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Mary and Hank's Wedding in Bolivar, MO

A Charming Fall Backyard Wedding in Bolivar, MO

The time was 6:00 a.m. Skies were black. Hardly any cars were about. The air was cool and crisp. The morning of Mary and Hank’s wedding had arrived. Temperatures were predicted to rise throughout the day as the sun made an appearance. Mary and Jaylee were busy at Urban Edge Salon getting their hair and makeup done. After visiting with them for a while, I headed to the place where the wedding was going to occur.

Mary and Hank planned their wedding at Mary's parent’s house. A large red brick colonial home situated on acres of land. As the sun rose, I took pictures of all the beautiful wedding details and ceremony space. Her dress, flowers, jewelry, and any other special items that came my way. I even stopped the car on the drive into the home to get a blue hour morning shot of the house. If you're not familiar with what blue hour is, it’s the time of day right before sunrise or right after sunset. The light all around you will appear blue. The neat thing about morning weddings is that golden hour is going to happen right after blue hour! While evening weddings are the reverse. As Mary arrived back from the salon, we switched gears to get her in her dress. I was excited that golden hour was going to occur in time for her getting in the dress photos. I took her, her sisters, and her mom outside from some dreamy dress shots. Kind of in love with them, they turned out stunning! 😍

After Mary was in her dress, we officially gave Hank the go ahead to head over to the house. It was time for the first look. Walking to the tree line, we placed Hank in his spot facing away so that when Mary walked up, he couldn’t see her. 😉 I ran back to grab Mary. Once they were both in position, Hank slowly turned around. A smile lit his face as Mary gave him a slight wave. Slowly walking toward each other to embrace in a hug. Readers, I love this moment! Every time I see a first look I wish I had one… Alex and I can always get married again, right? 😂 After the first look we took portraits of Mary and Hank as bride and groom. But by this point, being in the shade felt a little chillier than the sun. Shoutout to my amazing husband who ran back and forth to get coats and blankets for everyone as we moved into family portraits. As well as Mary’s bouquet at one point too. Lol That tree line was a bit farther from the house than I anticipated, especially when doing sprints back and forth.

Finishing family portraits with plenty of time to spare, we prepped for the start of the ceremony. Hank was planning on walking down the aisle with his son, Cam. Mary with her son, Jud, and daughter, Jaylee. The walk down the aisle started at the house, wound around the pool, through the gazebo, emerging at the end of the aisle. Mary's dad opened the ceremony with a prayer. Followed by Hank reading his vows, and Mary reading hers. Mary gave a special address specially to Cam about becoming an official member of the family. While Mary spoke, tears emerged from many of her immediate family members. Her mother, in particular, using a handkerchief to wipe away tears. At long last, Mary and Hank sealed their vows with a kiss and smiles erupted on all faces. Walking down the aisle as a family. The Martin family united after their walk down the aisle. Jud raised his hands to give high fives all around. Whether it was planned or spontaneous, a receiving line formed for guests to give hugs and love to the new Mr. and Mrs.

From the ceremony, we moved to the patio for the reception. Disclaimer here: I think I was pretty hungry. Split Kitchen catered their brunch. They set elaborate charcuterie borders with stacked donuts and bagels. Waffle, sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches ended the spread. I think in my hunger and amazement, I may have taken way too many photos of the food 😂 Sorry, Mary, if there are a chunk of food pictures in your gallery. But my goodness was the food delicious!!!

The reception felt like a family reunion. I was strongly reminded of my own family getting together. People chatting and smiling. Kids playing basketball and running through the fields. Gatherings at tables while enjoying a meal. As brunch ended, Mary and Hank wandered to the cake. Cutting a small slice, they each broke off some cake and lightly smashed each piece in each other's mouths. 😁 P.S. Hank, props to your mom on making those cakes. It was absolutely fabulous!!!

The highlight of the reception occurred during toasts. Mary’s sister’s wrote a lyrical adaptation to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and performed it together. While I won’t write all of the lyrics, here’s just a small preview of the ending. I can’t read it without humming along to the music. 😁

The ending went:

On this cool November morn, we gather today

To celebrate the Blartins in our own special way

To the happy couple our hearts are full of love

We’ve never been more excited that the cougar caught the cub!

A short time later, the DJ called Mary and Hank up to do a first dance. What I really wish I could have added were flip-book photos of Hank spinning Mary during this time. They were some of my favorite shots in the wedding!!! Mary, make sure to check out this section of photos in your “favorites gallery” and flip through them one at a time. ❤️ So fun!!!

Before I left, I brought Mary and Hank out to the field in front of her parent’s home to capture their portraits as husband and wife. As we walked back to the house, the grandkids blew past us in a golf cart cheering and waving. A good day to end a day of celebration. 😄

Mary + Hank

November 20, 2021

The Dream Team:

Videography: Cody Garrison

Wedding Gown: Norman’s

Makeup: Sarah Sloan

Cake: Pam Baker (Mother of the Groom)

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