October has been so good to us this year. Between the leaves hanging on extra long and the weather playing it so warm, it’s felt like early September, which has made for some really great wedding weekends! Sarah and Michael got married this past Friday on a beautiful upper-70s day filled with sunshine. I was especially excited to shoot at The Midnight Gem, a new venue that just opened a few weeks ago! Keep scrolling because I can’t wait for you to see just how beautiful it all was/is!
Sarah and Michael first met online on a dating app and, after talking for a couple days, they decided to meet in person. Sarah felt comfortable “because he wasn’t pushy about meeting up” and they met at Noodles & Company in the early fall of 2017. “We ended up talking for maybe 3 hours at the restaurant,” Sarah said. “I can be painfully shy sometimes and this was my first date as an adult so I remember reminding myself to make eye contact and try to make a good impression. After being in the restaurant for that long, we still weren’t really ready to let the date end so he offered to go to a park down the road. We took a walk along the trail and, after the walk, we talked some more at a picnic table where he showed me some of his magic tricks (that’s what sealed the deal, haha). We ended up exchanging numbers after that and been together ever since.”
Four years later, Michael recreated that first date for his marriage proposal. “We returned to the park a day after our 4 year anniversary because of work conflict and re-created our date. This time we took the food to go and ate at a bench at the park. She got the wrong order so I ran back to have it replaced. Then we went on a walk and found a nice bridge to stand on and look out over the water. I told her in many words how I felt and asked her to marry me. Even though she knew it was coming at some point (since she helped design the ring), it was still very emotional and memorable.”
Unique Events always with these florals though…
I spotted this field and immediately envisioned exactly how I wanted to place Sarah and Michael in it. However, I knew getting into it would be a challenge as it wasn’t easily walkable, especially in a wedding gown and heels. I took a photo of it and also had a secondary location in mind as well then took both options to Sarah and Michael for them to make the decision. When it was time for golden hour photos, I said, “Okay, so there are two options: the first is the field over there that we used earlier. It’s beautiful and it’s cut short so you already know we can get through it pretty easily since we’ve already done it. The second option is much more difficult. It’s actually very advanced level, I’m not going to lie. But it looks like this.” And I showed them the back of my camera of the photo I took about 10 minutes earlier. Without hesitation, Sarah picked the second option. I would’ve gladly taken either one, but I could’ve just hugged her for chasing this one because I knew her choice was going to give them some of the most epic golden hour photos I could offer.
She didn’t have other shoes besides her heels and we went slowly with me, shuffling in front of her sideways, with her hand on my shoulder, making a path through the grasses over the fallen logs so she would be able to see where she would need to step. Bella, part of the Soiree wedding team, helped carry her dress behind her. Michael helped with the bouquet and also tried to keep his own suit and shoes as clean as possible and Cat, my second shooter and assistant, was carrying her own camera load as well as some of my stuff. We were a slow-moving train. At one point, I had Cat stop with our gear while we all kept moving and then when I thought I had them at around the spot I had in mind, I yelled back to her to confirm what she was seeing. When I ran back to get in place, I actually screamed with excitement!
The gentle slope of the hill behind them. The pale blue of the sky fading into green and peach. The softness of the foreground grasses and the line of trees that melts off into the distance to the left… It is exactly everything I had envisioned in my head when I looked at this field 30 minutes earlier as I ate a spicy pickled asparagus from a cocktail napkin thinking about how we could make this happen.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Venue: The Midnight Gem
Wedding Planner: Soirée Wedding Planning
Florals: Unique Events of Iowa
Catering: Peppercorn Food Company
Cupcakes: Scratch Cupcakery
Cookies: Cookies & Dreams
DJ: Clife DJ Company
Hair & Makeup: Beauty Op
Paper Suite: Allegra Iowa City
Maids’ Gowns: Azazie
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Officiant: Wedded Bliss Ceremony Officiant