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.
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.
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.