Christian and Julie had a very atypical August wedding day, in that the sun never shone through the clouds and the temperatures never crested above 70. I can say with certainty that every guy in attendance was just fine with that! For a day that had rain forecasted for much of the week leading up, it was quite an acceptable day for the wedding that was almost completely hosted outside – ceremony, dinner and dance party.
Christian is an army man, and he had a bevy of military men at his side for his wedding day. We owe a big thanks to all those guys for their service of our country! We appreciate you guys giving so completely of yourselves so that we can live and work the way that we do.
Now, just because Christian is a big, tall dude with lots of muscles doesn’t mean that he’s also an emotional stone wall. Quite the opposite! Rarely do we see a wedding that is as emotionally packed as Christian and Julie’s day was. You know I love that. It’s a beautiful thing when people give us an opportunity to capture them authentically, and I so appreciated how Christian, Julie and their families embraced the weight of the wedding day and completely existed in the moment. This all despite what probably felt like a production crew following them around, with 2 photographers and 3 videographers.
After the girls got their hair done at a salon to start the day, literally everything else was onsite at the beautiful and historic Rollins Mansion in Des Moines. This place was huge, and it definitely did not lack for character. When we arrived, we were guided through the venue’s maze of rooms and hallways to another building that was a bridal suite. We unpacked and planned to go look around and Julie said, “Do you want a map?” Yeah, this building literally needed a map, and I can confirm that I did indeed get lost in the basement at one point after the ceremony.
One of Christian’s good buddies and fellow brother in arms was the officiant for the wedding. As a light rain sprinkled down on everyone during the ceremony, tears were also raining as Christian and Julie read their personal vows to each other. I’m a sucker for emotional ceremonies. Emotional anything, really. But having it all take place in the beautiful mansion gardens elevated the ceremony to perfection.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and dinner after the ceremony. At the end of dinner, came toasts. The toasts lasted 45 minutes. 45 minutes! We were supposed to take some evening “sunset” (cloudset) photos after toasts, but more and more people kept grabbing the microphone and making everyone cry! Was I upset about it? Nope. Because I know those moments and those words that were spoken will mean far more to Christian and Julie than a couple pretty photos that aren’t as deeply meaningful. Besides, we already had accumulated a nice portfolio of portraits for them throughout the day. So as the sunset came and went, I was perfectly content letting the awesome toasts keep rolling. After the toasts, we photographed the spotlight dances and most of the guests letting loose on the dance floor. The finale for us was Julie handing out instruments to all of her guests (or students), and having them play an elementary and quite chaotic version of Toto’s “Africa” to satisfy her music teacher self.
Christian and Julie, it was a pleasure to serve you guys on your beautiful wedding day. We hope you enjoy the photos. Thank you for all that you do to serve all of us!
Hair – J Michaels
Makeup – Beauty of All Faces
Flowers – Antheia The Flower Galleria
DJ – STE Event Group
Video – The Vine Productions
String Quartet – Quartet 515
Catering/Bar Service – Delmonico
Photographers – Carter Photography