They first met in high school; her a freshman, him a senior. “He was in the classroom that I always went into during my study hall to finish the newspaper for school. We both were dating other people, but I thought he was very cute. Three years later, we both became single and he wrote on my Facebook wall for my birthday. I said, ‘Oh, I remember him! He’s still so cute.’ And I started up a Facebook chat with him.”
Cody is admittedly shy, but where he was quiet, she says she made up for it on their first date. “He spoke in a soft tone the entire time. He took me to a comedy movie and I talked his ear off and he smiled at me and whispered answers to my questions.” This was right around the time that Danielle was first going off to college. “He was always there for me when times were stressful and rough,” she says. “I knew within the first year [that he was the one for me]. I didn’t have a car [for school] so he would pick me up and then wake up at 5:30 AM to drive me back to Iowa and then drive all the way back to work by 8:30 AM. He genuinely wanted to spend time with me and we always have fun together. He can make me laugh so easily. He would sit there and spend time helping me study and run through flash cards or take me to a cultural event for a class. He has always been there for me.”
So when it came to the proposal, it was just as unique and delightful as they are. I absolutely adore this story. “Cody is not a traditional guy. He told me he was going to propose to me in his own way. When we were on our second vacation to Las Vegas, we had gone shopping at one of the biggest malls there. As we were walking around, we saw a Kay Jewelers. I was the one who had been telling him I wanted to get engaged for a long time and when we walked past I said, ‘Oops, I guess we’re going in!’ and walked in.
“We looked around and I saw a Vera Wang engagement ring that I had seen on Pinterest two weeks before. I told him I had to try it on because it was there. I fell in love with it and said to him, ‘Whenever you are ready, this is the ring I want. It’s perfect.’
“Now, Cody is a huge joker and knows how to push my buttons. He kept saying, ‘Oh, if it’s that perfect I guess we have to go back and get it.’ I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t think he was ready. A couple days later, we were on the bus headed down the strip and the stop for the mall came up and he said, ‘This is our stop.’ I looked at him confused and told him that wasn’t right. He said, ‘It is because we are going to get your ring. You love it and I love you and want to marry you so we are going to go and get it.’ I was so surprised and I started crying happy tears. We got off the bus and went into Kays and got my dream ring. It was something that was so him and that made it so perfect.”
Danielle & Cody are getting married next year and I’m so excited to spend their wedding day with them. We met at Wilson’s Orchard for their engagement session and sheltered under some trees since it was raining when we started. It stopped for a while so we strolled the grounds before finishing up with some of their famous apple turnovers.
They had wanted a few photos outside of Kinnick Stadium so we left Wilson’s and headed into Iowa City. On our way there, the skies opened up with torrential rains that had the streets covered in a matter of minutes. We got to the stadium and couldn’t even get out of our cars so I called them in the next car over and said I’d drive around and see if there were any overhangs that we could make use of.
I found one nearby so using the bus station as my shelter, I had them run out into the rain. Thankfully, just as that happened, the rain slowed down and actually stopped for a couple of minutes. We were able to grab some quick photos before the rain started again! It was an adventure, to say the least.
Auto maintenance class isn’t where you’d expect to meet your future spouse, but that’s just where Rachel & Max first spotted each other. It was near the end of senior year. Just a short time later, on Memorial Day weekend, they had their first date. She says they kept it low-key, off-roading and shooting at the range then back to her family’s house to watch movies. “I think he was cute and charming,” she says. “He was very different from other guys I dated both before and after him until we reconnected in 2013.”
“We actually weren’t dating at the time [when I knew he was ‘the one’], but while I was in undergrad out in Virginia, Max came all the way from Iowa to be at my graduation. Everybody that saw us together thought we had been dating for a long time. This was reinforced when Max visited me several other times while I was in med school in Ohio.”
They got engaged at the beginning of this year while on vacation. “Max planned a surprise to Cancun. When we go to this beautiful resort, he planned a romantic dinner on the beach, but it got rained out. This happened 2 other nights as well. Finally, on the last night, the weather was perfect and the dinner went as planned. After we finished dessert and our after-dinner drinks, he asked the waiter if he could take a picture of us. He had me stand up to pose for a photo, then took my hand and dropped to a knee and proposed. The picture shows my genuine surprise. He told me had had had to wait 3 nights to do it and have been so nervous, which is cute because Max isn’t really the type to ever get nervous.”
I’m so excited to celebrate their marriage with them next year! We will hopefully be able to take this same picture again under the Englert marquee as this is where their ceremony will be!
Kimberly & Scott first met at work. He was her trainer (and boss) when she started and though they both say there were sparks, nothing progressed due to their work status and being in different places in their personal lives. It wasn’t until she left the job that they were able to start talking more and that’s when their relationship really started.
“Our first date was a whole day experience,” she says. “It started off being planned as just dinner and that turned into wanting to go frisbee golfing beforehand and [eating] dinner afterwards. We had an amazing day throwing frisbees around and I ended up dancing to Lime & the Coconut on a picnic table. When he helped me down from the table, we had our first kiss. We went back to his place where he cooked an amazing steak dinner with beer pairings. I felt swept off my feet. I knew immediately there was something different about him.”
It doesn’t often happen this way, but both of them say they knew the other was “the one” from that very first date. “We had such chemistry,” he says. “I think it was our first date. Everything went so well and by our second date I was 100% sure that she was the one and I just wanted to make sure she felt the same way about me. But I was pretty sure she already did.”
“There was something different about us as a couple and it was obvious to our friends that we were getting serious right away,” she agrees. “I think I really knew I’d be with Scott forever when I found out I didn’t get into the University of Iowa for graduate school and that meant the possibility of having to move to Arizona. He was so strong and supportive. He sent me off to the interview weekend in Arizona feeling so confident. When we decided that no matter what, we’d be moving together (even if that meant Scott–the born and raised Iowan–would have to move to Arizona), I knew that I had found the one.”
One of the very obvious characteristics of Scott & Kim’s relationship is how much fun they like to have together. They love to laugh together and it was such a joy to photograph them! We started their session at Kent Park and then went into downtown Iowa City, where they both went to college, to finish it up.
When it came to popping the question, Scott tricked Kim so she wouldn’t know when it was coming. “I had a feeling that he would be proposing soon and he knew it so he tricked me. He told me he couldn’t get ahold of my dad and therefore could not propose until he had. So when he asked if I wanted to go up the mountain to Windy Point I didn’t think anything of it, we even took our dog with us. We walked out on to the very spot we visited when we first came to Tucson and started remembering how much had changed and how much we’d been through since then. We’d moved across the country, changed jobs, started school…but did all of it together and it just made us stronger. Scott gave me a hug and then said, ‘I actually did talk to your dad’ and got down on one knee. It took a moment for everything to register, he even opened the ring box upside down. But it was perfect, he looked at me and told me forever would never be long enough but he wanted to start, and I said yes! We kissed and I had to sit down because I was so overwhelmed with happiness; I would be spending the rest of my life with him and it really, really started that day.”
“From my point of view,” Scott says, “The proposal was intimidating, but also exhilarating. I knew that I wanted to do it on the top of Mount Lemmon. That was the first place that we went the first night that we explored Tucson together. I knew that that was a special place for us so I planned it all out and we went up there. Eventually I got down on one knee and just asked the question. She said yes and the rest is history.”
Kim & Scott are avid rock climbers and outdoorsmen. It seemed perfectly fitting to photograph them in such beautiful, wide open spaces!
I’m so excited to be part of their wedding next fall and cannot wait to catch all the laughter, love, and happiness these two will undoubtedly share on their big day!
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Makeup: 100% Pure Pro
Hair: Eden Salon
I have long awaited this wedding, knowing it would be a gorgeous event, but mostly because from the moment I first met Melanie & Dan, I loved them. Dan’s best man described it best in his toast later that evening when he said that the first time he met Melanie, he instantly felt like he had always known her because she is just that kind of person; the one who makes you laugh, makes you feel at ease, and makes you want to hang out all the time with her. Seeing her and Dan together is like seeing a perfect pairing because they both exude that ease, friendship, and happiness that is a magnetic force. I am so honored to have been part of their wedding day and am equally happy to call them friends.
Melanie & Dan had a fusion wedding, celebrating with a Hindu ceremony as well as a traditional American ceremony, blending two into one. They got ready at the Marriott, where I met up with them, before we traveled out to The Celebration Farm for the rest of their wedding day.
This is Mira, one of Melanie’s bridesmaids and also the one who designed all of the outfits worn throughout the day. The process of getting wrapped into a sari is not for the faint of heart and Mira was absolutely brilliant at getting every fold and tuck done to perfection.
The guys had a little easier road getting ready, as proven by the fact that they were dressed and practicing their dance moves.
After arriving at the farm, Melanie & Dan shared a first look and we were able to get lots of photos done beforehand, but even better, we were able to get lots of photos of both of their outfits for the day. This is their ceremony outfit and then later in the evening, we took more photos in their reception outfits. I’m so grateful for clients who trust me with time so that we can accomplish so much!
I’ve never seen the amphitheater done up to such flawlessness. The floral swag on the arches, the draping, and the crème de la crème: the elephant topiaries! All of it came together in the most perfect version of the ideas Melanie had in her head.
They’re married and look how absolutely joyful they are!!
While guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the patio, the candles were lit and the reception was prepped down to the very final detail. Here’s where I must give a huge thank you to Adam and Kirsty for their hard work at pulling this whole event together so cohesively. It could not have been more perfect.
After their grand entrance, we snuck back outside for 10 minutes to grab some more shots of them, this time in their reception clothes. I can tell you from lifting it earlier that day, Melanie’s skirt weighed an easy 15-20 pounds and she wore it like a champ.
She asked, “Is it possible to get a picture by the elephants?” I started laughing and said, “Of course! As it happens, I have a camera right here in my hand!”
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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Wedding Coordinator: LOLA Event Productions
Videography: Nepo Productions
Florals: Adam Covington Signature Studio
Cake Artist: Deluxe Cakes & Pastries
Catering: A Touch of Class & Shree Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
DJ: Creative Sounds
Makeup: Susie Morales
Hair: Eden Salon
Paper Suite: Parekh Cards
All Clothing: Custom from Chrysalis Fashions
Venue: The Celebration Farm
When my husband got me an Apple Watch for a gift, I started to protest and roll my eyes. I didn’t need a fancy watch. I didn’t want a fancy watch. And mostly, I didn’t like how it looked. I like gold linked watches with clean faces and pave diamonds around the outside. The Apple Watch was unnecessary.
But…I started using it and I loved tracking my workouts with it. I loved being able to put my phone away and still get text messages on it. I loved being able to see my calendar and that led me to, finally, falling it love with it on wedding days.
There are a few ways you can use your Apple Watch on wedding days, but I’m going to simply show you how I use mine, specifically in regards to the photography timeline.
While I typically have the “color” watch face on regular days, on wedding days, I change the face to “modular”. This is very strategic for my wedding timeline. The modular face is laid out like this:
- Current event or upcoming event
- Time of sunset
You can customize all of those, with exception to the time display. Again, this is the layout works for me.
The week of the wedding, I have several tasks for myself, including cleaning my gear, charging my batteries, reformatting all of my memory cards, and making sure everything is in my bag and ready to go. This is when I prep my timeline in my Mac Calendar. (I wait until this close to the wedding day in case there are any last minute changes to the timeline.)
On a computer, I open up my Calendar app and go to “day” view and enter in all of the events of the wedding, including when we need to leave. Each timeline item is a separate “event” and I can customize it to alert me as well. I don’t always use this feature, but it’s particularly nice when I’m photographing the bridal party, for example, to have the alert on my watch that I have 10 minutes to finish up bridal party before moving on to family photos.
The time of sunset that shows on my watch face is particularly helpful for those sunset photos in the evening. I list sunset photos in the timeline (ideally 30 minutes prior to sunset), but know that I have very little control over the actual flow of the reception so knowing the exact time of sunset helps me make a quick decision if I see some downtime 45 minutes before sunset, let’s say, and know that I won’t get that downtime again for another 30 minutes. I can make the call to go out a little early rather than miss it completely.
Hope that helps! If you’re on the fence about an Apple Watch, I cannot recommend it enough for wedding days. It has many obvious bonuses the rest of the week, but it really does much more than a traditional watch when it comes to keeping me on time while photographing a long wedding day.
For those wondering, I use this band from Amazon in gold 38mm.
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