Over the winter while shopping at Costco I received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. It’s usually a tossup if I answer a call from an unfamiliar number, and I’m so glad I chose to answer this particular time… because on the other end of the phone was a sweet bride desperately trying to find a wedding photographer for her August Maple Valley backyard wedding. Turns out the previous two photographers she had booked both had completely legit life health events come up and they had to cancel their contracts with her, leaving Jessica scrambling to find a trustworthy photographer for her super popular August 2019 wedding date. What sealed the deal for me? Jessica had thoroughly read through my website and knew we were a match made in heaven when she read about the DMB dance parties I have with my kiddos. Dave Matthews strikes again. :)
How they met, according to Jessica:
He was a client of mine! He had a little pity mix that I trained and we went our separate ways after we finished. 2 years later, he got a new pup. I went to assess the pup. Pup was PERFECT, no training needed. We made a plan to hang out a few times. A short while later, l basically just never left!
Their proposal story:
We had gone to Idaho for a hunting trip. After hunting, Eric took me up to this place called Sawtell Peak. I stayed back while he went out to the peak point. I finally decided to catch up with him. It was beautiful! There were sheer cliffs looking straight down. If you stand out on the peak, your looking into Montana. As I walked up, he was on all 4’s looking over the edge. I chuckled to myself cause I know he’s not afraid of heights. I didn’t know what he was doing. So, I mustered up some courage, and walked out just past him. I’m HORRIFIED of heights. He asked what I thought, I told him “Breath taking” as I turned around to face him. As I did that, he went from being on all 4’s to kneeling. He asked, I screamed, cried and hopped around (without giving an answer) He was kneeling on sharp rocks. He politely said “Baby, yes? No? I just need an answer. My knees are killing me.” I jumped around and said yes a million times.
Jessica and Eric’s Maple Valley Backyard Wedding was simple and perfect in SO many ways. Here are just a few favorites from their day:
- Their property. Jessica and Eric were married on their gorgeous property on Maple Valley that they proudly call “Wonderland.” They’ve put in countless hours of labor into making their property a perfect venue for Jessica to operate her dog training business and also to host big backyard parties. The property is stunning with meandering paths between big mature trees, and a little creek with charming bridges.
- Jessica and Eric did not do a first look prior to the ceremony. In order to maintain an element of surprise, Jessica and Eric hung a giant drape of blush tulle and fabric to block Eric’s view of Jessica on the walk from their home to the ceremony site.
- Jessica and Eric made sure their fur babies involved throughout their wedding day! Their dogs were with them while getting ready and even accompanied them down the aisle and stood by their side as they became husband and wife.
- There were so many elements from wedding day that were explicitly THEM: from the tractor holding ice, the homemade bar made out of wood from their property, to the ice being dumped from tractor so it could be used to tow a guest’s car out of a ditch. (In their defense, it was a tight turn radius with zero light! Maneuvering in total darkness was challenging.)
- Surprise fireworks! Immediately after their first dance, Jessica and Eric surprised their guests (and us photographers!) with a quick firework display! You can see the glowy light they cast just after their first dance photos.