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Mary Claire + Benjamin’s Memphis Botanic Garden Wedding :: Memphis Wedding Photographer


Their story begins at a donut shop in Rwanda July 2010.  Mary Claire was living in Rwanda teaching English and Benjamin was visiting for a summer internship.  Just a week before Benjamin’s departure – their paths crossed.   After that Sunday afternoon in the donut shop – Mary Claire knew she needed to see him again and again. There was something different about this very tall and very funny guy.  So she joked (but not really) that they needed to make it a point to hang out every day until he left.  And they did.   It was a whirlwind of 8 days, and by the end of the week they knew this was something special.  So began the journey of writing letters the size of novels, daily Skype dates, battling time zones, and dreaming of the next time they’d be together.

Benjamin and Mary Claire were reunited over the holidays and their love flourished as they got to know each other’s families.  Come March, Benjamin made a trip out to Rwanda to ask the girl of his dreams to be his wife.  And she said yes.

I have known Mary Claire since freshman year at Wheaton College.  She is a friend I truly cherish.  While I was living in Ghana last year – I met a sweet girl name Kate from Tennessee who became one of my closest friends while I was there.  We soon learned that her best friend from Memphis – was none other than Mary Claire – my good friend from college!  Mary Claire already had a trip planned and was coming to visit Ghana!  So I Kate, Mary Claire, and I hung out, laughed, and traveled all week.  As we hiked in the Volta Region and explored Cape Coast, I LOVED hearing Mary Claire & Benjamin’s story, talking about the wedding details, and learning more about the man who stole her heart.  Their faith in Jesus and love for each other is joyful and contagious.

So on a warm October day in Memphis, Tennessee – in front of their family and friends and before God – they shared their hearts and their vows.  Mona, with Mona E. Dunlap Events, did a spectacular job!  The day was a seamless, fabulous celebration!

Mary Claire + Benjamin – thank you so much for giving me the distinct and beautiful honor of documenting your wedding day.  Congrats!!

Mary Claire gave each of her bridesmaids a makeup bag made by women in Rwanda.

Original Ink Designs did a great job with all of their paper goods!

The reactions were priceless!

I am always excited when couples opt to do a first look – it was so special and the Memphis Botanic Garden was the perfect backdrop.

Kevin, with Fedex Flower Guy, did an incredible job! Just check out Mary Claire’s bouquet!!

Benjamin practicing his best dance moves for their first dance. :)



Wedding Coordinator: Mona E. Dunlap Events
Church Venue: First Evangelical Church
Reception Venue:  Memphis Botanic Gardens
Florist + Lighting: Kevin Griffin, FedEx Flower Guy
Pastry Chef (cake) : Mrs. Lynne Knox
DJ: Eubanks Sounds Production
Photographer: Kelly Lemon Photography – special thanks to my second photographer Jake Morrow!
Bridal store: Low’s Bridal
Bridesmaid dress: Dessy After Six Collection
Hair + Make UP – Molly Bianco
Jewelry: Mother of bride’s pearls
Invitations/Paper goods: Original Ink Designs




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My superpower is putting people at ease; whether that's behind the camera or on their elopement day solving problems calmly under pressure. I am passionate about building relationships with the people I work with. 


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  1. shannon says:

    I am so in love with her flowers!!and wow what a huge wedding party. Beautiful photos

  2. These two look so happy! Great job capturing their bid day! I love her bouquet!

  3. Ray Urner says:

    Don’t ALL stories begin in donut shops in Rwanda? ;)
    Amazing work. I love the formals!

  4. Tosha says:

    Awww, I totally love the group shots! I am always afraid of large wedding parties, so you just gave me courage! :-) Beautiful photos!

  5. Chantal says:

    Awe I love this! Great job capturing all the details of their day

  6. Kathryn says:

    Mary Claire. It was all as beautiful And way-cool as I imagined. I especially loved the touches of the sunflowers and your white sandals.. Im so very happy for you and Benjamin
    Send me photos or Oregon. You know I am jealous!

  7. Absolutely gorgeous!!

  8. Cheryl says:

    Beautiful photos. Looks like a wonderful wedding.

  9. HOLY HUGE WEDDING PARTY!! You did an amazing job with this wedding, and the story of these two met is beautiful. Love these so much!

  10. Absolutely beautiful work! Really stunning!

  11. Karthika says:

    Such wonderful images! Great job capturing all the details and the candid moments.

  12. Miriam says:

    Best photo set i`ve ever seen! nice work!