Amy, Robert and I have shared mutual friends for years, but had never personally met when she first reached out to me about potentially photographing their wedding day. They were planning their November wedding in Illinois from their home in Arizona, so I was extra honored when they decided to move forward with the booking process despite having never met me in person.
Their wedding day was the first weekend of November, which is one of those weekends that can often feel right on the cusp of fall and winter in the Midwest in terms of how many leaves are still lingering on the trees and whether or not the temps have started to drop yet. We had a lot of rain leading up to their wedding day and yet still were blessed with some remaining fall foliage, and while the air was crisp, the rain stayed away on their day. I arrived that morning to a salon full of calm, collected ladies, including the bride, and her bridesmaids, and the sweetest little flower girls. I swung by the hotel to catch a bit of Robert getting ready after that, and recalled that Amy had mentioned the fact that he wasn’t a big fan of having his photo taken in our email exchanges. And though I could sense his nerves a bit as I photographed him putting his jacket on and hanging with the guys, of course I could, you know? Think about this situation – you’re putting on an outfit and shoes you wouldn’t normally wear, and you’re about to marry the woman you love in front of everyone else you both know and love, and you’re feeling some excitement and anxiousness and nerves and then there’s this person you’ve never really met who shows up to photograph you in the midst of all this. If there’s one thing I get, it’s someone not being a huge fan of that.
I tell you all this because now I get to tell you about the moment when it shifted, which is the moment I hope and look for within any wedding day where I can feel the (totally natural) nerves in the room I’m sharing with the people I’m photographing – it’s the moment when those nerves dissipate, and when I can tell that they’re starting to forget there’s a camera nearby, and when they’re surrounded by their best friends and the person they just married and have nothing specifically to do but celebrate love and life together. When their party bus opened its doors in downtown Bloomington, the wedding party trickled out with their drinks, the guys now each donning a comfier set of kicks and the ladies wrapped in their shawls. There was impromptu posing with statues and walking in the middle of the street together and pulls from a flask and so much laughter and champagne toasts on the square, and all of it made me so happy because how could I not be when they were all so happy. This was when I knew I was seeing Robert and Amy in their element – carefree and joking with their friends and making each other laugh, this time as husband and wife.
They continued their night in this fashion – with heartfelt toasts from people who have known them for years upon years, who told the rest of us what it’s like to be lucky enough to have an Amy and a Robert in their lives. I watched as they proceeded to chat with their guests and tear up their dance floor, and after finding themselves in different circles throughout the night, always making their way back to each other. I’m blessed by a lot of different things within this job, but seeing people like this at their very best, among their very best, is easily my favorite.
Ceremony: Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Reception Venue: DoubleTree Hilton Hotel
Hair + Makeup: Station 710 Salon
Bride’s Makeup Artist: Amy Roth
Florals: Fancy Florals by Nancy
Dress: Brilliant Bridal, Phoenix, AZ
Bride’s Accessories: Bliss Bridal
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Cake: Sweet Temptations
DJ + Uplighting: Twenty Twenty Entertainment