We traveled to suburban Kansas City last weekend for Michael and Kayla’s wedding at the Union Horse Distilling Company. Their day was a testament to the idea that simplicity and intimacy can create unforgettable moments. Kayla and I were colleagues way back when in another life, and she has even shot a wedding with me. Our desks were next to each other for a couple years, so we became really good friends. I have a photo on my phone of Kayla wearing a grill while embracing a life-size Lil Wayne cutout. Kayla was stubborn, and she was adamant that she would never get married. Michael entered the scene, and (I imagine) in a sexy voice said, “Hold my beer.” The rest is history.
From our first conversation about their wedding, it was clear that Michael and Kayla’s day was going to be unique. With no conventional wedding party and a smaller ceremony, the two of them preferred to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. They instead let the focus rest on their love and the significance of the commitment they were making. This intentional decision set the tone for the entire day, emphasizing the beauty of uncomplicated moments shared between two people in love.
There were only about 30 guests in attendance for the ceremony. Against the rustic charm of Union Horse Distillery, and surrounded by the not so subtle aroma of aging spirits, Michael and Kayla pledged their love to each other. It was a short and sweet ceremony, with misspoken vows and rings that were a struggle to get on—perfectly imperfect memories to cherish. 😄
Following the intimate ceremony, the couple hosted a larger reception, inviting more friends and family to join in the celebration. Their dinner was absolute fire, and it (along with the open bar) gave their guests fuel for the dance floor activities that were to come. Things took a while to develop, and there were a few brave souls that showed up early on the dance floor. But then, the atmosphere transformed, and the energy shifted as the speakers began to emanate the lively beats of Spanish music. In an instant, the dance floor quickly couldn’t contain the mass of humanity that had flooded the space. Maracas were handed out to the guests, and Kayla’s mom beat a tambourine as she enthusiastically got jiggy with it. So enthusiastic was she, that it looked as though she only had stamina to dance to every other song, needing several breaks throughout the night. She was going hard. So was Kayla’s dad. And Kayla’s grandma. As we were getting ready to leave, the guests rallied together to sing Kayla an early happy birthday, since her birthday will now fall one day after her anniversary.
This day was a really good reminder that a wedding doesn’t be grand in size to be unforgettable. It was a testament to the power of simplicity and intimacy, reminding us that the essence of love lies in the moments shared, the laughter exchanged, and the memories created (perfect and imperfect) with those closest to our hearts. It was a day of genuine emotion, and we are grateful to have been able to capture this momentous chapter in their lives that Kayla never thought would be part of her story.
Kayla (and Michael), we are blessed by your friendship, and appreciate you choosing to have us be a part of your big day! We wish you all the best for a lifetime of love and happiness together!