Erica and Ryan are hometown sweethearts. They grew up in the small town of Augusta, Kansas, near my hometown area — and they’re the kind of people who love with the kind of love that melts my heart. Erica’s smile said it all day. She was marrying the guy she loves. :)
When I walked into the room where the ladies were getting ready, Erica started tearing up. She kept exclaiming that she didn’t know why she got all emotional when I walked in… maybe it’s because we’ve been talking about her wedding day for a looong time now. Maybe it’s because when the photographer shows up, it’s really official. :) Or maybe it’s because Erica knew that I was there to capture the one day in her life that she’ll never, ever forget. Whatever the reason, I felt so blessed to be a part of the emotional, fun, exciting day that was about to unfold.
We started off with the gorgeous ladies getting ready… I could photograph Erica all day. She’s stunning. I loved her “Bride to Be” button and cute outfit she wore to get ready in that morning:
Her mom helped her into her gorgeous gown, and her bridesmaids helped with finishing touches.
The flower girls were so enamored with Erica (their aunt) as a bride. I bet they thought she was a princess.
I think the ring bearer and Spiderman were equally impressed with Erica’s beauty. :)
And we were off to see Ryan for the first time. I love this moment. When the bride comes in, the groom sees her for the first time… it’s really special. Here’s Ryan saying “Wow.” when he first set eyes on his bride…
I wasn’t surprised Ryan couldn’t hold his “Wow.” in… this is who he was looking at, after all! :)
And… they meet! :) I love this!
The next two photos are all from their first moments of seeing each other, none of it posed. This is why I love weddings.
We worked quickly through their posed portrait session, and stayed mostly inside because of the ridiculous July heat — it was well over 100 degrees.
Check out Erica’s stunning Maggie Sottero gown… she’s one of my favorite designers.
Erica’s veil was her “something borrowed” — it was perfect. I love how it looks in this photo.
We snuck outside for what I promised them would be less than 5 minutes of portraits. We succeeded. :)
Hello, lovely. Check out her eyes!
And the handsome groom!
The rings. Her ring is so classically beautiful.
The ceremony was gorgeous. I love shooting weddings in this church — St. James Catholic Church in Augusta. It’s beautiful.
Erica’s dad walked her down the aisle. There was a burst of light as the huge doors were swung open… it was wonderful.
I love the next shot. Erica was whispering to herself, “don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry…” :)
The pep talk apparently worked, because she was so radiant walking down the aisle.
Some of my favorite ceremony shots:
Erica has this awesome energy and enthusiasm about her. It was so apparent all day, and especially during the ceremony — she was totally into it, and I loved it. :) Note Erica’s fist pump in the next photo… it was for the announcement that it was time for the vows… :)
Erica’s brother has an amazing voice.
Fist pump number 2… the announcement about the reception! :)
And fist pump number 3… husband and wife!! :) Isn’t she great?!
I love this next shot… always a favorite moment!
Their reception was also at the church, and it was really gorgeous with candlelight and floral centerpieces in a variety of colors. My favorite part was that they served Mexican food for dinner — I love those fun personal touches that help personalize a wedding and set it apart from others. :)
One of Ryan’s grandmothers couldn’t attend the ceremony, so they set up a laptop throughout the day with Skype, so she could watch the ceremony and see the reception. Here’s Erica and Ryan saying hello during the reception. I loved this idea.
I’m going to show you the reception photos in black and white, because I think they’re especially elegant that way. :) So, here’s the garter toss:
And their first dance:
Family and friends, to see more photos (like from that awesome father-daughter dance!), check out the entire gallery online! You can pre-register now to receive an e-mail when all of the photos are ready by clicking here.
Erica and Ryan, thank you so much for choosing me to capture your special day. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of your wedding — may your marriage be richly blessed! :)