We spent this past weekend capturing the story of Chase and Morgan’s wedding day. Family runs deep for these two, and they had special ways of weaving their families into the day, even honoring their two grandfathers that had passed. We started the day with the girls getting ready at Morgan’s grandma’s house. I played around on the floor for 45 minutes with some flowers and paper details getting those layflat stationery photos while Kara shot most of the hair and makeup process. After a while, we skipped over to Morgan’s parents’ place just down the road to check in on the guys and get a few photos of them getting ready. At that point, Morgan was ready to get into her (stunning) dress. She had it going on, as the boys were about to find out. First she shared a first look with her dad. I could tell that it was a battle for mom, dad and daughter to hold back tears, which they ultimately did (much to my chagrin). Next it was Chase’s turn, and I think it’s safe to say he was pleased with his bride. Perhaps it was fitting that they had their first look on their wedding day at Morgan’s grandma’s house, considering it was her grandparents that she often used as an excuse to evade Chase in his initial dating pursuits, as the story goes. As I was looking through the photos, something really stood out to me. Morgan has the sweetest and most sincere smile, and it was on repeat throughout the entirety of her wedding day. In fact, I think she might have this thing called resting smile face. At least she did on her wedding day.
It was not exactly a perfect day weather-wise, but the temperatures were at least decent. There happened to be this unfortunate thing called a “Wind Advisory” in effect during their wedding day, which apparently can make driving difficult. And as it turns out, taking photos of girls with long hair and flowy dresses can be difficult in a wind advisory as well. We were quite fortunate to find several shooting locations that were mostly shielded from the wind, and it eventually died down as the day wore on, so we did alright. Thank God for that!
The ceremony was at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Cedar Rapids. That is an old church, and the sanctuary area is not exactly spacious. Unfortunately, the most vivid memory I have of the ceremony is of myself nearly burning down that place down. After their first kiss and pronouncement of being husband and wife, Morgan and Chase were exiting the church and I was backpedaling in the aisle alongside Brad (the videographer). Once again I will repeat, this sanctuary was not spacious. And as it turned out, these narrow aisle were lined with candle stands on both sides. Now I’m a skinny guy, but apparently I am not very aware of the bulk of my shoulders, because in my backpedal, I hit not one, but two candle stands! I made such a fool of myself. The obnoxious clank of me backing into them only heightened my embarrassment. Once again, we are going to thank God that someone was there at each stand to catch the wobbling candles! If you were present at the ceremony, you were either cracking up at this clumsy photographer, or legit terrified that this historic house of God was going up in flames.
It took me a few minutes to gather myself and resume my documentary duties after the ceremony. The embarrassment was almost too much! The wedding day carried on and so did I. Now at that point, the wind had calmed down a little, and Morgan called a last minute audible for a new photo location. As a way of making Chase’s grandpa part of the day, she wanted to visit his grandparents’ property on the northwest side of town. I’ll be honest, when I heard of the last minute audible, a little heartburn came over me, especially since this house was a place that I was totally unfamiliar with. We played it cool like we’re all easy going and stuff. And as it turns out, they knew what they were talking about, because the photos in Grandma Mae’s backyard were some of my favorites of the day, with the plentiful trees all bursting with fall color.
The reception was at the Epic Event Center in Marion, and it was our first experience at this venue that is actually really close to our house. We certainly appreciated the short commute! The space inside is very dramatic and well decorated with contemporary finishings. It photographed very well. Complementing the reception venue space was the design genius of Emily from Soirée and the floral artistry of Hydrangea Bloom. Chase and Morgan had one of the coolest displays I have seen at a wedding, with the wedding dresses of all the mothers and grandmothers displayed at the reception, along with photos from their wedding days. What a testament to marriage their families are!
Now there is something that hasn’t been mentioned yet either. They had an LED dance floor installed for the reception, and it was lit! I have been waiting years to shoot a dance party on that beauty from Unique Events, and my dreams finally came true! Wow did that thing really elevate the dance photos. And DJ Riley Mullane made sure the that dance floor stayed full all night. They pretty much pulled out all the stops, so it was pretty easy to make their reception at Epic look epic. With sparklers firing during their first dance, and lots of tears and laughter during the toasts, this day had it all.
Morgan and Chase, thank you for choosing to have us be a part of your epic day! And thanks for making my dreams come true with that LED dance floor. 🙂 We wish you guys nothing but the best in your married life together.
Planning & Design – Soirée
Rentals – Borrow My Vintage & Unique Events
Hair – MOD Salon Spa (Lisa)
Makeup – Lindsey Michelle Makeup Artistry
Flowers – Hydrangea Bloom
Cake – Classic Cakes by Design
DJ – Riley Mullane
Sick LED Dance Floor – Unique Events
Video – Eyework Studios
Stationery – Allegra Iowa City