WOW. This wedding was the first of its kind that I've photographed. By that I mean that I thought I was going to die (I didn't!). But more on that later.
When McKenzie and Evan and I first met for their consultation, and they were telling me the details of their wedding, EVERYTHING was just sounding so right. I knew I wanted to work with this couple right away and I'm honored they chose me to photograph their epic Earth Day wedding. In the subsequent weeks, McKenzie and I stayed in touch and she'd pass along a new development or details about decor- like incorporating delicate bird skulls and bird feathers she'd collected into her stunning bouquet made by the incomparable Liza of Fox & Fern Style, or the vintage glass bottles she was using as centerpieces, and most importantly (in my book) the pizza food truck that would provide the night's delicious dinner--Local Slice. Pizza is always a good idea. Like, always. Their wedding hashtag was #pizzelfie, so, yeah--they just get it.
Evan and McKenzie are lovers and preservers of the environment, and it felt so appropriate that their wedding was on Earth Day. They wanted to be sure that their wedding day was as waste-free as possible, and would leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible. Even down to the last detail, their day honored our common home, our planet.
Hear how they accomplished this in McKenzie's own words:
"The dinnerware was provided by Heirloom Vintage Rentals (Mandi and Oliver from the Refindery). We had a no-waste wedding in honor of Earth Day. So we didn't order any extra food, just what we needed. We ordered reusable cups as party favors for guests, and if they chose to, they could recycle them at the venue. We didn't even have a trash can, but my kitchen staff raked the plates into the compost pile. That compost went straight back into the earth of the venue grounds (we pre-arranged this with Kris, the venue owner). We also hired a food truck, so there was no waste from a catering company. We used cloth napkin rentals for everyone, we didn't have paper programs, and only mailed out one paper invitation and the rest was conducted online. Any florals that we didn't take home were donated to the local nursing home."
I was so impressed with how their entire planning process was "dedicated to this zero-waste mission"! Aren't you?
One of the most touching moments of the day was during their ceremony, when Evan & McKenzie requested that their beloved guests come up one by one and put a rock in the bottom of a potted baby bonsai tree. The tree symbolized the beginning of their new married life together, and they promised to tend to both throughout their lives. It was a moving moment that showed the loving community that surrounded them, and their community's participation in helping them start their new life together. As an English major, the symbolism of it all was not lost on me.
McKenzie and Evan's obvious love and commitment to one another shone through in every moment of the day, and I fought back tears many times. It is so clear that they are true lovers and companions, and their vows could've made Simon Cowell cry.
We'd been watching the weather radar all day, and after the ceremony we saw a massive storm was heading our way. I still needed to get photos of McKenzie's fierce bridesmaids & bridesmen, so I knew we had to hurry. We headed up the gorgeous hill (maybe it was Drewia Hill herself?) and I positioned the group in a line facing me. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. I got the money shot, and then the wall of rain and thunder chased us all into the barn, screaming out of a mixture of terror and delight. Then, the storm came and it came with fury. It began pouring rain and HAIL (like, what?! in April?!), and the barn's tin roof only amplified the loudness of the storm. I was a big chicken and was terrified we'd all blow away, but Evan & McKenzie and their guests didn't let the storm dampen their joy! Their reception was an unstoppable celebration full of dancing, singing, beautiful toasts, and all around JOY. I hope you can feel that in these photos.
Shout out to my awesome second shooter Reed Schick, who has a great eye for composition and was a fantastic umbrella-holder for me when we did those outside portraits; oh- and he helped me tear up the dance floor.
Venue: The Barn at Drewia Hill
Dress: Monica's Bridal
Evan's Suit: Zara
Florals: Fox & Fern Botanical Styling