Kurt and Kristen are a POWER COUPLE. They build friendships to last, which was so evident by their bridal party (14 friends, plus ushers and personal attendants)! It is also true for the two of them… they were friends for a long time before dating came into the picture, and then they dated long-distance when Kristen lived overseas for a year. After a whirlwind five-month-engagement, March finally rolled around!!!

This wedding meant extra to me. Not only are these two people I want to keep in my phone book for years to come, but I got to reunite with so many of my friends —and past couples! Thanks Iowa State Navigators for all the community over the years. ;)

All week, we were praying the temperature would go up… and God answered with a resounding YES! Originally, the high was to be 8 degrees… and we hit mid-twenties! The sun even peeked out some. The girls were especially thankful for that, and their shawls to fend off the wind. The guys and girls got ready at New City Church, where the ceremony would take place. They really kicked into gear once I arrived! Let’s start with a few detail photos…

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Daddy-daughter first looks are always so sweet. Cue the tears. I’m always a mess when it comes to dad moments on wedding days!

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first look with dad

… and on to the first look with bridesmaids…

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Time to share the REAL first look! Kristen was set on seeing Kurt in the gazebo out at Usher’s Ferry. None of us were sure if that would be possible. We’ve had record amounts of snow this winter! But Kurt and I wandered over, and thankfully it was mostly clear of the white stuff. Kristen’s personal assistants were so wonderful in bringing her over and helping her through all the snow and ice! Also, Melissa’s excited face below brings me joy! :)

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My sweet second shooter Hannah got some fun photos of me on Saturday. Let’s just say my boots are NOT tall enough for all the snow we’ve accumulated this winter in Iowa!!!

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The sweetest sister moment.


Everyone bussed back to the church, warmed up…and then it was time to walk down the aisle!


Fun Fact! Jenna and Liz led worship during the ceremony (next photo). I photographed Jenna’s sister’s wedding and Liz’s wedding!

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Post-ceremony, we snapped family photos and then bundled up for a ride back over to the reception space to greet the guests. This was my third wedding reception that I’ve photographed at Usher’s Ferry in Cedar Rapids! I love this venue. Now if I could only shoot there in the summer… ha. (And if this day looks familiar, yes! I did just photograph Emily and Joel’s wedding here in January.)

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After dinner, the four best men/women gave speeches. They were all so heartfelt & kind! (My favorite was Kristen’s sister sharing about how Kristen changed her life through example, Jesus, and crocs. Haha!! The best.)

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I’ve wanted to take a photo like this at so many weddings in the past, and it finally happened! FIVE of my current/past brides were in attendance or involved in the wedding! SUCH JOY TO MY HEART! #ARPbridesforever From left to right, Liz, Katie, Kristen, Joelle, and Jenny! <3

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One of my favorite parts of the day is spending time taking “sunset photos” with the bride and groom! Usher’s Ferry has some sweet little buildings, and it was fun to wander around with Kurt and Kristen to take a few more photos of the just two of them. Of course, it was a lot colder… so we didn’t stay outside tooooo long. ;)

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First dances are so sweet, and this was no exception. Kurt and Kristen were wrapped up in their own little world. Lots of kisses, twirls, and one epic kiss-and-dip!

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The guests made their way out to the dance floor… and although my coverage was ending, I had to snap a few photos. Plus, the cutest little dancer makes an appearance in footie PJ’s at the end!!!!

wedding dance

Wedding Dress: Hope’s Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Old Navy
Veil: Veil Trends (designed by sister-in-law, Lana!)
Dusty Blue Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Azazie
Wedding Florals: HyVee
Catering: Kalona Kountry Katering
Ice Cream: Sundblad Ice Cream