Hi friends and welcome to my blog!
I’m Stephanie, a senior and family portrait photographer based in Macon, Georgia. Here on the blog, you'll find recent sessions, tips and tricks, and personal stories. Feel free to take a look around. Thanks for stopping by!
How they met: Bruna and Chad first met at transfer orientation during the summer of 2012 when they both decided to transfer to Mercer University. The first time they saw each other was that morning — Bruna introduced herself later in the day after her mom stepped out to answer a phone call. With Bruna being Brazilian, her and her mom had been speaking to each other in Portuguese, which threw Chad and his parents off when she reached over and said “Hey, I’m Bruna” in the cutest southern accent. After orientation ended they both went their separate ways until they got back on campus in August, where they ran into each other at the welcome back orientation a few days before the official start of the semester.
Once they returned to campus, Bruna made it clear to the other girls that she called “dibs” on Chad. They went on their first real date shortly after, when Bruna asked Chad to attend her sorority’s “Welcome Back Mixer” as “one” of her dates, as it was a custom for the girls in her sorority to invite more than one guy to different events. Even though Bruna brought another date, he didn’t last very long! Bruna and Chad spent the entire night together dancing and laughing the night away as Wagon Wheel played in the background.
Their relationship: After that night they spent the majority of their time during that first semester at Mercer together. That year during Christmas break, Chad drove down to Swainsboro to see Bruna and meet her family for the first time. After a few days is Swainsboro, Chad asked Bruna (and Bruna’s dad for permission) to come stay with Chad and his family a few days for New Years. This trip was an important moment in their relationship because it is when it “technically” became official.
Chad asked Bruna to be his girlfriend in the wee hours of the morning on New Years Day 2013. They spent the rest of their undergraduate years making some of the best memories and friendships, truly having the time of their lives, and it is why Macon and Mercer hold such a special place in their hearts. It will forever be the place where they met and brought them together, the place where they first said “I love you” and watched their love grow, and the place where they spent so much time making memories that will last a lifetime.
Fast forwarding… They both graduated from Mercer, Bruna started Law School, Chad started his career in Macon to stay close to Bruna.
They knew wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and soon, Chad made the decision to buy a ring for Bruna. After speaking with Bruna’s parents, they had one request, and that was for Chad to wait to propose until after she graduated from law school (so… Chad waited a whole five hours after her graduation to ask).
But life threw them some curveballs.
Chad was offered his first big job at the University of Wyoming *just* before Bruna’s law school graduation. He was almost 1700 miles away… and she was starting a career in Georgia. But they knew God had bigger plans for them. Distance was not going to change that.
Their proposal: Bruna, graduated from Mercer Law School on the morning of May 13, 2017, and Chad proposed that evening in Macon where it all began. They went out to eat at one of their local favorites to celebrate Bruna’s graduation, allowing for the crowd to die down before we headed back over to the law school for Bruna to take a few cap and gown photos with family. This was of course just a reason to get Bruna back over to the law school so Chad could pop the question! After taking a few photos on the front lawn and porch of the law school, they walked over to the gazebo in between the law school and the Woodruff House, where Chad faked a reason to walk away while she posed for a few more pictures. When she turned around, Chad was on one knee asking for her hand in marriage and she said “Yes”!
Chad reminisced and said, “since that day our relationship has grown stronger and we are more committed to one another than ever, as I have moved from Wyoming to Florida and finally to Athens. Now that we are both back in Georgia, we cannot wait to start our lives together as husband and wife.”
Their wedding day: In true Bruna and Chad, life-throwing-you-curveballs fashion, their wedding was originally planned for May. They made the very tough decision to postpone their celebration until August. They had to change ceremony venues and a vendor last minute, but they took it all in stride. Even a thunderstorm, downed power lines on a road, and traffic couldn’t stop them from getting married!
Bruna and Chad exchanged heartfelt vows at Pierce Chapel and danced the night away at the Blacksmith Shop. Bruna’s dress was designed specifically for her and I felt lucky that I got to see her in it twice (we did a bridal session back in July)! Their bridal party was fun and supportive and the love in the air was palpable.
VENDOR TEAM | Ceremony Venue: Pierce Chapel | Reception: The Blacksmith Shop | Planner: Ackyla Moreira-Rodrigues | Florals: Mulberry Weddings & Events | Hair and Makeup: Anna Kate Willoughby at The Cottage Salon | DJ: C&M Music Factory | Videographer: Jared Sweat Videography | Cake: The Sugar Bowl Bakery | Groom’s Cake: Red Balloon Baking Company | Caterer: Happy’s Private Chef & Catering | Dress: Elegant Bridals | Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal | Menswear: Jos. A Bank