Like most couples I have the honor of photographing, Liz and Nick have an incredible story (and happen to be two incredible and giving people). They met through a friend of Nick’s and when their first date ended with a game of cribbage Nick knew there was something different about Liz. Something he never wanted to let go of. So he didn’t. He held onto Liz, and she to him, and they’ve grown into an incredible team. Giving, honest, hilarious, with hearts that beat for others. I was beyond blessed to document their wedding at Blue Horse Farm. Here are a few of my favorite images from their beautiful day.
I’ve spent the better part of a week trying to figure out how to word this blog post. How best to string adjectives and metaphors together to describe exactly what Aaron + Rhiannon’s wedding was. I could tell you that it was filled to bursting with love and magic and joy and wonder. It was. I could tell you how radiant Rhiannon looked in her one-of-a-kind custom wedding dress, and how dapper Aaron was in his tweed suit. They were. I could tell you about the heat and the barefoot dress code, or wax poetic over the cloudless sky embracing the jagged edges of the cliffs along the St. Croix River, sun gleaming and squinting off the steel-covered rock. I could tell you about the angry emu and Spotted Cow and rhinestones and Magnetic Fields songs. I could go on and on about the performance by Circus Juventas in the middle of the reception or the fairy wing making station and zip line strung in trees deep in the woods, begging for bravery, born or from beer. All of it would be true and real and descriptive. But Aaron and Rainy’s wedding day was so much bigger than adverbs and euphemisms and trite soliloquies. It was all the things we read too often on wedding blogs – perfect and beautiful and filled to bursting with so. much. love. But it was also so much more than that. It truly was a gathering of hearts – of souls collected and curated carefully over years and miles and rivers and roads – together in the middle of nowhereseville Wisconsin on Rainy’s dad’s hobby farm. A handful of people closest to the couple, showering them in love and splendor and joy and dancing and all the things we feel when we close our eyes and hold our face to the sun.
For a lot of people, weddings are all about details. The dress, the linens, the florals and the food and the venue. And for a lot of photographers the details are paramount. It’s what “sells” a wedding. To future brides. To magazines. To the rest of the world. Desirae and Taylor’s wedding was full of incredible details at one of Minnesota’s most exquisite outdoor venues. She donned a Badgley Mischka sequined gown for her reception, and he wore a perfectly tailored navy suit. They served pizza and craft beer and sat at a beautiful table draped with spring greens and fresh, local florals. But that’s not what sticks in my mind about their wedding day. And as I sit here, a little over a week after their celebration, it’s not what I remember.
Because those things, as beautiful and wonderful and part of a wedding as they are, they aren’t what remains. The flowers die and the food gets eaten and the suits and shoes get buried in a closet for weddings a few summers from now that they’ll attend as guests. The details fade into the backgrounds of memory, quickly and without hesitation. But the good stuff? The stuff that matters? Those are the pieces of a wedding we carry with us, and that is what I focus on when I shoot. The way a mother watches as her daughter puts on her wedding dress. Teary eyes filled with bittersweet joy. The way a groom fumbles as he struggles to button his jacket, or tie his tie. Watching grandma dance to Lady Gaga at the reception. Best girl friends. Crazy uncles. Hilarious cousins. Stolen moments in the woods spent reminiscing about some of life’s most beautiful moments thus far. Laughter. Joy.
For me, the most important details are the thousands of moments that pass by unceremoniously on a wedding day. The little things that often become the big things later in life. For Desirae + Taylor, this was an easy task. So much of who they are is comprised of a million little things – joy, faith, family, kindness, love, hope, humor – the list goes on endlessly. They are remarkably authentic people living a full life, grasping for adventure, and chasing it with abandon. Their families and friends embraced me the second I arrived at Camrose Hill, and made me feel like a part of the day. More than just the hired help. Which always, always, makes my job insurmountably easier (and more fun!).
I’ve never met a group of people more committed to loving each other - no matter what – or to supporting and encouraging and loving one another. This wedding is one for the books, and below are some of my favorites from Desirae + Taylor’s incredible day.
A huge and heartfelt and ridiculously loud thank you to Desirae + Taylor and their beautiful, wonderful, loving families for inviting me to tell the story of this incredible day. Des + Tay, I hope you’re loving Costa Rica, and I can’t wait to watch your story continue in LA.