Although I have been documenting my pregnancy quite extensively in private, I have refrained up to this point from posting too much online about my maternity experience. In part because it’s hard to balance a wedding photography blog with pregnancy stories and also because, to be frank, my pregnancy experience hasn’t been sweet-smelling roses. Pregnancy is hard. Your body is growing and incubating a human. Of course it’s hard.

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Last month, when the foliage was still summery green and the sun was hot, Paige & Christopher renewed their wedding vows in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. They recently finalized their wedding album design so I thought I’d share since I believe that the album, more than any other product I offer, tells the best story of the day. Here are a few of my favorites spreads and you can view their entire album design here.

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Back when I first met with them, I asked them both what they were most looking forward to on their wedding day. He responded that he couldn’t wait to see her in her dress for the first time. She said she was most looking forward to marrying him and, after that, spending the day prepping for an afternoon and evening filled with the ones they love the most.

Aubrey & Garrett had their wedding ceremony at the Timber Dome Lodge in Solon, but prior to that, they started getting ready nearby at a church. It’s always challenging to do prep photos in a church because most churches don’t have a bridal suite with beautiful natural light for photos. We improvised in this case and were able to use the sanctuary to get ready.

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I absolutely love the basket-weave design of Aubrey’s gown! I had never seen a gown like it before. And that sash? Delicious.

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Aubrey & Garrett opted for a First Look so we were able to spend lots of time doing their photos as well as bridal party & family photos prior to the ceremony. I absolutely loved their reactions to seeing each other for the first time!

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One of my new favorite photos. Their laughs are absolutely infectious and I couldn’t get enough!

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It was right about this time that a tree randomly fell over and scared us all half to death.

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During their ceremony, Aubrey & Garrett sealed a box with a bottle of wine (signed by their family & friends) with letters to each other to open up on their first anniversary.

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While the guests were finishing dinner, we snuck outside for some extra photos. We were only out maybe 5 minutes, but I love these additional shots we got.

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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Makeup: Kate of Exo Salon & Spa
Hair: Kristi of Trends & Traditions and Michelle of Total Look
Bridal & Maids’ Gowns: David’s Bridal
Suits: Holley’s Shop for Men
Florals: Jan’s Flower Yard
Cake & Cupcake Artist: Greg Ballenger
Catering: Kalona Kountry Katering
DJ: Lighthouse Entertainment
Paper Suite: Destiny Borland-Moon
Ceremony Venue: Timber Dome Lodge
Reception Venue: West Liberty Community Center
  

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Despite the sudden drop in temperatures coupled with a strong, cold wind, they smiled and laughed and declared the day was perfect. And it was. Couples like Emily & Shamus are a dream because they don’t let the unchangeables (like weather) ruin a moment. They embrace each other and collect the memories of the day, it’s perfection recalled because it was their day.

Their wedding was held at the Park Lodge at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, but before we went there, we started in the ladies’ hotel room with the preparations.

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Once we made it out to the ceremony site, we pulled some extra coats from our car (to warm them up in between shots) and strategically scouted for some locations for photos where we’d get the most wind block.

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Emily & Shamus opted for a First Look so there was plenty of time for photos of them as well as the bridal party & family before the ceremony.

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I loved the wind that snuck in perfectly for this shot. One of my favorites.

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They’re married!!

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The evening carried on with lots of food, cake, well-wishes, and dancing. It was a beautiful start to the rest of their lives.

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Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Makeup & Hair: Skin Deep Salon & Spa
Bridal & Maids’ Gowns: David’s Bridal
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Florals: Sarah Neary
Cake Artist: Deluxe Cakes & Pastries
Catering: The Avacentre
DJ: Gary Wolter
Photo Booth: Corridor Photo Booths
Paper Suite: Zephyr Weddings
Rentals: Spielmans
Ceremony Venue: The Park Lodge at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area
Reception Venue: The Avacentre
  

Wilson

Some would say they met by chance. It was in February 2012. They were both in graduate school at the University of Iowa. His brother and a friend had come to visit him that weekend and they headed downtown to Bo-James. She was sitting inside with a friend. They began talking and, he says, “we’ve been together ever since.”

Kristen & Tim both knew from the beginning that theirs would be a lasting relationship. He proposed last December and they are planning a beautiful late spring wedding this next year. I loved every bit of their engagement session earlier this week at Wilson’s Orchard. They are kind & sweet people…and really cute together as well!

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Kristen tells more about the proposal: “We had recently adopted our cat, Baby, and I was admittedly a little obsessed with her well-being and needed to check on her right away when [we got home from eating out with some friends]. She was in the bedroom and Tim told me to go see how she was doing. I went in and petted her for a few minutes and put on my pajamas and walked back out to the living room. Tim turned on my favorite song (“King and Lionheart” by Of Monsters and Men) and got down on one knee. I was very emotional and honestly surprised at how emotional I was while he asked me to marry him. I said yes.” Tim adds that they were so excited and happy, they immediately called all of their family and friends.
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They met at a high school basketball game when their two schools were playing each other. He was two grades ahead of her–a junior to her freshman–but knew mutual friends as well as her older brother. They both recall noticing the other for both looks and humor (“I remember saying to my [now best man] that I thought she was really pretty.”), but they didn’t see each other again until the following summer when their church youth groups went on a mission trip together.

Because of their young ages at the time, they didn’t go on many dates, but did spend a lot of time with their friends and talking on the phone. She says, “I don’t think there was a specific moment when I just ‘knew’ [he was the one]. I think it was a lot of little things. I started to realize that I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else and every time we were together it was so hard to say goodbye. When good things happened to me, I immediately couldn’t wait to share it with him and when bad things happened, I immediately wanted to seek comfort with him.”

We met up this past week at Palisades Kepler State Park for a beautiful fall engagement session. I had met Emily previously, but it was my first time meeting Trevor. He was a shoe-in though since I knew he is also a Buckeye fan. O-H-I-O.

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Trevor filled me in on how he proposed. “I was not so much nervous, but more stressed because I wanted to propose before Thanksgiving break and there was only one night that worked for everyone involved. Then the guy in charge of letting me into the UNI clock tower (where Emily attends college) wasn’t getting back to me and there was just a bunch of things that weren’t going the way I wanted. But my friends calmed me down and I went to lunch with her parents and asked their permission (they said yes). Meanwhile, I wasn’t sleeping much at night just trying to get things ready. The day finally came and I had all of our friends meet at the top of the clock tower. When she came up the stairs [with one of her friends who was in on it], I felt like it would all be okay. I got down on one knee and tried to remember my little speech I had been going over, but I couldn’t and I just asked her. She was so speechless, she just nodded her head yes. It was wonderful!”
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