Rachel + Cheney- Heartfelt Rustic Wedding
Weddings | June 8th, 2019
We first met Rachel and Cheney for their winter engagement session at a Christmas tree farm in New Hampshire that they go to every year to pick out their tree. Right from the beginning, Rachel was bubbly and energetic, and Cheney was a little quiet and reserved, but it was immediately obvious that they balanced each other out, bringing out the best in each other. It didn’t take long for both of them to be giggling and joking around with each other and with us. We ended their session with their adorable two fur babies Rosie and Violet being the perfect models for us!
“I love you and I like you.” This was one of the first things that we saw written down in Rachel’s butterfly notebook that held her vows when we arrived to start photographing her getting ready. It was tiny moments like this that stuck with us for the entire night, and even now as we’re writing this. From the temporary butterfly tattoos for the bridesmaids, to the hand-sewed patch on Rachel’s dad’s tie, every little detail had us pulling out our tissues more than a few times!
Rachel and Cheney’s relationship is one that’s been built over so many years. They’ve known each other since first grade, building up a strong friendship through elementary school and high school, and finally deciding to date in college. (From what we were told, it would’ve been sooner if it were up to Cheney!) The strength that their bond had because of this was clear to everyone in the room- these two were smitten for each other. Their hand written vows during the ceremony in front of the gazebo were so special- in Rachel’s words, “It’s happening!”
After the ceremony, as we were getting ready for the formal photos with the bridal party and Rachel and Cheney’s family, their ring bearer Jackson, one of Rachel’s students, came up to Rachel and gave her the biggest bear hug. Rachel knelt down and returned the hug, and as she was, Jackson said to her softly “Miss Rachel, did you see all the butterflies?” We had noticed all of the butterfly details throughout the day- Rachel has a beautiful butterfly tattoo on her arm, she had given her bridesmaids temporary butterfly tattoos to put on their arms, and now that Jackson had said that, we asked her what the significance of the butterfly meant to her. She immediately pointed to a photo pin that she had attached to her bouquet an explained to us that one of Rachel’s friends from work and co-teachers had passed away recently. When they taught together, they called their kids “The Butterfly Kids”, so she had gotten the tattoo to remember her friend by, and had added the butterfly details to the day as a way to remember her. It’s safe to say that we were both tearing up behind our cameras after hearing such a touching story.
Family was extremely important to Cheney as well. When we were at Josiah’s Meetinghouse a few weeks before the wedding to go over all of the details, we had asked Cheney who his groomsmen were going to be. He immediately responded with “my dad and my grandfathers”. It was obvious during the day that these were the most important men in his life. It was so amazing to see such a tight knit group of men, and seeing how proud they all were of the man that Cheney had become.
After family portraits, we snuck off with Rachel and Cheney and explored all the beauty that Josiah’s Meetinghouse has to offer, and we were blown away. Between the rustic barn doors leading to the ceremony space, the gazebo at the end of the aisle, and the endless forests and dirt roads around the venue, we couldn’t snap photos quick enough, and you better believe we were screaming and squealing behind the camera.
Throughout the entire reception, we were reminded again and again just how special Rachel and Cheney’s bond to each other, as well as to everyone in the room really was. After their first dance, they kicked the open dancing off with an anniversary dance- to show love and respect for all of the couples attending. The longer the couple had been together, the longer they stayed up. It was humbling to see how many couples were still dancing after 15 years, 20 years, 25 years.
As soon as the dance floor opened, everyone was ready to dance. The dance floor was packed from beginning to end. But nothing was as memorable as when Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” started playing. As soon as the song started, Cheney lit up and started jumping up and down. (Remember when we said he was quiet and reserved? Not so much anymore!) He made eye contact with a couple of his friends and him and Rachel started head banging and running around, so happy. It was hilarious to see such a quiet and reserved guy come out of his shell so quickly.
And of course, their wedding night wouldn’t be complete without a mention of their adorable fur babies- they had custom cookies made for their cake toppers that looked just like Rosie and Violet!
We are so happy that we were able to spend the day getting to know Rachel and Cheney even more, laughing with their family, and capturing so many special moments for this beautiful couple.