When Toren and Chris asked me to photograph their wedding back in late Summer, I was very excited. When they told me their wedding was a 10 a.m. (yes, you read that right), I raised an eyebrow.
I've photographed numerous day weddings before, but never before 2 p.m. So when they told me their vision of their day, their plans afterwards and their desire to do exactly what they wanted to do, I really began to smile.
Both the wedding and reception was held at the Pleasant Valley Country Club. The day would be no fuss, no drama, no craziness, no wedding party. Wait? What? No wedding party? I had to do a double-take on that one.
Everything about this wedding was so unlike most of the weddings I photograph. And it was glorious!
Toren and Chris chose a winter theme for their wedding. I'll admit, it can be tricky to do a winter-themed wedding without it looking Christmas-y. But they pulled it off. The only hint of Christmas was the use of about 10, small flocked Christmas tree used to anchor the walls and corners of the ball room. And tucked away in the trees, were various brightly colored fabric birds. Toren told me they got these trees after Christmas from a friend who owned a tree farm. The best of all..they were free.
We did a quick first look outside followed by just a handful of couples portraits. It was about 25 degrees outside at the time so we didn't want to stay there for too long. The lovely pale blue shawl Toren wore was hand-knitted by her mother. We were going to continue couples portraits later after the reception wrapped. This doesn't happen often. After all, when you plan a 10 a.m., wedding, you're not chasing daylight to take photos....BRILLIANT!
After the couples portraits, we moved on to shoot the family formals and by 10 a.m., everyone was seated at their tables for the ceremony. Instead of traditional row seating, Toren and Chris kept the reception tables and chairs in place so there would not be any wasted time trying to turn the room. So where you sat for the wedding, is where you sat for the reception. Again, very lovely for a casual wedding.
Following the wedding, guests were treated to a champagne brunch with juices and bloody mary's. It was a wonderful spread of assorted pastries and muffins, fresh fruit, a southwestern breakfast casserole, bacon, cheesy hash browns (which were decadent), waffles and pizza rolls. Pizza rolls? It seems Chris has a weakness for pizza rolls. And for dessert: wedding cake.
The reception concluded with a wedding wand exit. Afterwards, Toren and Chris drove around for just a few minutes and then headed back to PVCC for a few more couples portraits.
About two hours later, I met up with Toren and Chris for just a few more wedding photos. This time, I met them at The Flying Saucer in the Little Rock River Market. They were meeting up with friends for the after party.
And like any great bride, Toren was still in her wedding dress.