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Weddings + Engagements

Town Square Paola, KS Wedding | Rachel and Jordan Toutges

I finally got to shoot my first New Year’s Eve wedding in 2017! I know it seems weird to want to work on a holiday, but the last several NYE’s have just consisted of my husband, me and two friends + our pups just hanging out at one of our houses in sweats and t-shirts anyway. Not that I don’t love that; in fact, I would most often choose that over a big party.. but what a special thing it was to bring in the new year with a bunch of strangers to celebrate the start of a beautiful marriage!!! The ten hours I spent with Rachel, Jordan and their friends + family was nothing short of spectacular. 

This was my first time shooting at Town Square in Paola, Kansas and it was wonderful! With the ceremony held upstairs, a small middle floor and a large reception hall on the first floor, it was the perfect venue for a NYE wedding on the coldest day I’ve experienced in Kansas City (it got down to -7 degrees outside). Not having to change venues, or even go outside for more than 10 minutes of pictures was SO helpful, and pretty much necessary. The owner and staff were all incredibly easy to work with and they did a Great job with all the decor and catering. Apparently they do set-up and catering off-location as well so definitely consider them if you are looking for help with an upcoming wedding! Keep scrolling to read Rachel and Jordan’s story 🙂


Rachel and Jordan met in choir their sophomore year at Olathe South High School. He was in the men’s choir and she was in the women’s. They went to a concert and sat next to each other on the bus on the way back. Rachel said that up to this point they hadn’t talked much before since they were in separate choirs. Her first words to him were, “you got your braces off,” but that wasn’t what started their romance 😉 Summer started shortly after and they didn’t see each other again until junior year when they ended up in the same choir (Rachel a soprano and Jordan a bass; he stood right behind her). They talked, got to know one another and flirted over the months to come. They went on their first date on Valentine’s Day (insert awwwwww! here). Turns out that Jordan asked Rachel to be his girlfriend twice shortly after, but she turned him down because she was enjoying just getting to know him. Third time was the charm though when he asked her again on March 20, 2010 (that’s right… 7 years ago!). They’ve been together ever since!! 


Rachel isn’t one who likes to be in the spotlight so Jordan knew she would have been self conscious had he asked her to marry him in a public way. They were both working the night shift at the time and woke up in the afternoon that day. They sat on the back porch drinking coffee and watched their dogs play in the back yard. After exchanging “Happy Anniversaries” and “I love you’s,” Jordan said, “will you do something for me?” Rachel said she would and he asked the age-old question that changed everything: “Will you marry me?” 

Rachel said it had been a long time coming so she wasn’t incredibly surprised at first, but then he pulled the ring out and she realized that was it, the real deal! She said it wasn’t an elaborate or over the top story… just the two of them and their dogs. It was intimate and sincere and she wouldn’t have had it any other way! 

Rachel says that Jordan has the biggest heart. He loves with all of it and he loves deeply. He is incredibly loyal. If you’re in good with him, you have a friend for life. One of her favorite things about him is that he gives the BEST bear hugs. “Seriously, ask anyone. The best.”

Jordan says that Rachel is the sweetest, most caring woman he’s ever met. She has a great sense of humor and she’s on of the smartest women he’s ever had the joy of knowing! “She’s my rockstar.” He loves that she cares so much for so many people and says that she is always helping people in any and every way she can. 

Jordan and Rachel wanted their wedding to feel like them, to represent who they are. They wanted it to be fun and laid back, a celebration and a party with the ones they loved. I would say it turned out to be just that!! Congratulations you two, I was ecstatic to get to capture this season of your life for you and can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do together! 

Shoutout to these amazing vendors, I would recommend any of them in a heartbeat:

Venue, Florist, Caterer | Town Square Paola

Cake | Unsalted Baking Co.

Officiant | David Brundage

Bridal Dress | Savvy Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses | Mia’s Bridal

Tux Rental | Men’s Wearhouse

Hair Stylist | Amber Taylor

Makeup Artist | Auni Sublette

DJ | Darin Jones, D&D Productions

Invitations | Vistaprint


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