This past weekend, we got out and toured some new country in western Illinois; places we have never seen before. The occasion was Jameson and Caitlyn’s wedding day on her grandparents’ farm south of Nauvoo. We were in the middle of nowhere. They both grew up in Illinois without knowing each other, and then life ended up taking them down to New Orleans, where they eventually met, realized they were both from Illinois, fell in love and decided to get married. It made sense for them to get married back in Illinois, and they decided to go full send, planning an outdoor wedding in November. Unfortunately, the weather ended up being a big part of the story of their day, and not necessarily in a good way. It went something like this—Thursday: BEAUTIFUL, 75 degrees, sunshine; Friday: clouds, wind, 50 degrees, rain, lots of rain; Saturday: wind, more wind, some drizzle, 40 degrees, some eventual sunshine, wind. Pretty sure I mentioned it was windy. And remember, these guys were coming from Louisiana, and so was their wedding party. The south had pampered their senses and I’m not sure they were quite accustomed to experiencing the phenomena known as wind chill.
We started the day getting ready and shooting details in the garage, where the girls had hair and makeup done. As Kara hung with the girls, I drove over to a nearby Air BnB where the guys were getting ready and learning how to tie their ties. 🙂 We all headed back to the farm and Caitlyn put on her dress in the garage as the guys hung out in a camper. It was an authentic farm wedding, you see. Once everyone was dressed and ready to go, Caitlyn shared first looks with almost everyone—dad first, then groomsmen, the Jameson, then her grandparents. Each was an emotional moment. Some moments were colder in temperature than others. Jameson had his first glimpse of Caitlyn, shed some tears, then bolted back to the camper and its warmth.
We did all we could to create interesting photos on the farm in spots where the wind was mitigated to some extent. We used the most visually interesting areas we could find that were at least a partial respite from the weather, so that meant we really had to lean into the aesthetic of day-to-day farm life. Not only that, the smells and the presence of dried up cow poop underfoot were distinct possibilities. Again, we made the most of what we could! 🙂
The ceremony was supposed to be on the lawn overlooking the Mississippi, but it just wasn’t possible. Because of the wind, soggy turf and cold temperatures, the ceremony was held in the tent where the reception was planned. With its side flaps providing a wind barrier and the heaters inside on blast, the tent was clutch. After dinner, we were blessed with slightly lighter winds and a really beautiful sunset over the Mississippi River. It was still cold, but we blitzed some portraits of the two of them and did our best to capture some vast farm panoramas that they probably more had in mind when they decided to hold their wedding at grandpa and grandma’s. It was a critical 15-20 minutes for us, and we were so blessed to have an opportunity to create those images.
Not all circumstances were rough on this day, and things continued to look up inside the tent. The LSU Tigers had a big game on this night against arch-rival Alabama. I’ll remind you again that much of the wedding party was from Louisiana, which meant there were a lot of LSU fans in the tent. Their passion was pretty clearly demonstrated—Caitlyn had hand painted LSU shoes on for the day, the best man had on purple Tiger socks, and the game was projected on the white tent for all to spectate. We wrapped up photo coverage for the night around halftime of the game, but I’m guessing things got crazy when LSU hung on to beat Alabama in overtime on a two-point conversion. Did anyone cry? I bet people were crying.
Jameson and Caitlyn, thank you guys for being so flexible with all the elements threw at us on your wedding day! It was a pleasure to partner with you guys and we wish you all the best for a lifetime of love and happiness together!
Hair/Makeup – Salon Monroe
Cake – Brown Box Bakery
Video – The Evergreen Hour
DJ – Donna Smith
Rentals – Complete Rental (Fort Madison)
Catering – Smokin’ J’s BBQ