Bailey & Stephen Wedding, Green Gables Wedding Estate

Several years ago, I photographed a wedding with a VERY large wedding party. I think it was somewhere in the range of 22-24 people. This was early on in my photography career, so I was no doubt intimidated by having to manage such a large group. Thankfully, they were very cooperative and great sports with all of my ideas (I seem to recall asking the groomsmen to climb into a flower planter). I mention this past wedding as it resulted in me becoming the photographer for many of this group’s proposals, engagements, weddings, and new families.

Stephen had already been a groomsman for two previous weddings I had photographed, so by the time I sat down with him and Bailey to discuss their wedding, I felt well-acquainted. Having a connection with a couple before you even work with them really helps to create beautiful photos. Having your photo taken can be intimidating, but it’s much easier when you’re relaxed and familiar with your photographer.

The wedding was held at one of my favorite venues, Green Gables Wedding Estate. By the time I shot their wedding, I had shot 3 other weddings there in just over a month! It really made things easy when choosing photo locations. When discussing their timeline, we set aside extra photo time for the sunset and later for nighttime photos. This really took the pressure off of the cocktail hour. We didn’t feel like we had to rush to get all the shots because we knew there would be more opportunities. Wedding timelines can be tight, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to allow extra time for photos.

I had been looking forward to this wedding for a year. As expected, I saw many familiar faces in attendance. At times, I felt more like a guest than a vendor. I was able to visit with past couples and hear about their lives since their wedding days. It’s those kind of moments that make me really appreciate my job.

The wedding ceremony was nothing short of perfect. There was plenty of laughs and tears of joy. Stephen and Bailey share a deep connection with each other and it really showed in their vows. I’d be lying if I said my eyes weren’t a bit misty….

The rest of the evening included some touching toasts, great food, and lots of dancing! I ended my evening by sneaking the newlyweds out for a few night photos under the twinkle lights. It really was a fairy tale wedding…

Venue: Green Gables Wedding Estate

Photographer: Top Shelf Photo, Shaun Hagen

Makeup: Peretti Hill Glam Squad

DJ: Pacific Entertainment, Bryan Thrane

Florist: A Wedding & Event Flower Company, Kimberly Rivas

Photo Booth: MidCity Photobooth