Sara & Chad are officially married-!! These two were wed a little over a week ago on October 21st, 2018 in Southwest Michigan in Niles at The Morris Estate. They’ve just arrived back from their tropical honeymoon cruise as of Saturday, so we figured it was high time that we share with them and you their wedding Teasers-!
We met Sara in the first few days of December 2017 (around when we also met Allison & Tim whose wedding we photographed the day before Sara & Chad’s last weekend) and immediately had a blast chatting with her in person. Sara was so excited that after hiring us she also purchased for Chad’s mom a Photography Gift Certificate for her to have a big Family Portrait Session in the upcoming summer-! It was during that Family Portrait Session this summer that we got to meet the majority of Chad’s family, Chad & Sara’s daughters, and Chad himself-! We had also seen Sara more throughout the year during different corporate photoshoots that she reached out to us for for a local bank. ((We captured 3 or 4 different corporate shoots for them including a final one with head shots of all of the “higher ups” at the company.)) Sara and Chad kept us up-to-date on their job changes, wedding plans, and Sara even got us the majority of her solidified wedding schedule a whopping EIGHT months early making her the MVP of brides-! During their wedding week she met us at their wedding venue while we were scouting spots for the wedding portraits and we again had a ton of laughs and good plans solidified. But enough backstory…. onto the wedding day-!!
On their wedding day we met Sara and Chad separately in their respective prep rooms in the wedding chapel. We photographed them getting ready with their bridal party, daughters, and other family, then got them ready for their First Look about an hour later!
Their daughters got ready with Sara, but also visited their dad Chad getting ready as well.
Sara’s mom, mother-in-law, and daugthers helped her get into her wedding gown once her hair and makeup was finished!
Sara got Chad cufflinks and like Mike back in May (when he was gifted cufflinks from Amy during the wedding day), Chad realized his shirt didn’t end up having holes for cufflinks… so he improvised and they made holes for the cufflinks to go into!
Once finished with makeup touch-ups, some bustling (so she could get to the first look without leaves filling her dress up), etc., Sara was ready to head out to meet Chad at their First Look spot!
Jason drove Chad down to the private property that the venue owns and got him set up in a spot that we’d chosen for him to wait for Sara at. Jenny drove Sara down and led her to where Chad had been waiting. Sara made her way toward Chad across the bridge and gently tapped him on the shoulder. Chad turned around, got misty eyed, and immediately started asking Sara how she was feeling. You could see the glow of admiration in his eyes and the pure joy and excitement in hers.
We photographed these two taking some intimate time to themselves before photographing more portraits of them, their daughters, and the bridal party. We’ll share these photos later with the post-ceremony portraits!
Upon arriving back to the chapel these two did final touch-ups and got ready to head down the aisle. If you remember from our blog post last week, there had been a massive day-long odd storm (plus snow, hail, more rain) literally the day and night before, so the chapel was running on generators by Sara & Chad’s wedding day. You could not hear it at all, but to not risk the power going out mid-ceremony, they opted to have the generator turned off and have all natural light for the ceremony!
When it was time for the ceremony Chad took his place at the front of the chapel and watched their family members and then bridal party make it down the aisle. Just before Sara came down, Chad’s two daughters were the final two to come down and tears started welling up in Chad’s eyes.
The doors opened and Sara was revealed as she made her way down the aisle! Chad again teared up and was elated to see her. Sara’s dad handed her over and Sara and Chad were hand-in-hand at last.
During the Christian ceremony Sara and Chad read their vows to one another, then Sara read vows to the girls. The girls had already been crying of happiness during the ceremony seeing their family come together officially, so needless to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the chapel. It’s clear how deeply this family loves one another and how truly empathetic and loving they all are. We both teared up and photographed through the tears watching how fiercely they love.
After their vows Sara, Chad, and the girls partook in a sand ceremony uniting their little family with layers of colored sand that they combined into one container signifying their unity as a family. They hugged, cried, and took a moment of their own to really hold on to one another.
Sara & Chad then exchanged rings and with that were wed! They headed down the aisle followed by their wedding party.
Once they headed out of the chapel they greeted their guests briefly before we captured about 35 Family Portraits of they and various family members outside of the chapel!
Upon request we’d brought some of our photo studio furniture (love seat and a ton of our wooden chairs) and used them in some of these photos.
We took their bridal party portraits earlier in the day in a different area of the property and absolutely loved them being in front of a rustic building on the property.
(We had also gotten some individual portraits of just Sara & Chad alone in their wedding clothing earlier in the day!)
Just prior to the bridal party portraits we also captured photos of Sara & Chad’s daughters with them down in a beautiful covered bridge. The girls were a HUGE part of their big day, so it was only fitting that they get their own portion of the day for some intimate photos with their parents on their wedding day-!
We’d also taken more portraits of Chad & Sara earlier in the day after their First Look, so we’ll share those now! (**The evening before a wedding photographer we chatted with in Michigan said she and the couple who wed there the day before almost got hit by a full tree falling as she was capturing portraits of them there! We drove around this tree to get to similar spots for Sara & Chad’s portraits and were extremely thankful that the weather held out for them and that most of Allison & Tim’s wedding that we photographed the day before was all indoors to save all of them from things like that!)
These two were up for more artsy wedding portraits, so we got creative with some as we photographed their wedding portraits!
To wrap things up we captured some final portraits of Chad and Sara married in front of the Morris Estate chapel, then we all piled in cars and headed to their reception location- the Morris Estate’s Supper Club! The wedding the night before had apparently been a frigid one with the awful weather the day prior, so we were thankful these two would be warm at their fully indoor reception. The outdoor grand tent that we just mentioned (that we photographed Eileen & Dustin’s gorgeous wedding reception under back in May) was actually taken down for the year the day after Sara & Chad’s wedding as planned.
When arriving at the Morris Estate’s Supper Club we took some detail photos around the reception hall and then captured Sara & Chad’s entrance into the reception! It was cocktail hour, so Sara and Chad were able to relax and get comfortable as we photographed their reception hall and guests.
After appetizers things went right into Toasts from Sara & Chad’s Maid of Honor and Best Man. They gave heartfelt speeches evoking some more tears from these two and really gave insight into how these two met at a perfect time.
Right when they thought speeches were over, others volunteered to give a few more toasts! Included in this were both of Chad’s brothers, Sara’s mom, as well as Sara’s father. More deeply honest words and well wishes were shared as these two took in every word from their loved ones.
After toasts Chad thanked everyone for coming, then a brief prayer was said before it was time for dinner. There was an amazing buffet (the Morris Estate always knows how to make a fantastic wedding dinner) and an amazing dessert table (the decadent likes of which we’ve never seen- all of the most savory desserts one could imagine)! During this time we also photographed Sara & Chad’s rings. As dinner came to an end, Sara and Chad moved over to the dessert table to cut their cake and let all the guests dive into the amazing selection of sweets.
After dinner it was time to cut their cake! Both Sara and Chad ended up with a bit of cake on their noses by the end of that!
After their cake cutting Sara & Chad enjoyed their First Dance.
At the end of their First Dance they invited their daughters in to enjoy it with them as well which was beautiful at the end of the unifying day!
Shortly after their first dance as a whole family, Sara and Chad partook in the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances.
After this it was open dance as many an excited guest took to the dance floor!
Everyone busted out some glow sticks, inflatable guitars appeared on the dance floor, and Chad may have lost a couple layers of all of his shirts (minus vest) while Sara opted for her comfier glittery tennis shoes!
This concluded our night with the happy couple! We hope that you Sara and Chad have had an amazing week and a half as a married couple, that your honeymoon cruise was amazing, and that you had a good transition back home! Congratulations to you two!
Unrelated: We have more Sessions coming up with clients in this next week and a half! We have a Fall Family Portrait Session tomorrow night, are editing Headshots that we captured yesterday in our studio, have an Engagement Session coming up in Chicago in a few days to capture, and then have another Engagement Session to capture next week as well! Meanwhile we are finishing up edits on three full weddings, 3 Portrait Sessions, and are delivering about 5 printed photo packages to clients by the end of this week and finalizing two physical wedding album designs before Jenny coaches THREE middle school volleyball games this weekend-! Welcome to November! This will be a very busy month, so check back to this Weekly Wednesday blog this whole month to check out the Fall Family Portrait Sessions and Engagement Sessions we’ll be capturing throughout the month!