Sally and Jacob tied the knot at the Weston Red Barn Farm, surrounded by Kansas City’s Fall beauty. I had the pleasure of capturing their laid-back, rustic celebration filled with heartfelt moments and charm.

Sally’s favorite part of the day was their first look, hands down. She swears by it, saying it brought a calming vibe to the chaos. Seeing your partner before the madness begins? Essential.

I loved their wedding day vibe. They went in with a “whatever happens, happens” attitude, focusing on the fact that they were marrying their favorite person. Simple and sweet.

The Weston Red Barn Farm was a beautiful venue for their wedding day! The cozy, farm feel and those giant barn doors decked out with twinkling lights. Picture-perfect and oh-so-romantic.

One very special feature of the day was the incorporation of Sally’s grandma’s star brooch and Jacob’s grandparents’ wedding necklace. Sentimental touches that made their day even more special!

Their advice for couples that are in the wedding planning process is to talk it out with your partner. Figure out what’s most important to you both. For Sally and Jacob, it was all about photography and food – the good stuff!

Sally and Jacob’s wedding was a cozy, love-filled affair that perfectly captured the essence of fall in Kansas City. It was an absolute joy to be part of their special day, snapping away and soaking in all the warmth and happiness. Here’s to many more love stories like theirs in the KC!

Weston Red Barn Farm | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Amidst August’s warmth, I ventured into Shawnee Mission Park with the B’s for family portraits. Choosing Shawnee Mission Park as the backdrop provided vibrant green foliage and a stunning setting. The family’s wardrobe, a blend of bright and dark neutrals, harmonized seamlessly with the natural palette, creating timeless yet vibrant portraits.

For families planning their session, consider these tips:

Coordinate Outfits: Opt for a color palette that complements the natural surroundings. A mix of bright and dark neutral colors can add depth and visual appeal.

Choose the Right Time: Scheduling your session during the golden hours of early morning or late afternoon ensures soft, flattering light that enhances the warmth of family moments.

Embrace Candid Moments: While posed shots are essential, candid moments capture the true essence of your family. Encourage playful interactions and genuine expressions to create authentic memories.

Plan Poses Ahead: Discuss with your photographer about specific poses or moments you want to capture. This ensures a variety of shots that reflect your family’s personality.

Relax and Enjoy: Family portraits are about creating memories together. Embrace the joy of the moment, and let the photographer capture the genuine connections between family members.

The B’s family’s session at Shawnee Mission Park radiates love and joy. As they braved August’s heat, their portraits stand testament to familial warmth, love, and timeless bonds. I had a blast capturing it!

Shawnee Mission Park Family Session | Kansas City Family Photographer

Located in the artsy district of The Crossroads in Kansas City, UNION was built in 1929 as a film
processing center. Fast-forward 90 years and now UNION is home to a unique 24-hour event space.

Creating the Space

Remodeling of the building began in 2018, and in 2019 UNION hosted its first wedding. Some of
the key features of the event space include the natural, exposed brick walls, wood flooring, and
restrooms and bars located on all three levels. UNION also utilizes market lights to create a romantic
atmosphere for a romantic celebration. Getting ready rooms are also available for both sides of the
party; access starts at the beginning of the rental period, and each room is furnished with all the
essentials for a memorable morning-of experience.

Venue Features

Additional perks of the space include the use and availability of all three levels to host the
ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. The space can comfortably accommodate up to 200 guests but
are open to more depending on the layout and flow of the event. This is to ensure that clients are less
stressed about traveling back and forth from different day-of locations. UNION also has vendor flexibility
and BYOB beverage services to ensure everyone has a great time. The space is fitted with gorgeous
wooden farm tables, auxiliary tables, and metal bistro chairs that are available with a reservation.

Bringing the Building Back to Life

The team at UNION spent significant time and resources to bring back the vibrant and raw
materials to combine modern with industrial and rustic for a truly stunning event. The combination of
those elements forms an ambiance that needs very little, if any, décor. The event space does come with
additional décor options for clients, including ceremony backdrops, pipes and drapes, greenery
installations, market light walls, and more.

Planning and Coordination

The in-house planning services at UNION range from Day-of Coordination to Full-Service
Planning. Though there is an additional cost, the investment is worthwhile since clients receive such a
knowledgeable planning team. UNION also provides a robust list of potential vendors from their Vendor List, but they are more than happy to work with new vendors and add to their fantastic list of talented vendors.

A Quote from Jessica

When asked what their favorite part of working in the wedding industry is, the Venue Manager
at UNION, Jessica, replied:

“Honestly, we just love LOVE! Personally, my favorite part of working in this wedding industry is the constant movement of the job itself. There are never two identical weddings, so I love to take a couple’s visions, budgets, and personal touches and help them create their vision in our space. It’s fun to run a venue like UNION, because it’s truly a different timeline, flow, vendor team, and style with every celebration here. It tests my creativity as a Venue Manager and Planner and gives us our couples the chance to incorporate everything they have been dreaming of together!”

Capturing Special Moments

I’ve had the pleasure of capturing multiple weddings at UNION and love the space! I hope to work with them again in the future.

UNION Venue Spotlight | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

As the class of 2024 prepares for their next chapter, it was wonderful to capture Ava from Louisburg High School! A session that seamlessly blended her sophistication and spunk. We got to explore the iconic Kauffman Stadium and the vibrant streets of downtown Kansas City.

Ava, a radiant senior with a personality as dynamic as her wardrobe, effortlessly transitioned between three distinct outfits. The session kicked off with Ava donning a sweet white dress that exuded timeless elegance. Against the backdrop of Kauffman Stadium, the soft hues complemented Ava’s natural grace, creating a series of portraits that encapsulated the purity of her senior year.

Transitioning to downtown Kansas City, Ava embraced her vibrant side in a spunky mosaic top paired with crisp white jeans. The juxtaposition of the eclectic patterns against the urban backdrop added a playful touch to the session. As we meandered through the city’s dynamic streets, Ava’s radiant smile radiated through every frame.

For the grand finale, Ava showcased her bold and daring side in a silky maroon top paired with sleek black leather pants. This ensemble perfectly mirrored her confidence and determination as she approaches the threshold of a new chapter in life. Against the backdrop of the city’s skyline, the rich colors and textures created a stunning visual narrative, symbolizing the limitless possibilities awaiting Ava beyond high school.

As a senior portrait photographer, there is immense joy in capturing the individuality of each graduating senior. Ava’s session was a perfect blend of elegance and edge. Congratulations to Ava and the Class of 2024!

Kauffman Stadium Senior Session | Kansas City Photographer

On a picturesque fall day Bridget and Peter tied the knot at The Otten on Main. The vibrant colors of Fall set the stage, creating a magical atmosphere that perfectly reflected the couple’s love story. I’ve had the pleasure of capturing moments for Bridget and Peter since the beginning of their engagement! It has been a pleasure to be apart of their story.

Memorable Moments

One of the most memorable aspects of Bridget and Peter’s wedding was their commitment to cherishing private moments together! The day was sprinkled with special moments – a breathtaking first look, shared vows in seclusion before the ceremony, a quiet elevator ride post-ceremony, a moment to savor dinner amid their guests, a private last dance, and a nightcap at the hotel bar after their grand exit. These cherished moments allowed them to fully immerse themselves in the joy of the occasion.

The wedding felt surreal for Bridget and Peter, a culmination of months of planning and excitement. The sheer joy and love surrounding them made the day feel electric. The rooftop view of the Kansas City skyline, adorned with string lights and a spacious dance floor, added a unique touch to the celebration. The Crossroads location facilitated easy access for guests, enhancing the overall experience.

Special Sentiments

Bridget cherished her bouquet, a personalized creation from the City Market Farmer’s Market flowers, crafted with the help of her bridesmaids. Peter appreciated the sentimental touch of using champagne coupes during dinner, a tradition passed down from both sets of parents.

Bridget and Peter’s wedding at The Otten on Main was a beautiful celebration of love, autumn, and the unique bond they share. As a wedding photographer, capturing such heartfelt moments is a privilege.

The Otten on Main | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

This week I caught up with Lexi Nardini, the Owner and Director of Floral and Design at Love, Lilacs! I love collaborating with other talented wedding vendors in the KC area. Having photographed multiple weddings that have featured Lexi’s beautiful floral designs, I know how talented she it. I asked if I could pick her brain about all things wedding floral and as always, she didn’t disappoint!

When did you start your business and what drew you to becoming a florist and business owner?

I went to college at the University of Missouri for a degree in event planning! The dream was to be a wedding planner- I just love all things weddings! During my junior year, I took the intro to floral design class as a fun elective, and fell in love with it. I went on to get my minor in floral design, and along the way decided to switch career paths and become a wedding florist instead! I used my knowledge of floral, along with my events/business degree as a perfect combination to start my business after college. The rest is history!

What are some of your favorite current wedding floral trends?

As my business name may hint, I loveeeeee springy florals. My favorite weddings are the classic springy pastels- a trend I don’t think will ever go out of style!

How far in advance do you recommend couples reach out to you about wedding floral planning?

 I usually recommend around 12 months out, and I would say that is the standard I see. But with that being said, I get a whole range! Some two years in advance, and some a couple months away. There is never a wrong time to reach out to me, I am always happy to help! You never know when your favorite vendor could be available, so always check just to be sure. Maybe your date will still be open and maybe not, but always worth the ask in my opinion!

How do you balance creating pieces that look current and also stand the test of time?

Balance is the key with designing! This pertains to lots of different elements in the design process, including symmetry, negative space, bloom size, etc. I always work with the couple to make sure they know what to expect with our florals, and explain to them how we can make sure they are timeless while following the trends at the same time. This all happens during our design meetings, and if the couple is unsure on how to go about this, I am always happy to lead the way with questions to help us get there!

How to you help couples determine what style of florals they are looking for?

If I have a couple that is having trouble deciding on their aesthetic, a great place to start is talking about the season of their wedding. This really gets the conversation going and helps me determine what they like and don’t. Another element is my look-books! I create a custom look-book for each couple, full of ideas, inspiration photos, pricing, descriptions, etc. This look-book is what we refer to at our first meeting/consult, and having that visual really helps us dream up the perfect florals for them!

If you could give couples planning their wedding one piece of advice pertaining to florals, what would it be?

My go-to advice for couples is to repurpose those ceremony florals to the reception! I know this is kind of obvious for vendors, but some newly weds aren’t aware of this and it’s such a money saver! The ceremony tends to be a short period of time, so might as well use those florals throughout the entire event. An example of this is grounded aisle markers (lining the aisle) being moved to tables as centerpieces, or moving the floral arch at the altar to frame the couple behind the sweetheart table. There are tons of possibilities!

What are you most looking forward to within your business in 2024?

I am looking forward to growing our Love, Lilacs team! I absolutely love wedding florals, so bringing more girlies to the LL team will allow us to take on even more, which is the dream!

If you are in the process of planning your wedding, I highly recommend saving this post to come back to as you dive into floral planning. And if you haven’t picked out a florist yet, give Lexi and call to see if working with her would be a good fit for you. She is truly wonderful at what she does!

All Things Wedding Floral Q+A | Guest Blog – Love, Lilacs

Forty minutes North of Downtown Kansas City, White Iron Ridge is nestled in the soft fields of Clay County, Missouri. What began as a small vision for owner, Rebecca ‘Becky’ Hofmeister, soon expanded into a full-fledged wedding venue operation with the help and drive from family friend Amanda Newton.

The Vision

Amanda: “[Becky brought me] in to help propel her vision, and [we] started designing and dreaming together. Land was purchased, a construction team was hired, plans were made, and we started booking couples for future wedding dates as we started building.”

The White Iron Ridge event space is located on Seventy-two privately held acres. The all-white barn is completed with unique and stunning chandeliers, a grand staircase. It also features Overnight Guest Suites for up to Thirty-two guests and a Honeymoon Suite. The entire event space can accommodate up to 350 guests.

The Amenities

Amanda describes the aesthetic as: “Elegant, white, and clean.” The all-white event space is the perfect canvas for any style wedding or event.

Though there is no onsite coordinator, the Event Manager is there all day to make sure the entire process runs smoothly.

Says Amanda: “We give our couples access [to the site] starting at 8 a.m. so they can get ready in our onsite Bridal Suite.” The Bridal Suite is equipped with large mirrors, salon stations, a steamer, and a private bathroom. They have everything needed to make sure the ladies look their best. The groom and groomsmen also have a space to get ready! Their space includes a T.V., a gaming console, and a wet bar – everything needed to keep the gentlemen occupied.

As far as outside vendors, Amanda says: “We welcome outside vendors and continue to welcome vendors to build new partnerships. We also have an awesome recommended vendor list we provide all couples!”

When asked what her favorite part of working in the wedding industry is, Amanda replied: “I love being a part of the beginning of each couple’s journey as they pick their date and venue. [I love] hearing their vision and excitement as they start planning, and then seeing their vision come to life and witnessing one of the happiest days of their lives.”

I have had the opportunity to capture multiple weddings at White Iron Ridge and can attest to it’s beauty! If you think you may be interested, give them a call or fill out the contact form on their website.

White Iron Ridge Venue Spotlight | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Kansas City has so many wonderful options when it comes to wedding venues! One of the things I love about this area is that you can find a location in the heart of downtown, or you can drive 15 minutes and find yourself a little slice of solitude. The Barn at Riverbend is a quaint and classic outdoor venue right outside of KC that offers wonderful amenities and picturesque landscapes.

I loved that Natalie choose two dresses that perfectly captured her personality. One very classic and beautiful white gown for the ceremony and one very colorful floral gown for the reception. Her colors of her reception gown perfectly complimented the colors of her bridesmaid’s dresses and the florals for the wedding and reception.

I had the opportunity to meet Natalie and Colin’s dog, Huckleberry, during their engagement session. I was so happy to be able to photograph him again at the wedding! He showed up dressed to the nines in his very best tie, it was adorable.

The Barn at Riverbend has a unique ceremony area. It is located at the bottom of a ravine, and there is a tiered wooden walkway to get down to the seated ceremony area. Shaded with large trees and overlooking a beautiful field, it makes for a perfectly picturesque moment!

I feel very blessed to have been apart of Natalie and Colin’s journey. From capturing their engagement session, to photographing their wedding – I hope to be apart of many more of their big moments in the future!

Vendors

Planner: @truelovecoordingatinganddesign
Photo: @natalie.nichole.photos
Video: @a.r.c.media
DJ: @platinumdjkc
Catering: @brancatoscatering
Florist: @beyondthebloom_kc
Hair: @hairsalonkc and @shelbydoesmyhair_
Makeup: @olivia.taylor.makeup
Dress: @truesociety_bybellevogue @essenseofaustralia
Dog Service: @katies.kennel
Shuttle: @showtime_transportation
Venue: @thebarnatriverbend

The Barn at Riverbend | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

As we ring in the new year I think it is important to note some 2024 wedding trends for the year ahead. If you, or someone you know, is planning a wedding take a look at some of the upcoming wedding trends below!

Restaurant Receptions

Big and small receptions are starting to move from a venue space into restaurants! This option isn’t right for everyone, but if you are looking for an easy, laid-back, all-inclusive “reception” option it would be something to look into. There are a lot of restaurants that have the space to accommodate large parties. You can work with the restaurant to come up with a menu, and ask if you can put out some decorations in the area you will be sitting. Some restaurants even have the space for a small dance floor!

Private Ceremonies

Are you a little anti-social? For some people the idea of saying intimate vows in front of a group of your family and friends makes their skin crawl. But they still want to have that special moment with their significant other. This is where private ceremonies come into play. Whether it is just you and your SO exchanging vows, or a small ceremony with only the wedding party and immediate family with a larger reception to follow, private ceremonies are growing in popularity. 

Bows

Decorations have always played a large role in weddings. One specific kind of decoration that is trending is the use of bows! Bows on dresses, bows in hair, bows tied around candles and glassware; you name it. Bows can be a timeless, classic, and elegant addition to any wedding day!

Wedding Crests/Logos

Gone are the days of wedding hashtags. One of my favorite 2024 wedding trends is the creation of a wedding logo! Being able to brand things like favors for your bridal shower, matching shirts for the bachelorette, whiskey glasses for the bachelor trip, and napkins for the reception help pull everything together. How fun is it to work with your spouse to come up with something special that you can continue to use as a symbol of your marriage in the future?! 

Champagne Towers

People always say that trends come back around – this is one that is back with a vengeance! Champagne towers are a fun and very picturesque way to add a little spunk to your wedding reception. Just make sure it will be built well and you are okay with wasting a little champagne before you add it to your reception list. 

Friends/Family Officiants

For some people it is hard to decide who will officiate their wedding. Maybe they aren’t religious, or don’t have a great relationship with anyone within their religion. Maybe they do, but they want someone who has known them their whole life to officiate their wedding. Over the past few years it has become easier to become an officiant online, making the trend of family and friends officiating weddings to soar. 

Late Night Snacks 

Picture this: it’s 11pm and you’ve been dancing your butt off for the past 3 hours. You’re 4 drinks in and you haven’t eaten anything since dinner was served at 6pm; you are starving. The next thing you know, the DJ announces that late night snacks are being set out for the guests to enjoy. How awesome is that?! It can be meat and cheese platters, sliders, or even taco bell. Just a little something to hold your guests over so they can dance the night away!

Candid Family Photographs

As trends start to transition wedding photography from portrait style to documentation style, we will start to see more candids, especially with family members. Couples want authentic memories with their loved ones captured, as well as the portraits. Some couples are even planning a family champagne toast right after the wedding ceremony to help get those authentic candid photographs!

None of these trends 2024 wedding trends are absolute. There are many more that continue to rise and will inevitably fall. But I thought these were popular enough to point out to brides who were in the planning process! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. (:

2024 Wedding Trends | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

As 2023 comes to a close and 2024 begins I wanted to hop on and recap my busiest year yet! A letter from Nat, if you will.

Over the past 12 months I captured a total of 101 sessions, 23 of those being weddings. That averages to almost 2 weddings a month!! I had a total of 40 Lightroom catalogs for the year, each with lots of time spent editing. I also filled 5 hard drives and 28 SD cards!

Just to give you a glimpse into what an average year in photos looks like – I took 159,944 photos total. I edited 39,488 of those photos and delivered 124 total galleries!

The most popular sessions on my schedule were couples, families, and maternity. But I captured so many different sessions and had a BLAST!

It may vary from month to month, but overall, my most used apps this year were Honeybook (client and project management), Google Docs, Instagram, and Gmail. 

It was the busiest and BEST year yet. I feel so incredibly blessed to serve Kansas City and surrounding areas because I truly have the best clients! I look forward to many more great years ahead. Cheers to 2023; let’s see what you’ve got in store 2024!

XOXO,

Nat

A Letter From Nat | Kansas City Wedding Photographer