met at work.  Caleb is a police officer and McKenzie was one of his dispatchers.   They became friends through the police bowling league over fall / winter 2022 and into spring 2023.  Over that period of time, their love blossomed.  In the spring, they began to date.  In July, Caleb proposed to McKenzie on the way home from work.  They both knew they wanted to get married, so after a long and rough day on the job, Caleb decided that he didn’t want to wait any longer.  He grabbed a ring pop and proposed with that since the ring hadn’t arrived yet.  After the ring arrived a little while later, he proposed again. 

A First Look at Sunrise

McKenzie and Caleb’s wedding day began with a first look at sunrise on the dock behind McKenzie’s aunt and uncle’s house.  The sky was cotton candy pink and orange as the sun rose to accompany a very beautiful and meaningful moment.  As McKenzie approached Caleb for the first look on the dock, Caleb admired his beautiful bride.  They stopped to pray together in gratitude for their love and for such a beautiful wedding day.  Since the light was so perfect during sunrise, we worked to capture more romantic portraits before it was time to head inside to get ready. 

The Bride and Groom Get Ready

After McKenzie’s parents and close friends arrived, the preparations continued.  McKenzie slipped on her wedding gown and her mom helped her to fasten the back of her dress and put on her veil.  Shortly after, McKenzie had a really sweet first look with her father, during which she gave him a handkerchief with a sentimental saying on it. (“I will always be your little girl…”)  A little while later as her grandmother and close friends arrived, we set them up for a first look that was followed by a prayer time.  They gathered around McKenzie and laid hands on her as they thanked the Lord for her upcoming marriage to Caleb and for His faithfulness in bringing them together.

Meanwhile, Caleb got ready upstairs. His mom and dad joined him after he was ready and his mom pinned his boutonniere to the lapel of his jacket.

The Ceremony

The morning ceremony overlooked Back Creek in the back yard. At the altar stood a wooden cross adorned with white roses.  After the mother of the bride and the parents of the groom were escorted to their seats, Caleb walked down the aisle to wait for his lovely bride.  McKenzie’s father, Marvin, escorted her down the aisle.  He also officiated the wedding, so he remained at the front.  The ceremony was truly beautiful.  Both sets of parents joined together with the bride and groom for a prayer of unity as the ceremony began.  Another sweet moment was when McKenzie and Caleb had communion, then served communion to their guests.

After the ceremony and family group photos, we worked together to capture images of the newlyweds.  It was sunny and hot outside (close to 90 degrees) at that point, but McKenzie and Caleb were absolute troopers! 

The Reception

The reception began with the introduction of the parents of the groom and the parents of the bride, and then the bride and groom.  The DJ played >>> as McKenzie and Caleb enjoyed their first dance as husband and wife.   After father of the bride and the bride dance and the mother of the groom and the groom enjoyed their dances, Marvin, the father of the bride gave an introductory address.  After the father of the groom gave the blessing, a buffet style brunch was served to guests complete with coffee and mimosas.  As guests finished their meals, the bride and groom cut their cake- a 1 tier cake which sat above several tiers of Krispy Kreme donuts, all adorned with white roses.  Guests ate the decadent wedding cake (and Krispy Kreme donuts!) and continued enjoying the day as they played yard games and chatted with the newlyweds.  The last fun event at the reception before the exit was led by the DJ.  The DJ played an energetic song and gave guests the duration of the song to jump in a group photo with the couple.  Guests rushed over to hop in a group photo and then jumped out quickly.  It was so fun, and gave everyone an opportunity to have a photo with the bride and groom. 

The Exit

McKenzie and Caleb exited the wedding through the back yard and onto the dock as guests blew bubbles.  They excitedly ran down the dock to board the boat, then left by boat as guests looked on and waved. What a beautiful wedding day it was!

Congratulations McKenzie and Caleb!

Vendors who made this day possible:

Venue: Hanna Residence

Planner: McKenzie Leigh Events

Day of Coordinator: Sylvia Cox

Wedding Gown: Blush Bridal Boutique

Hair and Makeup Artist: Kacie Witt – Witt Style Salon

Groom’s Attire: Dillards

Florist: Blooms by Doyle

Rentals: Grand Rental Station

DJ: Toby Siler – The Siler Family

Cake: Aunt Christy

Donuts: Krispy Kreme

Catering: Family Friends

Yard Games: Cartwright Creative

Invitations: Evites by Zola