Wanting the casual charm and rustic warmth of their Hudson Valley wedding location, the Oak Hill Barn, to really shine, Sara and Jonah chose all the elements quite carefully. They incorporated as many seasonal and locally produced elements as possible, and accompanied those with beautiful handcrafted decor details. Artfully documented by husband and wife team Rebecca and Jason Walker of Ira Lippke Studios, Sara and Jonah’s fall Hudson Valley wedding was just the blend of natural elegance and charm they hoped for!
The Newlyweds: Sara and Jonah
Junebug: What were your most important goals in planning your wedding?
Sara and Jonah: It was important for us, throughout the planning process, to make sure that all the elements – food, music, decor, setting – worked together to enhance the effect we were trying to achieve, one that conveyed a relaxed elegance and natural feel. We worked with local vendors in the Hudson Valley to help us stay true to the natural beauty that the area has to offer. From the flowers to the food to the wedding favors, we incorporated as many of the local, seasonal elements as possible. There was also a significant “DIY” element to the wedding: many of the decorative details (signs, table numbers, welcome bags, etc.) were designed and made by us, or friends and family.
Junebug: How would you describe your personal wedding style?
Sara and Jonah: Our personal wedding style was rustic but romantic. Aesthetically, we wanted to achieve a rustic, elegant feel, but we also wanted it to be casual so people could let loose and have a good time. It was a barn wedding after all. The bride’s dress was traditional, but the rest of the wedding party was less formal, adhering only to a festive, seasonal palette.
Junebug: Where did you hold your wedding and reception, and why?
Sara and Jonah: The reception was in a large barn, on an estate overlooking the Hudson River, just outside of Hudson, NY. We fell in love with the sprawling grounds, the views of the majestic Hudson River and Catskill Mountains in the distance, and the charming warmth of the barn.
Junebug: What three adjectives describe your wedding best?
Sara and Jonah: Relaxed, rustic, romantic
Junebug: What were you looking for in a photographer?
Sara and Jonah: It was important for us to work with a photographer who could achieve a natural, documentary feel, without sacrificing artistry.
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Rebecca and Jason Walker of Ira Lippke Studios?
Sara and Jonah: Jason and Becca’s photographs were artistically executed, with rich and vivid colors and contrasts. But they had also documented their subjects in an unscripted, unfiltered way, capturing intimate moments and expressions that often elude the camera’s eye.
Junebug: What did you enjoy most about working with Rebecca and Jason?
Sara and Jonah: They were easy-going, approachable, responsive, and provided ample advice above and beyond the actual shooting of the event. At the reception in particular, they interacted well with the guests, participating in the event without becoming a distraction. Their execution of the photo booth, in particular, received rave reviews from the guests – Jason’s imaginative direction led to several hysterical photographs that captured the staged candor that make photo booths so much fun. It was a bonus that, as a husband and wife team, they were able to work together and communicate so well – each had a well-established role and they were able to adjust to surprises – weather, schedule, whatever – on the fly.
The Photographers: Rebecca and Jason Walker of Ira Lippke Studios
Junebug: How did you approach this particular wedding and what did you most want to capture during shooting?
Rebecca and Jason: After arriving early to scout the area, we decided to photograph Sara and Jonah separately in town, then have them meet up in a quiet wooded area next to the Oak Hill Barn wedding location. It was cold and misty outside, and we hope the photos convey a sense that the bride and groom were longing to be together. In contrast, we wanted the photos of them together, and inside the barn with friends and family to capture the warm and festive nature of the occasion. We knew it was a barn wedding which is a dream for us, so we wanted to capture that cozy, intimate and rustic aesthetic with images that had a relaxed, fun and warm aspect to them.
Junebug: Were there any special photographic requests from the couple that made this wedding especially exciting creatively or personally?
Rebecca and Jason: They had a lot of their friends and family involved in many aspects of the wedding such as the music for the ceremony and cocktail hour, DIY table settings with Scrabble pieces as the table numbers, old family pictures on the gift/guest sign in table, and many other little touches that were thought ahead by the couple. The guests at the wedding were also very important and some traveled from quite far distances so it was also very important that we capture them enjoying themselves, dancing and mingling with others.
Junebug: What was the most fun part of this wedding for you to photograph?
Rebecca and Jason: We loved the rustic and cozy elements that were involved and all the little details throughout the day that helped create props and backdrops to making beautiful portraits. It was also such a huge honor to be with both of the families throughout the day and document the love and excitement everyone shared for the marriage of Sara and Jonah. Sara’s father is an amazing dancer and it was a highlight to witness and capture some of his amazing moves both with Sara and on his own. The people at this wedding really helped to make the day so much fun and inspired us to want to make beautiful documentary photographs that would help Sara and Jonah remember the day forever. Also, the bride requested we setup a photo booth which Jason has been asked to do quite often this year so Sara and Jason both brought in props such as cowboy hats, haystacks, plastic mustaches etc so that was definitely a huge hit and hot spot for all the guests to have a good time!
Junebug: How did the locations available to you affect the type of images you shot and how you shot them?