08 Mar

Top 10 Favorite: Wedding Moments of 2017

Posted by Brent Looyenga
Larger collage of some amazing wedding moments in 2017

Top 10 Favorite: Wedding Moments of 2017

If you missed last weeks blog I featured my 10 favorite wedding portraits from 2017. Portraits are so much fun for me. How can I capture this couple in this beautiful area, at this beautiful location, on this once-in-a-lifetime day? But there is still a degree of setup involved. That was basically the rule for this blog - no setup. At no point did I tell any of these people to "go there" or "do that". I love capturing things as they happen, I love capturing that emotion and that genuine look. The other dilemma I had was not showing the same thing. I had SO many great first look reactions this year I almost thought about making it a blog in itself. But this isn't just about first looks, it's about the whole day, and picking 10 out of the 100's of photos that I had already selected was not easy. So here they are, in no particular order, my 10 favorite wedding photography moments in 2017. 


Jake and Nicole had an amazing wedding at the Hayden Lake Country Club. The light was soft, the setting was excellent, sunset was incredible, and their first look - amazing. I'll remember their first look, Jakes reaction when he saw Nicole, "How did I manage to get you? ... woah." he said. There was so much joy, and love and excitement. This photo is just so great, no distraction elements, Nicole is obviously so, so happy, and Jake is equally pumped. Just a great moment. 

Jim and Krista's Coeur d'Alene Resort wedding was a roller coaster. In the morning it was POURING rain. Don't think drizzle, think torrential downpour. But then about 30 minutes before the ceremony (after everything had been moved inside) the sun came out and shined all the way down to an amazing sunset. Now, if you don't know Jim you should, because he's a pretty dynamic, unique, fun loving guy. This was evident all through the reception, but one part I loved was the fireworks (and good ones at that). Somewhere toward the end of the show they did this, being I didn't tell them to put their arms up I don't actually know what was going on, but I love the way it looks. It's exciting, it's awesome, it was their wedding day. 

I first met Chase and Letty at a wedding just outside Spokane Washington in 2016. Chase was the best man and Letty was his energetic, fun girlfriend (if I remember correctly, they had not yet gotten engaged). So when I had to opportunity to capture their wedding last year I was super excited - and rightfully so. Chase and Letty are awesome people. This moment - which was one of the few I didn't have to debate about - is one of my favorites of the whole year. Easily. When they were both blindfolded, moving closer and closer together until they finally found each other. The excitement, joy and genuine happiness is plain on both of their faces, and made for a moment I'll remember for years to come. 

David and Abi had an emotional wedding day. Their first look was incredible, there were tears when Abi's Dad sang her a song at the reception, or when he saw her for the first time. Their were tears during the ceremony, and the toasts. There were great moments of joy, laughter, and tears of joy. Their wedding was filled with excellent people, from their immediate family to the families that attended. I love their wedding photos. This one was one of several that I wanted to include in this blog and for good reason. Look at their faces, filled with joy and excitement. The light couldn't be better, and people actually remembered to blow bubbles as they exited their ceremony! The whole thing was beautiful, and the evident joy on their faces makes it even more so. 


Jim and Krista are awesome (as I stated above) and this image just tells that story. Jim is just a good guy, fun to have around, and definitely the life of the party - and you can see it here. Krista is ready for anything (and you'd have to be) being married to Jim. This was just a great moment, not just because of the rain and the various things that happened that day, but because you don't find someone owning the garter toss as strongly as Jim did this day. It was awesome. 

Scotty and Maria had an amazing wedding at the Historic Davenport Downtown Spokane. They had some pretty great moments, but this one stands out in my mind - not just because of the photo, but because of the context of the photo. Maria had her brother MC the event (which he did an excellent job of) and he had the couple do something I've never seen before. He blindfolded the groom and told him he had to identify his bride from touching her hands alone, and when he found her, he had to kiss her. He then lined up a bunch of women (and some men) for hands to examine. I don't actually remember how Scott found his incredible wife Maria in that line (which you can see pictured) but he did, and it made for just a great, candid, unique moment. I'll remember that one. 

Kyle and Katie's Settlers Creek wedding was amazing. Their ceremony was under the canopy of lights in the barn, their dinner and reception took place outside in the amphitheater, and then back into the incredible barn for the dancing. It was awesome. The thing I remember about this moment is really what the DJ (Bill Hermann) did with the moment. With everyone gathered into a huge circle in the barn and music playing he bag to tell their story and they came out there and danced. It gave context and uniqueness. I love the way Kyle looked at Katie during their dance, the way the lights gave off a warm glow. It was beautiful. 

Josh and Haley's Coeur d'Alene Resort wedding was one of my favorite of the year, and one of the few weddings that featured two photos in last weeks blog, my favorite wedding portraits of 2017. This moment came because Aaron and Grace Media did something that was amazing (and a little crazy). He did video that day, and edited a five minute section to show off that same day, at that same wedding. The result? A lot of laughs, ooo's and ahhhh's. Josh and Haley loved it, and I loved the candids I got as they watched the day they were in the middle of experiencing. 


Trevor and Sarah's Settlers Creek wedding was unique and incredible in so many ways. Around 10 days before their wedding Settlers Creek's iconic red barn burned to the ground. I remember thinking that people would freak out about it more than they should. To be clear, the barn was beautiful (see Kyle and Katie's dancing photo above) but it was not the only thing that was beautiful at Settlers. That's why I love this photo. Not just because it's awesome, and you have the bubbles, and the smiling, and the lights - but because they day was amazing. I found new and beautiful places to take portraits, I got to know two amazing people, and it all came to a beautiful conclusion after a tragedy so recent that the grass was still charred black. 

Kyle and Yiqun's Coeur d'Alene Resort wedding was awesome. We had a beautiful sunset, great time at the Resort getting ready, and some amazing weather (even if it was windy at times). But the reason this photo is one of my favorite moments of 2017 is because the dance was beautiful. Now, it isn't uncommon to have couples take dancing lessons before their wedding, and sometimes they are very unique (Trevor and Sarah's would definitely qualify as that), but this one was beyond that. Yiqun was a professional ballroom dancer, and while Kyle certainly held his own, Yiqun was the star of this show. The way she danced, and the way it was choreographed was beautiful, and I'll remember it as one of my favorite dances of the year. 

Kyle and Ashley's Settlers Creek wedding was beautiful, from beginning to end. But they also had some amazing moments. One that should be in here but isn't is the goat that someone purchased for them for their wedding - yeah, a goat. And you know what? They loved it. But then there was this cake fight, where Kyle started off in great shape (as pictured here) but ended up getting a ton of cake in his face. The moment was great, and the guys in the back left corner of this photo make for even greater context. It was just a fun day. 

And yes, I realize there are eleven photos in this blog, and I just don't care. 


Brent Looyenga is a Spokane Wedding Photographer based out of Coeur d’Alene. He loves people and specializes in wedding, engagement, family, and senior photography. You can like Looyenga Photography on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.


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