Upon the arrival of this next couple’s wedding, as photographers, we were excited for two main reasons. First, Theresa and Todd are awesome, down-to-Earth, humanitarians. They are world travelers. She spent time in the Peace Corps. and he has spent his career helping refugees, among other altruistic endeavors. Second, we’ve been dreaming of the opportunity to work at The Cracker Factory for what seems like forever! The early October day started off a little wet and gray. We watched the radar as we made the trip to Geneva with our fingers (and toes) crossed, wondering if Mother Nature would limit our photo adventures around The Cracker Factory property for their first look moment and portraitures.
Once in Geneva, we had to stop wondering about rain and focus! Theresa and Todd both got ready at the Hampton Inn, so we had to be sure to communicate to get fun, creative images but also not spoil any surprises for their first look. Theresa’s mom gladly helped Sarah with accessing the dress and bringing it outside for a portrait. Jenn also got to bring Todd’s suit jacket and tie outside (his suggestion!), which was a treat for her and allowed for some lovely, cohesive getting ready detail images for their wedding day photography set. While in the conference room, Theresa’s gals surrounded her as the make-up artist, Ryan Casey, wrapped up the finishing touches. They shared funny relationship advice and took in the beauty that was Theresa, the Bride. Theresa was super stoked about her final makeup look! The ladies then gathered in one of the hotel rooms to help Theresa into her dress. The mood was energetic and fun, and the music was pumping!
Meanwhile, Todd and his groomsmen got ready in a room just down the hall. The vibe was relaxed and confident as they sipped on drinks and made each other laugh. Todd’s brother Brian asked to talk to him in private for a moment, and when Todd returned he showed Jenn the incredibly thoughtful gift he had just received. Brian had a replica of their late father’s tie clip, a gold embossed image of a train, set in silver, made for Todd to wear that day and cherish forever. She was able to photograph details of the tie clips against Todd’s burgundy tie, as well as Todd and Brian wearing them together! Once the guys were ready, Todd and Jenn ventured over to The Cracker Factory first so he could get in place for the first look.
The weather was holding, which was a huge delight! Todd made a point to put on his wedding band (a family heirloom, once worn and treasured by his grandfather) before the first look. This was a detail we had not considered before, but upon reflection find to be a really cool touch. After all, the first look is often planned with the intention that the couple will have more time for portraits of just them – portraits that are a celebration of their union – so why not slip the ring on to round out the details?
Todd waited patiently alongside the texturally beautiful Cracker Factory for Theresa to arrive. We had him keep his back to her as she approached. At the perfect time, Sarah instructed Todd to turn around. They laid eyes on each other for the first time that day and shared a sweet moment together. Then it was time to create some beautiful images to commemorate the day!
An incredible space surrounded by windows and draped in natural light invites at the top of the stairs. White sheer drapery separated the ceremony space from the reception space. It’s a dreamy, industrial space, minimally decorated with interesting vintage pieces like a record player, foosball table, tabletop shuffleboard, and speaker cabinets. Theresa and Todd’s ceremony started with the moms pouring dirt from separate cups into one pot on a table covered with flowers in vases while a family friend played live music on the keyboard. Todd’s best friend lead the ceremony. The couple exchanged vows, shared a kiss to seal the deal, and proceeded back down the aisle as husband and wife!
Theresa and Todd decorated their guest’s tables with pieces that represent some of their favorite things in life. They both love to read, so they stacked books in the middle of the tables. Theresa loves tea, so they used both of their grandmother’s tea sets as vases for flowers, including wine colored roses. They set them atop the books. A location from a list of special places in their traveling hearts designated each table instead of numbers. And to round it all out, fresh apples surrounded the base of books; the perfect fall touch!
We loved the whole backstory to Theresa and Todd’s wedding day design choices, every detail was so thoughtful. During cocktail hour, the couple escaped upstairs with Sarah for even more portraits! If it wasn’t clear already, this venue was a bit of a photographers dream. Getting up to the third floor confirmed that as fact. Theresa and Todd were also a dream to photograph as they beamed with love!
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour including a tasty display of crudité, cheeses and a plethora of drink choices! They mingled, some played the vintage table games, and everyone enjoyed each other’s company. Next to the bar, the couple had a custom shadow box to tally up His and Hers drink choices ordered. Beer caps went in Todd’s side while wine corks went in Theresa’s!
The formal reception began with introductions of the wedding party and newlyweds. The couple then shared their first dance to “Just the Two of Us.” They invited their bridal party onto the dance floor, the first in a seemingly endless list of sweet moments. Another great moment included Brian’s best man speech, honoring their parents and their new family members. After the dance party started, Sarah whisked Todd and Theresa away one last time for a sweet epic night shot. This gave them a chance to pause and take the night in together. We had such a great time with these two. We can’t wait to see the next adventure their love takes them on!
Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. Goehle!
Featured Wedding Professionals || Wedding Dress Vendor – Spy Babies | Hair & Makeup Artist – Ryan Casey, Aria Salon | Caterer – King’s Catering | Cake – Club86 Cakes | Florist – Settler’s Post & Theresa’s Mom | DJ – Showcase Sound |