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When I was driving to Annie and Jeff’s wedding it was literally thunder storming. I was a little worried but I said a prayer and knew that God would handle it and make it right, and I wasn’t let down. Annie’s childhood home would be the place where most of the action was going to be for the wedding. As I was driving up their driveway I was greeted by her mother and three adorable golden retrievers. (They ended up spending the whole day with us as you will see.) Her mom and I walked the property as she gave me the tour of where the cocktail hour would be held and the huge tent out back where the reception was to be. I got to see all of her beautiful flowers that she had planted the year before in hopes to make their yard so colorful and inviting with tons of flowers which didn’t disappoint! Upon entering their home I felt like I was in a magazine. I made a joke and asked if Country Living had come yet! I felt like I was at home already and could just kick my shoes off, flop down on the chair and start talking about how my day was.

We shot first looks with the brides father and fiancé under the big tree with the swing in the side yard. I’m so lucky that I get to take part in these moments of a wedding day. I say I’m there to shoot and won’t interrupt and I put one of my “creeper lenses” on and I’m off to the side experiencing these sweet and tender moments with a father and daughter and soon to be husband. Part of having a first look is to show off all of your bridal choices for the day, and Annie had made several choices… with her shoes! I’ve never had a bride where so many different shoes in one wedding day! After her father and Jeff saw her dress she would pull up the bottom of her dress and stick out her foot showing off the cutest white silky boots with sparkles on top. They both weren’t surprised that she would have such fun and unique wedding shoes, its something she’s known for. Then we rolled into portrait time for the bride and groom. All of their portraits were shot there right at Annie’s parents house, my personal favorite spot was the front porch. There’s just something special about front porches, call me old fashion but I think I’m onto something here!

The ceremony was held at the Presbyterian Church in downtown Bellefontaine. The same church that Annie grew up in and where her dad had retired as a pastor. Her dad had married all three of her brothers however, Annie is his only daughter and that made it a little bit extra bittersweet for her dad to marry both of them. He walked her down the aisle shook the grooms hand and then stood in front of them to conduct the ceremony. During the ceremony it was an emotional time for Annie especially when they talked about being married and in health and then sickness touching close to home already having been through so much together. Her dad hands her a tissue from his pocket, except it was already wet from previous tears.   Annie spoke out loud and said “That’s gross I can’t use that one!”  and someone handed her a fresh one as the entire congregation giggled.

About a month before the wedding the bride and groom took part in a southern tradition of burying a bottle of bourbon. For cocktail hour they dug it up and poured a glass of it and did cheer for their own cocktail time! The rest of cocktail hour was held in a little grove next to the tent out back. They had a bluegrass band who came all the way from Colorado to play as entertainment. And oh did they fill the trees with beautiful noise of mandolin and a cello. Once it was time to party at the reception the band started playing and everyone ran out of the dance floor ready to get their moves on. I don’t think there was a single space left, everyone was so happy to dance it up. The Fulton family even choreographed a dance to one of the band songs and they all did the moves on the dance floor and it was quite adorable including picking up the bride and groom. At the end of the night Annie’s brothers all had prepared a firework show for the guest. That is truly magic, like being in Disney World only better. Happily ever after Annie and Jeff!

August 5, 2020

Annie+Jeff Polack// Bellefontaine Ohio

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