A thing we often hear from couples is that they “make each other better” – that when they are together, they become better versions of themselves, so to speak. A lot of times this bettering happens in moments that aren’t as clearly visible to others, often through variations of helping each other grow and learn and lean harder into their good qualities within everyday life and work and relationships. The thing about Brycelyn and Ryan, though, is the way that it seems they do this not only for each other in the aforementioned ways, but also in small ways that can actually be seen by the rest of us, and I felt lucky to get a front row seat for this on their wedding day.
They both started their mornings calmly hanging with their friends while getting ready, though as they each read one another’s letters on different floors of the hotel and anticipated their first look, both Brycelyn and Ryan seemed excited and ready for the part where they would soon see each other. I love when couples first do so on their wedding day not because of the potential tears or reactions, but simply because of the way it allows for lingering nerves to dissipate – the way they take deep breaths of relief afterward, and they give each other big hugs and talk about how their mornings went and it finally feels like two people in love, just hanging out in nice clothes before doing a really big, exciting thing.
From then on, they spent the rest of the day together with their friends and family, and I watched (and photographed) as they continually lit each other up. It was also apparent that the two of them not only equally value their friendships, but also that their friends have become so intertwined that it felt like one big, happy crew rather than “her friends” and “his friends” – I watched them all singing and dancing on the party bus together and realized I couldn’t tell which friends came from which groups (which is often a thing I catch on to as a wedding day goes on). This feels like a sort of ripple effect with Brycelyn and Ryan and their crew – together they’re thoughtful and fun and laid back, and they seemed to surround themselves with people know and love and get them, both together and as a couple, and they all seemed entirely at ease with one another.
They then grabbed a drink with their wedding party prior to the start of the reception, and spent the remainder of the night with all the people they love most – their parents and siblings and friends and aunts and uncles and cousins who could make it, and there were thoughtful toasts and big hugs and sweet dances, and it was all the things a wedding can be when two people end up together, and everyone in the room has seen the love on them for years and couldn’t be more excited be part of making that official.
Reception: The Warehouse on State
Church: St. John the Baptist, Bradford, IL
Videography: Hoophouse Creative
Catering: Cracked Pepper
Florals: Garden of Grace
Bridal Gown: Rhylan Lang Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Cloud Nine Bridal Boutique
Decor: Create A Scene
Makeup: Leiana Marie Makeup Artistry & Ashlin Goreth
Hair: Danielle Stroud, Danielle Nelson, Michaella DeReu
Cake: Cindy Ehnle