Virginia and Ryan – North Carolina Wedding

This last weekend my beautiful cousin Virginia married her best friend. Among 50 of their closest family and friends they read their vows with the sun setting and Bass Lake sprawling in the background.

Virginia’s sister Elizabeth wrote the best speech about these two, and I asked her if I could share it with you here. Thankfully she obliged. She is a captivating writer, heading for greatness in her field.

Here are her words in case you missed them:

[Many of you probably think that this is Virginia’s first marriage but it isn’t. Virginia Rayleen has wanted to be a bride since day one and has been married many times to various neighborhood children over the years. Her first marriage was in Kindergarten, to a lucky boy named Joey much to the dismay and utter heartbreak of this other kid named Kenny. Her confidence, pretty-pretty face and respect for romance and love have attracted hopefuls from near and far. And until now no one knew just what she needed.
Any one, who knows her, knows that Virginia knows what she wants. She has always been a headstrong romantic who is decisive and acts without hesitancy.  She has never in my experience allowed opinions or judgments to interfere with her plans. She does what she wants and she doesn’t look back. And these are the things that I admire most in her. Her thoughtfulness and discretion inspire confidence in her choices and those she holds in high regard.
I first heard mention of Ryan the day that she took me to a surprise Dixie chicks concert at the Tacoma Bowl. She told me that a boy in her class had given her tips on where to park. It was a simple exchange, but I could tell that he wasn’t just some boy. I could hear that special cadence in her voice that turned electric. It was charged with hope, excitement, nerves and anticipation. I hadn’t heard that from her for a while. I was super-happy for her then and I couldn’t wait to hear more about the boy in her class.
Soon enough, they were friends that just happened to spend every waking minute together.  He attended to every old-fashioned courting gesture possible, which was super sweet and ultra peachy keen. He held open doors, pretended not to notice when mom interrupted him, he bought her flowers and wrote her letters. He is just as, if not more, romantic than Virginia and has been willing and able to meet all the needs of her particular brand of love. For that, I am infinitely grateful to him. There is nothing better than someone who knows how to love you and does so without restraint. Ryan made it his business to prove to Virginia that he loved her more than just a buddy.
Because of his faith in her love he earned that sacred place in her heart. It is my good fortune to know that once you have Virginia’s love, it is yours to keep. She is the strongest, most trustworthy person I know and she has always held love above all things.  She’s like a love bank or a love safety deposit box. In fact, she once told me that she hated me during a sister-fight and promptly burst into tears, telling me that she loved me and that she was sorry and asked me please, please not to tell on her.
When I heard that Virginia was going to marry Ryan, I wasn’t surprised. I could tell she was serious about him. And I worried a bit, because it’s my job to watch over my sister and keep the baby happy, which was something mom said every frickin’ day. But, it was also my job to go out and play with my sister which, as an adult is still true and translates into joining her on her life path and celebrating the love that she has nurtured for a new member of our family.  It’s not my job to worry anymore and my sister is probably the last person anyone has to worry about.
Today, Virginia and Ryan aim to build upon our family and face the universe together as a team and I want to support them in all they do, even if it means that I am only expected to come out and play and help them celebrate their love. I would like to raise a toast to the belief in romance and the decision to love and be loved.  May your confidence in yourselves and your dreams be cosmically rewarded.]

Ryan and Virginia there are no words for how much I admire you both. Your courage, your thoughtfulness, and the way you love each other so openly. I enjoyed being a part of your day so much, and feel very honored to know you both and to be a part of your family.

Love you,























For more images from this wedding view their slideshow here!

For more images please view my website.

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  • Awesome pictures Laura! You really captured the love Virginia and Ryan have for each other. Wonderful wedding photos to remember that special day.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Hand

    We’ve all been marveling at how talented you are. Thank you so much. My experience was heightened because of your expertise and artistry. Not to mention your sweet disposition. You are the best!

  • Anne Rodgers

    They are so beautiful! How lucky she is to have you with such a great talent!!
    Love ya miss you lots!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura… WOW those are gorgeous. The photo on the dock and the fun photos of bridal parties.. the details.. the bracelet… gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful work Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Grandpa Richard

    Thank you Laura for such a beautiful gift to all of us. You are a treasure and your work is precious.ReplyCancel

  • Excellent photos, the locations are great! I bet the couple is super happy!ReplyCancel

  • What a gorgeous bride! I absolutely love image #8ReplyCancel