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Elsa & Jeff: A rustic wedding in mid-Missouri

When Elsa booked me, she kept telling me over and over to not expect much for her wedding. She said it’d be casual, simple and more so a good opportunity for her and her fiance’s family to get together. “It’s really no big deal,” she had said.

But somewhere along the line, something changed. Once she started planning, her family got excited and before long, the wedding became something all its own. And when I showed up on Saturday, thinking how blessed Elsa and Jeff were to have risked an outdoor wedding in AUGUST!!!! and to end up with such beautiful weather… my jaw dropped and my heart pittered and pattered.
Elsa and Jeff are conservationists at heart. Their love for all things nature was threaded into their day.

Before I took to the grounds with my camera though, I had to go check in with the bride. She was getting ready, and being fed by loving hands.


My assistant, Tisha, and I stole the dress and even though I have some great shots of the gown on its own…I loved this one. That’s Tisha. Her silhouette is just awesome. 🙂

With her mother and sister’s help, Elsa soon donned the apparel.
I love this shot.
And this one.
With Riley in tow, Elsa was dressed and ready to see if everything else was running as planned.
So Tisha and I, having had to return the first “plunder” (the dress), snatched some more goods. And the photo ops were never ending. I couldn’t just pick a few. So I posted all of them! I loved that Elsa and JEff’s rings were so simple. Identical other than size. It was sooo them!

The bouquet. With quail feathers. Such a personal touch for these two hunters. 🙂
Oh but where was Jeff during all of this? he was quietly getting ready in the basement.

Here are some of the other details that Tisha and I spotted and had to savor. That is birdseed next to the rows of chairs…for throwing at the couple later!

The ceremony was getting closer….
Earlier in the day, Elsa had put all their pigeons back in the coop, but this lil’ guy refused. I think he wanted to witness the events.
Elsa and her dad coming around the bushes…

They didn’t have a rehearsal the night before. Jeff swore that he could handle it so long as there was an X to mark the spot where they should stand.
A sand ceremony….but not just ANY sand. Elsa’s family brought with them sand from out west. Jeff’s family brought with them sand from the east. and they poured it into one vase to symbolize the joining of two families.
The guests didn’t hesitate to pelt the newlyweds with the birdseed.
A few quiet moments with just the loving couple.

This tree is going to be cut down soon since it has died. Jeff and Elsa thought they’d make one last impression on the tree…their initials.
Isn’t she sooo pretty?
I know the focus is on the flowers, but I also like how she’s standing on his feet. It’s a moment within a moment.
So back to the party. This is the sign marking the site… I didn’t really know what it meant (I don’t hunt, i’m sorry!!!) but once they explained it to me, I understood how perfect it was.
The reception was in their barn.
Decorated as hunters would love to have it decorated. I bet my sister’s husband is loving this…
Check out the cake that Jeff’s mom made! isn’t she amazing!!!??
I love the emotion in this image. Elsa was so into the moment.
A crazy dance.. everyone loved it!
and the path…illuminated…and very visible. It was a perfect way to enter…and leave…such a beautiful occasion.


Jeff & Elsa: Thank you so much for letting Tisha and me be a part of your day! Your families were so much fun! And I loved that everyone aimed to make each other laugh. That is what true “family” is… I wish you both the best as you begin this new phase together.

I’ll have the full gallery up soon..until then…. 🙂

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  • Photography by Lara - SO FUN! I love the details of their wedding. DarbiG, fantastic freaking job!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mark Hayes Photography - I love this.ReplyCancel

  • erika d. - Nice work!! I love the one of them walking into the woods and the ring shots! The colors look awesome on everything!!ReplyCancel

  • Cloud - These are beautiful photographs, I especially like the black and white series. Best of luck to the love birds.ReplyCancel

  • Hi! I'm Kirsten... - Oh my GOSH Darbi! This wedding made me cry and all I have to go on is your images!!! What an amazing job you did and what a sweet couple they seem to be.

    I hope you continue to get clients this special…it certainly does make the job even better, doesn’t it?!ReplyCancel

  • Clary Pfeiffer - I love all your detail shots girl!! Everything looks like it was the perfect rustic wedding.

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