Most couples date an average of five years before they walk down the aisle, according to, which makes the story behind Holly and Hayes’ wedding-style “best friends” shoot all-the-more interesting. While they’ve known each other for the better part of a year, Holly and Hayes are still in kindergarten. After Hayes rescued her from bullies on the playground, Holly made up her mind that Hayes was the one. They’ve been best friends ever since, and there’s already talk of marriage; so much for averages.

friendship ring wedding style portraits
All images captured by Candice Adelle Photography

Hayes’ mom, Candice (of Candice Adelle Photography), became friends with Holly’s mom soon after the bullying incident and it wasn’t long before they decided to put together a best friends photo shoot to celebrate their kids’ friendship. Candice, who divides her time between photographing weddings and coaching others in the wedding industry, had a pretty clear vision regarding the details for the shoot.

“We shot this session at Great Marsh Estate in Virginia. As a wedding photographer, my mind went directly to florals, a flowy dress, and a sharp suit. The goal creatively was to offer an air of love and innocence but without it being a wedding. Hence the blue dress, the friendship ring worn on the right hand, and naming it a ‘best friends’ shoot. I thought that would be the most age appropriate for these little ones but also speak to their exceptional friendship at such a sweet age.”

Candice made fantastic use of the natural light at the Great Marsh Estate and fully executed her creative goals. From the detail shots of the friendship ring to the first look on the stairs and the candid stroll across the estate, the images beautifully capture the innocence of two children in a sophisticated style generally reserved for actual weddings. Although Holly and Hayes are dressed to the nines, the most striking details are the expressions on their faces and the friendship that has been so clearly captured. At the end of the day, that’s what the session was about.

“A large part of why I do what I do is to make my clients and those viewing my photos feel a certain way. To evoke emotion and a strong feeling of love and togetherness. I believe in strong family values and strong family relationships. That’s why I love wedding photography and growing with my clients as their families grow. And because I have those strong family values, I love mentoring and coaching my clients on how to build successful businesses while having a family of their own. I started my business when I was a full time working mom of 3 (now a mom of 4). If I can do it, anyone can do it!”

first look candid wedding style portrait
All images captured by Candice Adelle Photography
friendship portraits couples session posing
All images captured by Candice Adelle Photography
first dance style wedding portraits
All images captured by Candice Adelle Photography
wedding style portrait session with friends
All images captured by Candice Adelle Photography

You can find more of Candice’s work via the links below:

Candice Adelle Photography: Website | Instagram | Facebook

All images used with the artist’s permission.