A ceremony beneath a willow tree, deep-rooted connections & a love that feels as natural as the surroundings…
Kristen & Aaron contacted me because of my ability to “capture a couple’s heart and soul in a way that looks and feels so natural.”
They appreciated the way I took time to get to know them and made them feel comfortable from the start. They were looking for a wedding photographer who would tell their unique story and capture all of those moments and details for years to come.
I’ll open with a few of the small details that are actually quite important– the wedding rings. I placed them on a weathered piece of wood– it felt like something that had lasted and would last, the perfect background and set the tone for their relaxed, rustic wedding day.
Kristen had always had a burgundy-wine color in mind for her wedding day. She hesitated at first because it tends to be used more in winter weddings, but it was a stunning choice and looked beautiful especially in the bouquets created by Mowrer’s Flowers.
Gillbrook Farms was the first venue Kristen and Aaron visited and as soon as they saw the grounds and met Ashley, they knew it was the right fit for them.
The willow tree, stream, open fields, pond and barn were exactly what they were looking for and everything was decorated beautifully. I hung her dress from the mantel– I love the stained glass, candles and velvet settee that surround it:
During the preparations, Kristen’s friends and family gathered in the suite. Here you can see several generations gathered. I love the depth and layers contained in this photograph:
Aaron shared that Kristen’s warm smile and caring personality are his favorite qualities that she possess.
I believe both come across in this next photo as well as some of the decor that will set the stage for this shabby-chic affair. The bench she is sitting on was made from the bed of an antique Chevy pick up truck!
The ladies looked stunning in their burgendy gowns. We used a gigantic chicken coop as our backdrop to bring in some more of that rustic, country feel.
I told you it was gigantic!
The men looked dapper in their wool tweed vests and burgundy ties. They complimented the setting perfectly and kept to the wine, ivory and taupe theme that Kristen had in mind :).
Aaron purchased flasks for his groomsmen, each monogrammed with their initials branded into the leather.
Bottoms up below a blue sky!
Kristen shared that she loves Aaron’s relaxed, caring, patient, hard-working personality and the way her can fix just about anything!
On the wedding day, the sapling that they used as part of their ceremony kept blowing over from the wind. He and his groomsmen found some twine and figured out a way to keep it standing!
I think that his relaxed, patient, hard-working personality really come across in this next photograph:
Kristen felt nervous in the morning leading up to the wedding ceremony, but as soon as she saw Aaron it was like a wave washed over her and she was filled with excitement to be marrying him!
They exchanged their wedding vows beneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree surrounded by their closest friends and family members.
Guests sat on wooden pews and watched Kristen & Aaron as wind swept through the field of grass and a stream trickled in the distance below an open sky.
Kristen and Aaron love the outdoors so having a beautiful day allowed them to be outside and was the part of their day that they were most eagerly anticipating…
They were married by Kristen’s uncle, who had officiated the wedding ceremonies of just about all of her family members.
He played a huge role in her life and she was honored to have him there as she and Aaron committed their lives together.
Here they are exchanging their wedding rings:
Walking back up the aisle, this time together as husband and wife, was another one of the highlights of Kristen & Aaron’s wedding day.
Wow, what a happy couple and what a beautiful location!
The vibrant blue of the sky and green of the grass is almost unbelievable!
Here is the stream that gurgled throughout the ceremony, making the surreal setting even more idyllic…
Kristen and Aaron took some time to explore the grounds of Gillbrook Farms together.
Man and wife…
While most of my photos are more candid, relaxed and emotional, I make sure to capture some more traditional photos, too.
I also like to get creative and have a little fun– here you can see their reflections in the stream.
Kristen and Aaron joined their family and friends for the reception. It was an amazing experience for them to see everyone mingling together.
They reflected on the moment, thinking that this was probably the only time that all of them would be gathering together in one place.
They let it all soak in and enjoyed the moment, stopping to chat with many of their wedding guests.
Everyone enjoyed the outdoor space, sitting on the tree swing, lying on the grass, sitting on the stone wall– people seemed to feel comfortable, relaxed and at home.
Kristen’s sorority sisters enjoyed their time outside and were ready to move inside and hit the dance floor– I think Kristen was, too!
The “Let Love Grow” lettering and string lights really added a romantic feel that fit perfectly with Kristen & Aaron’s wedding aesthetic and story. More about that in just a bit…
Everything at the reception felt natural and earthy, from the “Watering Hole” that featured adult beverages, sweet tea and lemonade to the vibrant, garden-fresh appetizers.
Kristen and Aaron “Let Love Grow” into thier favors as well, having a wheelbarrow filled with seeds for their guests, a nod to their shared interest in gardening.
The cocktail hour was followed by Kristen and Aaron’s first dance and other wedding traditions.
The speeches were heartfelt and emotional. I like how Kristen is tearing up in this next image.
You can also see a glimpse of how their table numbers feature photos of them through the years. The head table is labeled “2015” and shows one of the photos that I captured during their kayaking engagement.
Kristen has a real sweet tooth and their dessert included, wedding cake, at least half a dozen flavors of cupcakes.
Once the sun went down the dance floor was absolutely packed.
The sunset was absolutely breathtaking. I kept an eye on it and brought Kristen and Aaron out just as it was setting.
They stood beneath the tree and took it all in. What a sweet, romantic moment.
Kristen & Aaron, it was such a pleasure to get to know the two of you through your engagement session and wedding day. Your wedding was natural, beautiful, romantic and made everyone feel so at home and at ease!
I hope that these photos helped to capture the “heart and soul” of the two of you as well as your friends and family for many years to come!
I am excited to hear what you think :). Please feel free to leave a comment or post on social media! If you haven’t seen enough of Kristen and Aaron, please check out their kayaking engagement session here.