I was so excited when Kara and Andrew Contacted me to photograph their Intimate Wedding Celebration in Keene!! They originally reached out last year, but I was supposed to be taking a photography workshop in Kenya. However, thanks to COVID, the trip got rescheduled, and Kara and Andrew’s original plans were halted.
That said, everything happens for a reason!! So when they reached out again… just checking in… I was now available to photograph their wedding day!!
Kara and Andrew
We didn’t have an engagement session, but we did meet up for drinks a month or so ago! Funny story too… because it turned out that Andrew and I have hung out before, and we even have a photo to document it! Funny how small the world is! (He is cousins with one of my most special and best friends Erin from LittleFoto!)
Anyway- These two are the sweetest together! Watching them on the wedding day, the way he would scoop her up, just melted my heart!
We never did have an engagement session. (But we did meet up for drinks about a month ago!) So, therefore, I have some fun info about the couple sprinkled throughout this blog post!! Starting with the first question below! Enjoy!
How did Kara and Andrew meet?
In 2017, Andrew completed his service as an Infantry Officer in the Army. He moved to the DC area to start a job in business support for a consulting firm. Simultaneously, Kara graduated from UNC-Greensboro with her undergraduate degree in Music Performance. She too moved to DC to start her MA in Arts Management at American University. They met through a dating app, where they had some great conversations! Finally they met in person.
“Our paths would never have crossed if any number of small things in our lives had gone differently. But somehow we ended up in the same place at just the right time to meet. There’s no question in either of our heads that this was meant to happen! God intended for us to meet each other.”
Tell us about your first date!
We had been texting for a little while. Then Andrew invited Kara to go to a nice Italian restaurant. (He’d learned from their texting conversations that she loved Italian food!) Andrew was so excited that he showed up 30 minutes early. As soon as we sat down and started talking, we were both completely entranced. We connected so strongly right away! Andrew and I talked about everything, from family to religion to our pasts to life values and beyond. When we had finished dinner, we wanted to keep talking. So we went to Andrew’s place and continued the date!
We sat up all night! We sipped wine, talked, and laughed until the sun came up. Then we shared a magical, earth-shifting first kiss! We spent over 24 hours together total on our first date – Kara didn’t go back home until the next evening! We fell for each other immediately and never wanted to stop talking and getting to know each other better. And now we get to do that for the rest of our lives 😊
All about the proposal!
In February of 2020, Kara was working in Boston. (At the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras) and Andrew was still working in DC.
Kara had a trip planned to visit Andrew in DC, but Andrew surprised her with a trip to Puerto Rico instead. They spent 4 days exploring Old San Juan, dancing in local salsa clubs, kayaking through a bioluminescent bay, and tasting local cuisine and rum.
While in Puerto Rico, the couple took a beautiful hike through El Yunque National Park. And at the top of a mountain, with a rainbow arcing over, and the rainforest below, Andrew got down on one knee and asked Kara to marry him. She of course said yes!
Just for those who are concerned, the total number in attendance was 28 (including me), and the party was held on private property. 🙂 Masks were provided by the couple. 🙂
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Besides getting to look into each other’s eyes and say our vows in front of God and our loved ones – dancing the night away with our closest friends and family!
Kara had danced her eyelashes off by the end of the night! *Andrew’s favorite part (besides watching Kara come down the aisle and the vows and the exchange of rings) was actually the hours of the morning before the wedding ceremony started.
While Kara was in a flurry of activity with the pre-wedding activities, I (Andrew) had a very different preparation for the wedding. I spent most of my morning alone, after a simple breakfast with my parents. I carefully shaved, dressed, etc. in silence – thinking about the day ahead. As I drove into Keene, still hours away from the wedding, I prayed a rosary for my soon-to-be wife and for whatever grace and help she might need that morning.
It was incredibly peaceful and special to be able to have that time in quiet and prayer. I was focusing my thoughts on Kara and our marriage before everything got started and the day would fly by.
I was early enough to the church to help the florist prepare the flowers. And then I spent time chatting with my brother and with my childhood priest, who was there to participate in the ceremony. All along, I kept thinking – “Where are the nerves? When am I going to have my panic moment?” But it never came. Instead, all I kept thinking was, “Why would I be nervous? I get to marry the woman of my dreams today.”
So – while the wedding ceremony itself was incredible and definitely the best part, and the reception was a blast! I think at least one of the best parts of the day was the peace before things kicked off. If that makes sense.
What surprised you most about your wedding day?
That Andrew was the first one to cry 😉
What advice would you offer couples planning a wedding?
Stop, drop, and hire a wedding planner! Even if you only have 20 people coming to your wedding! Doing it all yourself is still a TON of work.
If you can afford it, it is well worth it to have someone else handling the details and coordination of your wedding day so that
- A) the days before the wedding can be spent peacefully! You won’t have to run around like crazy trying to lock down all the final details.
- and B) so that on the actual wedding day there is someone else to keep the timeline on track and handle the flow of events. This keeps you from running around like crazy. You will be able to just focus on each other.
Regardless, don’t stress too much. The tiny details won’t matter nearly as much as you think they will. The most important part of the day will be the fact that you’re married and surrounded by people you love!
Describe your wedding vision!
What we wanted most was a beautiful, calm, intimate ceremony. We also wanted a reception where everyone got to relax outside, surrounded by the beautiful New England summer weather. Kara and I were looking forward to some good food, laughing, crying, dancing, and have a blast together. And that was exactly what we got!
We still wish we could have had all of our closest friends and family with us that day. But our immediate families and a few of the nearest and dearest were there to celebrate with us. We were still surrounded by love and support. Both from those who were present, and those who were there in spirit. (And those who were streaming with us!)
What do you both do for a living?
Kara is a Musician and Arts Manager and works in Marketing for performing arts organizations. And Andrew is a former Army officer! He worked in business support for a consulting firm for 3 years. Now he is starting his journey as a Law student at Duke University.
Anything else you would like to share?
Having a photographer you trust and feel comfortable with is critical. Obviously, you want to commemorate the day with beautiful photos, but not just anyone can get the right shots and also be a pleasure to work with. You want someone to keep you on track and get those pictures you’ll want later, but also someone who knows how to blend into the background and capture the day organically and unobtrusively once the “formal” photos are done. Throughout all of that, you want the photographer to be someone you can be yourself in front of, laugh with, and just enjoy spending a bunch of time with both before and during your wedding. So, get Kris. 😊
Congratulations Kara and Andrew!!
- Hair & Makeup: Paige Hudson at Heaven Hair Gallery
- Cake: Sweet Lucy’s Bake Shop
- Florals: The Bachelor Button
- Invitations: HALOdesignsShop
- Necklace: TRENDYANYTHING
- Earings: Sarah Walsh Bridal
- Dress: Davids Bridal
- Caterer: Pit Stop Smoke House
- Venue: St. Bernards Catholic Church
- Wedding at the Common Man in Claremont
- Fall Wedding at the Mountain View Grand
- Covid-19 Elopement w/ Steve and Jennifer
- Michelle and Jeremy’s Micro Wedding at Moran Estates