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Hey there, and welcome to the JWP blog!  We are a photography team based in Iowa, and we hope you’ll enjoy viewing some of our most recent weddings, as well as the many tips we have for couples.  You can also enjoy some of our business and educational resources for photographers. 

Des Moines Country Club Wedding Reception | Rachel + Nick Family Traditions

Rachel + Nick’s ceremony at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and reception at the Des Moines Golf & Country Club brought Rachel’s childhood front and center for their wedding. “St. Francis was the church that I grew up in and Nick was gracious enough to agree to start our married life there. Des Moines Golf & Country Club always has a great attention to detail, and the grounds are already so manicured, so we knew the location wouldn’t need much extra decor outside of the ballroom. The food is always sublime, and Nick’s family has a lot of allergies. The chef was incredibly attentive and worked very closely with us to ensure that everyone would be able to eat something delicious,” Rachel told us.

The pair met at Creighton University for undergrad, and Nick went to pharmacy school there, Rachel went to University of Iowa for medical school, and then Rachel moved back to Omaha for her pediatrics residency. Nick moved to Ann Arbor for a pharmacy residency. They’re finally together again after 6 years of distance. Rachel has been busy finishing up her residency, starting her job as a pediatrician, and taking her pediatric board exam, so wedding planning took a backseat for a bit. You would never know it for how smooth their day went and how amazing the details were.

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Kate + Miles | Backyard & NOCE Jazz Club Wedding

So many great things to share about Kate+Miles’ lovely backyard wedding ceremony and swinging jazz club reception at NOCE in downtown Des Moines. The bride’s parents hosted Kate+Miles’ ceremony in the backyard of their gorgeous craftsman style home. There is something extra special about being married at home and it was important to Kate+Miles to have that intimate and homey feel. The pair got ready and had their first look at the downtown Des Moines Marriott Downtown hotel and then traveled to meet up with family for portraits at home. Vendors: Reception venue: NOCE Jazz – Cabaret Planner: White Willow Events Caterer: Catering DSM DJ: Rhum Productions Floral: Hy-Vee Ceremony musicians: Brazilian Twins Transportation: Royal Rides Accommodations: Des Moines Marriott Downtown

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Copper Creek Ridge Wedding Riverside, Iowa | Andrey & Abigail

So much about Abigail + Andrey’s wedding revolved around the idea of home and family. The pair chose to get married at Copper Creek Ridge in Riverside, IA because it was near Andrey’s parent’s home and had simple, modern amenities that felt like a good fit for them. They chose to do a ‘tea’ instead of American wedding style of a heavy dinner because the tradition is a part of Andrey’s Belarusian roots. They both got ready at his parent’s home and they did their first look and portraits in the backyard, all part of “home” making this even extra meaningful and memorable.

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little lights wedding leya and ray

Leya & Ray’s Summer Little Lights on the Lane Wedding

After a big delay due to COVID-19, Leya and Ray final celebrated their wedding day on a warm summer day at Little Lights on the Lane. Their heartfelt ceremony and tight-knit group of family and friends made this a particularly exceptional day. From Leya’s sweet first look with her father to Ray’s absolute look of glee and joy when he first saw Leya in her gown, there were just so many moments we loved capturing!

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Abby & Will’s Spring Chicago Engagement Session

Chicago engagement sessions are fast becoming one of my favorite things. Yes, you have to contend with traffic, construction, and chaos sometimes, but I think at heart, when couples have a connection to the city, it is absolutely 100% worth the trouble to photograph there. Take Abby & Will….this is the first place they’ve lived TOGETHER during their entire relationship. So it meant a LOT to them that we could just walk out the front door of their apartment to a few locations right around the corner. It means we can commemorate this place and this time in their relationship and all the places they remember loving!

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Tamory Hall Wedding Pella, Iowa | Sienna + Caleb

We were so honored to be a part of Sienna & Caleb’s wedding held at their home church of Trinity Reformed Church in Pella. The pair worked with helpful staff at Tamory Hall to craft a reception that had them and their guests never wanting the party end. Vendors: Ceremony Venue: Trinity Reformed Church  | Reception Venue: Tamory Hall  Transporation: Lucky Party Bus Rentals: Pella Rental |Florals: Shelly Sarver Designs | Ice Cream Truck: The Outside Scoop | Catering: Country Catering | Cake: Cranberry Stone Bakery | Desserts: Hyvee Bakery | Reception Entertainment: Pella DJ  | Video: Joseph Emmons | Dress: Pure Bridal | Suit: Joseph A Bank | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Macy’s | Rings: Borsheims | Makeup: Karen Eversmeyer | Hair: Hairitage Salon

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disney epcot engagement session at world showcase Italy

Shelby & Jack’s Epcot Engagement Session

When I first met with Shelby & Jack to talk about their wedding, Shelby shared an idea that she’d been dreaming of for a long time: engagement photos at Disney World, and specifically, Epcot! Shelby’s family has been visiting Disney regularly for many years, so when she pitched the idea of going to Florida for their engagement photos, I was ALL IN!

I flew down from Iowa for one night (left bright and early!) and when I arrived, we were worried the weather wasn’t going to be great for our shoot the following day. It looked like storms, which was a major bummer. It was her dream to photograph at Epcot around the World Showcase, and we were still planning to do that, but I also wanted to make sure we played it safe and photographed some before the potential storms.

So….after checking in real quick at my hotel, and an adventure getting around Orlando with my Uber driver (they are so nice!) we met at the Grand Floridian!

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irishman clover barn wedding

Irishman Acres’ Clover Barn Des Moines Wedding | Michelle + Cory

If you are from Des Moines and love the outdoors, you may have ridden your bike along the Chichaqua Valley Trail and seen a wedding happening at the Irishman Acres Clover Barn. That is exactly what Michelle + Cory did in the early days of dating. “We chose this venue because it is right next to the Chichaqua Valley Trail where we liked to ride our bikes together when we first started dating. Several times when we would be riding, I would see a wedding happening at the barn and I just knew that someday that would be us. So when he asked me to marry him, I knew that’s where I wanted the wedding to be!” said Michelle.
Michelle said her vision for the day had always been something romantic and timeless. “I don’t like things to be too ‘overdone’ and my worst fear is looking back at my photos in 20 years and feeling cringy about the styles and fads. At the same time, I think I am still choosing to incorporate some of the current wedding fads anyway, lol. But I think the reason my decorating scheme is so simple is that I want the emphasis to be on the people (and us) and not on the fancy decorations. I want to concentrate on the celebration and the time with our loved ones.”

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Brooke & Levi’s Des Moines Art Center Engagement Session

Brooke & Levi met up with me in Des Moines at the Des Moines Art Center for a warm summer engagement session, and brought along their sweet puppy, River. Whenever we have couples who bring their dog along, we usually do those photos first and have a friend or family member take your dog for the remainder of your session – it makes it so much easier for everyone to focus then. River did a GREAT job for being a young puppy – lots of energy, but some sweet moments too.

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Bryony & Matthew’s Des Moines Botanical Garden’s Wedding

One of our favorite things to come out of the craziness of 2020 and 2021 and everything with COVID-19 is that now we are seeing so many more intimate weddings. For Bryony and Matthew, celebrating with just their closest family and friends is exactly what they wanted. And the best part of these smaller weddings is that the day really is more centered around the most sincere moments. It is a wedding, pure and simple, beautiful and meaningful no matter the size.

We love that Bryony’s family joined from England, that they were married at the beautiful botanical gardens in Des Moines, and that their sweet puppy made an appearance too!

Enjoy some of our favorites from their beautiful intimate wedding day!

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Temple for the Performing Arts Wedding | Justyna + Matthew in Love

Every detail of Justyna + Matthew’s Temple for the Performing Arts reception and ceremony had our jaws on the floor. Their personal style, show stealer French Bulldog, and a wonderfully touching ceremony made this a wedding to remember.
The beauty of getting ready at the Surety Hotel is that you can get ready right upstairs and then have so many gorgeous spots to do a first look or portraits. The pair got ready separately with Justyna getting pampered by the crews from Candescent Artistry and Powder Studio. The loungewear that she wore while having her makeup/hair done was straight out of a 1940’s movie were the ladies would lounge around and have cocktails. It was spectacular! Plus hello supermodel! We have never seen a bride look so gorgeous putting on shoes before!

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