ceremony: Saint John the Baptist Homer, AK
officiant: Fr. Andrew Sensenig
reception: Chart Room Restaurant Homer, AK
accommodations: Bay Avenue Bed & Breakfast Homer, AK
cake: Dairy Queen (girl after my own ice cream heart!)
hair: Jeremy, Grass Roots Salon
make-up: Sea Glo Cosmetics
gown: Joyce, Something Wonderful Inc. Carmel, IN
honeymoon: Danali National Park, Alaska
Four years ago, Emily stumbled across my blog while searching Google for something and it popped up. She liked it, bookmarked it, checked in regularly, and when she got engaged and decided to marry her longtime love Joel in what was once planned as their honeymoon destination spot, Alaska, she sent me an enthusiastic email asking if I would consider the trip. Um, YES PLEASE!
How they met, in Emily's words:
Joel and I met in Rocky Mountain National Park in 2001. We were working summer jobs as "ranch hands" at a dude ranch. That summer was the beginning of a three year long distance relationship, driving countless miles to visit each other at Purdue U., and Ohio State. After a year of living in the same city (post-undergrad degree), I went back to Ohio State for veterinary school, and another four years of long distance followed. After graduation from vet school, Joel followed me to my current job in Iowa. Close to nine years together, and we're finally "gettin' hitched."
Alaska was everything and more than I imagined it could be. Booked more than a year ago, J and I knew this would be a highlight of our summer and indeed it was. Tho the sun only peeked out for a few brief moments on their wedding day, the scenery and small fishing town of Homer (four hours south of Anchorage) was just stunning.
Emily, Joel and their families made us feel so welcome, inviting us to join them and their 16 VIP guests at their intimate rehearsal dinner and morning after brunch. We had such a blast and, boy, did we laugh. There was a lump in my throat when it came time to say our good-byes and gosh, we really miss them already!
Take a peek at their album design and a few of my favorite images from the day below.
Every detail was well planned... from the luggage tags to the needlepoint labels on fleece blankets for everyone, and the sweetest welcome bags filled with lots of personal touches (including a T-shirt from Homer for our little peanut, sized at 6 months, perfect for next summer. SO thoughtful!).
Emily started the morning at a sweet little hair salon in town.
And then went next door to an even sweeter itty, bitty spa.
Back at their B&B, it was time to get dressed. Emily designed her gown and had it custom-made. Loved her shoes, in her wedding colors (teal and brown), showing off their family tattoo here (her last name is Whitehouse).
Our groom, Joel, featuring handmade boutonniere by Emily.
Emily's matching DIY paper bouquet.
And some of the other bridal party DIY flowers.
The sun said hello for a few quick moments!
The lupine was gorgeous.
We walked through the shops on the Homer Spit and these two were greeted with such warmth (even hugs!) by the locals.
One shopowner presented them with a gift. Emily, who admits she gets emotional at everything, was really moved by the gesture.
And then everyone toasted together at a local restaurant.
As the sun never really sets in Alaska at this time of year (it gets darker, but not until 2a or so, and never completely dark!), we didn't have the chance for a typical sunset portrait. That's a-ok, I loved taking this outside at would have been total darkness had we been shooting on the east coast (My body clock, on the other hand, had quite an adjustment settling back to sleeping at normal hours!).
Congratulations, Emily and Joel! Thank you again for treating us to one of the biggest adventures we have shared. We adore you and your families, and hope that you will all stay in touch (and maybe visit Maine one day?!)! Can't wait to hear about your honeymoon, and especially your parents' trip to see the polar bears up north! xox