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Sarah Gormley Photography makes magic out of the tiny in-between moments

We had a saying around APW back in the day that went something like: “I’m afraid I’ll shake the glitter off my wedding.” The idea was that once the sun sets and the magical pixie dust settles, once you see that final set of photos, or share your wedding on the internet, the magic fades. I’m not going to lie, it happened to me when I was picking up decorations at our venue the next morning and I came across some random hikers who “would never even know that yesterday I was a bride.” 😭 And it happened when we got our professional photos back and they didn’t quite look how the day actually felt. As it turned out, the magic was in the blood, sweat, and tears, not the carefully curated, and that didn’t exactly make it into the photos.

But that’s precisely the alchemy that Sarah Gormley Photography achieves with every single photo. Sarah makes the raw, the imperfect, the overflowing-with-emotion look filled to the brim with glitter:

A bride and groom lean into one another as they laugh in a photo by Sarah GormleyA blond woman in a grey dress looks at you and smiles as she holds a dog, and a woman in a flower crown and a wedding dress kisses the dog's head in a Sarah Gormley photoA man with a tux and beard holds the face of a smiling brunette woman in a wedding dress in a Sarah Gormley photoA blond woman helps a small child get a formal shirt on in a brightly lit light room in a Sarah Gormley photo

Sarah does so much more than just document the milestones of the day with a handful of epic “Oh, this is the cover of the album” photos. Instead, each tiny in-between moment she captures is epic in its own right. They are not filler just to prove that those things happened; they’re a true representation of all those tiny exchanges of love. From your mom helping you into your dress, to sneaking a moment to embrace your soon-to-be spouse in the kitchen, to your guests tearing up and holding hands during the ceremony—every image is an integral piece of the magic.

Here’s what she told us about her approach:

My goal is always to observe and capture—in a creative and visually evocative way—not only the moments between the couple, but also the moments that take places within all of the other loving relationships that flourish on a wedding day. In the rush of a wedding day, I think it’s very easy to zero in the couple. After all, a typical wedding day timeline often focuses rather exclusively on them—the vows, the first dance, the cake cutting. These moments are beautiful and important, but it’s also extremely important to me to tell a more complete story of the love a couple shares with each other and with their family and friends, not simply the story of a timeline of wedding day events.

Several sets of women's hands help a bride into her outfit, pulling a lace top over her head in a Sarah Gormley photoA bridesmaid wipes tears while holding a large green and white bouquet in a Sarah Gormley photoA woman in a green dress and small girl dance behind a bride, who holds hands with an older woman in a Sarah Gormley photoAn older couple smiles and looks at each other while dancing, while other couples dance around them in a Sarah Gormley photo

All this magic doesn’t happen because Sarah is photographic wizard or an artistic diva. It happens because of love. Mostly, the love she has for APW readers and that they have had for her right back. The best email I have ever gotten on the job has been the one from Sarah that said, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that APW made buying a house possible for me.” 😭

Sarah has shot more than 150 weddings and still loves every second. As she says:

I absolutely love engaging with APW couples who are seeking artful, documentary-style wedding photography that prioritizes their own unique values, relationships and style. APW is and always has been at the heart of my small business—I can’t imagine doing this work without the incredible connections that APW has brought me. My job allows me to spend time with people on a day that is so filled with joy and love and excitement. It’s an incredible energy to be around, and I am so grateful each and every time a couple invites me to be a part of that.

And that love is totally mutual, as these former clients attest:

We wanted a photojournalist style of photography for our wedding, and after looking at Sarah’s website, I knew she shot in the way we wanted the feel to be for our photos. Sarah is kind, laid back, and easy to work with, so even though I get pretty nervous in front of a camera, she helped me feel more at ease. Nothing ever felt rushed, or tense with Sarah, and photos just happened organically as we walked around. Sarah captured moments and emotions that you could feel when viewing the photos, which is exactly what we wanted.

—Joanne and Jerome

A woman in a flower crown and floral print dress with bold red lipstick laughs with eyes closed and mouth open in a Sarah Gormley photo

Sarah Gormley splits her time between Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and she definitely travels. In a given year, she regularly photographs weddings all up and down the East Coast, from upstate New York down south to Georgia, with a few weddings scattered out West and internationally each year. (You guys, this wedding in Santo Domingo so perfectly demonstrates why it’s better to just bring Sarah anywhere than hire someone solely because they’ve worked at your venue before.)

Sarah loves connecting with APW couples across the country and overseas, so her pricing keeps travel simple and affordable: $3,800 gets you up to 8 hours of coverage anywhere in America, and $4,500 gets you full wedding day coverage anywhere in the world. Both packages include all travel and accommodations. (Both packages can also be customized so you get exactly what you need, including engagement sessions for $300, additional hours for $300 per hour, and a associate photographer for $400.)

A bride and groom sit in a church in a Sarah Gormley photoA bride reaches out to help a groom climb rocky terrain in a mountainous wilderness in a Sarah Gormley photoA groom lifts a bride and kisses her in a Sarah Gormley photo

So if you’re wishing for wedding photos that will keep all the glitter firmly glued to your day—the kind that will make even perfect strangers’ hearts clench and their eyes well up (not talking about myself at all here, gosh, stop looking at me), then your search can end with Sarah Gormley Photography. Go get your #feels on scrolling through Sarah’s blog, follow her on Instagram, and reach out to Sarah today to have her work her magic at your wedding next year.



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