Alyssa and Charlie were married on November 4th, with a ceremony at the St. Pius X Catholic Church in Appleton and a reception at the Best Western Premier Bridgewood Resort Hotel in Neenah, Wisconsin.
Charlie and Alyssa love to be outside and surrounded by friends and family, so it’s no surprise that their engagement story mimics what they prefer in real life. It was a Saturday in March when they went hiking at Devils Lake State Park with their friends. They stopped at a bluff to take pictures of the view. Instead of posing, Charlie grabbed Alyssa’s hand and got down on one knee. She said, "Yes" and it was a done deal!
Charlie and Alyssa’s Bridgewood Resort Wedding
Fast forward to their wedding day...Alyssa started the day alone waiting in the dressing room for her father to come get her. Even with all the excitement of the day, she wasn’t nervous—she was ready to be married. And you could tell Charlie felt the same way when he saw Alyssa for the first time walking down the aisle. His smile couldn’t have been any bigger.
Onto other big smiles...I loved capturing Alyssa and her father's dance. A few moments throughout the dance, Alyssa's father, Brad, looked down at her and gave her a look I seldom see. The sense of pride he emitted was palpable. As a father to two young girls myself, this resonated with me.
Throughout the day, I was struck by Charlie and Alyssa’s warmth and love. Alyssa’s grandfather, Ralph, hadn’t been able to come to the wedding, but we took a bus out to go visit him in Peabody Manor, an assisted living facility in Appleton, where he was waiting for us in a button-up shirt and tie. He gave out the biggest hugs and couldn’t have been prouder of them.
We took a few photos with Alyssa’s family, and Ralph even had a flower pinned on him. I could tell it made his day. Before we left, he stuck his hand out once more to Charlie and to Alyssa’s brother, Josh, as if he was saying “it’s okay” to both of them. These were especially important moments because Ralph passed away only a few months after the wedding, in January. He will be greatly missed by his family. To be able to capture these moments with Ralph and his family mean a lot to me, and I am so happy Alyssa and Charlie's family can have these photos.
A Bus Ride Party
After we spent time with Ralph, we hopped back on the bus. This bus, by the way, was also memorable for the huge partay. And when I say “partay,” I mean P-A-R-T-A-Y. The energy bouncing around was enough to not only shake the bus but the surrounding cars and pavement. Alyssa and Charlie were dancing, the entire wedding party was on their feet, and the drinks were flowing. This group knows how to have a good time, and they proved it! As I watched with my camera, catching all of the action, I couldn't help but audibly laugh several times because they were kickin' it so hard! It was so much fun.
One of my favorite images is a shot of Alyssa and Charlie sitting in the rear seat of the party bus holding their drinks while surrounded by family and friends. This single shot truly encapsulated the story of their entire day: a genuinely happy couple with so much love surrounding them.
Alyssa & Charlie, you two really know how to have a great time, put on a classy event, and show your family and friends how much they are loved. It’s not very often that I leave a wedding with more energy than when I started it, but yours was the exception. This was the perfect “night cap” to my fall wedding season. You left me with a sense of purpose and reminded me how much meaning there is in wedding photography. I am truly happy to have served you!
Vendors: Dress- Vera's Bridal in Madison, WI
Tuxedos- Men's Warehouse
Hair and Makeup- Studio 54 in Shiocton, WI
Cake and Cupcakes- Manderfields Bakery in Appleton, WI
DJ- Matt's DJ...Ask for Joe! He is so awesome! in Fon du Lac, WI
Flowers- Memorial Florist in Appleton, WI
Photographer- Adam Shea Photography
Party Bus- Keller Coach Bus in Neenah, WI