Anyone who has hung around here long enough knows that I have a special love for Friday weddings. Maybe it’s that I got married on a Friday or maybe it’s just that Fridays feel like special weekday-pre-weekend days that sort of make their own category, but, regardless, I love shooting Friday weddings! When I photographed Catie & Justin’s engagement session this winter (remember this magical snowy session?!), we joked that we’d be having the exact opposite weather on their wedding day and it was true! (Thankfully though not quite a hot as the weekend before!)
We arrived at the Celebration Farm before the hustle and bustle began; it’s a secret treat to be able to start detail shots before the bridal party arrives because we can dive right in quickly and then have more time to chat when they arrive! Catie and Justin had the most beautiful details for their wedding day, from their custom ring dish (a gift from a bridesmaid!) to their gorgeous invitation suite to Catie’s stunning unique gown with a detachable train. It was all so perfect and perfectly them.
Catie & Justin met over Memorial Day weekend several years ago. They both happened to go to the same local restaurant to hang out on the outdoor patio and enjoy the spring air. They were each there with their own groups of friends, but, as luck would have it, there were mutual connections in their separate groups and it wasn’t long before they all combined into one big group. Catie & Justin immediately connected after being introduced since they are both teachers and had both decided to take a year off. “Our conversation quickly turned to our love of languages and our love of travel. Fate would make it that both just so happened to be taking a sabbatical from our teaching careers and were going to travel for a year. I was going to California and Catie was going to France. We shared our excitement but also our fears about moving away from home and living somewhere new.”
Their first date was about a week later. Since school was out, they were in a unique situation of having an entire summer free before packing and moving away. “Normally that is not ideal circumstances to start dating someone new who will end up being the love of your life,” Justin says. “But it worked out great for us! I knew Catie was the one sometime that first summer. We clicked immediately. I wanted to spend all of my time with her. I had initially planned to move to California in August, but decided to stay and wait until Catie left for France. I wanted to shorten the time we were going to be apart. When I decided to move to California, I didn’t know when I would come back to Iowa. However, I remember late July that summer I decided I was coming back to Iowa when Catie came back.”
Catie also knew very quickly that this was a forever relationship. “I knew almost right away. I was definitely nervous for our first couple of dates, but I always felt comfortable with him. We had some deep conversations right off the bat because our time together in the same state was limited. Before I met Justin, I was very content with my wanderlust and was really open to staying in France for multiple years and not coming back to Iowa. As we spent time together that summer, my entire picture of how I envisioned my future changed and, even before I left for France, I was excited to return to be together.”
We ran outside to catch a bit of the sunset glow and it didn’t disappoint!
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Florals: HyVee Johnson Avenue
Cake Artist & Catering: Bread Garden Market
Live Music: Felix & Finger Dueling Pianos
Makeup & Hair: Eden Salon & Spa
Invitations & Paper Goods: Alexandria Design
Maids’ Gowns: David’s Bridal
Videography: Travis + Joni Films
Venue: The Celebration Farm