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!
There are so many special moments to be captured on your wedding day! Family portraits are a great way to remember what loved one’s were there to celebrate with you. Depending on the size of your family, this process may be quick or take a little while. The best way to ensure it goes by smoothly and everyone gets a photography is to be prepared! I’ve put together some tips for how to prepare for fast and organized family portraits.
Once your RSPV’s have come back and you know who will be attending the wedding start by making a list of everyone who will be attending the “family portrait” portion of the wedding. This typically takes place right after the ceremony. It is important to make a list because sometimes it is more than just family who needs to stay. It is also important to let anyone who should be staying that they are on the list, so they don’t leave!
After you’ve made you list it’s time to start organizing it! I recommend starting with one partner’s side of the family and then work your way to the other’s. Write down all the different groupings you’d like photographed. Parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Narrow your groupings down to the exact photographs you want. What I mean by this is if you want photographs with each grandparent, write them down individually (ie. picture with Grandma, picture with Grandpa, and picture with Grandma AND Grandpa). This way there is no confusion between you and your photographer. There will be so much going on that you may not remember that you wanted individual pictures with them and if you don’t write it down you will likely just get a group photo.
When you are done creating all your groupings it is important to share the list with your photographer! If you have a wedding planner or a day of coordinator it is important to share with them, as well. If you want everyone to be informed, you can also share it with anyone who is on your list so they know they need to stay back after the ceremony. When they ceremony is over, have the Officiant make an announcement reminding anyone who is taking family portraits to stay back instead of leaving.
List, or no list, you’re wedding day is going to be perfect! Family members will hang back so they can be photographed with the Newlyweds and then head to the reception. Being prepared just helps move the process along quickly!
I know it’s hard to imagine now (in the heat of July!) but Kansas City winters are COLD. As a Kansas City photographer I’m shooting weddings year round, so I’ve seen my fair share of winter weddings. If you’re planning a winter wedding this blog is for YOU.
If your dream is to have a wedding ceremony with white snowflakes floating through the air, wearing the ice queen dress of your dreams, with snow frosting the trees, as your guests bask in the beautiful oasis of your love, I get it.
Be crystal clear on your wedding invites that the ceremony will be outside so that everyone can dress accordingly. I’ve seen some couples offer blankets as wedding favors. I’ve also been to a couple weddings where they set out space heaters! I promise your guests will appreciate the forethought.
Work with your officiant to plan a wedding ceremony that doesn’t last more than 30 minutes or so. Everyone is excited about your big day and wants to focus on that without the distraction of numb fingers or toes!!
This is a cute way to get the outside vibe while providing coverage from any inclement Kansas City weather. Make sure to ask if the tent rental company needs insurance! Also ask if they’ll set it up for you. If not, plan accordingly to have some friends set it up the morning of or the day before. You can use cute lights to decorate the ceiling, or hang lanterns around to add to the ambiance.
I definitely recommend an indoor wedding reception venue so your guests can be comfortable while they eat, mingle, dance, & hang out. If your dream has always been a beautiful outdoor ceremony, ask your wedding venue what their backup plan is in case of inclement weather.
Last minute weather situations are why I always suggest hiring a wedding planner as well! They can work with the staff & the team of vendors on the backup plan. Planning ahead and delegating jobs means you can enjoy your winter wonderland wedding day worry free.
You could even have this available before the wedding ceremony! This is a fun way to keep everyone warm and to really make it a winter themed wedding. Offer toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows, or candy canes. It’s a cozy and memorable treat everyone will love.
You deserve to have the wedding of your dreams. No matter the season, your wedding will be beautiful and your love will be everlasting. For more wedding planning tips check out these blogs; How to Prepare for Rain on your wedding day, How to choose your wedding photographer, Wedding Planning Advice from real brides, and much more!
After months, or maybe even years of planning, there’s always one thing we can’t plan ourselves; the weather. But!! We can prepare ourselves for rain on your wedding day. My biggest wish as a wedding photographer in Kansas City is that I could have magical powers to control the weather.
Do you know rain on your wedding day is actually good luck?? 🌧
You know the saying “tying the knot” well, rain on a knot is only going to make it tighter and harder to undo. Rain on your wedding day symbolizes adding strength to your marriage.
This saying might have only come around to help keep couples calm when the weather isn’t ideal on their day, but the sentiment is cute☔️
And as a Kansas City wedding photographer, I have a few real tips to actually help you if it rains on your day:
If you’re planning for an outdoor ceremony have a way to prevent your guests from getting soaked. This could be moving your ceremony indoors or a big tent on hand you can set up if needed.
Clear umbrellas are great for your wedding party to use during photos, this will add to the aesthetic of the day and you’ll still be able to have photos outside! Check these out from amazon.
I know rain on your wedding probably isn’t what you were dreaming about since you were little, but remember when you were a kid and you begged your parents to let you go play in the rain? Bring that energy into your wedding day!
And besides; who doesn’t love a romantic kiss in the rain? Your whole wedding day will be like a movie.
Always remember; even on the rainiest of days the storm will always clear. You might even get a few precious moments of you and your love outside with the cloudy skies or maybe even a little sunshine.
For more wedding planning tips by a Kansas City wedding photographer check out a few more of my blogs.
Planning a COVID-safe wedding reception might look different, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult or any less fun. You can still have the day of your dreams with all the people you love! Keep reading to see ideas on how to entertain your guests while still keeping them safe.
For crowds that aren’t big into dancing, or to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, yard games are super popular. You can get cornhole, ladder toss, or giant Jenga to set outside for your guests to play. I’ve even seen some couples use trash cans or buckets to make giant beer pong!
If you anticipate bad weather, or if you don’t want to risk it, you can plan to set up the games inside. If you want people to stay at their assigned tables but want entertainment, here’s an idea that is sure to blow your guests away.
I seriously recommend Felix and Fingers. Your wedding will be the talk of the town for years, if not DECADES to come. They took song suggestions from the crowd, sang things from all genres, and even brought their own colored lights. They encouraged people to sing along, so it was not only a great show, but super interactive! This is perfect for a socially distanced wedding.
Alicen & Brenton got married in November at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so their guests’ safety was their number one priority. The dueling pianos entertained the guests after dinner at the Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence.
Instead of the traditional buffet-style dinner, consider having pre-portioned food at various stations throughout the room. This prevents people from all touching the same serving utensils, and your ushers can direct a couple of tables at a time to prevent crowding.
Ask your caterer if they have servers that will bring plates to each guest at their tables.
Food trucks are gaining popularity in the wedding industry as well! This makes it easier for the caterer to distance from the guests.
If your venue has an outdoor option, see if you can make a few campfires. Set out a table with marshmallows, chocolate bars, & graham crackers. I’ve seen S’mores at a couple of weddings and they’re always a big hit.
You’ll definitely want assigned seats at a COVID-safe wedding reception. To avoid awkward silences or restlessness, offer some table games! I’ve seen tic-tac-toe, decks of cards or even question starters to spark conversation. If you’ll have lots of kids at your wedding, print out coloring pages!
Check out more Covid safe weddings here on the blog Dakota + Jake; How They Went From a Large Wedding to Intimate an Elopement or How to Downsize Your Wedding
You’ve found the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony and reception but don’t forget about the morning of your wedding! The getting ready space for the morning of your wedding is a fun place to spend your last moments as a single gal preparing for the day of your dreams. Choosing your getting ready space is easy once you know what to look for.
You want cute pictures with your best friends PLUS you need a practical space to do your hair and make-up. Don’t stress or wonder about what to look for. Here’s a simple guide on choosing the PERFECT getting ready space for the morning of your wedding.
Look for a space with natural light: big windows & lots of open space for the inevitable pre-ceremony dance party with your girls. A good photographer can shoot in any light but natural is always best!
Look for a house that has big counter space, lots of plugs, and lots of mirrors. You might need to bring some mirrors from home, depending on how big your party is! Bonus points if there’s a full-length mirror.
My brides always love to find a big couch or bed to take cute pictures on with them and their bridesmaids in their robes or matching shirts. Plus this is a cozy place to relax if someone needs a minute to sit down.
A space with plenty of chairs or tables to sit down at is helpful if you have any moms or grandmas getting ready with you – and for a sweet spot to write your vows or a letter to the love of your life. This is also helpful to sit down and put your shoes on.
For an iconic wedding dress picture, find a place to hang your wedding dress. Some brides find a place outside, in a closet, or in a room somewhere. While this makes for a gorgeous and memorable photo, it’s also important to have a designated spot for your dress so it doesn’t get in the way.
Choose a place with neutral backgrounds – no tacky art on the walls, nothing distracting, and no crazy or bright wallpaper. We don’t want anything in the back of your photos to take away from the moment.
Another way to prevent distracting photos is to keep your area clean. I always suggest keeping all your stuff on one side of the room so there’s space for everyone to move around. Doing this also means there’s less clutter in the back of your photos.
If the weather is nice, take the party outside for a few shots with a different background.
Find a place that is close to your wedding venue to save time and gas money.
Look on Air BNB or VRBO for houses that have the features you want. If your wedding party needs a place to stay for the weekend, book the house for an extra night!
It’s actually pretty common for venues to have a bridal suite for getting ready the morning of your wedding. Check with your Kansas City venue to see if their space works for your group and unique needs!
You don’t need to spend more money than you need to. If any of your friends offer, get ready at their house!
These are just some tips to choosing your getting-ready space for the morning of your wedding. As a Kansas City wedding photographer, I’ve seen it all. Feel free to DM me on Instagram or shoot me an email if you have any questions!
At the end of the day, you’ll be married to your best friend and the love of your life, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy your morning preparing for the most romantic day ever. Let yourself be spoiled by your loved ones! The photos from the morning of your wedding will be authentic and take you right back to the moment before the best day of your life.
Check out these blog posts for more inspo on great getting ready spaces: Summer Wedding at The Hawthorne House, How to Elope in Kansas City -Advice from a Real Couple, and Wedding Photos at the Museum at Prairie Fire Overland Park, Kansas.
Destiny and Ross were planning their wedding during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. They opted for a Kansas City wedding with a backyard reception. Celebrating with their friends and family while also keeping everyone safe and comfortable was their main priority.
When I first spoke with Destiny I was eager to hear all about their wedding day plans. She told me how excited they were to just be married already. They wanted to keep their wedding on the smaller side but still throw an awesome party. Destiny and I connected instantly. She told me they wanted their photographer to be someone that was easy to talk to, shared their vision, and that they could trust to capture all of their most important memories from their day.
After our first conversation Destiny was sure I was the photographer for them. I always stay well connected to my couples in the months leading up to their wedding, especially during such an uncertain year of 2020. I kept them informed on any new guidelines or restrictions that were put in place for Kansas City and the Independence Area. My couples know they have my support 100% and that I am here to help make their experience stress free from the minute they inquire to the end of wedding day, gallery delivery day, and beyond.
Finally wedding day was here!! It was a beautiful summer day in early September. Destiny and Ross had their ceremony outdoors at Stoney Creek Hotel in Independence Missouri. The lush trees and pond were a gorgeous setting for their intimate ceremony.
We then headed to their family backyard for their reception. Great weather, good drinks, and upbeat music was all this couple needed celebrate their new marriage with their friends and family.
I was so happy I was able to be a part of Destiny and Ross’ big day. They were able to completely be themselves while I was there to capture photos that were authentic to them. Photographing important moments form their Kansas City wedding with a backyard reception that they’ll remember for years to come.
Once you begin planning your dream wedding you’ll start reaching out to various vendors. The vendor most couples are looking forward to hiring the most is their photographer. You want to make sure your day is documented from start to finish and captured authentically. These images will be your looking glass back to your wedding day, photos you’ll share with generations (no pressure) but how do you know how to choose your wedding photographer?
Does their style of work align with what you’re looking for?
Look through their portfolio and take note of how they use light throughout different times of day and different types of weather. Light can not be fully controlled during an entire wedding day so it’s important your photographer knows how to get the best images possible with what they have to work with! Request to see full wedding galleries not just the favorite instagram worthy pics.
Do you like how they edit the images? I suggest imagine you’re looking back on your photos 20 years from now, will they still look amazing because they are natural and timeless? or will it be like when your mom shows you clothes from the 80’s – trendy then but outdated now.
I can not stress this enough- make sure you hire a professional photographer for your wedding. There are no re-dos for wedding day photos. I have heard so many horror stories of couples wanting to save money so they hire a cheap photographer or someone that’s never photographed a wedding before then sure enough the photos don’t turn out well or worse…. the photographer bails at the last minute with no solution or replacement.
I would hate for that to happen to anyone. Stay on the safe side and hire a professional. Someone that has a portfolio of work, experience with weddings, and knows how to run their business. A true professional will have a contract, back up gear, and will be prepared for any sort of situation that could happen on your day.
This may be the most important element when searching through photographers. Choose a photographer that you genuinely get along with. You will be spending so much time with them during the planning process and even more time with them on the day of. Depending on the schedule of your day you might even spend more time with your photographer than your partner! Pick someone that makes you feel comfortable, understand your vision, and has your back on your wedding day.
Once you’ve read these tips on how to choose your wedding photographer check out what questions to ask your wedding photographer.
This year I asked my past brides to share their advice for future brides. All of the lovely ladies planning their weddings can take tips from brides that recently planned their own weddings. They all learned what is most important when it comes to wedding planning and making sure you enjoy your day of. Whether you’re planning a big wedding or an elopement these words of wisdom will be useful for you.
“I think my day went so perfectly because I didn’t freak out about small things. I didn’t even freak out about big things. I kept thinking, at the end of the day I will be married to my best friend, and whatever happens today is what was meant to be! I think having an easy going attitude during the whole thing helped a lot.”
“Do what you want and do not plan too much! You should have a simple idea and schedule of the day, but planning it to the T takes away the fun of it! What worked for us was the simplicity of it all. We stayed at our hotel to prepare, the hotel was extremely close to the elopement location, we allowed the scenery and skyline to be our decorations, trusted in our pastor for the vows and ceremony, and focused on us. This was a decision that we would absolutely choose again and would recommend others to do as well!”
“It [the wedding day] really does go by so quickly and it’s over and done before you know it. Hire a day-of coordinator so you can leave all the details and worries to them and really soak in every moment of the day!”
“There are so many things to figure out, but if you can find the right vendors, who you feel you work well with and whose vision meshes with yours, it is a game changer. Don’t be afraid to ask vendors for advice on other aspects of your big day. Keep in mind they have typically done this many times and have likely seen things go right or not so right. A little professional advice never hurts.”
“Don’t stress it will all work out in the end. Just go with the flow and expect little bumps in the road.”
“If anything, wedding planning during a pandemic taught me to be much more go with the flow and embrace everything with a sense of humor. It allowed me to just say “whatever happens, happens.” I know it sounds cliche but what they say is true. Once you are up there with the love of your life, nothing else matters. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and just lean on each other, your families, and if you luck out like us, your amazing vendors. Take in every single moment standing up there. This is it, it’s here, you made it.”
These brides wanted to share their advice to soon-to-be brides to inspire them and give them the opportunity to learn from their experiences. Overall they all express the importance of not stressing over things you can’t control. Let whatever happens, happen. Just focus on enjoying your day to the fullest.
For more wedding inspo check out other wedding day blog posts.