Shannon + Chris: A Sweet Wedding for Two Adventurous Spirits

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These two adventurers planned a wedding and an international move all at the same time!

Shannon + Chris met at Greenbush Bar in the spring of 2015 and hit it off quickly, bonding over being in the 99.9 percentile of height and a shared love of pizza, the outdoors, and getting in the last word. Chris loved Shannon's enthusiasm and sense of adventure, and Shannon thought Chris was endearingly goofy and smart, despite finding out that his basketball loyalties lay with with the Kentucky Wildcats (woo hoo!) and that he somehow despised chocolate. They continued dating that summer and it was full of rock climbing, concerts on the square, and visits to the zoo.

They also love traveling, and have traveled to 12 countries together - Watching the macaques in Gibraltar, sea fishing in Iceland, climbing a via ferrata in the Pyrenees, remaining civil over 2,900 km across Spain in a tiny smart car, and swaying around a mid-summer bonfire in Latvia. But it was right here in Madison, on a walk through Allen Centennial Gardens, that Chris asked Shannon to marry him.

These two adventurers also took on the adventure of moving to Bristol, England shortly after their wedding (the next week in fact), and I’m sure wherever their curious and adventurous spirits take them will be filled with love and joy! :)

Check out the photos from Shannon + Chris’ fun and intimate Goodman Community Center wedding and join us in wishing them the best with their move!

—Sam


Here are the kickass wedding vendors (with links) who helped make this wedding wonderful!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Goodman Community Center

Officiant: Court Commissioner Daniel Floeter

DJ: Erin Crowley with Musical Memories

Bridal Gown: Vera’s House of Bridals

Groom’s Tux: Lucca Menswear

Engagement Ring: The Diamond Center

Groom’s Wedding Band: TQ Diamonds

Hair Stylist: Thorp’s

Wedding Party Attire: Vera’s House of Bridals

Florist: Daffodil Parker (except for DIY centerpiece greenery)

Event Coordinator: Samantha Hintz with Wishful Weddings

Wedding Cake: Carl's Cakes

Catering: Working Class Catering (Goodman Community Center)

Decor Rental: A La Crate

 
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Fall Family Portraits at the Arboretum

They say behind every great family portrait is a mom threatening to end all joy forever if everyone doesn’t just behave and smile for like 2 seconds…

But honestly, I’ve found that when people are relaxed and having fun, no one has to threaten bodily harm to get great photos. ;) This is the third year that I’ve photographed this family, and it’s so neat seeing kids get older each year, and yet, as awkward as most tweens and teens find family photos, everyone is still laughing and having a great time, and I think that’s freaking awesome! I also love making sure parents get photos of just the two of them as well!

Many thanks for the fun times and good laughs, and enjoy the photos!

—Sam

 
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Fall Family Portraits for 3 Adorable Kiddos!

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There’s pretty much nothing more fun to photograph than kids (or adults) having fun in fall!

Have I mentioned that Fall is my favorite season? Anyway, I love fall family photos, and this year I got to meet this family’s newest addition, so it was extra special!

Check out these fun photos and start thinking about what you’d like to be doing for your Fall family photos next year!

—Sam

 
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Family Portraits at Home

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I love in-home (or in this case in-yard) family portraits!

There’s nothing that can beat the comfort level of just hanging out in your own space, particularly with a young child. Sunaina + Kyle were just getting ready to move out of state when they had me come over to take some family portraits before the big move.

It has been such a pleasure getting to know these folks since their wedding a few years ago, and I’m thrilled to have gotten to take photos of little Ryan, both when she was first born, and then just a few days before her first big adventure moving to a new state.

Take a look at this sweet and adorable family! <3

—Sam

 
 

Lynn + Brian: A Fall Engagement Celebration

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Secret Handshakes, Leaf Piles, and Kitty Cats, Oh My!

Lynn + Brian heard about us from their friends Mary + Tanya (you can see their wedding pics here) and since we adored working with Mary + Tanya, it was no surprise that Lynn + Brian have also been wonderful to work with so far! Their engagement session was so fun, and I love any engagement session that works in UW Arboretum, Willy Street, and cats!

Check out this adorable couple (and their clearly thrilled to be invited kitty cats)! We can’t wait for their wedding next year!

—Sam

 
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Lily + Aaron: A Fabulous Fall Engagement Session

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The Arboretum’s gorgeous fall colors were the perfect backdrop for lily + Aaron’s engagement photos!

Lily and Aaron both grew up in Janesville and actually lived only a few blocks from each other. They went to the same high school and worked in the same restaurant for a few years while in high school, and eventually started dating in 2012, moving to Madison in Summer of 2013, and they’ve been in the area ever since.

When they became engaged, these two knew they wanted a small, intimate wedding and to celebrate with their closest friends and family. For their engagement portraits, they were both a little nervous to be in front of the camera (which is totally understandable, as most adults are!) but pretty soon were having fun and goofing off, which is what I love taking photos of!

I can’t wait for Lily + Aaron’s wedding a few weeks from now!

—Sam

 
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Jen + Jason: A Couple's Session at the Arboretum

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This super fun couple hadn’t had photos since their wedding 9 years ago…

Which is something I hear a lot, and I love when couples decide they’re finally tired of not having any photos of each other and that it’s time for a session! Jen + Jason were so fun to work with. We laughed, joked about poop (because I’m a very mature adult-type person), and played rock, paper, scissors, which is just about as much fun as I could hope for in a session (and my cheeks hurt from laughing after we were done).

Hurray for getting couple’s photos! :-D

—Sam

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Ashley + Geoff: A fandom-themed Wedding

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This spectacular DIY offbeat wedding was one-of-a-kind!

“This will be a nerd wedding!” was the warning I got from Ashley + Geoff when they first booked us, and let me tell you, they did not disappoint!

For two awesome humans who met at a zombie larp (what?!), they had the amazingly nerdy wedding you would expect, and it was glorious. Each guest table was decorated with a different ‘fandom’, from Harry Potter, to Dresden Files (yay!), to Conan the Barbarian, and everything in between. Their card holder was a hand-made sarlacc pit (complete with little skeleton bride + groom). Their cake was Star Wars and Alien themed. And the list goes on. I knew this was going to be a fun wedding!

Following the short and sweet ceremony, in which Ashley’s dad, dressed as Darth Vader, walked her down the aisle, we went to take photos inside the Cave of the Mounds, which was a first for me! I can now say I understand how to light cave shots, so that’s new and exciting! ;) Then we got to enjoy the brief reprieve from the rain and take some photos under a dark & stormy sky, which complimented Ashley’s black and white dress and black veil so damn well. I’ve never been so happy to see clouds!

You could tell everyone, including the two of them, were having a great time celebrating, and let’s face it, after the actual getting married part, that’s what a wedding is all about!

We are so happy to have been able to celebrate with Ashley + Geoff. Check out some of our favorite moments from the day, and a big congrats to these two!

—Sam

Here are the vendors (with links) that helped make this wedding day super kickass!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cave of the Mounds

Bridal Gown: Vera’s House of Bridals

Groom’s Tux: Men’s Wearhouse

Cake: Carl’s Cakes

Catering: JL Richards

 
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Kayleigh's Newborn Portraits

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Complete with Yoda hat and a knitted lightsaber!

You know you’re photographing an adorably nerdy family when the phrase “We don’t hit the baby with the lightsaber” comes out as the toddler gently bops the newborn with a soft, knitted lightsaber.

One of the first things Kim and I bonded over when we first met was our mutual love of Star Wars, and it’s obvious her husband and kiddos share that love. So when little Kayleigh was born, it’s no wonder she got her own turn to wear the Yoda hat (it was too small for Alex when he was born) and to wield a lightsaber.

Check out these cute photos of this awesome family of Star Wars fans!

—Sam

 
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Sarah + Mabel: A Pretty Freaking Magical Northside Wedding

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Dinosaurs, Tetris, and Rainbows, Oh my!

From the second I first met Sarah + Mabel, I knew they were one of a kind, and that their wedding was going to be amazing. What I didn’t know was just just how much fun we’d have celebrating with Sarah + Mabel and their friends and family! We may or may not have danced the Time Warp during the tail end of the reception. ;)

The theme of the day was dinosaurs (yay!), Tetris (Mabel is a champion at Tetris), and rainbows, and it came together so beautifully! Seriously, check out those bouquets!

More than just an amazing wedding though, these two share a love that is so ridiculously pure and joyful that it’s hard to put into words, so I’ll let Sarah say it for me:

“We both love to make each other laugh. No one gets my sense of humor like Mabel does, and that's the main reason a mutual friend set us up seven years ago. Whenever I'm on the brink of tears, she knows the right thing to say to build me back up and make me smile. And going from tears to laughter is a wonderful thing. Whether cooking, on a roadtrip, exploring Madison or walking with our dog, we just make a great team!”

This type of love is something so special, it’s a joy to witness. We are so honored to have been able to celebrate with these two and their families, and wish them all the joy in the world!

—Sam

p.s. If you’d like see their AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL engagement photos, check them out here.

Here are all the kickass vendors (with links) who helped make Sarah + Mabel’s day so wonderful!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Warner Park Community Recreation Center

Officiant: Lindsey Joo (friend of brides)

Wedding DJ: Patrick with Kuhl Entertainment

Hair Stylist: Union Hair Parlor

Florist: Naly’s Floral Shop

Event Coordinator: Shantastic McAwesome (of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls)

Wedding Desserts: Cake by Bloom Bakeshop & Cupcakes by Looking Glass Bakery

Table/Chair Rental: Event Essentials

Catering: Working Class Catering & Blue Plate Catering

 
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Jenny + Jason: Elegant and Classy, but with Dinosaurs

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This sweet summer wedding wouldn’t have been complete without tacos, coffee bar, and, you guessed it, dinosaurs!

So Jenny + Jason met while working at Best Buy/Geek Squad, and have just about the cutest ‘meet cute’ story I’ve heard! After several weeks of not quite knowing whether or not they were flirting (haven’t we all been there?), they both figured it out when Jason asked Jenny to go with him to GenCon (a board game convention in Indianapolis, IN). From there, they were pretty much on the same page about that whole flirting business, and 6 years later, Jason proposed to Jenny at GenCon (they go every year) and she obviously said yes!

When it came to the wedding, one of the first things Jenny told me was that their theme was going to be ‘Elegant, Classy… but with Dinosaurs’ and I could not be more on board with that! Well, they sure as heck pulled it off, and managed to work in tacos and a coffee bar and then ALSO dinosaurs! (Dream clients, amiright?!) Also, Jenny’s wedding vows mentioned (consensual) butt-grabbing, which is always a plus in my book. ;)

Their day was filled with magic (and maybe one or two thousand mosquitoes, but it can’t all be perfect, right?) and was so damn fun! We had a blast telling puns, putting the little dinosaur decorations in fun poses, and eating rad food. I am so happy we got to celebrate with these two!

Check out the photos from this kickass wedding below, and if you’d like to see their engagement photos, click here.

—Sam

Here are the vendors (with links) who made this wedding day super amazing!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Paoli Mill Terrace & Park

Wedding Coordinator: Dominique with Wood Violet Events + Styling

Invitations & Programs: The Bride!!!

Calligraphy, table numbers, and seating chart: The Crafty Peach

Wedding Florals: Briar Loft

Officiant: Terry Wesolek (close friend)

Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal (altered by Monica @ Monirose Bespoke Gowns)

Wedding Bands & Engagement Ring: Artemer Jewelry

Hair & Makeup: The Posh Beauty Bar

Wedding Cake & Desserts: Looking Glass Bakery & Madison Chocolate Company

Catering: Apps by Liliana’s Catering & Tacos by El Grito Taqueria

Table, Chair, & Tent Rental: Event Essentials

Decor Rental: A La Crate Vintage Rentals

Coffee Bar: Crescendo Mobile Bar

Beer: Pequod Distribution

 
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Senior Portraits at the Arboretum

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I don’t do senior portraits often, but when I do, it’s for kickass young adults like Joseph

Joseph has an interest in Personal Training, with an emphasis nutrition, which is amazing to me, because when I was his age, all I wanted to do was paint hand prints on my jeans and drink coffee. This kid is going places for sure!

And okay, maybe I’m a little biased, but I am such a sucker for moms and sons, so I had to include these super sweet photos of Joseph and his mom! Hopefully Ben will let me get in a hug or two at that age also. ;)

Enjoy the photos, and good luck on your journey, Joseph!

—Sam

 
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