Smith Mountain Lake Elopement Wedding | Tim & Melissa's Private Ceremony

When I received Melissa's initial email about her plans for her secret elopement at Smith Mountain Lake, I literally took a screen shot and sent it to Tommy with the following message:


Ha!!! FOR REAL. 

There is something so special to me about being invited into a private space to capture a lifetime of memories with my camera. I KNOW it's not personal... it's not ME who is "special enough." I KNOW it's just that I have a gift with a camera and it's the pictures and the memories that are the important part.... but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy every single solitary moment of being present. Weddings, births, surprise engagements, all of it is SO exciting and to be the one invited into my client's space to capture these events just never EVER gets old!

So yeah... needless to say I was SUPER excited! 

Melissa and Tim's short ceremony and photo session left a HUGE impact on me. Something about the two of them staying true to who they are as a couple... they aren't afraid to live life differently, to follow their hearts. He loves her for who she is, for what she wants, and for who she will become. And she loves him for the very same. This was SO apparent as I photographed them throughout our time together.

This secret elopement was a compromise and it was truly inspiring to see their sacrificial love blend together to create the perfect day for the two of them. What a beautiful way to begin their marriage. 

Each and every element of their day had meaning behind it. The setting, her bouquet, her dress, his suit, their song choices, their rings. Every decision was intentional and it made everything about their day not only so much more special, but it helped bring in pieces of their history together that represented the important people in their lives. It was so neat - even though the people weren't present, their spirits were, through the elements Tim and Melissa brought to make up their day together.

How stinking cool, right?!

Tim and Melissa,
THANK YOU for inviting me to be present to capture such a huge day in your lives! I hope putting up with my quirkiness for even just an hour was worth the photographic coverage you received. I know the imprint you all left on my heart and the inspiration you sent me off with will last far longer than our short time face-to-face. I adore you two and I hope you cherish these pictures forever!!

Okay, enough from me... here's the pictures!! 

I had such an AMAZING time photographing these two and their intimate, private wedding that I created an elopement package for any future inquiries I receive. Just because you aren't having a big party doesn't mean your special day isn't worth photographing and remembering forever! If you or a friend are newly engaged and feeling overwhelmed by wedding planning, please get in touch or share this with your friend!! I'd love to chat with them about a less-intimidating experience! 

Luke & Rebecca | A Glencliff Manor Engagement Session

Lucas and Rebecca met at Liberty University and their love story is simply beautiful. They have incredible chemistry and were so much fun to photograph. I had the honor of photographing their wedding this past weekend, which I absolutely cannot wait to share with you. But first! Their engagement session on the grounds of Glencliff Manor! It's not very often I encourage a late-winter session. For one, the trees are just.... drab. And two, it's super chilly!!! But these two kept things warm with their flirting and dazed-in-love eyes. The epitome of newlyweds (to be)!

I love the way these came out and I credit Rebecca for the extra details you see - her adorable felt hat, the cozy plaid blanket, and the touches of her wedding colors! The tiniest accessories can do SO much to a final shot which makes all the planning ahead SO worth it! Also, a HUGE thanks to the staff at Glencliff Manor for letting us romp around on the grounds for this session!! 

Sooooo sweet, right?! Love these guys! I can't wait to share their entire wedding with you!! 

Liz Cook is a wedding, family and birth photographer in Central Virginia. She loves to photograph emotional and discreet birth stories, the details of parenthood, and fun and easygoing couples in love.

David & Britney | A Lynchburg Engagement Session

My baby brother is ENGAGED!!! Ahhh! I have to admit, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be making this announcement! But... man... I am so excited! We ADORE his fiancé, Britney.... she compliments him in all the right ways! And she has shown such love and dedication to him while he was finding his way these past few years. It’s amazing to see him in such a good place after all he has been through in life!  

They came down to Lynchburg this past weekend to help celebrate my birthday and we squeezed in a quick engagement session while they were here. It was a sunrise session and the only other person who is (ALWAYS) awake in our house at that time is Sunday - and she wanted to come along!! It was so much fun having her there with me, although she definitely tried to take the lead a few times.  

“I gotta a good idea! One of you looks at mama, and then the other looks at me!”

I was cracking up. Monkey see, monkey do, I guess! :) Poor thing gave up after a little while when we all had to ignore her in order to really get the job done... but it was so much fun to have her along with us!  

Congratulations David and Britney!!! We are SO EXCITED for you guys and cannot wait to see where God leads you in the upcoming years!! Your wedding day can’t come soon enough!

Liz Cook is a wedding, family and birth photographer in Central Virginia. She loves to photograph emotional and discreet birth stories, the details of parenthood, and fun and easygoing couples in love.

Barrett & Courtney | Liberty University Mountain Pictures

Barrett and Courtney met while working at a local kids gym... which if you ask me, takes a special kind of person to hold that sort of a job! When I learned that they BOTH worked with kids in an active environment, I immediately thought they must be fun and easy-going people! And they totally are! I had a wonderful time getting to know them while we walked the grounds of this beautiful property. You can't beat the stunning mountain views at Sierra Vista and combined with good light and two people in love... that's a recipe for a DREAM session! I had a wonderful time at Barrett and Courtney's engagement session and I'm really looking forward to their wedding day at West Manor Estate... which is right around the corner! 

One of my goals for 2016 is to back-blog all of my favorite sessions and weddings from the past few years. My poor blog has been so neglected and right when I was ready to make big blogging dreams come true last summer, life kicked into high gear and the poor blog was neglected yet again! So I am starting again and this time with a sure fire plan (and a combination of periscoping to bring in content to fill the gaps!) and I'm excited to get things rolling around here! :) 

Without further ado... check out this adorable couple and how comfy and cozy they are in the snow!! :) And a big thanks to Marianne at Sierra Vista in Bedford, VA for allowing us to shoot here! 

Liz is a wedding and birth photographer in Central Virginia. She loves to photograph fun and easygoing couples in love as well as emotional and discreet birth stories and just about anything in-between

Lavender Farm Engagement Session | Matt & Hannah

Oh these two... they just made my heart swell with giddiness when we met up for their engagement session. You would think after photographing more than 100 couples, I'd be over it by now. But when a bride and groom book me for their wedding and we have the opportunity to connect at their engagement session ahead of time, there's nothing that gets me more excited about their wedding day than watching them snuggle up and enjoy each other in front of my camera! And okay... pair it with beautiful sunset light and I literally squeal. I make fun of myself for it, too, so that may explain some of the genuine laughs these guys gave me. :) 

Enjoy Matt and Hannah's engagement session shot at the Evergreen Lavender Farm in Appomattox, VA. It was my first time photographing a session at the lavender farm nearby and I LOVED it! Thank you, Peggy and Thane for being so hospitable to us while we were on your property!