After our photographer sent the wedding party off to the cocktail hour, it was time for a part of the day I was really looking forward to. Mr. Whale and I chose not to have a first look, so it was really nice to have a few moments of alone time after the ceremony.
That’s one of the few photos you’ll see where Mr. Whale and I are actually looking at the camera. I apologize now for the gratuitous PDA you’re about to see in basically all of our photos. Both of us prefer the more “candid-like” photos, which mostly meant lots of kissing for us. And I think our photographer quickly figured out in our engagement photos that Mr. Whale is much happier when he is focused on kissing me rather than focused on having his picture taken. No complaints here!
After this photo, I said, “Do I really need to be carrying this bouquet still?” And we all determined I didn’t need it anymore, so I said goodbye to my bouquet. (True confessions time: I have a teensy bit of regret about not having real flowers. I can’t feel too bad, because Mr. Whale was really opposed to real flowers, so he was really excited about my paper flower. But…whenever I see a bride with a really beautiful and stunning bouquet, I get just a little twinge of regret that I didn’t have super beautiful flowers. It’s over and done with now, but for all you future brides thinking about going a non-traditional route with your bouquet, just give it a lot of thought.)
Okay. Phew, glad I got that off my chest. Now we can get back to the PDA.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but the weather for our wedding day was so gorgeous that it’s just really not fair to other brides. At this point, it was probably in the low seventies. A few clouds. I had been so paranoid that I would be sweltering in my gigantic dress, but I was perfectly comfortable the entire day. And Mr. Whale wasn’t too hot in his suit either. We were just enjoying our first moments as husband and wife.
In my planning days, I was obsessed with photos taken where the bride and groom were on the ground. I had to have them. So Mr. Whale and I cuddled up beneath this gorgeous tree.
There were some, “Oh my god, can you believe we’re married?!” giggles.
And of course we had to get a close up of our brightly colored footwear. You might be wondering, “What are they looking at here?” Well, turns out Mike (our friend and officiant) had wandered over to see what we were doing. He wanted a quick photo of us, and he said, “Do something that’s typical Matt and Erin.” So, this happened.
I don’t know what Mr. Whale is doing. It’s not “typical Matt.” But am I really doing any better? I’m making my “angry monkey face”. There’s not really a good justification for why I decided this was the right thing to do. But now it’s captured forever.
After the silliness, we took a little stroll down the path next to the ceremony site, where of course we stopped for a kiss.
I loved this part of the day. It was honestly like we were alone. Since we were taking all of our photos during cocktail hour, all of the guests were elsewhere, and it was just us (and the photographers).
It wasn’t all PDA though! Brenda did occasionally ask us to look at the camera.
That’s one of my absolute favorite photos from the day. Don’t we both look so relaxed?
With just a few minutes left before we were to make our big entrance at the reception, Brenda looked around for one more photo op. She noticed some super tall grass (like, shoulder-height) and asked, “Do you want to go stand in that tall grass?” I had asked for some photos where we were “immersed in nature,” but at that moment, all I could think was, “Tall scary grass?? I will not be bitten by a snake on my wedding day!”
Since I wasn’t about to get in the grass, Brenda stepped up to the plate. Mr. Whale and I stood on the edge.
Her second photographer posted this snapshot on Facebook. If that’s not dedication to getting the shot, then I don’t know what is.
But we are still all up in that grass. When we walked out afterward, there were spiders crawling up my dress!! Sooooo glad I didn’t go all the way in!
See how dense and tall that grass is?? Definitely not my idea of wedding day fun.
But I am glad Brenda went in (she survived with no snake or spider bites), because the photos are gorgeous.
And after completely failing at doing “the dip” in our engagement photos, I did a little research and tried to figure out how to make it look less awkward. We did it!!
You might be thinking, “Jeez, Blue Whales. How long did you leave your guests at this cocktail hour to get all these photos??” Well, I’m happy to report that our photos only took about thirty-five minutes. Yes, you read that right. Thirty-five minutes!!! Crazy, right?? Since I knew we weren’t having a first look, one of my questions to every photographer I talked to was, “About how long did it take you to get all of these photos?” If there were a ton of great photos, but they took three hours to get, then that photographer wasn’t for us. Luckily, Brenda was actually at the top of my list for my favorite photos. And it was just a bonus that she’s also super fast!
But wait, there’s one more photo to see! As we were walking up to the reception site, we passed back by the ceremony site. And I saw my “Happily ever after” sign. I was so proud of that sign, and I reeeeally wanted a picture with it. So we snagged one!
And with that, the formal photos were done. It was time to get ready for our big entrance!!
*All photos by the super awesome Brenda Upton Photography.
If you missed any part of this whale of a tale, get caught up here. Previously…