Charlottesville Wedding Photographer: Jennifer + John

The day I found out that our friends, Jen and John, got engaged, I distinctly remember turning to my John and saying, “Oh, I really hope they choose November 3 because then we could photograph their wedding!”. John gave me a little smile and a diplomatic “We’ll see”, but I was already plotting and scheming.:) November 3 was the last Saturday that we still had available before we returned to the west coast, so there was still a chance that we could be there. True, I had no idea what they were thinking in terms of timing and seasons and all that, but a girl can dream, right?!

Fast forward a few days later and we’re on the Downtown Mall having breakfast and we run into none other than Jen and John. We’re catching up a bit and hearing about the engagement when Jen says, “Yeah, so we’re thinking about getting married in the fall.”

“Oh reeeaallllyyy,” I reply, elbowing John. “Have you thought about any dates in particular”?

“Actually, John and I are thinking November 3.” I really tried to hold myself together at this point, but let’s be honest, I totally let out a squeal and then proceeded to tell them that we would be photographing their wedding. Yikes. Manners? It’s a good thing we’re friends.:)

John and Jen were married at the beautiful and ever-s0-classic Ash Lawn-Highland, the home of former president James Monroe. Hurricane Sandy had blown through only a few days before, leaving in its wake a windy, chilly front, but nothing was going to stop these two. It was an awesome day!

When I walked in Jen was handing out gifts to her bridesmaids.

I love the moment when the bride slips into her dress and to see the pure joy in her eyes as she fixes her veil, but I will never forget watching my friend slip on her wedding dress and look more beautiful than any of us could ever have imagined.  

Outside John was with John (wow, this might start to get confusing) while the boutonnieres were been fastened and the ties adjusted. Speaking of ties, don’t you love this one?!



Beautiful girls!

Love, love, love!

Our good friend, Karen, assembled all the bouquets. Don’t they look amazing!!??


I love this shot of Jen and her father right before they walked down the aisle.


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There were smiles and tears all around!


The cold wind burst didn’t feel great, but I love what they did with Jen’s veil!

Even though I’m completely biased, the ceremony was so happy, joyful and emotional.

Officially official!!


Before we all headed to the barn to warm up, John and I wanted to spend some time with the newlyweds. When the wind kicked up, Jen just let her veil fly. I love this series!

A stroll through the garden…


John, of course, gravitated toward the sugar when he first stepped inside the reception, but then again, who wouldn’t!? Check out these cakes!!

I love how Jen extended the green and purple fall decor into the reception area.


Mr. and Mrs.!!!

John and Jen’s first task together as husband and wife….

Look at this teamwork!!



Music played a big part throughout the entire ceremony and into the reception. I love how a bunch of the guests were involved!

Jen’s sister was the first to offer a toast to the newlyweds. Her words to Jen were so sincere and heartfelt.

John’s best man was next to take the mic.

John rockin’ out with his band…

Jen and John: We’re so happy for you guys! I can’t tell you what an honor and privilege it was for John and I to be there witnessing, celebrating, and documenting your day. We hope you have a wonderful first Christmas together and a blessed 2013! Love to you both!

Un abrazo fuerte,


Lindy Dimeo - December 22, 2012 - 3:51 am

Absolutely beautiful, Natalie! Thank you so much!

John Elder - December 22, 2012 - 5:20 pm

Beautiful pictures of an awesome event!

Cynthia Kaul Carter - December 22, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Beautiful! What a wonderful day!

Jane Paulus - December 22, 2012 - 6:00 pm

absolutely beautiful Lindy–many congratulations to you and the whole family—-Christmas Blessings!!

Jo Ann Colvin - December 22, 2012 - 7:02 pm

These are beautiful pictures of a lovely wedding.

Andrea Ross - December 23, 2012 - 2:44 am

Your wedding photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us. It was such a beautiful day and the couple was spectacular too!

Laura - December 23, 2012 - 9:44 am

Natalie, you have such a gift; you were able to convey the true spirit of love, community, and family expressed in the wedding weekend and experienced by everyone! Awesome.

From this mother’s heart – Thank You, Laura Williams-Kumpost

Sara Fletcher - December 23, 2012 - 1:11 pm

Love Love Love!!

Elizabeth Bailey - December 23, 2012 - 6:39 pm

Natalie did a great job documenting the emotion, the details and the fun of their special day! I am so very happy for this new couple. May God’s blessing be upon them throughout their married life.

Dana Leach Bowman - January 29, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Love your pictures Jen! sent you an email, too many things I loved about them.

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer: Michelle + Stephen, Part Two

Today we get to show off the full elegance of Michelle and Stephen’s fabulous wedding at the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville. This lovely 18th century inn was built by Thomas Jefferson’s son-in-law and is steeped in tradition, elegance and sophistication. In a word, it was the perfect backdrop for this fabulous couple on their wedding day!

Don’t these two just tug at your heartstrings?

I’m in love with this series by the pool (albeit I was scared to death of taking a step backward and falling in!), but it just doesn’t get any more dreamy or romantic than this.

 Didn’t Michelle choose the perfect color palette for fall? If you look closely you’ll also notice a little bit of fall foliage incorporated into the centerpieces.

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I love the long rectangular tables in this room!

Outside, Stephen and Michelle rocked their first dance.

Such sweet father/daughter and mother/son moments.

It just wouldn’t be Stephen and Michelle’s wedding without a dance party. A huge shout out to DJ T.D. Layman who rocked the party all night long.

Before the night was over Stephen’s brother and Michelle’s sister both toasted (and roasted!) the newlyweds.:)

Michelle and Stephen: Thank you guys so much for being such an amazing and connected couple. You guys have the heart, soul, and friendship to live life with everything that it has to offer. We hope you both have a wonderful first Christmas together and that Teddy gets extra ‘huesos’ this year!
Un abrazo fuerte,
Suzanne Huizenga - December 18, 2012 - 3:52 am

Thank you Natalie! Beautiful pictures.

Natalie Novak Bell - December 18, 2012 - 6:17 pm

Of course! So glad you love them!

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer: Michelle + Stephen

Michelle and Stephen have such great style that I just knew their wedding day was going to be nothing short of amazing. And it was. Every little detail from Michelle’s ethereal dress, to the soft mocha shade of the bridesmaid dresses, to the orchids in the bouquets and boutonnieres, was all so perfect. Of course it’s also hard to go wrong when your venue is the Clifton Inn! It was great working with Defne who helped coordinate a flawless day and the ladies over at Pat’s Floral Designs who always do gorgeous work!

Daphne Latham, you did an awesome job with Michelle’s hair and make-up!

It’s always so exciting for me to walk into the room where my brides are getting ready. I love seeing the details that makes each of my brides feel the most beautiful. Is it a simple gown, or one made of European lace? Will she have heels in a bold shade? Or traditional white satin. It’s always a surprise, and a fun one for me.

I instantly fell in love with Michelle’s Jim Hjelm gown and Jimmy Choo wedges!



Meanwhile John was with Stephen and the guys as they were getting ready.


Such a handsome groom!

Back in the carriage house, the girls were putting on the finishing touches…

Even Teddy, Stephen and Michelle’s corgi, was dressed to impress!

Outside perfect November light was waiting for us….

Michelle, you are absolutely stunning!

Love these two shots of Michelle with her sister and mother.


Lovely, lovely, lovely!

The Madison Trio did such a wonderful job providing music for the ceremony.

Love her smile!


There was so much love and support surrounding Michelle and Stephen throughout their day. These two are truly blessed by a great group of friends and family!

The happy couple looking oh so fine on their wedding day….

Love this bouquet!

Don’t be a stranger. We’ve got the rest of Stephen and Michelle’s swoon-worthy Clifton Inn wedding coming to the blog on Monday!
Un abrazo fuerte,
Suzanne Huizenga - December 15, 2012 - 3:31 am

Here are the professional pictures from the wedding. So beautiful!

Brittany O'Brien - December 15, 2012 - 3:43 am

Being in the wedding industry and somewhat an authority on the subject (throat clearing) hahaha What a gorgeous wedding! And you and your hubs make quite the handsome couple all dolled up!!

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer: Joanna + Miguel, Part Two

Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I know it’s Monday and we’re all back at work, but you came to the right place for an extra boost because today I have my FAVORITE part of Joanna and Miguel’s UVa wedding to share with you! After the ceremony ended and their guests and bridal party headed off to the reception, Miguel, Joanna and I continued to walk around Grounds and completely soaked ourselves in the beauty of the architecture and fall colors!

Not your everyday stroll…

Love their matching Sperry Topsiders!

Miguel is such a gentleman.

The gorgeous Joanna…

Off to the reception!

Joanna and Miguel held their reception at Darden, UVa’s business school. The architecture is super fabulous, so we had to stop for a few more photos.:)

I love this series in this little garden area that we found.

Here’s a quick sneak peek of the reception area. I love the travel theme and all the DIY details!

One of the highlights of the cocktail hour was a surprise performance by one of UVa’s a capella groups, The Hullabahoos.

I just can’t seem to get enough of all these cute details!!

I love the idea of using luggage tags as name cards!

Thanks to Baker’s Palette for this awesome cake!

I was not the only one obsessed with the tags!

Here they come!!

Typically couples will go into their first dance after being announced, but Miguel, Joanna and the whole bridal party had another surprise for us. The music changed and they all broke into a choreographed dance. It was like Step Up wedding style!

Best bridal party dance ever!

Then it was time for the newlyweds first official dance together.

Followed by Joanna dancing with her little brother and Miguel with his mother.

Joanna’s mother (who spoke on behalf of her father) and Miguel’s father were the first to kick off the toasts.

Miguel’s best man was next to take the stage. He, of course, had us all in stitches.

Joanna’s maid of honor and long time best friend came prepared for the tears…

Miguel and Joanna didn’t skip out on a single tradition….it was time for the dollar dance!

Love Miguel’s dollar tail.:)

Can you guess what song they’re dancing to in this photo?:)

I work with DJ Dennis Payne a lot, and he always does a great job mixing it up!

This was one incredibly fun dance party!

Joanna and Miguel: You both have hearts of gold! I can’t tell you what a gift it was to be able to document the beginning of your lives to together as husband and wife. I have no doubt that you both will take good care of one another and that together you guys will bless so many others!

Un abrazo fuerte,


Genifer Torre - December 12, 2012 - 10:41 pm

Wonderful wedding! God bless you both! Love you :-)

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer: Joanna + Miguel

If I were asked to dream up the perfect fall wedding in Charlottesville, I would defer to Joanna and Miguel and their coordinator, Michelle, at Michelle Amarillo Event Planning for all my inspiration because they know all the right ingredients! Of course they ordered up the perfect, crisp, autumn day with just enough sun peeking out from behind the clouds to remind us that winter was still a few months off. To top it off Joanna had all her bridesmaids wear fabulous, eye-catching orange dresses and Sandy at Verde Natural Florals knew exactly how to coordinate the gorgeous bouquets. Combine this with the iconic beauty of the University of Virginia and you have one killer recipe for wedding day perfection!

It was such an honor to photograph this lovely wedding (and an even lovelier couple) and to work with all of the amazing vendors including Christian of Christian Hommel Photography who did an awesome job as my second photographer!

But before I get too carried away, let’s start at the beginning with Joanna and her girls right before they hopped in the limo….

Joanna’s bouquet…super fabulous!

Love this shot of the bride’s mother and father!

The lovely Joanna moments before entering the chapel and walking down the aisle. She looks so calm!

This was truly one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed.

Exchanging vows….

I loved being able to witness and photograph all the Filipino traditions that Joanna and Miguel incorporated into their ceremony.

These guys did such a great job with the music!

Love this!!

Outside the chapel everyone was waiting to greet the newlyweds.

Check out this family photo!

Pretty girls!!

What a good looking group!

I loved being able to spend some time with Miguel and Joanna. They both love each other so well and are some of the kindest people I’ve ever met!

A few of my favorites in black and white…

If you’ve fallen in love with the first part of Joanna and Miguel’s UVa wedding, just wait for Monday’s post of the reception, complete with an acapella performance by the Hullabahoos, a surprise choreographed dance by the bridal party, luggage tag name cards, travel-themed centerpieces and non-stop dancing. See you then!

Un abrazo fuerte,


Myra Carpio - December 7, 2012 - 10:40 pm

Ahhh all amazzing photos! You made me look really good haha Thanks Natalie Bell Photography! ;D

Loloy Guerra - December 8, 2012 - 1:02 am

Great pictures!

Genifer Torre - December 8, 2012 - 10:03 am

Fantastic pictures!

A B O U T   M E