The long-awaited day was finally here! After a year-long engagement, two college graduations, moving, multiple trips from Minneapolis to Pella and back, the wedding we've all been anxiously waiting for was HERE. It was happening! The burlap adorned the tables, the baby's breath bouquets almost took my breath away and an always-stunning-but-even-more-today Rachel was ready to meet her Joe.

Joe + Rachel chose me for their wedding photographer over a year before and then for the next 365 days, I was asked for my advice on centerpieces, Pinterest boards, guestbook options, hair dos and just about everything else that goes into planning a wedding. I couldn't have been more thrilled! I think weddings are seriously one of my top five favorite things ever! Joe + Rachel worked so diligently to ensure their guests were taken care of - they even included goodie bags in all the guests' hotel rooms! Perfection! And then finally, we all found ourselves in the middle of Iowa, with the details planned, the timeline in place and of course, my brother (the groomsman who planked during photos) had jokes prepared.

I will forever hold a special place in my heart for this couple and their "come along with us on this journey" attitude - I felt so appreciated and part of the day, instead of feeling like I was there to do a job and get paid. Plus, at what other wedding are you literally told to put the camera down, put a drink in your hand and get out on the dance floor?

From the preparation at the salon with each bridesmaid donning an oversized dress shirt chosen just for them, to the groomsmen's choice of a boyband pose in a cornfield to the last photo of this set where Joe's smile is so big and so wide, so proud he is finally able to call Rachel his wife - I could look at these images every day for the rest of my career and find another new detail I adore. These images tell a story unlike any other couple's story because they tell Joe + Rachel's story, which is why I always challenge my couples to really dig deep and find those things that make their story unique and then share them on this day. It may take some work, but it's what I love to refer to as "the good work." The time and effort you put in is unmatched to the amount of joy you receive at the end.

I love these two and am so grateful they've continued to be a part of my life, my brother's life and for some reason, they just keep coming over, even being married and all! But let's be honest, our dog Farley is really who Rachel keeps coming over to see. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Cheers to a life lived to the fullest and let it be even more full, now that you have each other. Love and endless hugs to you, Joe + Rachel!