Q+A: Patrick and Kate’s Spruce Pine Lodge Wedding in Durham – North Carolina Wedding Photographer

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Kate and Patrick threw a party and just happened to get married in the middle of it. Well, at least that’s what it felt like. Food trucks. October. Rain. A wedding with good friends and family and no fuss. The Q+A says it all, and has some good advice for couples planning their big day. Thanks Alex for the great second shooting on this one.


1. What was most important to you in planning your wedding?

Having a really fun wedding day. We wanted to create a day that was really enjoyable for us, and for all of our friends and family celebrating with us. For us, this meant a casual atmosphere, greasy food, and lots of beer.

2. What did you learn about yourself and your relationship in the process of planning the wedding?

We’d been together for 9 years before finally tying the knot, and planning a wedding reinforced a lot of the things we’d learned over the years. One thing is the importance of having a partner with similar values and priorities, who reflects them and can remind you of them. There are a lot of external expectations about what a wedding is and should be, and what we wanted our wedding to be was not necessarily in line with some of those expectations. It was really awesome to have someone who is coming from the same place as you, who you can turn to as you’re trying to sort out what you want from what others expect you to want. We learned to trust one another and our shared intentions.

3. What was the biggest challenge?

Definitely the outside expectations about what our wedding should be. We didn’t think our wedding was that “offbeat,” but there were enough traditional elements we did away with that we got lot of questions during the planning process. The hardest part of this is that it comes from people you love who are really just trying to make sure you and your guests all have a great day, so we just had to be extra reassuring that “yes we’d thought about this and it’s what we really wanted to do.”

4. What advice do you have for other couples out there?

Clear communication between the two of you! This is really where it all starts. There are so many decisions to be made about your wedding that you both need to be transparent about what you want out of the day. It’s okay if you don’t want the same thing all the time, you can work with that and figure out comprises, but you can’t expect your partner to guess what you actually want if you’re not saying it.

5. What was your favorite moment from the day?

There are so many to choose from! The ceremony was really great. We had originally planned on having the ceremony outside, but we ended up with a very rainy weekend and moved the ceremony to a porch at our venue. There was a beautiful leafy green backdrop and all our guests packed themselves onto a porch that that was just big enough if everyone stood real close to one another and us. That feeling of being loved and supported by our friends and family was so self-evident in that moment.

6. What factors other than photos went into your decision on a wedding photographer? Why did you decide to pick me?

Pat had known he wanted you to photograph our wedding before we even started planning it, and he didn’t need to work hard to convince me. We both really liked your documentary approach to wedding photography and felt like it meshed with what we wanted out of our wedding day. We’re also big fans of your documentary work, and it was great that we were able to work with someone who also uses their photography to foster social justice and make Durham a better place for everyone.

7. From booking to delivery of images and seeing the results, what in your mind made it the right choice for us to collaborate? Did anything surprise you?

Beyond your skill as a wedding photographer, we were excited to collaborate with you simply because we like you as a person. We didn’t have a planner or a venue coordinator and your advice was so helpful because you trusted our vision but were able make critical suggestions. If anything surprised me it’s that so many of our memories of the wedding involve you. Your photographer is with you all day, so it’s great to have someone who brings levity and calm on the day of. NOTE FROM JUSTIN: DAWWWWWW!!

8. What’s next for you as a couple?

Honeymoon from Iceland to Belgium. Not getting more cats. World (or at least taco) domination.


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