Archive: November 2011  |  View all recent posts
November 23, 2011  -  Weddings

gretchen + mark

To be honest, I'm a little sad to be writing this blog post this morning. Because writing this post means Gretchen + Mark's wedding is over, and we've been looking forward to this wedding for almost two years. We don't start booking for any given year until January 1st the year prior, and I think it was January 2nd, maybe 3rd, that Gretchen + Mark were sitting in our studio signing up. And at any moment over the past two years, if you'd asked Gretchen how many days until the wedding, she would've given you a specific number, because she's had a running countdown in her head since the moment they picked their wedding date. Seriously, 272 days, 140 days, 29 days -- she knew them all without thinking, and finally there were no more days, because it was her day, and a day she has done her time waiting for.

We love our clients - we are always amazed at how we somehow get the coolest people ever to work with, but occasionally we have a special client. The kind of client so considerate that she comes by and takes the time out of her day to comment on every post we shoot. Seriously, if we've shot your wedding, your family or someone you know over the past two years, odds are good Gretchen has said something nice about you. During the toasts, someone mentioned that G+M are the kind of people who never forget your birthday, and when we were shot Gretchen's cousin's wedding on Rich's birthday this year? Sure enough, G+M showed up with a present for Rich. And not just something they grabbed in the checkout line at Walgreen's, but a thoughtful, fun gift that had a backstory with Rich.

And the biggest thing? She talks to Rich on Twitter. I can't think of something more telling than her dedication to listening to my husband pretend to be witty in 140 characters. :) Seriously though, we KNOW Gretchen, now - Rich talks to her everyday on Twitter, and we were definitely nervous going to shoot her. And we've been doing this a long time - rainy day? Throw it at me. Jacked up timeline? I'm calm. Dress broken? I'll sew it back together while cracking jokes. We stopped getting stressed about things a long time ago, but we got nervous last weekend for Gretchen because we wanted everything to be perfect for her.

This has the potential of turning into the longest written post ever, and I want to get into her photos, so Imma shut up now and get to these photos!
We should shut up just slightly - but you nailed it up top :). And then there were the details. I wasn't even a little bit surprised when Gretchen bought Mark a sweet, custom-made Mario side table (yes, many photos exist of him opening it, G - don't worry! You know how I do) or that all the guys had different NES cart cufflinks (and you can see Mark, of course, got the OG cart). Or that everyone was in chucks. Or that the groomsmen gifts were mini replica wrestling title belts.

But what makes a wedding a really fun, genuine day reflective of a couple and the the life and friends they share, isn't details or the flowers or cut of the clothes. It is evident in whether or not the couple can relax and enjoy all the hard work. It's in the honest emotions of the day.

And can I just once walk into a wedding and have the coolest facial hair? Like, I walked in to G+M's house and my beard (which is entering its yearly winter crazy homeless-man form) was instantly dominated by a certain groomsman's 'stache.
I like how you hadn't written anything on the blog and were like WE should shut up. Ahem.

Anyway, Gretchen was doing just fine until she got a text from Mark that she got too choked up to read and her SIL had to for her :) Then she saw Dad... and then she got in the limo. (I was like, is that too many choked up shots for the blog? And then I was like no, MWUHAHAHAH there are NEVER too many choked up shots for the blog!) And Mark, being one half the awesome couple we were talking about, had made Gretchen a movie to watch on the way to the ceremony. No kidding. It started out, all, hey Gretchen - I know how hard you've been working on the wedding, and I wanted to make you something to keep you laughing on the way to the church.

Half the limo was crying, so way to go, Mark :)
We may be blogging two of the most thoughtful people ever. I just can't imagine them any other way, honestly. It's been pretty amazing getting to know you guys :).
And how stoked were we about their church? The church lady came to us and was like, so we really prefer if you shoot from this door to the altar with a perfect view to G+M's faces during the ceremony. Uh... okay!!

And the B+W you shot of them right after, babe? Totally my fav of yours. Love it.
Hey, thanks. The church lady was awesome. She was like, "So there's this secret tunnel behind the altar and I encourage you to use that to move around during the ceremony." Really?? Usually you roll into a church and you get told, "If you move during the ceremony, I will smite you."

Gretchen took us to her grandparents' property where we'd actually shot before with her cousin and it was perfect. This time of year the portrait time on a day with a mass isn't falling during pretty harsh light hours, so we got some bonus back-lighting :). You guys all looked great!
A few weeks ago, Gretchen mentioned on twitter that her grandmother had broken her hip and wouldn't be able to make the wedding ceremony or reception. And so what do you think Gretchen and Mark did? Took the limo and the wedding to her, of course. No words needed.
And it was a Timberlodge kind of night - and the pumpkin's? Gretchen DIYed. Actually, she just about DIYed everything - centerpieces, bags for her girls... pretty much everything except their monogram - that was Mark :)
And then it was party time - Gretchen wanted a special shot for her thank you cards - her + Mark with thank you written in sparkler's and luckily Timberlodge has that great back area to play around with, so we made that happen for her. :)

So, yeah, there it is... Gretchen + Mark got married. You guys - you know we love you and couldn't have been more excited to be the photographers you chose. You guys are amazing and we're better for having met you. Thanks for letting us be apart of it.

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November 17, 2011  -  Weddings

tricia + jack

I'll be honest - I had a really hard time putting this blog post together. Partially because the open box of Girl Scout Cookies next to me I'm currently gorging myself on (damn you, Girl Scouts and your delicious cookies!) is severely distracting, but also because Tricia is the kind of girl whose smile, as cliche as it is, totally lights up a room, and I really just wanted to put every photo of her laughing in this post. And she kind of laughs all the time. But it was a little too long, and I think I've finally got it down to a reasonable number of photos :)

Anyway, I LOVE a happy bride (but all ours are - we have the best ones!!!), and even when her mom was still not dressed an hour before the ceremony because she was busy sewing one of the bridesmaids' dresses so it wouldn't fall off her (seriously, how amazing a mom is that?!), she was just like, "I can't let it bother me." And that's just how awesome the day was. Love it!!
Seriously amazing :). And to the point about Tricia, I was talking earlier to another photographer about how looking at photos of all these fun, happy people leaves you with with this great rush of happiness whenever you're editing. I spent the past few days with all these images doing our post-processing routine, and I swear my days have been so much better for it. We can say all this cliche stuff about how someone's smile "lights up a room" or is "totally infectious" but you just can't be around Tricia and have a bad time. Seriously - try it, Tricia will make your day better.

You're alright too, Jack. We think you're pretty awesome.
... though I do suppose there's always the possibility Tricia couldn't stop smiling because she lost feeling in her lips :) (she tried the lip venom for the first time that day - I once drank Habu Sake and it's safe to say I won't mess with venom again. It was definitely not awesome.)
Hah! I totally forgot about the lip venom stuff. Hey - you totally didn't realize you put yourself on the blog, did you? If you were a wedding superhero, you'd be "The Bustler," amirite?
It's definitely possible :) No - I didn't see myself in that one until I'd chosen it - I just liked the windows, but it's definitely a little more awesome with that almost rockstar-like back-of-head there :)
Do I love fall? Yes, yes I do.

One of the most awesome things about weddings this time of year is that portrait time is during some pretty awesome light, and we always dork out for some golden hour, but we usually only get it when we're in control of the time we're shooting (during portrait sessions or eshoots), so when we get this one month where it gels with wedding portrait time? That's a win!
An even bigger win was this location - thanks, Tricia :).
I love this top shot of yours, babe. It's my fave of yours!
Thank you! You see? That was the tree I wanted to walk over too, and it was worth it - I told you it would be :). It was great to get back to Fox Valley for the reception, we haven't been there for a while. Shout out to our super-talented former bride Alyson, who is a hell of a graphic designer. You need invitations? Place cards? Check her stuff out - she's good.

This reception had such a good vibe. Some rooms are just like that when you fill them with good people. We had a good reception and the studio box was going strong, so stand by for a ton of reception photos :).
Guys, our littlest one needs some mom attention, so Alyssa is checking out for the evening and leaving the post to me to wrap up. I just want to say a big, heartfelt, "Thank you" to everyone involved with the wedding. We couldn't have asked for a better, more fun wedding day to spend with Tricia and Jack. And as for you guys, thank you so much for trusting us and getting into what we do. You are a GREAT couple and you're going to have a long, awesome marriage. We'll be in touch soon :)

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