It’s not every day you get to see your best friend get married, which is why we were thrilled when Van and Abigail asked us to photograph their big day. Of course we wanted to be their for them! Their day was nothing but a true celebration of family and friendship. Van and Abigail’s wedding, from start to finish, was so extremely joyful, sincere, and just pure fun. To capture each intimate moment, from the pre-ceremony prep at Van and Abigail’s home to the post-ceremony boat rowing, was a real privilege.
Laid back and down-to-earth, the entire day was a reflection of Van and Abigail’s personalities: Abigail works on her family’s biodiverse farm, Thorpe’s Organic Family Farm, in East Aurora, New York. Van owns a gourmet mushroom farm in Buffalo called Rusty Bucket Mushrooms. Being a true family affair, everyone pitched in from start to finish, the intimate guest list filling the home with pastries, puppies, flowers while others brought over hay bales for the evening’s bonfire.
Pizza and cake, provided by the local bakery Abigail and her sister work at, paired perfectly with the family style affair. Every detail, from the string lights hung by family in the tent to the old sheets and linen fashioned as tablecloths, felt special when photographed, like we were sneaking peeks into a spontaneous celebration, a genuine outpouring of love.
The outdoor garden ceremony was both short and sweet, and incredibly genuine. Everyone in attendance, including ourselves, were touched by each and every word exchanged. From Van and Abigail’s friend who did the official marrying to Van’s dad, who made a beautiful speech about bringing two families together as one, there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen. All of this just proof that Van and Abigail aren’t just experts at growing food - they know how to cultivate true love, too. Rather than walking down the aisle separately, Van and Abigail chose to walk down together, Van playing his guitar for musical accompaniment.
The beautiful September weather allowed the all of the day’s activities to take place outside, which included hula-hooping, boat rowing, dancing and an un-documented bon fire - we were really just busy making memories with our best friends! And, like the best things in life that happen unexpected, this beautiful day turned into an unexpected sleepover party, making us all feel like kids again.
If there’s one thing we learned from Van and Abigail’s wedding it’s that a wedding should be one thing: a true celebration of love. Personal, fun and completely relaxed, Abigail summed up the day’s theme nicely when she said, “We are basically just entertaining ourselves."
/ Rob and M