Paula and John warned me when we first met over coffee that they were total goofballs. I’m not exactly the world’s most normal person, so this never scared me, but rather intrigued me. In fact, the more I got to know them, the more I understood that their wedding day would be fun.
Both Paula and John came out of marriages and onto the dating scene timidly online. John reached out to Paula several times online and she finally agreed to a date with him on July 4th in a very public setting, “…just in case he was a serial killer,” Paula said.
After many months of a good chase, John finally won the total affection of not just Paula but her three children. Their insistence that she pick up the phone for John gave Paula more than just pause for thought, but it also served as a good sign to her that John really was as great as she thought.
At our initial meeting and our final meeting, Paula and John insisted that everything is very family centric. Sure they wanted bride and groom portraits, it is in fact their wedding day, but the focus is also on them joining together with their children to be one family.
We started off the day at Stonewall Golf and Country Club at Lake Manassas in Gainesville for their bride and groom portraits and some bridal party photos. The thing about their bridal party: it’s all of their kids! Noticing a theme here?
After a quick jaunt at the country club, we all headed to Old Town Manassas for their ceremony at Trinity Episcopal Church where some of their children and friends were performing in the bell choir for their ceremony. Seriously, how totally precious is that?! Not to mention, this church makes all my old church love go wild! The stained glass windows and architecture are so beautiful! I was so, so grateful for the generosity of Rev. Stuart for his permission to capture some key moments of their ceremony.
And once more we were headed back to Stonewall Golf and Country Club for their reception where guests (and every golfer and resident of Lake Manassas) was treated to the fife and drum corps Paula’s kids are in… including the bride!
Every table had a Broadway musical which each guest received a ticket for as their guest card. Tables were adorned with the sheet music of the respective plays. Paula and John chose The Phantom of the Opera for their sweetheart table and I can’t deny that when she told me this I squealed in public because that is only my FAVORITE ever!
Staying true to their family oriented roots, Paula and John opted for a first dance that included the whole family. A family first dance 🙂
The sweetest moment was when John’s barbershop quartet serenaded Paula to the song John sang when he proposed to her. Paula absolutely gushed!
There was much joy, so much singing and music. The bell choir at the church. John’s daughter singing during the ceremony. The fife and drum corps inside the reception. This family has got music in their bones! No wonder Paula’s kids were all, “YES!! He is the ONE!” How many couples find one another that are so musically inclined?
Sweet, hilarious and totally real, Paula and John make it so difficult to walk away knowing they’re my second to last wedding of the year. I’m so glad they’re one of my last ones this year; and so grateful they chose me to document their day.