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December 6, 2009  -  Weddings

julia + shawn

Julia + Shawn are pretty big animal people. They spend a lot of time finding homes for animals, and when we did their e-shoot, they happened to have a box of kittens in the car who they were in the process of taking to their new home. So, when their first choice of a venue location wasn't available, it was suggested they get married at the zoo, which was pretty much perfect for them. When they told us they were planning on getting hitched in the new rain forest exhibit, we dorked out hard. So, even though we were nervous about the weather (which, of course, was fine since this fall was totally trying to make up for the crappy summer), we were really looking forward to their wedding.

We started the day out at Julia's folks' home in Angola.
I loved Julia's shoes!
Dorked out hard?? Try, we've been waiting for this wedding for a LONG time!! We knew we had to bring it hard, being that it was going to be the first wedding ever held in the Buffalo Zoo's rainforest exhibit and we completely fell in love with Julia and Shawn and their story (and their love of animals - we're pretty hardcore animal lovers, too :) ) This next shot - a favorite, babe!
Thanks! Okay, so I know this post is about Julia + Shawn's wedding, but the flower girls were just so ridiculously cute, I had a hard time not including a boatload of photos of them. Julia kept saying how bad with kids she is, but you're totally a liar, Julia. You were fantastic with the girls! I have proof!!
I freakin' love this shot!!
All morning Julia was saying she didn't feel like she was getting married. She felt like she was maybe a 2 on the is-this-your-wedding-day-1-to-10 scale. But the minute she sat down in the limo bus, she went straight to 10.
Oh my God, I love the "don't let the happy tears smudge the mascara" acrobatics!
We did a first-look in front of the fountain by the lions and tigers - and it was AWESOME. Julia and Shawn were just so incredibly, infectiously happy that it just makes this job so kick-ass. I can't help it, I'm smiling like crazy just looking at these again.
Julia said that their first moments together was the thing she was most looking forward to (clearly, aside from actually marrying Shawn!), and it was great to watch. These two have been together since high school, so this day was a long time coming, and their first look did not disappoint!
Because we knew we were going to be pretty immobile during the ceremony (for those of you who haven't been there, the exhibit doesn't have large walkways, and they were full of guests), so we brought a photog friend along for the day - Clark Dever. This next shot is his!
When you showed me this next photo, I was like DAMMIT - WHY DIDN'T I SHOOT THAT?!?! I'm jealous in a, "I'm incredibly lucky to be able to shoot with you all the time" kind of way.
Thank you. I couldn't imagine shooting with anyone else, babe. :)

I was pretty unbelievably stoked that a lion was watching their first look. Awesome. So, we did their couple's session before the ceremony around the zoo...
And by "couple's session" you mean ten minutes of photo-taking fury :) It was perfect, a little overcast, not ENTIRELY freezing, and AT THE FRICKIN ZOO!
Gorgeous, babe.
Thank you - but I can't take any credit for Shawn and Julia pretty much looking like models. Money.
So, while we were waiting for the girls to first arrive at the zoo's rainforest exhibit, I MAYBE got a little crazy for a few minutes with the 300mm lens I rented for the wedding. We didn't exactly know what to expect from the space and where we could be, but we were pretty sure that we'd be unable to move around with all the guests lining the exhibit. Anyway, I nerded out at the new focal length.
Seriously, he was like, I want to put all these bird photos on the blog, and I was like, um, no. Seriously - they want to see pictures from the wedding not Rich turning all faux-nature photographer (it doesn't count if they can't fly away). Argh, but they are real pretty, so I conceded. Here. Birds. And a cayman. And.....bird feet
Start of the ceremony, Shawn coming out from behind the waterfall...
For those of you that know the space and are curious how they pulled it off, they had guests line one side and used the other as the aisle. Julia came around the back of the waterfall to meet Shawn at the bridge where they held the ceremony. Awesome.
At the end of the night, Shawn asked us if we got any good shots. I was like, hello! You got married in a rain forest!!! Loved it!
RE-diculously awesome! I couldn't move around, but I was swapping lenses like a fool and having a huge blast.
Favorite back-of-a-guest's camera shot ever.
The next two shots are also Clark's. Go Clark!
I love that they were able to do a bubble exit the last week of November. Awe. Some. (And I love this shot of yours, Rich. Perfect!)
Aw, thanks :)
The reception was at Glen Oak Golf Course, and it was a party and a half...
Yeah, it's really a fun space to shoot - we always have a blast there!
You can grow up, but your mom will STILL clean your face in public.
You rule, Alyssa. I love that you took this.
I love that Julia + Shawn busted out Julia's folks' wedding song, since it was also their anniversary for that dance. Really sweet!
You guys were so awesome - thank you guys for having us with you at your totally sweet and amazing wedding!

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