Stephanie & Calvin: Pella Opera House

Stephanie & Calvin’s day was a day in the making for quite a while, even if they planned their wedding in less than 7 months!  They met years ago, but only started dating recently, but you’d never know.  Everything about them is effortless and full of joy, like they’ve been friends for the longest time.  I loved every moment of Stephanie & Calvin’s day.  It was such a joy to be welcomed into the presence of their friends and family and to experience the love they share with each other.  Their whole day was just overflowing!

Stephanie started her day getting ready at the Royal Amsterdam Hotel in Pella.  If ever there was an organized bride, it was Stephanie!  She had EVERYTHING planned out and prepared in advanced, which made it a breeze to photograph every little detail and moment.  I started off photographing her gorgeous dress, invitation suite, and the amazing florals provided by Shelly Sarver Designs.  I may have gone a bit overboard, but when you have beautiful light and such gorgeous details, it’s hard not too!

Look at that smile!  She was SO excited :

Maybe I’m partial because my own wedding colors were very similar, but their invitation and florals were simply divine!

I’m in love with her engagement ring and wedding band.  If I ever had a chance to have a ring designed, it would be exactly like this!

Calvin surprised Stephanie with these stunning earrings to wear on her wedding day!

And he received this sharp looking watch from Stephanie 🙂

Time to get in that gorgeous dress!
Loved this little flower girl!

See what I mean by everyone was so excited and full of joy?  Plus, Stephanie and her mom are total twinsies!

The light in the Royal Amsterdam is perfect – I loved it!

And of course, Calvin was thoughtful enough to send his bride a sweet note right before their first look!

Time for the big reveal!

I have to explain something about their first look, and really most of the next batch of photos.  It was SO HOT this day.  Easily in the mid 90s with 90% humidity and no clouds.  It was like being in a sauna.  And yet, Stephanie & Calvin didn’t seem to bat an eye, they were totally okay with it.  And all of their bridal party and family members were so incredibly sweet and accommodating – we switched spots to some shade, Stephanie’s mom brought a huge cup of ice for everyone to cool off, and her personal attendants had cool rags for me when I started getting hot too.  But when you look at these photos, you would NEVER know.  Crazy, right?  I told you they were prepared!

One of my favorites!

My view on the left, my second shooter on the right – gotta love the different angles!

Gorgeous florals by Shelly Sarver Designs

I often get asked if I do group photos and formals – of course!  I always want to capture family because it’s a big day!  And yes, we get silly too 🙂

And we do some formal ones at church too!

Lindsay, the maid of honor and Stephanie’s sister, was so sweet during the processional and tearing up!


The groomsmen got a little carried away with their getaway vehicle 🙂

We had time for some bride and groom portraits after the ceremony too!  I was SO blessed with lots of time with Stephanie & Calvin.  It was wonderful!

Calvin is a regional manager at Smokey Row (I think that’s the correct name for his title!) and so when they requested some shots at the infamous coffee shop in Pella, I couldn’t wait!  I love these :

We headed over to the Pella Opera House, just less than a block away, for their reception!

Because their ceremony and reception where just a block apart, Stephanie & Calvin did something so cool – they had appetizer stations along the way for their guests as they walked!  I love love LOVE this idea

Scratch cupcakes are delicious!

Instead of dancing, they had a few friends provide some “entertainment” for the evening, combined with toasts.  It was so personal, and yet so hilarious!


Congrats to you both – it was an honor and pleasure to be part of your day!



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