I have absolutely loved serving Kayla and Mike…for so many reasons. I first met them at the Rixey Manor Bridal Boot Camp last year (an event that is so unique to Rixey Manor…another reason why this venue is amazing). It was instantly evident that these two were not only engaged and sharing a romance, but that they were also very, very good friends. They are college sweethearts who have supported each other’s goals, developed a love for each other’s interests and have become a close part of each other’s families.
Since they met in college, it seemed only natural to photograph them there for their engagement session. I was so excited to be able to photograph their session on the campus of William and Mary…I LOVE the W&M campus and it was even more fun to learn so much more about Kayla and Mike during our time together. I learned that they have so much in common and yet have quite different interests of their own as well. As Kayla’s sister noted during the reception, Mike has found an exquisite musician in Kayla and Kayla’s family has learned that sports actually do exist. (;
Kayla and Mike met during their freshman year at William & Mary. They dated four and a half years before Mike proposed in September of 2015, but they both knew early on that they would be together forever. They were best friends from the very beginning. Kayla loves to look back on some of her earliest memories of taking long walks around campus and Colonial Williamsburg, waking up early to catch breakfast with Mike at the dining hall and lots of pizza making on dinner nights together.
Here is their special proposal story in Kayla’s words:
“Mike and I had gone camping for the weekend. I knew a proposal was coming in the near future, but definitely didn’t think he would propose that weekend – I am much more of a ‘camping person’ than he is and he was being a good sport about agreeing to go. In fact, I had even made a joke at him saying there was absolutely no chance he would propose that weekend since he wasn’t a big fan of camping. Little did I know! In the morning, after breakfast at a local diner, we went on a hike up to a historic lighthouse. Mike was walking really fast on the hike, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time – I thought he just wanted to be done with the hike. After we got to the lighthouse and wandered around for a bit, he asked someone to take a picture of us – unusual for him since I’m usually the picture taker out of the two of us. That’s when I put two and two together and realized what was happening! He proposed by the lighthouse, overlooking the water. It was very sweet and he completely succeeded at surprising me!”
Kayla and Mike did an incredible job having fun planning their wedding too. They brought in special elements, reminiscent of their time at W&M (including MAD about Chocolate cookies for their guests!). They hired some pretty wonderful professionals to help them and incorporated a beautiful spring time palette. So when the unexpected 95 degree heat and humidity rolled in for the day, how did they react? They took it in stride of course! The smiles never seemed to leave their faces…or those of their wedding party and family. The ladies were such sweet helpers for Kayla and were always smiling and happy for these two. The men were the same…supportive, funny and eager to make sure the day was perfect…AND IT WAS!!! Everything about this day was full of rich meaning and sentiment.
The mood was fun, playful and full of joy…their guests loved the lawn games despite the heat and the band helped them dance into the night. But the speeches really stand out to me. First, Mike and Kayla were the most gracious hosts and thanked everyone who helped them, even their vendors! They are truly a THANKFUL couple! And then hearing Kayla’s dad talk about the day she was born and how he wanted to treasure every moment made this momma cry. I LOVE reception speeches…I really get to hear more about the couple and what makes their hearts soar. Kayla’s parents gave such a gracious speech as well…and humorous. Mike’s brother gave us a great insight into Mike as well and Kayla’s sister, Emma definitely knew how to work a crowd! At only 18, Emma had us laughing, tearing up and feeling like we were all a part of their family. Both Mike’s and Kayla’s families were absolutely lovely hosts!
This was an incredible day from their personal vows to their sparkler exit, from the morning preparations to the evening sunset and golden hour photos. I can’t say enough about Kayla and Mike and I am so happy to have served them alongside some amazing people. Congratulations Kayla and Mike and thank you to these wonderful folks!!!
Venue: Rixey Manor
Floral Design: Good Earth Flowers
Videography: Olea Films
Hair and Make Up: Jamie Sommers D’Agostino
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero Designs
Bridal Boutique: Bridals by Natalie
Bridesmaid Dresses: AZAZIE
Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Bands: Five Star Jewelers
Favors: MAD about Chocolate
Cake: Eloise’s Pastries
Officiant: Mary C. Sullivan, Wedding Officiant
Band: The Lone Rangers with Sam Hill Entertainment
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Charlottesville Wedding Photographer, Culpeper Wedding Photographer, Fredericksburg Wedding Photographer, Alexandria Wedding Photographer, Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Williamsburg Wedding Photographer, High Country Wedding Photographer and a wedding photographer in the surrounding areas.