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Jens and Cheyanne's Wedding at Samuel Cedars

“My love is deeper than the holler”

Temperatures were becoming cooler. The leaves were starting to change colors. The day of Cheyanne and Jens' wedding, it was warm. While it felt a little like summer, the decor yielded all the things we love about fall. A pumpkin welcome sign greeted guests as they entered. Fallen leaves covered the ground. Pops of pumpkin decor sat on steps, wrapped around archways, and lined the fireplace. In the reception space, tables were complete. The only thing missing was the cake.

Cheyanne, her bridesmaids, and mom were all getting ready in the bridal cottage. Each chair in front of a mirror was taken. I wished Cheyanne a happy wedding day and immediately grabbed her dress and headed outside. Since Jens wasn’t at the venue yet, I thought I would take this opportunity while I could 😉. After her dress, came her shoes. Cheyanne and Jens’ whole wedding party were planning to wear cowboy boots. Cheyanne had special cowboy boots ordered. Knee high white boots lined with pink on the inside. For jewelry, she was planning to wear diamond stud earrings and a white gold necklace with small gold accents. Her bouquet was a show stopper. Flowers of teal blue and orange. It was done perfectly and even the staff at Samuel Cedars was talking about how amazing it was!!!! The ring shot on this bouquet doesn’t even look real!!! AMAZING!! I finished up the details by photographing a few of Jens things. His tie, boutonniere, cologne, and cowboy boots. At this point, Jens had not arrived at the venue yet so I went back inside the bridal cottage. Cheyanne, her bridesmaids, and her mom were practicing a line dance they would be performing later in the evening to Blanco Browns’ “The Git Up.” Writing this the next day, this song keeps cropping back into my head. It’s so catchy 😁. After practice, Cheyanne showed me a blanket, and if I remember correctly, it was made by a patient as a gift on her wedding day. The ceremony was quickly approaching and Cheyanne needed to get in her dress. I left her to take some reception photos and a picture of her cake! It had officially arrived. Alex took a video of it to show Cheyanne so that they could double check the decor that had been left had been added to the cake. Luckily, it was and topped with her custom cake topper from Etsy as well as the flower decor!

As we finished up at the reception site, Jens had arrived! I told him I would be sending Alex over soon while I photographed Cheyanne! Cheyanne’s mom helped her finish zipping up her gown while her sister helped to include one final key getting ready detail. She put some glue (I believe it was nail glue? I was so impressed with the concept that I forgot the key detail lol) on the back of Cheyanne’s neck where the necklace clasp would sit so that the necklace would stay in place throughout the day. Brilliant! I'm going to be sharing that bit of genius with my future brides 🙌. It was now time for the ceremony.

Doug, the officiant, stopped me on the way up to verify the plan with bubbles. I ran back to Cheyanne to confirm. They planned to do a bubble exit down the aisle right after the kiss. I returned to tell Doug and he made sure guests were supplied with bubbles in preparation. Spoiler alert... 😂 As I went through the pictures, I don’t think any of the guests blew bubbles. They were all too busy clapping and celebrating along with the couple when they walked back down the aisle. As the ceremony began, Jens and Doug made their way to the altar. Jens carefully watched the wedding party until he turned his back. When the music dimmed and changed, Jens turned around. Waiting to see his bride at the perfect time. When he turned around to see her. His face broke into the biggest smile. Cheyanne walked with her dad. Upon arriving at the altar he shook Jens hand and took a seat. The clouds parted and the sun shone brightly as Cheyanne and Jens joined hands. I thought the sun would become blocked by clouds again, but it stayed strong during the entire ceremony. Cheyanne later mentioned how she had hoped that leaves would be falling like they were during the rehearsal the day before, but due to little wind. No leaves fell. But that is alright! They made their vows and exchanged rings. A kiss was shared and they turned to face their friends and family. Cheyenne threw her bouquet into the air in celebration and they made their way back down the aisle as husband and wife. The ceremony was followed by family portraits and wedding party.

As we finished up the wedding party photos, Doug tracked us down in order to determine when dinner needed to be ready. Since we were way ahead of schedule, they planned for dinner at 4:30. Doug left to help prep catering and we began taking portraits of them. I watched the time carefully. Right before we were done, Jens requested one final photos. He was so sweet. He asked, “can we take one photo in front of the tree without the bouquet and having my hands out of my pockets?” 😂 Jens, I am so sorry about the hands, I think we did chat about that during your engagement session, but Cheyanne and I would smile anytime you ended up carrying that bouquet. We know it wasn't your favorite. I have met many grooms that feel the same. But I promise those photos look really good!! After the one requested photo, we made our way back up to the reception space. Alex and I headed inside to prepare. As time went on, I started to wonder what was going on. I peeked outside and quickly figured it out 🤣. Cheyanne was still being bustled. I had forgotten the dress had a ton of bustle points and would take a while 😂. I think I even made a comment about it earlier in the day. But they got it!!! I was impressed.

Cheyanne and Jens made their entrance and went straight into their first dance to "Deeper than the Holler" by Randy Travis. They shared their first meal surrounded by their closest friends and family followed by the cake cutting. Cheyanne’s sister made a speech that brought tears to her eyes. The DJ asked if anyone wanted to say any other words to the bride and groom. Silence followed. I think most people in the room feared public speaking as much as I do 😂. Cheyanne shared a dance with her dad and Jens with his mom. The two of them planned a special dance for their honorary flower girl. They brought her up and started the Hokey Pokey. Eventually joined by Cheyanne’s mom and sister. A few dancing songs were played. It was almost sunset and I asked Cheyanne if she wanted to do field photos before her bouquet toss. She said field first, but Jens was out prepping firewood for the s'mores later. I went outside to let Jens know the plan and he went to grab his jacket. Heading to the field, the sky was full of clouds where spots of sun could peek through. Colors of deep purple, pink and orange. Realizing Cheyanne didn’t have her bouquet, Jens went to go grab it. When he returned the sun peeked out from the clouds. Flaming the sky orange. A perfect sunset to compliment Cheyanne’s wedding colors. PLUS fall colors in the trees. My photography heart exploded!!! I knew it wouldn't last long. While it didn’t, we used every possible second. As the sun disappeared, we took one final set of photos with their s'mores and headed back inside. Cheyanne quickly had her bouquet toss, smiling and laughing as there were only two people who could participate.

Guests started to head outside to spend time around the fire. Breaking into the s'mores. The honorary flower girl smiled as she told me she ended up having four! 😂 Because it was such a beautiful fall evening. Everyone remained outside for quite a while. Enjoying each other's company and the warmth from the fire. Some guests began to say their goodbyes. I knew Cheyanne and Jens were sticking around as they hadn’t done their dance to “The Git Up” yet. 😉. When the time came, Cheyanne, Jens, her sisters, and a few other family members stole the dance-floor and "The Git Up" made its appearance. But I have to note one thing that happened during this time. This has never happened before. When it was almost time to leave, Jens came up to me and said, “this one dance is for you guys.” I politely said, “oh no 😂 I’ll keep taking photos of you all dancing” (I’m much more comfortable behind the camera 😉). But Jens strongly insisted so I went and put my camera down. The DJ started the music and my ears perked in recognition. Thinking it was a familiar Disney song. But it wasn't. It was our first dance song. Romantic Flight by John Powl. I was caught so off guard my eyes teared and I almost started crying. Music is so powerful that it can take you back to moments that feel like yesterday. Even though Alex and I have been married for almost 6 years. This got me thinking how important your first dance song is. Take care in choosing it, because it will become one of your most powerful memories. Thank you to the DJ and Cheyanne and Jens for this special moment.

Cheyanne and Jens, your wedding will be one I won’t forget. You two have the kindest hearts and I knew you are going to touch so many lives in a positive way. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.

Cheyanne + Jens

Dream Team

Flowers: Linda's Flowers

DJ: Thomas Cash


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