these two make my heart smile. when they came over to chat about wedding plans and pictures, i knew i had to be a part of this wedding – even if it was just as a guest! lucky for me, they chose me as their wedding photographer! thank you siera and jake!!!
the location for the wedding was the historic Belvoir Winery in liberty, missouri. This winery used to be a sort of group home,and it is known now for it’s frequent paranormal activity. my mom and my sister are always dragging me on ghost hunts and making me watch shows about the paranormal, so i knew immediately that my sister, Laura, would be my extra assistant for this wedding (and let me tell you, she was stoked!).
when laura,myself, and amy (my other assistant) arrived for the wedding day, i felt my usual wedding-day mix of excitement and nerves. Laura couldn’t get in the building fast enough to start feeling for spirits, and poor amy was more than willing to hang back and wait for laura to scope the place out alone. haha.
we found siera with her bridesmaids and mom getting all dolled up in the bridal suite – what a cool space this was! siera had already ordered her first starbucks with her new name on it. ijust thought that was so cute. the boys were in the room next to us, playing video games, and treating this day like just another friday the 13th (did i mention the wedding was also on friday the 13th?!).
when i saw siera’s dress for the first time, i am pretty sure i audibly gasped. it was gorgeous! she had it custom-made, and i am sure i will never see another dress like it again. the dress was all black with a red lace overlay on the bodice. it had a full skirt and a banded waistline.
i could not wait for her to get into the dress! she also planned for the entire bridal party to wear red converse – love!!
once everybody was dressed, we headed outside to the belvoir grounds for photos. somehow, siera+jake chose the hottest friday the 13th ever for their wedding. i was sweating so much that my hair was soggy and stuck to my face – the exact description of a hot mess.
siera looked gorgeous! we followed her around with a small fan and even hid it behind her bouquet so she wouldn’t melt.
we set up a “first look” for siera and jake at the base of the stairs to the main winery building. siera walked down the stairs, and her dress billowed out behind her – it was stunning. when jake saw her, his smile was as big as his face. siera also could not stop smiling. and in turn, i couldn’t stop smiling either (although i may have appeared to be crying due to all the sweat dripping down my face).
siera and jake, along with my photo entourage, walked down to the metal and concrete gazebo near the fountain. we made a bunch of photos there, and we also created several in the grassy area. i could have photographed these two all day. we eventually made our way back to the main building for the group photos. everybody was super cooperative, and we were laughing the entire time (it also helps that we were at location serving alcohol – this tends to keep everybody happy and agreeable).
the ceremony was awesome. the bridal party gets to walk down this super long path as they enter the ceremony area. siera’s dad walked with her down the long path, and they eventually met up with siera’s mom at the fountain. both of her parents escorted her down the aisle to jake. i loved it (if you were looking closely at me, you may have noticed those pesky sweat tears again).
siera’s grand-pa, boob (yes, boob. not a typo), officiated the ceremony. he made it very funny, and he was dressed to perfectly match the theme of the wedding, with a “six-shooter,” a huge bible, and full-on garb from the era. it was perfect.
after the ceremony, the bridal party joined us for more photos at the nearby cemetery (thank you to siera’s brother, sage, for driving us. i am glad i was in the cab of the truck and not the bed though, as sage would be perfectly suited to drive in a nascar race.)
the sun began setting as we were in the cemetery, which added a perfect glow to all the shots back there. (and not to worry, we were very respectful of the graves). after our cemetery shots, we found some abandoned buildings on the property that were awesome for photos. we did some very old-fashioned poses, and boob even stuck his head out of a window to create this super-creepy shot that is one of my favorites.
while we were setting up the creepy shot, i started hearing some shuffling and strange sounds coming from the building beside us. since the sun was setting, it was getting dark and very spooky in our location. i looked at my sister, and she immediatly perked up when she heard the sound. i am not kidding when i say this girl put on her game face, like she was being called up to the major leagues of ghost hunting. she started tip-toeing to the building, and the rest of the bridal party started to go inside. (meanwhile, poor amy was gripping the side of sage’s truck and not going anywhere near that building).
the group made their way inside, and i suddenly heard a bunch of screams! i jumped just from nervous energy. as fast as i heard them scream, i heard them start laughing. it wasn’t a spirit at all – it was siera’s dad, craig, hiding in the building and just waiting for his chance to scare the snot out of all of us. (he was successful).
after our fake-poltergiest encounter, we headed in to the reception. i have one word for the food – italian. it’s pretty hard to top macaroni and cheese in my world. actually, it’s impossible. the reception was a good one – people were dancing and laughing and just having an excellent time. the best man gave one of the best speeches i have heard – everyone was laughing and crying at the same time. dilly dilly! the father-daughter dance definitely brought me to tears (but, let’s just call it sweat, shall we?). as siera danced with her dad, i had to keep wiping off my viewfinder because my tears kept fogging it up. i happened to look up, and i noticed siera’s mom, kristi, video-ing this dance. she could barely hold the phone steady because she was constantly wiping away tears. i had to look away so that i didn’t start ugly crying. the entire room was losing it. (*tip: if you want your entire reception to be sobbing, choose “i can only imagine” for your daddy-daughter dance).
the night ended with no paranormal activity, which totally bummed my sister out. amy, however, was relieved. and i was just so happy to crank down my air conditioning to arctic-cold temperatures. siera and jake’s wedding was one i will always remember. it was a great day, and the entire group was fun. i loved being a part of this day! siera and jake – congratulations!!!