Emily Shafer Photography | A Graceful Wedding

A Graceful Wedding

June 25, 2016  •  5 Comments

Last weekend a wonderful event happened in my family, my cousin Grace got married! It has been a long wait since the engagement, but the big day came last Saturday on June 18, 2016. (Happy one week anniversary Grace and Jared!) My sweet cousin asked me to photograph her wedding one year ago when I was still in school at Nossi College of Art. I have had their wedding on my agenda for quite some time now, allowing me to  process what was about to happen. At first, the idea of shooting my cousin's wedding was intimidating, because it is so drastically different from my usual style of photography. Normally it takes me a day or two to complete an image, but wedding photography is much more fast paced and in the moment. Also, I wanted to meet her expectations. I take my photography very seriously, and wanted to do the very best job I could for not only mine and Grace's family, but Jared's as well. 

I had over a year to think about how I was going to approach her wedding and my nervousness turned into excitement! As the days came closer and closer I realized I had a front row seat to watch two of my favorite people get married, and I got to bring my camera with me! Once this idea took over me I realized this was going to be a fantastic weekend! Getting to photograph my cousin getting married was the best way to attend. I was also interested in seeing how my wedding photography style would differ compared to my commercial photography. In a way it was a creative experiment for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to  photograph something different! I jumped in with everything I had, and by God's grace got some beautiful images of two of His faithful servants being joined by Holy matrimony. 

With everything said, let us get started with the imagery! 

The day started at 5:45 for me and 5:30 for Grace! By the time I arrived at her house it was 7 o'clock and the place was chaotic! As I walked up the stairs to my other cousin Sarah's bedroom, I could hear the giggling bride accompanied by her beautiful bridesmaids. Once I entered the room there was my wonderful cousin Grace, sitting in her chair, holding a plethora of hairpins as Elisabeth was curling, teasing, and hair-spraying her shiny, red hair all at the same time. The room was filled with excitement and anticipation as Grace slowly slipped on her dress and put on her jewelry. Jared had custom made her necklace from one of her grandmother's opals. He surprised her the morning of the wedding with it, and Grace said it was just the finishing touch she needed! 

Grace was surrounded by family that morning having her cousin (yours truly) doing her makeup and Elisabeth doing her hair. Meanwhile this  all happened in her sister Sarah's pink bedroom. Sarah's bedroom was the heart of all the action, and served as the meeting place where the father saw the bride for the first time. Right before we left the house, they had one last family picture taken in their living room.

While all of this was happening, Jared was getting ready. He was perfecting the groomsmen's ties and boutonniere's. Luckily, his mother was there to fix his up,  and I love these two pictures together of them!

This is their family picture just before the ceremony. This picture also contains the groomsman and his two best men! He chose his brother and his father to carry out the tasks of the title Best Man. They too are a close knit family. 

The ceremony started and light radiated through the church as Grace walked down the aisle with her father by her side.

Jared's face lit up when as he watched his beautiful bride come down the aisle.

Mr. and Mrs. Jared Salyards' first kiss as husband and wife! I do recall hearing a few ooo's and aaaahh's as this happened with an occasional "WOO!"


As Mr. and Mrs. Salyards exited the church, bubbles filled the air along with the feeling of joy and the sounds of excited friends and family!

They were both SO HAPPY! I think this photo captures that pretty well!

Once the ceremony was over, my job really started! We headed over to a local park and photographed the wedding party. It was high noon, but the trees provided a perfect canopy of shade just where we needed it. I enjoyed working with all of their friends and found them to be very helpful and willing to participate! Thank you bridal party!

The men took this part of the day very seriously, but the bridesmaids were a bit excited!

Also, fun fact! This was our first attempt of a jumping picture, and we accomplished it on the first try!

Next, it was time to photograph Grace and Jared. There was a beautiful creek that we all wanted to go swimming in because it was so hot! But we decided to save that for another day. . . They are such a sweet couple, and speaking as a family member, I love these pictures of them! 

Last but not least, we must discuss the flowers! There is a wonderful lady from Grace and Jared's church who handpicked 500 wild daisies! They were absolutely stunning, and combined with the yellow roses made for such a happy bouquet.

It was truly a beautiful wedding and a blessing to be a part of. I enjoyed the fast pace of wedding photography, and found it challenging and very rewarding to constantly be thinking of what I need to capture next! Thank you for reading and God bless!

Congratulations Jared and Grace! 


Debi Rogers(non-registered)
Beautiful work with Awesome subjects! Great Job!
Janet SHAFER(non-registered)
What a beautiful wedding story, Emily! And your subject was even more beautiful!! You made me feel like I was there by reading about it.....good work!!
Beautiful post and stunning pictures!!!!
Aunt Lou Ann(non-registered)
I am crying as I am looking at your exquisite photos . Word are insufficient to express my appreciation for ALL of your hard work!
Tim Shafer(non-registered)
Beautiful pictures, Emily! Thank you SO MUCH!
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