Who doesn’t love a barn wedding! The light, the space, and the countryside all around come together to create one of our favorite places to shoot. This year, we were overjoyed to be asked to photograph the wedding of Kristyn and Ryan. A celebration that was due to take place at Bunker Hill, a family-run barn wedding venue in rural Iowa! Such a dreamy destination, and one we couldn’t wait to capture!
Today, it’s our privilege to share Kristyn and Ryan’s barn wedding with you, and all the little details that made this occasion so special.
Kristyn and Ryan are a super cute couple of 8th-grade sweethearts. Meeting for the first time at a summer fair in Moline, IL many moons ago. This chance initial connection became a long-lasting friendship, which, through the years, developed into a deep love for each other. They have now been together for over 10 years, and have 2 daughters together.
Popping the question is nerve-wracking for anyone. Even for somebody like Ryan, who, at the point of proposing, had already been with his partner Kristyn for many years. Finally, after carrying the ring around in his pocket for a week, and whisking Kristyn away for a romantic break. The question was finally asked, at home. He just couldn’t do it until he felt the time was right.
Here’s how Kristyn describes it, “We were at home with our two 5-year-old daughters, and we decided to go for a walk. He (Ryan) took us over to this place where our daughters would play all the time. He couldn’t hold on any longer, and finally got down on one knee. Our daughter’s eyes were filling with big emotions of absolute happiness as he asked me to be his wife. Having our daughters there was the best decision.”
Before a bride visits a bridal salon, they are often given a lot of advice by married family and friends, and cable TV! This was certainly true of Kristyn, who entered Storybook Ending in Dewitt, Iowa, with her head buzzing with wedding dress shopping tips.
Initially, she grabbed 5 dresses off the rails and took them into the changing room. One after another, she tried them on, until she reached the 4th dress. At this point, she wasn’t feeling the way she thought she’d feel. And her friends had told her that when she finds ‘the one’, it will instantly bring her to tears. So she was starting to get a bit worried because she wasn’t feeling anything at all!
But, then she tried on the 5th dress, which was actually the first dress she’d pulled off the rails and this gown certainly stirred something inside her. “I couldn’t control the tears of happiness running down my cheeks. I knew at that very moment I needn’t look any further. It felt like it was made just for me.”, explained Kristyn. She’d found her gown.
The wedding of Kristyn and Ryan was a delightfully special event, with a landscape of nothing but endless wheat fields and the beautiful Bunker Hill barn. Loved ones were arranged in a casual style, sat on lined up wooden benches, decorated with hanging baskets. The exchange of vows itself was full of laughter and personality from the bride and groom, as well as their bridesmaid officiant. The pair decided not to do a first look shot, and we’re so glad they did because the raw emotion on Ryan’s face when he saw Kristyn was priceless. An exceptional moment.
Our couple celebrated their nuptials in care-free style, embracing the warm, whimsical surroundings of their wonderful barn wedding venue. Together, they eat, drank, and danced with their loved ones. Until it was time to take their first dance together, a romantic moment sound tracked by ‘The Rest of our Lives’ by Drew Green. Which was followed by the equally special dances’ involving Kristyn’s dad, and Ryan’s mom.
We took lots of detail shots of the sentimental items Kristyn and Ryan had brought along to their barn wedding. And these images were some of our brides’ favorites from the day. The little details are what sets one wedding apart from the next, and we’re so glad we were able to capture Kristyn’s for her.
On the day, Kristyn was also thankful that she remembered to pack her bride’s emergency kit. A bag full of, “Touch-up make-up items (Lip gloss/ stick, mascara unless you’re rocking those false/extension eyelashes, etc.) extra Bobby pins, hair spray, or curling irons if needed. Anything to touch up your face before the final walk, also a sewing kit! You never know if or when a rip can happen.”, recommends Kristyn.
“Find a wedding photographer who makes it completely about you and your husband/wife. Who can make your day feel as if you are a celebrity, as I felt, and it was amazing. I would have to say Lauren Ashley Studios is the best team I’ve ever worked with, and I wouldn’t change that decision for anything.”, thanks, Kristyn!
It would be an honor to become a part of your wedding team and create that timeless keepsake of your big day that you’ll love forever. I and my team of Chicago wedding photographers at videographers at Lauren Ashley Studios will go above and beyond to capture the atmosphere of your special occasion and share it with passion and authenticity.
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