Hey there everyone! La Rae, here!
I feel called to share more of who the gals within Wild Soul Weddings are because just like we want to truly get to know YOU, I want you to get to know each of us!
Wild Soul Weddings began as a dream in my heart, but Wild Soul Weddings is more than just me, and I am more than the owner of Wild Soul Weddings.
So, who am I?
I am La Rae Elizabeth Hayes (now Randall), born January 21, 1989, in Waterloo, Iowa to Patrick and Tamara Hayes. I was born on the January full moon, which is called the Wolf Moon. If you didn’t know, our Wild Soul Weddings logo is a wolf and a moon for this reason.
(our logo was created by WSW second shooter Leah!)
I have four siblings: Nicole, Jodi, Cory, and Lindsey.
I grew up in Waterloo in a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian home almost smack dab in downtown. This house also happened to be haunted by Judge Franklin C. Platte, the guy who built the house. I started singing solos in church when I was just 5 years old, and in school I was always an over-achiever. I never really did anything bad except beat up my little sister Lindsey…this got me in trouble a lot! When I was 14, I was part of a very selective choir that sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City, which began my love of TRAVEL.
My first job was listing items on E-bay at a little shop by my house, owned by a man who also owned and ran a boxing gym (this will come into play later!).
I graduated from Waterloo East High School in 2007, and I started at the University of Northern Iowa that fall. I majored in Early Childhood Education, Spanish, and Anthropology, I minored in Religion, Educational Technology, and I began earning certificates in Early Childhood Literacy and Non-profit Management. Yep, totally all over the place, but every one of these experiences shaped who I am today! I actually graduated with a BA in Anthropology and a certificate in Non-profit Management.
After a string of relationships with men who weren’t my “one,” I met Chris Randall on December 31, 2008 at a New Year’s Eve party. It was a brief encounter, but I met him again on March 15, 2009, and we have been together ever since. Chris is truly the love of my life, and he actually was a boxer until he was 18….and he trained at the very boxing gym that I worked at when I was younger! Chris proposed to me while we were on a trip to the Bahamas on November 11, 2011 (11-11-11), and became my husband on June 1, 2013. We actually had to change our wedding date TWICE: our original wedding date was September 15, 2012, then we changed it to April 13, 2013, then finally landed on June 1, 2013.
Now, Chris and I live on a small acreage between Grundy Center and Dike, Iowa with our two dogs, Oliver and Lilith.
Beyond the basics of my life, though, I am a wild soul, which is obviously where our company name came from.
I crave nature, always. I am happiest when I’m outside, which is something that definitely shows up in my photography.
I am a deeply spiritual person that doesn’t align with any religion. If anything, nature is my religion.
I adore traveling and have been to England (London, Brighton, and Glastonbury), I studied abroad for a month in Greece, I’ve visited Mexico (Baja California and the Yucatan), and the Bahamas. I have yet to see most of the US, but I’m working on it 🙂
I am an old soul, and love doing “grandma” type things, like sewing, embroidering, and am hoping to learn to quilt!
I love reading! I read non-fiction by listening to books on Audible, and I read fiction in the bathtub. I usually take a long bath every day.
I’m also super into home design (I thought about being an interior designer at various parts of my life! Way before Chip and Jo made it ultra cool) and I work part time at 319 Decor + Design in Grundy Center, Iowa, in the store during the winter, and I am the social media manager year-round.
I am extremely outgoing, but I’m actually an introvert. That’s why I love being a wedding photographer! I work 1-2 days a week, then stay home the rest of the week.
I have a passion for self-care that I try to teach to everyone, ESPECIALLY my brides.
I have always struggled with my weight and self-love, but I definitely love who I am now after years of healing.
After living an entire childhood without many friends, I have finally found a core group of women that I’m blessed to call my besties.
I try my hardest to make the people around me feel loved, seen, and supported.
It’s definitely hard to encompass who I am with one blog post but I feel like perhaps you know me a little more now 🙂
Do we have anything in common?? Share in the comments! I can’t wait to meet you 🙂
Wild Soul Weddings
The photo of me is by WSW Associate Sally
Our wedding photo is by Free Dove Photography, Pineville, Missouri