Melissa and Jason’s wedding was picture-perfect if you take out the oddly cold October weather and wind. They married at Jason’s vineyard in Prairie City, Iowa, and they also had their reception in the same location.
Something to be noted about this Pinterest-perfect wedding is how having two photographers brings so much more to the table because it essentially allows us to be in two places at once. While John was photographing Melissa having her hair and makeup done at Estilo Salon on West Des Moines, Cate was with Jason and his guys at his grandmother’s home in Prairie City. Then John was able to follow Melissa to the family home on the vineyard to finish getting ready with the girls. The day continued like that, which allowed for so many more photographs to be taken of details and precious moments from two angles and perspectives because there were two of us there at once.
We had so much fun getting out of Kansas City and heading to Iowa to be there for Melissa and Jason as they said, “I do.” We met with them back in KC the week after their wedding (just a few short days after we got engaged!) and I asked Melissa her thoughts on having a wedding at home, since we were planning an outdoor wedding at the time. She said the little things you do to save money (like having the wedding on your own property or doing all of your own printing) really don’t end up saving you that much money, unless you have a whole lot of free time to dedicate to it. They had to time the grapes in the vineyard, make sure there was enough space, and clear out what they needed more room for. However, in exchange, you get the uniqueness of a space made just for you, and the memories of having that day at home.
(Read more about their story and see their Kansas City engagement photo session!)
This post is a lot more photo-heavy than usual, but it’s a great representation of how we use photojournalism to document a wedding day. The only posed photos we take are the formal portraits with the family, or, as you’ll see, the portraits with just the bride and the groom. We want to be a fly on a wall, not the center of attention.
Once the bride and the groom were all ready to go, we gave them the letters they had written to each other. This was such a sweet time for them, as they both knew they were about to do the “first look”, and they were so ready to get the rest of the day (and their lives!) started.
The first look is so romantic and intimate, coming down the row in their vineyard.
While John went on a drive with the couple to leave the vineyard in Prairie City, Iowa, Cate was able to stay behind and focus on the details Jason and Melissa had worked so hard putting together, like the flowers on the chairs, and the beautiful table arrangements. The yellow card inside the napkin was a questionnaire for the guests, asking them what their favorite part of the day was.
… and here are the mix of portraits on the vineyard and in downtown Des Moines before the ceremony, and then in the prairie after the wedding. The wedding photography was very important to Melissa and Jason, which is why they left plenty of time to enjoy the picture taking in many places.
And then the ceremony began.
** CREATIVE WARNING! Glitter looks SUPER awesome, but if you’re using it, have all of your portraits taken before it’s thrown, as it is not easily removed from hair. **
The reception started with a technical glitch, but these boys made sure to steal the show!
The food was provided by Gusto Pizza Co, a pizza truck in Des Moines that can make 8 gourmet pizzas at once in their wood fired oven food truck!
The speech given by Melissa’s brother is one that will always be in my heart, as he spoke of the day she was born and how she’ll always be his Disney princess. OH gosh. It was amazing, and he hadn’t even planned it till the day of the wedding. And one of her sisters had the entire speech memorized, and his best man had pieces of their childhood he’d saved, like a game of “MASH” and a checklist of things they want when they “grow up”. Jason’s sisters were just as funny as others were sentimental.
… then the dance party really began!
… and continued downtown.
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