Jon & Michelle Monroe at Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

Marriage. This word will spark different thoughts for everyone. Some will feel joy, excitement, and newness at such a wonderful gift we’ve been given. To spend the remainder of your days together, as the Lord wills it, on an adventure unknown. Others may feel grief, hurt, or pain. If you find this to be true of yourself, please know that you have a wonderful story to be heard, you are loved, and your feelings are true to your own unique story. While I am a believer in marriage, I want others to know they do not go unrecognized in what can be a difficult present or past time.

In this story we are celebrating the marriage of not only a lovely couple, but a very personal couple in my life! Jon and Michelle Monroe who gave their vows on the  deck of the extravagant Odyssey II  traveling the shores of Lake Michigan. Can we all say that this is so romantic?! Many of us would dream of having a destination wedding. I am so happy they decided to go with their hearts on this one.

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Let’s get to it! I was honored and still humbled by the thought of these two trusting me to capture their wedding. Let’s be very honest, many of us have a camera that has the capability of taking wonderful photos. With free apps for editing, and with continued advances in technology and lowered costs many homes have a camera with the capability of shooting some great photos! I was also expecting my second child at the time, and would only be 6 weeks postpartum, traveling with our 6 week old and two-year old. Call me crazy, but of course I said yes! Challenges come and go, but I love giving this gift to others. Every photo shoot, whether it be 2 minutes with my children, 30 minutes with a family, or 8 hours at a wedding, this is an awesome gift to give to someone. Photos are timeless. You can look at them and go back years just feeling like it was yesterday. This is what I love to do.

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A November engagement session, on the hills of the beautiful Pope Farm Conservancy in Verona, WI. It was the golden hour. I had my winter coat (which would not zip as I was well into the end of my 2nd trimester, but it works right?!) gloves in tow and tennis shoes as we braved the cold air atop the windy hills. Photographers are typically there to guide the person(s) being photographed in posing and all other details. This is NOT so true of Jon and Michelle. Their relationship comes naturally. They know each other. Their love resonates from the way they look at each other, their respect and words shared. This made my job that much more lovable! The photos tell it all.

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This happened to be my first November session and I absolutely love the nude tans, faded greens and golds of the fields. The couple dressed accordingly – I love bright bold colors, but I also love classic neutrals. Coordination of dress is key to some timeless photos. They can center the focus on the person(s) or it can detract from what the photo is trying to engage the viewer in. Great job coordinating Monroe’s!

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Favorites of the engagement session – everyone loves to see the ring! The evening was so cold and windy, Jon and Michelle were able to warm up in the car while I gracefully (and nervously!) took the ring into custody with promises that it would be in good hands. I found a few beautiful spots to make this beauty stand out!

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Above – I’m not sure what type of plant this was, likely a weed! But the tiny delicate flowers with the dark browns and gray petals caught my eye.

Below – a mushroom growing out of an old tree stump. The brassy color with speckled black spots complements the color and shine of the ring!

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May 7th, 2017

The big day has arrived and all those involved with planning need to be on the boat and ready to roll. Fashionably the bride, her ladies and honorable mother arrived and gave greetings of love and excitement. We boarded the boat and the festivities began with dressing! I was privileged to be with the bride and the videographer with the groom and groomsmen.

Below- Dressing room time was complete and it was time to head to the sun-kissed deck!

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The pier was beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer spring day. The sun was shining and gentle blue skies and skyscrapers were on the horizon. Guests were arriving, the ceremony soon to begin!

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A few details and notes to greet the wedding guests delicately placed at the bottom of the stairs before walking up to the deck.

 

The Ceremony

At this time in the day a huge sigh of relief comes into play from guests and family members alike who realize the work has ended, the celebration can now begin! The joy resonates from all and the couple are poised with romance as they share their first dance on the deck.

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Greetings of bubbles, hugs, and smiles! Children are one of the biggest rewards in my job. They are genuine, aiming to please no one and love to be themselves.

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Ultimately one of my favorites … this party is ready to relax and unwind at the reception!

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The buffet was amazing with all options available from salad, breakfast, hearty chicken, steak, desserts and more! Flower girl Adrienne (my two year old!) is waiting patiently below for the best part of her day! Her dress was homemade (do-it-yourself mommy). And while this little lady loves to wear dresses, this dress must have been a bit too fluffy for her. Plan B came out when she decided the dress was no longer going to be part of her day. Thank you Old Navy for your elegant lavender tutu that works just as well for an underdress as it does for daily wearing!

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Cake details below! This local baker will curve your taste buds just right! If you’re in the Chicago area, check out Bittersweet Pastry. I love the square layers with the simple classic style of writing and color. The jelly filling was just the right touch to make this cake stand out in taste and texture!

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The day ended as the party departed and gave their blessing to the newly weds. This couple ready for some rest and relaxation as they start the next chapter in their lives!

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One last look at the pier. The sun has shifted giving orders that the day has come to a close. Now Mr. & Mrs. Monroe are on to the next chapter of their lives. An exciting journey with many open roads ahead of them. Cheers to a new beginning!

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