Best Friend. That's typically what people say to answer the question to whom they are married.  For Cole & Dayna, they were good friends long before they even dated, long before Dayna had an inkling that Cole liked her more than just a "friend". To everyone around them, through all their years at Drake in its music department together, it seemed

so, painfully,

obvious, except to her. The day that Cole approached her about becoming more than friends, Dayna was floored, shocked, without words.

I'd hazard to say that she made up for the so-called lack of words as she answered Cole's vows with her own. Pledging to honor him with her eyes, ears, lips, mind & body, in the sight of roughly 300(ish) guests, Dayna answered Cole's promise with her own to honor and cherish until death or until the Good Lord takes us all home.

I am so glad Cole & Dayna opted to see each other before the ceremony. For many of the couples I've had the honor to photograph, I can see the tension ease as they embrace each other for the first time on their big day. This reiterates to me again and again, that for many, this is the right thing to do and helps everything go very smoothly.

Cole was so tense before he saw Dayna, he was inches away from tears:

We shot a few of Dayna really quickly so the torture for Cole would be over as quickly as possible.

And then we just let 'em go!

With Cole's glassy blue eyes and Dayna's doe-like brown ones, I knew they'd be absolutely stunning, some of the looks they gave us practically floored me!

I really enjoy working with Justin Meyer as his second shooter. We've worked on enough weddings together now that it really has become a team of 2 doing a dance around each other for the First Look and then we split--he covers the groomsmen and I cover the bride with her girls. Several of these girls in this wedding party are very near and dear to my heart-I went to school with many of them and I was honored to meet the sisters-in-law for the bride and groom. I kinda feel like my own circle of girlfriends just got a wee bit bigger...

Another reason this wedding was so special for me is because I also got to work alongside my husband for the first time. He acted as the couple's chauffer because they asked to use our 1949 Pontiac Chieftain as their transportation for the day.

Heading back to the church for family portraits and that other part of the day...you know...the wedding!

I am in awe of the caliber of people I get to photograph. Cole & Dayna worked so diligently to keep the other accountable in their actions and purity throughout their relationship. So, for the second time in a single weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of photographing a couple's first kiss ever.

Whew! You did it! Well done Mr. & Mrs. Meyers!

As you entered their reception, we tried something a little different: a portable photo booth! Here is a collage of all the guests for the couple's "guest book":

Because both Cole & Dayna were music ed majors, at the reception there were little tokens of that part of their lives. The name cards had photos of Frank Sinatra (pork) or Ella Fitzgerald (chicken) and if you wanted the couple to kiss, rather than clinking your glasses, you had to serenade them with a song using the word 'Love'. Here, the bridesmaids sang 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' from the Lion King. Complete with the conversation between Timon and Pumba. Girls after my own heart. :)

Next, the toasts. One of the grooms' roommates had the honors and revealed some instances of slight uncleanliness on the part of the groom. (something about mold?) I think Dayna will have something to say about that in the coming weeks. . .judging by her reaction...

Dad's toast usually brings the bittersweet tears...and during the dance, there must be some last words of wisdom: doesn't he look like he's discussing some Fact of Life?

Dayna & Cole, you two are absolutely amazing. I'm so glad Des Moines schools have teachers like you in their midst. Shoot, I'm glad to have you two in my own midst! :) You are such an encouragement to keep working hard for the Lord and His Kingdom-I know that will runneth over into working hard for the good of your marriage.

Many, many blessings,

Carrie

PS You can head over to Justin's site to see the rest of their images

HERE

.

And here are some extra details from throughout the day:

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