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5 reasons why country weddings are my favorite to photograph
Country weddings have been popular for probably as long as there have been weddings! Yes they drift in and out of what is considered trendy, but they are always present. Pickup trucks, tractors, four wheelers, horse drawn wagons, hay bails, old barns. They make fantastic backdrops for weddings!
I absolutely love shooting them. I have shot many different themes, and am always excited when a client tells me there is a barn, or its on the family farm. And even if you don't have a family farm there are some fantastic venues out there that are more than willing to rent you theirs for your big day!
Like most beginnings for me this article was started out of boredom, I was going back amongst some of my favorite images and quite a few of them involved brides in boots, cowboy hats, and barns. So here are a few reasons they are amongst my favorite themes.
The backdrops are built in!
With an event/conference space you are very limited by the space when it comes to finding a spot for your photos. A farm however is a photographers dream! Things that the farmer themselves think is an eyesore or junk are the same things people are paying good money for as decor! Old barn wood, classic cars rusting in the grass, the tractor sitting in the shed. The hay bales. even the overgrown field with the falling down silo. If you can't find a spot to get some fantastic shots in and around the family farm, or even a barn venue your not looking! And we have all hear the Old McDonald song. And in my experience most farms do indeed have animals somewhere that can add a little something to a backdrop. And last there is nature itself! There are so many options that it's almost impossible to pick a bad spot! Go for a quick walk and you are bound to find exactly what you are looking for! I will advise though that you should use caution with white wedding dresses and greasy equipment!
You can get away with a little more!
There are shots that you would never consider attempting to try in a city. But out in the country in the middle of nowhere? Brides and grooms everywhere have ideas of what they think would look cool! Some are crazier than others, but hey, why not if you can safely pull it off! I've shot couples doing their thing with cars, animals, boats, I had a couple once who stacked hay bales to look like a three tiered wedding cake and then put the bride and groom on top and all the bridal party up the sides! I was actually impressed that not only did nobody fall off, but that the bride was able to climb a 20 foot ladder in a wedding dress and boots! Again if you can safely pull it off why not?
No two are the same!
Even at the exact same venue with the exact same colors, no two country themed weddings are even remotely close to each other! There is so much more room for customization! Different boots, hats, dresses, I've seen guys in full tuxes, jeans and vests with tux jackets, jeans and vest, jeans and vests and nothing else.... the options are truly limitless!
And you can even get into custom camo dresses if your really hardcore! The point is, with a little creativity you can make anything work!
I have done farm themes with hay bales, horses, wagons. I have done hunting themes with blaze orange and camo. I have done fishing themes. I have done beer themes. Even I have no idea what could be next!
Perfection isn't what they are looking for!
Now I have shot weddings, been in weddings, and my own wedding where perfection was the goal! Some pull it off flawlessly, others less so, my own was a spectacular failure (but it was fun!) when it came to this goal! The bride and groom are usually stressed out about something that is running them along the edge of failure.
Country weddings they know before they even start that it won't be perfect! As long as it is fun, and everything that is supposed to happen does, it is a success! The entire event has a more laid back feel to it. The guests are usually a little more comfortable. And to be honest, if I can get away without wearing a suit and tie, I am all for it!
And finally... No traffic!
I mean both car and foot traffic! I can't remember how many times I have been shooting a wedding in a town somewhere that the couple has told me we have to shoot at this certain place beforehand. And about halfway through the pictures there is literally a line of brides waiting for the exact same spot! It's only funny if your the first ones there!
I also love any chance to leave the city and traffic behind me! I grew up in a small town in northern MN, and have been living along the edge of the Twin Cities for almost twenty years now. So every time I get a chance to shoot in a small town that you can barely find on a map I jump at the chance!