Erika + Ben | A Wedding Story | Sweet & Emotional Birch Forest Wedding | Fairbanks, AK

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From my first interaction with Erika, I knew that she was going to be an amazing person to work with. I mean---she ordered chocolate cake at our consultation. That made it pretty clear to me that she knew how to have fun. However, it wasn't until I met Ben and photographed the two of them at their engagement session that I knew their wedding was going to be about so much more than a good time. Their love for one another, and sheer delight in being in each other's presence indicated a depth that doesn't just come around with every relationship. And I knew this wasn't just going to be some other wedding.

The sun filled Erika's childhood home as the women peacefully became wedding-ready. With nervous orchestration, her father saw Erika as a bride for the first time. That sweet moment set the emotional tone for the rest of the day.

Storm clouds threatened to soak their ceremony, but thankfully the biggest drops to fall that afternoon were those from those attending the wedding. Ben, wanting to make the most of seeing his bride for the first time, didn't even turn to face her until he was sure she was ready and waiting for him at the end of the aisle. Once he turned to see her entering the ceremony through doors he built for her, it seemed to take everything he had to not break down at that moment.

For the remainder of the ceremony, the clouds shifted and the breeze blew, but this constant remained---these two adored each other and were truly ready to be entering into the monumental covenant.

Their wedding party was, obviously, nothing short of the best. Despite the imminent downpour and hurricane caliber winds that were whipping up, everyone was in high spirits and looked mighty fine to boot.

With some strategic hair-protection, we traveled into the forest to grab some portraits of the Ben and Erika alone as husband and wife. They carried their newfound titles beautifully.

With the decent amounts of hustle (and shuffle and wobble) that were coming, Erika's mother and husband(!) took a moment to bustle her dress. Afterwards, they entered in their emotional reception and dance where their loved ones shared the sweetest words, the tastiest foods, and the biggest servings of love!

It was clear that the relationship between Erika's sister and maid of honor was such a dear thing. Weddings can be bittersweet days of both letting go and growing, and her sister Olivia seemed to be exuding all the feels about the whole situation. Thanks for fogging up my camera, ladies. *sniff*

Erika and Ben warmed up the dance floor with the coziest first dance, followed by a sweet dance with Erika and her father.

My evening with them was quickly wrapping up, so we decided to slip out for a few more photos since the sun had softened a bit. Not only that, but Ben and Erika wanted to pose in front of the doors he crafted for their wedding. Gosh they're such babes.

Once we returned to their reception, people were seriously tearing it up! I love it when guests are a reflection of the couple, so obviously that meant plenty of enjoyment was to be had on the dance floor by all! It made for the sweetest end to my day with them. :) 

Erika & Ben --- you two are the freaking best. Thank you for letting me photograph your wedding day! I just fell in love with the way you love each other! Now go, be cute and married together! I can't wait to see where you two go in life. :)

Emma Wheatley

TOPEKA, KS, 66606