charlotte wedding photographer, kasey loftin photography » intimate, laid back wedding photography for the genuinely awesome

Outdoor Wedding in Brown County State Park


this couple. so many thoughts. in case you missed it, i blogged the day before the wedding a few months ago >> beer, pizza, and a weenie roast rehearsal dinner << and i talked about how i met and booked emily and dan. these two are incredible. i’ve been dying to come back to this state park wedding so i could blog it.

the day began a little bumpy (for me). as i arrived to the house where emily was getting ready, someone didn’t see me coming down the narrow tree-lined drive and backed into the front bumper of my rental car. any other day and i may have been shaken by this but not this day. i knew we would figure it out and i didn’t want to worry about it because i had a whole bunch of beautiful to document. in between photographing the details and emily getting ready i was on the phone with my rental car company. i only mention this because it pertains to the day after the wedding.

dan and emily exchanged vows on an overlook surrounded by trees. immediately following their ceremony, guests grabbed their streamers and caramel apples and hopped on a hayride that drove us around the Brown County State Park. then we all met near the entrance of the park in a wood and rock pavilion. during the cocktail hour, fried biscuits with apple butter were served. yeah you heard that southerners, in indiana they fry their biscuits. it’s as good as it sounds. later there was a hog roast from Holy Smoke Hog Roast and the evening was capped off with donuts driven down from a favorite of emily and dan’s in chicago called Do-Rite Donuts.

everyone came together to make this wedding not just possible but absolutely perfect. it was intimate. it was intentional. it was moving. i felt like one of the guests a lot of the time because of how wonderful everyone was toward me. there is a LONG list of awesome people who helped dan and emily realize their dream wedding below this post and i encourage you to check it out! this includes but is definitely not limited to the best man and maid of honor who did double duty by standing along side their best friends but also majorly contributing to their day. and to top it off, they both had two of the best speeches i have ever heard at a wedding. like seriously incredible. i laughed and cried and laughed some more.

there were also frogs and bats. for real. and when we were all on the dance floor and the bats swooped in, instead of fearing them and screaming out of terror, everyone cheered. i had to do a double take and ask a few questions before finding out that emily loves bats. i’ve never been present when a bat crashed a wedding and somehow at the wedding of a girl who loves bats, two or three bats stopped in to say hello. it was kind of surreal. but also amazing.

the next day, as i waited for my tow truck to come exchange my rental car, i sat with dan and emily and their friends in the cabin where emily got ready. we drank coffee, ate mcdonalds breakfast and leftover donuts. as the crowd dispersed throughout the morning, things got quiet. i retrieved my laptop from my car and did something i’ve never done with a couple… i showed them my lightroom catalog and sifted through some of the best parts of their day. i felt completely naked because for the most part these were unculled and unedited. as we scrolled through their first look they got emotional again and i just wanted to squeeze both of them. it was the perfect way to cap off my experience in nashville, indiana with these lovely humans.

dan and emily, you know i love you. i relive your day every time i see a picture from that weekend. it revives a part of me that gets discouraged sometimes and doubts myself. i can only hope that 2017 brings only intentional, soulful, and incredibly in love couples like you. thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me into your lives to document your wedding day. you’ll always been in my heart. cheers! kasey


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the wedding of dan and emily was made possible by:
Table centerpieces: (from the bride) “My mom, Lindy Schwartz, put these together. She’s a collector and creates displays at the Public Library every week so she’s used to throwing together amazing little shadow boxes. Usually she does displays for silent auctions, the Christmas shop etc. The books sometimes came from various garage sales as did a lot of the additional decor. She hand-made all the pennants as well! My dad hand-painted that little ‘just married’ sign Dan and I held on the hayride. They are both so imaginative and crafty!”
Ephemera: (from the bride) “Some of the ephemera came from running a theater company in Chicago for the past 10 years (the strange tree group), but most came from my parent’s constant collecting. We pulled the chairs for our sweetheart table right off the front porch.”
Wall hanging & Screen: the maid of honor, Liesl Downey, painted the camp-fire backdrop and the ceremony backdrop. they used paint from the first apartment Dan and Emily shared together for the colors.
Chalkboards: Liesl Downey, Elizabeth Bagby, Emily Schwartz and Brittany Danko
some of the flowers came from but ended up not being enough so Emily’s parents drove an hour and a half back to brownsburg the morning before the wedding to get more. they were all pulled together by the bridesmaids at the last minute and a friend of the bride, Carol Enoch did the table arrangements on the fly.
Catering: Hog Roast – Holy Smoke Hog Roast, Donuts – Do-Rite Donuts in Chicago, Cocktails – Cardinal Spirits, Caramel Apples – Beasley’s Orchard, Plates – Let’s Go Green, Enamel Cups – REI and
Bridal Party: Wedding dress- Bhldn Dulcinea Dress, Hair & Makeup- Leslie White Hair and Makeup, Bridesmaids dresses – Modcloth, Groomsmen suits/ties/record cufflinks – Black Tux, Groom’s suit – Hugo Boss/Macy’s
DJ: Best Man, Carlo Garcia
Day of Coordination: Lucee Blue Events
Rehearsal Weenie Roast: Rawhide Ranch
Wedding Ceremony: Nature Center Amphitheater, Brown County State Park
Wedding Reception: Lower Shelter, Brown County State Park




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  • Rachel - Wow, just wow. This is my type of wedding. It’s so Wes Anderson-y I can’t even handle it. The vibe is s chill and lovely. And those TONES!!!!!! Wow.ReplyCancel

  • Shelby - We moved to IN last year and visited Brown County in the fall – so incredibly pretty! What gorgeous photos you got!ReplyCancel

  • Brittanie Mullings - When was this wedding? I am looking to get married here as well and the pictures are amazing!ReplyCancel

    • Emily - Our wedding was Sept 9th, 2016. We loved the park! Suggestion before you book is to make sure that the overlook and the lower shelter are available on the same day. Generally the overlook is available only on weekends and only until the end of September. (no overlook booking in Oct). You can book the shelters exactly one year in advance, so be quick on the draw if you have a date you’d like to snag.ReplyCancel

      • Ian - Hi Emily! My fiancee and I are trying to plan our wedding at the Lower Shelter for this October. Would it be ok for us to ask you a couple questions about your experience having yours? If you are willing, could you send me an email at I’d greatly appreciate it!ReplyCancel

  • Colleen - Any way I could get in touch with the bride? We’re having our reception at the Lower Shelter too and I would love to pick her brain! Hers looks BEAUTIFUL and I have no idea how I’m going to pull my vision off…Thanks!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Potter - I love this idea! It is almost exactly what we’re wanting to do. I just don’t know where to begin. I also love this style of photography. We are working on having a very simple wedding in which everyone feels like welcome family.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Roembke - Is there any way I could get in contact with the bride to see how many people she had at her reception? This is our dream wedding venue and I visited last weekend but got a little discouraged thinking not everyone would fit at the lower shelter. Please let me know about how many people fit in the shelter. Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

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