Heidi + Zayne | Lancaster, VA

It was a classic, barista set-up. Zayne and Heidi, both frequent customers at a local, Alabama coffee shop, were first introduced thanks to the match making skills of a few of the coffee shop employees. At first they were both skeptical. Will it be awkward? What will he think? What will I say to her? But I think these baristas just had a hunch. And they were right. Heidi and Zayne have been together ever since, and it was obvious to both John and I that they share a deep and lasting love for each other.

Their wedding, which took place at Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster, VA, was a true DIY masterpiece. Heidi is a book binder and is just naturally creative and crafty. She designed and coordinated the wedding from the bottom up – ¬†from the handmade tissue paper flowers strung from the tent, to all the apple-themed center pieces and invitations – there wasn’t a detail left unattended to.

Including her to die for bouquet…friends it just doesn’t get better than this…

Heidi had her dress hand made by an Etsy designer. Raw silk and feather-tipped flats. LOVE!

Take a good look at these beauties…

This is the colonial house situated on the Belle Isle State Park property. This is a fully-furnished house with picturesque grounds and a killer view of the Rapphannock River.

The beautiful bride!

Zayne and Heidi decided to see each other before the wedding so that they could have some time together before all the guests arrived. I think that this is a great option for couples because it gives them a chance to have an intimate moment together, a chance to stop and really be present to the moment and to each other before guests arrive and before the whole pace of the day picks up.

Zayne and Heidi – you both are a perfect match.

We just loved watching the way the Zayne could make Heidi smile and laugh.:-)

After we took some shots around the house, we wandered down to the dock to take some pictures by the water.

Zayne and Heidi couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful, autumn day in Virginia.

Back in the house, Heidi was greeted by some of her guests and helped her mom and brother fasten their boutonnieres. I can’t get over these hot pink walls!

Heidi, you look absolutely fabulous!

Waiting for the ceremony to begin…

Mr. and Mrs.!!!

As you probably suspected, there is most definitely going to be a Part II! Check back soon!

Un abrazo,


Heidi - November 22, 2010 - 10:07 pm

Natalie & John — These photos are awesome! Thank you so much for capturing the day so beautifully!

[…] Jackie of Carried Away Cuisine Photography : Natalie Bell Photography See the Full Wedding Here : Natalie’s Blog September 29th, […]

Charlottesville Engagement Session: Cameron + Kevin

Love is in the air. It must be because this fall has been chock-full of engagement sessions. I’ve had such a great time getting to know so many different couples, hearing how they met, how their relationships took different turns and up’s and down’s, and how, ultimately, they’ve ended up engaged and in front of my camera!

Cameron and Kevin are no exception. Newly engaged and in the beginning phases of planning their wedding, they met me at UVA (their alma mater) a few weeks back to revisit some of their favorite places on Grounds.

Of course we had to start off on the front steps of TJ’s iconic Rotunda…

And what kind of Cavalier engagement session would this be without a good smooch on the steps of the Rotunda?:-)

Such cuteness!

After we finished with the Rotunda, we wandered back to the Lawn to where Kevin actually popped the question a few weeks prior.

The ring!!

Man, do I love Virginia in the fall!

Next we headed to the gardens…


Back on the lawn…we just couldn’t pass up the vibrant greens and golds of these leaves!

After a quick outfit change, we stopped off at the colonnade and then made our way down to Clark library.

Like I mentioned earlier, one of things I love about my job is the range of people I get to meet and work with. Some couples come to an engagement session with very specific ideas of what they want, where as others show up and want me to lead the way. I loved that Cameron and Kevin came with very specific (and creative!) ideas about where and what they wanted. Because both of their last names start with “z”, one of their genius ideas was to get some shots in front of the “Z” on the steps of Clark library. Love!

We ended the session on the Corner in front of The College Inn because that is where Kevin took Cameron on their first date. So sweet, you guys!

Cameron and Kevin: THANK YOU so much for sharing part of your afternoon with me and for allowing me to document your love and the places and moments that you both hold dear. I hope these pictures will bring you much joy for years to come! All the best as you begin planning your wedding and your life together!

Un abrazo,


Charlottesville Engagement Session: Allison + Adam (Part II)

As promised, I’m back today with the second part of Allie and Adam’s UVA engagement session, so grab your favorite fall drink – I have my warm cup of English breakfast tea in hand – and sit back and enjoy!

After a quick outfit change, we stuck around the Rotunda for a little while longer….

….and perfected the dip. Guys, this is definitely ready for your first dance!

Then we took off to explore some of the gardens.

I love that Allie’s mom requested some pictures with the serpentine walls that line the gardens. (A woman after my own heart, no doubt) But after a while, Allie spotted a ball and chain hanging from one of the gates….can you guess what happened next??:-)Adam was such a good sport and even gave us the corresponding facial expression.

The beautiful Allie…

So cute you guys!

Okay, so I absolutely LOVE this next series. It is seriously swoon worthy…

Wow. Talk about some awesome colors!

That’s right, Allie. Work it.

To end the session we circled back around to the Lawn and found a very inviting pile of freshly fallen leaves. You can guess the result…

Jumping for joy!

Allie and Adam: You guys simply rule. No question. Try to enjoy this time being engaged and planning your wedding, and we’ll see you in June. We can’t wait!

Un abrazo,


Charlottesville Engagement Session: Allison + Adam

I am so excited to begin this new week by sharing this lovely couple with you. Meet Allie and Adam. They are both originally from Charlottesville, started dating in high school, went in separate directions for college and now are back together in Hoo’ville, engaged and planning their wedding for next June. Both Allie and Adam are so warm, personable and fun, and it was such a gift to be able to meet and get to know them. In fact, after spending the afternoon with these guys, the rest of our day felt sunny and joyful. We just had an extra kick in our step. And as you’ll see from the mere size of this post, these two were nothing short of ADORABLE. There was just way too much engagement goodness to choose from….

First up, the classic architecture of UVA’s Colonnade…

I just loved capturing the way that Adam looks at Allie…

After some dancing, we climbed the stairs on the back side of the Rotunda and took some pictures against the columns.

Such a lovely couple!

Allie, you are stunning!

And, Adam, you’re not looking too shabby yourself.:-)

Allie and Adam practicing their dip before the big day…

I love this next series…

I can’t wait to share the rest, so stay tuned for Part II coming your way tomorrow!

Un abrazo,


Charlottesville Engagement Session: Honour + John

Honour and John, both recent graduates of the University of Virginia, met me back on Grounds a few weekends ago for some beautiful, fall engagement photos. We couldn’t have asked for a better day – the leaves were just beginning to change, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and 75 degrees had never felt better.

Nor could have I hoped for a cuter couple. Honour and John met while they were both students at the University and just got engaged this past 4th of July in classy Charleston, SC. They are planning their wedding in Honour’s hometown of Atlanta for next June. I know it’s going to be spectacular!

Of course we had to spend some time taking pictures around the columns of the Rotunda. And, yes, John and Honour are as sweet as they seem.:-)

The ring! (Nice work, John)

Honour, you are stunning. Truly.

I loved Honour and John’s idea of getting some shots in front of John’s old Lawn room. And what do you know, there just happened to be a rocking chair waiting there for us….

Pretty fabulous.

The lovely Honour.

While taking some shots between these columns, John unexpectedly took Honour’s hand and started spinning her around. The result? (scroll down)

Some fabulous dancing pictures!

I know I told you guys this already, but you are going to have some adorable kiddos!!:-)

Honour and John – Thank you for sharing your afternoon with me and for allowing me to document your love. Honour, I have no doubt you will be a beautiful bride. Enjoy this time planning and preparing for your wedding – it goes too fast! Many blessings to you both and your life together!

Un abrazo,


Honour Alston - October 29, 2010 - 7:59 pm

Natalie!!!! John and I just saw these pictures that you posted, and we are so THRILLED with the work you’ve done! Thank you so much for being so flexible with our schedules, so patient and easy going during the shoot, and so professional throughout the whole process! THANK YOU!!!!

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