Wildflowers in the Spring
Kayli and Wes' wedding was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was shining. Not too hot. A perfect spring day. I feel like I've known Kayli forever. I've gotten to chat with her at least once a month at Samuel Cedars' open houses for the past year and I could not have been more excited for her big day. One of the first things I remember her telling me was that she was going to have wild flowers at her wedding. The bouquets turned out stunning. They were full of color and just seeing them brought me joy! Their puppy Nova even got a flower collar of her own. Before we get too far into their big day, let's start with getting ready.
Kayli did all the things I wish I had remembered at my own wedding! She had her shoes (which I was told were on her wedding vision board since 5th grade), perfume, bracelet, necklace, and makeup. Each item had its own moment and a special person attached to it (or people ❤️) before the ceremony. Before Kayli headed out the door for her fist look with Wes, we brought her dad in. His face broke into the biggest smile and he reached out for a hug! I let Kayli know I would let her spend some time with her dad and I would get Wes ready for the big moment.
Alex and I walked around the venue with Wes looking for the perfect spot. It was an extraordinarily sunny day so we searched for the best shade we could find. Spotting an area right off the ceremony site, we placed Wes into position and went to get Kayli. I prepped her dress and she walked up behind him. He turned and his face lit up! Kayli's joy matched his and they were both all smiles. After the moment sank in, she pulled her dress back to revel her sparkling shoes.
Kayli and Wes joined hands and walked back towards the bridal cottage where we met up with Nova and the rest of the wedding party. I might have been in denial about the time because the ceremony was getting closer and closer. You would never know how fast we were moving in the moment by seeing the pictures! But we managed to take all of the wedding party photos! Nova also deserves the best props. She was such a trooper and even posed perfectly for quite a few photos. 🤩 We were unable to complete family before and decided we would tackle those pictures right after the ceremony.
As the ceremony inched closer, more and more guests began to arrive. Soon, almost every guest chair was filled and many family members ended up standing off to the side. Kayli and Wes originally anticipated around 120 people and around 150 ended up coming!! They had so many people there to love and support them it was truly amazing to see. Something I have to mention was that Kayli and Wes had a custom made arbor made for Kayli's grand entrance into the reception space. A solid wood structure built by Wes' family and assembled on site. I can't image how heavy it must have been, but it was worth it. I love that they added this element in and I think it made her entrance even more special. Their ceremony consisted of an exchange of rings and as they walked back down the aisle as husband and wife, Wes dipped her and gave her a huge kiss! It was PERFECT! We looped them back around and took family photos before heading into dinner. I couldn't not include two family photos in this post because Kayli and Wes have such big families! The first family photo is Kayli's side and the second is Wes'.
The reception hall was packed. Alex and I weaved in and around people as we got our dinner, sat down to eat, and then hopped up for Kayli and Wes' cake cutting. Spoiler alert, the chocolate tier was a crowd favorite and was completely gone soon after it was served. 😉 After cake cutting, Kayli and Wes made their way to the dance floor for their first dance, followed by father-daughter and mother-son dances. Something I haven't seen done at a wedding in a while was their dollar dance! Like the chocolate cake, this was a crowd favorite. Guests paid a dollar to have a dance with either Kayli or Wes. I'm not sure how long the dollar dance lasted, I just know I've never taken photos consecutively for such a long period of time before! I think I overheated my camera and my fingers could barely press the buttons anymore 🤣. Even though my fingers were hardly working, I love the concept. It reminds my a lot of a receiving line but since it's structured within the reception time, it won't add the time a receiving line does between ceremony and dinner. Definitely would recommend this for couples who want a moment with each of their guests! ❤️
After the dollar dance, things calmed down for a moment and I chatted with one of the groomsmen about our Aussies. I may get a little distracted when it comes to anything dog related 🤣. One of the staff members came to ask me a question and that's when I noticed the sun was setting! The time between ceremony and sunset flew by and I knew we had only a fraction of time left before our light was gone. I jumped back into action and went to grab Kayli and Wes for their portraits. Kayli had specifically requested photos near the lamps at the ceremony site. They reminded her of Narnia and I think we nailed the vibe! I only wish we had more light and more time 😍. Power walking back across the venue property, we headed out to the field for sunset! The colors were perfection and felt like a dream. I can hardly believe how beauitful they turned out. Right before our light was completely gone, Wes had requested photos with his groomsmen having celebratory cigars. Techinically we were going to try to do them earlier in the day 🤣, but time slipped away from us. I tell you what though, we captured this photo in fantastic light!!! It worked out for the best!
Our light outside came to an end and everyone headed back inside to party and dance until 10 for a scheduled sparkler exit. I was loving the playlist and I think the guests were too!!! Everyone was all smiles! I think the kids stayed on the dance floor almost the whole time. As 10 approached, guests were shuffled outside and lined up as Kayli and Wes shared their last dance before their grand exit. Little did we know, we would have to change the exit plans very fast. Guests started to light the sparklers too early and they were completely burned out before Kayli and Wes even finished their dance. Alex ran inside to warn me about what happened and I knew the perfect back up plan. Samuel Cedars has beautiful strings of lights that line a walkway. We moved guests to line the path and had guests cheer them on as they did their final walk through! I know it wasn't what the originally plan was, but it turned out to be one of my favorite exit shots at Smauel Cedars! If you look really closely at the photo you can see one of the guests (I think Wes' dad lol) holding up a lighter in tribute of the lost sparklers 🤣.
Wes + Kayli
Venue: Samuel Cedars
Cake: Celebrations by Sonja
Catering: Catering Creations
Flowers: Linda's Flowers
Tux/Suit: Men's Suit Mart
Wedding Gown: The Dress Bridal
Hair: Shai Wallace @ A Valeria Boss Salon
Make-up: Maddie Church
Bride's Ring: Helzberg Diamonds
Officient: Will Hendrick
Photographer: Christina Zapata Photography