wedding photography for joyful couples



Mary & Michael

The Heights Rooftop Snowy Winter Wedding





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Planning a wedding in three months time is no small feat, and doing that while living in India, a 12-hour difference in timezones, is especially challenging! Mary’s parents picked up the bulk of the local planning in Iowa with Mary flying back once from India to pack in a bunch of planning, including buying a wedding gown. Michael’s parents and siblings all secured visas from South Africa, which was an enormous blessing, and everyone started arriving in the States around Christmas!

With a wonderful week of holidays and togetherness leading up to the wedding, the festivities and happiness just continued on Friday for Mary & Michael’s wedding!

I first met Mary several years ago when I photographed her sister Eva’s wedding. In the time since, Mary moved to India, where she directs a Hindi-Urdu language learning center in Delhi. Her business co-owner was the one who first mentioned Michael to her. 

Michael grew up on a game farm (“basically a house in the woods with wild safari animals around”) in South Africa and was interested in learning Urdu. “I did his sales call over Zoom and, of course, thought he was cute and also had been told by my co-worker that Michael was a really good guy (said with a wink-wink and a nod-nod),” Mary said. “We both kept the call professional and Michael started learning online through our program. Eventually, he moved to Delhi and continued learning through our in-person sessions. Several months into his time here, we started hanging out more as a group and then he asked me on a date for the first time in December 2022.”

This past summer, as their relationship grew serious, they spent some time traveling to the United States and South Africa to meet each other’s families, which, in turn, also gave them a wonderful perspective at the people who helped shape them. They both said that it was after those trips, they knew they had chosen their lifelong partner. “Sometime after getting back from those travels, I really can’t remember what it was, but I just felt ready to move forward with him!”

Michael expressed his gratitude that evening at the wedding with how everything came together. From the moment they first FaceTimed with her parents to chat logistics about the where and when of a wedding to the fact that they were able to make it come together so quickly and that his family could be here…it was all divine.

So that’s how a girl who grew up in Iowa met a guy in Indian who grew up in South Africa. Their journey spans a lot of miles and it is so beautiful to witness.

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Photography: Emily Crall Photography

Venue: The Heights Rooftop

Florals: Fountain of Flowers

Planner: Julie Tweedt

DJ: DJ Davin Titus

Hair & Makeup: Beauty Op

Bridal Gown: Jocelyn Taylor Bridal & Prom

Maids’ Gowns: Azazie

Invitations & Paper Goods: Allegra

Ceremony: Parkview Church

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It was very cold Friday, however, we were blessed with snowfall the day before and some of it stuck around long enough on the trees for pictures. Our original plan had been to take photos inside the Voxman and outside weather-pending, but with the snow, we made the call to embrace it!! Mary & Michael never complained once and we had the best, best time!!!


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