Jay called me no more than two weeks before he planned to say his wedding vows in front of his children and soon to be wife. He told me that they were having a laid back, intimate ceremony in the woods, and that Brenda, his fiancée, wanted photos that represented that. We talked for a bit over the phone about their day and I quickly realized that this was going to be a dream session. It was a meaningful, intimate, laid back wedding that was about everything a wedding should be about; the love they share for one another and for their children.
I met the family of five and their 3 dogs in a cabin while they prepared for the ceremony. Jay and Brenda helped each other get dressed and put the finishing touches on the kids’ outfits, then Jay gave his daughter, Meya, a ring that included a hand written letter. It was unlike any wedding I’d been to before. Usually the room(s) are bustling with nervousness and excitement, the bride and groom haven’t seen each other, and there is every bit of 20 people prepping their attire. Brenda and Jay may’ve been nervous, but it didn’t show. The house was quiet. They talked about a trip to Iceland, took some Instax photos, and giggled about deodorant and tying a tie. There was a hint of rush, but there were no guests waiting, and the only people they had to impress was one another.
After everyone was ready we headed down past the lodge at Savage River and in to the woods. The family was encouraged to walk until they found a spot that spoke to them, and on the way in, Teagan, Brenda’s daughter, leaned over to Meya and said “we’re about to be sisters!” and my heart could hardly take it. The ceremony was full of laugher and incredibly sweet moments. Jay actually dropped to one knee at a point to vow to Teagan that he’d take care of her before placing a ring on her finger like the one he had given Meya earlier. It was quick, but there was no shortage of love.
Dinner was just that. It wasn’t a big ordeal. They didn’t have games or dances planned. There was no money dance, bouquet toss, or speeches. It was just a family dinner. The room was completely lit by candles and the flash of Teagan’s Instax. We all laughed about confetti poppers, Champagne that wouldn’t open, and music choices.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out this beautiful venue yourself, you definitely should. It was the perfect backdrop for the day that Brenda, Jay, Nathan, Meya, and Teagan shared with each other.