On the 7th of July, 2012, in 110 degree heat, my brother, Jeremy, and his lovely bride, Sarah, tied the knot. It was a beautiful (and scorching) day, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the two of them.
It was really special to meet the people who have been Jer’s family away from home. We can relate because we have found this in New Zealand. Sarah has two brothers who are both married with kids, and also live in Muscatine. Sarah’s mom and her husband, along with Sarah’s dad and his wife also live in Muscatine. It is evident that they have really embraced Jer into their family, which is so wonderful.
There is another family, the Davises, whom Jer would often spend Thanksgiving and other holidays with. Jer played ball with Drew Davis, who was supposed to be his best man, but unfortunately couldn’t make it to the wedding because he got called out last minute for pre-deployment training with the US Marines. Luckily, Drew’s brother, Nick, whom Jer is also good friends with (and also happens to be the same tux size), was able to step in as Best Man. Drew’s grandparents would faithfully attend all of Jer’s ball games, and have forever opened their home to him (and all of us). Super sweet. It’s so aweome to know that my brother is loved and surrounded by such great people here in Iowa.
The other groomsmen included Garrett, Jer’s friend since junior high, along with Jer’s roommate from this past year, Thomas. Another friend who Jer grew up playing baseball with, Keaton, also came up from St. Albert with Garrett to attend the wedding. On the bride’s side were Sarah’s two sister-in-laws, Melissa and Sarah, along with her friend since childhood, Megan.
The ceremony took place on the property of some family friends. They had a beautiful home, a gorgeously landscaped backyard, and a lovely flat area of lawn next to the house that is perfect for a wedding ceremony.
The property is located just a short drive away from Muscatine, on the other side of the Mississippi river (actually in the state of Illinois), and looks out to the surrounding rolling plains and farmland. It was a picturesque rural setting.
The ceremony: beautiful and quick. Perfect. No one passed out. Most definitely thanks to the ample supply of chilled bottled water and the life-saving tent that provided shade for guests.
They had this super neat idea instead of a guestbook: On a large canvas with a painted tree, people were asked to ink their finger and add a finger print “leaf” to the tree and sign their name. I absolutely adore this idea, and think it will make for such a beautiful momento to hang in their home.
Morgan and Allison were the beautiful guestbook attendants, and of course, did a fabulous job.
Allison also designed their programs. Aren’t they attractive? My sister is super talented. If you are interested in having her brand your special day or event, you can view her work and contact her here.
Inbetween the ceremony and the reception, Alli and I got the opportunity to step in as photographers, and had the honor of snapping a few pics of Jer and Sarah. I had secretly wanted to be the official photographer for the wedding, but knew this would be a bit tricky to do when you need to be in some of the photos yourself. The bride and groom were real troopers through the 110 degree temperatures- I know it couldn’t have been too breezy under the many layers of lace and beading on Sarah’s gorgeous dress, and suits definitely aren’t the most practical attire for days when there is a severe heat advisory.
But the couple looked amazing, and they didn’t let the heat steal an ounce of joy from their day. Though I could have spent several hours doing an extensive shoot with this attractive couple, we did have some time constraints to bide by. We were able to do a few shots out at the ceremony site, and then in a back alleyway in Muscatine’s charming downtown.
The bride and groom’s entrance into the reception was one of the best I have ever seen. The rest of the bridal party arrived first, without the new Mr. & Mrs. Goodall, leaving guests and some members of the bridal party feeling puzzled. Next thing we knew, a video began playing, and we realized this was all part of the plan. I won’t say any more, except that if you havn’t seen the video yet, you should watch it for yourself here. It was a pretty epic entrance, if I do say so. Well done, Jer and Sarah! Good one.
The reception was held at a nice hall overlooking a pond. Despite a few minor glitches with the air conditioning unit, the rest of the evening unfolded relatively smoothly.
After a delicious Italian feast, we hit the dance floor for some good times.
To cap off a fabulous day, everyone went outside to release some biodegradable paper lanterns. Guests were invited to write a message or wish for Jer and Sarah, then ignite the base of the lanterns and watch them fill with hot air and sail off into the night sky. Some made it up easier than others, but it was a pretty unforgettable way to end a special day.
Did I mention that Jer and Sarah arranged to have their wedding around when we could be there? That was really incredibly sweet of them. We feel pretty honored that they would plan their wedding date around our presence, and are SO glad we could be there to share in such a special and beautiful day. We are going to miss those two… but we have a feeling that this will certainly not be the last we see of Iowa.