This wedding is the closest I will probably ever come to shooting a wedding Down Under. Jamie & Alex are Kansas/Missouri transplants, but both temporarily live in Australia. Rather than treating their friends and family (and photographer) to a wedding on such a glorious continent over 10,000 miles away, they opted for a shindig near their hometown. (Just kidding! I think everyone was happier with a location that was so accessible. Haha)
These two met while working for Cerner (based here in Kansas City). And by “met” I mean via the in-house instant messaging client for Cerner. Jamie, who was still living in Kansas City at this point, and her friend Liz were making plans through IM for the upcoming St. Patty’s holiday, by which time, Jamie would be in London. Liz had to leave the convo for a meeting and that is when Liz’s colleague Alex stepped in to wrap things up.
Jamie recalls, “We typed and typed for what may have been hours, and I distinctly remember thinking ‘who is this guy and why do I feel like I know him?’”
She moved to London the following month for the job and ended up across from Alex at the table one night, both of them stealing sly glances at the other. They weren’t so sly though…and ended up going on a date. After feeling 100% comfortable with one another, their relationship continued to grow. When Jamie found herself daydreaming about the future with a family—visions that had never been part of her reality—she knew that Alex was a keeper…long term…as in…forever. For Alex, the discovery that Jamie was something different came after his Kansas City friends asked him about her and he found himself admitting to them that she was “the one.”
Their proposal is worth hearing straight from Jamie’s memory. So here goes:
I had a happy hour scheduled with three of my good friends (who all happened to know about Alex’s plan) at Kennedy’s in Waldo (Kansas City). Everything seemed normal enough to me; we had some drinks and snacks as we usually do. Then suddenly the three girls seemed ready to go and rushed out of the place. They said that they may see me out again later since Alex and I were planning on going out with another group of friends. I thought their rush seemed rather strange, but did not protest and drove home.
When I got home I noticed that Alex’s car was taking up much of the driveway, so I was heading inside about to say something snide when I noticed that something looked different. There were flower petals all over the floor, candles were lit and Alex came around the corner looking very dapper and handsome. Well, this was not our typical Friday night, so I knew I was in for a treat. This realization finally dawned on me, and I started saying ‘OH MY GOD’ repeatedly. Alex gave me a lovely speech (of which neither of us can really recall much of) and got down on one knee to ask me to marry him. Of course I said yes!
Alex and I then got ready and drove to an alleged dinner reservation, but come to find out he had invited family and friends to attend a surprise engagement party at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Plaza in KC. We had an amazing time…it was truly one of the best nights of my whole life!
The pair currently lives in Brisbane, but they share a love for traveling, as evidenced by the centerpiece theme at their wedding. Alex is slowly conforming Jamie to his Jayhawk-loving ways, and at heart, they are still Midwesterns from US of A. And they’ll be back eventually. But for now, they are loving their life Down Under.
For their wedding, they chose two beautiful venues. The ceremony location was Colonial Church of Prairie Village, and I think it is my favorite church I’ve shot in solely for the photogenic aspect. It is bright, simple and the powder blue walls are very flattering on skin tones of all kinds. And the Sawyer Room, where they had their reception, reminds me of the venue where Neil and I got married in Omaha. The Sawyer Room is breathtaking in its luster, yet cozy despite the grandeur. It proved to be a perfectly romantic setting to kick off a party celebrating the love that Alex & Jamie share!!!
And this wedding was put together thanks to the wedding coordinator Events! Lyn Scardina out of Topeka. (I have heard so many great things about Lyn, and was soooo excited to work with her! She did not disappoint.)
Their day threatened rain, but we lucked out. Although the temps were unseasonably cooler, we stayed dry…and sweat wasn’t a huge prob either . HOoray!
A few of the other elements that I loved about the day:
- Laughter. Everywhere. The family. The wedding party. The couple. It was infectious.
- The ringbearer had such a sweet demeanor and he proved bribe-able. They convinced him to do his thing for the price of a large cookie. Which he devoured while in the church pew (a pic is below! I loved it!)
- Jamie & Alex had their engagement pics taken in Brisbane, and her mom had a painting made from one of them. I took a photo of the ring with it…see if you can spot it. Such a cool idea to translate one art into another!
- I am always a fan when the couple writes their own vows or some sort of fodder for the ceremony. The letters they wrote to one another were magnets for tears…including my own. Alex had Jamie read his ahead of time when he gave her his gift…a birthstone ring.
- One thing I learned was that Alex has a nickname. One of those nicknames that when you learn of it, you go… “huh?” and then when you hear the reason, you go “ahhh!” It is “Unit.” Because his initials are AC. And AC UNIT. Get it? Ha Anyway, so at the end of the ceremony, the minister announced them as Mr. & Mrs. Unit. Laughter erupted…it was perfect! And jokes were made about having wee Units later in life. (as in…kiddos!)
- After the ceremony, the wedding party headed to the Kaufmann Center for some photos. Across the street was the most glorious tree aflame with PINK!!! flowers. They are some of my fave pics I’ve ever taken just because a) the couple is flipping gorgeous and b) that tree gives them a run for their money. [Random sidenote: I learned that Jamie thinks her strongest talent is her ability to paint a mean tree. Haha I challenge you, Jamie, to paint a PINK tree before I give you that title…k?)
- The bus driver with AGENDA USA was so awesome…he got permission for me to walk on the grass at the Kauffman center despite the signs that forbade such an activity. ?
- Jamie asked to have an elevator shot… it is a sequence I have done before, but it’s been a couple of years, so I was excited to do it again for them. I close this post with it….kinda.
- During the reception, everyone was asking me if I’d be there when Alex and his brother did “the dance.” Sure enough, I was…and I am so glad I was. The song they danced to is evading me, but it was a hilarious performance. And then seeing Jamie try to do it too was a treat. 😉
- THE BISCUITS. For favors, they gave out these delicious sandwich cookies from Australia. I LOVE them. I am going to be seeking them out online to order more because I know I won’t make it to Australia before my next craving. OR my next 100 cravings. 😉
So was that enough yammering?
Jamie & Alex…enjoy this synopsis of your wedding day. Ali and I had such a great time with you crazy kids….you really are a fun and GOOD-LOOKING couple, who has such fun, helpful friends. If the KC is ever your home again…we shall be considered lucky. Xo to you both!
I was getting shadows on Jamie’s face in places I didn’t want, but I didn’t have my reflector on me. So… we had Alex step in and bare his…white-shirted chest! And it worked!!!