Who: Maggie and Nate
What and Where: Ceremony at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, reception at The Jeffersonian in Louisville, KY
When: May 2019
Hair: Mane Beauty Parlour Inc
Catering & Flowers: Swan's Landing
Dresses: Rebecca's Wedding Boutique
Suits: Men's Warehouse
If you don’t know already, I love Catholic Church weddings. Well, let’s be honest, I get excited about all weddings. But, those stained glass windows get me every time. And I love all the symbolism and meaning in Catholic wedding ceremonies. When Maggie and Nate told me that they were getting married at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, I was really excited about the challenge of working inside another church. Then, when I photographed Maggie and Nate’s engagement session I got even more excited. The couple is low-key and sweet. Maggie is very bubbly, while Nate is calm and collected. They both had great attitudes and I could tell the wedding day would be a lot of fun.
I started the day at Maggie’s parents’ home photographing the girls getting ready, while my assistant for the day, Johanna, photographed the boys getting ready at a nearby hotel. (My usual second shooter, David, was busy with his oldest daughter’s high school graduation. Congratulations Sierra!)
When we arrived to the church, Maggie and Nate exchanged gifts before doing a first look. It was SO MUCH FUN to photograph those two inside the church - the building provided us with some great indoor photo ops. After capturing some images indoors we moved outside to get more pictures of the couple together and also photograph the wedding party.
The wedding ceremony was lovely, of course! Following the ceremony, we drove to The Jeffersonian for the reception. The wedding party’s flowers from Swan’s Landing were absolutely stunning the entire wedding day, and the floral arrangements continued to impress during the evening at the ceremony. Maggie’s sisters provided a lot of entertainment with their speeches as well. Maggie and Nate had a live band play at the reception and they were fantastic! They even pulled the flower girl, named Caroline, to the middle of the dance floor to sing “Sweet Caroline”. It was definitely a crowd pleaser!
About first looks: I am often asked what my thoughts are on first looks and if they are a good idea or not. My opinion is this - it depends the wedding. Often times, a first look can be beneficial for practical purposes and to shake off wedding day jitters. If you do a first look, you can take almost, if not all, of the formal portraits before the wedding ceremony to allow for a seamless transition to the reception so you have more time to spend with friends and family. Some couple also like that they get to see their future spouse in private for the first time, since most of the wedding day feels like a whirlwind of activity. However, I don’t like to pressure people into doing first looks. I don’t think anyone could have convinced me to do a first look on my own wedding day! That moment when I walked down the aisle to see my husband for the first time was a moment that was very special to both of us. The other benefit of waiting to see your spouse first the time at the ceremony is that if it isn’t already dark outside after the ceremony (such is the case with many winter weddings), the sun will be lower for your bride and groom portraits. Are you familiar with “the golden hour”? This is the time of day that photographers love because the light is softer and warmer, which makes for beautiful portraits. However, even if you do a first look, you can still take portraits outside in the evening if you want to. Also, choosing to wait to see each other during the ceremony might be a good choice if your venue needs to be flipped for the reception. So, before you decide what you would like to do, talk with your fiancé about your priorities for the day, what you each feel most comfortable with, and bounce ideas off of your photographer!