Sam & Cory // Mountain Lodge Wedding
Samantha & Cory came from Wichita, KS to have their intimate wedding in one of my favorite places on earth on September 29th, 2018, just as the season started to change. Initially when Sam emailed me I had virtually surpassed my quota of weddings for the year, but when she mentioned the Riverwind Lodge (Buffalo Outdoor Center) in Compton, AR I knew I’d be trying to work something out for them! I’m so glad I did. Their story was full of sweetness & I was so happy to be included in helping tell it.
The Big Day
Before the wedding I asked Sam & Cory what the most important aspect of their day was. Here is what I got back, “To be our authentic selves. We want to share this special moment in the most comfortable/relaxed way possible, surrounded by the people closest to us that won’t care about how fancy the wedding is or tradition. We just want us and everyone that is coming to have a blast and help us celebrate getting married.” I loved this reply! From day one of communication, Sam was so genuine in her responses & I was 100% on board with capturing their day exactly as it happened, looking past the tradition or frills of what some might expect from a wedding & looking into who these amazing people really are!
As I said earlier, the location really sold this for me. The Riverwind Lodge is a non-traditional type of venue, but the surrounding area is just SO beautiful. Hanna & I were excited to show them some of our favorite spots around the area, especially since we had our own wedding reception within walking distance of their lodge just two months before!
The intimacy of this wedding was also incredibly special. You could tell just how incredibly cared-for Sam & Cory are by their friends & family. Their 5 year old daughter was certainly a star of the show! I loved interacting with her throughout the day & getting to watch her be such an integral part of the ceremony. Sam was 8 months pregnant on the wedding day & has since had their precious baby, Rowan! That little girl is coming into a family surrounded by love & I’m so excited for them. That being said, Sam was amazing throughout the wedding day, smiling through baby-kicks & everything! Their “authentic selves” were on full display & we were welcomed like family by everyone. I couldn’t have asked for a better day in the Ozark Mountains!
Some of my favorite moments: Cory’s huge scroll of vows gag, everyone crying after Cory’s vows to Stella, the smiles & interactions as they exited the ceremony, several “just for laughs” photos I included of friends photobombing, etc., the BEAUTIFUL sunset we shared alone on the hilltop, & the casual reception that followed well into the night!
Well-deserve shout outs to:
My wife who second-shot the entire day with me
Jordan Hunt - Videographer who just happened to have filmed my wedding 2 months prior & is an all-around amazing human being
The Buffalo Outdoor Center who provided the Riverwind Lodge for this wedding & many other one of a kind experiences in the Buffalo National River area.