We traveled to Omaha for JJ and Abby’s wedding day recently. It’s always a blessing to be able to travel and shoot in new places, so we looked forward to the opportunity to broaden our horizons!
We started the day getting ready in the beautiful City Suite of the Omaha downtown Marriott as Abby and all the girls go dressed and finished their final preparations. Abby’s mom had every detail of the day planned out in its own Excel spreadsheet line. I’m all for planning and organization, because I feel like putting in the work ahead of time gives you the best chance to be totally present and enjoy the day. By the time we arrived, I’m guessing we were on roughly page three. Abby delighted all the girls when she was in her full bridal get-up, and I loved shooting all their girly squeals, claps, hugs and even tears. We then set up a first look for Abby and her dad, and I think it’s safe to say that she delighted him even more. He was undone and everyone was in tears! I consider it a GREAT privilege to be able to be present to witness and capture those moments!
From there, skipping to Excel page four, we headed a few blocks west to the church and the first look with JJ was next. Both of them admitted to being pretty nervous/anxious that morning, but after they were finally together on their wedding day, I think they both felt much more at ease. Definitely another perk of having a first look before the ceremony! We had most of downtown Omaha to ourselves on an absolutely beautiful fall day. Except for several rowdy residents that honked and yelled their congratulations to the couple as they sped by, or in one instance, waited at a stop light for too long. “I’m so proud of you,” one stranger yelled. Abby and JJ don’t take themselves too seriously and I enjoyed the laughs we shared on their wedding day. Big belly laughs. The ones with the head tilted back.
The ceremony was at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Omaha, and was on spreadsheet pages 6-8. If all the ceremony photos look like they were taken from the same perspective, it’s because they were. We were required to stay in the very back of the church for the ceremony, so being extra creative, or capturing much emotion was a challenge. I understand that photos are not what a ceremony is about, nor are they even what a whole wedding day is about, so we always do our best to retell the story honestly and as creatively as we can without making the focus of the day about us or the photos. Listening to the messages that were delivered, it was clear that these two were dearly loved by those that lead in this church. They were blessed but also commissioned as they were pronounced husband and wife. The wedding bells rang outside the church and they had a sweet flower pedal sendoff before everyone headed a couple blocks back east to the reception.
Excel page nine. The wedding reception was at The Diamond Room and the vision was that it would be basically an extended cocktail hour, where food was always available at stations and guests weren’t bound to tables for the evening … as if this party was going to be bound to tables anyway! The toasts had everyone cracking up, and Abby’s parents wrote their toast as if it were a white water rafting safety chat. “Use your paddles of love and stay in the boat,” they said.
Abby and JJ had a choreographed first dance that had the crowd hooting and hollering. Abby’s dance with her dad (also choreographed) had the crowd cheering even louder. Once the dancing got underway, they opened up the garage doors of the venue so those busting a move didn’t have to break too much of a sweat doing so. It was a nice ending to what was basically a perfect day. Alas, we had finally made it to the last Excel spreadheet field—JJ and Abby lived happily ever after (or, at least I assume that’s what the last one should have been).
Guys, thank you so much for choosing to have us be a part of your wedding day! It was a pleasure to serve you and your families, and we wish you all the best!