Where do I start??? Ally and Brandon’s burgundy and navy fall wedding was amazing!!! I can’t think of a better way to wrap up my 2020 wedding season than with this sweet family! Ally and her mom told me when they first visited their venue, they walked around and talked about the wonderful pictures I could capture there. The Lodge at River Valley Farm did not disappoint! It was even better than I imagined!
I went to scout out the Lodge at River Valley Farm Friday night before the rehearsal, while Ally and her family were there decorating. Makayla, the day of coordinator, graciously gave me a tour and showed me the places Ally had mentioned to her for pictures. There was a space just for the guys. A farmhouse for the ladies, where they were all spending the night together, a lovely pergola, a covered outdoor fireplace area and the reception building. I left even more excited for Saturday’s wedding!
When I arrived Saturday morning, the girls were getting their hair done and enjoying the morning. The morning flew by! Just before everyone dressed in their wedding attire we had to take a robe shot on the large bed in the bride’s room. Ally climbed in the middle and her older sister flopped stomach down next to her taking lunch orders on her ipad. It was such a sister moment. I imagined how many times over the years growing up that they must have hung out together flopped on one of their beds– sharing secrets, talking about boys, friends and life.
As all the girls were gathered in the bride’s room, someone asked if 10 years ago when Ally and Brandon first started dating if they ever thought they would get married. Some said yes, some including Ally, didn’t really think about it. We thought it was a good that 10 years ago, 7th grade Ally wasn’t thinking about getting married! She was just enjoying time with her best friend.
Soon all the girls were in their burgundy bridesmaid’s dresses waiting to see all in her wedding gown. Such a beauty, Ally was stunning in her wedding dress! She picked the perfect dress and it looked like it was made just for her! A few moments with her girls, then Ally had a first look with her dad. It was such a sweet emotional moment. He reminded her that she could still turn left and be a stay-at-home daughter, or go straight and marry her long time love. Ally presented her dad with a handkerchief, with a meaningful quote as they wrapped up their special time.
An elementary school teacher, Ally also somehow found time to Zoom with her class who was so excited for her! It was so sweet to watch as she said hi to her students and showed them what she looked like in her wedding dress! They will always remember that!
Next Ally headed out to the pergola where Brandon waited for their first look. It was so cold! I’ve photographed several winter weddings, but the wind and occasional sprinkles made this day feel extra cold! It started to sprinkle as we finished the first look and bride and groom portraits. We opted to take the wedding party pictures under the covered area in front of the fireplace. It was still cold and windy, but at least it was dry and Makayla started the fire providing a bit of warmth.
After 10 years of dating Ally and Brandon, said I do in front of a beautifully decorated fire place mantle and their friends and family gathered around. Next we rushed outside to catch the last light of the day for a few just married portraits. There is such a sweetness to just married portraits, that I can’t quite explain, but they are always extra special.
At their reception Ally and Brandon introduced me to a new event that I loved–the photo dash! The DJ gave Ally and Brandon a limited amount of time to run around the room and get pictures at each table. This fun activity gave them a way to capture at least one picture with all their guests. It was awesome, and they finished and were back in their own seats well before the time limit was up!
Ally and Brandon ended their day with a fabulous sparkler exit! The sparklers they chose just kept burning! So they kept running through three times!
Amazing vendor team!
Venue | The Lodge at River Valley
Florist | Dandelions Flowers and Gifts
Wedding Gown | David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Birdy Grey
Grooms Attire | Louie’s Tux Shop
Hair and Make-up | Lexi Rae Hair Studio
DJ |H & H Sound
Catering |Taste of Magic
Second shooter | Joe Smith
Recently engaged? Check out wedding planning tips here: Top 5 Things to do When you Get Engaged and The Next Steps: What to do After You Get Engaged
To learn more about the Simply Seeking Photography wedding experience click here: The Wedding Experience