Lila + Grant | Echo Bluff State Park Wedding, Emminence MO

We started out early this past weekend. Chrystal and I loaded up the car with the camera bags, plus extra layers of clothing and snacks. After a quick stop for coffee, we headed north to Echo Bluff State Park. I’m not a morning person AT ALL but I was so excited to finally meet Lila & Grant. Oh, sweet Lila! This girl had my heart from the moment she first reached out to me. She is SOOOOO sweet!! As soon as we arrived it felt like I was seeing a long-lost friend instead of meeting a client for the first time. All of the ladies were relaxing and having a great time hair and makeup were finishing up while I photographed their details. I absolutely loved all the sentimental ways Lila had tied into her wedding day, including pieces of her mom’s wedding dress. After a little while, we popped downstairs so I could officially meet Grant. He had such a quiet calm nature around him – but I could see the emotion building in his eyes the whole time we were with him and his groomsmen. He was definitely ready to see his bride.

After Lila shared a moment with her dad and mom we headed to the lodge for the ceremony. The ceremony was on the back patio with the bluffs in the background. It was pretty much freezing outside but luckily the sun was shining brightly down on everyone, giving a little extra warmth. There were both tears and laughter as Grant & Lila exchanged their personal vows and rings. They completed their unity braid ceremony with ease, despite Lila worrying that they’d forget how. Then, after a prayer, they were officially pronounced husband and wife!

While the guests headed to get a little warmer and ready for the reception – it was time for portraits. We finished up family photos with their loved ones on the patio before heading down for wedding party photos. The bare trees and bluffs in the background seemed to perfectly complement this November wedding’s neutral tones. This wedding party was AMAZING!! You knew people were cold but nobody complained at all. They flew thru their photos with ease! (I’m sure the fact that cocktail hour would be waiting for them wasn’t a factor at all.) And then…FINALLY…I got to spend just some quiet time with this sweet couple. It always remains one of my favorite times because they just get to escape the chaos of the wedding day for a short period of time and snuggle into one another.

After finishing Grant & Lila’s portraits we headed back into the lodge to get ready for the reception. The guests grabbed their drinks and went to find their seats for dinner before cheering in the wedding party and the new Mr. and Mrs. We did the Tik-Tok Table challenge. I can’t say I’m a fan of everything that Tik Tok comes up with-but I’ve learned to love this game. I try at most weddings to get a photo of the different tables when possible and this game just makes it easier for me to do so – especially when we do it at the very beginning before tables are filled with dinner plates and people have moved to mingle with other tables. Plus, when I’ve got the DJ on my side to help keep it organized – we always beat the clock.

Dinner was accompanied by multiple speeches filled with so much love for the couple. After cutting their cake (and grabbing a cake pop) it was time for the couple to share their first dance by the fireside. Everyone gathered around and watched with love. Next, Lila shared a dance with her dad as her mom was wiping tears away in the background. And finally, Grant escorted his mom onto the dance floor for one last special dance before opening the dance floor to everyone. Everyone danced and mingled throughout the evening. The dance floor was still going strong when it was time for us to head out. This is one wedding I wasn’t quite ready for it to end.

Lila and Grant, congratulations again! I am so thankful to have met you both. You have such an amazing group of family & friends and I am beyond thankful to have been able to share with them in celebrating this next chapter in your love story!!

Lots of Love,



Bridal Gown | The Bridal Shoppe
Bridesmaids Dresses | Baltic Born
DJ | Shane Matthews
Hair & Makeup | Annie Melber
Officiant | David Jr. Huelster
Video | Jon Isaacson
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    Jessica Yahn is a professional
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    in Southwest Missouri.