Abby & Luke wedding photographer | La Crosse, Wisconsin

Let me start this post about last weekend’s wedding by saying…

Thank you to all of the brave Americans who serve our country in the United States Armed Forces. From the newly enlisted, to active duty, currently deployed, to the veterans and to the fallen – I thank you for your service and for protecting the freedoms our wonderful country provides us.

If you haven’t thanked a member of the military lately, next time you see one – do so.

As a wedding photographer, I really strive to document the wedding day as it unfolds. At the same time, as a visual artist, I am always looking for unique situations and locations to create the imagery you see on my website. Having clients who understand this, who allow me to have the creative freedom to do what I do, is everything a photographer can ask for. Last Saturday’s wedding of Abby & Luke provided those things and so much more. To list off a few of the reasons:

  • First – they were clients who wanted the creative imagery and truly appreciate the work I provide.
  • Second – they booked & allowed enough time to document the wedding day schedule.
  • Third – planned a schedule which had a number of different stops at very different locations which keeps the ideas fresh & spontaneous, but at the same time – keeps it fun for the members of the wedding party. OK – it included Harley-Davidson motorcycles and monster trucks!
  • Fourth – WONDERFUL wedding party and family.
  • Lastly, and most important of all – Abby & Luke are two people so very deeply in love with each other… that’s the most beautiful thing of all.

Luke is member of the United States Army and a veteran of the Iraq War. He dressed in the US Army dress blue uniform for the wedding ceremony. It was nice to see a groom, not only proud of his service to our country by wearing his proper military attire, but to be in love at the same time. It was sort of an interesting attraction visual opposites. You’ve got the rough, rugged & strong image of an army soldier paired with a beautiful, delicate & ornate image of the bride…

Groom wearing army dress blue uniform for his wedding ceremony in Onalaska, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Bride holding her wedding bouquet in Onalaska, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

After shooting Luke and his groomsmen & Abby and her bridesmaids separately – it was time for the ceremony at St. Patrick’s Parish in Onalaska, Wisconsin.

I love this shot. He showed his affection to her at the very first chance he could – at the very beginning of the ceremony…

Groom winks at bride during their wedding ceremony in Onalaska, WI| ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

As I walked by in the background, this image caught my eye and I felt it was fitting…

Army veteran framed by USA flag in Onalaska, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

The ceremony was beautiful and after greeting all of the guests in the receiving line, we finished up with the wedding party & family portraits. We then proceeded to go to the La Crosse Area Harley Davidson Shop for a little pre-planned photo shoot with some very nice Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Bride with arms around groom on custom Harley Davidson motorcycle in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Bride's shoe on Harley Davidson motorcycle in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

After some pictures at the Harley shop, we then proceeded up to Grandad Bluff overlooking La Crosse, Wisconsin and the Mississippi River valley with the bluffs of Minnesota in the distance. Even though it was a little breezy and a somewhat decent 40 degrees, we still managed to get some great shots. Abby braved the elements…

Bride & Groom kiss at Grandad Bluff overlook in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

We then headed down to the Mississippi River at Riverside Park. We had a good time goofing around and taking some pictures on the levy.

You had to be there…

Groomsmen at Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

After Riverside Park, we then went over to Piggy’s Restaurant & Lounge. Such a wonderful setting with the historic bar. Before we headed out, there’s always room for one more photo…

Bride & Groom kiss at Piggy's Restaurant in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

So that was the last stop before arriving at the wedding reception location, however we had one more stop before actually arriving at the wedding reception. You see, the wedding reception was being held at the La Crosse Center Ballroom. It just so happen to be that there was a Monster Truck show going on that evening in the La Crosse Center arena! With some pre-planning by Abby’s father, he arranged to have the wedding party get rides & some photos on the Bone Crusher monster truck. See the video of the bridesmaids riding with Abby & Luke on the monster truck here

It really was a great way to start the wedding reception!!

Bride & Groom by the Bone Crusher monster truck at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

The lobby of the La Crosse Center Ballroom was lined with a sweet tooth’s dream – a candy bar stretching four tables long!

Candy bar wedding reception at the La Crosse Center Ballroom in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

During the Grand March, two wedding party members preferred enter with a bridesmaid on the groomsman’s shoulders, which led to a double leap-frog which in turn led to a wheelbarrow entrance… It was quite the show!

Grand March during wedding reception at the La Crosse Center Ballroom in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

The sunset provided an beautiful background during the dinner…

Wedding reception at the La Crosse Center Ballroom in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Abby’s father had a very moving speech… someday I’ll have to do this same thing for my daughter…

Wedding reception speech at the La Crosse Center Ballroom in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Other than being a Minnesota Vikings fan (with some ribbing from the Green Bay Packer fans in the crowd), he had nothing but admiration and good things to say about Luke. Even I can tell Luke is a man of honor…

Wedding reception at the La Crosse Center Ballroom in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

as well as loving every moment he has near his beautiful wife, Abby.

Bride & Groom hug in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

After the dinner, there was a slideshow and then the first dances. Abby & Luke had their first dance and then it was time for the father/daughter dance. This is the one that gets me every time. There’s always so much emotion…

Father/daughter dance in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

The mother/son dance was special to Luke and his mother as well. They even played a song that was special to them which went back to when he was young. I love how she holds him even as they walk off the dance floor…

Mother/son dance in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Of course, after the first dances, the dance floor opened up to the wedding party and everyone else and they danced the night away…

Wedding reception dance at the La Crosse Center Ballroom in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

It seems like yesterday since we met on New Year’s Day, but it was truly an honor to be your wedding photographer, Abby & Luke! I hope your future is filled with many more smiles and may your love for each other grow stronger each and every day. Hope you’re having fun on the honeymoon!!

Bride and groom happily married in La Crosse, WI | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

 

6 Comments

    • March 10, 2009
    • Reply

    Wow guys! Too much for words as to how beautiful and fun you day was. ThanX for letting us be a part of it. On the photography, I especially love the pic of Luke winking @ Abby. Truly special. Love you guys! Can we do it again sometime ;)

    • March 10, 2009
    • Reply

    Shannon:
    The photographs captured some of the most profound images of Luke and Abby. As Luke’s mom, I cannot express the textures and essences you captured so beautifully.
    Thank you~

    • March 11, 2009
    • Reply

    Shannon, as a wedding photographer myself it’s wonderful to find another photographer who loves weddings like I do; you captured all the poignancy and emotion of Abby & Luke’s wedding day so perfectly and I’ll look forward to seeing more of your work.

    • March 17, 2009
    • Reply

    I LOVE your photography. I can’t get enough of it. Brandon and I are so excited to have you shoot our wedding. I love the candidness and the pure love that comes through in all your photos. I especially love the one where he’s winking at her. Adorable… Can’t wait to meet you and for August :)

    • March 26, 2009
    • Reply

    I can’t stop looking at our wedding photos! They truly are amazing and capture such touching moments!!! Luke and I are thrilled with each and every photo and we are so happy we had Porter capture our wedding day! We could not be happier with the way they turned out! We will be able to remember this day for the rest of our lives!!
    Thanks again Porter! We hope to work with you again in the near future!!!

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