I’ll be honest. When it came to Shawn and Emily’s wedding day, I was expecting the worst. And by the worst, I’m just talking about rainy weather all day . . . which, you’re right—there could be way worse things. But when we have the opportunity to shoot in the beautiful vineyards of Cedar Ridge, we certainly want to take advantage of that. As it turned out, we did take advantage of that most splendid opportunity, and we were blessed with a ridiculously comfortable mid-July day despite the forecast showing a 90% chance of rain. We didn’t really experience that rain at all, and we got to frolic in those viney rows all we wanted.
We started the day getting ready at the Homewood Suites in Coralville’s River Landing area. After Shawn and Emily were all dressed and ready, they shared their first look together right outside the hotel as a little pesky drizzle was nearing its end. That area is full of character and very photogenic, so we stole a couple quick portraits before traveling out to the Mecca of photogenia (I just made that word up). I’m not shy in saying it each time we are shooting there, Cedar Ridge is literally my favorite place to be. I love it. Everything is close by and everything that is close by is beautiful. The added bonus this time was that it was only 68 degrees and Shawn was able to be most comfortable in his not-made-for-summer navy suit. I know I’m extra obsessed about the weather we experienced on this day, but it has been so hot this summer and we have spent so many weekends trying to make the best portraits we can in 90+ degree weather when everyone is uncomfortable. It’s not the most fun for those involved, so this was a blessing to have such a surprising change of pace. I would like to think we took full advantage of the unexpected conditions and got some truly beautiful photos in the vineyard and barrel shed. It helps that these guys and their wedding party are so easy to photograph. They are comfortable just being themselves, and they crack each other up even if we sit silently behind the camera.
We traveled back into downtown Iowa City for the ceremony at the First United Methodist Church. I know no one cares, but let me tell you about this sweet, sweeping balcony the church had. It was sweet. And it definitely allowed us to get some fun perspectives while still being super discrete. The ceremony was fairly short and sweet, but was still full of heaviness and emotion. As it should be anytime you’re making a lifetime commitment! Marriage is sometimes saying no to yourself, and instead saying yes to something better. I’m pretty pleased with the way we were able to capture their first kiss in the church, and then it was that happy/relieved walk back down the aisle. They dismissed their guests after the ceremony and it was obvious to see how genuinely happy everyone was for them.
We did a couple family photos in the church, signed the marriage license, and then it was back out to Cedar Ridge again. Guests enjoyed craft cocktails, a delicious dinner, cupcakes and some speeches that made them laugh and cry. What more could anyone want? There was also dancing. We’ll blame that on the wine and those fancy cocktails. We were supposed to finish the night with sunset photos, but I don’t really mind a cloudy night either (it’s a lot better than rain, yo). We can still make those look dramatic and cool, and that’s just what we did!
Shawn and Emily, thank you for choosing to have us be a part of your wedding day! We’re so happy for you guys, and are very thankful you guys were blessed with such a great day weather-wise. I hope you’ll agree we took full advantage of it with the photos we were able to capture.
Hair/Makeup – J Lynae Beauty
Flowers – E’s Florals
Cake – Sweet Cakes By Paige
DJ – LMD Productions
Dress – Schaffer’s Des Moines
Menswear – Skeffington’s
Transportation – Dolly’s Party Bus
Photographers – Carter Photography