Jason & Stephanie - Top Ten | Outer Banks OBX Wedding Photographer

I am interrupting this regularly scheduled Top Ten posting to write just a little somethin' about these two. Please forgive this exception.

So, Steph and I go way back. (We shared a high school prom date, actually. If that doesn't make us great friends then I don't know what does. :)) You know those kind of friends that you don't hang out with all the time, and you're not even really a part of each other's circles of friends... but they are the friend you call when you are having a rough night? Or the friend you go to for advice? There's something irreplaceable about those friendships even though you don't see each other regularly. Steph is that kind of friend to me. She holds a big place in my heart.

When she asked me to shoot her wedding, my first answer was "no." I know, I know. But, I wanted to be able to attend the wedding as a friend, bring a gift, and dance all night on the dance floor. I wanted to be able to celebrate the day with her. As time passed, I started really thinking and Stephanie started really laying it on thick (okay, just a little ;)) and I changed my mind. And I am so glad that I did.

And as her wedding day unfolded - I realized - I was so blessed to have one of the best seats in the house. I was with Steph from the moment she was getting her make up done until the night was just about over. I got to see it all - the preparation - the portraits - the ceremony - the dancing - the traditions - the craziness. I was so, so happy that I changed my mind. And so happy to have been able to share in her happiness all. day. long.

Now... Jason. If there were one word to describe Jason, I would have to say humble. He is one of the most humble, kindest guys I know. And he has the BEST smile! He lit up every picture he was in. (Thank you!) But most importantly, he is crazy about Stephanie. And that is my favorite thing about him. In the words of Jason's big brother (and Steph's good friend), "There isn't a better man out there for Stephanie."  They are absolutely perfect for each other and I am so happy for them.

And now back to our regularly scheduled Top Ten list...

Top Ten Favorite Things About Jason & Stephanie's Big Day

10. Stephanie and Jason did a really great job when they chose the people to stand by their side at their ceremony. We were impressed that every single person seemed to be 100% focused on the bride and groom all day. That is truly a unique thing! Stephanie was surrounded by calm, relaxed girls, and Jason was surrounded by his battle buddies and lifetime friends. The love between the groups was undeniable. Definitely one of our favorite things about their day!

9. The guys boutonnières were not flowers, but instead just a simple starfish pinned to their shirts. What a lovely idea!

8. The night before the wedding I called the bride and groom and asked them to have their bridal party bring sunglasses to their portrait sessions. The bridesmaids took this idea and ran with it - heading out to the dollar store and loading up on a lot of silly summer toys! We decided to use those props in an impromptu photo booth during the reception and the pictures turned out fantastic. (However, next time we'll have our studio back drop on hand just in case. :))

7. Stephanie had a mixup with her hair and make up stylist that left her frantically searching for a salon to do her hair and make up the morning of her wedding. The ladies at Spa Vogue in Kitty Hawk  were awesome in accommodating Stephanie. The spa was so chic and appeared to be designed to host entire bridal parties for wedding day preparation. We highly recommend this location if you are getting married at the Outer Banks! They took great care of Stephanie.

6. Stephanie and Jason had previously ordered a custom designed guestbook made with their engagement pictures. About halfway through the reception I realized that no one had seen or signed the guestbook (it was in a faraway corner) and I let Steph's mom know. The next thing I know, the book was being passed table to table - and at the end of the night it had more signatures and messages in it than any other guestbook I've seen! I am now an encourager of passing your guestbook around during the reception. :)

5. Almost everything involved with the wedding was located in one place. The reception was located in a hotel that offered rooms for guests and an outdoor ceremony location right on the water! This was very convenient for the guests and that's something we really loved.

4. Speaking of everything being located in one place... this enabled the entire weekend to be full of convenient celebration. The bridal party were able to hang out all day Friday and Saturday before the wedding was to start, as well as getting together for a brunch on Sunday. We loved that Jason and Stephanie were able to spend the entire weekend celebrating with their family and friends!

3. Jason and Stephanie made it clear that the photography was one of their biggest priorities of their wedding day. They set aside more than enough time for us to take pictures and as a result they have a wide variety of portraits to choose from. Usually we only have time for just a few pictures of the bridal party or the bride and groom, but this time we were able to get more pictures than usual. Of course, that was our favorite part of the day!

2. We really appreciated that Stephanie wanted to have her wedding at the beach because it was truly a part of who she is. She has been spending summers in the OBX for as long as I can remember, and I know she had always dreamt of a wedding on the beach. Ya'll know how I love meaningful wedding day decisions!

1. There is a fine line between a casual beach wedding and a too-formal beach wedding, and Jason and Stephanie really hit the nail on the head with their planning. Between the fresh, cool colors selected, the formal (but lightweight) wedding dress, and the guy's linen attire, their wedding had perfect touches of beach friendly and wedding formal at the same time. We really loved how everything came together so nicely. The look and feel of the wedding and the love between Jason and Steph came together to create an absolutely beautiful wedding day.

Jason and Steph, I am so excited for you and cannot wait to see the journey ahead of you unfold. Stephanie, you better be calling me! :)

Here are a few of our other favorite wedding pictures from their big day:

Their wedding pictures have been posted. Please click here to access them. If you do not know the passcode, you will need to contact the bride or groom for the information.

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.