One thing I love about being a wedding photographer is creating the story, so today I will share mine. One year ago today I married my best friend, my soul mate, Nathan. It had already been a long journey for us as partners as we had been together for nearly seven years already. We had become a part of each other's lives and families and we were so excited to make it official.
Nate and I love the outdoors and really wanted to find a place that would capture the beauty of Utah's scenery. Surrounded by stunning mountain views and with a natural pond and 40-foot waterfall, Johnson Mill, a historic flour mill turned rustic bed and breakfast mansion, was the perfect backdrop.
I awoke that morning in the honeymoon suite surrounded by my six best friends--my gorgeous bridesmaids Alyssa, Alissa, Ashley, Jessica, Megan and Megan. We were served breakfast while the boys went fishing and then we started got ready in the Waterfall Room. From the balcony we were able to see a stunning view including all the tables and chairs prepped for the ceremony and reception. My stomach was clenching and my heart was racing with excited jitters at how perfectly it was all coming together. This was it.
The embellishments are something old and sentimental--my great-grandma's clip on earrings
Right before I walked down the aisle, tears already welling up in my eyes, I took a deep breath with my dad. I walked through rows of my closest friends and family toward the man I fell in love with as my high school sweetheart and grew with through college and beyond. It felt so surreal to be in the moment we had been dreaming of for years.
The ceremony was perfect. Even including the minister's slip up calling Nate "Zach" twice on accident which helped my choked up husband laugh enough so he could keep from crying. One of my favorite parts was a candle ceremony I made up where everyone in the audience lit a candle and passed it on. Finally our mothers lit our candles and we lit a unity torch to signify how everyone there contributed to our lives as individuals and/or as a couple.
Left: Our light bearers who lit our guests' candles carrying bronze, antique-looking lanterns.
Junior bridesmaid dresses from David's Bridal.
Right: My bouquet by Skyline Flowers wrapped in lace from my grandma's wedding
dress and embellished with my great-grandma's brooch.
Bridesmaids' dresses by Alfred Angelo in claret
We did it!
We took group pictures then wandered the gorgeous grounds for couples photos while the guests enjoyed cocktail hour.
Me with my cousins in the wedding. So happy they could all be a part of our day.
Did I mention I could not have survived this wedding without the help of my amazing, devoted mother? I was so happy to have shared this experience with her and to have bonded even more as mother and daughter. Through the whole thing we got along so well and she was always there with a smile and ready to make a list or a spreadsheet (this is where I get it). We had such a wonderful time together--even when we got our car stuck in the snow for several hours "off-roading" after our first visit to Johnson Mill. That is a story for another day.
My photographer, the fabulous Jacque Lynn Photography, got me all bustled up (this is totally part of the reason I wanted a female photographer), we were announced by our awesome DJ, Chris, and it was time for dinner and celebration.
Our guests were directed to their seats by these escort cards...er, rocks. My bridesmaid Ashley wrote all
190+ names on river rocks (a nod to our location) with a silver Sharpie with their table assignments on the bottom.
I'm not a big fan of traditional cake so we went with what I do love--cheesecake. We had strawberry cheesecake
with real strawberries mixed in to make it pink, topped with fresh strawberries on a chocolate crust. It was divine.
We had heartfelt toasts from our best man, Nate's brother, John, and our maid of honor, my best friend, Alyssa
Nate's Aunt Linda and cousin Molly gave us a live serenade.
And we danced into the moonlit night. It was the most wonderful day full of family, friends, laughter, food, dancing, hugs, kisses, nature, fun, and most of all, love. All the long hours I spent planning flew by in a moment, but every bit of love and attention that went into every detail was worth it.
I watched the sun rise over the mountains that morning full of nerves and excitement for the day to come. I ended it dancing and laughing with my favorite people in the arms of my husband as the sun set over the pond. It was just the way I wanted to begin our future together--a perfect, glorious day.
To see more photos of the wedding click here, here and here. To see 50 steps to planning my dream wedding click here.
photographer, designer, writer