2017 Weddings | These are my favorite moments

92,784

It is -6 degrees outside, Hobbes my cat is in my lap and one room over, I can hear Jayden playing his Switch AND watch Youtube at the same time. These end of year posts of mine always create in me a sense of pride for what I was able to photograph through the year. This year though, this year means something a little more.  92,784. In 2017, during just weddings, that is how many times I clicked the shutter button on my camera. That is 92,784 chances I had taking a photograph that will forever be cherished by a couple in love, a parent, a child or a friend. I really want this post to be lighthearted and fun look into the year I had shooting wedding, especially with how little I was able to blog and share photographs this year. However, I also really want all you out there to know how important each and every wedding is too me. I shared last week about the year I went through on my Facebook page and while during long stretches of the year I struggled to keep up on the daily part of running a photography business, I always looked forward to holding my camera in my hand and just be in the moment of a wedding. Some of these moments are ones I helped pull out of the chaos and create for my couples while others of these moments are a culmination of relationships, knowing weddings and frankly, a little luck.

 

 

The little things are what the big things are made of.

All the little details and touches are what makes your wedding, well, yours. I have photographed many weddings at the same venues but I have never photographed YOUR wedding before. So all your little touches, all the pinteresting, all the family memories, all the late trips to Hobby Lobby… I want you to be able to remember all those things like they were yesterday, I want to still be able to smell your flowers when you show your daughter a photo of your bouquet, I want you to hear the laughs, feel the tears… the difference in our memories is the details of those memories.

 

Winter weddings means winter socks.

 

Alyssa and Justin had a ocean themed wedding, so thein rock candy represented the ocean and sand.

 

Sometimes this how the ones we love attend a wedding.

 

 

 

 

I really loved just how prominent Andrea made this stitched in memory.

 

 

Lindsay brought 3 of her dresses to her wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created.

Sometimes you just need a little guidance. I have not had the pleasure of photographing a wedding with a single professional model. Now some of my Grooms will argue that Derek and Hansel have nothing on them but that will not make them male models. These photographs are the ones where I helped create a moment for my couple that will give them a photograph that they will cherish forever. These are the complete opposite of the “photojournalist” or “story-telling” buzzwords currently being used waaaaaaay too much… and I could not be more proud I helped create these moments for my couples. Lets take a look at how this plays in real life with Monica and Dom, the first two photographs are without my guidance and the 3rd one is with my guidance.

Work with me you two…

 

Ok, for real tho….

 

I am just playing with you two, you both did not need my help looking amazing! Sort of.

 

Easily one of my favorite stories of the year. Amanda and Terry had to keep changing their date due to some of the most ridiculous circumstances you could ever imagine. Every time, they had their moment of frustrations , took a stiff drink and just laughed their way to the next date.

 

Due to an ACL injury, one of these three were not present at Kelly and Mark’s engagement session. So when we got all 3 together on their wedding day, it was smiles all around!

 

When you get married on a windy beach, you don’t fight the wind, you embrace it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Val and Nick designed this beautiful ceremony backdrop but when the rain came with little notice, they were not able to use it for their ceremony. Later in the day when the sun came out, I made sure they were able to have this photograph.

 

 

Captured.

Capturing a true, real, organic moment that will stand the test of time in the midst of full on chaotic wedding day takes a few different things to happen. It sometimes takes a solid understanding on the natural ebb and flow of a wedding day. Other times it is the trust a couple has in you as a photographer and they relax and the moments just find them. Add in some luck (dirty wedding photographer secret, we do just lucky sometimes) and you can catch that laugh, that tear, that look, that fleeting moment that only a still photograph allows you to soak in. These are my some of my favorite moment I captured in 2017.

I really feel like that buck’s expression is that he has seen some stuff go down that morning already that morning.

 

Just your typical coffee and snacks in the tub. Bonus points for me because I nailed it and caught every single one of them mid chew.

 

It is all fun and games until someone takes a bouquet to their dome.

 

A friendship defining moment (their explanation, not mine).

 

Daughter and Mom, sharing a small moment before all the big moments.

 

This is what happens when you ask 11 drunk men to show you their socks.

 

I am not crying, you are crying.

 

Just two guys having a moment, with two other guys having a moment.

 

The feelings Hannah’s Dad must have felt during this walk… I do not have a daughter but I do have three little sisters who mean the world to me. So while I feel like I have an idea of what it may be like, at the same time I do also feel I have no idea.

 

This almost one of those “Accidental Renaissance” photographs. The longer you look at it, the more interesting it gets!

 

A quiet moment in a morning that was far from quiet.

 

This is what happens when you give your “friend” a mic during the roast .. er .. toasts.

 

This may look like a Groom bonding with his Father in law but look at Paul’s ankle. Paul is just experiencing the feeling of all Bears fans have felt since 1986. ::drops mic::

 

 

Rachel’s Dad gave one of the most heartfelt speeches during their Reception. However, this was after he opened with the story of how when Rachel was a little girl they went to a Daddy/Daughter dance. Once they walked into the dance, his heart sank. He soon realized he was the only father who forgot to buy their daughter a corsage. He then explained that to make up for that mistake, he spent thousands on flowers today!

 

This little guy is getting an early how to tie a tie lesson from Zach.

 

Sometimes it rains on your wedding day…. but you should never stop loving your day. And yes, that is a bird in canoe in a pond during the rain.

 

So what could ever cause a Bridal Party to think this was a good idea? (It was not me, I want no part of Dabbing)

 

Here is a hint.

 

One more hint.

 

Ok last hint.

 

I lied, this is the last hint.

 

This horse is channeling my feelings while looking at the Dabbing Bridal Party.

 

Getting to know my couples.

The greatest compliment I could ever receive from a couple after sharing their wedding photographs is when their friends and family just simply say “These are so you!”. That is it. That is all I need to know I photographed a couple’s wedding day that is authentic to who they are. I want to take a few moments and share with you some of my couples that never fell into the trap of chasing something that was not who they were just because it was trendy, or pretty, or a blog/website/magazine says it is popular. The happiest people I have ever met are the ones who know who they are and chase the things they deeply love.

Amanda and Carlos – In all the weddings I have photographed, I have never had a Bride go through as much as Amanda did to get to her wedding. I really don’t have a way to describe it without throwing a bunch of people under the bus but I personally was gleefully ready to drive the bus myself. Through it all though, they both just wanted to BE married. In the end, Amanda trusted me and shared with me a moment that I will forever cherish and Carlos…. Welllllllll I learned a few things about Carlos along the way too!

I really did learn a lot about Carlos…

 

He has some awesome tattoos.

 

Amanda does too!

 

 

To date, I have no problem saying this publicly. Amanda and Carlos’ vows were and will be my absolute favorite.

 

The backstory of this photograph is that this is an reenactment of when Carlos drank a little too much at the beach and then his phone just “disappeared”.

 

The backstory of this photographs is when Carlos…. uh … lets move to the next photograph.

 

 

 

No really, I did learn alot about Carlos.

 

Margie and Kevin – Wedding days can be stressful and I truly want to help in anyway I can relieve that stress. Even with all my expiernce though, sometimes after a couple makes it through their ceremony, they just need a drink. Like a little something to take the edge off. Orrrrrrrrr maybe just a bit more.

You know when your groomsman in the background looks at you like this, maybe you should take it easy.

 

Nevermind. LET’S DO THIS!!

 

Fast forward about 45 minutes and that fireball is starting kick in.

 

What ever nervousness and edge Margie and Kevin had, is loooooooong gone!

 

That moment when you drink fireball straight from the handle and then nail your photographs shortly after, you are so proud of yourself you take a bow. MArgie and Kevin, I have never photographed the Bride and Groom photographs laughing so hard I wipe away my tears to see through my camera. Well done.

 

Meg and Mike – Early in Meg and Mike’s wedding, another wedding vendor was trying to stir the emotions between them and asked the couple to whisper a sweet something to each other. I have seen this done before and sometimes, with the right couple, in the right situation, in the right moment, it does stir up a decent response…. So like maybe 3 times ever has this worked as intended. In the case of Meg and Mike’s, lets just say they were not part of those 3. Seriously, this is the couple who LITERALLY used Rick Astley’s “Never going to give you up” as wedding vows… WEDDING VOWS!! If you want a reaction from Meg and Mike, you ask them the story of why they had an “UP” cake topper, or you question Mike’s commitment to leg day at the gym and wait for his response.

Plot twist, even firefighters get emotional when their wedding dress goes on!

 

“They asked me to tell you what???”

 

The first photograph Meg saw of Mike on his online profile, Mike was dressed as the old man from “UP”. Well played Mike, well played.

 

Come on you two, I am trying to photograph this serious moment right after your ceremony.

 

I am 90% sure I just got done making fun of Mike in this photo.

 

He promises me that he doesn’t skip leg day.

 

Meg is impressed with arm day. I am not sold yet, FYI.

 

P.S. Meg and Mike, I need to know who wrapped this gift at your wedding….

 

….actually I bet it was these two.

 

Joanna and Mat – Guess what? A different vendor tried that whisper something sweet again… and it failed. You want to know why it failed? Well because this is couple where Joanna got Mat a sword as a gift and I was left in charge of him and his sword.

Seriously, that is joy.

 

I am thinking, he won’t do that it, he just showing off for the photograph…

 

DAMN IT MAT, I AM SUPPOSED TO BE IN CHARGE OF YOU NOW, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!

These flowers were not cut by Mat.

 

This is exactly how their engagement session went.

 

 

 

I really was tempted to not document this moment just so I could drink with you as well!

 

 

Nighttime – I wish I could guarantee a beautiful sunset that and a perfect timeline so we go frolic in field for 2 hours on your wedding and pretend we are doing a styled shoot. OK, that is not true, not at all. Even just typing that makes me feel exhausted! The most important, THE MOST MOST IMPORTANT part of your wedding day, is just simply that you enjoy your day. If I  do everything I can to do to help you enjoy your day and you go to be that night and just whisper to each other “That was so much fun”, I am know that I am going to give you photographs that you will cherish forever. Sometimes that means we do get to go enjoy the sunset but let’s be real. In the midwest, we do have these things called clouds. Sometimes it even rains! Or it is -6 degrees or it is 104 degrees… All of these things is why I started doing nighttime shots with my couples. So just enjoy your day, have fun and do not worry about anything else!

 

This was one of those -6 degree days.

 

This was Meg and Russ their ENTIRE reception.

 

 

 

 

If you made it this far and took to read this post, thank you! This year has been a really tough year for me but after putting all this together, I really am so full in the inside with the amazing couples I was able to hang out with this year. 2018 is shaping up to be something so different for me, so a big thank you to each and every person that gave me hug, let me photograph them and simply just gave me smile when I needed it!

Now one more favor, please please please share this post far and wide for me!!

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