Natalie and Edward were married at The First Presbyterian Church on Main Street in Midlothian. When you think of the most beautiful wedding you can imagine, you may not consider a small-town church with a cake and punch reception. However, Natalie and Edward’s wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever photographed.
Midlothian First Presbyterian Church
“In 1911, two congregations merged to form Midlothian Presbyterian Church. One originally organized in 1883 under Pastor D.G. Malloy and was part of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (PCUSA). The other organized in 1890 under the Presbyterian Church of the United States (PCUS). Members of the newly merged church built a sanctuary from 1913-14. The congregation has a history of supporting the community, including helping with Manna House, a cooperative venture among Midlothian churches aiding needy local families. Members have also focused on missions on a national and global scale. Today the church continues to be a beacon of light for the residents of Midlothian.” – Official Historical Marker of the Texas Historical Commission placed in 2010.
A Beautiful Bridal Suite
The historical marker outside the church says “a beacon of light”. Natalie and Edward are exactly that for each other. Although I’d only met Natalie for a brief moment a few days before the wedding, she was warm and inviting on the morning of the wedding. She was busy prepping her hair and makeup and when I arrived was just getting into her dress. The bridal suite at the church is perfect in every way for photography. The windows are frosted antique glass. Light is pouring in from the outside creating the most beautiful quality for portraits. I immediately went to my gear back and began capturing what I saw without providing many directions. Natalie put on her dress as her mom and daughter finished the last of the details. I immediately saw the shots I wanted and went to work. The room is small but put together perfectly. I wanted to capture the detail of the day, but still, show all that was happening. I went to black and white mode on my Fuji XH1 with a wide zoom lens. I love the detail and texture of this image. Natalie’s mom is laughing while she’s being assisted with the last of her buttons on her gown. I purposely shot “against the light” using the backlight to highlight their faces and the textures of the room. I framed this so the painting on the wall and all of the crosses were in view.
While Natalie continued to prepare for her wedding, I captured as I liked, and felt that she trusted my choices. A few people came in and out of her suite, most importantly her father. I captured portraits of her and her guests as they arrived to greet her before she walked down the aisle. We also made a quick bridal portrait for Natalie to hang in her home.
The Handsome Groom
Edward was one of the most well-dressed grooms I’ve photographed. His suit was perfectly tailored. He took the time to have his shoes embossed with the wedding date. And he still made time for prayer with his pastor and hook up the audio for the wedding music. When you have a small-town wedding, there is a certain amount of expected DIY. Edward was the groom, the usher, and the AV guy. Our overall coverage time for the wedding was only 2 hours, so I didn’t have a lot of time to photograph Edward getting ready. I did get time to make a really cool portrait of him, and a few photos of him and his brother. Neither brother was short on style.
The Wedding Ceremony
Natalie and Edward’s ceremony took place in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian. They were surrounded by a few friends and family who came to celebrate with them. TO say they were surrounded is to be taken literally. The pews at the church are actually curved around the altar! The craftsmanship to create the pews is truly mesmerizing. They are works of art. When I first saw the curved pews, I immediately thought to get a wide-angle panoramic photo of the space. The original wood floors creaked as I walked around the back of the sanctuary. I was careful to place myself in the exact center of the room. I wanted to show the symmetry of the space. I enjoy symmetry in my images. With a wedding, there is a certain amount of natural symmetry required. And when the wedding venue shares that with the couple, I love to show that in the image.
Following their very emotional ceremony, Natalie and Edward had a few minutes left of our coverage. We gathered their friends and family outside for a few photos. The weather was cool, but the fall leaves were still hanging in the trees. The afternoon light was soft. We found an area outside with the sun behind the couple and a long stretch of trees behind. The scene offered us a clean background and space to work with the group photos.
We were able to make images of both sides of the families and then create a few unique images for Natalie and Edward. They were inspired by an image they had seen me do at another wedding with an umbrella, so they brought that along as a special request. For the portraits of them alone, I laid down on the ground to isolate them on to a more simple background. I took advantage of the colors of the tree leaves as a backdrop.
If you’re looking for a wedding photographer for your small wedding, please contact us. We have coverage options available as short as 2 hours.