Their day was incredibly personalized and special. I know that can be said of most weddings, but when you host your ceremony in your own backyard after hours of work landscaping it yourself and you've built your own altar, I'd say letting your guests into your home is highly personal! Ashlee + Alex are starting their life together as a blended family, if you will-Ashlee has two children: Maddi + Austin who played their roles for the day quite well! 

We started off the day split-Colby headed to their home where the guys were watching football and getting ready. I headed to an AirB&B that Ashlee + Alex had reserved for a small honeymoon getaway for the Labor Day weekend. It was an acreage outside of Des Moines, complete with barns and horses and a long winding gravel drive. Beautiful, serene and secluded!

See what I mean? Alex + Ashlee refer to their backyard as their oasis, their calm in the storms. And I couldn't agree more!

The limo picked the ladies up and we headed to their home where Maddi had a first look with Alex first. I loved how girls, no matter the age, love to twirl. Maddi did so first, and Ashlee did a 360 as well-even though they hadn't seen the others' First Looks! It's just innate in our character as women: we love to twirl!

Ashlee + Alex did so much of their wedding on their own-including building their altar from birch wood tree trunks. It was a gorgeous setting and one that will stay in their backyard for years to come!

I think this is the first Silly String exit I've photographed and I'm so thankful none of my gear got covered. It sure made for great shots of their recessional!! 

While they were greeting their guests, Colby and I headed to the Simpson Barn where the reception would be. We had some fun with Colby's drone and enjoyed the peaceful, calming landscapes and yes, Ashlee & Alex planted each of those succulent favors for their guests!

Ashlee + Alex: Thank you so much for having me document your beautiful day! Thank you also for agreeing to your first dances outside of the barn-I hope you feel it was a good decision for the photos we captured. Blessings on your marriage, your school year and the transition to a family of four in addition to being married! 

All the best, 

Carrie

PS You can view their slideshow HERE (SO many special moments I couldn't fit into this post!) and their gallery HERE. 

Vendors of Note:

Tuxes: Men's Warehouse

Bridal dress: David's Bridal

Bridesmaids dresses: David's Bridal

Wedding cake: made by the bride herself!

Transportation: NPILimo 

Ceremony: Bride + Groom's home

Reception: Simpson Barn, Johnston IA 

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