James + Allison


Have you ever met someone, and INSTANTLY hit it off?? That is exactly how we felt when we sat down with Allison and James for the first time! They are so down to earth, and will forever be apart of the Phocus Fam! We just got to talking during their consult, and forgot all about the reason we met to begin with! Swapping stories of the crazy times they've shared, and laughing maybe a little TOO hard at getting all the tea on how their love story blossomed! Saying they are each other's soulmate does not even begin to scratch the surface! Both Allison and James have had their fair share of life before meeting each other, but little did they know that neither of their lives have truly even begun yet.


Number One Tip for Future Phocus Brides to Consider:

"Just breathe... it will all work itself out!"-Allison

This statement is soooo underrated, because it holds so much depth in just how true this is! This can relate to every aspect of your life, and we couldn't agree more with Allison! Everything happens exactly how it is supposed to, and sometimes we just have to trust that process. Remember to try and laugh through the crazy, because life is too short to stress over these small stuff.


What moment were you most looking forward to seeing in the photos?

"Seeing Allison walking down the aisle."-James

To say this moment was longgggg overdue is an understatement! You can try to anticipate how you will feel in this moment, but once you are actually living and breathing in this moment, those raw and real emotions come flooding in.


What moment were you most looking forward to seeing in the photos?

"Seeing James standing at the alter."-Allison

Being the second hand in this very moment shared between Allison and James was so beautiful to be a part of. The anticipation of seeing one another faded away, along with everyone else in this moment. Their eyes locked, and the rest of the world faded away.


How did you two meet?

"James and I met in Virginia through a mutual friend (Darryl). I went to high school with Darryl and James was in the Army with Darryl. I moved to Virginia in 2016 not knowing anyone other than Darryl. One night Darryl invited me, another high school friend, and an Army friend of his to a Reggae Fest at the Howard Theater. I already had a date scheduled for that evening, but Darryl insisted. During our phone call, there was a guy with Darryl in the background talking noise! "Cancel your date and come out with us." Against my initial judgment, I canceled my date and went out with Darryl and the crew.


I arrived at the meet-up location (Darryl's house) for drinks before going out. I was sitting on the couch and in walked James. He was attractive but I would not be swayed by a handsome face (lol). We piled into Darryl's truck, James and I sitting in the back seat. We discussed our likes, dislikes, and travels. Surprisingly we had a lot in common.


Once we arrived at the Howard Theater, James and I agreed that we did not want to be bothered by men and women hitting on us individually. So James and I decided to be significant others for the evening in an effort to ward off unwanted attention. It worked! We danced the night away. At the end of the night, we went our separate ways.


Two weeks later, my laptop crashed while I was working on a grad school assignment. I immediately called Darryl to see if I could come to his house after work. He was out of town for work but suggested James. I initially said no, but Darryl put my mind at ease. He called James and told him of my dilemma then James called me soon after to set up a time for me to come over. I arrived at James's house after work. He set his laptop up at his kitchen island. I worked and he sat in the living room watching television. In between my work we chatted about everything! Soon it was dinnertime and James offered to run to Chipotle to get us dinner. We returned, we ate and had a good time. Soon after dinner, I left and headed home.


A few days later, James called and invited me out on a date (just the two of us). We went to a restaurant in D.C called Coco Sala and had a great time. After the initial date, there were subsequent dates, phone conversations, and hangouts. At this time, we had not told Darryl that we were dating, but we knew we had to tell him. James and I showed up together one night at a mutual gathering and the cat was out of the bag! James and I have been inseparable ever since... four years later!"-Allison

Ugh! We ADORED hearing how these two separate souls finally found their way to each other! Allison definitely made James work for it, but he prevailed in the end and swooned over his queen! Even though James may see it a different way, the lady is ALWAYS right....right James?? ;)


Tell us about THE dress!

"My dress is the "Stephannie" by Lazaro. It was the 5th dress that I tried on. Once I had it on, I was immediately SOLD! I purchased the dress in a small boutique (Elegance by Roya) in Alexandria, Virginia."-Allison

Allison's dress was stunning!! It was honestly made just for her, and you could see just how much putting on her dress meant to her! She may or may not have almost thrown hands with the people at the airport trying to get her dress her from Washington, but one way or another...her dress was getting here!


Tell Us About Your First Dance!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE SONG?:

Eric Roberson- Lessons

You ever just have a moment where you feel like you are frozen in time, and you don't want to risk blinking so you don't miss a single thing?! This is exactly how everyone in the room felt during the Lewis's first dance. Even if you never knew the back story to how long it's taken for Allison and James to get to this moment, you could've felt every wave of emotion floating through that room.


WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT SONG?:

"The song we choose for our first dance fit our situation to a tee. It detailed how life lessons brought us to each other. It was the perfect song for us."-Allison

Even though all eyes were on Allison and James, they were in their own universe. They were in awe that this moment was finally here, and they could care less about anything outside of those doors. Every distraction, every life issue was put on hold because today was THEIR day.


Describe the BRIDE on your wedding day!

"She was poised, and simply the most breathtaking person I had ever seen."-James

Allison was glowing from head to toe. Wedding days are already such a special day to begin with, but when you have many years of life throwing trials and tribulations at you, the day becomes that much more special. Her wedding day was finally here, and she was radiating joy through her pores!


Describe the GROOM on your wedding day!

"He was handsome, confident, and emotional (even though he tried to hide it)! He was exactly as I pictured he would be."-Allison

When I tell you that James was a WHOLE hoot on his wedding day, I am not exaggerating one bit! He was so invested from the moment we met him, but you can tell that this day was just as important to him. He was finally marrying the love of his life! Who wouldn't be ecstatic about that?!?


What was the most EMOTIONAL part of the day and WHY?

"Standing at the alter saying our vows. At this moment, Allison and I committed ourselves to each other before God, friends and family."-James

Emotional doesn't even begin to describe this day! You could see how meaningful the joining of these two amazing people meant to each person who was there.


What was the most EMOTIONAL part of the day and WHY?

"Seeing him standing at the alter as I walked down the aisle. We did not do the "first look" so it was the first time seeing each other."-Allison

That anticipation to seeing your best friend is an absolute killer!!! We can see just how bad our couples are just dyinggg to catch a glimpse of each other! When that moment finally happens just prepare for all of the waterworks!


What is ONE moment of your wedding you will always remember?

"When the phocus team (Tim, Sara, and Harrison) got on the dance floor with the guests during the Wobble. The icing on the cake was when Tim and my maid of honor, Dannielle, were dancing to Beyonce "Before I Let Go!" IT WAS EPIC!! :-)"-Allison


9.5 out of 10 times we have to hold back and restrain our inner Beyonce, but there are those rare moments that belong to the 0.5 when all bets are off! When we feel it, we just can't help shake what our mommas gave us!! ;) When there is a party around, and this crowd definitely knew how to party ;), you can almost guarantee we are standing off to the side fighting the urge to get on that dance floor!

One of our favorite moments of the day was definitely the first look with Allison and her dad. A single word did not have to be told to us about just how special this day meant to Allison and her father. It truly showed during their first look. The whole Phocus team are absolute suckers when it comes to first looks with the dads. Allison and her father are a prime example why...not us crying behind our cameras!!

Favorite Part of the Phocus Experience?

"The Phocus Experience: Fun, Lively, and Confident.


After the first few minutes James and I met the team, we knew we wanted to work with them. Tim and Sara were welcoming, sweet, and very professional. The first meeting was precise and well organized. They clearly outlined their intent, purpose, and end state. We each chatted about our lives, James and I told the story of how we meet, our travels around the world (the Italy wine adventure was the best!) We had a really great time.


To get a deeper insight into the vision James and I wanted, Tim and Sara had us play photo association games, went through wedding albums options, and watched video clips of weddings they did previously. You could see and feel the passion and care the phocus team places into their work (I cried). Another aspect of the phocus experience we loved is their versatility. The team can shoot and film any demographic (African American, caucasian, Asian, etc.)


The phocus experience is a MUST, you will not be disappointed!!!"-Allison

This right here is what it is all about to us! We are not here to just show up and do our job, even though that is what is required, we want what is more rewarding for us in the end! Building those relationships, and creating forever connections with our couples is what motivates us to keep going when we are literally falling apart! At the end of the day, it always boils down to making sure our couples are happy with the photos, yes, but the most gratifying thing for us is finding amazing people that we can now call family!


Here are a "few" of our favorites from the day! ;)

Reception: Rodizio Grill

Coordinator: Lavish Creations by Tiffany

Makeup: Face Affairs

Hair: Jasthehairfairy

Dress: Elegance by Roya Bridal

Floral: Flower General by Carlstedt’s

Decor/Rental: Emerald Coast Event Rentals / Port City Rentals

Catering: Rodizio Grill

Cake: Cake Gallery / Henny Penny's Patisserie

DJ: DJ MOJO

Photography/ Videography: Phocus & Company