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Rachel & Drew’s Elegant Central College Wedding

When you meet and fall in love at Central College, you definitely need to have your wedding there!  Rachel and Drew surrounded themselves with friends and family to exchange vows and celebrate at the place where it all began.  After spending several years taking classes together (they were both student athletic trainers) and Drew harboring a secret crush on Rachel, they finally started dating their senior year.  Fast forward through a long distant stint while Rachel was in grad school in Kentucky, a surprise proposal at Lake of the Ozarks, and you have one of my favorite wedding days of 2019!

I adore these two.  They are kind, joyful, and so relaxed.  They care for one another in the sweetest way, but are also just easygoing and can binge watch their favorite TV shows like the best of them!  Every time I photograph a wedding, I always say I am the luckiest because I get to work with the best people, and Rachel and Drew are no exception.  My favorite part of their day was their first look.  Drew’s reaction was so genuine and he was just overwhelmed with joy at finally seeing Rachel!  It was absolutely the BEST!

One little personal side note — about two months after their wedding, my 5 year old son had recently broken his arm.  It was a huge source of stress and worry for our family and resulted in a very chaotic and difficult month since it was during the busiest time of year for me.  After a hospital visit in Des Moines, we had a follow up visit at a clinic, and it turns out it’s where Rachel & Drew both work!  It was actually SUCH a huge blessing to see familiar faces during a time when I was navigating some difficult moments as a parent (no one likes to see their kid hurt!) and while I’m sure they didn’t think it was that big of a deal, it was HUGE for me!  So I owe them a thank you for being so great at their jobs, and for putting this worried parent at ease 🙂

Now….on to their wedding day!  We started the day off at the Royal Amsterdam Hotel in Pella, which was just recently renovated.  I looooooooove the new minimalistic decor they have, and it just made it 10x easier to photograph Rachel with her bridesmaids and all of the details for her day.

Thistles provided the gorgeous florals for their wedding day.  I love the texture and little pop of blue in the bouts!

Loooove this beautiful bouquet!


After sharing a quick first look with her dad, Rachel finally saw Drew – he got all choked up!  It was the sweetest!

One of my favorite places in Pella, but also a fairly tricky place to photograph on a sunny day in summer – there’s no shade and quite a lot of people walking around usually.  There was also construction on one side with giant orange cones….so basically, it looks pretty and wonderful, but it’s not always straightforward!  To get this shot below on the right, I actually got IN to the Molengracht!

wedding photos at the molengracht in pellaPella wedding at royal Amsterdam



bride and groom photos on molengracht in Pella

One of my favorites!

royal Amsterdam hotel in Pella

We definitely take a mixture of posed and relaxed portraits throughout the wedding day.  I love this classic bride and groom portrait of Rachel and Drew!

molengracht in pella

burgundy bridesmaids dresses and bouquets

Their wedding ceremony was held at Third Church in Pella.  The altar was decorated beautifully by Thistles.  These arrangements were HUGE and so stunning!

Married at last!!!

Graham Conference Center at Central College hosted their elegant reception – it was such a fun celebration!

central college pond bride and groom

A few quick photos by the Central College pond right before they entered the reception – it’s a tradition!

I think they liked the cake 🙂

Allllllll the Central College alums on the left.  There were a LOT!  And then, a fun one for me – all of my JWP couples that were present!  It was great to see Katie & Christian, and Molly & Brayton again!

Congrats to Rachel & Drew!  Thanks for an unforgettable day 🙂



Venue: Graham Conference Center
Photography: Jennifer Weinman Photography
Florals: Thistles
Tuxedo: Franklin Street Clothing
DJ: Josh Visser
Transport: Red Rock Party Bus
Invites: Minted
Dress: Bridal Elegance DSM
Jewelry: Joseph’s Jewelry
Makeup: Melissa Ramsey Artistry
Hair: Beautiful You Salon

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