Talya and Sam knew they wanted their wedding to be during Labor Day Weekend. Relatives were flying in from across the country and they were doing a lot of DIY projects for the wedding itself. In fact, the wedding venue was scheduled to be a gorgeous family property up the McKenzie near the Belknap Hot Springs. The couple and their families had been building, cleaning, renovating, and organizing for months to prepare the property for the big event. Talya had been sending me videos and images of where she was thinking for the first look...by the creek, the beautiful trees? Up the hillside? So many amazing choices!
Fast forward to the week before the wedding. The Avenue Fire nearby had grown and joined forces with several other wildfires, creating the enormous Horse Creek Complex Fire. At the time, it was burning over 3,000 acres. What initially was a preventative, informative firefighter presence close to the property turned into a "you need to evacuate" situation. Four days before the wedding.
Like everything that happens to Talya and Sam, they took it in stride. Sam's brother, Jack, heads up the amazingly beautiful farmstand on McKenzie Highway, the Organic Redneck. Across the street, neighbors happened to have a perfectly manicured, wedding-ready lawn, that they had just so happened to get married on, decades ago...on Labor Day Weekend. So many people pulled together to make this wedding gorgeous and it absolutely was.
When I arrived on the wedding day, Talya told me about how personal the wedding ceremony would be. There were going to be a number of unique elements carefully created for Sam and Talya, their journey together thus far, and the journey ahead of them. They also were going to have a moment with all of their guests at the end - everyone would join hands, create a tight-woven circle on the wedding lawn, and sing their love for the couple. At first, I couldn't envision how it would work and I am simplifying what ended up being an extraordinarily sentimental event for Talya, Sam, and their son, Elon, but the process of Sam and Talya's actual marriage was unlike anything I had ever seen. There were so many personal elements and showcases of love and support - it was something no one who was present will soon forget.
After the ceremony, we were able to sneak off over to the Organic Redneck Farm grounds for some portraits. Sam led us to a peach grove that HE had planted years ago and was now full of tall trees, leaning with perfect peaches (of course, I awkwardly asked to eat one because they were literally the most beautiful peaches I'd ever seen! Sam RAN to his house, cut up some peaches, and brought them back for us in a bowl. Soooo worth it! I even brought one home for Marissa and she has asked for another one every day since!) The cocktail hour was followed by an amazing dinner, toasts and dancing. Throughout the day, the smoke was so thick, but it didn't dampen any of the festivities. I have a lot to say about this gorgeous wedding of my dear friends, and could go on and on, but instead, I will feast your eyes on some of my favorite images.
Full Gallery here: https://kelseajoannphotography.pixieset.com/talyasamwedding/
Catering: Party Downtown
Venue: Organic Redneck