Gillian and Jeremy

December 09, 2019
How we met
 
Gillian: Jeremy and I met the more traditional way, we attended Indiana University. In our Junior year I had class with several of his friends that my friends knew. We all had the same core set of classes that semester so we ended up studying together in the library and hanging out together on the weekends.
 
Jeremy: We were a bunch of nerds
 
Gillian: My sorority sisters and his fraternity brothers were good friends so that brought me to meeting Jeremy, one of his friends texted us to all hang out one weekend and that gave Jeremy my number and he started talking to me, and we’ve been together ever since.
 
First date
 
Jeremy: Our first date we ended up going out to winner with one of my fraternity brothers and one of her sorority sisters to a restaurant in Bloomington, which was a lot of fun, it was kind of awkward at first where it was the four of us and they were just starting to date as well but it was a lot of fun just getting to know Gillian a little better, be outside of the classroom and just enjoy the day.
 
Gillian: It was a little bit awkward since they were a new couple too and not fully comfortable but at the same time it was a little more relaxing to be together as a group of friends instead of just us two.
 
How did you propose?
 
Jeremy: Gillian was in Paris for work, which is probably her favorite city in the world outside of  Chicago, we had been talking about next steps in life. We had been planning to go to Punta Cana for memorial day a month or two after her trip in Paris. I had been laying some hints down that maybe it would happen in Punta Cana. I surprised her in Paris instead. Before that I was in San Francisco for work, I had bought the ring in Chicago, sent it to our San Francisco office to pick up, but I was so nervous taking the ring across all these states and then eventually to Paris and then trying to hide it for a few days before proposing. We had plans for dinner on the eiffel tower, I found a photographer online the day of the proposal. Everything ended up working out very well except for my shirt.
 
Gillian: It was very wrinkled, a crumpled mess so I had to iron his shirt so we were a little rushed. I lived very close to the eiffel tower and there is this street around the corner with where if you glance down this street and you have this very special view of the eiffel tower between very purisian looking buildings. So Jeremy proposed at that corner, it is a very special spot for us. Luckily the photographer he had hired was there to capture that moment, and Jeremy surprised us both with a proposal.  We went around Paris taking photos with the photographer then went to dinner 2-3 hours after we were supposed to.
Favorite photo
 
Favorite Photo?
 
Gillian: I would say our favorite photo is the 5 second game, everytime we look at that photo we laugh, it’s just so candid and funny to see one guy between Jeremy’s legs and there’s another guy waving up top. Everyone looks great, that's one of our favorite ones.
 
Jeremy: One thing to add to that too, those pictures are the ones our friends like the most too which is fun, everytime they look at it they say that it’s hilarious.
 
Gillian: Theres a couple photos of us walking and my veil blowing, one with us looking at each other with a very sincere and loving look. Theres others that you captured as well during out ceremony where laughing and those photos just help us remember since the day goes by so quickly. Lasly the ones we did with our extended family, especially as some people begin to get older, it’s great to have those memories with them.
 
Jeremy: Another one would be the Indiana University flag with all of our college friends
 
Gillian: That one has some funny faces too which makes that one extra special.
 
Jeremy: One other picture though, on top of the balcony, We had a nice eiffel tower “statue” in the foreground and with us in the background. That picture turned out great and helps with our memory of proposing in Paris.
 
How did we make you feel special?
 
Gillian: Valen Studios made us feel special for many reasons, I think from the beginning, meeting with Steve with my parents to see what he had to offer. I had to talk about myself, Jeremy and our relationship. I remember at the end Steve just summarized what we were like and it was perfect. After speaking for 20 minutes he nailed our relationship perfect and that was amazing to me that he can understand people so well. Throughout the whole process he was very focused on the customer and what is very important to us and is able to pick out the important things without telling him directly what it is. His whole team bends over backwards, so does his whole team to get what you want, understand what’s important, stay around extra time all to make your whole day feel special and he knows what photos you will value later that you could have never imagined.
 
Jeremy: I’m not someone who likes to take a lot of pictures, Steve and his team made it super easy for us on our wedding day where it seemed like we took hundreds of pictures but in reality to me it felt like we only took one picture because it was so smooth, so easy going. We got married on a 95+ degree day where everyone was sweating, it was so hot outside. But it was so smooth, for myself and the groomsmen too, everyone enjoyed it, everyone laughed a lot which I didn’t really expect so it was awesome.
 
What would you keep the same?
 
Gillian: I think a few things I would have kept the same about our wedding is we did dance lessons and did a bit of a choreographed dance. I grew up as a ballerina dancer
 
Jeremy: I did not
 
Gillian: Jeremy not as naturally talented at dancing and so he was initially a little apprehensive about the dance lessons, but I think that was such a special, fun time for us to prepare for our wedding but in a relaxed setting. I think our family and friends were very impressed by how the dance turned out and the fact that Jeremy can actually dance and how he has a little bit better moves.
 
Jeremy: I'm still practicing
 
Gillian: Windy City Wedding Dance taught us how to dance. The second thing was incorporating family into our ceremony and reception in special ways. For example we had a catholic ceremony with Jermemy’s Grandfather be one of the people who pass out the host in our ceremony. Then in our reception we had both sets of parents and Grandparents sit at a table together to show unity in our families. A third thing it would be doing the wedding video, initially I didn’t think I would do the video but I think it was a really great way to remember how we felt and looked. Then being able to watch the ceremony afterwards and listen to the speeches, I could go on and on but remembering something that flies by so quickly is so amazing.
 
Jeremy: I think the funniest thing about the video is from the reception where you can see my Grandmother in the background dancing super goofy. Every single time we get together it’s hilarious and is such a great time. I think to me, having our family involved in the wedding was very special. My Grandfather was my little league baseball coach so I’ve grown up and go very far back with him, it’s more of a personal relationship rather than a Grandfather and Grandson type relationship. So having him involved was very cool I thought. One thing I really liked too was having all of the significant others at the pictures as well. We took a trolly/ bus around for all the pictures, even though they weren't a part of all the pictures it was just fun to have everyone involved in that experience.
 
What would you change?
 
Gillian: I think the thing I would change is worrying about all the small details like the little intricate decorations and signage as much as I did. Honestly, people don’t really notice and you spend hours and hours worrying about that, when people just want to have a good time and will remember the happiness, music, dancing and ceremony. For me I was surprised by how many people liked our ceremony and we did not spend as much time planning the ceremony as I did with all the little details on the signs and decorations for the reception. So I would say don’t spend too much time and money on all the little details when people are just looking for a fun time and a good experience.
 
Jeremy: I would echo that, I would also say the weather, try not to get married on a 95 degree day ahahaha. But the little things, everyone remembers the wedding as always having a great time, but the little things aren't as important and could get swept under the rug.
 
Bride to Bride
 
Gillian: I would absolutely recommend Valen Studios, I think Steve and Kelly were excellent. I'm not naturally one that’s very photogenic but they always made me feel comfortable and that I looked good. I knew they cared about me beyond just doing their job, they genuinely cared about how I was, that I was happy, felt comfortable, relaxed, was having fun. I care a lot about my appearance any day but especially on the wedding day, I don’t often like looking at pictures of myself but when I saw all the photographs they took I definitely felt happier looking at pictures of myself and that I looked a little more photogenic than I usually do. They really helped me feel comfortable. I'm not one to PDA much either but naturally in these types of pictures you have to do a little bit more of that so they made me feel more comfortable in that environment. They really build relationships and continue that. After the fact they were very patient with me and my very busy life and didn’t try to rush me a long in picking our photos and doing our album. Valen Studios has been great in being patient and really pleasing the customer genuinely from their heart.
 
Groom to Groom
 
Jeremy: For me, They just made everything so much easier for us. I've been in several weddings as well and had the pleasure of taking lots of pictures which is not something I always love to do. Every picture we took was always fun, there was always a joke involved with it. The five second game was one the most fu photos I have ever been a part of, we also had some fun football pictures too. We had a blast doing it even though for me it’s not one of the thop things I would like to do, but at the same time we just had a blast, my friends still talk about Steve and Kelly, how much fun they had doing pictures. As we go through several weddings we start making friends with other photographers but everyone still talks about our pictures and how much fun we all had.
 
Worth the investment?
 
Jeremy: Yeah, frankly at first hearing how expensive photographers were I was like “Holy cow that's a lot of money.” At the end of the day, based on the pictures we got, the love we got from Steve and Kelly, everything throughout the entire day. Looking back on it, I think it was well worth the money. Everyone was happy and involved, I think the images turned out fantastic and we had a great time!
 
Gillian: I think it is worth every penny. The day flies by so quickly, the only thing that will help you remember are the photos and the video so that to me is one of the most important things to invest into for your wedding. I would spend your money on that over many of the other little intricate details for your wedding.
 
Jeremy: One thing that someone told me before my wedding was to take a step back with your bride and just look at everyone else having a good time at the reception. I thought that was kind of goofy at the time but the day goes by so fast where it was one thing we did at the end, It was cool with the two of us to see everyone having a good time and enjoy the day. I would definitely recommend any couple to do that who is getting married.
 
Gillian: You actually helped us do that in a way when you pulled us from dinner for sunset photos, it didn't really matter that we were missing food, we were not really hungry because we were having so much fun. That was a good time since we were not really bonding or missing anything with family, we just got to step away and have a few moments to relax by ourselves without anyone around, I think that was good too.

Jeanna and Robert

November 04, 2019

How we met

Robert: I was in the process of finding a new apartment to live in because my roommate and I were going our separate ways. Jeanna was a sales manager at a location in Bloomington Minnesota, I walked in and I was blown away by the beauty of this woman who was showing me the location of this place where I may possibly be living in. I actually called her like 2 hours after the showing and asked her questions I had already asked when I was taking the site tour because I wanted to ask her out, but I chickened out. She told me later on that If I had asked her out then, she would have said no. So about 10 days go by and she sends me an email letting me know to act fast because the places I was looking at were being sold. I end up friend requesting her that day on Facebook and she accepts. We continue messaging and I end up getting her number. We looked at a place in the same complex she lived in, she lived like 2 stories above the room I was looking at. We actually set up our first date about a week after this, since we had been texting and communicating for the past week or so. That evening, I ended up getting super hungry and we decided to go out for dinner that night instead. I felt that we really just hit it off, she got a margarita flat bread at a place that is known for having super good burgers, so I thought that was really funny.

Jeanna: He almost blew it on our second date, he made a bet with me that if he won then I would have to kiss him. I made a guess of what the final score would be and I nailed it. He said if I was wrong then I would have to kiss him.

Robert: I still tried to kiss her but she backed away, I went home that night thinking I just blew my chance to date this beautiful, bright, wonderful, sports loving woman. I woke up Saturday morning in a horrible mood, thinking I completely blew it, but she ended up texting me at 1 or 2 in the afternoon asking if I knew about a person named Chris or Kevin Hockey, who has a side gig as a country rock singer in the Minneapolis area.

Jeanna: The day before our wedding, I told Robert that I was supposed to go to that concert with somebody else but he bailed on me.

Robert: I was her back-up plan!

Jeanna: We did end up having our first kiss that night

Robert: We kissed and danced to "my kind of crazy" at the show. We also played that song at our wedding. That night, I ended up staying the night at her place and I never left. Now here we are married for 2 years, with a 2 month old baby and 5 year old puppy and we couldn't be happier.

 


 

Proposal

I got a job back down in the Chicago land area in Oakbrook, We were still dating but lived separately for about 6 weeks. I was home alone at my parents house on a Saturday afternoon and I knew I wanted to marry her, and I decided to just go to the mall. In fact she even started bugging me about ring ideas a few weeks before. the first store I walked into I found a diamond, a band, and it was within a price range that I was willing to spend.

Jeanna: I texted him actually to see what he was doing at the store and I asked if he was buying my ring

Robert: I had to play it off, I called her mom and her best friend what I just did. That was in November. For Christmas I got her black hawks tickets for her and I to go to the game on her birthday on February 11th. In my mind I wanted to set up a dinner with my family, her family, and her best friend so they could see me propose and then we could go to the hawks game. Jess, Jeanna's best friend wanted to take pictures of me proposing so I had to get her down here at that time

Jeanna: Robert created a big group text with everyone to coordinate times to go to dinner together. He also said it was a big day because of my birthday and everything, then his dad said in the group text, "Its a big day for you too Froggy!" which is Roberts Nickname, so I knew what was going to happen.

Robert: We knew we wanted to be together even since the October before, we even talked about kids and kids names even the first month of dating. I thought it would be funny if I pretended to lose the ring but I messed up, it was a janky proposal but the thought was still there and it was funny and just amazing. She still said yes! At that point we had to rush to the Hawks game, the Hawks got absolutely murdered that game. I've never went to a game smiling so big and leaving so happy after watching out favorite team get demolished and both of us just didn't care. We were just engaged, there as Fiance's enjoying each others company watching our favorite team on her birthday! Now her birthday is special in two ways, because we can relive how I screwed up our proposal and celebrate the beautiful woman that she is, who is now the mother to my children.

 


 

Favorite picture and why?

Jeanna: My favorite photo from the wedding was the going away shot with the song “Don't stop believing” playing. I the picture everyone is happy and excited and having the times of their lives. This was the best day of our life and that's just my favorite photo for that reason.

Robert: That is also my favorite photo as well, everyone I talked to said that was the fmost fun wedding they have ever been a part of. We aren't ones to party but if we do we want to make sure we are having as much fun as possible. Everything was fantastic, that was our goal. We just had the best, most loving and energetic people, all of our closest friends her bridesmaids my groomsman. Everyone cooperated, it was just a non-stop party all night, since we pulled up and until we went to bed that night. There is a reason we hung that picture up in our living room because we believe that photo just shows the love and happiness we felt on that day.

 

How did Valen make you feel special?

Jeanna: I actually met with Steve originally ad he mentioned that he has a dress shop too, I made an appointment to try on a dress and I fell in love with it. I was treated so great during that experience. Our Engagement session was with Kelly, We love some of those photos to this day. After these 2 experiences we could not wait until our wedding day, we were so excited to work with you again. On our wedding day you didn't rush us, you took our time, you didn't shove unnecessary positions down our throat and you just let us be ourselves, it was amazing. It was like you guys were a part of our family.

Robert. Since day 1 you guys have felt like family, letting us do some nontraditional poses and just letting us be ourselves. It allowed us to show our goofy side, One of my favorite pictures from our wedding is when Jeana was holding a champagne glass and I was in the back pointing at her like “yeah that's my wife right there” and you just don't see that in traditional wedding pictures. There's no one else we would rather have do or photography as a continuation of our lives from this point forward. No one else.

 


 

2 things you would keep 1 thing you would change?

Jeanna: One thing I would keep the same about my wedding that I absolutely loved is keeping our location and vendors. We had the best food, the best venue, DJ, all things I certainly would not change about our day.

Valen: Who was your DJ?

Robert: Memory Makers.

Jeanna: One thing I would probably go back on was I felt like I had to invite select people. I would have changed some of the people who we invited to our own wedding. There were some people who we wish we could have invited instead. Trust your instinct and invite truly the most special people in your lives, not anyone else's.

Robert: Just setting the ground rules, especially with parents. You're parents will want to be a big part of your wedding, and rightfully so, but you need to set the ground rules, that this Is my wedding without sounding too self centered about it. If your parents want to invite someone who met you when you were 2 months old, they might not be worth inviting if they are not very important in your life at 26 years old. We regret not inviting people who are very important in our lives and will be going forward, we regret it but there's no sense in going back on it now.


 

Groom to groom

Robert: Valen has been the best photographers I have ever dealt with in my life, and I have a couple personal friends of mine who are photographers, and we considered them. But when it came to Valen it was the personal relationship they bring to you. They make you fell like family when they photograph you. They are respectful of your time and your budget. They want to make sure that it is feasible for them to have your business because they feel your business is like an extension of their family. When they bring you on they want you to be a part of their lives moving forward forever, and when you leave any type of session with them, you leave feeling like their family. My wife and I have felt that way since day 1. Since we walked in and had our first conversation with Steve, ad we have now used them for the 3 most important sessions of our lives. They'll make anything work and do an absolutely exceptional job doing so.

Bride to bride

Jeanna: I think that Valen studios photos are just absolutely incredible, whether you pick them for your wedding day, a new born shoot, or any photo shoot, it is important to pick the best because you will treasure these photos for the rest of your life. On your wedding day you are surrounded with your closest friends and family, you never know when it will be your last moment with someone. Exactly 2 months after my wedding day my cousin passed away and she ironically was the one who caught my bouquet at the wedding. We have some of the best photographs with me hugging her after she caught it. Those photos will always be so so so important to me! If we didn't have the best photographer that is ready to take those amazing shots right away and make sure that they are great, I wouldn't have those memories. I think that it's super important to have a great photographer that not only has the best work but truly cares about you as a person and we definitely found that at Valen Studios.


Amanda and Shawn

October 31, 2019

 

How did you meet?


Amanda: We me online on a website called plenty of fish, I knew I really liked Shawn when I was on a date with another guy, texting Shawn to meet up for drinks as soon as that date was done.


Shawn: All my profile said was that I like pizza and beer on Friday nights so it was an easy decision to message her.


First Date


Amanda: Our first date was at Nutties in lake villa, they had really good Moscow Mules. It was also the first pre-season bears game.


Shawn: Its easy to remember our anniversary date because I just need to go back ad look at the date of the game.


Amanda: Do you remember who won?


Shawn: Bears lost like they always do.

 


How did you propose?


Shawn: I proposed on Groundhogs day in the town square gazibo in Woodstock, I had my sister come out to take pictures as I did it and it worked out perfectly because Amanda did not know who she was until afterwards.


Amanda: I remember it being cold and just wanting to go to dinner


Shawn: I almost couldn't get her all the way into the gazebo because she was cold and just wanted to go inside the restauraunt to get out of the cold but I made her go with me into the gazebo.


Amanda: It was right around Christmas so it was very special.

 

 

Favorite pictures of your wedding?


Amanda: I had so many favorite pictures from our wedding I love the "Don't stop believing" picture, it is my screensaver at work and people always comments on how its such an awesome picture. I also love our first dance picture and I also love the photo of Shawn and his Mom during the mother and son dance.

 

Shawn: My favorites are me and the groomsman because those are friends I don't get to see much, us cutting the wedding cake and me and my mom dancing.

 

 

 

How or what did we do at Valen Studios to make you feel special?


Amanda: Everything! You guys did an awesome job from our engagement photo session all the way to our wedding pictures. I think all my bridesmaids, groomsmen and everyone in our families felt special and felt like a part of our day and a part of us. Everyone felt very comfortable and excited.

Shawn: I agree, It was just a very special and amazing day.


Amanda: It was a fun day

 


What are 2 things you would keep about your wedding?


Amanda: Valen for photographs, you guys did such an amazing job ad then our DJ Frank Casano, he sings Frank Sinatra during dinner and then after turns into a DJ so we got the best of both worlds, he did an awesome job of engaging everybody and making sure everyone was having a good time and I really loved that.


Shawn: I would have kept paying the extra money for the backdrop. If you dont want to pay for something make sure you argue about it i front of the venue with your spouse and they will drop it by half. It was originally $600 ad they brought it down to $300. It was worth it though it made our pictures look beautiful. I think it added to the way the room looked, it made it look fancy to me.

 

 


Amanda: It did look amazing in the pictures.


Shawn: I had a lot of opinions in our wedding, I let her pick out anything she really wanted but if there was something I wanted I made sure I tried to fight for it.


Amanda: Some of the music selection, one of the things that was really important to Shawn was to play footloose as our first song. He was very adiamant about it.


Shawn: Not a lot of people danced right away but they eventually started to.


Amanda: There was a very big discussion on the tuxedos, I wanted Navy but Shawn wanted Gray. I wanted the tuxes to have pink as well to match the girls dresses but Shawn didn't want the pink, but we got pink. Shawn Did not wear pink though only the Groomsmen.

 


What is one thing you would change?


Shawn: I would have walked around to each table with Amanda to talk to everyone for 2-3 minutes to check in and see how everyone is doing. We didn't do that because it went by so fast and we didn't plan it out to do that but I thought that we would have done it at some point but it never really happened.

 

Amanda: I think I would have had my dress Bustled earlier because I was trying to get it done at dinner time and it was a pain, everyone came out looking for me, I should have had my mom do it right when we were done with our pictures at the reception venue so I would have been more comfortable at that time, but everything was perfect and it wasn't even that big of a deal.

 


Concord Venue


Amanda: Concord was amazing, they did a beautiful job, their food was spectacular, they set everything up perfectly, we couldn't have done it better ourselves. They worked really hard to make sure all of our needs were met. I think all of our guests had a great time, the service was fantastic.


Shawn: Just don't set your drink down because they will scoop it up and throw it away.


Amanda: They just want you to go back for more hahaha.

 


What would you like to say to Valen studios on behalf of a bride who is thinking of hiring us to encourage her to make the investment.


Amanda: It was worth every penny, all of our pictures turned out amazing. I couldn't have asked for better service. From the time of us getting ready in the morning at my house all the way to the church ceremony and to the end of the night. Pictures were going constantly, so many unique pictures, the little moments were captured, me holding my little nephew balling his eyes out crying and it was just perfect. All of our first dance pictures, us dancing with our mothers. We really got every aspect of the wedding covered. We can't wait to see our video which we know will be just equally as amazing. If you want well done pictures of your wedding then spend the money on it, you will have those pictures forever.


Shawn: Valen studios was a good purchase, worth the money, everyone worked hard start to finish. I got all of my pictures with my friends, some that I asked to be taken and some that I was forced to do hahaha.


Amanda: Shawn is in the Marines and some of his marine buddies were in town so he got those special pictures and has not seen them in a very long time.


Shawn: It's nice to see the people that you served with that you don't get to see often and now I can remember them with photos.


Amanda: I loved that you were able to get pictures of everybody at their tables because I feel like we didn't get to see a lot of people, but it's really nice to see the pictures of everyone.

 


How did using our preferred vendors which created synergy, help on the day of your wedding?

Amanda: Courtney Pilman did our flowers with Trellis, She is a great friend of mine and I am very thankful for her introducing me to Steve and his team. She had a vision in mind from the start, everything looked spectacular and top notch so that was really great. You can tell that they work very well together and that their relationship goes beyond professionalism and that they have a very strong connection outside of work as well.

 


Dr Kathryn and Ryan

October 18, 2019
 
 
 
How you met
 
We met online at match.com
 
Ryan: I had some close friends who invited me over to their home and suggested that I create a match account. One Evening they fed me enough drinks to convince me to sign up, but I had no control over the account. My close friends wide had full access over the account and started reaching out to people.
 
Dr. Kathryn: I was coming to online dating from a long term relationship and was looking for strangers to tell me I'm pretty, One day I updated my profile because it was extremely basic, vague and I did not update it for a while because you never know who you will meet online. So I took a leap of faith and put in more info and that I started my own business. Shortly there after, I got a message from Ryan's close friend Ashley, who I did not know was her at the time, The message she wrote was wonderful, with long paragraphs and sentences all about me. I noticed this about 2 weeks after they sent it to me. I had to reply because of how sweet that message was. By this time Ryan had access to the account
 
Ryan: We started talking I remember I hated logging back in to match so much but I still really liked the feeling of seeing if she replied yet? did she get back to me? did she say anything yet? I really wanted her phone number because It was quite annoying logging in and out of Match, however at first she just completely ignored that like I didn't even ask but we kept talking and eventually she gave me her phone number.
 
Dr. Kathryn: So we went on a few dates and by the third or fourth date we went with Ryan's friends Andy and Ashley, I had no idea that Ashley had anything to do with us meeting, but I remember thinking " I don't know how I feel about this guy but I really like her so how long do I have to date him before I become friends with her? hahaha.
 
Dr. Kathryn: Our first date was on a week night, he offered to drive me but I said I would prefer to drive separately. We actually had been talking for about a month, but met as strangers in a parking lot. We walked inside and he said we have a reservation even though nobody was there! But I thought it was adorable that he planned ahead and got a reservation for us. Out of all the seats in the restaurant they sat us at a big round  booth seat for like 6-8 people and Ryan sat on one side, I sat on the other end and I awkwardly, throughout the evening scooted my way next to him.
 
Ryan: I thought it would be more normal to sit across and facing eachother, where she thought it would be more normal to sit right next to me, so we were just confused hahaha.
 
Dr: It took about 5 dates before I was really interested.
 
Ryan: Should I say when I was first interested?
 
Dr Kathryn: yeah when were you?
 
Ryan: After we got married
 
Both: hahahahaha
 
Ryan: I was really interested before the first date
 
Dr Kathryn: I also thought it was weird that Ryan didn't drink, like who goes on a date and doesn't get a glass of wine
 
Ryan: I actually got food poisoning that night and missed work for the first day in 8 years.
 
Proposal story
 
Ryan: I planned it at first to be in the north woods of Wisconsin by this beautiful lake, but I get called for jury duty and couldn't go. I was totally bummed, this was my plan for a while. So back to the drawing board. I decided that we do a lot of walking with the dog around our local lake and I thought Id put it on the dogs collar and get on one knee and ask her in front of the lake and surprise her. So we go over to her parents house which is where Kathryn was, and I asked where the dog was and she said she was in Ohio with her mom for the next 10 days. I'm like oh my gosh this is strike 2 now. I finally just set it up real basic on a Monday which is my day off. I asked her on her parent porch swing, I put the ring in a Mowi Gyn sunglasses case which is something I showed her the ring in before, because it was a family ring, and something my mom showed her, Kathryn thought it was funny.
 
Dr. Kathryn: I will always remember the first time I saw my ring in a Mowi Gyn sunglass case.
I think I was pressuring him to do it soon, but it in the moment it was still a surprise for me. but we knew it would happen soon.
 
Ryan: We were looking at houses
 
Dr. Kathryn: But my parents front porch swing is one of my favorite places, It was perfect
 
Favorite pictures and why?
 
Ryan: My favorite picture was one that you printed for us, the photo of the 2 of us in the loft of the barn, the thought that went into it the lighting that went into it, knowing what the raw picture looked like, it was a flat day with bad light, and there was a porta-potty that was edited out. The finishing touches you put on that picture really stood out to me and it is on our wall at home. I remember when we were up in the loft I thought to myself how is this going to turn out? It was a cold and wet day but when you look at that picture you don't get that vibe at all.
 
 
Dr. Kathryn: certainly one of my favorite photos too, It captured the feel that I wanted for my wedding which was that kind of rustic, sheik vibe because I love barns and being outside, but it was still beautiful. I spend my entire day in a barn and can see the beauty even when its dirty and I got to see myself beautiful with that and it was a great feeling.
 
Ryan: My other favorite is one of use inside with the lights strung above us. Again lighting is so cool, there was no natural light in there, it was super dark.
 
 
How or what did we do to make you feel special?
 
Dr Kathryn: I really wanted someone who could take my own vision of the day and capture it. I wanted to hire you before I even got engaged because you know who you are as a photographer and as a part of our day, you werent trying to be one thing you were willing to be adaptable. your willingness to being open to what I saw in my head was very special. My dream and goal was to be married outside but were married inside, however looking back it feels like we got married outside because our photos and memories of that day were outside which was all I ever wanted. You captured every single couple there and I think you did a really good job at that, they feel you captured them very well too. you were very much a part of our wedding singing dancing and just being there without feeling like you were hired to be there. Just felt like friends and family!
 
Ryan: You spent a lot of time capturing us just doing our thing. the way you got candid shots, the guys laughing, the fisheye lens of the whole bridal party. You did a really good job of not putting me in a pose that wasn't me, just letting us balance what we had a vision for was really special.
 
 
Not photography related, 2 things you'd keep the same and 1 thing you'd change?
 
Dr. Kathryn: I would change the wine that was served because it was a very low end/ cheap brand that I could control.
 
Ryan: Change my attitude in the process, I did not give enough opinions and said I didn't care. We blew the budget out of the water because I was not involved very much.
 
Dr. Kathryn: I loved having everyone there, but maybe if we had a larger venue, we could have invited children. It was an adult only wedding but having all of our friends and family there made it very fun. I even forgot my vows half way through but it was a lot of fun.
 
Ryan: Even though it rained and didn't get to get married outside, I was ultimately very happy because the photos show that our wedding was for the most part, outside.
 
 
How did using our preferred wedding professionals, which created synergy, make your day less stressful?
 
Dr. Kathryn: It made it so I did not have to communicate with Valen as often, using Tami as our planner and Courtney for flowers really made the day happen more flawlessly than if I would have told you all individually and met the day of to make it happen. Everyone was on the same page.
 
Ryan: One of the hardest things that everyone overlooks, is that you are all always on the same page, you guys made it look like you do this every time. Like you do it this way for a reason and it really made a difference. You guys made us feel so relieved and we trusted you all so much. Took a lot of stress of our shoulders.
 
Bride to Bride
 
Dr. Kathryn: Just do it! You only get one day as your wedding, you think about it when your growing up, and in order to have peace and confidents looking back at your photos to see them the way you pictured them in your head, you need a photographer who can have the same vision as you. Someone who can keep everything very organized. I'm a perfectionist and our wedding pictures were perfect. I also loved all of the pictures that you got as we were getting ready the day of. those were some really fun and special memories with all of the people who are very important in my life.
 
Groom to Groom
 
Ryan: Like Kathryn said, just do it! You only get one day, make the best of it. Having a good photographer makes a world of a difference, I hate my photo being taken but you put me in poses that worked for me and I think the pictures turned out great. Ultimately the memory will eventually fade but the photos don't. For us it was not a financial decision, we just wanted to have beautiful memories to look back on. Over our entire life time the photography will be such a small expense to keep amazing memories on this big day.

 

Special note from Steve, owner of Valen Studios,

I have been shooting weddings at The Shores of Turtle Creek for 8 years and the amount of beautiful natural locations are countless. I absolutely love this place! Anna and her crew are some of the hardest working people in the business. I've seen them in action countless times, dealing with couples in the most respectful manner. http://www.shoresofturtlecreek.com/


Becca and Vince's Wedding

May 20, 2019

What is your favorite photo(s) and why? 

 

Becca: I have quite a few favorite photos from my wedding. My first one is a picture of Vince and I by a pond, you can see our reflections in the water and it is just us. 

Becca: My second favorite picture, or more a series of pictures, are the candid pictures of my bridal party during the speeches. The pictures reflect how our relationships with those people are. Full of life and laughter.

How/ What did we do to make you feel special?

Becca: One of the things that made me feel so special was throughout the whole process I felt like I was your only bride. I know that isn’t true and it would be unrealistic to think that. It was just amazing to feel like we were your only client. Whenever I saw either Steve or Kelly at the studio, a vendor fair or randomly at an event I was always greeted with a smile and a hug. 

 

 What are two things you would keep form your wedding?

Becca: I kept my flowers (they were fake) and a hankie my aunt embroidered for me, which I’ve used at weddings ever since.

What is one thing you would change from your wedding?

Honestly, I would probably end my reception an hour earlier. I was exhausted by the time the night was done, and my guests were too. We added an extra hour to the end of my reception but we should have stuck with what our vendor recommended.

 

How did using our preferred vendors, which created synergy, make your day less stressful? 

My vendors all worked great together, my wedding coordinator made sure everything went smooth and worked with my personal attendant that day so I didn’t have to worry about anything. 

 

 

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