I first met Vanessa up at Camp Shamineau waaaay back in 10th grade. We stayed in the same cabin (Oak Hollow for any of you past attendees), and I remember thinking she was the coolest…not to mention she had the most beautiful hair. Fast forward a few years later and we were reunited through my best friends at Bethel, who it turns out had been best friends with her since middle school, and her hair was still…amazing. Vanessa is one of the sweetest, most funny, and Christ-centered girls I’ve ever met. Anytime she would come up from Iowa State for a visit, you always felt so fulfilled and uplifted. Being able to be part of Van and Jason’s wedding day was an incredible honor, because it was one of those days where it was completely full of joy from start to finish. I understand I use the phrase, “just the best,” a little too often, but sometimes there is really no other way to describe an event or experience, and that’s exactly how I feel about spending their wedding day with her family. Every moment and every speech was full of love for Vanessa and Jason, and was completely honoring to who they are as individuals, and now as a couple. It can be said that this celebration was one that you never wanted to end, and felt sore for days after because you (worked) and danced so hard. It was a beautiful day, and I’m so excited to share the photos and LOVE that was non stop, all day, just the best kind you can imagine. Enjoy!
Her [Twitter] name isn’t Sparkleah for nothing! Ladies and gentlemen, meet my best girl, Leah Dahl. Christmas Eve was extra special because I got to spend a little bit of the afternoon with Leah and her family, who I’ve known since I was a freshman in high school. Her family hadn’t had a family photo together in a couple years, as her brother lives out of state, and word on the street is that Wendy only remembers to snap one when Leah and Erik are walking out the door after the holidays. SO! We decided to bare the cold, and snap a few of the family together. Those photos are to come, but in the meantime, I couldn’t help but share these ones of Leah that we snuck in at the end of our time. I’m slightly obsessed, because I’m amazed at how a little glitter can make a picture so beautiful, AND I realized how much fun winter sessions really are. I love these photos because I love Lele (too much to share her nickname on here?) and I love her spunk and love for life, and these photos could not be more her. On this cold and wintery day, I hope these wintery photos brighten it up a bit!! Enjoy!
We’re taking a different route this blog-post around, as I’m editing through my latest wedding, I thought I would take a little break and share a little bit about my family! This past weekend was Thanksgiving, and it was the first time in over a year that we had been together since my sisters wedding…in September 2011!!! Needless to say, time together was overdue, especially as my nephew is 9 months old and I hadn’t seen him since he was 6 weeks!! It was a great weekend jam-packed with family, and on Saturday morning we had my mom’s family over for breakfast, since none of my aunts, uncles or cousins had met baby Andrew yet. What made this especially special was that Andrew was able to meet my Grandpa Tom and Grandma Joanne. My grandpa was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, and since then, his health has slowly been decreasing, so every family gathering with him is a blessing as we are not sure how much time we have left with him.
If I haven’t spoken about him before, my grandpa has been one of the most important and influential persons in my life, and he has played an incredible role in my family since before I was born. He is full of joy, and his sense of humor is simply unmatched. His love for his family is unconditional, and it was said on Saturday that his 8 children, 21 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren have never doubted his love. Now I guess we can’t speak for the 9-month-olds, but they’ll feel it soon enough, right?! That love goes all the way back 26 years ago when my grandpa led my dad to the Lord by coming alongside him and showing my dad the unconditional love Christ has for all of us. I have seen the Lord in my grandpa, my dad, my brother and I am confident His goodness and love will continue on in Andrew. I am so thankful to have had such amazing and God-fearing men in my life, and am grateful to learn new things from them every time I’m with them. My mom was also an amazing woman of strength, and as the years have passed by since she passed away 6 years ago, I see so many similarities between my grandpa and mom, especially when dealing with illness. As my mom said to me on my 16th birthday, “celebrate each day-it’s one of God’s precious gifts to you to enjoy and to use as a vehicle to love, honor and glorify Him!” And I can confidently say that my mom and grandpa faithfully lived lives that brought glory to God through the relationships they had and the experiences they shared with others.
Now the picture below is of my sweet sister and grandpa having a conversation on Saturday morning. Lindsey’s husband nudged me and had me sneak a pic, which I am so grateful for because I find this moment to be so beautiful and such an accurate representation of my grandpa and sister. There were a few moments throughout the morning when grandpa wasn’t speaking to anyone, he was just simply taking in the scene and smiling as he was surrounded by his family. Those that he loves with an unconditional love, and cherishes moments like the one pictured below. I am grateful to have witnessed those little but powerful moments, as I know his days are limited and he is truly taking in every moment with his family and closest friends. I just left the weekend with family feeling so lifted up and so thankful for the family God has blessed me with, and I hope this post, though a little different, encourages you this week!!
This fall has been full of great opportunities, several of them being second shooting for some truly amazing and talented photographers. On this particular day, I got the chance to shoot with a friend from high school Jess Nolan, and it was a blast! Dylan and Michaela are high school sweethearts, who fell in love up at Dylan’s cabin, and it has been non-stop ever since. It was a beautiful day to celebrate, and though it’s not a full blog post, I thought I’d just post a couple of my favorites from the day!!
I’d like to start this off the right way and say that this post is totally and 100% dedicated to and posted for my family, the Andersons! Tommy is my older cousin, who met his beautiful bride while attending St. John’s, and they’ve been together ever since. They currently live over in Chiba, Japan, but came home to celebrate their marriage with our family and close friends on an absolutely perfect September day. To give you an idea of what the day looked like in terms of celebrating, my mom was the oldest of 8, there are 21 nieces and nephews, and 4 great-grandchildren. Needless to say, any gathering is a good time, so Tommy and Minako’s wedding was an absolute celebration! I was a little lost that day, going back and forth of being part of the day, as well as photographing it, but I am in love with the images as they are chalk-full of those I love most and have experienced life’s greatest and hardest moments with. The wedding took place in Plymouth, and the reception was in my Uncle Tom’s backyard, a total dream for those of us who grew up watching Father of the Bride (aka me). To say that being with my family is always the best is an understatement, but I truly love being with them and seeing how all the aunts and uncles (nieces, nephews, etc.) pour themselves into each other and their big life moments. September 8th was that for Tommy, so I hope you enjoy this post knowing a liiitttle bit more about the people in the pictures than usual! What can I say, they’re my people?! Congrats Tommy and Minako!
August 11th was one beautiful beautiful day! Ever since this wedding was in the books, Anna was on top of every single detail of her and Adam’s ultimate dream wedding. Married at The Woods Chapel in Orono, and going with a “peacock” theme, Anna truly thought of everything, and with the help of her friends and family, the day came together phenomenally! Anna and Adam have practically been together since high school, and it was so fun to be part of the day with all of their family and friends, who were truly celebrating the sweet love they have for one another. Thank you for letting me capture the day, it was truly an honor!
It’s hard to even put words together to describe the beauty of Jenna and Jesse’s wedding day in Trimont, Minnesota. As I was driving down the day of, I was so full of excitement and anticipation knowing not only the beautiful and joy-filled couple I was about to photograph, but the details of the day I just knew were going to be phenomenal. I think this wedding might be the truest thing to the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” as I drove into the park and couldn’t believe how dreamy it was. What was so special in all of it though, was that every thought and detail put into the day was all inspired by and put together by Jenna and Jesse’s families. Hand-built tables by Jenna’s grandfather, old family wedding photos, vintage vases, hay barrels, smores, home-made jam, popcorn and lemonade stations…the list goes on. It was truly an honor to be part of day full of so much joy and celebration with two people and their families whose love for each other was unbelievably eveident, and I am so so happy to share these images with you today! Best of luck to you both as you enter a new life together as newlyweds and medical students!
Wedding Coordinator: Lasting Impressions
Ceremony and Reception Site: Trimont Cedar Park
Caterer: Gerhardt’s Catering
Videographer: Capture Studios
Cake: HyVee Bakery
DJ: Sota Sounds
Flowers: Sadie’s Floral
Rental Items: Apres Party and Tent Rental