From joyful tears to friends who are like family, from carefully thought out details to a night of laid-back fun, and from FFA students to firemen, couples like Derek and Katie Cook are exactly why I love being a wedding photographer. And, I’m so excited to share Mr. and Mrs. Cook’s wedding at Cosgray Christmas Tree Farm in Idaville, Indiana on the blog!
I enjoy both the creative and business sides of photography, but what I love most about my job is getting to know my brides and grooms. And, I have to tell you, since their first engagement session (Katie and Derek had two engagement sessions because of rain!), I’ve been head over heels for this couple!
Derek and Katie are both passionate, kind people, and they complement one another well. I mean, Derek farms but is also a fireman, and Katie is an ag teacher, FFA sponsor, and a wooden flower florist. Both Katie and Derek work in agriculture, but they also have other dreams, passions, and aspirations.
I think this is amazing, because for the rest of their lives, Derek and Katie will have a common interest they can share, as well as their own passions they can pursue separately. As a married woman, I know how important it is to find a balance like Derek and Katie naturally have!
Side Note: To me, seeing Derek and Katie together is proof that Match.com works! Derek and Katie met online. Their interests complement one another’s perfectly, and you only have to be with them for two seconds to see how well they fit together. This couple is proof that online dating works!
All brides work hard to make their wedding days special, but Katie (Derek too) really outdid herself! She did all of the decorating and venue design, and it came together flawlessly.
A few special details really stood out to me:
Funnily enough, planning her wedding resulted in Katie opening her own business! After discovering wooden flower arrangements, Katie tried her hand at making some and loved the process.
This bride thought she was simply going to make flowers for her own wedding, but once she started sharing photos of her work, orders started coming in! Now, Katie has a side hustle that she loves. If you like country chic, you have to like Barnwood Blossoms on Facebook!
During one of their engagement sessions, Katie mentioned that a big chunk of her summer had included working on flowers for the wedding. When Michaela (my second shooter) and I arrived to their wedding Cosgray Christmas Tree Farm, I realized that I had 100% underestimated the amount of time that Katie had put into flower arrangements. There were wooden flowers everywhere! It was incredible!
While Katie and Derek’s big day was filled with lots of joy, I know Katie was also feeling a little sadness. Katie lost her mom a few years ago, and Mrs. Pitts was definitely missed on her oldest daughter’s wedding day.
However, Katie was sure to honor her mom throughout the day. For example, Katie included a photo of her mother on her bouquet, and where Mrs. Pitts would’ve sat during the ceremony, Katie’s sisters laid a dozen white roses.
I don’t know Mrs. Pitts, but I have no doubt that she would be very proud of the person her oldest daughter has become, love her new son-in-law, and be very thankful to her family (especially Katie’s aunts and sisters) for filling in for mother-of-the-bride duties.
Like I said before, Katie is a high school ag teacher and FFA sponsor. She is very passionate about her job, and after meeting a few of her students, it’s very clear that she’s an amazing teacher!
Katie not only invited FFA students, she even included some of them in the wedding! Dressed in FFA official dress, a few of her students served as ushers and passed out programs during the ceremony. This was an incredible way to include this aspect of Katie’s life in her big day!
Katie may have done most of the planning (The bride usually does!), but Derek’s personality was every bit as much a part of the day as Katie’s was. My favorite groom request was a photo of the bride and groom with all of the firemen from Derek’s unit. These guys are practically family for Derek, so it was only fitting for them to be included in family photos!
Derek and Katie, your wedding day couldn’t have been anymore perfect. I hope you loved every second. I feel so honored that you trusted me to be your wedding photographer and wish you a lifetime of happiness, laughter, joy, and love.
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Cook!
Venue: Cosgray Christmas Tree Farm
Officiant: Ed Ward
Hair Stylist: Christy McMindes
Makeup Artist: Christy McMindes
Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Florist: Barnwood Blossoms
Caterer: Custom Select Catering
Cake: Mammaw’s Sweet Shoppe
DJ: DJ Indiana
Invitations: Vista Print
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Rings: Roth Brothers Jewelers
Photographer: Victoria Rayburn Photography
Second Shooter: Michaela Blanding-Byrd of Byrd’s Eye Photo