Brandy Swartz is a Midwest and Destination wedding and travel photographer currently based out of Iowa. She has 17 years and over 300 weddings of experience. She has been published and featured in numerous wedding and photography blogs. 

contact

brandy@brandyswartz.com

815.878.5482

based out of Burlington, Iowa 

available for travel all over the world

  • Brandy Swartz

Haleigh + Zach’s Intimate + Nostalgic Vineyard Wedding: Mackinaw Winery, Mackinaw, IL

Updated: Jan 15

Immediately upon my arrival at Haleigh’s house, the sweet, intimate, and classic wedding vibes were flowing. Haleigh slipped into her stunning wedding dress from Lindsey Lane Bridal, which featured a beautiful button-up back and high neck with a flowy train. At the same time, her sisters helped get her buttoned up. Zach and the groomsmen were getting ready at the Best Man’s House and wore a three-piece suit from Men’s Warehouse to pull together a classic, sharp look.


Once both the bride and groom had gotten dressed, we got them together for what would be one of Zach’s favorite moments of the entire day: their first look. Haleigh and Zach made their first look even more memorable and intimate by sharing gifts they had each gotten one another. It is truly breathtaking to get to be a part of such sweet, emotional moments between couples.


When the bridal party arrived at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, the location of their very first date, the weather started to change. The wind began to pick up, and it seemed like a storm was going to hit. The natural lighting became very moody and beautiful, and Haleigh and Zach were undeterred as we took several photographs of them and the bridal party leading up to the ceremony.


Haleigh exemplified what it means to roll with the punches as she soldiered on through a bee sting and a last-minute change in ceremony location over to a pavilion to avoid the threat of rain. Her incredible attitude undoubtedly led her and everyone in her bridal party to have a truly memorable day in her honor.


Torrential rainfall fell during the ceremony, which is such a sign of good luck for couples, and they were the biggest troopers through their intimate ceremony.


During the reception, I noticed an absolutely stunning peach-colored sunset and a rainbow in the sky opposite the sunset. Haleigh and Zach ran outside with me to capture some intimate shots of them together with the magical sunset views as our backdrop.


When we got back inside the Vineyard, the wedding party was ready to deliver their speeches – and between the family members’ speeches, there was not a dry eye in the venue.

The celebration continued with cake cutting, dancing, garter and bouquet tosses, and lots of joy.


Looking back, it was the perfect day for such a young, free-spirited, and madly in love couple to share. Thank you for letting me be a part of your special day Haleigh and Zach!


Some details about the wedding from Haleigh and Zach:


1. Did you have inspiration for your wedding?

Zac and I had our first date at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, so I just knew that I also wanted our wedding to be in the exact same place! I used Pinterest to find more vineyard wedding ideas to help our wedding dreams come to life!


2. What were the colors in your wedding?

Cabernet red, lots of greens, grey and cream. Vineyard colors!


3. Did you have any special details that were unique to your wedding?

I think that Zac and I getting married where we had our first date was pretty unique! As far as decor, we had a “Best Day Ever” sign at our head table that was pretty unique and I just had to have because it comes from my favorite Disney movie, “Tangled”! We also had a couple of neat pallets for photos and table numbers that were well lit. Zac and I made stained these and put them together on our own which I thought was unique. We also had a memorial ladder instead of memorial table which I thought was unique as well!


4. What was your favorite moment of the day? Groom’s favorite moment?

My husband’s favorite part was the first look. Some of my favorite moments were listening to speeches, saying our vows, and taking photos with my husband after the ceremony.


5. What advice would you give to brides who are planning their wedding now?

Do what YOU want and don’t let anyone else sway your decisions!


6. Are you planning on taking a Honeymoon? If so, where?

We are actually in Hawaii (the big island) right now! I 100% recommend honeymooning here! It is a glimpse of heaven!


Getting ready Location: My house & best man’s house

Ceremony Location: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

Reception Location: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard

Flowers: Flowers Plus Streator

Rings: James Allen, Rogers & Holland

Dress: Lindsey Lane Bridal

Tux/Suit: Kenneth Cole, Men’s Warehouse

DJ: Joey Davidson

Catering: The Catering Company, Mackinaw, IL

Cake: Peg’s Kakes (Peg Meier) Pontiac, IL

Jewelry: Etsy, Family Heirloom

Hair: Jill Trachsel @ A Head of Style, Fairbury, IL

Makeup: Holly Rogers, Pontiac, IL

Officiant: Aubrey Gill, sister

Wedding Planner: Myself :)