I don’t even know how do begin to describe my thoughts and feelings about this wonderful couple and the amazing opportunity that I had to photograph their wedding day. Even still as I pour over their images, 3 weeks later, I can’t even believe that I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful job. A job that can take me 1,400 miles from home, to one of my favorite destinations, to photograph a couple who themselves traveled over 4,000 miles to be married in one of their favorite destinations. It was somewhat adventurous for both myself and the couple to make this happen and if you’d like to read more about how we made that happen click here. I’m just so thankful that Ashleigh and Ally have an adventurous spirit and that they were willing to take a chance on a crazy girl from Wisconsin who said, “Hey choose me to photograph your Disney Wedding!” I’m so glad that they did because it was truly a magical day.
The day started with the groom and his best man getting ready at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. That was my first time there and I loved it.
Ally and his best man Mark were so calm and collected. Even though they had quite the task in getting all of the details of their outfits on properly. How cool are their kilts?
After spending some time with the boys, I headed out to the villa where the girls were all getting ready. It was a beautiful setting and a perfect place for them to all get ready. I also met up with their Videographer, Tyler of Beyond Videography, for the first time. I have to give him a shout out for helping me hang her dress while photographing it. Your help was appreciated Tyler!!
Speaking of her dress!! Oh my, so amazingly gorgeous!!
Ashleigh and Ally chose not to do a “First Look.” But Ashleigh wanted to capture the looks of her brother and bridesmaids (which consisted of her and Ally’s sisters) seeing her for the first time.
I thought it was perfect and so sweet. That was the moment that I realized how incredibly special the day was going to be. And, afterward I drove to the ceremony site seriously thinking about how much I love my job!!
Here are just a few details from the ceremony site. Disney’s Boardwalk area is so colorful and such a fun venue for a wedding.
At Sea Breeze Point, there are two long arbor covered walkways on each side of the gazeebo. The bride walks down one of those instead of down the middle isle. At first I was wondering how that work for getting those first shots of the groom seeing the bride for the first time, as I’m usually a bit closer to each of them during that moment. But, I LOVED this set up and you’ll see why in the next few photos.
How wonderful is it that I could also capture the mother’s expressions as well????!!!! Seriously future brides, consider a side entrance for your wedding! I’d say Ally was overwhelmed by his gorgeous bride wouldn’t you?
I creep on all of my Bride’s Pinterests during their planning, just to get to know them and their style better, etc…And I know that Ashleigh had commented on one of her photos that she hoped that she looked just as happy on her wedding day. Well, she definitely did.
I also loved how happy her brother was for her.
One of the things that really struck me about Ashley and Ally’s wedding day (and whole week for that matter) was that they were most intent on making it an amazing experience for their family and friends. I was just so impressed with that. It seemed like everything they planned was more about making sure that their guests were having a wonderful time. So, they surprised them with some fun elements throughout the day. The first one was with Minnie and Mickey showing up for the cake cutting and photos with guests!!! I’m telling you, it was probably the most fun thing I’ve photographed. The shrieks coming from grown women (and men-Ally’s dad pointed out to me) were priceless. Ashleigh’s sister was just beside herself and Minnie really grabbed onto that fact. She kept going back to her over and over again.
Minnie is quite the ham. She really knew how to work the camera!!
After getting LOTS of photos with the celebrities, we had a few moments for some portraits. I just could not get over how beautiful Ashleigh looked. Like old Hollywood Glamour, I thought.
Afterward we headed up to The Attic, which is a quaint little loft above one of the Boardwalk’s Hotel buildings. It has so much color and personality and was the perfect setting for the two of them to spend some quality time with their guests.
Another surprise that they had planned for their guests was having a caricaturist there. He was AMAZING!!! Everyone enjoyed it so much!
I don’t know if it is a Scottish Wedding tradition or not, but the speeches were the best wedding speeches I’ve ever heard! They were all so well thought out and you could tell that each person really took their job seriously and wanted to make sure it was special. My favorite’s was Ally’s sister’s speech. After standing up, she cued the music from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. She then RAPPED the Entire Story of Ashleigh and Ally’s dating engagement and wedding. BEST WEDDING SPEECH EVER!!!! Everyone’s reactions were priceless.
After the lunch, we had some more time for portraits and group photos. And lots of fun with balloons!!
I’ve come across a lot of helpful groomsmen before, but Mark takes the cake. Literally. Not only did he hold bags, bouquets, balloons, etc… but he held my wrapped up piece of “to go”wedding cake the entire time!! Thanks for all of your help Mark!!
Sweetest Couple Ever right?
After a few hours of break, I joined up with everyone again for Ashleigh and Ally’s last surprise of the day. I of course knew what the surprise was, but their family did not. I had the privilege of photographing their private Dessert Party in Epcot. It was so much fun to ride a long with some of the family members as we drove to the undisclosed location and then were led into Epcot’s Canada Pavilion. They were all so surprised and It was the perfect way to end their Day.
Before I end I just have to reflect a bit. When Ashleigh and Ally booked me to photograph their wedding, I was so excited to shoot in Disney World. I mean, I LOVE that place and I think that everything Disney does is top notch. I knew that it would be an amazing experience. And it was. But, what I was reminded of with this day was that it is THE PEOPLE who make the day amazing and beautiful!! I believe that their day could have taken place in a junkyard and it would have been just as beautiful and magical. That is just how lovely and happy, and sweet they and their family and friends were. By the end of the night, the fact that we were at Disney just kind of faded away to me. It was just a reminder to me that the wedding day is all about the people. The couple in love, and the people who love them.
Thank you again Mr. and Mrs. Dow for choosing me to document such a special day. I had the time of my life getting to know you and your families.