When Toni contacted me this summer about her upcoming wedding – I was thrilled! I met Toni and her beautiful children a couple years ago when she had me photograph their family in downtown Grand Rapids. A few months ago, she became engaged to Carl – a wonderful, kind-hearted, sweet man who adores her (and her kiddos!). I was so excited for the two of them and couldn’t wait to be a part of their day!
Carl + Toni made plans for a small, local wedding in November… with talks of spending time downtown, at a restaurant or elsewhere. They eventually decided that a ceremony in their living room and champagne + cake in their dining room would be perfect – and it was! The venue was obviously not your “typical” wedding setting, but the day was lovely in every way. I was so honored to be invited in their home and be one of the few among the intimate gathering + celebration of their wedding vows. Congratulations, Carl + Toni!
Baby, it’s cold outside. Really. Winter is upon us here in Grand Rapids! It has barely stopped snowing in the past 48 hours and I love the constant-snow globe that’s happening outside our windows!! Snow or not, I’m fully embracing the winter season this year. I’m embracing the slower pace, numerous cups of tea, Christmas lights and cozy fires. Also, with the winter season comes a quieter photography season and I’m excited to share previews of sessions + adventures from this past year that I haven’t quite had the time to blog until now.
Today, I would love to share a session from earlier this summer. During the last week of April, my husband + I had the opportunity to travel to Asheville, North Carolina with our best friends to celebrate their one year wedding anniversary. We spent the week in a lodge in the mountains – exploring nature + city life. We ate (a lot) of delicious food, took plenty of hikes + shared many wonderful memories together as we reminisced on their first year of marriage. On one of our last days in the mountains, we spent the afternoon photographing Jonathan (Jonno) + Rachel for an anniversary session and the results of that shoot are here today! Yay!
Standing next to these two on their wedding day (and likewise having them stand next to us) was one of the greatest honors of our lives. I’m so thrilled that they have chosen each other as life partners + teammates and I’m grateful to count them both as forever friends. Jonno + Rachel, here’s to many more adventures together and many more years [wonderful] of marriage! Cheers, my friends!
Sometimes, Saturday afternoons in autumn call for an adventure. The weather doesn’t always cooperate and you have to be flexible, but if you’re willing, there can be much beauty to behold. This particular Saturday, it was one of those unpredictable October days. The forecast kept me on my toes as I juggled a few shoots, but the colors were perfect and there were periods of sunshine – so we pressed forth. And I’m so happy with the results!
Emma is a sweet, joyful senior who is just about halfway done with her last year of high school. We explored together, laughing and chatting about high school and future plans. She is a beautiful individual – inside + out and it was a joy to get to know her more throughout our time together. It was super hard to pick favorites for this blog post because she was just so awesome, but I hope you enjoy the preview of our afternoon!
This day, four years ago, looked a lot different than today. For one, it was close to 50 degrees, sunshine, blue skies, and no snow for miles. There wasn’t a holiday meal to be shared – that had come + gone (and if I remember correctly, it was a pretty low-key celebration that year). We weren’t driving across the state together. We woke up in metro Detroit, in separate houses, and spent the mornings in different ways (you got to sleep in a heck of a lot longer than me that day ;)). I did blog that morning and we were going to spend the whole day with family, so I guess, in those regards, that was the same (ha!). Four years ago today, we weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, but as I recall that day, I have much to be thankful for.
Jonathan, I am thankful for your constant care and integrity. I’m thankful for your honesty and your sense of humor. I’m thankful for your leadership and the way you strive to be a better man, a better spouse, a better friend. I’m thankful for your support and encouragement. I’m thankful that you choose to love me and be my lifelong partner every day. I’m thankful that you are my best friend – even more today than you were four years ago. This year, we share our anniversary with Thanksgiving – and I couldn’t think of a better way to enjoy the day than with you by my side, spending time with our families and celebrating gratitude + the blessings in our life.
Thanks for being you, hubs. Happy Anniversary and Happy Thanksgiving! I love you to the moon + back! ;)
a look back… YEAR ONE // YEAR TWO // YEAR THREE // ps, that wedding photo? my pal ABBY took that one, and all the other wedding photos you’ll ever see ;)
As I sat down to try and put words to Josh + Abbey’s wedding day, I couldn’t help but think about how much anticipation + excitement went into their wedding day… or more importantly, their first day of marriage. Josh + Abbey have been waiting to be husband + wife for a long time. They met in kindergarten, grew up together, fell in love and journeyed through high school, college, travels and more. For years, they had been anticipating their first day of marriage – the day that their lives could FINALLY be one. No longer would they have two separate lives that run parallel to each other, but one life – together.
Well, a few weeks ago, on a wonderful November day, Josh + Abbey got married! The day they had hoped for, prayed for, and waited for had come… and the celebration was perfect. Their loved ones traveled from all over (literally – many from other states and other countries) to celebrate with them. Everyone could sense the joy + love that was in the air – it was simply contagious. This wedding day was one of those days that remind me why I do what I do and I’m so grateful that Josh + Abbey invited me into their story.