I am not shy about professing my love for outdoor wedding ceremonies. Don’t get me wrong; traditional church weddings are lovely too, but…… plentiful, natural ambient light will trump a stately cathedral any day for me! Kendall and Marie’s outdoor wedding ceremony in Terre Haute, IN last year could be the poster child for this type up nuptial venue. When Mother Nature and the Sun herself are enveloping a couple in their heavenly arms, little more is needed than the love they share with each other and those surrounding them.
The First Look
I check the grounds of the venue first when looking for a picturesque spot for a couple’s First Look. Because First Looks happen earlier in the wedding day timeline, this means I’m looking for areas that provide lots of open shade. This helps keep the light on my subjects’ faces even and prevents unsightly shadows and squinty eyes. When I cannot find open shade to work with, I look for locations where the light I’m working with will hit my subject in the most flattering way, usually backlighting them. Sometimes I get lucky with a partly cloudy or overcast morning/afternoon, which makes finding the perfect First Look location that much easier.
That was the case with Kendall and Marie’s First Look. The morning was bright but filtered with a thin layer of clouds. We found an angle at the front of their venue that provided a lovely and well-lit backdrop while also quiet and private. Kendall brought along a beautiful fresh bouquet of bright blooms for his blushing bride and they share sweet whispers of affection and kisses during their special moment.
The Bride and Groom
One of the reasons First Looks are so wonderful is because they easily segue into the rest of the portraits needed to be taken on a wedding day. (If you would like to read more about why you should plan a first look for your wedding, click here.) Again, because I believe in the ease and beauty that natural light provides, my first choice is to photograph as many of those portraits as I can outdoors. Luckily, Marie and Kendall’s choice in venue was anything but short of gorgeous outdoor vignettes to work with. The lush greenery and different textures and length of grass added so much life to their photos.
My favorite part of Kendall and Marie’s wedding was having the opportunity to simply spend time with them. They were so relaxed, had wonderful senses of humor, and were contagiously excited about everything happening. I don’t think either one of them stopped smiling the entire time I was with them. From sneaky beer shenanigans to split pants and everything in-between, this was a wedding that definitely bolstered my love for what I do.
The Bridal Party
Kendall and Marie were surrounded by some truly beautiful salt-of-the-earth souls. Their Bridesmaids and Groomsmen provided much needed support, comical relief, and radiating love. They’re up-for-anything attitudes made for darling group shots. And speaking of darling, Kendall’s son was his Best Man… my heart was a puddle on the floor!
Of course we continued making use of the gorgeous outdoors for the Bridal Party portraits, even when we were caught by a surprise torrential downpour on the girls! Luckily I came prepared with my handy bubble umbrellas. The few photos we caught before dashing inside are some of my favorites from this wedding.
The Daddy-Daughter First Look
Marie and her dad took a private moment for their First Look while we waited for the skies to dry up. This one had me in pieces, y’all! They greeted one another through smiles and tears, their shared adoration palpable. Marie’s dad had a special gift for her. Marie’s late mother always wore a Tweety Bird watch. The watch stopped working, but he had it fixed in time for Marie to wear on her wedding day. It was the perfect accompaniment to her mother’s wedding bouquet, which Marie also lovingly carried in remembrance of her mom. I’m not crying, you are.
The Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
THIS was the crowning moment of the wedding day, and the meat of this blog post! Kendall and Marie were wed amid a field of green. The cloudy skies opened up just as Marie was walking down the aisle. Drenched in sunlight, she looked like a real-life angel. The whole ceremony felt full of life and the resulting photos are absolutely STUNNING. Natural ambient light captured the soft and true-to life tones in both the backdrop and Marie and Kendall’s skin. I’m so grateful that the photographs preserved how special AND beautiful this moment was for them!!!
If these photos haven’t convinced you to have your own outdoor wedding, I’m not sure what will! Many venues offer the option to host an outdoor wedding ceremony. If you have that option, TAKE IT!!! Better yet, actively look for a wedding venue that has an outdoor option. Your photographer will bless you and you will be so grateful you made that choice when you get your photos back. And don’t worry about the weather – if your venue offers an outdoor ceremony option, they will have a backup plan in case of inclement weather!