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Lana + Dan

From the moment I met Lana and Dan, I knew they were something special.  Take, for instance, Lana’s insistence that the flower and dress colors be as simple as possible so that Dan’s military dress uniform would stand out from everything else.

I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up from off the floor.  🙂

As if we hadn’t totally fallen in love with Lana and Dan during our Consultations and their Engagement Session (and all the little points in-between), all wedding day long we were learning more and more about how much every single person in their lives adores these two. Big time.

The groomsmen entertained Bill with their teasing Dan over his abundance of medals and awards. There’s barely room on his uniform for anything else. But Dan’s all kinds of humble (and apparently is an awfully good sport, too 🙂 ).  Lana’s bridesmaids spent the better part of their morning encouraging her, praying with her, and helping to boost her confidence about the song she was planning to sing during the ceremony. (She pulled it off brilliantly–to the point that she didn’t miss a beat when her microphone cut out and she had to change mics mid-verse!)

The reception was interrupted by a fire alarm, but they didn’t let that phase them a single bit.  We just took some pictures with the emergency vehicles and laughed until we could go back inside. It was a day filled with some of the sweetest special dances we’ve seen (moms and dads dancing together with their families watching teary-eyed from the sidelines), a gaggle of nieces who practically swooned every time Dan said something sweet about Lana, and a sparkler send-off that really did light up a perfect night.

And, at the end of such a sweet day, on our way home, I received this text message: “Marnie, you guys did the best today. Thanks for making our wedding day amazing!!!!  Everyone loved you.”

Yeah, that was Lana, from her limo, as she and Dan headed off to their honeymoon.

Congratulations, Lana and Dan!  We love you both and are so happy that God brought the two of you together.  Thank you so much for letting us be a part of such a beauty-filled day!

In honor of Lana and Dan’s wedding, we donated $240 to Operation Smile.  That donation will cover the cost of one life-changing surgery for a child in need.  To learn more about Operation Smile, please visit them at www.operationsmile.org.

Aaron – 2016 Senior Model

I probably haven’t mentioned lately how very much I adore our new Model Experience program. One of the biggest reasons is because of Seniors like Aaron.

Aaron has just started his Senior year at Elizabethtown High School. And, like a lot of our guys, he agreed to Senior pictures to make his mom happy. (You gotta love when the boys will go outside their comfort zone a bit to give their moms a little extra joy in their lives!)

In spite of his hesitation at being a model for us, though, he came into it with all kinds of enthusiasm because he knew he’d have opportunities this year to volunteer and help others through our program. You see, Aaron is all about helping others. He volunteers at his church with the kids at WinShape Camp and Vacation Bible School, he volunteers through Beta Club and the Chrysalis community, he volunteers for the Red Cross…the list goes on from there.

I love kids like Aaron. He’s on the Football team and the Academic Team, but he’s also all about helping his friends with their schoolwork or offering them rides to work.  He hasn’t let his accomplishments inflate his ego.

During his model session, Aaron told me that his mom was going to be thrilled because I managed to get him to smile for me. So we made sure to get a bunch of those smiles mixed in with the fun, tough-guy football player images during his Senior Session. I know which one is my favorite–and which one his mom loved to pieces!

In his own words:

My dream job: Pediatrician

Person I most want to meet: Julius Caesar

I can’t live without: my cell phone

My secret talent: Fencing

One thing that is important for you to know about me: I am a Christian and I enjoy helping others.

Melissa + Brad

There’s something about getting a second chance at love that makes me feel all hopeful and happy about life in general.  Brad and Melissa got their second chance.  They dated in high school, drifted apart in college and then, after moving back to Elizabethtown a few years ago, found each other again.

Kind of sounds like a romance novel, doesn’t it?

They chose the Belle of Louisville as their wedding venue and it couldn’t have been more perfect for them.  They gathered family and friends for a sweet ceremony on the deck overlooking the boat’s iconic paddle wheel. The Belle’s calliope player played through the wedding march repeatedly until we finally had to beg her to stop (so we could start the ceremony before they began boarding other passengers onto the ship)–needless to say, the ceremony was filled with lots of laughter and many happy tears.

The recessional music was accompanied by a loud cheer from the crowd that had gathered by the Belle–those same folks yelled out their congratulations the entire time we were taking photos on the dock.  What followed was a cruise down the Ohio River, cake and champagne in the Captain’s Quarters, and dancing down below deck.

Brad and Melissa were one more couple that managed to overcome a rainy forecast this year.  All week the forecast said we were facing full-on rain all day long, but Saturday morning we woke up to sunny skies.  Their carriage made it to their hotel just as the rain began!

*fun fact:  Brad and I went to the same high school.  I was at the same Senior Prom that he and Melissa went to together all those years ago!  I didn’t end up marrying my date, though.  😉

Emmett – 8 months

You know, a baby in a tie is one thing, but you put a cute little (gray!) hat on him, and you know I’m gonna be all kinds of squishy over him.  Add a killer dimple to his cheek and I’m completely and totally gone.  Gone, I tell ya.

Emmett adds a sunny personality on to his snappy wardrobe and precious dimple.  He’s pretty much irresistible!

I love that his mom has made capturing his first year a priority, even while she’s busy keeping up with his five older brothers and sisters.  She makes it all seem effortless somehow.  My guess is that having this little cutie around to snuggle with has to ease the craziness of keeping up with six kids!

In honor of Emmett’s Portrait Session, we are donating $50 to Feeding America.  That donation will provide 350 meals to a family in need.  To learn more about Feeding America, please visit them at www.feedingamericaky.org.

Susan + Brian

It’s said that rain on your wedding day is good luck.  Well, we’ve had tiny amounts of rain for most of our weddings this year, but no one received quite so much good luck as Susan and Brian!  They had opted for a small, intimate gathering at Brian’s parents’ farm.  They would be married under their pretty gazebo and we would wander the farm for portraits.

And then the rain came.  And wouldn’t go away.

So, the quick-thinking crew moved into action.  The chairs and flowers were moved to the basement (which, fortunately, had just enough open space to accommodate their friends and family).  The maid of honor ran to the hardware store and purchased white paint drops to create a more suitable backdrop, and the groom and brother of the bride spent some bonding time together hanging up drops and creating about the prettiest basement wedding that any of us could have imagined.

We had a lovely (dry) porch for portraits, beautiful flowers, one of the sweetest First Looks we’ve ever witnessed, the perfect musicians and a surprise for Brian (a Coca-Cola memorabilia collector): the entire family’s names personalized on Coca-Cola bottles.

It wasn’t exactly what Susan and Brian had planned, but it was perfect, just the same.

*fun fact:  Susan and Brian had the Highland Chamber Players to provide the music for their wedding day–almost 19 years ago to the date, they played at our own wedding, but we never got to hear them play (that’s a story for another time).  We were so excited to finally hear them in action–they were brilliant and we loved how their little area of the basement reminded us of a movie set!

In honor of Susan and Brian’s wedding, we donated $240 to Operation Smile.  That donation will cover the cost of one life-changing surgery for a child in need.  To learn more about Operation Smile, please visit them at www.operationsmile.org.