i have a sweet spot in my heart for couples that are willing to get married around the swing time between true winter and true spring… probably because i did the same thing myself. it takes some guts to choose this time since it can mean a major snowstorm or eighty degree weather. when i first spoke with keri and matt they were so chill, i knew they’d be able to handle whatever weather came their way on their early april wedding day. they’d been together a long time, originally meeting in high school, and i’m sure had weathered many storms together… see what i did there? it turned out that keri and matt’s wedding day was much like mine… a lot of clouds with the sun peeking out every once in awhile, a bit of wind and a temperature that seemed not so bad at first, but was quite cold after awhile. i don’t have a word for that kind of weather. i just call it ‘my wedding day weather’.

keri and matt had their ceremony an reception at the rock island lake club bridemaids rock island lake club

the wedding dress just chilling among the chaos of the bride’s arrival… wedding dress hanging in window

bride getting ready

a moment for the badgley mischkas… bride putting on shoes

love this shot… totally candid and slightly sexy… bride putting on shoes

i love the two expressions here, keri’s mom watching on as keri gets ready for some bridal portraits and keri’s maid-of-honor looking on at keri’s mom… mother of bride bride getting ready

although i love a beautiful shot of the back of the dress, i truly love the candid shots that happen before it… bride getting ready at rock island lake club bride

love, love, love this neckline… bridal portrait at rock island lake club

matt’s expression right before he saw keri for the first time on their wedding day was a mix of excitement and nerves… first look on dock at rock island lake club

the bridal party was all smiles! bridal party watching first look

love the laughter… bride and groom laughing

bride and groom at rock island lake club new jersey bride and groom on dock at rock island lake club

love the quiet moments… bride and groom veil bride and groom walking on dock at rock island lake club bride and groom walking keri and matt walking

it’s really great when the sun works with you on a wedding day. for what wasn’t even a whole minute, clouds parted a bit to reveal beautiful blue skies and sun peeked out to present this unreal light… bride and groom blue skies bride and groom blue skies at rock island lake club

family photo photobomb… family photo bomb

a bit too chilly for an outside ceremony, keri and matt had a heartfelt ceremony inside the rock island lake club… wedding ceremony bridesmaids watching ceremony

tie inspection… father of the groom and ring bearer looking at ties groom during ceremony guest crying at wedding

keri’s eyes welling up… bride tears wedding ceremony maid of honor watching ceremony rock island lake club reader during ceremony bride groom laughing during ceremony at rock island lake club mother of the bride watching ceremony

she laughed… she cried… bride laughing and crying during ceremony

uncle kurt kicked some serious ceremony butt… uncle kurt officiating matt and keri

love this moment. usually when the officiant doesn’t move out of the way for the kiss they end up as this creeper in the background peering between the two, but uncle kurt did not just stand there quietly, he put some oompf into the whole ‘kiss the bride’ moment… bride and groom kiss groom and bride first dance

lifelong friends… maid of honor speech

bride crying during maid of honor speech bride and groom laughing during best man toast

party time! i don’t think keri missed a song! rock island lake club reception rock island lake club dancing bride spinning on dance floor at rock island lake club rock island lake club reception dancing matt on the mic… rock island lake club groom has the microphone

little known secret: if the dj thinks your voice is good, he will actually turn the mic volume up so people can hear you. if not, no one will hear you, but you will look cool. in this case, the mic was on!

if this bridesmaid dress designer had some good marketing skills, they’d be selling this dress as a multipurpose bridesmaid dress/limbo stick… guest using bridesmaid dress for limbo at rock island lake club wedding last dance at rock island lake club

while i knew keri and matt had met in high school,  i really enjoyed uncle kurt’s more detailed story of how they came to be. it really set the tone for a great wedding. thanks to keri, matt and all of their friends and family so being so awesome to work with. thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me.

at first contact with shannon, i knew we were a good fit for one another for many reasons. one of them being that she is an absolute animal lover! when i had a chance to sit down and chat with her, i learned that her and her fiancé have quite a history in the sports industry. they both currently work in the golf industry, he was a minor league baseball player now turned pro golfer, she was an nfl cheerleader and dance teacher and both of their dads are golf pros. i figured they must have met at some golf tournament, but that’s not how it all went down. in fact, shannon’s family was saying there were enough golfers in their family… so a golfer is not what she was looking for, but she found one anyway! i guess some things are meant to be…

on our third attempt to schedule an engagement session, the weather finally held up!

shannon has a great smile!

brandon’s list of favorite things to do does not include being photographed. i fully understand and respect this, so i tried to make it as painless as possible for him. he was a really great sport about it all.

love this…

making use of the one blossom tree that wasn’t quite full yet…

don’t let brandon fool you with his dislike of being photographed… he has swag.

love!

i love all the laughter and big smiles, but i also enjoy the more quiet, intimate moments…

rescheduling their shoot a few times paid off… we had wind, we had sun, we had clouds, we had some blossoms to make for a great shoot. looking forward to shooting shannon and brandon’s ryland inn wedding in january of 2017!

for my fourth and final winter wedding, it was an amazingly beautiful and warm day at nanina’s in the park! with janice’s schedule being hectic due to her residency, much of the planning fell into edward’s hands. it’s much more common for the bride to handle most of the wedding details, but edward may just have a future in wedding planning. his efforts resulted in a beautifully put together day with lovely, yet not overwhelming details, a heartfelt ceremony and a great party at a great venue.

love this!

tiffany blue…

lots of babies on the way in janice’s bridal party…

beautiful valentino shoes….

getting edward’s hair just right… no pressure!

all set!

that first glimpse of the final look…

janice looked stunning in her nicole miller wedding gown… edward rocked a hugo boss tuxedo…

doesn’t look much like a late february day!

love the laughter…

ceremony time!

janice arrives at the altar…

i don’t usually take pictures during moments of prayer because i’m not a selfish photographer. sometimes the experience is more important than the image. i took this shot because i had an angle that i don’t normally have that allowed me to be discreet, but also because i know how important janice and eddie’s faith is to them. they even met at church. so this moment felt emotional and worthy of an image…

sometimes i’m so focused on the image, i don’t quite hear what is going on, but janice and edward’s pastor was such a dynamic speaker that i found myself listening to his message…

the parents watch on…

love this moment with janice’s mom as she watches her daughter and husband dance together…

love this moment of edward with his mom…

i love good parent speeches. it gives me hope when parents have so much great stuff to say about their children… a touching moment during janice’s dad’s speech…

adorable…

a toast!

a great party with dj simon taiga from the remixologists...

hah…

this guy. all night.

i like this photo because it makes danny look like a superhero….

this little guy took a break from rockin’ the dance floor with this brother…

love all the energy and genuine smiles of these ladies…

i’m pretty sure the little guy has a future as a party motivator…

all night, hah.

thanks to edward and janice for being such a pleasure to work with from start to finish and to their friends and family for being so great to work with. thanks to edward’s best men for recommending me and giving me the thumbs up! and thanks to my assistant brian leong for helping me out.

i have a lot of weddings this winter and so far i’m three for three on mild winter weddings with one more to go tomorrow and it’s looking like i’m going to be four for four. of course, the warm winter temperatures are concerning in terms of climate change, but i’m pretty stoked that my shoots keep missing the days with frigid temps! lindsay and larry were another couple that met me about a month before i had my daughter. i have to laugh when i think back on that time because i definitely had pregnancy brain, but i booked a lot of awesome couples during that time so maybe i was more with it than i thought. lindsay and larry were chill about their wedding and i really liked that.

lindsay and larry got married at the beautiful pleasantdale chateau in west orange, new jersey. even if we were stuck inside due to the cold, it’s such a beautiful place we would have plenty of options!  love this first shot… it looks like we are in some tropical garden paradise…

{insert inappropriate immature comment here}

lauren doing her thing…

and then, just like that, tim backhanded the bride…

when you do a make-up check, it’s important to make some faces and move your lips around to make sure it looks good any which way…

can you tell these guys are brothers?

when i met larry, my first thought was ‘superman’… he totally looked like superman to me and i’m pretty sure he could crush me. then i found out that lindsay and larry met at the gym!

it’s odd to keep seeing green grass in winter wedding photos, but it is kinda nice…

love this…

lindsay and larry wanted to try ‘serious face’….

…didn’t last long, hah!

love this moment and how striking lindsay looks…

hah.

cutie pie…

love all the laughter! selfie nation.

for a few seconds, it snowed inside!

i always love when ties become dance props…

the groove shop… such a pleasure working with lindsay, larry and their friends and family for another beautiful, fun and warm winter wedding! thanks to joe spada for assisting me.