I truly don't know even where to begin when I write about Chemaria and Damien. I'm not sure where they stole our hearts but they did. I photographed their engagement session at UNC Chapel Hill. The place where their met and "kind of" fell in love. It's a long story but to make it short and not even as sweet as they are. Damien knew right away that Chemaria was the one, but she played it tough. She said "NO FOOTBALL PLAYERS". They met in gospel choir. I mean, come on y'all! GOSPEL CHOIR?! He worked and tried and she kept that front up. Eventually she let it down, then put it back up, until she just knew she couldn't live without him. So, back to where they stole OUR hearts? I think it was when we had our SECOND session with them (when I went back to Kenan Memorial Stadium) to photograph Damien's graduation photos. I brought Bill and our sweet baby boy Walt along. Coming from a football family, I wanted Walt to experience the greatness of the stadium but after all it was the greatness of Chemaria and Damien that Walt fell for. When I saw how Chemaria and Damien both were so distracted by our son I just couldn't get over it. They are the type of couple that aren't about their beauty or how awesome they are, but they both were more into showing a small 2 year old around a big football stadium. Walt took to Chemaria and held her hand and I knew we didn't just have clients but precious friends for life. From then on, we were not just photographers with clients but we were so invested in their lives (and they in our lives as well) that it wasn't just about taking pictures for their wedding.
We're like that with many of our couples. There is typically something, whether tiny or great that bonds us and for Mr. and Mrs. Washington it will always be those moments and them hugging and holding our son, sharing their dreams for their future together as husband and wife with us, praying for and with us - that will bond us. We even ran into them while we were photographing other engagement sessions in Durham. Chemaria and Damien always hugged us like it was the last time they'd ever hug us. Seeing them was always one of the happiest times. They have become so special to our family. So I knew their wedding day would be so emotional for me, especially and it was. Watching them say their vows, seeing Chemaria giggle and Damien play it cool, their first dance, Chemaria pull her mother in tight for their dance together and speak of her sweet father in heaven was an honor. Being able to hug Damien's mother and thank her for raising such a wonderful man and see that reflection in his younger siblings throughout the evening...everything was just a blessing. Their wedding was a beautiful day but it was nothing compared for what I expect their marriage to be. We love you Mr. and Mrs. Washington -- TO THE MOON and BACK!
Venue: Founders Hall - Charlotte, NC
Wedding Planner: Fabulously Created Events
Officiant: Dr. Ricky Frazer
Florist/Rentals: Carolina Luxury Events
Hair: Everlasting U
Makeup: Rachel Rodgers
Cake: The WOW Factor Cakes
Video: Dorn-Long Films