Sidney + CJ: Clovernook Country Club Wedding Day
I am so beyond excited to finally be able to share this special day with you! I've been photographing Sidney & CJ every year since 2016 and I am absolutely thrilled that this year I was able to capture their vow renewal for them. They postponed their originally scheduled wedding day due to COVID and decided to elope in August of 2020. After months of waiting, Sidney & CJ were finally able to celebrate their love with their friends and family and renew their vows earlier this month! The icing on the cake? Their son Samuel was born in July and was able to be included in their vow renewal ceremony & celebration! This day was SO sweet and I am so excited to share these photos with you.
I started the day by meeting Sidney & her friends at The Clovernook Country club. Since Sidney & CJ were already married, they decided to cut out a lot of the standard “wedding day traditions.” This meant that they invited their friends to get ready with them, but they didn’t want them to act as a bridal party by wearing matching outfits or walking down the aisle during the ceremony. This helped create a relaxing atmosphere and stress free schedule for the day. We spent the morning together chatting, hanging out, and just having a great time! Sidney did end up having a smallllll accident while filming a TikTok video and broke one of her toenails off. Because of this she, wore her orange Crocs throughout the day since her foot wouldn’t fit into her flats! (It adds to the memories!) One of my favorite moments throughout the entire day happened after Sidney had her first look with her bridesmaids. She was all dressed and ready to go, but hadn’t seen herself in the mirror yet. As she stood in front of it for the first time, she couldn’t even open her eyes before getting emotional. She already knew how beautiful she felt and how special of a day it was without even seeing herself all dressed up. SO sweet.
While I was hanging out with Sidney, my awesome second shooter Sam was hanging out with CJ & his friends in a room down the hall. CJ had the coolest & colorful shoes that actually ended up matching with Sidney’s crocs perfectly! The guys spent their morning hanging out, playing putt-putt, and taking care of sweet little Samuel!
Once everyone was ready, it was time for Sidney & CJ’s first look! When they eloped last year, Sidney wore a simple dress because she wanted to save this one for their celebration. This meant that CJ hadn’t seen this dress yet and his reaction was SO sweet! When Sidney walked up behind him, she asked him if he was ready to see her and he responded with “I don’t think I’m ready yet!” and she replied with “me neither!” as she started tearing up. The emotions in this moment were so powerful and I love that you can see the joy and love they have for one another in these photos.
After their first look we moved right into portraits. I’m saving the family photos for Sidney & CJ to share with you, but I did want to share a few favorite bridal & couples portraits. This day was surprisingly warm for December, but we were still getting the aftermath winds from the tornados that went through the midwest the night before, so photos outside weren’t an option. We decided to head into the bar area (the lighting was absolutely GORGEOUS!) for these photos instead. I’m absolutely obsessed with how these photos turned out and I love love love how happy little Samuel looks when he’s in front of the camera, too. The gloomy day provided such moody lighting and added just the perfect touch to these special photos!
Now that guests were arriving, it was time for the vow renewal ceremony! Sweet little Samuel kicked it off with his wagon ride down the aisle (isn’t that little bow tie precious?!?) This ceremony was filled with emotion and I absolutely love how personalized everything was to Sidney & CJ and their personalities. CJ’s sister was their officiant and was able to laugh and cry along with them. Once their vows were renewed they took Samuel back down the aisle with them, so special!
After their ceremony, Sidney had a quick dress change before kicking off their reception with their first dance! This was the sweetest first dance and Sidney and CJ laughed together the entire time. After her first dance with CJ, Sidney shared a first dance with her dad before surprising her mom with a first dance as well. This was such a wholesome and emotional moment and I love that you can see the feelings Sidney & her mom are feeling in this moment. After they were done with their dance together, CJ danced with his mom and it was so special to see CJ's mom laugh as CJ twirled her around the dance floor. The night was already off to a great start and to make it even better, Sidney also decided that she wanted to try The Table Dash. I've been recommending this to my couples for YEARS now and I am absolutely thrilled that The Walkers decided to try it! If you haven't heard of it yet, The Table Dash is when the bride and groom run from table to table to take group photos with their guests. The twist? You only have ONE song to make it through the entire room! We were able to get photos with all of Sidney & CJ's guests and instead of these being formal and posed group shots, everyone was relaxed, laughing, and having an awesome time! 10/10 absolutely recommend!
Sidney & CJ, thank you again for not only trusting me to capture such a special day for you two, but for trusting me with capturing so many memories and milestones for you throughout the years! It's been so much fun watching your love grow into a little family and it's always an absolute honor to get you in front of my camera. Congratulations again on your marriage & vow renewal, you guys deserve nothing but the very best!