My favorite part of a wedding isn’t the cake, decorations, open bar (I restrained. Blurry pictures–not good!), and it sure isn’t the three-hour solo drive to get to the ceremony (at least in this case).
My favorite part is what happens behind the scenes…it’s the storyline.
Luckily, as a photographer, I can place myself just about anywhere “behind the scenes” to capture various angles of the story (though I do repeatedly try to avoid the “groomsmen dressing room” angle).
The Toepfer wedding, like every wedding, had its own special story.
And it was made that much more interesting by my journey there.
I set out at approximately 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning, luckily a beautiful Saturday morning.
I had only traveled to Blue Hill once before, to take Travis and Maddy’s engagement pictures. I had a friend accompany me during that trip. This time I was on my own, with my trusty iPhone “Maps” app.
Or so I thought.
Once I reached Grand Island, I heard a “bling” on my phone similar to a text notification. I didn’t think much of it until I looked down.
SON OF A……monkey wrench!!
You’d think I would have packed a car charger, but of course not. That’s too obvious.
After some choice words to myself and finally a thought of rationality, I decided to stop and buy one outside of town. My first crisis was averted by the always reliable and equipped Bosselman’s truck stop.
I arrived in Blue Hill just over three hours later, and even early for my 1:00 p.m. wedding preparation photos.
Blue Hill isn’t a large town, so it wasn’t difficult to find the right street. And look, there’s the church right on the corner!
I parked, grabbed my equipment, and went inside, ready to get the show on the road!
Hmm, it’s pretty quiet in here. And dark. Did I get the wrong time? Are they in the basement?
There was not a soul to be found as I creeped through office and lobby doors, trying to find some sign of life it was seemed to be a deserted church.
Perhaps I have the wrong church. I didn’t remember being given the specific name of the church, so I figured this could be a possibility.
I was early, so I decided to drive a couple blocks down the street to see if I could find another church.
Ahhh, there it is. Tall, majestic and mighty!
And, most importantly, the right one.
Now, time to get to work!
Preparation is where so much of the wedding story takes place. Everyone is happy, excited, a little pressed for time, but hey, what’s a wedding without a little drama.
I spent most of my time with the ladies, since the groom’s side is easy. No eyelash curlers, lip gloss, or hair spray, just throw on the suits, straighten the ties, showtime!
And time to goof off in between.
The ladies, not so much.
Even though there’s hair to do, makeup to apply, jewelry to add, nails to attach, necklaces to clasp, glitter to splash…(big breath)…ribbons to tie, dresses to steam, flowers to prune, powder to pat, lotion to rub, laughs to have, and tears to fall, (still with me?), the entire process is great fun!
And it’s all done in record time!
The flowers for this wedding were beautiful, the dresses gorgeous (purple, my favorite color), and the bride classy and elegant.
Everyone thought so, as she made her way out of the dressing room.
One of the most sentimental moments of pre-wedding activities is when Dad gets to see his beautiful daughter in her dress for the first time on her wedding day.
What’s greater, I know they’ll get to relive that special memory over again, because I caught that single moment on camera.
Hugs and emotions abound, but the clock is ticking, ceremony approaching, and it’s time for the bride and groom to meet.
This is my favorite part. 🙂
This is where the story of their love unfolds. Nervous at the thought of “this is it,” anxious for the ceremony to get started, but comforted that they have each other as they start their new journey.
Not only do I enjoy this moment, but so does everyone else. I imagine for the couple it’s like being in a fish bowl for a few minutes; no one wants to miss out on this!
Travis and Maddy chose to take most of their photos before the ceremony. We began with the usual group and family photos in the church, not as exciting, but necessary to make sure everyone is included.
My favorite group shots take place with the wedding party outside the church, away from the seriousness and formality.
They’re the photos that help calm the nerves and portray the real personalities of the group.
They’re the photos that are goofy, happy, and just plain fun.
I think you get the idea. 🙂
Guests were just beginning to arrive when I returned to the church with the wedding party after their separate photo shoot, and before we knew it, it was time.
The ceremony was lovely. Not too long, personal and classy. The bride made a grand entrance, the best man remembered the rings, and no one tripped down the aisle. Seamless.
When the newly Mr. and Mrs. Toepfer excited the church, the light-hearted and joyous persona of the guests and family began to really show. Now it’s time for the true celebration.
The reception was held in Hastings, so I had about 30 minutes of traveling time to regain my bearings and get off my feet.
The turnout for the reception was tremendous, people continuously flowing through the doors! The candy table also exceeded expectations (I didn’t do so well restraining myself on this one).
The guests had a few minutes to mingle and grab their drinks before the wedding party arrived. This also gave me time to photograph the wider setting and finer details, such as the decorations, cakes, and head table.
Once the party arrived, cheers and applause flooded the hall. Everyone enjoyed the meal, the first dances, the kiss, the entire evening.
And the rest is history. It was obvious by the turnout and excitement from everyone that these two are loved and supported by many.
The best part–I got to document their special day.
Congratulations, Travis and Maddy! I wish you a lifetime of happiness, and thanks for letting me be a part of your wedding day!
To see more photos from the Toepfer Wedding, visit lmbvisualcreations.com.