It’s not every day that I get to photograph a wedding alongside my fiancé Allie, in Leavenworth, at the same wedding venue that we are going to get married in 6 weeks time. But that is exactly what happened when my fiancé and I photographed Nina and James’s Brown Family Homestead Wedding just outside of Leavenworth, located by Lake Wenatchee.
Allie and I fell in love with the Brown Family Home when I photographed our friends Caitlin and Peter’s wedding in 2016. It was the venue that kept coming back in our minds during our wedding planning and we were so happy to have selected it as our venue. So when Nina and James asked me to photograph their wedding, just four months before I would get married there, you can image how excited we were at the opportunity for another Brown Family Homestead Wedding!
As if the Brown Family Homestead is not beautiful enough, it is located just a few minutes away from Lake Wenatchee where Nina and James shared their first look on their wedding day. I can not express just how easy going and agreeable this couple is. They ventured lakeside, despite the vicious and thirsty mosquitos that swarmed around during their first look photos. It is worth mentioning that the mosquitos are pretty bad for only a few weeks out of the year and that the Brown Family Homestead is well prepared for their arrival by fogging and providing bug spray (and in our case, itch relief cream). Nina and James survived the attack and returned to the homestead for the ceremony.
Nina and games gathered under the wood arbor, with their wedding party flanking both sides. They exchanged vows surrounded by their closest family and friends and nestled in the mountains. Afterwards, they shared a few quiet moments together.
My favorite part about the wedding reception is when the couple and guests do something completely unique. It is usually some type of inside joke or a special dance move. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t, but I always keep shooting.
One of those more interesting things at this Brown Family Homestead Wedding that evening was the appearance of money, mainly two dollar bills, on the dance floor. Friends of the groom would dance around it, toss it in the air, and pick it up in a creative way just to do it all again. My favorite move was by the officiant who collected it in his mouth. I did not understand this newly established dance tradition – but I also did not care. I thought it was awesome as I photographed every second of the crazy dance floor.
These guys were entertaining, breaking away from the dance floor to make up another new game. They gathered in a circle and all tossed their full drinks to the guy to his right. They would drop glasses. Spill drinks. Or just drink out of whatever cup they got landed with.
James and his family also shared a special karaoke version of ‘Walking In Memphis’ by Marc Cohn towards the end of the night. I love that they belted out the lyrics to this very special song, and welcomed Nina on to the name floor with them, and into their family for forever. Did I mention just how much I like these unique reception moments with family?
Nina and James shared such a heartfelt and fun wedding day thanks to the love and support from their family and friends. Guests traveled from all around the world (Australia, Africa, Europe, the east coast, the list goes on) to celebrate this fantastic couple. This Brown Family Homestead wedding ended as they danced the night away within the mountains of the Leavenworth.