Surprise Wedding... Nobody Knows

July 24, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

June 2nd and June 29th 2018

Location: Bridal Portraits (Stowe Manor)  Wedding (Belmont NC)

Ceremony (Belmont City Hall)  Formal and Dinner (Jailhouse Whiskey Cigar Bar)

Reception (South Main Cyles)

Nikon D750  85mm Nikon, 50mm 1.4 Nikon, 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art, 70-200mm Tamron G2 2.8  and Nikon D3s

Bridal Portraits D750 with Paul C Buff Einstein and Octabox and Natural Light



      As you can tell from the title of this blog you can assume what transpired. I will do my best to give you a quick rundown of how all this went down.

I received a message from Tori asking "Are you sitting down?" I had no clue what was coming but I figured it was really good news. Indeed it was... Tori was letting me know that she was getting married to her boyfriend Scott and wanted me to be their photographer. I have worked with Tori on numerous occasions however this one was extra special. The biggest thing to this announcement was that NOBODY KNEW.... minus immediate family of course.  I was tasked with keeping this  secret and making sure none of the Crossfit community found out. To my knowledge all their friends thought that Scott was moving away for his job and they were going to throw a going away party for him. Little did they know they they would be a part of a wedding reception.


In the meantime Tori and I scheduled her bridal portraits at Stowe Manor in Belmont NC. This was a gorgeous estate. We would have the location all to ourselves. I arrived to the estate and was joined by Tori and her mother. I started walking to around the estate to determine where I wanted to start. I figured we couls start on the outside and work our way room to room.




Tori had a request to get some photos taken with Oakley. Oakley came dressed to impress with his bowtie. Check him out..... Born for the camera!!!

Those were the only photos we would take outside. It was waaaay to hot outside and we wanted to take full advantage of inside the home. There was a room on the other side of the door from where I decided to hang the dress. There was so much natural light in there I knew it would look amazing.


This estate was the best place for hide and seek because there were rooms everywhere. We started in one room and worked our way upstairs. Thank goodness I had my Paul C buff Vagabon battery back and strobes. There wasn't a lot of light throughout the home. The strobes worked perfectly providing a great blend of light while capturing Tori.

We  then made our way to the amazing stairs that led to the second level.  I was concerned that my strobe may not light the entire room up the way I liked. Boy was I wrong.


 We wrapped up the bridal portraits moving to the top of the stairs and up to the second level. These portraits turned out so amazing and was very pleased. The hardest part was holding on to these photos until after the wedding. It was all worth it!!!


Lets fast forward a few weeks to wedding day. Just a few more hours of holding this secret. The weather was great not a cloud in the sky. I met Tori and her family at the hotel for some getting ready photos as well as a first look with her father. We didn't plan on spending a lot of time at the hotel since I would also have to get over to City Hall and get some photos of Scott and his parents. We worked with the space we had in the room minus some minor furniture shuffling.

The call was then made downstairs to Dad to let him know it was time for the first look. It was pretty tough to choose a spot in the hotel lobby so we decided the choose the entrance.


I quickly packed up and made my way over to City Hall to meet up with Scott and his parents.

Pulled Scott aside for a few.


Before I knew it was time for Tori to walk down the aisle. She displayed so much joy the entire ceremony.  From walking own the aisle to reading her vows. One thing that was clear as day was that Scott absolutely adores Tori. He couldn't keep his eyes off her. It was a blessing to witness.


The sun was a little harsh during the ceremony however it all worked out. There were laughs and tears but both represented happiness.

 Tori and Scott picked out the coolest spot for their formals. We went to the Jailhouse Cigar Bar. Such an unique spot. Cigars and Bourbon....

It was a short walk over to dinner. The food was good and enjoyed every bite. I captured a few photos during dinner but since everyone was eating it was a good time to get some rest and recharge. One of my biggest concerns was that some of the guest that were coming to the wedding announcement reveal would walk by and see us all having dinner with Tori in a wedding dress. That would have been awkward. Needless to say that didn't happen.



OK... Here we go.... time for the secret to be no more. When I arrived at South Main Cycles I literally saw EVERYONE that I knew. I am sure that when they saw me arrive they figured a little bit more that just Scott going away for work was happening. I am friends with a lot of members at Crossfit Wreckage and of course my Crossfit Harrisburg family. They all know I am a photographer so at most they thought it was a proposal. It was go time. I tried not to make contact with too many people mainly to avoid any questions being asked. Well.... it was time.  Tori and Scott were announced as already being married. When they walked up the faces were priceless. Mouths wide open and tears flowing. Tori and Scott's friends were super excited for them.

There was a really cool train behind the bar so before it got dark I wanted to get as many group shots as I could.

The secret was a success an so was the entire day. Tori and Scott's family were so welcoming from the first time meeting me. I love working with families who are so down to earth and love having a good time. I cant thank Tori and Scott enough for trusting me with their secret and capturing their special day. I wish them nothing but happiness.  Also want to thank all my supporters for taking the time to ready about Scott and Tori's journey to this big day!!!



Hair and Makeup @hairbytaybear


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