I have been excited about Madison and Shane’s Broken Arrow Ranch wedding in College Station ever since I found out Madison was engaged! I’ve loved every wedding I’ve shot and every couple I’ve worked with has been fantastic. I love the relationships I form because of this career path I’ve taken, and seeing the relationship between family and friends during the wedding day. But working with Madison was extra special. Since having known her since I shot her high school senior photos, I was even more “invested” in her wedding. And I knew without a doubt, I would wind up bawling behind the camera on her wedding day.
Madison and Shane chose to have the wedding at Broken Arrow Ranch, which is outside College Station. It’s a new venue in the country with some great amenities like an outdoor pavilion for ceremonies, a lake, gorgeous tree lines, and they are in the process of building a wedding chapel on site. From the beginning, Madison knew she wanted an outdoor ceremony. The day of the wedding, it threatened rain for most of the day. In fact, there were a few instances where it started raining and we bolted inside Broken Arrow Ranch until it cleared and we could finish some of the formal portraits and the First Look before the ceremony.
So much thought went into Madison and Shane’s big day. The entire day was not only stunning with well thought out rustic details, but full of sentimental touches as well. The heart shaped table at the entrance of Broken Arrow Ranch was a handmade gift that Madison’s grandfather made for her. The album covers and photos of loved ones who are no longer present sat atop a door that came from Madison’s grandfather’s house. The boots that lined the ceremony aisle were Shane’s father’s boots (he was a police officer). The cowboy hats the flowergirls used to toss flower petals from were Shane’s dad’s hats as well. The rustic door walkway leading guests to the ceremony site was made by Madison’s dad. From it, hung a dreamcatcher that was made by Madison’s grandmother.
In the time I’ve known Madison, one thing I can say is that she is thoughtful. She remembers small details and makes the effort to show others that they matter. Knowing that, it shouldn’t have been any surprise when Madison told me she had a big surprise planned for her mom at the wedding. Madison flew her mom’s aunt in from Japan for the wedding as a surprise. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room when she revealed her great-aunt was present for the wedding!
I *loved* that Madison incorporated something from Shane’s military career as an Army Ranger into their wedding day!
Madison’s mom wrote a letter to both Madison and Shane each for their wedding day. It was such a thoughtful gesture and I know it will be something they each treasure.
Madison later told me that part of the letter mentioned her grandmother, who had passed away a few years ago. Madison had always been very close to her grandmother. She also shared that her grandmother’s home had burned down in a fire and one of the only things they had been able to get out and salvage were the pearls that Madison wore on her wedding day.
I love when couples opt to do a “First Look” before the wedding. Madison and Shane went one step further with something new that I hadn’t seen before: they each wrote private vows to each other and read them to each other during their first look. (This is such a great option for couples who really want to write their own vows but are reluctant about reading them in front of everyone during the ceremony!)
I loved the vintage chairs and sofas they put at the front of the ceremony for the immediate family, especially the old Victorian style sofa!