When Lauren first contacted me interested in using our hop farm for her wedding ceremony, I wasn’t sure we could pull it off. Our launch date was set for July 21st and there was/is still a lot of construction that needed to be done and I may have tried to talk them out of it. But they were set and really wanted to have their wedding at a hop farm and in the end I promised to do what we could to make it happen. With the help of some really good friends, on July 1 I photographed my first wedding at my new wedding venue. So here we go, our first official wedding ceremony at Hoppily Ever After Farms.
The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful, but not before Mother Nature had to remind me who was in charge that day. A huge storm rolled through bringing pouring rain, hail and tears. It started exactly 30 minutes before their first look. I tried staying calm, because there was absolutely nothing I could do at this point. A year of dreaming, 16 months of back breaking labor were all resting in Mother Nature’s hands. We waited it out under the bathroom tent praying that it wouldn’t create too much of a muddy mess – it is a farm after all. Thankfully it ended literally 5 minutes before Lauren & Paul arrived and the mess left behind was minimal.
I started early that morning setting up and when I stepped into the gardens after the storm, I had an entirely new perspective and needed a second to stand there and breathe. (Thanks to Kacey for the picture). The moment I had been living my life for these last two years was here, our first wedding on the farm. But I still had work to do. I was calm on the outside, but inside, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a hot mess. Standing there in this moment, I realized that it was happening. Our absolutely crazy idea was all coming to fruition. The gardens were looking their absolute best, the electrical was in and I knew I had the very best people there to help me.
Paul & Lauren grew up together but lost touch. Their mutual love for craft beer brought them back together when they reconnected on an Instgram post by Griffin Claw. 2 years later they celebrated their love for each other with a craft beer themed wedding on a Hop Farm with a custom wedding brew from Harsen’s Island Brewery. I know I’m completely biased, but how cool is that?
Love these moments with Lauren and her Mom…
But these moments with Paul’s daughter Maddie had me in tears. After the ceremony, she looked upset and I overheard her tell Paul & Lauren, “I’m just so happy”…
The Secret Garden was filled with people, love and laughter the entire afternoon and so was my heart.
Since our hop plants are still babies and not fully mature, we weren’t able to use our intended ceremony site this year, but we created a space outside of the gardens that worked perfectly.
Lauren had her Grandmother escort her down the aisle and it was such an beautiful moment. I just love the way Grandma is holding her Granddaughter here…
When I stood back to do my pull back shot of the ceremony, I lost it and started crying. Here I was, photographing a wedding at my wedding venue. So much of my blood, sweat and tears went into this very spot and now Lauren and Paul were standing there committing their love to each other with 75 of their closest family and friends. I still can’t process it all, 2 weeks later.
Not only was I in tears so many moments in those quick 2 hours that they were here, but the vows they spoke to each other had everyone in fits of laughter. It was one of the funniest, most personal and honest vows I’ve heard.
I have to give a big shout out to my good friends Derek and his wife Clare over at The Block Party. They came to set up sound for the ceremony and tunes for cocktail hour. It really wouldn’t have been the same without them. You guys are amazing and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
Lauren and Paul, thank you so much for trusting us and choosing Hoppily Ever After Farms for your wedding venue and me as your photographer. From beer tasting and your engagement session to the big day we have had so much fun working with you and are more than honored to have been such a big part of your special day.
Congratulations and Cheers!