Monday, April 25, 2016

Maggie and Ryan's DIY wedding at the landmark Pond Store, Pond, MS

 Y'all, I photographed the neatest DIY wedding this past weekend, held at a local landmark- the Pond Store in Pond, MS.

 If you've ever been up to hike to the waterfalls (Tunica Falls, Clark Creek Natural Area, etc) you've passed the Pond Store. It's the landmark that tells you to "TURN HERE" to go to the trailhead.
Maggie's grandmother has owned the store for many, many years, and it's also her house on the other side of the store. Maggie spent so many childhood memories there, and wanted nothing more than to get married at the place of her childhood memories.

The Pond Store is open on weekends for odds and ends you might need coming to or from the Tunica Falls hiking area.
While they were getting ready, Retta's mom told me this story. The day before the wedding, Maggie was spending time getting things ready at her grandmother's house, and placed her engagement ring in a really safe location in the kitchen. BUT, you know how that "safe location" goes sometimes. I do it with the dustpan in my kitchen, and as soon as I get things swept up, I can never find the dustpan. Anyway, they searched and searched for the ring and could NOT find it anywhere. Finally, hours later, they found it hanging on an old nail where the cutting board hangs in the old house's kitchen.

When I say it was a do-it-yourself wedding, I don't mean that many people chipped in, although they did. MAGGIE made sooooo many things for the wedding, including the invitations, programs, the flowers, the gifts, the decor, and even both her cake and the groom's cake. Amazing. She really put a lot of work into it. Pretty much everything you see that is handmade was made by Maggie.

Maggie requested a replica picture of herself with her parents in front of the fireplace-

Maggie wanted to replicate this picture that Retta, her mother, took with her parents on her wedding day, in front of this very fireplace.
 Maggie's Theta sisters gathered around her before the ceremony in a special ritual that I'd seen only once before.

The outdoor wedding ceremony, in front of the gazebo, was performed by Maggie's recently-ordained close friend, and included a very heartfelt story of how Maggie and Ryan met at a halloween party, where he was dressed as Indiana Jones, and how he is still listed in her phone as Indiana Jones.

The wedding party pictures were an adventure for me. Ryan is an exhuberant, energetic character, and the children were all over the place, so we resorted to playing Simon-Says. It was really for the kids, but it seemed to work to keep Ryan coralled too..... :)
While we were taking portraits of just the bride and groom, I asked them if they had practiced for their first dance, and they told me that Ryan didn't want to, because he wanted to keep his dance moves "less planned". Well, that "less-planned plan" was definitely an entertaining success. Ryan and Maggie may have had the best first dance I've ever seen, and his mother/son dance was probably the best as well.

Although they live in Austin now, Ryan and Maggie threw in the traditional New Orleans second line dance to end the reception.

As they exited through a row of sparklers, Maggie's cousin's husband, Alden (Caitlin and Alden) lit off some fireworks over the pond, and then some bridesmaids helped me create some pretty sparkler painting.

Photographers: Tara Marie Photography
2nd Photographer: Danielle Aucoin
Flowers: Bride
Cakes: Bride
Invitations and Program: Bride
DJ: Micah Simon, DJ Parish
Catering: Catering Connection

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