Hancher Iowa City Wedding : Brooke & Brandon

We had a trifecta of elements working against us, all of them out of our control: downtown Jazz Fest traffic, construction road closures (including a major bridge between the ceremony and reception venues), and intense heat & summer humidity. But I promised Brooke you wouldn’t see any cranes in the background of her wedding images at Hancher and the spot that I picked for their downtown images was easy enough to shoot around the pedestrians. The heat? Well, we worked fast. At one point, Brandon asked if there was any way to get out of  those outdoor photos and I promised him that I would be faster than he imagined. And I think I surprised all of the guys with how quickly I got them back into the air-conditioning.

I hope that looking back on the day, no one remembers the heat or the uncomfortable shoes or the tight timeline to get everything done. I hope all you see is the beauty of a perfect day for the beginning of a marriage. Brooke and Brandon have been a joy to work with; both filled with such fun and laughter and Brandon especially cracking jokes from start to end.

When Brooke describes Brandon, she says she admires “how hard of a worker he is and how he can just befriend everyone he talks to.” She also said that he is positive, energetic, and dedicated. He said he admires “her drive towards being a teacher and helping kids learn” and that she is caring, loving, fun and adventurous, and persistent. In the short time I got to know them both, I would complete agree!

Back before their engagement session, I had asked them both what they looked forward to most about their wedding day. Brooke said, “I’m looking forward to celebrating with all of our closest friends and family. Also, I’m excited to get to start our new life together and become Mrs. Smalley!” Brandon added that he was also excited to be “celebrating with friends and family about finding the perfect partner and combining our lives together for the best future!” And truly, it was such a joyous celebration that I believe their wishes came true.

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Brooke & Brandon chose not to see each other before the wedding, but they did want to exchange letters so they did a “first touch” outside the church. It was a tender moment that had them both in happy tears.
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The u-shape of First United Methodist Church lends itself to the most beautiful photos. It also provides really great access to photograph different perspectives fairly unobtrusively.
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My absolute favorite thing about these exit photos–which I didn’t even notice until I was editing them later–is both of Brooke’s grandmas beaming at them as they came out of the church.
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Brooke was living her Cinderella dream all day. She looked like a princess.
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You’d laugh if you knew the struggle we had with this stunning veil. I love long veils and they are usually so easy to photograph, but the wind was working against us so much during all of these pictures. I was determined to get at least ONE photo showcasing her gorgeous veil–and I did–but we had to work pretty hard to get it!
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This cake was just as delicious as it looks. I joked that I chose my profession based on the cake, but, really, it is an excellent perk of the job.
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It was getting dark quickly, but we ran back outside to grab some evening photos (the sun had already dipped so we missed “sunset”, but just look at these and you’ll know why I’m not even a little mad about it)!
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It was the weekend before July 4th and Brooke and Brandon decided to surprise their guests with a fireworks show! I had never photographed a couple with fireworks before–and told them that beforehand–but I did my research and ended up getting a great assist from the videographers and I love the images I was able to get!
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography

Videography: The Vine Productions

Florals: Every Blooming’ Thing

Cake Artist: Tip Top Cakes

Catering: University Catering

DJ: Unique Events

Makeup: Melissa Banes

Hair: Eden Salon & Spa

Paper Suite: Allegra

Bridal Gown: Casablanca from White Willow Bridal

Maids’ Gowns: Bill Levkoff from XOXO Bridal

Suits: Ewer’s

Ceremony Venue: First United Methodist Church

Reception Venue: Hancher Auditorium

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