Some wedding days are a compilation of hundreds of moments of pure magic. Moments that make you let out a little gasp as a sunset lights up a kiss in a field on a family farm; moments that make you laugh with the pure joy being had by 100 people surrounding you on a crowded dance floor; moments that make you feel a real and complete love in passionate kisses and thoughtful gestures and the way that two just don't feel whole until you put them in a room together.
This was Megan and Ben's wedding day. A day of magical moments and simple elegance.
My day started with Megan and her closest friends and her mom and aunt all gathered for some quiet, laidback time in an upgraded spacious hotel suite where they took care of makeup finishing touches, got dressed and enjoyed a few moments of laughter and snacks before the commotion began!
Megan's dress was incredible. It had a beautiful lace floral design, fitted her like a glove and featured a cutout back that made our bride's muscular back even more insane! Paired up with her blue eyes, I could have photographed Megan against the window light all day!
I was assisted during the day by Sara, who took care of the groom preparation photos for me and took some fantastic images from throughout the day. I loved working with her!
Ben and Megan opted not to do a First Look as they really wanted the traditional and surprising element of seeing each other in the aisle during their ceremony. However, just before the festivities began, Ben was blindfolded and seated in a private room and Megan came in behind him, presented him with a photo album and a handwritten note, gave him a sweet kiss on top of his head and quickly left. It was such a special moment as Ben read Megan's words and was able to have a quiet moment. Shortly afterwards, one of his groomsmen kidded Ben about still having time to run and my second shooter Sara said Ben replied simply with, "Oh no, she just sealed the deal." It must have been a good note!
The ceremony took place at Megan's family's church in her hometown and was very sweet. I loved the support that was clearly visible in all of the guests -- from her mom's teary eyes to his mom's giant smile. Their parents surprised the two of them with a slideshow of photos of them growing up and their time together -- watching them take in all the love was a beautiful moment.
After some family portraits following the ceremony, I had the fun honor of riding on the "party bus" with the bridal party to a few spots nearby for some sunset photographs. We went back to Ben's family farm, set atop a quiet hilltop with stunning views, which was also the setting for Ben and Megan's engagement session with me earlier this year, and it did not disappoint. Everyone, especially Megan and Ben, were so cooperative and really toughened it out despite temperatures near 40 degrees and intense wind gusts. Some of my favorite photos came from those moments against bright red barns and gray silos, tall-grass fields and backdrops of blues and greens.
The reception was a legitimate nightlong party -- there were Dirty Dancing leaps (from the bride!), grandmas boogeying on the dance floor and handcuffed brides during the garter! Every single person, including these two photographers, had a smile on their face the entire time.
It was a stunning day, start to finish, and a fantastic way for me to wrap up my 2015 wedding season. I'm grateful that Megan and Ben trusted me with their love story and journey.