Rachel & John | Engagement Photos at Covered Bridge Park in Cedarburg, WI
When I first met with Rachel and John, I could tell these two were a power couple. They are both strong-willed. And both know what they are doing. Both in life and as a couple. It is clear that these two have a vision for themselves. And for what they want to be.
This vision carried through in their wedding photography planning as well. Rachel is an excellent planner. She had her ducks in a row as soon as possible. And made sure all of the details were taken care of ahead of time. She is one to not take any chances in regards to pulling off a wedding that everyone will enjoy. John accompanied her along the way. He generally agreed with most of her suggestions, as well as provided a few of his own. I can tell he, too, had an idea of what he thought might look good for their wedding photography.
These two took on the daring task of scheduling engagement photos in the winter. And, it paid off. We scheduled our engagement photoshoot at Covered Bridge Park in Cedarbug, WI. It proved to be one of the coldest days of the winter. Our fingers froze within seconds. The air coming from our nostrils clung to the insides to our noses, creating mini ice caves. We. Were. Cold.
Although the day we took engagement photos was frigid, it was extremely beautiful. A fresh snow had fallen the evening before. The ground was pristine. Untouched. Untrodden. It’s as if the sky kissed each branch with a delicate tuft of snow. Just for us. This provided for some once in a lifetime photos. Mother nature challenged us but heartedly rewarded us in return.
The most impressive part of the shoot was how Rachel was able to withstand the brutally cold temperatures donning a dress and high heels. John and I were freezing. We were covered in sweaters, coats and gloves. But Rachel was tough. She remained steadfast throughout the entire engagement photoshoot, wearing exactly what she wanted. She looked fantastic; no one would can tell the barometer was hovering around zero degrees that day.
The Wedding Ceremony - Aud Mar Banquet Hall | Muskego, WI
Contrary to the day of their engagement photos, Rachel and John’s wedding day was incredibly warm. The air was thick with humidity. The buzzing sound of grasshoppers could be heard across Aud Mar Banquet Hall’s grounds. A brief breeze provided a cool respite occasionally, which helped the gentlemen who sported sharp, navy blue suits.
Pre-wedding preparations were filled with a flurry of emotions. The clock was ticking closer and letters were delivered to the bride and groom. Rachel and John had written each other a note prior to seeing each other. Rachel’s eyes welled up with tears as she read John’s note. She didn’t didn’t expect that she’d feel so much reading his words. But she did. Her entourage of bridesmaids had to help make sure her makeup and hair were still pristine before seeing John for the first time.
After the two had finished getting dressed, we arranged for a “first look” photo. This is something that some couples choose to do prior to seeing each other down the aisle. It provides for an intimate moment between the two in which they can talk about the moments to come. Rachel met John on the deck of Aud Mar and they kissed for the first time on their wedding day. It was one of many to come.
The wedding ceremony between Rachel and John was gorgeous. The guests and I experienced the natural overtones of the ritual outdoors next to the lake. The breeze was calm; the air was still. One could hear birds softly chirping as the grasshoppers provided a low hum that mimicked the underlying excitement amongst the guests.
Wedding Party Photos After The Ceremony | Aud Mar Banquet Hall
After the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy a cocktail indoors while the wedding party and family members took a pontoon boat on the lake. Aud Mar Banquet Hall provides guests with an opportunity to take a short ride after a wedding ceremony. They can tour the lake, kick back and relax and visit with family and friends. Rachel and John took advantage of this to cool off for a bit and snap a few fun photos with family and friends.
The Wedding Reception | Aud Mar Banquet Hall with Music Provided by Vital Image DJ Service
After taking family and wedding party photos outdoors on the lawn, we headed indoors to cool off. Rachel and John grabbed a drink, sat down for dinner and enjoyed a meal with their guests.
The beef tips at Aud Mar Banquet Hall were out-of-this-world. As a wedding photographer, I get to try foods from all types of wedding reception venues. The beef tips at Aud Mar were by far some of the best I’ve ever had. It is clear the banquet facility employs a chef, or team of chefs, that prioritize taste and quality of food above all else.
Rachel and John’s closest family and friends gave speeches and highlighted the attributes of this incredibly dynamic couple. As a police officer, John has served dutifully and is on his way to becoming a detective. Rachel is on her way to becoming one of the most skilled dental hygienists in the Milwaukee area.
After the dinner concluded, Rachel and John headed outside to get a few on the grounds of Aud Mar’s building. The air had cooled considerably and these two caught their breath. We stood on the pier overlooking Bass Bay and snapped a few photos. Under the stars, Rachel and John had a few moments with each other.
After getting a few starlit photographs, we headed inside to enjoy a bit of dancing and drinks. Then, it came time for the bouquet and garter toss.
Usually, the bouquet and garter toss follows a pretty common theme. The bride is spun around, tosses the bouquet behind her shoulder, and a lady that is not married yet catches it to much fanfare. Then, the groom approaches the bride, completely embarrasses himself with some incredibly awkward dance moves, and the garter is removed.
This time, though, something different happened. That even caught me off guard.
As I was down on the floor photographing John’s attempt at removing Rachel’s garter, I noticed he was taking longer than most grooms. I have seen this before, and it’s usually because the groom has something up his sleeve.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, out pops the flower girl from under Rachel’s dress! She projected her tiny little body from underneath her lace to give John a big hug and a huge smile. John twirled her around a bit and she reveled in the attention. Everyone was caught off guard and exploded in laughter.
All of the wedding guests were surprised and bewildered. John carefully crafted plan that put fooled everyone, including myself. The flower girl was so happy, she gave John a big hug and twirled off the dance floor. She knew she had accomplished something great.
The night began to draw to a close with many hugs, a ton of congratulations and the unpredictability of a roaring party. As I left the banquet hall that night, I was impressed with how successful this wedding had unfolded. They pulled off an incredible feat of providing a party for their closest of kin. And while doing so, they were able to maintain the quiet intimacy of their relationship. They stepped back and took a few moments for themselves. Something that some couples forget to do.
Rachel and John - you two were such a blast to celebrate with on your wedding day. I hope this is not the last time we have a chance to connect. Because meeting with you only a few times is simply not enough.
About Adam Shea Photography
Adam is a wedding photographer based out of Neenah, Wisconsin that travels across the state of Wisconsin and abroad for destination weddings. He focuses on rich, vibrant photos which tell the story of his clients' wedding days.
When not photographing weddings, Adam also photographs engagements, corporate events, families, high school seniors, boudoir portraits, and professional headshots. Adam experiments with time-lapse astrophotography and loves to create short films as well. His main subjects are his two dynamic daughters at home.
Adam loves to roast coffee, fish and is active in the political scene. He strives for equality, fairness and compassion amongst all members of society.
Adam Shea started Adam Shea Photography in 2007 and his goal has remained simple: create timeless, beautiful images for couples. He focus on capturing real moments that are crisp, vibrant and beautiful.