This Omaha wedding day felt like everything a June midwestern wedding should! Loads of good friends, gorgeous flowers, sunshine, an outdoor "family style" dinner, and pie instead of cake.
Olivia & Phil's love story is straight out of a book. It almost could have never happened (...but God...) because Olivia grew up in Omaha and attended Northwestern College in Orange City, while Phil grew up in western Iowa but studied at Iowa State. Yet, Phil heard of Olivia through a brochure, revealing her heart and future plans to move to Nicaragua to do mission work. He wrote her an encouraging letter, and she --a bit surprised, but flattered-- wrote back.
Finally, a year after that first note, they met for a dinner date. Conversation flowed, laughter bubbled up, a another level of trust and comfortability was built. Shortly after, emails turned to phone calls, which turned into a long distance relationship. Olivia moved to Nicaragua, which led to many more letters, skype calls, questions & prayer. A proposal happened, plans were birthed, and after graduating grad school, Phil took an internship near Olivia in Nicaragua, where she showed him the life and land she loved.
We had to deliver Phil's letter from Olivia to him, so we snuck over to the first look location (at the gorgeous Boystown Reservoir) and captured his reactions. Every moment from this day was so genuine!
The following photo is my favorite wedding veil photo in all existence. Maybe even my favorite wedding photo I've ever taken! The veil was Olivia's mother's, so it was an extremely special piece for her wear!
After the first look/couple's photos, we regrouped with the entire bridal party in the Boystown Garden of the Bible. There wasn't much shade (it was noon, after all, in early June!) but there was plenty of green space! It was just what we needed for group photos. Also, shout out to this amazing wedding party! They were funny, willing to try some silly ideas, and all around great sports!
A quick lunch break, and then time for the ceremony! Olivia was a vision walking down the aisle with her dad, and Phil stood next to John --who grinned more than anything!
Instead of a unity candle, Phil and Olivia welded the last two pieces of a gorgeous stained glass rainbow together. THEY WELDED. By far the coolest thing I've ever seen during a wedding ceremony,. They'll be able to display this in their home forever, and when people ask about it... what a neat story!
Omaha has so many incredible outdoor wedding venue and reception places. The gorgeous parks alone in the Omaha area are enough to shoot in for a lifetime! Two of my favorite weddings have taken place in Omaha parks, Elmwood Grotto, and now this one, in Falconwood Park. (Fun fact about Falconwood! They do drive-in movies during the summer, and actually had one that evening after dark. If you live in Omaha, definitely check it out.)
Olivia & Phil submitted their love story to the New York Times, and it was selected to be in the paper--the DAY of their wedding! (If you didn't know, each weekend they highlight a wedding couple from that weekend. Just turns out these two married on a Sunday, which is the day it's the article is published!) If you'd like, you can read it online here.
This outdoor wedding reception took the cake! (Or should I say pie?) Comfort food, compostable plates, hanging twinkle lights, adorable decorations, and so much conversation and laughter held fast through the golden summery air. I'll never forget the sweetest (and longest) toast given by Olivia's two younger sisters. The three of them have a bond like I've never seen before, and multiple times I though they would break into song! (Seriously--felt like something from a musical!)
We snuck away to grab a few more sunset portraits. I have to mention, it was SO hard to pull these two away from their guests. (As it should be!) Olivia is just such a caring, people-minded gal and she was in her element, entertaining guests and saying hi to each one. Phil's also got a really close group of family friends from Atlantic, so between the two of them, I'm surprised that they didn't have a guest list of 500! It was a joy to spend this wedding day behind my camera, and observing this sweet couple starting out their marriage in such an others-centered way. Iekels, I adore you both and can't wait to see what the Lord does in your future!