Favorite Moments from 2017!

Every year I love to look back on the previous wedding season and share some of my favorite images from the year. This year, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to highlight my favorite moments from each of our wedding days. Whenever I edit each wedding day, there’s always one moment that brings the biggest smile to MY face and reminds me of the day, the moment. Whatever it may be. These are usually those in-between or casual moments, or it’s something you’re not seeing through the photo that has a story behind it. Whatever it is, each day always has that one moment that will forever stand out for me. Some are with the family, some are with the Bridal Party, some are with just my couples… but all are so so special 🙂 25 weddings, 25 favorite moments!

We had the best time when we first met Chris and Erica – they are full of so much energy (which is not easy when you have a toddler!), SO funny and always cracking jokes. So this moment immediately stuck out to me. When they shared their first look and Chris turned around and saw Erica, it was the first time since I’ve known him where I saw him completely speechless. Not only speechless but gobsmacked! Tears instantly formed in his eyes and he held his Bride’s hands and it was the sweetest thing ever!

Cassie & Matt’s booked us almost exactly a year until their wedding day. We didn’t photograph their engagement photos, since they had already done them, so we went into their wedding day not exactly not knowing how they’d be in front of the camera. I mean – I knew they’d look GORGEOUS but I wasn’t sure what they were comfortable with. Luckily, they were comfortable with everything – even twirling. Not only that but Matt twirled Cassie PERFECTLY!! And they were BEAMING the entire time. This moment stands out to me because even when it’s freezing, even when it’s hectic on a wedding day, you can always stop and find the moments where you were feeling 100% pure bliss 🙂

Desi & Eric’s wedding day was our only July wedding day and of course, it was one of the few days in July where it rained. Not just rained… POURED! It completely ruined our plans to do all their portraits, and for their ceremony, to be outside. But I was NOT going to let that ruin their day. I knew the best way to deal with rain on a wedding day was to completely embrace the elements. If rain is a part of your wedding day, let’s show it in photos! They were totally game for it. We were outside for less than 10 minutes (maybe even 5) but it was TOTALLY worth it. Those rain portraits are my favorites from their wedding day!

Alyssa & Nick’s wedding day was incredibly beautiful from beginning to end. It was not only beautiful but it was FUN and the first thing I always think of is how much fun I had spending the morning with Alyssa and her bridesmaids. I felt like these girls were MY best friends. I loved each and every one of them! So not only is this one of my favorite Bridal Party photos ever because it’s just a STUNNING photo with the different dresses and the sun light… but these girls are stunning too!

Kristen and Tom were our very first wedding day of the year back in February. Now, of course in February it is a LITTLE bit cold. There was snow and ice on the ground but it was actually really warm out on their wedding day! So we knew we’d go outside for portraits but why not embrace the cold and take some photos inside, especially when every inch of their venue, Rock Island Lake Club, is gorgeous. Kristen had this idea for this photo and we decided at the last minute before we went outside to grab their Bridal Party and go for it. It paid off – it was PERFECT and another one of my favorite Bridal Party photos ever! 🙂 I always love a Bridal Party photo that is different from what we usually do!

I LOVE this moment from Lauren & Mike’s wedding day. We were grabbing all of their Bridal Party and their parents to go outside and take some sparkler photos when all of a sudden, the band started to play Bruce Springsteen. If you need to know anything about these two, it’s that they LOVE them some Bruce! And when the band played one Bruce song, they followed it up with another. When the second song started I just laughed at Lauren, who looked at me like “I’m sorry this is delaying that photo!” but I just smiled and knew THIS is where they truly wanted to be – on the dance floor, singing along and dancing to Springsteen. I didn’t say a thing and simply captured them in this moment… and it’s one of my favorite moments. They are clearly having the time of their LIFE!

Annie & Michael’s wedding day was another one of the rare days we had this year where it POURED! This one may have been even worse then Desi & Eric’s wedding day – it was MONSOON weather lol. We had gone to their venue 2 weeks before their wedding day, as I did with all of my Brides, and I knew that there really wasn’t a fantastic spot there for portraits. I was in PANIC mode having absolutely no idea what I was going to do for their portraits the days before their wedding day when I saw the rain was NOT budging when I suddenly google mapped their church and saw what looked like a big, open porch. The entire drive up to New York state I PRAYED that porch would work for us and by a miracle, it DID! We took their Bridal Party portraits there and the portraits of the two of them. When we drove away from the church to their venue, I could NOT believe the luck we had. It actually worked out great. Not only that but Annie & Michael DIDN’T EVEN SEEM PHASED BY THE RAIN!! I LOVED their attitudes. It wasn’t about the rain, it was about THEM becoming husband and wife.

Kristina & Pawel had the most beautiful wedding day in June. I LOVED their day from start to finish but when I looked through their images, this is the one I ended up choosing because it is without a doubt one of the funniest and sweetest things I’ve ever seen at a wedding! They cut the cake, they fed each other and usually that’s it! lol But Pawel, the kind hearted man he is, started feeding ALL of their Bridal Party some of the wedding cake too! lol I could not stop laughing everytime he picked up the fork and fed ANOTHER person! It was so fun to watch and this photos perfectly sums them up! These two just love their friends and family and LOVE to have a good time!

Lauren & Brendt were married in New Jersey but actually live in Denver, Colorado. They love being surrounded by the mountains and loved Skyview Golf Club because it felt like home away from home 🙂 Their morning of getting ready and their first look and Bridal Party photos FLEW by but somehow we were crunched for time and wouldn’t be able to do family portraits until after the ceremony. My #1 priority was getting THIS VIEW for Lauren & Brendt. It was almost a 5 minute golf cart ride to this view and we only had a small window there because there were golfers out and balls flying everywhere – we did NOT want to get in their way or get hit! lol Somehow everything ended coming together perfectly and the portraits at the top of the mountain were INCREDIBLE!!

Sparkler photos are notoriously NOT easy to take. With the help of the amazing team of Amelia and Mae events there to help us, this was the smoothest and fastest sparkler send off I’ve ever seen. The Bridal Party simply strolled out of the church, lined up, sparklers were lit and magic happened! It was AMAZING!! I was in heaven because sparkler photos are always so pretty but when it runs smoothly, they are even BETTER!! I remember taking these photos and underneath all the cheers screaming at Jose “THAT’S THE MONEY SHOT!!” lol love love LOVE this moment!

Dogs are notoriously hard to photograph. I mean, they don’t know what’s happening so of course it’s tricky to get them to sit still for a photo. ESPECIALLY on a wedding day when it’s not just me there taking the photo but a TON of people around me doing the same thing. So when I look back at both Alexa & Chris AND Valentina & Kevin’s wedding days – capturing the photos of them with their beloved pooches are the ones that came straight to my mind. Alexa and Chris’ dog, Brody, was SUPER hyper. It was so hard to get him not to jump up on Alexa’s dress! But Jose was my saving grace for this wedding! He grabbed a pumpkin that was in the front of the house and held it directly under my camera and Brody was completely fixated on the pumpkin. He just sat there staring at the pumpkin in amazement lol and it made us get the photos they wanted with him!! MAJOR Kudos to Jose for that one!! 

For Valentina & Kevin’s wedding, the task of getting TWO dogs to sit still and look towards my camera was even trickier! Not only that but these are BIG dogs who were so happy and hyper to see their family so it took so much STRENGTH from everyone to get them to sit down. I realized the crowd of people around me was taking up all their attention so I kindly asked everyone to back away and let me try and get the full attention of the dogs. It worked like a charm. They actually sat still, their tongues were wagging and we got the shot!! I immediately showed Valentina and Kevin the photo and they were SO happy, we could have wrapped up their portraits right then and there! Those dogs will never know how much they made my day! 🙂

I always love phtoographing the Bridal Party and when it’s a fun group, even more so! Meghan and her bridesmaids were SO fun and full of spirit all day long! This photo I give them all major props for because what you don’t know is… it was absolutely FREEZING that day!! And there they are, not only with sleeveless dresses on but showing some leg. And do they LOOK freezing at all?? Nope! They were such troopers and I took this photo SO fast because I felt so bad for them but they would have done anything for Meghan! 🙂

Gabi & Mike had the OPPOSITE problem on their wedding day. It was sweltering hot on their September wedding day. Like, DISGUSTING hot. Like, Mike had to carry around a towel and dab the sweat off his face all day hot. It was so brutal and yet, here they are out in the MIDDLE of the grass with NO SHADE whatsoever, smiling at each other and looking absolutely amazing. We made the portraits of their dreams happen, despite the heat, and the payoff was well worth it. I’m always so thankful for my clients who just embrace the weather and roll with it! 🙂 Heat can be just as bad as rain and these two didn’t let it bother them one bit!

Ashley & Steve are my favorite lol they are quirky and this photo is just PERFECT for their moment! I loved their wedding day so much and had a LOT of favorite moments but this one takes the cake! They were married on Friday the 13th in October, only a few weeks before Halloween, and so doing the Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show just HAD to happen. Not only that but they love that movie. Guess what? SO DO I!! It’s a cult movie and it’s rare to find people that love a movie like you do. Not only love it but KNOW a movie like you do. I danced the Time Warp along with them and in the back of my mind wondered if they’d end the Time Warp the way you’re supposed to be – by falling and passing out on the floor! Sure enough they did!! lol And this photo became an instant FAVORITE lol. You HAVE to know the backstory to appreciate seeing them on the floor and that’s it! 🙂 

When Meghan & Sean booked me for their wedding day, Meghan told me she had a vision of herself getting ready at her parents house and walking with her Bridal Party to the church. It was literally around the corner from her parents house and so why not walk!? They were getting married in October and so I PRAYED for them that it’d be a beautiful sunny day and she’d be able to have this dream come true. Sure enough, they couldn’t have had better weather! Her, her parents and her bridesmaids walked together to the church and I was so happy this dream came true for her! 🙂

I SWEAR – when Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida” plays at a wedding, magic soon follows it. I can’t explain it but there is an energy on the dance floor that just moves everyone. Plus, Jose and I absolutely love that song lol. I watched and photographed everyone dancing to the song and then halfway through the song, Molly & Steven started to dance together to it and a circle of people formed around them. They all clapped and cheered them on as they just stared at each other, in their own world and he spun her around. Tears instantly formed in my eyes. I wondered if this is a moment they’d never forget from their wedding day because I will NEVER forget it and now when I hear that song, I think of this moment and it makes me cry all over again!! 🙂

Jessica and Yuri wedding day was picture perfect from beginning to end but halfway through their day, a BIG rain cloud showed it’s face over Rock Island Lake Club and it happened smack in the middle of their portraits! I was SO annoyed because there was still one photo we hadn’t gotten… a photo of them out on the rowboat in the lake. We ran inside to get them out of the rain and some food in their stomaches while I stood on the covered porch and walked the weather like a hawk. I was pacing and constantly looking at the radar on my phone. She wanted this photo so bad, we HAD to make it happen. Suddenly the rain stopped and it looked like our moment had come – and only 15 minutes before sunset! With the help of the amazing team at Rock Island, we got them out on the lake in the boat and it was effortless! No one fell or tipped over, Yuri rowed them out into the lake like a boss and we got that money shot!! 🙂 I was SO happy!

Kaitlin & Jeff’s wedding day was so beautiful and full of emotion from start to finish but I HAVE to pick this as my favorite moment of their wedding day! Jeff had no idea that Kaitlin would be suprising him by singing to him right before their dance floor opened! She only stared at him as she sang the words to “Latch” to him and he was BEAMING the entire time. Not only that but look at everyone surrounding her on the dance floor – EVERYONE was loving it!! She was SO nervous while she was getting ready about the song and if it would go good and she killed it! 🙂

Jenna & Scott are two of my favorite people ever. Their love and joy is SO contagious! They are truly meant to be together and while there were SO many favorite moments from their wedding day, this is the moment I chose. This photo was NOT planned at all. I just happened to look over at them in their booth and see them nuzzling each other’s noses and kissing. I clicked a few photos of them and Jenna saw my flash go off and looked over at me – and BOOM. This MAGIC was caught on camera. GAH. One of my favorite photos ever because of their genuine happiness in this photo! It’s not posed or planned in anyway – it’s just them being them. I LOVE it.

Another couple I love to death. Marissa & Dave’s wedding day was one of the most fun days we had all year and there were so many fantastic moments – but this one takes the cake! (HA! I crack myself up! lol) This photo is just one of the funniest photos EVER to me. And this is Jose’s photo! His angle of this moment is so much better than mine lol you can clearly see BOTH of their faces. Marissa looking at Dave saying “DON’T YOU DARE MUSH THAT CAKE ON MY FACE” and Dave teasing her saying “WHAT AM I GONNA DO??” Of course Dave was a gentlemen and simply fed her cake but their faces literally had me DYING as I was editing their wedding! lol I couldn’t stop laughing and I love that we caught their fun personalities in this photo!!

Oh man… this moment absolutely kills me. I love the fun moments of a wedding day but the sentimental ones really get to me. This is one moment I’ll never forget! Nicole had just gotten dressed, walked down the stairs of her parents house and shared a first look with her bridesmaids and then Dad. Her dad was already so emotional seeing his only little girl dressed as Bride… but then she handed him this sweet handkerchief. He read it outloud and could barely read it through his tears. He cried and we ALL cried! I LOST it. I had just found out a week or so earlier that we were having a daughter and imagined Jose and her in this moment years from now. I, for the first time ever, felt the tug on my heart strings of what it must be like to be a PARENT on a wedding day and all the emotions they feel and it destroyed me!! lol So this moment will always stand out from Nicole & John’s beautiful wedding day for me.

I wonder if Marta & James had any doubt in their minds that THIS is the moment I’d choose from their wedding day?? This is some EPICNESS. This was their ode to the Jersey Shore party scene. They handed out napkins to every guest on the dance floor and at the same time, they tossed them in the air while “Pump it up” played and BOOM!! an EXPLOSION of napkins occured! lol it was AMAZING to see and I’m so glad it ended up looking as amazing in photos!! The dance floor was covered in napkins the rest of the night but it was perfect. Their reception was a serious celebration so this was just the perfect photo to share!! 🙂

Amanda & Patrick’s wedding day was SO beautiful, so fun, so full of emotion. It had ALL the feelings! But when I think back on it, I think of just how awesome these two are. We pulled them out for photos maybe 3 times – one at sunset, one for photos in their Viennese hour and one for these photos at the front of the beautiful Palace at Somerset Park. The last time we pulled them out I almost felt bad for doing it again! lol But there were SO game and so excited about it and NEVER seemed annoyed that we were taking their photos and I remember saying to them “I love that we get to spend so much time with just you two!!” I really did! I also love that we gave them this quiet moment of just the two of them. Wedding days FLY by and are hectic and crazy and I was so happy to know that I did what I could to make sure they had the time to be in that moment just them, together 🙂

We’re ending this look back at my favorite moments of 2017 at my favorite venue, the Palace at Somerset Park! Melissa & Greg had a GORGEOUS wedding day there – we were there from the beginning to the end! I chose this photo because I can tell you – RARELY, when couples ask their guests to blow bubbles at the end of the ceremony, do guests actually do it! They are caught up in applauding and take photos on their camera that they completely forget about the bubbles! So when they started to walk down the aisle and the bubbles were everywhere, I remember saying to Jose “OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE BUBBLES!” I was seriously amazed. Then they stopped in the middle of the aisle and KISSED!? WHAT?! It was literally a picture perfect moment and it made my day! 🙂

 

Thank you to all of my couples for making our 2017 so memorable and amazing!!! Cheers to all of you! 🙂

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