Bunch Wedding |Hummingbird Winery Mexico, MO

This was a very special wedding for us! When Derek contacted me about possibly photographing their wedding I was so excited! Derek has been one of my older brother’s best friends since grade school so I have known him most of my life. Derek and my brother were seniors when I was a freshman in high school. In fact, just for your viewing pleasure, I dug this old photograph out from a high school play we were all three in together. Derek is the farthest to the left, and Scott (my brother) is farthest to the right (he had a lot more hair then 😂😂). The girl in the old lady dress is me…Ahhhh, memories…LOL

So fast forward to May 4th, 2019! My husband, Lok, came with me since the wedding was all the way in Mexico, MO. He second shot with me for most of the day and was my overall bag carrier, drink fetcher, and overall helpful second hand all day. I’m so grateful he came with me and helped the day run even smoother!

I almost always start the day off with details while we are scoping out the location and waiting for people to arrive. Details are one of my favorite parts of the day. I love seeing each couple’s spin on the color scheme/decor for their wedding. Derek mentioned to me that Mary Pat made almost all the decorations for the wedding. She did a great job! I loved it all! Both of the cakes were made by a friend of theirs and she knocked it out of the park! She was decorating the cake as we were running around that morning and it smelled sooooo good!! We got to snag a piece at the end of the reception it was delicious!

Also, this couple got married on May 4th! If you don’t already know that is National Star Wars Day! “May the 4th be with you.” See if you can spot the star wars “easter egg” in the detail shots below.

After the details, we usually focus on bride and groom prep!

I grabbed Mary Pat’s dad as he was going in to see his daughter for the first time and asked if I could follow behind. He said okay and I nabbed a couple shots of that, too! So sweet! Daddy daughter moments just really get me because my dad is such a special person to me.

We had lots of extra time with the guys since the ladies came later in the day. So we had some fun with their pictures.

In keeping with the star wars day theme, the boys had the idea the night before the wedding to go buy Wal-Mart out of their lightsabers for the wedding night. We busted them out early and had a lightsaber fight. It was a lot of fun to photograph.

Next up was the ceremony! Their venue was the Hummingbird Winery in Mexico, MO. It was so nice because both the ceremony and reception was all right there in one place!

Derek and Mary Pat didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, so the first time Derek saw her was when she walked down the aisle. He had the sweetest reaction to seeing her- one most girls dream of! Witnessing true love like this is my favorite part of photographing weddings.

The couple wrote their own vows which was only the second time we’ve ever witnessed this since photographing weddings. They were so heartfelt and beautiful- truly tearjerking. Derek spoke about how he was pledging to love not only her, but also each one of her beautiful children. You could really hear the love and commitment in his voice as he vowed to love them as his own in the same way he vowed to love Mary Pat.

Since this marriage was more than just a union of two people- but a whole family- the couple opted for mixing sand from each person into a keepsake instead of doing a unity candle. Each of Mary Pat’s children took turns filling the picture frame with sand, followed by Mary Pat and Derek. It was such a neat part of the ceremony as well as an awesome memento that they will get to cherish forever.

The ceremony was finished up with the couple giving roses to their mothers and of course, their first kiss as husband and wife.

The first moments after the bride and groom get out of sight from the guests have become a favorite part of the day for me. It’s such an overlooked moment- one that I never really thought of when we first began photographing weddings. Somewhere along the lines, I took note that almost all couples, when they are out of eyesight from their guests usually have the biggest smiles on their faces and almost crumple into each other with happiness. It’s such a special moment before the receiving line starts! They did a bubble receiving line and it was so cute!

Since Mary Pat and Derek didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, we did the rest of the pictures after the ceremony! We got through them pretty quick so they could enjoy their reception. We always get so lucky with the best couples (including their families) that are so cooperative and help us get through the formals quickly and efficiently so they can get back to what their day is really about!

To start off the reception Derek thanked everyone for coming and the best man (Derek’s brother), maid of honor (Mary Pat’s daughter), and matron of honor (Mary Pat’s sister) all gave speeches. As you can tell from the pictures, Mary Pat’s daughter (the cutie in blue) is still quite young. I wasn’t expecting that she would give a speech, but she did! And let me tell you…it was a tear jerker. She said the nicest things about her mom and about Derek. I don’t think there was a dry eye in that tent. I can only hope my own daughter will think as highly of me one day as she does of her momma!

After everyone was done eating, they did all the formal “first dances”. Bride and groom, groom and mother, bride and father, etc. Then they did a really neat dance with just their newly founded family. Have I mentioned I was teary basically this whole day? Then they invited the rest of the wedding party out on the dance floor and danced all together.

They took a break from dancing a little while later to do the cake cutting and bouquet and garter toss. The bouquet toss was hilarious! All these cute little girls were “fighting” over the bouquet (all in good fun, of course). Mary Pat’s oldest daughter was finally victorious, and then she decided to toss it again! One of Mary Pat’s relatives from Ireland caught it that time! She even lost her sunglasses in the process but she did it!

Since they got married in the afternoon, I wanted to wait until as close to sunset for their couples photos. We snuck away for a super quick sunset shoot during all the dancing that went on the rest of the night. The photos are dreamy! It is sooo worth it when couples give me these few minutes during the reception to create some really beautiful backlit photos for them.

After that, the night just sorta flowed on its own! Lots of people dancing, laughing, and having fun! This is such a great time of the day that things are just relaxed and fun and we got lots of funny photos.

So there you have it! My favorite images from their big day! I hope you enjoyed them!

I’m so grateful to Derek and Mary Pat for letting us document their wedding day and their first day as husband and wife. We had an absolute blast and were treated so wonderfully by everyone on the day of the wedding. It’s couples like these that remind me why I love photographing weddings. Congratulations to the newlyweds and may God Bless their marriage greatly!

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