Alec and Haley got married. It really happened! They were scheduled to have their wedding in September, but COVID… They were thinking everything was going to be manageable by September, but as life played out and cases continued to spike, they decided to accelerate the process to get this marriage thing solidified. They were originally going to fly in last weekend to finalize their wedding plans, but instead repurposed their planned travel to Iowa as an opportunity to have themselves a wedding. And they didn’t end up flying either, opting instead to make a safer and more conservative 15-hour drive from NORTH CAROLINA. Haley has such a charmingly uncontrollable laugh, and I would describe it as sort of the soundtrack for the day. Sometimes it was a moment of hilarity, sometimes she was laughing through a downpour of tears. But pretty much she was always laughing.
We started the day getting ready at the Hilton Garden Inn of downtown Iowa City. As the morning progressed, I think the reality of things actually happening began to sink in more and more for Haley, and everyone, really. Lots of deep breaths were required. As she put on the dress and donned her bracelet and earrings, things got real. Then came dad’s first look with his daughter in her wedding dress. All the acceleration of wedding plans and emotions that morning came out in a really special moment for the two of them. Man it was beautiful!
Haley and Alec shared their first look shortly after, where I’m thinking she blew his mind. 🙂 After that, they were able to put emotions on hold for a while . . . until the ceremony vows. Their ceremony was in the vineyards of Cedar Ridge Winery. So while we had to endure the delicious aroma that surrounds the place, it was our challenge to focus on capturing the story at hand. I say it every time, but shooting at Cedar Ridge is just the best. Even with the challenge of being in mid-day sun, it’s still the best. It’s such a beautiful canvas for weddings and portraits. It was a little warm in the relentless sun, but even so, I think we were all relieved that the temperatures checked in about 10 degrees cooler than what we were originally expecting from the first forecasts. Irregardless, Alec still did his best to ensure his own comfort with an excessive Gold Bond application that he may or may not have regretted. 🙂 Surrounded by their family and closest friends, their ceremony proved again that it doesn’t matter if your guests number 15 people or 300 people. The weight of a wedding is real and its moments are always rich.
Afterward, we traveled back to Iowa City where they had a small reception dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn. Even with the weight of the ceremony in the past, there were more tears shared between dad and daughter, both with his toast and their dance together. There was so much joy and happiness surrounding Alec and Haley’s day. Though it was not what they originally envisioned, I think they had a pretty spectacular wedding, and one that gave us a vibrant story to capture and retell.
Alec and Haley, I’m so happy for you guys that you were actually able to make this wedding thing happen! Thank you for choosing to have us be a part of it! We wish you guys all the best for a lifetime of love and happiness (and health) together.