The weekend before their wedding, we had been blasted with unusually hot temperatures, but fall finally came and just in time for this gorgeous outdoor wedding. Kimberly & Scott filled their day with the most delightful colors–that delicious cranberry and rich navy!–as well as plenty of sparkle and fun (those great little polka dots!), but the thing that struck me most about them was their joy. These two were bursting with laughter and beaming with smiles the whole day and they were such a pleasure to photograph!

Kim & Scott first met at work, but he swore during his toast there was nothing inappropriate (he being her trainer at the time) and, in fact, they were simply at different points in their lives. It wasn’t until she left that job that started talking more and it was then that their relationship truly started.

“Our first date was a whole day experience,” she recalls. “It started off being planned as just dinner and that turned into wanting to go frisbee golfing beforehand and [eating] dinner afterwards. We had an amazing day throwing frisbees around and I ended up dancing to Lime & the Coconut on a picnic table. When he helped me down from the table, we had our first kiss. We went back to his place where he cooked an amazing steak dinner with beer pairings. I felt swept off my feet. I knew immediately there was something different about him.”

It doesn’t often happen this way, but both of them say they knew the other was “the one” from that very first date. “We had such chemistry,” he says. “I think it was our first date. Everything went so well and by our second date I was 100% sure that she was the one and I just wanted to make sure she felt the same way about me. But I was pretty sure she already did.”

They were married in the outdoors under the autumn leaves and, being the nature lovers that they are, it made perfect sense that they were surrounded not only by their friends and family, but by the sounds of birds and the crunch of leaves.

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Kimberly shared several first looks: one with her dad, one with her ladies, one with her mom, and one with Scott. Each one was a treasure in its own way.
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Tiffany from Studio Bloom outdid herself with the gorgeous florals! They were works of art and some of my favorite from this whole year!
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Kimberly & Scott do a lot of rock climbing and I love that they incorporated that into their wedding, both with the knot-tying during the ceremony as well as the carabiner that Kim had along for some photos.
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While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, we took Kimberly & Scott out for some sunset photos and it was pure magic. Truly. The sun was low in the sky and getting prettier by the second and it was so relaxing to be able to get them away for a few moments alone, just brand new newlyweds!
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Kim’s veil was so beautiful and a perfect addition to her full bridal look!
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Kim & Scott, it was such an honor to not just photograph your wedding, but to get to know you both over the last year. You took a chance on a venue that hadn’t even been built yet when you booked it and it could not have been more perfectly suited for you! I wish you all the happiness in the world and I know there will be so many more good things in store for you. Your wedding day was just the beginning! Enjoy this life together!

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Photography: Emily Crall Photography

Venue: Rapid Creek Cidery

Videography: Nepo Productions

Florals: Studio Bloom Iowa

Cupcakes: Molly’s Cupcakes

DJ: Unique Events of Iowa

Makeup: 100% Pure Pro

Hair: Eden Salon & Spa

Bridal Gown: Pronovias from Gigi Bridal

Maids’ Gowns: J.Crew

Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Coordination: Abby Rush McNabb & Kelsi Perkins

Paper Suite: Minted

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Their first date was at a local ice cream shop. “I was very excited,” Brooke says. “Because we had hung out a few times before that in a group and I thought he was a funny guy with a big ball of energy! I knew he was the one pretty quickly. As we continued to get to know each other, everything about him was just what I was looking for. He had a plan for his life, was motivated, knowledgeable, and always trying to learn more about things. His positive attitude forced me to always stay positive and we just were having a great time traveling together. When we got back from the U.K., I realized we could get through anything together, even driving on the wrong side of the road and trying to navigate in a foreign country with no internet service. If we love each other after those frustrations, we always will.”

Just a few miles from the ice cream shop of their first date, we got together last week for their engagement session. Just as Brooke had warned, Brandon was a ball of energy and full of laughter. Seeing the two of them together was a beautiful (and fun) joy!

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When asked how he proposed, Brandon says, “[I] was sitting at work one day and thought to myself, ‘April 22 sounds like a perfect date.’ I already had a birthday party lined up for our dog so it made perfect sense to put an engagement party and birthday party together.”

Brooke adds, “He decided to throw a birthday party for Ike, our dog, and invited people over to grill and bring their dogs. I went to the store to get food because Brandon didn’t plan that. He told me to hurry, but I always get more food than actually necessary. When I got there, I was rushing and wanting him to help me bring the for in and he told me to just wait because he had something to show me on the porch. He brought me outside and I thought it was a hammock or volleyball court in the backyard. He instead turned me around and tried to tell me how much I meant to him, but got choked up.”

“I was going to propose at the lake near by dad’s house,” says Brandon. “But ended up bringing her out on the back deck and filmed with a GoPro I had set up while I asked her to be my wife.”

“We had family and friends come over and we got to surprise them as well with our announcement! It was a great of talking and celebrating with our friends and family!” she says. And she got to show off her sparkling new diamond ring as well!

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This is one of my (many) favorite shots from the evening!
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The way he makes her laugh. <3
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Brooke & Brandon, I’m so excited for your wedding next year!!! If this session was any indication, we are going to have so much fun!

Special thanks to Eden Salon & Spa for Brooke’s hair and makeup.

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It was early in 2015 when they first met. They had been chatting online when he mentioned one day that was going to see a movie. She mentioned that all her friend had seen it and loved it. “I asked him to let me know what he thought of it and that’s when he asked if I wanted to come with him. With butterflies in my stomach, I accepted his invitation and he actually picked me up that day.” They went out to eat beforehand and then walked to the theater. “We had the best conversations. It wasn’t at all awkward. There was never more than a minute of silence.” After spending the evening together, she remembers sitting on her couch that night “giggling like a little school girl. That’s when I knew he was special.”

It was so much fun to photograph Gideon and Lindsay’s bond last week at the Palisades! They have a sweet, tender love that is so special to witness. If you’ve been around them, you know just how wonderful they are together.

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Gideon surprised Lindsay with his proposal right before their one year anniversary. “We planned a trip to Des Moines the weekend before our anniversary to celebrate. We made reservations at a fancy Italian restaurant and before that, Gideon wanted to show me Gray’s Lake. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going and it made me so frustrated! It was freezing that night and me eyes were watering, my nose was running, and I wondered why in the heck he’d chosen that night of all nights to show me this lake. I was ruining his special plans by complaining. While we were walking, I realized he wasn’t standing next to me anymore. When I turned around, I saw him down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I didn’t believe him! It felt so surreal! The bitter cold disappeared and all that I saw was him. Nothing else mattered. We kissed and hugged and then he looked at me and said, ‘So is that a yes?’ I then said yes a thousand times. To think I could have ruined such a beautiful night with my bad attitude.”
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One of my favorites from the evening!
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Lindsay & Gideon, I’m so excited for you to be married and can’t wait to celebrate with you next spring!

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Their sixth anniversary is coming up in less than two weeks (one of the first weddings I had photographed!) and, this year, they have a whole new level of thankfulness, respect, and love in their household. After years of struggling with infertility and a journey through doctor’s appointments, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer, there was a positive pregnancy test. I was so honored to document the tail-end of Lisa’s pregnancy at their maternity session in July and I got to step into their newborn world a week ago and photograph their beautiful little daughter, Vaida, in a lifestyle session.

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It was the first game of the season for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and a home game at that. Sharing space downtown with thousands of football fans isn’t easy, but thankfully, the timing of the game and the location of our photos a bit off the beaten path made it far easier to pull off than I had anticipated. Also, a very helpful usher who ran people-patrol for getting folks out of the background of my photos made things a breeze!

Sara & Shawn have been such a pleasure to get to know. Sara has a magnetic smile that lights up her whole face straight from her soul. It’s so fun to see (and photograph)! Shawn doesn’t like to have his photo taken, but I’m proud to say that at the end of the night, he told me it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

They surrounded themselves by their best friends who, according to Shawn, were split into three various levels of rowdy. Thankfully, all the rowdy was well-contained during photos, in part due to the fact that we did all the formal photos before the ceremony. After the ceremony, things indeed took a turn for the wild, but since the reception is all about the party, they all fit in quite well!

Sara & Shawn met 7 years ago through a mutual friend. Sara says, “I had never dated anyone for longer than 3 months and when we made it through that, I was just proud I made it that far. Once we hit a year, I knew it was meant to be because we went through a lot in one year. I can’t put an exact date or time on it; he’s just the one because I know I don’t want to take on life with anyone else but him!”

Shawn adds that he first knew because “my dad told me that if I ever found someone who resembles my mom, to marry her.”

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I love the way they look at each other! And those smiles!!
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Out at the Celebration Farm, I had a few minutes to snap photos of the decor before the guests arrived behind us for cocktail hour. It was gorgeous thanks to Town or Country Event Design, who pulled all of Sara’s dreams together seamlessly!
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You know my favorite time of the day is taking the couple out for sunset photos. We only had about 5 minutes to snag these during the flow of the reception, but I loved it nevertheless and I’m so glad we were able to step out!
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography

Wedding Coordinator: Town or Country Event Design & Coordination

Videography: Jared Mills

Florals: HyVee

Cake Artist: Tip Top Cakes

Catering: Jerry & Margie’s Catering

DJ: Unique Events of Iowa

Makeup: Hollijo Makeup

Hair: Salon La Di Da

Paper Suite: Zephyr Weddings

Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal

Maids’ Gowns: Hope’s Bridal

Suits: Skeffington’s Formalwear

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Reception Venue: Celebration Farm, Double Round

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At the end of August, we’re prepared for heat and humidity, but we’ve been in for a real treat this year with cooler temperatures, cool breezes, and gorgeous weather. It was actually cloudy that morning and the sun didn’t even start to peek out until mid afternoon. Having their entire wedding day in one location is always a special treat for me since it means that we don’t have to factor in any travel time in the middle of photos (so more time for pictures!) and I can unload everything just once. And a location like The Celebration Farm never disappoints. I love photographing out there and working with the staff there.

Randi and the rest of her ladies were finishing up hair and makeup while I grabbed gowns, shoes, jewelry, perfume, and paper suite items to photograph. Thanks to Borrow My Vintage, I had so many beautiful backdrops for the detail photos, from a perfectly color-coordinated rug to a brilliant blue velvet sofa. I adore shooting details, but especially when I have the space and background for them!
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As advertised in their invitations, it was their best day ever. Randi & Nate had first met back when she was an 8th grader and he was a freshmen in high school. Their first date was a a few years later, at the young age of 16. This isn’t your traditional high school love story though. They talked a little bit in high school, but didn’t officially date until later on in college, even though they had never really stopped communicating. “In many ways we grew up together,” she says. “We have been through a lot. I guess if I had to say how I know Nate is the one is no matter what life as thrown at us over the last 9 years, our relationship has become stronger and grown from those experiences.”

He adds, “Very early on in our relationship we went through a ton of adversity, more than most would be able to make it out of. We were two young kids and our lives where going to change in a big, big way. Randi told me instantly after the news that I would have her full support going forward and we would make it through everything; together. I just remember thinking to myself how much and how true this love may really be to have such support.

“Little did she know that when she committed to me, I silently committed to her. I knew instantly that I had to do everything I could to convince this girl that I was the one. (Don’t tell her but she could probably do much better.) I knew from that very moment that I had to start making changes and start putting Randi before other activities. Our relationship was tested in such an extreme manner so early that it gave us this whole ‘there’s nothing we can’t overcome together’ type of attitude, which is an amazing quality for us to possess. I know that this girl counts on me, but she doesn’t count on me nearly as much as I count on her! So as it turns out, I was indeed able to convince her I was the one.”

And on their wedding day, in front of their family and friends, they committed to each other for a lifetime, a continuum, really, of their resolute choice to be together through good and bad, easy and difficult.
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All these shades of pink and blush!!! It still makes me swoon.
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Nate and Randi chose a first look, which just means they got a private (except for our cameras) moment to see each other. Not only is this really special, but it also means we could do all of their formal photos beforehand, freeing them up to enjoy cocktail hour with their friends.
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Nate’s daughter, Taytem, loved being part of the wedding and was a trooper though so many pictures and all-day events and people!
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While guests finished eating dinner, I snuck Randi & Nate outside for a few more portraits. We were only out for a few minutes, but I loved all that we were able to do in that short amount of time!
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This beautiful, hand-lettered sign was by their dessert table and included the lyrics for their first dance song.
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography

Venue: The Celebration Farm

Florals: The Flower Cottage

Cake Artist: Jules Bakery

Catering: Hearth-N-Home Cooking

DJ: Unique Events of Iowa

Makeup: 100% Pure Pro

Hair: The Grand Strand Salon

Bridal Gown: Tara Keely from Schaffers

Suits: Skeffington’s Formalwear

Linens: Celebration Linens

Design & Decor: Borrow My Vintage

Calligraphy & Lettering: Emelyn Letters

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