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
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.
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/