A Sunrise Fall Elopement
The air was cool. Bare winter trees mixed in with others that still hadn’t lost their leaves. A pink sky lined the morning horizon. Spring Valley wedding venue sits in the rolling hills of Strafford, MO. A brand new venue that just joined the community this year! Sarah and Joseph discovered this hidden gem and decided it would be the perfect venue to elope. Their wedding plans were in flux up until a month ago. Life ultimately led them to the day that was meant to be. Within about a month, Sarah found the perfect gown at Norman’s and her venue. She chose four of her closest friends to be there on her big day. What I have learned about Sarah and Joseph is that together, they have the kind of energy that attracts the kindest souls. When her officiant walked in, I thought he had been friends with them for years. But they had just met! He was the owner of the venue's son. Speaking of the owner, she was also one of the kindest people I’ve met! We chatted for a long time about her venue and plans for the future. I can’t wait to see her again at the Metropolitan Weddings show in January!
Arriving at the venue on Sarah and Joseph’s wedding day, I immediately took a few photos of the venue since it could not have been in more perfect light 😍. My photographer's heart was already so happy! Inside, the venue was lined with white shiplap. I heard voices, and headed around a corner. Walking into the getting ready room, I wished Sarah a Happy Wedding day!!! Another person was in the room with her. When I turned to say hi, recognition flooded my brain. I said, “ I know you!” Here’s my kryptonite you guys. I have great facial recognition skills, but my name recall is atrocious 🙈 Sometimes with people I have even known for years. I found an article that explains this in detail if you’re research oriented like me 😂. Going back to my speech therapy days. I can't help it!
Anyways, Abby and I worked together at Springfield Public schools during the last year I practiced. She was so good with the kids and I was happy to hear she’s still working with the littles with some amazing people! I told her to tell all my old coworkers hi and I miss them! ❤️ In terms of the wedding, Abby picked out a tiered cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes for Sarah's wedding day. One tier was strawberry and the other was carrot cake. Spoiler alert, Sarah’s favorite flavor was the strawberry and Joseph loved the carrot cake. Sarah, I have to side with Joseph on this one. The carrot cake was pretty good 😁.
Sarah’s friend, Gingy, arrived, and between her and Abby, they teamed up to help Sarah look beautiful on her wedding day. Gingy steamed the veil while Abby carefully curled each strand of hair. The ceremony was planned for 8:30 a.m. As the time approached, we knew the ceremony might start a tad later than originally planned. But that’s the wonderful thing about eloping. Time is flexible! Even if things run behind, nothing feels stressful. I love it!!! Closer to 9:00 a.m., the veil and hairpiece slid into her hair and she was ready to walk down the aisle. I went to let Joseph know that she was ready and everyone got into positions. As the music started, Sarah walked down the aisle with a beaming smile. She was so excited to get married. Her and Joseph shared their own written vows and exchanged rings. Ending the ceremony with a kiss. This kiss will be in my memory. Sarah and Joseph had asked Gingy to record their ceremony. When the kiss was about to happen, Gingy got excited and hopped up to get a better angle. 😂 So now, she is part of the kissing shot. After going back inside, signing the marriage licenses, and cutting the cake...Gingy turned to me with a realization that she had stood in front of me during their first kiss and felt so bad 😂😂😂. I showed her the images. I did have one that she was slightly off to the side. But essentially, this will be part of Sarah and Joseph’s wedding memory and it made us all smile!
After cake, we all went outside to take a group photo and then I stole Sarah and Joseph to do portraits around the venue. After several, we headed back inside and they shared a first dance together to “God Gave Me You.” Afterwards, we headed back outside for some more portraits. If you can't tell, portraits are my absolute favorite!!! After a ton of pictures, we ended our time together so they could go have their first meal as husband and wife. They were planning to head to Red Lobster in Branson. So fun! Sarah and Joseph, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to capture this special day for you. You two feel like family and I hope our paths continue to cross.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Sarah + Joseph
Dress: Normans Bridal
Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Photographer: Christina Zapata Photography
Officiant: Laken Cookson