learn me something!

So I was worried that my brain would be at boiling point on Saturday because of the forecasted 98 degree heat and the lack of AC in the adorable country church that Chelsea and Taylor’s wedding was set. But thankfully the weather gods were a tiny bit kind and it was only 90 and I managed to learn a few things during this fabulous day. Like if want to a wedding party to get into close poses in the sun on a hot day, do it early and don’t ask questions. If you want to be a gracious couple for all your guests that come out for the ceremony, have cold bottled water on hand. If you want to see the sky darken over suddenly, just tell the groom’s party they can shed their dark grey suit coats for the next picture, they’ll come flying off in all directions. If you want to have a wealth of marital expertise, hit the jackpot of great genes and have all 8 of your grandparents in attendance for your wedding. If you want to feel the love x700 on your big day, have as many awesome friends as Chelsea and Taylor and their clearly well loved families. And if you want to wear out your photographer’s trigger finger early in the reception, have an epic dance coordinated with your dad. And if you want to love your job more and more each week, find a group of friends like this couples,  and demand to be their exclusive photographer for all major life events of course. Congratulations you two crazy kids, I hope you enjoy the sampling. Just know there’s lots more creeping to come, you’ll never be rid of me:)


Shut up and Dance with Steve!

Do you ever try to guess what peoples’ inner monologue would sound like? I love doing this! At the grocery store, during church, and at weddings. On Saturday, when Steve got his first glimpse of Cheri, his only word for a bit was “whoa.” I finished his inner monologue with “whoa, my bride looks smokin’, Go Steve!” Of course this could work in reverse if people read my mind. They might have heard me saying inside my head “whoa, we are the only people at Elmwood park right now, that never happens” or “whoa, I hope I shoot at the Pella at the Blackstone again real soon” or “Thank goodness the bride’s buddy had a blanket or we might have ruined her dress”. Some fun thoughts that floated up during the day.. “I wonder how long I could talk like a chipmunk if I used the helium from one of those massive balloons in the centerpieces?” “How has the weather held out to be this awesome all day? Did Steve and Cheri make a sacrifice to the weather gods?” “Cheri doesn’t seem to like hugs at all, unless they are from that Steve guy” and “The speeches couldn’t have been better, future best men take notes”

And few thoughts that were said out loud because some things should be shared… “We have to do a double chin photo!”, “What I like about you best of all, is how happy you make my best friend” and “wait, you all know on cue to change the lyrics to ‘shut up and dance with Steve?’, I’m sticking around for this!” These two couldn’t have been more fun to boss around, work with, and to watch sing and dance together all night long! Enjoy the preview you two!


Closer the better!

I was lucky enough to do a third Schernikau wedding this weekend. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, that’s fine because it means a ton to me. It means that Mark, the dad of the bride, knows to yell “the closer the better!” when we are posing for family pictures. It means that I know the names of the adorable nieces and nephews at the wedding, and it means that I’m like that weird cousin that you only see at weddings but is also totally rooting for a glorious marriage and lots of babies from these two:) I knew the event would be lovely, but there were even a few surprises for this weird cousin… like breakfast for dinner! Or the best man totally playing up the super cheesy pick up line Alan used to get Kinsley’s attention, the flash mobs all night long, bridesmaids who bring their own genuine Gap props, a wedding dress that I want to go out and buy and wear everyday, and Garth. That’s the couples adorable fur baby who was invited to the first look. Both Alan and Kinsley were just as excited to see him as they were each other. He’s pretty great… If only there was another Schernikau wedding I could look forward to. Maybe I could find a fellow weird cousin to let me do their wedding. Enjoy the preview, you two!


Read all about it!

Sometimes I think it would be fun to shoot for a newspaper and be on the edge of breaking news, or even writing for one. However, I’d have a hard time narrowing down headlines for my articles. Here’s my finalized list for what the headlines I could use for a write-up on Jake and Emily’s amazing wedding this weekend..

-The Ringbearer was hitting on the Bride

-Turns out you can be a world class usher on crutches

-Let’s just finish the sand ceremony later

-Wedding party did everything I said, and then a bit more

-Tiny bridesmaid carried into the reception unceremoniously

-Serious struggle to cut the cake is rescued by doughnut ball exchange

-Bride never stopped smiling and laughing

-Mariachi Band rocks wedding jams

-Photo props were all over the dance floor

-The Macarena never had it so good!

-Photographer divulges a desire to never leave reception due to the amazing company, and doughnuts for days


Yeah, see, I’d be a terrible writer, but maybe I’ll keep chasing that dream of photojournalism. Thanks for giving me some glorious fresh content you lovebirds! Enjoy your sampling!


The main attraction

Here are some of my absolute favorite pictures from Bree and Clayton’s big day. If I wasn’t worried about variety, nearly every one of them would have their adorable baby girl in them. She earned the most money during the dollar dance, she was completely quiet during the whole ceremony, and would smile and chat with every guest that got a chance to have some face time with her. She was the smallest attraction at the wedding, but not the only highlight. Watching all the groomsmen figure out how to get the most out of every hugging pose I put them in was pretty entertaining, and watching Bree and Clayton try to speed up the sand ceremony with unwilling dispensers got most of us guests chuckling, and the reception was song after song of watching the bridesmaids dance and sing their hearts out. Sometimes a wedding can be hectic and stressful, but Bree and Clayton navigated it wonderfully, while juggling a sweet little lady. Just goes to show the more the merrier! Enjoy the sampling you love birds:)


Surprises are part of the plan

Its the best feeling to walk into a wedding knowing you’re already friends with the bride, but its an even better feeling when you suddenly realize how hilarious their wedding party is! Who knew the getting ready part of the day was so much fun? Or putting on the boutonnieres? Or watching the groomsmen try to mastermind the A/V parts of the wedding slideshow.  I had so much fun taking just the wedding party pictures, I made them do two rounds. Hopefully they’ll forgive me or they’ll have forgotten about it after a full night of dancing. Bethany and Todd couldn’t have picked a better place or day to set the mood to a relaxed, well fed, and light hearted wedding ceremony. From the delightfully goory remarks from their minister to the mentioning of hard nosed running rivalry, it was clear the Bethany and Todd have a great time and a smile to spare no matter what they are doing or how off track the plans may get.  It’s no surprise that these two (and their whole crazy crew) made for some hilarious moments and super fun pictures! Enjoy the preview you two!




Better than a hole-in-one

Nicole can tell you exactly what it feels like to get a hole-in-one, but I’m guessing if you asked her, she wouldn’t hesitate to tell you this day was even better than that! Nicole and Caleb’s wedding was perfectly beautiful, filled with love from friends and family, a talented brother-musician, heartfelt and humorous toasts, the best introduction of the wedding party ever, a lively band, and a dance floor that was hopping all night. If you measure your likelihood of success by the people you surround yourself with, Nicole and Caleb have nothing but greatness in their future. Congratulations!

A Blessing on both your houses!

As a photographer, I often get to see the behind the scenes part of a wedding. Like the reception space all a mess before it’s jazzed up for the evening, or the groomsmen struggling with cufflinks for 20 min, or the mother of the bride making sure there’s no creases on the wedding dress. I also get see how problems get handled when things just come up on the big day. Maybe I’m a worrier or something, but I kept waiting for something to go wrong (because things always do) this Saturday at Emily and Terran’s wedding. And all I saw was a bobby pin come loose from Emily’s gorgeous undo… yep… that’s it folks… The weather was already planned for, the wedding party had no wardrobe malfunctions, the food was amazing, the ceremony was gorgeous (okay the golfers could have kept it down a bit, but the wedding party kept chuckling at their banter so really it just added to the atmosphere). All 8 of the grandparents were there and some were the best dancers on the floor! I guess I give credit to Emily’s amazing planning skills, the help of some fabulously capable and willing friends, and clearly the wedding Gods had decided to bless the union of these two sweethearts. Here’s to a incident free honeymoon and an awesome start to marital bliss. Or at least find some rowdy golfers to keep the laughs going:) Enjoy your preview you lucky ducks!



I could be Josie, or maybe Jamie…

This weekend was full of love, humidity, and people with J names. Allow me to explain… Saturday’s gorgeous West Point wedding was between the two lovebirds Jessica and Jeff. They so happen to both have siblings with names who all start with J. Throw in a parent and a couple of buddies with J names and it was really fun trying to give directions on how to pose for pictures, or finding out how everyone was related. Thankfully they were all patient with me. Didn’t hurt that they had homemade sandwiches to snack on, and a bunch of really cute kids to entertain us all. Jeff and Jessica not only have the J name thing in common, they also both are friends with everyone they meet. The toasts from their friends proved it as did the guests that partied all night long. Jessica even had the 3 kids she nannied for as part of the wedding festivities. One of my favorite moments was watching her not hesitate a bit to wipe the crumbs off her little buddy’s face before they got a fun picture together.  Jeff spoiled Jessica with a swoon worthy pair of new sunglasses for the forecasted sunshine. Thankfully everyone they invited were good sports because we barely fit on the party bus. Not even halfway through the day, I wanted to give myself a new J name and see if I could just be adopted into one of the families. Then I could show up to that cute little church for the next family wedding and power through an awesome reception, fueled by homemade desserts from my new adoptive moms. Worth a shot at least! Enjoy the sampling you two crazy kids!Blog_Photo_Template_2

Why wouldn’t you?

Over in Iowa there is a gem of a wedding venue called the Willow Creek Glass Chapel. I’ve been lucky to be there a couple times, so why would I geek out about getting to do a wedding there this weekend? Come to think of it, I saw a couple of things that made perfect sense to me at Nate and Lexie’s big day. Of course her Dad sprung some adorable tears when he got to see her for the first time in her wedding dress. Naturally the flower girl was following around the Jr Bridesmaids like a sticky shadow the whole morning, and I also loved watching a flower girl dump her hand basket over at the end of the aisle just to get every petal on the flower. And it seems pretty sensible that I saw Lexie coordinating every beautiful detail of the decorating and then knowing exacting when to sit back and enjoy the scenery and celebration, like every bride should get to enjoy. Its probably no surprise that such an easy going bride would have champs in her bridal party that toughed it out in 20 MPH wind gusts for some photo ops, And why wouldn’t Nate serenade his bride with every word of their wedding song during their first dance, and naturally the loudest part of the evening was when we all got to find out that these love birds are expecting a baby girl!  also dumping the remaining flower petals in her basket at the end of the aisle. Yep, I was a pretty big geek in getting ready to shoot this wedding, but I think I definitely left an even bigger one with all this loveliness around me. Nate and Lexie couldn’t have picked better spot for them to exchange vows and officially start their family, and if you were lucky enough to get to be there you’d surely agree too. Enjoy the sampling!


Hard to beat!

Everybody knows that its simply impossible to be more stunning than a bride on her wedding day, and Kristin was an absolutely gorgeous addition to that truth. Her dress, hair, and flowers could not have been better chosen. She even had a bold accessory that looked suspiciously like a wrist splint, but she rocked that too. Her groom Travis was easily the 2nd best looking person in the room due to his adorable arm candy/ 4 year old daughter. I could not have asked for a better flower girl, she could give lessons! Both the bride and groom clearly picked their attendants wisely based on who in world loves them the most, because the toasts were heartfelt and the laughter was constant. Even the wind behaved for their wedding. One of the best moments of the day was when Kristin played the piano near the beginning of their ceremony with her mom sitting next to her, just like she’d done some many times before when they attended the same church as a family. Or when the best man and groom were sitting in the “couples’ seat” of the trolley and Kristin was happy to sit next to window with her sister, catching a breeze. Or watching the traditional family dances that kicked off the reception. Okay, so the flowers might have been delivered to the wrong church at first, and there might have been a broken wrist in the mix, and gorilla on the groom’s cake might have fallen over. But that’s a wedding! And now these two lovebirds are married and looked darn good doing it! Congrats you two, enjoy the sampling:)