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.
Their first meeting was at The Bluebird Diner back in 2014. They dated for 6 months before she introduced him to her daughter and the connection came easily, mostly because her daughter fell in love with his cat and determined that he was an okay guy because “only good people have pets.”
The part of their story that strikes me the most is the love that grew between Pat and Elise’s daughter: “As Eleanor came over more often [to Pat’s house], she started to get into more stuff. I knew the relationship with Pat was one I wanted to last forever when he researched ways to organize for autism and took pictures of what was in each drawer/pantry in his apartment so she didn’t have to open them all to get what she wanted. Seeing him take as much care as I do to meet my daughter’s needs meant a lot to me.”
Pat and Elise share an easy-going, complimentary love. It is clear to anyone around them that their family, especially Eleanor, is the most important thing to them. They like to laugh and have fun together. Elise described their interests as “I think the big thing is we like to laugh and anything that brings us laughter is something worth doing.” I love that outlook!! They have found their treasure and it has been such an honor to witness it and document it. I asked Elise what she was most looking forward to about the wedding and she summed it up absolutely perfectly: “I look forward to being old and looking through the wedding album and seeing how young we were, how much love we had for each other, and that feeling you get when you realize how much more love you have for your partner now.”
They requested doing a few quick photos at The Bluebird Diner, where they first met and it was absolutely perfect!
After that, we headed straight to Iowa River Power Restaurant, where they would have their ceremony and reception dinner. It was the most perfect, glorious Wednesday afternoon!
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!
It’s always an honor to have one of my couples’ weddings featured on any blog, and I was particularly excited about this feature as it’s long been on my wish list to have a wedding on The Black Tie Bride! Alexa and Michael’s wedding was so much fun to photograph! It’s every photographer’s dream to have plenty of details to shoot and to have a relaxed, sweet couple to work with. Alexa and Michael fit that dream to a tee. Alexa actually requested we cut out some other photos that day to make extra time for just her and Michael’s photos and we were able to create so many portraits during that time!
We drove nearby to a beautiful timber area that looks like it’s straight out of the movies and then met back with the bridal party at a local park for the rest of the photos. But aside from all that natural beauty, the real stunner came at the reception when Alexa’s parents completely rehauled the look of her dad’s shop to turn it into the most elegant reception space she could’ve ever dreamed of.
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!