What was probably the most popular wedding date of 2020 was also probably the most popular day for some strangely named minute pirate bugs to come out to play. And apparently the savages are undeterred by any sort of bug spray. Bugs aside, Blaine and Abby were blessed with an absolutely perfect wedding day and I was surprised by how much beautiful fall color was already present. As has been the case for most couples this year, they didn’t have exactly the wedding day that they had first envisioned because of this thing called COVID-19. You’ve probably heard of it. In their case though, I’m not sure that their wedding plans didn’t work out even better. They found a middle ground where they didn’t have the full size wedding they were originally planning, but they didn’t scale it all the way back to just immediate family either. It was perfect. Blaine and Abby have an interesting story as they both worked on the sea in the boating/yacht industry. Obviously when the pandemic hit, that industry was shut down and they were out of work. They were back in Iowa on “holiday” right before the pandemic, and as it turns out, they never left! They found jobs here in eastern Iowa and bought a house together. This house was the setting for their reimagined backyard reception, and they legitimately had the perfect day for it.
We started the day with the girls having hair and makeup done while a collection of 70s hits filled the room. I spent most of my time playing with flowers and putting together detail shots. Abby went full bohemian for the day with a detailed, flowing dress and NO shoes. So one of the things not included in those detail shots were . . . shoes. Once Abby was dressed and still not in shoes, it was time for her first look with her dad in the backyard. Wait a minute though … First we need to pick up the dog poop in the yard so no one steps in it. Special shout out to Abby’s dad, Rob, who took on some not so glamorous jobs for the day. 🙂 First, clearing out dog poop from the backyard so we could use it for bridesmaids photos and his first look with Abby. Then, he was the taxi service from the ceremony to the country sunset location, and then finally the reception while everyone else was already eating and partying at the reception. Back to to Abby’s first look with her dad. Once they embraced, she lost it. I love being able to capture such meaningful moments, and with the trees starting to change color, I think those made for some beautiful photos. And the best part was no one stepped in dog poop! Thanks again, Rob!
After some bridesmaids photos, we traveled to the ceremony location, which was out at the Celebration Barn, deep in the country outside of Solon, Iowa. The property was beautifully backlit the entirety of our time out there and it made for a perfect canvas. Blaine and Abby chose to write their own vows, and they had everyone in a mess of tears (including themselves).
The minute pirate bugs would like to interrupt this blog post to let you know that they were present at the ceremony as well. If you were there, you know. That is all.
Thanks, minute pirate bugs. Now, back to the real story. These two are crazy in love with each other, and rarely have we seen such a passionate love so obvious. Their first kiss was like a scene from the movies, where Abby leapt into his arms as they smashed their faces together. Once they made their way back up the steps recessing from the ceremony, they couldn’t stop hugging, kissing and crying there either. It might be creepy to say, but it was a pleasure to witness.
After the ceremony, we did some family photos and used that spicy backlight for some bride and groom portraits. It’s hard to quit when things are working well, so I made us a bit late to the sunset, but I still feel really good about how those turned out on the country hillside. We tried to give them a couple different looks up there—some that were more of a traditional, warm sunset; and then some that gave the feeling of a night sky with a much cooler color balance. Even though they were shot 2-3 minutes apart, they look dramatically different.
Once we made our way back up the rugged country road, we headed to Blaine and Abby’s place for their super casual reception in the backyard. I loved it, and I know they did too. The neighbors all crashed the party too, so they basically had a block party going, just with some people wearing fancy clothes. They weren’t too pretentious though, because I still don’t think Abby was wearing shoes. They enjoyed toasts from the elevated deck, spotlight dances under the string lights, and don’t forget Amos Dean’s super bomb catering. It was a perfect day.
Blaine and Abby, thank you guys so much for choosing to have us be a part of your wedding day! We wish you guys a lifetime of love and happiness together!
Hair/makeup – Skin Deep Salon
Flowers – E’s Floral
DJ – Their buddy Daniel from Special Event Entertainment Mobile DJs
Catering – Amos Dean’s
Cupcakes – Kathy’s Pies
Dress – Mary’s Bridal (Annapolis)
Rentals – Unique Events
Hors D’oeuvres – Chef Rhonda Watson
Photographers – Carter Photography