i met up with andrea and ken a few weeks before their winter wedding for their engagement session… and the weather never changed. another warm winter wedding! when andrea and ken reached out to me, they told me their wedding would be at landmark venues‘ beautiful ryland inn and that it would be rustic with a hint of christmas. i liked that. when i met andrea and ken, i liked them.  so here we are…

and here they are… looking elegant…

love how the veil was just hanging in the middle of the room…

red shoe time!

love this…

for ken’s groom prep, i am only posting bow tie adjusting pics…because this is my place on the internet and i do what i want here…

hah! father and sons bow tie adjusting…

even andrea gets in on it…

looks more like a late fall day than a winter day…

things that make you go hmmm…

bow tie adjustment with bridal party…

i love how andrea’s dad gave a wave as they headed into the church…

andrea and ken were both in band and andrea majored in music. their pianist was a guest of theirs so i liked this shot incorporating the two of them, the music and their friend….

i like how it looks like i said, ‘now lovingly look at one another…’ but i didn’t…

hint of christmas…

this guy!

this guy, again!

ken’s parents share a kiss on the dance floor, meanwhile, the new bride and groom are doing the same. how sweet.

cutie pie…

it was a nice night to get a little fresh air…

or to sit by the fire with your date. hopefully, they are each other’s dates, otherwise i just got two people in big trouble…

they say it’s your birthday…

i’m so happy to have connected with andrea and ken and thankful for them putting up with my very pregnant self when we first met and forgiving all of my blanking on words and seeing past whatever other weird pregnant lady things i was doing to trust me with capturing their day! it was my pleasure to work with them from start to finish. thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me.

melissa and scott met the good old-fashioned way… in a bar. and melissa and scott found me what will eventually be the old-fashioned way… google.  after over a decade of shooting weddings, i’m pretty good at identifying my people and it wasn’t long into our meeting that i knew they were my people. at the end of our meeting, they asked how long they would have to make a decision and since i’m never one to pressure anyone, i assured them that since they were a december wedding, i likely wouldn’t be flooded with a lot of inquiries for their date. of course, the next day, i got a call for a serious inquiry for their date! with such a great chemistry, i took the risk and told the other couple that i think i’d met ‘the one’, hah!

i love a wedding day filled with laughter…

despite a rather ‘ballsy’ comment by one of scott’s groomsmen which made scott break out in laughter, he eyes were welled up with tears by the end of the letter.  how sweet…

first look…

adorbs…

hahah…

you wouldn’t think this was a winter wedding in new jersey!

love this…

scott watches his bride walk down the aisle…

a very long and sweet embrace at the end of the aisle. melissa’s dad didn’t want to let her go…

keep your eye on the prize!

a different take on the first dance…

this crowd was ready to party!

no one can change your life except for you. don’t ever let anyone step all over you.  just open your heart and your mind.

i love pictures of pure joy…

<3 this guy!

my job is to tell the story of the day. sometimes that story includes the moment you didn’t know someone was going to lick your head…

such a pleasure working with melissa and scott for the last year. a beautiful and warm december wedding at the barn at perona farms with lots of laughter and friendly faces… like i always say, i’m a lucky girl to work with such fantastic couples. thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me.

when rosemary first reached out to me and mentioned that her friends think she is crazy for planning her crystal springs resort wedding in 7 months, i knew she was my kinda bride. while i have plenty of brides that plan for over a year and i admire their ability to do this, i can certainly appreciate a couple willing to debunk the wedding industry’s ideas that wedding planning needs to take a long time. plus, i planned my wedding with only 6 months of time as well and used the same group of resorts, they thought my baby was cute and rosemary and i both have ipads that are acting up, clearly, we are meant to be, hah.

rosemary and ed decided to head out to my ‘hood to do their engagement session. we spent some of the last hours of 2015 enjoying the beautiful nature of my area….

the sun peeked out for just a few minutes….

most people choose not to shoot in the winter, but the winter landscape can make for a really pretty backdrop….

i don’t claim to know anything about plants. despite a slightly freakish photographic memory, my brain just doesn’t have a memory for the names of plants. i call everything in the winter that is this color ‘winter wheat’ which is completely wrong, but i love me some winter wheat….

love this…

while nice for shooting, it is slightly freaky that on new year’s eve the grass was still green and later that evening i found a tick on me! 

i appreciated all the hiking around rosemary was willing to do in heels…

a little moodiness for the final hours of 2015…

while in my days of yore, i would have been on my way to a crowded bar or partying with a bunch of entirely too intoxicated australians in sydney harbor, i welcomed some fresh air and conversation with rosemary and ed followed by a quiet evening with my family, including a baby that stayed up until the new year (future party animal). times have changed, but life is sweet.

i shot monica and jon’s wedding over 6 years ago and have had the honor of seeing them again at two other weddings. it is always a pleasure seeing these two and working with their friends and family, so when they started reproducing i thought, ‘awesome!’

i got to meet their oldest daughter, alison, at monica’s sister’s wedding and was not surprised to see such an adorable little girl. a few months later, i saw monica and jon again at her friend’s wedding where monica was very pregnant with her second child. just a week later, she had madelyn. as a gift for being her maid of honor, monica’s friend got her a family session with me. when monica contacted me about doing the shoot around madelyn’s first birthday, i was super pregnant, hah… so we held off until the late fall when i’d be able to keep up with these little cutie pies. they came out to my ‘hood on a beautiful afternoon. when i got to meet madelyn, i was not surprised to see another adorable little girl.

these girls are as sweet as they are adorable…

sisterly love…

so freakin’ precious…

i love this little moment when alison stops to clean off some leaves from madelyn’s sweater…

i love all the happy!

photographing kids is a much different challenge than shooting weddings, but capturing the moments of simple pleasures and joy makes it all worth it…

having worked with me many times, monica and jon knew to just trust me and let it flow. these are my favorite kinds of family photos. these are the kinds of shots that really tell the story of a family…

my secret little hideaway spot…

i almost can’t handle all of the cuteness!

the old buttercup test…

love that happy!

so much love in this family…

ok, yeah… this is a bit over-the-top with the cuteness…

i love how madelyn is hiding in plain sight. so sweet.

such an honor to capture monica, jon, alison and madelyn. it’s so much fun to see my couples again and meet their children. in this crazy world, it brings me so much joy to know there are such happy families out there.

  • January 6, 2016 - 9:55 pm

    Monica Hart - Michelle,
    Once again, you have us utterly speachless with your ability to capture such emotion and beauty in your photographs. Your talent is unparalleled. We were so lucky to have found such an amazing photographer and person 6 years ago! We always enjoy our time with you and were so happy to meet your own little beauty, Arlo. I can’t tell you how many people have contacted me or asked me about the pictures since posting. You are pretty famous in my school. :) thank you for being so awesome!ReplyCancel

mary ann and benson pulled off a tough feat…. a wedding at the fabulous rock island lake club with a little over 3 months to plan. they originally met while working on a cruise ship, how fun is that? i had a great time chatting with benson about his native india’s wedding customs and it was great to see his mom was able to make the trip from india and his sister from australia!

when i took this picture it just looked different to me in my mind.  i have no idea why i saw it this way, but i knew i had to process it just a bit differently to reflect what i saw.

wedding days are one of the days of your adult life that you may need some help getting dressed…

and you may tie and re-tie your tie several times…

boat joy-riding…

looking dapper…

gorgeous…

heading down to see benson for the first look..

love this moment from mary ann and benson’s first look…

love the smiles…

love this window in the church…

benson’s sister traveled a long way to do this reading…

hands up!

hands up!

mary ann and her brother…

this guy… all. night. long.

mother daughter moment…

it’s important to be able to have fun with your mother-in-law…

and to be able to have fun by yourself…

cutie pie!

hah! benson showed up in the corner of my frame. his face, combined with the distortion from the lens cracks me up…

a great day with mary ann, benson and their friends and family. for those of you who you think you need more than a year to plan a wedding, this blog has just proved you don’t! thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me.