Francie and Colten are the couple that are just meant to be together. They have known each other for so long that everything just came naturally the day of their wedding. I met with Colten last year when we first started talking about the wedding and it was very evident that he was passionate and knew exactly what he wanted, so before I even met Francie I knew that she was going to be something special and she certainly didn't let us down. The word that was repeated over and over throughout the day was "Sassy" and it was spot on. A lot of people would think being sassy is a negative attribute but it was her sassiness that Colten was attracted to and oddly enough made her very approachable. The two of them connected on a level that only a couple that truly knew each other could, and their new life together is certainly never going to have a dull moment.
Nestled on highway 112 in Elm Springs is the beautiful venue "The Barn at the Springs". It is unique in the fact that this barn offers a rustic feel to any event. From the pastures, to the fields, and even the small pond, it offers a getaway from the monotony of everyday life and growing cities around us. We have shot several weddings at "The Barn at the Springs" and every time something new gets us excited to shoot there again. The bridal quarters are tucked away with elegant golds and big mirrors to meet all bridal party needs. You can chose many different locations throughout the property to do the wedding ceremony itself, inside, outside, there's always a way to customize your wedding day at "The Barn at the Springs".
As always our day began at 9am and we were very excited to get underway. We have made some big upgrades to our equipment since the last time we were able to shoot at "The Barn at the Springs" including slow motion, and our new drone. So we immediately got to work. The shots were absolutely incredible and you could really see from the aerial shots that spring is well underway. Francie and Colten arrived and their bridal party was absolutely incredible. They were a lot of fun to work with. It always helps when they are lively and humorous - it resonates a lot better on camera and doesn't look forced. France and Colten chose to bypass the typical first look which is always interesting because you know that moment when the groom first sees that bride will be an emotional moment. Instead they wrote each other letters. I always love shooting this moment because its so honest. It's very difficult to tell someone how you really feel face to face, but to have the time to gather and write your thoughts down makes a world of difference. Over 250 people filed in for the ceremony which took place outside as the sun was setting behind them. You couldn't plan for better timing. Golden hour hit as she walked down the aisle and as I said before, that first moment when he saw her was priceless.
The reception was nothing short of incredible. They opened the main barn doors which allowed the night to creep in to the reception area and a significant amount space was created on the dance floor. Of course their first dance was elegant and mesmerizing, mostly because Colten was actually a great dancer - very rare to see from a groom. The festivities, however, really kicked off after the Father Daughter Dance which went from an elegant song of "I loved her first" to a party in a matter of seconds when "Play that funky music" kicked in. The rest of the night was fast paced with various different moments that kept the party rolling. Of course the bouquet toss, and garter toss were a hit, the cake was a treasured moment (she smashed it in his face - spoiler alert) and even a sorority song from her sisters to help wrap up the night. I have been shooting for 11 years now and I have to say that the exit was a first for me. It ended with the typical line of sparklers out the front doors to help see them off, but there was one last surprise waiting for all the guests. Since Colten was also a fireman, a giant red firetruck waited at the end and both Francie and Colten hopped on the back and hitched a ride out as the red lights faded in to the night.
From every wedding I ever do I always learn something new that I can incorporate in to either the next wedding I shoot, or even in to my own personal life. So what was it that I walked away with from this wedding with? Well, I learned that true love is more than just the "fluff" of everyday life, it's really knowing someone for who they really are. For loving them for their "Sassiness" or loving them for being a "Hard working, country boy, people lover". That's the type of love that will stand the test of time. Also, if you want to look like a real badass, it helps to ride away on the back of a firetruck - just saying.
These two had love written all over them and I was so thrilled to be able to be there to capture these precious moments forever. Congratulations Francie and Colten, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day.
Photography - Arrow Sherman Photography