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Tyler Arboretum Wedding Photographers: Liz & Mike

Beautifully styled romantic, outdoor wedding in the *rain*…
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What a beautiful wedding!!!  It was exquisite, from Tyler Arboretum‘s extensive grounds to Liz’s style, and yes even to the rain.  It was unexpected but so perfectly timed and all-in-all added so much character to the day.
When I talked to Liz about the style of her wedding she shared wanting timelessness, so I’ll open with this simple image of her engagement rings…
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I loved the styling of their wedding– it felt fresh, romantic, elegant, simple & certainly timeless.
Liz loves to shop at Anthropologie (one of my very favorites as well) and they have their own wedding line, BHLDN, which is where Liz found her wedding gown, shoes and other elements for her wedding day.  (If you are a bride-to-be you need to check out BHLDN, you’ll love it!)
I saw her shoes, and loved the lace-up kitten heels immediately, so charming and creative.  Liz said she was looking for something “out of the ordinary”.  I thought I’d match that and raise her by scripting of those laces 😉
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I like how the window light is just skimming her hands and foot in this image.  It gives it a much more intimate feel and allows you to see the detailing of her dress, shoes and jewelry.
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Liz’s mom– what a lovely, fun lady!  Liz shared that she is very fortunate to have such a great mom who is so supportive and caring.
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Sisters!!!  By the end of the day there would be another ring on her finger 🙂
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Liz & Mike were med-school sweethearts who were “only a window apart.”  It is actually a very sweet story that you can read on my blog of their Longwood Gardens engagement, here.
Mike said he fell for Liz because she is a strong, smart woman with a great sense of humor.  He said he can totally be himself around her, they just fit :).
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Her bridesmaids wore mauve, knee length dresses.  Each found a style that they liked best.  I love how they all came together!  The lace and chiffon blends so beautifully.
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Liz & Mike had relaxed attitudes with their wedding vendors, too.  Their strategy seemed to be to find professionals that clicked and to trust them to “do their thing.”
I noticed this first hand during our initial meeting, Liz said very simply that she liked my creative eye and she wasn’t sure exactly what I do or how I do it, but hiring me as her photographer was “one thing she was sure about.”
It seemed like that laid back attitude held true throughout the day.  I remarked on how incredible her bouquets were and she said she had just asked for pink with yellow accents and he created these beautiful arrangements.
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Now it’s Mike’s turn for the spotlight.  Liz shared that he is incredibly loyal, dedicated and is someone who makes her feel comfortable, one she can totally be herself around.
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I love this photo of Mike and his brothers and groomsman, such a fun group of guys!  I like how the slow shutter and high contrast black and white captures their laughter and gives this photo a timeless feel:
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Time for their “first look”!!!  Liz and Mike knew they wanted to have a first look from the beginning.
They wanted to share that initial moment alone and they wanted to be able to flow right from the ceremony into cocktail hour with all of their guests and still wanted enough time for great portrait photography for their family, bridal party and themselves.  It was a great fit for them!
Liz said that the moment itself was incredibly exciting and that she liked how she was waiting for Mike and he stood with his eyes closed waiting to give her her bouquet.  I used a shallow depth of field to draw attention to Mike’s anticipation and keep Liz a mystery.
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Liz said she couldn’t get over how handsome he looked and Mike told her she looked just as beautiful as he knew she would, which was met with this adorable expression from Liz that made Mike laugh out loud.  I love candid moments like this!
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They walked together hand-in-hand exploring the grounds of Tyler Arboretum.
It is one of the oldest and largest arboreta in the United States (650 contiguous acres) and was acquired from William Penn in 1681.  The trees are unique, many of them exotic species and hundreds of years old.
This space embodied that timeless, romantic, organic feel of their wedding perfectly.
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I couldn’t get over this tunnel/bridge structure, it is stunning!
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Liz and Mike had quite the bridal party– nearly 20 members!
We captured some more traditional photos as well, but I really like this shot where they each are showing a bit of uniqueness and personality.  This will look incredible blown up in your album or as a facebook banner pic, guys!
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And, this is when it started to rain, just as the *outdoor* ceremony was about to start.  If you look closely you can see it beading up a bit on the floral aisle decor:
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Guests began arriving, umbrellas in tote and smiles on their faces.
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It was still raining relatively hard as Liz and her dad waited under the shelter of a tree to start the wedding processional.  She said her father did a good job of calming her down, she was worried about her guests sitting in the rain, he assured her it would all be okay.
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The odd thing is, as soon as Liz stepped out from beneath the tree, the rain turned to a slow mist!!!
I needed to check with the person next to me to make sure that it wasn’t just in my head, because it was literally THE moment she stepped out that it calmed to a mist.  It was just unreal!
The touching moment when Liz’s father gave her away:
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Mike  said that it was incredible to look out and see all the people who love you present to support you, (even in the rain)!
He shared that Liz looked beautiful and that he was trying his best to “hold it together.”
I love Mike’s expression here!   It says it all– pride, joy, gratitude– it looks like he feels like the luckiest man on the planet!
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Actually, if I didn’t tell you it was raining, you probably wouldn’t know from this photo!  The guests umbrellas are down, the sun is even peeking through a little.  I still can’t believe the weather!
It was just a fine mist throughout the ceremony!
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A sweet poem was read (we actually used it in our wedding, too!).

I will be here when you feel like being quiet,
When you need to speak your mind, I will listen,
And I will be here when the laughter turns to crying,
Through the winning, losing and trying,
We’ll be together, I will be here.
You can cry on my shoulder,
When the mirror tells us we’re older,
I will hold you and I will be here,
To watch you grow in beauty,
Tell you all the things you are to me,
I will be here.

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This is one of my very favorite images from their wedding.  The ceremony ended, they kissed and started to recess down the aisle and it began raining hard again.  (uncanny!!!)
Guests pulled out their umbrellas and Mike pulled Liz in tight and kissed her on the cheek.  You can see their siblings noticing the sweet moment, too.  I’m actually hiding behind/under the shrub to the left of the frame to try to keep my camera dry-ish and to hopefully go unnoticed so that I can capture candid moments like this ;).
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Guests met under a large Ginkgo tree for cocktail hour.  The tree’s branches sheltered guests from the rain and it made for a very unique backdrop.
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Jeffery A. Miller was the caterer for the event and was outstanding.  The food was excellent and paired so well with the timeless, organic feel of the event– simply and elegantly crafted and delicious.
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Sweet succulent table cards also served as favors for wedding guests.
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Liz and Mike’s first dance– I like this moment as they laugh together and you can see guests smiling and strings of light in the background.  You can even see how wet he is from standing out in the rain for their ceremony :).
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Mike shared that he is very close with his family, and that while they are all close, they do not often express that emotion.  His brother shared that he had always looked up to Mike and was following in his footsteps and thanked him for being such a strong and important influence in his life.
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Mmmmmm cake!  It is so simple, colorful and romantic, I love the use of fresh florals!
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Another clever idea by caterer, Jeffery A. Miller!   Liz said she would like to serve Arnold Palmers as their signature cocktail and he came up with the colorful glasses and straws– such a vibrant, fun touch!
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Thunderstruck!!!!  A drinking game based on the AC/DC song– everyone loved it!
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And then they crown-surfed Mike, haaaaaa!
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Everyone had a fantastic time and mixed together beautifully!
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Good times 🙂
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The rain continued through the reception.  I pulled Liz and Mike out for a final photo in the rain and love how this one turned out!!!
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Liz and Mike, thank you for choosing me as your photographer and sharing such an amazing day with me!  I wish you many years of happiness and love and am excited to see what the future brings for both of you!

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