I’ve known Christopher for so long that I can’t actually remember the first time I would have “met” him – with some friends and family in common, our paths crossed here and there as we grew up. I knew him when we were younger as Heather and Whitney’s cousin who would visit our hometown sometimes, and in college as the guy I’d run into at a bar or the familiar face on a party bus with our mutual friends, and after college as someone I’d happily catch up with at a wedding. One of the things I understood early on about Chris was how close he is to his family – not only to his parents and brother, but his extended family, too. I remember always thinking of he and his cousin Heather as one of each other’s closest friends, so when I first heard that he was dating one of her best friends, Tricia, it all made so much sense to me. So as Heather stood up next to the two of them and addressed and toasted them both, I realized that not only did it seem fitting, but also how rare it is to see someone giving a speech who knows both parts of a couple so deeply. She was able to describe both of their attributes, and the ways in which these different traits balance each other out, and it was everything I’d been seeing in them throughout their entire wedding day.
And when it comes to this wedding, it was truly all of the things I love about the unexpectedness that can come with a day like this. After originally seeing no rain in the forecast as of that morning, it began to sprinkle as their guests exited the church after the ceremony. People glanced up as they placed their hands in the air, asking one another if they knew it was supposed to rain. We managed to get a few family photos in before it started to pour, and then decided to post up at Toppling Goliath Brewery while waiting for the rain to let up. These often end up being my favorite moments on a wedding day – when everyone gets to let go of posing and relaxes over a drink together, and chat without necessarily feeling or noticing the camera on them, and simply enjoy each other’s company on a really great day. The rain continued to come down, and Chris and Tricia absolutely just rolled with it – they popped a bottle of champagne with their wedding party, and they trusted me when I suggested rolling right into their reception and saving the photos for after dinner when the forecast suggested the rain would finally let up. Some couples would be panicked at this point, but Chris and Tricia cheerily agreed, and sure enough, the rain let up and we were left with this beautiful evening, and we hopped on a golf cart and made our way around the grounds while the two of them shared some moments on their own before rejoining their party. It was a perfectly imperfect day, and those are my very favorite ones.
Ceremony: Decorah United Methodist Church
Reception Venue: Oneota Golf & Country Club
Brewery: Toppling Goliath Brewery
Hair Stylists: Michelle and Sandy with Mirror Image
Makeup: Kambrea Fink with The Hair Depot
Dress: The Wedding Tree, LaCrosse, WI
Florist: The Country Garden
Chair Rental: Big Ten Rental
Videographer: Simplistic Views, Corey Behrens
Party Bus: Dolly’s Party Bus
DJ: The Music Man, Curtis Dean