April and Clay’s Country Farm Wedding | Blacksburg, VA Wedding Photography

This wedding… I just don’t even know where to begin.

OK, I think I should begin by warning you: THIS POST IS LONG.  There are a lot, lot, lot of photos, so grab a snack and wait out the download.  I promise it’s worth it… April and Clay’s wedding was unusually magical, and the whole story needs to be shown.

I made a rule when I had my baby (now almost 18 months ago) that I wouldn’t take on more than one wedding per month while I was teaching, going to grad school, and learning how to be a mom. Summer dates fill up quickly, and before long, I had most of 2012 booked, including a lovely June wedding in North Carolina. I was ready to turn down any more inquiries for that month.

And then April emailed me, all the way from Alaska, and she said these magic words:

“We’ll be getting ready in a banjo shop.”

I couldn’t resist giving it a go, and I’m oh-so-glad I did.  April is a film-maker, and as such, she was keenly aware of the aesthetics of her wedding, from the DIY details to the beautiful, almost supernaturally lit portrait spots.  The ceremony area was full of mixed and matched rockers and wooden chairs, and tiny lights in mason jars were everywhere.  Buckeye Banjos – and the surrounding farm – ended up being a fantastic spot for a relaxed country wedding.

And once the party started… man, did it ever start!  April and Clay cut the cake with an axe.  AN AXE.  There was a “ring of fire” at the end of the night. The bridal party played Red Rover with gusto when it was time for their portraits.  It seems that Alaskans really know how to party.

Special thanks to Lara Betts Hopkins for second shooting with me. A lot of the shots you see below are hers.  She also ran a photo booth in one of the wooden outbuildings, which was so much fun for guests and gave April and Clay a rather entertaining “guest book.”

April and Clay, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day.


If you loved this wedding and are thinking of tying the knot in the Blacksburg area, be sure to check out these tips!

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  • Reply
    September 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Wow, these are really fabulous! What a unique wedding, too. Love it!

  • Reply
    Caryn Canatella
    September 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Holy crap these are beautiful! You nailed this wedding. That shot of them on the bridge is to die for. & what a fun looking bridal party!

  • Reply
    Leah Kua
    September 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    There are seriously no words to describe how much I love everything about this wedding. You captured it brilliantly!!

  • Reply
    Jim & Sherene Jensen
    September 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    awesome captures…. sorry we missed it… good times…

  • Reply
    Kellee Walsh
    September 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Absolute perfection Natalie. Love the story, love and all the details 🙂

  • Reply
    ed peers
    September 20, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Superb storytelling and just epic work all round.

  • Reply
    heather nan
    September 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Why wasn’t I invited to this wedding? Seriously, such a fun couple and gathering. Such excellent coverage of the day… so well done!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

    These are truly SO beautiful! Fabulous work! (And all of those rocking chairs? LOVE!)

  • Reply
    Priya Patel
    September 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Wow, amazing work! You did such an amazing job capturing all the special moments. I feel like I was there! Gorgeous.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    What an amazingly special wedding! The images of the bride being thrown in the air are hilarious, and cake cutting with an axe?! Totally awesome!

  • Reply
    sarah der
    September 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Just totally amazing. I don’t even have a favorite part or image because I love every. Single. Moment. I am serious.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    This is crazy. I somehow came across you. I graduated a year after April from the same high school. I remember her being beautiful and gorgeous and how *all* of the boys were totally enamored by her. There wasn’t one that didn’t totally respect, and adore, her. These photos just prove she still seems as absolutely amazing as we all thought of her then. I didn’t know her very well, but I still thought she was the absolute coolest.

  • Reply
    Serena Severtson
    September 24, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Gorgeous work, Natalie! This is so beautiful and they look like such a sweet couple! (Their customized names + dates glass jar/mug is adorable, by the way.)

  • Reply
    October 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Very Nice job of the entire wedding!

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