Technically, we did not take all these photos at the Voxman School of Music, but this session had been rescheduled twice due to weather and this was the third try. It was two Saturdays ago and, if anyone remembers, we had the worst wind that day. In fact, after the session when we walked back outside from Voxman, we were nearly blown over and had to hunch forward and plow our bodies through the air just to take tiny steps forward.
So, anyway, I texted Mallory that morning and asked if they wanted to reschedule, but they were in town anyway and I think they had given up hope for glorious weather. (The irony of all of this being that Alex is a meteorologist and so, of course, we had some good laughs about his misfortune of weather.) They’re getting married next year at Rapid Creek Cidery and so they had wanted to take their engagement photos at the adjoining Wilson’s Orchard. We met there Saturday morning and tried as hard we could to find spots in the valleys or blocked by trees where we could manage some photos unscathed, but the wind eventually beat us and we made a quick plan to divert and go downtown to the Voxman building, where we could still have beautiful natural light, but be indoors.
With that backstory, please appreciate how these photos turned out when we were outside! Don’t these two look adorable?!
Mallory & Alex met back in the spring of 2016. They are both working their dream jobs–him as a meteorologist and her as a NICU nurse–but those dream jobs come with the price of crazy rotating work schedules. They got to know each there first over emails, then phone calls and texts, which quickly led to their first date. “We had a great conversation that was very easy and natural. The date was going so well we went back to Alex’s house where the conversation continued and we watched a movie. I was excited to see what this could be.” Alex adds, “For the first time, I didn’t feel like I had to search for the words to say. Everything flowed well and I felt very relaxed.”
The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. But with alternate plans, it was still a perfect wedding day.
Just two days before Elizabeth & Seth’s wedding, we had sunshine and 70 degrees. But on Saturday, the wind blew so hard that the rain was going sideways. The skies were gray and the wind was biting. The plans for an outdoor ceremony were quickly scrapped and the reception space was set up to double for the ceremony as well. The staff at Rapid Creek Cidery and all the vendors pulled together to make the space the vision that they had dreamed of, despite the unwelcome weather.
We came armed with umbrellas for some photos outside, but it was just too cold and windy so we made the most of the indoor space and it all worked out! The rain even stopped for a little bit later in the evening just long enough to pull Elizabeth & Seth outside for a few minutes of portraits! It was cold, but absolutely worth it. (Ironically, their engagement session last November was the coldest session I’d ever photographed. They have been troopers since we first met!)
Elizabeth & Seth first met while serving in the Iowa Army National Guard. She recalls him coming in for a site visit with the chaplain and she greeted them and escorted them to the individual they were meeting with. “We had very short interactions with each other when we were both serving,” she says. Five years later, they had their first date. “I invited him to wake up early and come with us [to the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market], but then he ended up staying all day and I made dinner for the two of us. I felt warm and comfortable with him. He was easy and fun to talk with,” Elizabeth remembers. Seth adds that he “felt like I wanted to spend more time with her.”
Seth proposed last January when they were in New York and their ongoing commitment to each other and their daughters is beautiful to witness.
Beth’s students did the watercolor artwork for their paper suite. That, among so many other details, were the perfect touches to make their day personal and unique.
During cocktail hour, there was a break in the rain so we dashed outside for some quick photos. These two! I’m so thankful for their trust in me and weathering (no pun intended) the elements!
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.
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.
Tiffany from Studio Bloom outdid herself with the gorgeous florals! They were works of art and some of my favorite from this whole year!
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.
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!
Kim’s veil was so beautiful and a perfect addition to her full bridal look!
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!
I love Sunday weddings. There’s something relaxed about a non-Saturday wedding day. Add to that having a Sunday wedding when the following Monday is Memorial Day and suddenyl the extended weekend felt like a treat to the guests!
It was perfectly sunny and warm that Sunday. When we arrived at Rapid Creek Cidery, all was quiet and calm. It was just a few of us vendors getting set up and working. It was a treat to be able to take my time getting all the detail shots of Carolyn’s wedding gown, shoes, jewelry, and their invitations. I knew the rest of the day wouldn’t be as calm, a fault of no one, of course, that’s just part of the game of weddings.
Carolyn & Marc met 14 years ago, in high school. She was a freshman, he was a sophomore. There aren’t a lot of high school relationships that last this long, let alone lead to marriage. As homage to the longevity of their relationship, they used photos from their lives together as their table numbers; so year one was Table One, etc.
One of the major perks to having gone through half of your life together before even being married is that you deeply know the other person. You’ve been with them through awkward life phases, through big college decisions, through exams and finals, through moving and moving again. Her friends are his friends and vice versa. Not many people get that lucky, to find love that young and to hold onto it. But Carolyn & Marc did and it was a joy to see them finally wed!
Without knowing it, Carolyn picked out her wedding perfume that just happened to be in a bottle the shape of an apple, which was especially lucky since they got married at an orchard!
Carolyn & Marc had their first look before the wedding and we were able to do all of their photos before the ceremony. I loved seeing them laughing and talking with their guests during cocktail hour!
I loved that all of the bridesmaids had different gowns and each one fit so perfectly!
The dessert table was a huge hit and guests quickly devoured everything after dinner.
That evening as the sun dipped low in the sky, I pulled them out for a few more minutes of photos.
The weekend before and the weekend after were both filled with rain, down-pouring rain. Planning an outdoor wedding in April takes the same sort of courage that it takes of winter brides hoping to escape snow storms. My husband and I got married in April and we had the most beautiful weather on our wedding day and then barely made it out of Iowa for our honeymoon due to snowstorms. So, you know, Iowa weather is fickle, especially in the spring. But Shanna & John had the most wonderful sunshine beaming at them the morning of their wedding and we all breathed a sigh of relief that rain plans could be forgotten.
Shanna & John had a short-term wedding planning season (only 12 weeks!), but Shanna was the most hands-off bride I’ve ever seen, and I say that with the utmost delight! When they decided to forego a courthouse wedding she had wanted, they knew they wanted their wedding to take place soon due to some family health issues so they let their very best friends and family surprise them by planning this wedding for them.
Shanna enlisted Brenda (Town or Country Event Design & Coordination) to plan the wedding. “I trust you, just do what you do and surprise me!” she told her. Brenda immediately got me on board and went to work with Zephyr Weddings to get all the paper details and designs nailed down. They designed the stunning wreath logo that became a main theme in the wedding decor and got everything set up from invitations and placemats to programs and seating charts. It was such a collaborative effort and I was so honored to be part of it.
Shanna & John were the first wedding this year to happen at the brand new Rapid Creek Cidery venue at the stunning Wilson’s Orchard in Iowa City. Not only was the staff there so accommodating and kind, but the food was equally amazing! I’m so excited to return several more times this year for more wedding fun!
Anyone who has gone bridal dress shopping knows that there’s no such thing as a “short-order wedding gown.” Most gowns, after being ordered, take 12 weeks to get in before any final alterations have been made. Brenda had nothing but great things to say about Hope’s Bridal, who pulled an array of dresses together in Shanna’s size that could be purchased off the rack, same day. This stunning gown was perfect for Shanna; it fit her like a dream and had the perfect amount of beading and soft draping overlay.
The jewelry bar was a really fun idea! In the bridal suite, there was a bunch of jewelry that the bridesmaids could pick from. This is like dress-up except for adults. And with better jewels. 😉
John & his daughter, Kamryn, shared a special first look before John saw Shanna. Kamryn also served as their flower girl and the cutest, most eloquent reader for their ceremony.
Despite the sunny day, there were still patches of mud from the week leading up to the wedding so we kept their first look simple and in the reception space. This photo also shows you a preview of their stunning tablescape.
Shanna’s dad passed away several years ago so she had her brothers walk her down the aisle.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour. Since we had done all of the formal photos beforehand, Shanna & John were able to mingle with their guests and relax! That’s one of the huge, most unknown perks of a first look + photos before the ceremony.
And when the couple was done with dinner, while guests were still eating, we snuck them outside for some evening photos. These are always, always my favorite photos of the day and this is no exception here.
Back inside, we enjoyed the rest of the evening toasting and dancing and celebrating. Celebrating their marriage, first of all, but also the enormous feat of teamwork it took for so many vendors and family members to pull off this event in less than 3 months. It was perfect in every way and it was more than Shanna could have ever dreamed. I know that because she said so. If there’s ever a case for hiring people you trust and letting them do what they do best, this is it right here. Cheers to the perfect beginning of your lives together as husband and wife, Shanna & John.