The day was gorgeous. Record-setting low temperatures in the middle of July. That morning, it was 55 degrees… by wedding time, it was closer to 80. Thank you, Kansas. :)
You might remember Melissa and Adam from their recent engagement session on their farm. I was excited to drive back to that gorgeous area of Kansas for their wedding this past Friday. The church was exactly what I love — old, grand, charming, and in the middle of a field. :) The people are exactly what a photographer dreams about — in love, ready to get married, and with every last detail thought out.
We started out the day with the ladies getting ready in what used to be an old school house next to the main church building. Melissa was glowing from the start.
I took some ring shots and other detail shots while we waited for the guys to arrive. I loved the number 17 on the end of a church pew (17, as in the day they got married!).
The church (can you just feel the beautiful weather?)…
Melissa and Adam chose to do all of their portraits before the ceremony, which was especially helpful since their wedding was later in the evening. With a 7 p.m. ceremony, they wanted to be able to head straight to the reception afterwards, and it worked out great!
One of their first portraits after seeing each other in the church:
And the thing Adam was most excited about (besides marrying the lovely Melissa, of course!) — the TRACTORS! :) Adam arranged for 6 tractors at their wedding for wedding party photos and to make a big exit after the ceremony. It was very personal and unique — just what I love to see! I used the wide-angle lens to get them all in here, and it worked! That’s the church you see at the top of the hill in the background.
We then spent a little bit of time with just the bride and groom, capturing some portraits of their love! :) When I saw Adam for the first time on his wedding day, he said to me, “I bet Melissa looks beautiful, doesn’t she?” I love this next shot, because it really captures the way Adam feels about his new bride…
Bean fields surround the church, and farming is a huge part of who they are, so of course we had to do some in front of the field!
I love the warm summer backlighting in these next few images. The light adds to the romantic feel of the portraits, for sure.
Then, it was time for the ceremony to begin. It’s always awesome to see huge crowds turn out for a wedding. I could tell that Melissa and Adam are so loved by their family and friends — so much, in fact, that the church was FILLED with people in every pew, aisle, corner — seat or no seat, they came to show their support and love for this couple, and it was so neat to see just how many great people Melissa and Adam have in their lives.
The flower girl and ring bearer were super cute:
I love this moment when the doors swing open and light floods the sanctuary, leaving the bride and her dad a silhouette! Here’s Melissa and her dad getting ready to walk down the aisle (notice all of the people!).
I love their expressions here!
The beautiful, ornate church:
Right before the vows started, their priest came down to stand in the aisle, leaving me with the quick decision to move! :) With all of the people in the extra aisles on the outside, I was faced with a dilemma for where to best find a great angle to capture both Melissa and Adam’s faces during the vows! Never fear, I found it! :)
For all of the photographers reading this, one of the best things you can do is scope out possible places to move if something comes up during the ceremony that requires a different vantage point. It’s great to be very aware of your surroundings and know first what the church’s rules are for photography and how you can best serve your clients with photos of all of the important events of their ceremony! :) I love being able to adapt during every wedding to unique situations — during Melissa and Adam’s ceremony, I was able to slip in a side door and wedge myself into a corner to capture their vows!
Before I did, though, I caught this photo of Melissa peeking out from behind the priest! I love it! :)
I just can’t get over the awesome sense of community and togetherness that their wedding had — all of the people, supporting them! :) It was really neat. So, this is where I stood during the vows:
And this is what I captured. I love, love, love the expressions on their faces in all of their vow photos.
The blessing of the rings:
And the lighting of the unity candle:
I love this! They were so joyful throughout the whole ceremony! :)
My favorite time: husband and wife! :)
And their grand exit in a huge tractor — I love the sign! They had five other tractors leaving right after they did, all driven by a groomsman with a bridesmaid by his side!
Their cake reception was at the Atchison Heritage Conference Center. Since the wedding ceremony was at 7:00, they followed it up with a reception of appetizers, cake and beverages! I thought that was a great idea for a Friday night wedding, since most people would have eaten dinner before they even arrived at the ceremony. They did a great job of decorating to set the mood as soon as you pulled into the parking lot. I loved these lanterns:
The toasts by the best man (Adam’s cousin) and maid of honor (Melissa’s sister).
Melissa and her dad surprised the crowd with a dance within a dance — starting off with a traditional slow song, then jumping into a fast dance that they had obviously practiced! Of course, they donned their cowboy boots before the second song. :)
The wedding party did a similar routine, but their dance was to Thriller! :) It was great.
And, because I like to end with sweet romantic images, I’m going to leave you with a shot from Melissa and Adam’s first dance that also shows off their elegant reception decor!
Congratulations, Melissa and Adam! I hope you’re having a great time in Jamaica… and that life on the farm is filled with many blessings.