When my long-time friend first asked me if I would be interested in photographing her daughter’s wedding in Branson I immediately thought it would be a fun one to shoot. It had been nearly 30 years since I last visited Branson and I had heard a lot of great things over the years about the changes being made there. I also had known the bride’s mom since we were teenagers and I knew Sherry and her daughter would put together an amazing wedding.Then I heard about the wedding details, and I knew this was a wedding that I wanted to shoot. This wedding had everything and then some.
Of course Lauryn is beautiful and her lavender dress was absolutely gorgeous. She lives in Memphis but we got together last December when she was in town with her mom. That’s when she showed me pictures of the dress and I knew then that she was going to make a stunning bride.
We arrived the Friday before the wedding and checked in to the Branson Convention Center Hilton Hotel where the reception was going to be held. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the aroma of fresh cut flowers that filled the lobby of the hotel. I thought to myself that this was the best smelling hotel I had ever stayed at. Little did I know that the fresh smelling flowers were actually from the flowers being prepared for the wedding the next day.
The next morning my second shooter, Dave Adams and I arrived at The Huff House to start shooting details and the ladies as they got ready. The Huff House is a beautiful old house in the heart of Branson that has been completely restored. Lauryn could not have picked a more perfect location to get ready in. The Huff House has large windows that lets in lots of beautiful light. The sunroom in the back and the front porch were perfect for taking pictures.
I started out shooting detail shots and Dave took pictures of Lauryn getting her hair and makeup done. Mclaine Craig did both the bride’s hair and makeup and I have to say, her work speaks for itself. She owns the Halo Salon in Rossville Tennessee and brides-to-be near Memphis would do well to plan their wedding dates around her availability. Her daughter, Mattie Craig, was the flower girl and she was just adorable. The picture of her and Lauryn in the sunroom is one of my favorite wedding pictures ever.
My plan was to shoot the ladies after they got ready and then head over to the Huffman’s home to shoot the guys, but as weddings normally go, things were running behind. So Dave drove over and shot James, the groom, and the groomsmen, along with the groom’s family. We actually both finished up in plenty of time to get to the ceremony early.
The ceremony was held at The Dewey Short Visitor Center overlooking Table Rock Lake and the dam. I’m not sure how they ended up picking this location because they aren’t known for having weddings there but it could not have been more picturesque. The wedding ceremony was just beautiful. I had hoped that some clouds would come along and help out with the glaring sun and the warm temperatures but that didn’t happen. However, about halfway through the ceremony the coolest thing happened. A steamboat, the Branson Belle, made it’s way along the lake and into the backdrop of the wedding ceremony. It was perfect timing and it seemed to transform the wedding back into another time and made for some really unique wedding photos.
After the wedding we did a few formal family pictures, a few of the wedding party and some bride and groom shots. We cut it short though with plans to take a few more couple’s pictures midway through the reception.
The reception was held at the Branson Convention Center and it was exceptional. Sherry Grisham and the Huffman Family outdid themselves in every way. The cocktail hour was held around the hotel pool that had been reserved for the wedding quests. Dave snapped pictures around the pool area as I hurried and took photos of the reception details. The flower arrangements were simply breathtaking. Jeremy Carter and his team did a magnificent job preparing all of the flowers for the wedding and the reception.
James and Lauryn set the tone of the reception about halfway through their first dance when they turned the place into a big dance party. They decided to skip some of the regular reception formalities and just let everyone enjoy the festivities. Dennis Cox, the DJ kept the dance floor busy all night with a fun assortment of both old and new songs. The photo booth was a big hit as well.
The reception ended at midnight with a sparkler exit. Then we walked down the street and finished the night with a few pictures of the happy couple in front of the Branson sign.
Thank you Lauryn and James for inviting me to be a part of your magical day. It was an honor to be there capturing such an amazing wedding. I hope these photos bring you a lifetime of enjoyment as you reminisce about your beautiful Branson wedding.