Charleston wedding photographers Ben and Erin Chrisman of Chrisman Studios travel to California to photograph the destination wedding of Jessica and Ray at the Trentadue Winery in Geyserville.
Proximity as a wedding photographer, especially at an outdoor wedding, allows us to witness subtle, fleeting moments that even the guests can’t see or hear. It always feels like being let into a secret world – a huge, beautiful privilege. As Jessica reached the end of the aisle where Ray was waiting for her, after her parents hugged each of them and took their seats, Ray just stared at her and took her in, then mouthed the words, “You are so beautiful. I am so lucky.” It was a moment that stayed with me the rest of the day.
Jessica and Ray have been together seven years, since they were 20 years old. They’ve grown and changed so much in that time, but one thing has been a constant – they were always meant to be together.
We first met Jessica and Ray at Jessica’s sister Elyse’s Cape Cod wedding back in 2011 (That’s Elyse watching her sister’s wedding live on the iPhone – back at home, 9 months pregnant with their second child). They were only 21, and the relationship was still newish. Seven years later, they are still as smitten with one another today as they were back then.
Even in the middle of the dance floor – and let me tell you, this was one wild, sweaty, pounding, perpetually packed dance floor – Ray continued to look at Jessica the way he did at the ceremony, like she was the only person he could see.
Their wedding, at Trentadue Winery in Geyserville, CA, during a record heat wave, was full of uninhibited and boundless joy – a tight-knit group of friends dating back to middle school, high school, and Cornell University, who were absolutely euphoric to be together again, and a couple who were beyond ready to finally call one another husband and wife. The positive energy was infectious and inspiring, and lasted all day, from morning till the afterparty.
This was a wedding where everything felt right and true, and it also had one of the best dance-floor scenes we’ve ever experienced (and we’ve seen a lot in our time!).
Jessica and Ray, you are two people who brightened our whole year with your positivity, kindness, optimism and incessant smiles. Never stop being those people. And Ray, never stop looking at her like that.