Anna + Matthew’s Small-Town Farm Wedding [HARLAN, IOWA]
I’m biting my tongue. I’ll have you know that it’s HARD to sum this up – the wedding of one of my very best friends in the whole world. But I’m going to TRY my best to keep this post to 1000 words or less (annnnd my word count says I’m already up to 49, so things aren’t looking great).
The year is 2007. My family has just moved to the rural hills of Stevens County, Washington. We’ve always been musical, so we sign up for piano lessons at a town about 15 minutes away from our farm. That Christmas season is the recital that began it all… when I met Anna. I was a gangly 14-year-old, she was a few years younger and a whole lot shorter, but the months stretched into years and kept bringing us closer. I don’t know exactly when I decided she would be my “short sidekick” for life… it was somewhere between salted caramel mochas at the best coffee shop in the world, endless “photoshoots,” talking about life/Jesus/dreams as we walked through the park, and… adulthood.
She was one of the first people I told when Mason asked me to marry him. She stood by my side as I promised forever to the love of my life. And then… all the way back in 2018… I got to shoot her wedding as she promised forever to HERS; this farm-boy I had never met in person.
Now, we currently have the same career (she’s also a professional photographer; how crazy is that?!), share a LOT of the same passions (music and cows, to name a few), have the same strong (positive) feelings about strong coffee… and the only bad part is that she lives thousands of miles away in a tiny little farm town. She followed the country boy alllll the way from the mountains of Washington to the rolling farmland of Iowa; and taking her so far away is the one thing I’ll never forgive Matthew for.
Okay, we’re at 330 words. Let’s get some photos rolling!! (PS: Anna saw me write that on Instagram that I wanted to blog again this week (it’s been… awhile). She set a timer to go off on Friday so she’d remember to text and “remind” me. She has also made me promise that the next blog post I made would be her wedding; hence why I’m posting an event from May 2018 on one of the last days of September 2021. Happy 3.5 years of marriage, Anna + Matt – here’s your blog post!)
Quick disclaimer: I shot this wedding in 2018. YES. The one that was three years ago.
I am SO PROUD of these images and I can’t wait for you to see them. But I made myself a very difficult promise that I wouldn’t go and tweak ANY of the edits. You see, as photographers we’re constantly learning and changing things about how we shoot and how we edit. It’s hard to look at your work from three years ago and NOT want to fix little (or big, lol) things that you see that are “wrong” now.
BUT! These photos are still some of my very favorites and I want to share them in all their glory!!
One of my favorite memories from any wedding to date: the big family pancake breakfast cooked up at the bride’s house the morning of the big day. I ate so many pancakes.
Another highlight from the day:
The bride + bridesmaids MADE all of their own bouquets!!
Sitting in the sunroom to design and tie together their own flowers was such a sweet, fun time. I wish more people did this! (and yes, I am a little partial to this tradition… my mom did this on her wedding day and so did my sister and myself!!)
Oh, I forgot to mention…
She got ready in their farmhouse. The one they were about to move into together. *cue heart eyes*
And this first look happened in their very own pasture.
And then she sang him a song. I don’t know how I got through this without bawling my eyes out, you guys — try watching your best friend sing a song to her almost-husband on her wedding day and you’ll understand.
The guys – and yes, MOST of them are brothers.
This is what happens when a short girl marries into a tall family of boys!
Can we take a moment to appreciate COMFY, mis-matched bridesmaid dresses in hues of blue and purple?!
One of Anna’s requests was that we stop by and get some photos with the PUPPIES.
When there are PUPPIES involved, my answer will always be OMG YES.
If snugging with PUPPIES (yes, still excited three years later) in your wedding dress is wrong… then I don’t want to be right.
The ceremony took place in the family’s church — the one the groom’s grandpa helped build with his own two hands. So many special family details in this wedding!
Weddings that have worship are the *best* weddings.
After the exit, I grabbed a car and raced back to the farm (where Matthew grew up!!) so we could snag some “sunset” photos. We didn’t get a sunset, but we did get the chance to shoot some images in front of the house where Matthew spent his whole childhood, next to the field where he and his family work the land, with the scent of fresh spring blossoms in the wind. Not too upset about that missing sunset.
Well, that just about does it.
If you’ve made it this far, you’d survive a coffee date with Anna and me… except there would be much more laughing, a whole ton of inside jokes, and probably more caffeine than you can handle.
Love you always, Anna-friend.