It was the most glorious day for their wedding. The sun was bright and the air was crisp without being cold. Lindsay and her ladies were getting hair and makeup done in the bridal suite at Bella Sala, while the guys relaxed in the reception hall. The waterfall outside splashed water down over the rocks, gurgling along the tiny little stream. At long last, it was their wedding day! And it was perfect.
Gideon surprised Lindsay with his proposal right before their one year anniversary in 2016. “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.”
I asked what their dreams are for the future and Lindsay said, “To always be honest with one another. To always love and care for one another. To enjoy every trip, every milestone together. To have and raise beautiful, healthy, smart children of our own to love for the rest of our lives together.” I love that. I love seeing the special, beautiful bond they share.
On her handkerchief, she had their names monogrammed as well as their wedding date and “Colossians 3:12-17”, which reads, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
From the very start, their day was filled with such joy and love. Christina & Cam have exuded grace and happiness since I have first seen them together and it has made every interaction with them so much fun.
When we arrived at Price Creek Event Center in Amana, it was quiet and calm. The ladies were still at the salon finishing up hair, but all of Christina’s accessories and her gown were there, just waiting to be photographed. It was the perfect way to get my creative juices flowing for the day. The weekend before had been freezing cold, incredibly windy, and rainy so I was sooo excited to have milder weather, still chilly, but not uncomfortable.
These flowers were some of my favorite! So springy and pretty, while also not being too “fussy”. They were just perfect.
There was a grassy area outside of the venue that we used for their first look before we hopped in the car for a short drive over to an area I had scouted out beforehand that I knew would be a dream to photograph them in.
Their bridal party was such a riot! I loved photographing this crew!
Look at these handsome guys!
It was cloudy all day so we didn’t get a true “golden hour”, but I still think the 10 minutes of photos later on in the evening are important. It’s the chance to get away from the noise, the hugging, the congratulations, and just savor a few breaths together, alone.
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!
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.”
I love the way they look at each other! And those smiles!!
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!
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!
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!
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.
All these shades of pink and blush!!! It still makes me swoon.
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.
Nate’s daughter, Taytem, loved being part of the wedding and was a trooper though so many pictures and all-day events and people!
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!
This beautiful, hand-lettered sign was by their dessert table and included the lyrics for their first dance song.