THE JOURNAL

Wedding photography for joyful couples that specializes in capturing both stunning portraits and candid moments to help you remember both the look and feel of your wedding day.
 Based in Raleigh, NC. Available for travel.

Weddings as a Three-Act Play

Topsail Island Wedding

I’ve once heard it said that your wedding is a three-act play. First, you have the getting ready. Second, the ceremony. Third, the reception. As I’ve watched countless wedding days unfold from start to finish, I realized that this feels true. Today I want to walk you through the wonderful story that you get to act out on your wedding day using images from Kori and Ryan’s wedding that I assisted near Topsail Island, NC. Photographs were shot alongside Christina Marie Photography.

Act I: Getting Ready

Getting ready is usually a pretty long part of the wedding day (for the bride and bridal party anyway), but personally, this is one of my favorite parts as a wedding photographer! There is so much excitement in the air! When I arrive, the bride is typically surrounded by her closest friends and family, surrounded by snacks and mimosas, and waiting to finish up her hair and make-up. Often the groom shows up to his own getting ready room (several hours later) surrounded by his closest friends as well. These last few hours before the ceremony are special–it is the last time the bride and groom each get to spend with their loved ones as single individuals. There is so much anticipation. They have waited for this day for such a long time!

Sometimes the bride and groom incorporate a first look or a first touch. This can be a beautiful, intimate moment shared together shortly before the ceremony. Usually one or both wipe back tears as they share words trying desperately to express just how much love they feel for each other. In this Topsail Island wedding, the bride shared a first look with her father and grandfather, an equally sweet moment!

The slow, sweet nature of getting ready and first looks then starts to fade as the pace of the day quickens with portraits! These could include the bride alone, the bride and groom each separately with their wedding parties and family members, or if they opted for a first look, the entire bridal party together!

Act II: The Ceremony

This is it–them moment all have been waiting for!! Nerves finally peak as everyone takes their places and waits for the coordinator to tell them it’s time to walk down the aisle. Despite the nerves, it always ends well! The whole ceremony has been planned in incredible detail, so as bride and groom, all you have to do is step into the story and follow along! As long as you are confident in your commitment to each other, nothing can really go horribly wrong. Sure it might rain, just like it did for Kori and Ryan, and you have to move your ceremony inside, but as I always tell my couples, as long as you get married at the end of the day, it was a success! (Despite the last minute move indoors, Kori and Ryan still had a beautiful ceremony!)

Act III: The Reception

After the ceremony, everyone takes a big sigh of relief, and the party begins!! Typically the newlyweds and their family get together for portraits if they haven’t been taken already, and the bride and groom also may take a few portraits together while guests enjoy cocktail hour. After cocktail hour, everyone gathers again for dinner, toasts and dancing! The reception is always a fun, beautiful conclusion–the perfect ending–to the play.

All featured images were captured and edited by Megan Ocampo while assisting Christina Marie Photography.

The Photographer Behind the Lens

I'm Megan, a wedding photographer based in Raleigh, NC who is obsessed with telling love stories through the art of photography. I'd love the chance to tell your unique love story, too!

Meet Megan

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