They can write stories
They can sing songs
But they don’t make fairy tales
Sweeter than ours.
— Johnnyswim

What words can you use when your best friend marries her love? It’s an incredible thing! And to be there for most of the moments, capturing them on camera—wow. so wild. The amount of happy tears shed during this day were enough to fill a small teacup, but they’re the kind of tears you treasure. Usually because words of love and tenderness were being spoken at the same time. :)

Emily grew up in Cedar Rapids, so that’s where she and her man from Minnesota got married. (I guess it evens out because they move to MN this coming week! Her parents hosted the bridesmaids and personal attendants—I think about 14 people slept in their home the night before the wedding! It was also where Emily got ready, and 5 minutes away from the first look location. Absolutely the most special way to start off your wedding morning—surrounded by the places and people who feel most like home to you. <3

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Emily’s grandmother wore this dress when she wed, years ago. It was stunning and in incredible condition! It was tailored to fit Emily (her grandmother was literally skinny as a stick, and I think about 6 feet tall!) but you couldn’t have asked for a classier or more timeless dress…or gorgeous bride. Who also really loves her chacos and wore them over socks. ;) Class and comfort!

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Peep those cute goat rainboots! It was the 5th of January, and SO warm. 40 degrees!? Maybe more, I can’t remember now. But that meant lots of melting snow and mushy mud. Thankfully, this entire crew was SO wonderful about it. And nobody slipped! #blessed

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I’m obsessed with this crew. They’re some of the kindest and most joyful people you could know. Also, 2nd from the left is Shelby (one of my 2018 brides!) and next to her is Morganne, bff and future ARP bride! MY HEART IS SO HAPPY!

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After Joel and Emily shared communion, they invited their siblings up to pray for them. I loved how simple it was, and yet how profound. The ones they fought and played with growing up, now invited to speak words of grace and truth over their marriage. cue the tears!

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We took family photos after the ceremony, and I won’t share any of those here…because you probably don’t really care about that. ;) But then we headed to the reception. The GORGEOUS historic village of Usher’s Ferry in Cedar Rapids is a great wedding venue & I’m excited to say I get to photograph there again in March! But I don’t know if it’ll beat the tones we caught in January. WOW. Just you wait—these are some great portraits!

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Iowa Wedding Vendors
Usher’s Ferry in Cedar Rapids
Dress: Grandmother’s Dress
Shoes: Chacos
Hairpiece: Etsy
Bridesmaids’ dresses: DCdress
Florist: Sue Linse
Catering: Panera Bread