I find that sometimes couples will get pulled into the idea that all weddings must have certain elements in order to make them weddings – even if those elements and traditions are things that don’t accurately represent their personalities. Whenever I hear of couples who feel that pressure to do something on their wedding day that doesn’t feel right/good/enjoyable, I always ask my couples to evaluate if it’s something worth doing at all and if not, then to skip it. Because realistically there are only a couple of things you have to do in order to officially be married, none of which have to do with what you wear or whether you had proper introductions into your wedding reception :)
I’ve had couples with shy parents who didn’t want to do a big show of a parent/child dance in front of everyone and instead they secretly threw in a song in the middle of the night where the two of them would dance together to a fun song while everyone else was partying alongside them on the dance floor.
Or I’ve had couples who don’t even like cake and thought the whole cake cutting and feeding of said cake was going to feel forced and odd so I encouraged them to bypass it altogether.
Or the couple who secretly wed with just me as their witness right before their ceremony in front of everyone. They wanted that intimacy and felt they wouldn’t be free with their emotions and couldn’t say the words they wanted to say if they had to do it all in front of a crowd. So still to this date, no one else knows (outside of their officiant and me) that this even took place – and guess what? They, along with everyone else that opted out of various things they didn’t feel comfortable with doing, still are just as married as every other couple.
It’s all about making the day what YOU want it to be because I have yet to have a couple that regretted those decisions when they reflect back on their wedding day.
So what does this have to do with the magical couple whose photos you see here? Well, Dallas and Drew did so many things so the celebration would suit them perfectly, that it just might be the most truly personalized wedding I’ve photographed. And that’s pretty damn awesome!
They got ready together in their home and while Drew had already seen her wedding dress, there was still that deep intake of air into his lungs when he saw Dallas step out in her full wedding day attire.
And speaking of dress, just look at it!! HOLY CRAP I LOVE IT. That deep black with the lace detail highlighting her beautiful pale skin and radiant eyes. She was mesmerizing to look at and all of the absolutely beautiful unique-ness of her personality and who she is was able to be reflected in what she wore to marry her favorite person.
They didn’t do a first look, and instead they walked past each other all morning in the halls and living room of the home they share with their ginormous dog, Jackson Bear.
There wasn’t the fanfare of the introductions into the reception and the wedding party was full of bridesmaids who were free to wear different dresses that they felt suited them best while the guys wore various suits and sweaters and ties and no ties.
Metal music made up most of the laid back reception music where guests sat among carved pumpkins and ouija board decorated tables. Deep purples filled the flower vases and crimson red accents adorned various parts of the tables.
And Dallas and Drew? Well I couldn’t get enough of them.
Drew always held her close, couldn’t contain his smile whenever she was around, made her laugh when the nerves started to settle in and showed me that without a doubt, this woman was the love of his life.
And I can see why he loves her so very much! She’s the epitome of caring, of keeping all living things protected and safe (a vegan animal lover who can’t get enough of nature makes her an absolute gem of a human in my book!), and of making sure that the love of her life knows just how much he means to her.
And I must say that Dallas’ sister, Melissa, and Melissa’s daughter Adelaide added so much to their day and were also two people I was drawn to photograph and be around. Melissa is raising a bold, smart, and gentle person who is the absolute reflection of her mother. The relationship the married couple has with Melissa and Adelaide is so tightknit and simply watching them all interact with one another warmed me down to the core.
What makes us different is what makes us beautiful and it’s what we should all feel free to celebrate like Dallas and Drew did and it’s what I wish for all of my couples to do. And if that means you do all of the traditions on a wedding day, then you should do that too! But if something different is calling to you and you worry about changing it up, I hope you’ll take inspiration from the next few pictures and make the day a reflection of that insanely beautiful unique-ness that lives inside of your own love story.
Dallas and Drew, congratulations on a perfectly you wedding day. I’m so happy I was a part of watching it all unfold and I’m so excited for what your future holds.
New Hampshire Wedding Photographer: I AM SARAH V Photography (Oscar was my second)
Ceremony & Reception: Private Residence
Wedding Dress: Tadashi Shoji
Suit: Tuxedos With Style
Flowers: Inkwell Flowers
Catering: Oak House
Maine & New Hampshire wedding photographer, I AM SARAH V Photography, photographs events for wildly in love couples seeking an NH & Maine wedding photographer with a photojournalism & cinematic approach. You can see more of my work online at www.iamsarahv.com or on Instagram. I photograph many locations including being a New Hampshire wedding photographer and I would enjoy photographing your day too! If you’d like to contact me directly, please email me at email@example.com
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