Proudly serving Eastern North Carolina couples from Wilmington, Raleigh, The Crystal Coast, and beyond. 

Dakota Hersey Weddings

I am so incredibly excited for both of you as you celebrate and prepare to enter this new season. There is a lot to do now that there is a wedding to plan and it’s okay to freak out a’s totally normal.

I’ve photographed countless weddings and have learned a lot along the way, making it really easy for me to guide you and help create the day you’ve always dreamt of.

you’re engaged!!! ahhh!

I absolutely LOVE weddings, and I love that this job allows me to meet the sweetest couples and capture the moments that mean the absolute most to them.

As your wedding photographer, I’m here for more than just delivering beautiful photos (though that’s included!!!). I’m a timeline building, dress fluffing, bouquet fixing, bridal party rallying, thinking-of-it-before-you-have-to, professional hype girl.

Above all else, I want you to be friends beyond the camera so I can celebrate your love alongside all of your guests.

I am so in love with what I do

(and who i get to work with)

If you think you want to be a Dakota Hersey Couple, fill out the form below and tell me a little more about your big day. We’ll hop on a quick call to get to know each other, answer all of your questions, and I’ll go real in-depth on what it looks like to work with me.

I want to make sure that this experience will be once-in-a-lifetime, so that means making sure you have your questions answered and you are excited to work together. If it looks like we’ll be the perfect fit for each other, we’ll make things official!



After our call, you’ll have plenty of time to make sure this is the best decision for your day. To make sure your date is secured on my calendar, I’ll send over an online proposal where you can review the details and pay your retainer...then you’ll officially be a #DakotaHerseyCouple!!! 



We don't wait until the big day to start hanging out! All of my couples receive a complimentary engagement session with their wedding package. I love gifting this to my couples because it allows us to get to know each other more and you get gorgeous photos to celebrate this season and decorate your home.
We will use this time to shake off the nerves, learn how to look and feel natural in front of the camera, AND make life even easier on the big day!



As we get closer to your date, I will send over a questionnaire to get all of the final details to make sure we’re totally prepared. I will work alongside you and your coordinator to make sure we have a timeline that includes all of the must-have shots of romantic portraits, fun friend and family group photos, and pretty details.
If you have any last minute questions or need a quick opinion, I am your girl! I am here to be your partner in organization and make sure that we have thought of everything on your wedding day. 



YAY, it’s here! It’s time for all of your hard work to come to life, to celebrate with your most special people, and let me get to work! There is a lot that goes into telling the full story of your day, so I will always shoot between 8-10 hours.
It is my priority to make sure you will be able to look back on every aspect of your wedding, from the little details to you two seeing each other for the first time to everyone belting out Don’t Stop Believin’ on the dance floor, plus all the laughs and tears in-between. 



This is one of my favorite parts of the process! After your wedding day is over and you are settling into married life, I will be working to select the best photos from your day, edit them, and deliver them to you in a beautiful, easy-to-use online gallery. From there you can download, share, and order prints...and relive your perfect day over and over again! 
I believe photos deserve to live beyond just an Instagram or Facebook post, so as your gallery is being edited, the first draft of your wedding album will also be prepared so you can begin the customization process. Imagine how sweet your future anniversaries will be as you flip through the pages and remember the beginning of this wild, beautiful journey.



I know this process is a little new to you (even if you’ve been in weddings before), so I make sure to walk you through each step of the process.

From planning out your engagement session, to creating a timeline that prioritizes both photos and your experience, to posing and guiding you throughout your entire day.

This is such an exciting time in your life and your photos should reflect that! 


With everyone gathered in her childhood home, bridesmaids huddled in a corner to get the best view, Kayla’s dad stood facing the wall waiting for his daughter to greet him. Kayla walked up to him with her dress trailing behind and tapped him on the shoulder. Her dad turned around to see a gorgeous bride standing where he was expecting his little girl.

He couldn’t stop the tears from coming to his eyes as he reached out his hand to draw her in for a hug. It was quiet in the house except for the sniffles from Kayla’s mom and sister as they watched from the other side of the room and his faint “You look beautiful.”

Michelle and Kristopher stood on the big southern porch of Merrimon Wynne on a surprisingly cooler August day taking in each other as bride and groom. It had been a long 8 years of waiting for this day where they would lawfully commit to each other in front of their closest family and friends.

They chose to use their first look as a private moment to read their personal vows, but when it came time to decide who would go first...they played rock, paper, scissors – winner reads first. Even in the quiet romantic moments of starting their marriage journey, they always find a way to have fun and play with each other. 

Gathered in the front yard of her parent’s home where she grew up running around and climbing trees, Katie and Jordan stood under a fairytale-like floral arch created by her mom. Guests were shaded by the giant oak, acoustic music filled the air, and the sun glowed through the leaves.

As they leaned in for their first kiss, their guests cheered and Bo, the family horse grazing in the field, took off into a gallop across the field. It was like a movie as he celebrated alongside everyone in attendance. Katie and Jordan laughed before grabbing hands and walking back down the aisle.

I gathered all of Casey’s small details to start off her wedding day. The wedding band from their actual wedding day at Casey’s home church where her parents and grandparents were wed. The wedding band from their second wedding day with all of their friends who waited a full year to celebrate with them. The perfume she wears on special occasions. Most importantly, the ring from her Nana, who was present for their first wedding day but in spirit for their second. 

As Casey dressed in her wedding gown and her mom helped with her buttons and veil, she slipped on her engagement ring to remind her of her groom’s promise and her Nana’s ring to remember her love.

The dance floor had been absolutely wild for two hours as the saxophone blasted through the room. The Sleeping Booty Band brought the party that we had all been waiting for for over a year! Caroline and Ryan took turns spinning around the dance floor, dancing with their parents, friends, and co-workers, as the singers belted out their favorite classics. 

As requested the band queued up the last song “Sweet Caroline” and Ryan brought his bride to the front to lead all of their guests in serenading her to close out the night. The room was so full of energy...even if everyone only knew the chorus, ha! 

from past wedding days

favorite memories

My husband and I are so thankful to be a #DakotaHerseyCouple and value all her time spent planning our wedding, shooting our engagement photos, talking with us leading up to the wedding, and her presence on our wedding day. She was truly so instrumental to the success of our wedding, and we couldn’t appreciate her more!

Dakota made sure we had moments where we could slow down as a couple and feel the emotion of the day, which was so instrumental at that time in staying grounded, and special to look back on. 

In the 2-3 months leading up to our wedding, we corresponded via email and phone about our day of timeline. Dakota built in some areas into the timeline for rest and AC breaks (being a June wedding this was important!) to ensure we weren’t non stop taking photos all day and to foster the feeling that we’re participating in our wedding and not just a photo shoot.

There were moments during the wedding day when taking photos with just my husband where Dakota and our videographer seemed to melt away into the background and let us 2 be in the moment. 

Wilmington, NC
Wrightsville Manor


Her packages are unique because they include these amazing albums. She makes sure that it includes pictures from your whole wedding day. You will love having Dakota Hersey Photography as part of your wedding day!!!!!

We just received our wedding album and it is absolutely perfect and the BEST quality.

Dakota was amazing throughout the whole wedding process. We were able to take our engagement pictures with her so that we could practice poses (she was the best and made sure we were both comfortable the whole time). This made the wedding day so easy because we had gotten to know her and how she does her couple portraits. 

Her timeline that she made for us was awesome and very detailed. Everything went smoothly on wedding day and she made sure everyone was ready for pictures. Everyone loved Dakota and her brother Weston who helps her get awesome shots throughout the whole day. She was the best hype girl all day long and we are obsessed with our pictures. 

Downtown Wilmington, NC
The Brooklyn Arts Center


 During the wedding she was on time, professional, SO fun! Family, friends and vendors raved at her skills and personality after the wedding. The finished product is sooo amazing. I’ve already bought so many prints and canvases to put up in my home.

"Family, friends and vendors raved at her skills and personality after the wedding."

After looking at Dakota's pictures and interviewing photographers, I just kept going back to her portfolio. After meeting with Dakota I pretty much just wanted to write her a check right then and there to do my wedding, LOL! I called my mom immediately after and raved about Dakota and how excited I was to have her do our wedding. Dakota goes above and beyond all of your expectations.

Wilmington, NC
St. Thomas Preservation Hall


Our wedding planning went smoothly enough, but the photography aspect was exceptionally smooth. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer with absolutely zero hesitation. Thank you again Dakota for making our wedding perfect. The pictures are amazing and we will always remember you!!

"I would recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer with absolutely zero hesitation."

Getting married is one of the biggest milestones in life. With that being said, planning a wedding can be very stressful. When Alayna and I met Dakota in our first meeting, we immediately knew we were in good hands. The professionalism, confidence and preparation Dakota brings to the table is what sets her apart from other photographers. 

Goldsboro, NC
Walnut Creek Country Club


Dakota accomplished all of these things and more! I can’t recommend her enough and look forward to having her capture future milestones in our lives!

“Best. Decision. Ever.”

Choosing Dakota was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding! She was instrumental in making sure our wedding day was flawless! When looking for a photographer I had to ensure I could find someone that could take charge of a 20 person bridal party, keep it fun and light-hearted for my husband who isn’t a fan of photos,  and someone who made us feel comfortable every step of the way.

Wallace, NC
Riving Landing


Choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision, so who better than my couples themselves to share their thoughts on the wedding experience!

Meet the Dakota Hersey Couples

The Dakota Hersey Photography Wedding Experience begins at $5,100

The moment when you and the love of your life become one is so incredibly is making sure that you're able to share your joy and excitement with all of your friends and family! That's why I work tirelessly with you to make sure that after we have talked through every detail of your day, I provide an experience on the day that provides excitement to keep energy high and comfort if things don’t go as planned.

You spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than anyone else so my mission is to be the person that is exactly what you need when you need it.

All packages include:

- A complimentary engagement session
- 8 hours of wedding day coverage
- A second photographer
- An online gallery full of all your high-resolution images
- A custom-designed wedding album for you to relive your memories forever.

Bridal sessions, additional coverage, and upgrades to keep your keepsake albums are at an additional cost.


I can’t wait to hear more about you two as a couple and what you have planned for your big day.

As a wedding photographer, I will be spending more time with you than anyone else on your wedding day, so we want to make sure we’re a perfect fit for each other. After you reach out I’ll send detailed pricing information and a questionnaire to get to know you better ,than we’ll have a call where hopefully we’ll become best friends!

Fill out the contract form to inquire about your date, or contact me directly at

For more information about wedding collections, please inquire. I can’t wait to hear from you.

let's do this!

looking for a videographer?

drew coleman films x
dakota hersey photography

If you are looking for a videographer, Drew Coleman Films is my absolute favorite to team up with. 

Something that is often not talked about when it comes to wedding photo and video is hiring a team that approaches the day similarly.

Drew and I both appreciate a balance between curated and candid – capturing the magic of the day while letting you experience it (without feeling like you're an actor in a movie). 

Our directing and editing styles pair beautifully together, keeping consistency throughout all of your wedding documentation. 

To celebrate our collaboration, we are offering a booking bonus if you book both of us for your wedding day!

check out our latest wedding together

to make your wedding day everything you’ve dreamed of

All of My Advice and Things to Know