Abby + Andrew: Wedding Day
Once upon a time, on a warm summer day, Abby & Andrew gathered with friends and family to celebrate the two of them coming together as husband and wife. Their storybook themed wedding was completely appropriate given that they ended their first date in a library and share a mutual love for books. So much work went into making sure every detail came together perfectly and the day was truly a dream come true. They tied the knot at a little lodge in the middle of the woods at the Cincinnati Nature Center and "enchanted" is the word that comes to mind when I reflect back on the day. The love that these two have for one another is like nothing else and it's so refreshing to see how genuine Abby and Andrew are towards one another. The day was packed full of emotion and I'm so blessed to have been asked to document the entire thing. I started the day by meeting Abby & her girls at the Krippendorf Lodge to capture the memories they made while getting ready. Abby was surrounded by such a great group of positive and supportive women and they were all so relaxed and happy to be there celebrating such a special day.
Abby put a lot of work into the details of her day. She really wanted the enchanted forest/library/storybook theme to be carried out throughout the day and was able to do so in such creative ways. Throughout the months leading up to her wedding, she would send me photos of the DIY decorations, table numbers, invitations, etc. that she had been working so hard on and it was so awesome to see them carried out and in place on the big day! I would say her vision came together perfectly and was a huge success.
While I was busy hanging out with the girls, my awesome second shooter Amanda was downstairs with the guys. It's always so much fun for me to go back through the photos Amanda gives back to me to see how the guys spent their day. It looks like Andrew and his crew had a lot of fun taking group photos and hanging out in the woods that surrounded the lodge!
After everyone was ready, it was time for Abby & Andrew to have their first look. Andrew and I headed out to the location first (or so we thought) and waited for Abby and Amanda to get there so that we could set up and get everything ready. What Andrew and I didn't know was that we had a smalllll miscommunication and we were on the completely wrong dock on the opposite side of the park. Oops! After a quick phone call & iPhone location pin drop, we were back on track and ready for the real first look. Abby had chosen an absolutely perfect spot on a dock overlooking a lake. Once we set Andrew up, we brought her out from hiding and let the magic that's captured in these photos unfold. It was honestly such a beautiful moment that I know these two will cherish in the years to come.
After their first look, we headed back to the lodge to hide away before the start of their ceremony. However, before it started there was one more person that Abby wanted to have a first look with. I knew going into this day that it would be emotional, but for reasons other than it just being a wedding day. Abby's dad passed away when she was 14, and my mom passed away last year. Both of us have gone through losing a parent at a young age and a wedding is something that you always picture having both of your parents at. I know that Abby was worried about not having her dad there, but I can promise you that he was (but we'll get to that next!). At the beginning of the month, Abby messaged me and was SO excited. Her dad's best friend (who she's always called her uncle) wasn't sure that he could make the wedding at first, but things changed and he was able to be there. Abby knew that she wanted a moment with him before he would take her arm and walk her down the aisle.
SO. MANY. EMOTIONS. Wow. I really love my job. Okay. Back to our story. How could I tell that Abby's dad was there? As someone who won't have one of her parents at her own wedding day, I'm a big believer in the fact that a parent wouldn't just leave their child alone on such a big day. What I'm going to tell you next will probably sound crazy or made-up, but I absolutely promise you this happened. Just to give a little bit of a backstory, we spent the majority of this day outside. Before Amanda and I officially went on the clock as photographers, we arrived early to walk around and get a feel for the day. While we walked, we really didn't see many animals or insects. Heck, I don't see too many in my normal life either, so I know this is special. As the ceremony started, the bridal party and family made their way down the aisle. Afterwards, the doors to the ceremony space closed so that Abby and her uncle could have one more moment alone together before starting their walk down the aisle. I kid you not, as soon as those doors closed, a butterfly flew into the ceremony space with us. Not your typical little white or yellow butterfly, but a big blue and black butterfly. I know that we were in a nature center, but we hadn't seen any butterflies all day, not until this moment. The moment Abby walked down the aisle to her new husband. It was like her dad was there with her because he didn't want to miss walking her down the aisle. I was SO emotional. Amanda was able to capture a GORGEOUS photo of this butterfly to remember the moment. I'm just so glad that I have a camera covering my face while I'm working to hide all of my emotional tears!
After the ceremony, we took a few family photos before heading out into the rest of the park with the entire bridal party to do a few fun group shots. We also had time to take more individual couples portraits with Abby and Andrew and we were SO lucky to have everything work out and this time period fall into a perfect golden hour. These photos are so dreamy and were a great way to start the celebration.
After finishing up with photos, we headed back to the reception. The Krippendorf Lodge made for such a perfect venue and the reception was able to happen outside. It was an absolutely beautiful evening filled with laughter and dancing. It was a perfect ending to this day and and an even more perfect start to Abby & Andrew's happily ever after. It was such a blast being able to work with these two as a bride & groom and their families were the sweetest. Another 2019 wedding in the books and definitely a story to remember! Thanks for such a fun day, Mr. & Mrs. Stenger! Congratulations again!