Before arriving at the Alden Camp, I knew Ashley and Devon's wedding day was going to be filled with many beautiful, and emotional moments. One of my favorite details was the patch Ashley gave her dad at the rehearsal dinner. Simply saying "Dad, I loved you first" with her childhood nickname, Ash Bash. It is amazing how something so small can bring back years of memories. I love that every time Ashley's dad sees this patch, he will not only remember the day his daughter got married, but he will also remember the best moments of her childhood.
We started the day with the groom, Devon, and his groomsmen getting ready. They helped each other put on suspenders, and fix ties. They also had a few laughs as they joked around. Once the guys were ready, I followed the path along the lake to the girls cabin. I must say all the little cabins at Alden Camp along the shore line were some of the cutest I've ever seen. Ashley's bridesmaids could not have been more of a joy to photograph. They had so much energy! They helped get all of Ashley's details together and before helping her get in her dress they danced in their robs as all bridal parties should.
I can't help but to smile as I look back at the photos from Devon and Ashley's first look. Devon could not take his eyes off her, and they were both beaming with joy. After they had a few moments to talk at the end of the dock, and enjoy the amazing views, we took advantage of some time before their ceremony to take the wedding party photos. I LOVED that Ashley was so organized, and built this into the timeline because it meant the couple actually got to enjoy a little of their cocktail hour, and relax with all their wedding guests.
The ceremony was perfect, because it was put together by Ashley's brother, who clearly not only loves his little sister, but loves Devon just as much. He put in a few personal touches, like how Ashley will not disturb Devon during hunting season, but Devon had to agree to getting all the things from the high shelves. They had to fill a jar with rocks, sand, and a few other things, representing family, friends, and work as a way to always remind them what was truly important. I loved the oar that hung over the doorway, not only because Deven loves fishing, and took Ashley out in a boat to propose to her, but also because that oar was Devons Grandfathers. So in a way, it was like he was right there watching over the entire ceremony.
One of my favorite parts of all wedding's is when I get to capture moments of the bride and groom just after the ceremony. To be completely honest Ashley and Devon's photos are some of my all time favorites. Not only because the lighting was perfect (another amazing benefit from Ashley being so organized, and taking a little timing advice into consideration)! The reason I LOVE them so much is because of the emotion, the joy you see on their faces, the love they have for one another. That is what truly makes a great photo, the real emotions that tell the story of what is captured in the four corners of a frame.
My two favorite toasts were written by Devon and Ashley's fathers. They both did an amazing job talking about how Ashley and Devon met, and how perfect they are for one another. Just when I thought the emotional parts of the day were wrapping up, we got to the dances. Normally I would say no-one should ever cut in during the father daughter dance, but there is always an exception to the rule. If you are the brides mom, or the brides sister, cutting in to share a quick hug or kiss is 100% acceptable in my book. As a surprise, Ashley's brother created some new lyrics to the song Hakuna Matata, and sang it for them during the reception.
Ashley and Devon, your wedding could not have been more beautiful. The two of you have an amazing love for one another, and I hope in 55 years when you are looking back on where it all started these photos still bring a smile to your face.