“If I get married, I want to be very married.”
– Audrey Hepburn
I suppose I’m as known these days for the story’s I tell about my couples as I am for the photos of their wedding days. I never really considered myself a storyteller until recently - but as I get older I think I am realizing more and more the importance of stories. Photographers tend to be so quick to remind us all that a picture is worth 1000 words but there are times which I wonder just what those words would be. There’s something to be said for a set of photos with no words to describe them but then again there’s always a story about the people in those photos and the reasons I took those pictures that aren’t explained in an image alone. Still what I love is the way a set of photos lets you relive moments like you were there - even if you weren’t. This wedding was the result of so many beautiful things coming together. Of course Courtney + Phillip would be in that mix, as would all of their sweet friends and family. But there’s so many things that can not line up on a wedding day even when all of the people are amazing. The light this day was perfect, the venue is always fun to be at, the band is the best around, and the wedding planner is one of our favorite local wedding friends.
The morning of this wedding was a blast. Courtney got her hair + makeup done at one of our favorite places. Crown Beauty is the best place to start a wedding day. The wedding party at this wedding was so much fun. All of Courtney + Phillip’s friends made the day hilarious and all of the photos fun but what deserves the words here is the first look. I see so many first looks these days. Not only the ones that I help organize but also dozens of them on other photographer’s websites each day. They’ve become a staple to so many weddings and yet they seem to be getting less and less intimate. Photographers these days have found a way to manipulate and over choreograph every little step and one of the very biggest goals I have with all of our couples is that we don’t interfere that much. The key then isn’t being the perfectionist photographer who can’t handle something shifting in the schedule, or the fly on the wall photographer who doesn’t take any responsibility for what happens on the big day. The key isn’t even splitting the different - it’s just caring. If we could scream one thing to our photographer friends who follow our work it’s to stop stressing about detail and start caring. This first look was a result of us giving Courtney + Phillip the room to be real with each other. Phillip didn’t know he was about to see Courtney which started the whole process off with an organic reality. When a couple trusts their photographers so much that they allow us to be a part of this day for the good of their experience and not simply for the good of the photos the result can be real. And that is the most important aspect of these moments. Nothing recreated. Nothing perfected. Just REAL. When Phillip realized that his wife to be had been standing behind him, glowing, smiling, waiting for him to get nervous enough to turn around and glance his eyes up to her there were simply no words. Courtney’s eyes filled with tears, real - in the moment tears. Phillip’s smile wrapped his face as the gravity of this moment sunk in and he couldn’t keep his hands off of her. The day from this single moment slowed down. And it needed to - because Courtney + Phillip deserved so much more than just a few hours to celebrate what this day meant.
The decor at this wedding was a dream. JLK Weddings (our dear friend Jessica Kersey) is second to none. Her vision, and ability to take an idea for a wedding and make it a reality is amazing and her team is always so professional and fun on a wedding day. The long head table made a huge statement leading into a beautiful floral piece over the dance floor. At the other end of the dance floor was Boom Kinetic (Northwest Arkansas Music Royalty). These guys have been making weddings wild for as long as we’ve been shooting them and from the very first release of the fog machine and 80’s synthesized sound the dance floor is destined to get wild. We had so much fun at this wedding watching a lineup of so many friends help put together the details and an absolutely incredible couple at the center of it all.
Hair / Makeup - Crown Beauty Bar
Planning / Event design - JLK Weddings
Reception venue - Pratt Place Barn
Band - Boom Kinetic