Garrett + Madalyn | Married


November 24, 2021

Johnson Wedding | Married at Magnolia Fields

I met Madalyn & Garrett at a wedding a few years back, so when it came time for Garrett to finally pop the question, he called me right away to document the entire thing. Their engagement session should have been my first “green flag”, because the way these two posed and snuggled together was absolute perfection. But I truly was. not. ready. for the level of photographic holiness I’d capture on their wedding day. From dark, dramatic skies to PINK sunsets one could only dream of– we experienced the glory of a full range from Mother Nature.

Ready or not, let’s dive into some of my favorites from this epic wedding day!

Before we dive in, let me just note that these two gorgeous people are not models. I’m just literally THAT lucky to have been called upon to photograph their perfection. While I cannot take any credit for their dreamy looks, there is something to be said for the level of professionalism that the clients who work with me prior to the wedding day exude. It’s totally worth your while to schedule a session with me before your big event- there are lots of tips and tricks I can share to elevate your wedding-day photos! I mean… just look at these stunning portraits with two seasoned pros (who aren’t pros at all!)!

I know you’re dying to know about this breathtaking venue! I’m literally fangirling over Magnolia Fields:

Magnolia Fields is a special events venue located in rural Caroline County Virginia, conveniently nestled between Washington DC and Richmond Virginia. Minutes from Interstate 95, it is a hidden gem for any couple or event planner looking for a rustic event venue. The venue is located on 17 acres of farmland with picturesque views. Their 7,000 square-foot barn, built in 1912, provides the perfect backdrop for your event. Let their rustic barn and property help bring the event of your dreams to life. 

This was my first time shooting at Magnolia Fields, but hopefully not my last! I cannot say enough good things about this incredible property– A photographer’s dream.

Jane Guerin was the mastermind behind these blooms, and WOW did she understand the assignment. Maddie’s bouquet was an actual work of art; one I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Two words of advice to all of my brides: go big with your bouquet, and hire an artist like Jane. Thank me later.

Jane continues to train with master floral designers so that she is always current and relevant in the field of floral design. It is with this knowledge, inspiration, and experience that she designs unique and artful interpretations of each bride’s vision. Jane Guerin’s floral designs have been featured on: Style Me Pretty, The Black Tie Bride, Coastal Bride, Bridal Musings, Heart.Love.Always, Poptastic Bride, Love and Lavender, and Borrowed & Blue. Great customer service has always been just as important to her as the look of the flowers.

I highly recommend that any 2022 and 2023 brides reading this check out her work!

Remember that little chat we’ve had several times about rain being lucky on wedding days? Well, this wedding is proof of why all that’s still solid. I’ll never forget the look of worry that swept across Maddie’s face as the time crept closer to her ceremony time. I knew this was one of those times that my bride really needed to see the lack of fear in my eyes in order to regain confidence in her plans. After a brief pep-talk, I reassured Maddie that nothing would stop us from capturing the wedding exactly how she had imagined it, and the show went on. Sometime’s, you just need the girl with the camera to tell you things will be alright. And BOOOOOYYYY was I right (keep scrolling to see why I say that…)

When I tell you I overshot this wedding… I mean I OVERSHOT THIS WEDDING. But, I mean, can you really blame me?! Just when I thought the photography Gods had given me their best light of the day, the most amazing, cotton-candy-pink sunset glazed over the sky like icing on a donut. My heart started pumping, my hands started shaking; you guys, this sunset had me SHOOK. So, we did what I’m pretty sure any photographer would insist we do at that moment- we danced and played while I clicked away until the galaxy colors faded.

For the record, those are the moments I live for. Those are the moments I breathe for. Those are the moments I die for. *chef’s kiss*

A quick Exit Interview with the Bride:

Tell us about your experience with Ashley Dorton Photography leading up to your wedding day! From the very start, we had an amazing experience with Ashley. From our surprise (well, surprise to me) engagement pictures and throughout the wedding planning process, I always knew I could call or text her if I needed help figuring out something wedding-related. Our interactions with Ashley always feel easy and organic! She makes everything a breeze!

Tell us about your experience with Ashley Dorton Photography on your wedding day! Ashley was such a huge part of our wedding day, aside from taking amazing pictures. She helped to keep me chill when people were asking me a million questions about the weather, and she never once stressed me out when our schedule got delayed a little due to rain. In fact, the whole day Ashley encouraged Garret and me to do exactly what we wanted, and not worry about the rest, and for that, I am so grateful. Pretty sure I hugged her like eight times that day because I was so grateful for her presence! In regard to her professional abilities, not once was I ever concerned that we would not have our wedding day captured as I had dreamed of. I’ve seen like four pictures, and they have already exceeded all of my biggest wishes and desires!

Tell us about your experience with Ashley Dorton Photography after your wedding day!
Ashley has been equally as helpful and responsive after our wedding day as she was before and during it. I know that if I have a question about something, she is going to respond and help me through it. She is so reliable!

Favorite memory or favorite highlight of your experience with Ashley Dorton Photography?
On the wedding day, when people were coming up to me, asking a million questions about my ‘rain plan’, I told Ashley I wanted to follow our original plan, and we were going to get married at the planned time, no matter what. Ashley didn’t even bat an eye, and she was totally up for it (and the rain held off for most of the ceremony so WHOOP)! But what really made this memory so special was that when I was visibly becoming stressed with all the questions, Ashley looked at me and said: “here is what we are going to do: we are going to get Garret to do your first look, and you guys are going to discuss this and do what YOU want, and decide as a team.” It was the perfect thing to say, and I know she truly meant every word of it.

Advice for future brides considering booking their wedding with Ashley Dorton Photography?
Look no further, because Ashley Dorton Photography is phenomenal! We have truly loved every interaction we have had with Ashley, and we cannot imagine what it would’ve been like without her! She was helpful in brainstorming wedding ideas, she was amazing with helping to construct the wedding day timeline, and truthfully, she is just so dang good at what she does. We are so grateful our paths crossed with Ashley!

To Maddie & Garrett,

THANK YOU for trusting me every step of the way. Your confidence and trust in me are what made your photos such a true success. I couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect sunset for the two of you to dance under on your special day. These photos have not only earned themselves a solid spot in my portfolio, but also in my heart. The words you shared in your exit interview represented perfectly how I intend to serve all of my brides. It is my truest honor to be trusted with the planning and execution of the most epic photos of your lives.

And finally, a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the amazing vendors below, who played a huge part in making this day so special! I was honored to work with some of the absolute best in the industry!

Here’s to the most epic sunsets I’ve ever freakin’ seen, and an epic couple to match!


P.s- Scroll to peep the photos I was sent of the afterparty at TACO BELL! A couple after my own heart!

Hair & Make Up: Simply You Salon
Dress: Ava Laureene Bride
Desserts: Icing Baking Company
Videography: Grayter Memories
Catering: Food for Functions by Michelle Hall
Bridal Party Flowers & Arbor: Jane Guerin
Photographer: Ashley Dorton Photography
Second Photographer: Chloe Elaine Photography
Venue: Magnolia Fields
DJ: Phil Nitzsche with Classic Entertainment
Blog Written By: Aligned Artists

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