I was so thankful that Mother Nature cooperated with us to help make Helen and Matt’s wedding perfect! It was a little overcast, but there were no rain drops! The cloud cover actually helped keep the temperatures cool and prevent any squinty eyes in the portraits. I arrived at Helen’s house to capture images of the girls getting ready. BTW, Helen’s house was immaculate! Usually with the chaos of the bridesmaids getting ready, the hustle and bustle of the day, frenzied last-minute details, etc the place the bride gets ready is understandably a little… well.. messy. Even the most pristine hotel rooms look like a cyclone came through after an hour or two with all of the wedding day insanity. Not so with Helen’s place, but I digress!
When I arrived, I met Emma, Matt’s niece. She was adorable and was immediately fascinated with my camera. Her mom warned me to keep an eye on Emma because she had recently thrown her mom’s Nikon on the ground, destroying the lens. Regardless, Emma and I became fast friends. I had a lot of fun playing with her throughout the day and was able to get her to smile for the portraits.
The bridesmaids wore black dresses with pink sashes. One of my favorite touches was that each girl had their own style of shoe in the same color. All of the shoes were adorable, I thought it was such a fun idea! The ladies finished getting ready and we took a few portraits on Helen’s deck before heading off to a local park. The park was beautiful, but I wasn’t prepared for the land mines left by the geese! Several bridesmaids helped hoist Helen’s dress off the ground and everyone was on “poop patrol.” Luckily, we all made it out unscathed! At the park, we found a gazebo, an awesome rock wall, and a rustic covered bridge, basically photographic gold. During the portrait session, it struck me – Helen looked like a Barbie doll! Seriously, so pretty! With her hourglass figure, perfect blond hair, and beautiful flowing ball gown, she looked absolutely gorgeous!
The ceremony and reception were held at Banquets Unlimited in Irwin. The garden proved to be the perfect spot for their nuptials. In lieu of a unity candle, the couple opted for a sand ceremony. I love the sand ceremony; Brian and I also had a sand ceremony at our wedding (hard to believe it was almost four years ago!). For the sand ceremony, Helen’s mom and Matt’s mom carried a small vase filled with sand. Matt’s was filled with black sand, Helen’s with deep pink. Each vase represented the couple and their life before marriage, the two then pour the sand into a larger vase, which represents their life together. The ceremony emphasizes that the two can never be separated; their lives will always be intertwined. I love the symbolism of the ceremony; for me I think it is more meaningful than a traditional unity candle ceremony.
After the ceremony we headed to the beautiful garden for family portraits. We had plenty of time to take some fun shots with the bridal party. Helen even let the guys lift her up for a portrait, and the ladies followed suit by lifting up Matt. We moved on to take photos with just the happy couple. As luck would have it, one of Matt’s friends had a Camaro delivered to him that day. You better believe we took photos with that puppy!
It was soon time to hit the reception, where Jeremy from Lethal DJs was already warming up the crowd. I loved their bridal party dance – everyone in the bridal party as well as family piled on to the dance floor and all danced together to “Dynamite.” Later, they had one of the most popular dollar dances I’ve ever seen! Brian took pictures of Matt while I took pictures of Helen. At one point during the dollar dance, Matt was waiting on a partner. Little Emma took this opportunity to come up to Brian and start dancing with him. Brian danced with her for a few moments until Matt got his next dance partner. Emma was not pleased and started to yell at him, she ran right at him to get him to start dancing again. Adorable! At the end of the dance, the crowd formed a barrier around Helen and made Matt break through to get to his lovely bride.
Once again the evening was over too quickly! We are looking forward to sharing the photos with everyone, but here’s just a taste for now.