Several of the family members had to travel for this wedding, and it was clearly important to both Matthew and Brittany to have all of their family members in one place for the big day. Seeing everyone come from near and far to celebrate this special day was a clear indicator to me of how much they are loved. These two were high school sweethearts and the love they’ve shared over the past ten years was clear in their smiles.
I started out with the ladies as they hung out together at the bridal salon ahead of the ceremony. I was moved by the atmosphere of this group from the very start! They had so much fun together. We were a little late getting ready, which caused some stress for the bride, especially because her dress had a hemming issue. Thankfully, the seamstress met us at the church to get this taken care of before the big moment! Once that was taken care of, the girls got dressed at the church along with the guys—and we made it work. Of course, it helped the time crunch that we had taken family formals ahead of time. Any opportunity I can to make sure that the day goes easier for my couples, I’ll do!
Brittany’s biological father had passed on while she was young, but she has a medium that she uses to stay in contact with him. That medium had asked her father on the morning of the wedding if he wanted to give her anything, and he showed her a signal of white roses — so those white roses were sent to Brittany as well as a message from her father of how proud he was. It was obvious that Brittany was moved by the gift when she received it. Not only was Brittany moved… but I personally was because these are the moments that no many get to see. The emotion, the love, and everything about those moments… thankfully I had the camera in front of my face to cover up the water pouring out of my eyes. I love getting to document moments like that, when the whole room is filled with the power of that moment.
Before the ceremony, we had a first look between Brittany and Matthew behind the church. She came up behind him and as he turned to see his bride, his whole face lit up. It was a perfect opportunity for the bride and groom to spend some time together and take a breath before the excitement of their ceremony. You could tell that both of them appreciated that time to just enjoy one another.
Although Brittany’s biological father wasn’t there, her adopted father, Chris, was. It’s clear that she loves Chris to pieces and even calls him “Dad,” so it was amazing to see her walk down the aisle arm-in-arm with the other important father in her life. She’s so lucky to have both of her dads involved in her big day!
After the beautiful ceremony, we took wedding party photos at the Leinie’s Lodge in Chippewa Falls, where we the sun was out and the light was beautiful. We also ran into a second wedding party! Since we realized the wedding parties had similar dress colors, and the other party’s photographer was taking other pictures at the moment, I decided to combine the two parties for some fun pictures. Combining two into one is what weddings are all about, right? We had a blast with that huge group as we all celebrated coming together. Even though it hadn’t been planned, it was absolutely one of the most spontaneous, fun, memorable moments of the day.
Finally, we headed to the Eagle’s Club for the grand entrance, where each couple got down and groovy for their individual entrances. The whole wedding party was filled big personalities, and they were so much fun to watch dancing and celebrating as they came into the party. There was a ton of positive energy—it was easy to get caught up in it.
The food was just as phenomenal as the people, as were the speeches. After all, with some serious party people making up the group, how could it be anything but?
Once we were all fed and grinning over our empty plates, it was time for the bouquet and garter tosses. I love it when little kids catch the bouquet and garter, and that was the case twice over this time—which seemed like the perfect impetus to kick off the dancing! Everyone got out on the dance floor to boogie down, and when they weren’t dancing, they were having fun with the Joy Booth or congratulating the bride and groom on their epic day. Everyone seemed to love the booth in particular with all the props that were available there.
Brittany & Matthew, thank you for letting me be part of your day and for choosing me as your photographer. I wish you both the best!
Photography: Andrew Samplawski Photography