Fine, so this didn't come "tomorrow"--it's here now, and that's the important thing :)

Julie Hill and I made the 4.5 hour drive from New Orleans to Monroe Louisiana with a half excited, half fascinated attitude, marveling at the different sights we saw, from this little restaurant shaped like a dress to the ancient officer who pulled Julie over and threatened to lock her up next time she "came through them parts". We arrived and changed, and decided to head over right away to the pre-wedding party that some friends of Anna's family were throwing.

No sooner than we had walked up the driveway were we hugged tightly by at least two of Anna's sisters, Anna, some neighbors, and both of Anna's parents. It was seriously the most welcoming moment of my life--I felt enclosed by the Rockett family immediately and knew that it was going to be an amazing weekend! That night, I got a chance to speak fairly in-depth to quite a few members of the family, and absolutely could not wait to shoot the wedding the next day!

I've gotten quite a few emails and speculation about WHY I choose to do a free wedding each year, and the general consensus seems to be that it is a business maneuver. This isn't the case--I've never once booked any kind of paying job for shooting one of these weddings. It just seems like there are some genuinely nice people out there in the world who deserve to have something nice done for them. Wedding photography isn't a "need" by any standards--it's just something I happen to do as my career that once in awhile I choose to do solely for fun for a nice person, and Anna & Chris certainly qualify!

Anyway, the next morning, I walked over to the restaurant next to our hotel to grab a bite to eat before heading out to shoot, where I ran into Chris and 6 or 7 of his friends, brothers, and brothers-in-law and was immediately invited to join them! Never one to turn down hanging out with a big group of gentlemen, I accepted and was introduced to some Monroe cuisine (I didn't order this floating cheeseburger but I did taste it). It maybe wasn't the best idea for me as a pre-wedding meal, though!

I spent the rest of the day joining Anna and Chris as they did what any couple does--get ready, pledge their lives to one another, and enjoy their friends and family! The overwhelming feeling of love that I saw and experienced that day, I will never forget. I would have been more than happy to stay in Monroe for another couple of weeks, living at a more relaxed pace, becoming a local at the restaurant, and having my official adoption ceremony with the Rockett family--they already have 8 kids, they wouldn't mind one more, right?!

Rockett and Pryor families--thank you for a weekend I will never forget. I appreciate all the thought you put in to every single thing you did, and will never forget any of you!

Now, on to the rest of the photos:

Anna's family church:

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These little girls were so cute:

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Daddy and Anna walking down the aisle:

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I love how the sun filtered in through the windows:

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Anna's mom actually made her netted veil!

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I love this one:

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And this one:

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Woo hoo, Mr. & Mrs.!

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We headed back to the lake house for a few more photos:

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My favorite shot of the day:

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Through my blog, I was contacted by Wendee Robbins, who offered to drive in from Texas to coordinate the wedding! She did such a beautiful job pulling in the details!

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First dance:

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Just the girls:

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This might be my favorite moment of the day:

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Outta here!

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You have to watch this video that Julie did that day--it's so beautiful:




Anna & Chris--it is my honor to know you! Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your day, and including me in your lives!!