Ericka & Luke’s Wedding at Samuel Cedar’s in Rogersville MO

I was so excited for Ericka and Luke’s wedding day at Samuel Cedars for so many reasons. For one – they are just adorable together and have extremely kind hearts. Two, It’s been a few years since we’ve had a wedding at Samuel Cedars so it was fun to see the updates to the venue since were there last. The new bridal suite is amazing!! Three, the couple, wedding party and a large part of the guests all were Converse sneakers! And finally, one of my favorite brides, Kassie, from Elevate Entertainment was there to DJ – so not only did I get to hug on her, but I got to see her keep the crowd on their feet and the dance floor full!

Our day started out capturing some final getting-ready moments before they shared some special first looks! Ericka’s sister and mom helped her get dressed, she shared the first look with her bridesmaids and her father. Then it was finally time to see Luke! This was such a sweet moment. After hugging on each other, they exchanged gifts with one another before sharing a private unity ceremony and a prayer together. I really liked how they incorporated a unity into their private moment instead of just doing one during the ceremony. But the guests weren’t completely going to be left out. They chose to incorporate a second unity ceremony later inspired by the movie UP with a mailbox. They painted one another’s hands and placed their handprints on a mailbox – which then become the guestbook at the reception! (Let me tell you, this photographer was a nervous mess watching a bride in a white dress with yellow and red paint nearby! 🙂 But it all went smoothly and they were shortly officially pronounced husband and wife.

After the ceremony and portraits, it was time to head inside for dinner, drinks, and dancing! The toasts were amazing – and I truly think the best man and bridesmaid’s rap will go down as the best toast I’ve had in 175 weddings!!  The dances were just as great. The couple shared their first dance and I found a new song to love…and the bride and her dad surprised everyone with a mid-song air (inflatable?) guitar jam. Erik shared a sweet dance with his mom – and then my heart melted with what happened next.

I’m sentimental. I’m pretty sure that is obvious. I love my couples and my job….and I basically wear my heart on my sleeve. So obviously, when I get couples who are just as sentimental, I get a little extra emotional. Due to Covid, Ericka’s sister had to miss out on a traditional wedding…which meant missing out on special moments like her father walking her down the aisle and her own first dance. Well, because Luke & Ericka have the amazing hearts that they do – they wanted to honor her sister. So not only did their dad walk both of them down the aisle during the ceremony, BUT at the reception, Ericka surprised her sister with her own first dance with her husband. It was absolutely amazing and I’m just going to be honest – I may have had some mascara running on my cheeks.

After all the sweet moments it was time to PARTY!!! It was so much fun working with Kassie. Oh, and did I mention that the groom is an Elevate DJ too? So it is fair to say that the dance floor was full the entire night! We had such an amazing time celebrating this sweet couple before they left under a sea of Sparklers!

Luke & Ericka, Thank You for choosing to share your love story with us! I am so thankful to have met you and I cannot wait to see where your love story takes you next!

Lots of Love,




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    Jessica Yahn is a professional
    wedding photographer located
    in Southwest Missouri.