My Best Friend's Wedding: Lauren & Derek's Westover Wedding Day

This was a wedding full of firsts for me. It was the first time I photographed a close friend’s wedding, and it was the first time I was included in the vows. (Let’s be real, this will probably be the ONLY time I’ll be included in someone’s vows, ha!)

It was the first time I took a moment to be with my friend as a friend and not strictly as a photographer, and it was the first time I allowed Logan to take over for a few moments, and even photograph ME as part of the wedding.

This day was joyful. I think that’s obvious by how huge Lauren’s smile is in almost every photo—there was a LOT to be grateful for.

This day was emotional. As I had mentioned in a previous post, Lauren’s mother was battling cancer, and despite being very ill that morning, Sandra managed to make it to Westover to celebrate.

This day was also magical. My best girl married a wonderful man who is absolutely in love with her. She was surrounded by her friends, family that support her, and a team of vendors who were excited to be there and make it all that it could be (and more!) . Seriously— Marissa went above and beyond the call of duty when we were threatened with torrential rains. Poor girl even scratched her eye (EEK!) in her pursuit of beauty.

Speaking of, even the weather gods seemed to know how important this day was… and while all other areas surrounding us dealt with MAJOR rains/flooding, it only began to rain for a few minutes during the reception, after everyone was safe and dry under the tent.

I can’t explain everything that this day was—there’s just too many layers and emotions to work through. (Hence why it’s taken me so long to post it. I feel like I cannot do it proper justice). It was certainly one of a kind; an experience I won’t ever have again.

Lauren, I only have three words for you: I & LOVE & YOU.

Derek, thanks for being my partner in all that is inappropriate and immature. Here’s to getting in trouble together in the future!

Thank you both for being in my life.

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During the ceremony, Derek and Lauren presented Lila with a beautiful butterfly necklace, and I am so grateful I took a moment to get in closer than I usually would so as to capture a favorite of the day. Lauren says this is her favorite image from the day. I especially love Sandra looking on in the background.

These two photos are so much more than a “First Kiss” photo. The fact that these two came together to touch their noses together before their first kiss, and how Lauren is grabbing Derek’s hand in the second image. ACK! All of these tiny nuances are what I LIVE for.

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With each blog post I try to post different aspects of the day. So, not all wedding posts will have groomsmen photos, for example, or a lot of detail shots. Others will. I try to show a variety of images from each part of the day with each blog post, but I don’t follow a formula, and I definitely don’t feel like I HAVE to show everything.

I DID want to show Lauren and Derek’s centerpieces because they have such a cool meaning, and so much thought was put into them.

On top of the pillars of iron clairvoyee surrounding the north side of Westover are Icons of Virtue. Each are different and have specific meaning. There’s a pineapple for hospitality, a Greek key for wisdom, an urn of flowers for beauty, a cornucopia for horn of plenty, a bee hive for industry, and an acorn for perseverance. Marissa brilliantly incorporated these virtues into the centerpieces.

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I loved this moment. During Lauren & Derek’s first dance they invited Lila to join in.

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Planning & Coordination: Carolyn Celeste Weddings

Beauty: Darling & Dapper

Florals: Studio Posy