We began our day at Kate's On Main salon in downtown Cedar Falls where Holly, her bridesmaids, and her mother were getting ready for the day. They headed to Holly's parents house in the country to get dressed and put on their finishing touches. My assistant, Greg, went with the guys as they got ready at the Country Inn before heading up to the church.
Their first look took place in a gazebo across the street from the church. I know I've said it before, but I love first looks. The expressions on their faces speaks volumes. They are beaming at each other. This is something that just isn't the same when you first see each other in front of 200 guest. Yes, you will be overwhelmed with emotion and smiling from ear to ear, but with a first look you get the moments to hug and kiss and whisper, "I love you," to your hearts content. Did I mention I love first looks?
The ceremony was beautiful. The church's deacon was a very charismatic and wonderfully spoken leader for the service. His sermon included the story of how Jason proposed to Holly with a puzzle and a gift to the couple. It was fun to have such a personalized ceremony and gave everyone in attendance a beautiful look into Jason and Holly's love for each other.
After the ceremony, the bridal party all headed to the downtown Cedar Falls area for some more fun and relaxed pictures. It was quite a warm day out but they were all troopers about being out in the heat. The photos of them in the trees are probably my favorite bridal party photos from the day. I love the pictures of Holly and Jason from around downtown, especially the large garage-like doorway.
We arrived at the reception during cocktail hour, before the bridal party arrived at the venue. The reception was held at the UNI Commons Ballroom. Gorgeous, gorgeous location! We were able to photograph the beautiful decor in the reception hall before guests arrived in it. I loved their gray and lemon yellow colors. Instead of traditional escort cards, Holly and Jason gave their guests a mason jar glass to drink from, complete with a paper straw in their wedding colors. I loved it! I was super excited to use the jars and straws for a few shots with their rings.
Before entering their reception, we had some time with the couple around the Commons. By the loading dock, there was a wall of lush, green ivy. The photos of them snuggled in front of the ivy are some of my favorites from the day. Behind the Commons, there were some beautiful locations for portraits as well. Greg even climbed a tree to get a few shots of the couple from a new angle. He is far more coordinated than I am.
Their reception was so much fun. Instead of your standard "tinking" of glasses to request the couple to kiss, Holly and Jason had their guests stand up as tables and sing a song that contained the word "love" to them. I have to say, they have some very creative and outgoing friends and family. There were some great renditions of many a song over the course of the night. The food at the reception was amazing as well. They had three "build your own" food bars set up: tacos, grilled cheese, and sliders. They went a step beyond though and the food was delicious. Instead of a traditional cake, they had a scrumptious dessert bar with cheesecake and brownies and a lot of toppings.
Instead of the traditional garter and bouquet toss, Holly gave her grandmother her bouquet. The moment of them hugging on the dance floor is beautiful. The guys at the reception got a pleasant surprise when instead of a garter, Jason tossed a scotch box (sans bottle). The married men were even welcome to join in on the fun and try their luck at winning the bottle of scotch. I swear, I have never seen guys so eager to catch something in all my life. The winner was quite a happy guy. The night finished off with a busy dance floor.
Congratulations to Jason and Holly! Thank you for allowing Greg and myself to capture your beautiful day!