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A Gorgeous Fall Wedding + A Groom's Take On Their Love Story... This Is Just Too Good

Elizabeth Greene

Stop everything you're doing and scroll through this feature - then come back here. I'll wait... All set? Gorgeous pics, right? Absolutely stunning. Now jump back down and read the words from our Groom and the sweet story from our photographer Meredith Sledge. Wipe away those tears and look through all the pics again. Even better, right? Emotional and beyond beautiful. Just like this whole celebration planned by Amore Events by Cody, with florals by Southern Blooms by Pat's Floral Design and the prettiest paper ever by Momental Designs. I know you just want to look through this whole gallery so go right ahead - it's so, so good. From the Groom... Meaghan and I met in college; she was two years behind me in school. The first things I noticed about Meaghan were her beauty, her sense of humor, and that she liked sports. I knew I liked her from the first time we met but it took her a little while to realize she liked me. After getting turned down the first couple times I asked, she finally came around and a few months later we started dating. Our lives took us to other cities for a few years and it made staying in a relationship a challenge. But we made it and in 2015 we finally moved to the same city of Charlottesville, Virginia. It was February 2016 on the day I decided I wanted to propose to Meaghan and I wanted to do it right away. I called Meaghan's mom Colleen and told her I wanted to have her family be there when I proposed. On Meaghan's birthday, April Fool's Day, her family and my family traveled in secrecy to Charlottesville to surprise her. They were situated on a rooftop deck on the downtown mall, and Meaghan and I were walking below. I got down on one knee... She said YES and the crowd went wild. I love so many things about Meaghan: her patience, her kind heart, her sense of humor, and how she puts other people's feelings before herself. She is beautiful inside and out and there is no doubt I am the luckiest man on earth. From Meredith Sledge... I've been staring at my computer screen for a while now not knowing how to express everything I feel for this precious couple and their absolutely flawless wedding day. I met Meaghan and Craig not too long ago for their engagement session at Ash Lawn Highland and I truly had so much fun at their shoot that I was sad when it ended. Their love for each other is SO evident in the way they interact and treat each other and it was the sweetest thing to watch as I photographed them. I was glad when we said goodbye that evening that I'd get to see them again a few months down the road for their wedding. Meeting my couples at the engagement session automatically makes me feel so much more connected to them and helps me tell the story better so it made me all the more excited for their wedding. Those few months flew by faster than I thought possible and before I knew it I was driving to Mount Ida Lodge to celebrate with them on the most gorgeous fall day! I knew when Meaghan told me she was working with Cody of Amore Events, along with a slew of other amazing vendors, that her day would be stunning and I was right. The second I started shooting details that morning, my heart exploded from all the gorgeous things I was given to photograph! I especially had way too much fun styling her amazing invites by Momental Designs - what a dream! After shooting details, we went over to the Lodge for the rest of the day. Meaghan got dressed there at the bridal suite surrounded by her ten gorgeous bridesmaids in their incredible black gowns and her family members who made me feel like I was adopted for the day. Haha! Honestly, Meaghan and Craig's entire day was so heartfelt and memorable. Everything from Meaghan's dad seeing her for the first time to the first look to the toasts that evening that had EVERYONE crying, made their day one that I will never forget. I can't go on without sharing about a moment that happened at their reception that night that really meant a lot to me and spoke volumes about how this couple cares for people. Everyone had been dancing the night away for a couple hours and the Carpe Donut truck was outside so I asked if I could pull Meaghan and Craig out really quick to take a shot of them in front of it. I told them I'd be quick so they could get back to their reception and guests. As we were walking outside, I was a little bit in front of them about to get my light set for the shots and I hear Meaghan stop and say, "You're kidding!! Tell Meredith!" So I turned around and see them stopped in the hallway, Craig holding a dime in his hand. Craig lost his dad when he was younger and he shared with me about pennies from heaven, which is where people who have lost a loved one often find pennies (or in Craig's family's case - dimes) in really sentimental moments, reminding them of the person who is no longer with them. Craig told me there were numerous times when dimes had been found on really meaningful days, like his proposal to Meaghan. And a few minutes before we went out to take that photo, a friend of his had found a dime on the floor at their wedding. So I was standing there holding back tears not only because that's an incredible story but also because Meaghan and Craig stopped everything they were doing to share that piece of their lives with me, in no hurry to get back to their reception. It told me a lot about who they are. Little moments like that when my couples care enough to invite me into their lives on a more personal level is why I love what I get to do.

Photography: Meredith Sledge | Videography: Shaina Koren | Event Planning: Amore Events by Cody | Floral Design: Southern Blooms by Pat's Floral Designs | Wedding Dress: Waters and Waters WToo | Cake: Sweethaus | Invitations: Momental Designs | Catering: C&O Restaurant | Makeup: Avenue 42 | Lighting: Blue Ridge AV & Lighting | Band: The Free with Sam Hill Entertainment | Groom's Attire: Alton Lane | Ceremony Music: Classical Hillbillies | Wedding Venue: Mount Ida Farm | Car: Albemarle Vintage Limousines | Cigars: The Cigar Guys | Donut Truck: Carpe Donut | Hangers: Poppy & Scooter | Rentals: MS Events