One of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer is working with families more than once. Last summer, I photographed James & Skylar’s wedding and this year, I was honored to be asked to shoot James’ sister Kelly’s wedding. I had met Kelly & Walt last year, of course, and then again earlier this year for their engagement session in Iowa City. One of the things I love most about them is their genuine hearts. They are kind people and I think their friends would agree they’d do anything for them, including but not limited to giving the shirts off their backs.

Their ceremony was held in Kelly’s parents’ backyard (on a perfect, no-rain day!) and their Celebration Farm wedding reception was absolutely stunning! Go ahead and scroll on down…you don’t want to miss this!

CelebrationFarmSummerWedding_EmilyCrall_0124.jpgKelly got ready at the house and her gown was absolutely perfect. I hear it took some magic customization from Dornick and it was stunning. The bouquet? Definitely one of my all-time favorites!


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Here’s one of the many things I love about Corrie: she cheerfully declared that a little rain wasn’t going to ruin her day. And you know the cool thing about her declaration? Shortly after stating that, the rain that was scheduled to pour all day long dissipated and didn’t make an appearance again. It was humid, for sure, but it didn’t rain and we were able to be outside for all of their photos!

Corrie & Jared are such a fun-loving couple. I adored them from the moment I met them (and they gave me cheese-curds at their engagement session; a sure-fire way to my heart is with cheese!) and they have made me laugh from the beginning. They are two very thoughtful and kind people who I’m so happy to call friends now.

They’ve known each other since high school, where she thought he was a jerk and he took that as a challenge to win her heart. Years later, they pledged their love and faithfulness to each other and I couldn’t have been happier to be part of their beautiful day.

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Oh my sweet boy,

How many times this past month have I hugged you tight and memorized your wild giggles and squishy cheeks? So many. So many times.

I feel like each month we settle into our new normal more than the month before and I just can’t get enough of you. The other day I was snuggling with you, singing our favorite song “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, and actually teared up thinking that someday you’re going to go to school, then college, get married, have children of your own. The reality that you’re not always going to be my little baby is so harsh and I’m absolutely treasuring these days with you right now, my little one.



You’re growing right along at your own pace. You move to the beat of your own drum and we love that. You are sitting on your own quite solidly and your grandma says you are like your great grandma “Candy Grandma”, who always sat with a straight spine even when she was 98 years old. You’re not making any moves to crawl or stand up, but I know you’ll do that on your own time as well.

You recently started kissing. And by “kissing”, I mean a very sloppy, open-mouthed mess. Of course, I’m your mama so I have to say that it’s wonderful, but if I’m real, the wetness kind of grosses me out. (Three things I’ll never get used to: snot, poop, and slobber. Bodily fluids aren’t my strong point.) But the part that I love is that you take my face between your little hands. It’s so sweet, those chubby little fingers on my cheeks.

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Mompreneurship, part 3: Email Folder Organization (or: Keeping your communication sane.)

Previously on mompreneurship:

As a small business owner with nearly all of my client communication happening via email, all the way from the first inquiry to the final instructions on how to finalize and approve the wedding album, it’s vital to my business and also my sanity to keep a hyper-organized email inbox.

Lucky for me, I love to organize. Give me a pantry with cans of food. Give me a dresser drawer with socks and underwear. Give me an inbox with a lot of correspondence. This is my happy place. Sometimes I like to disorganize things just so that I can reorganize them. That’s my level of organizational insanity.

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I love-love-love Bethany & Zach’s final wedding album! The colors are so vibrant and the photos are so happy! You can see more of their wedding here, but since they just finalized their wedding album design, I thought I’d share. I believe that the album, more than any other product I offer, tells the best story of the day. Here are a few of the spreads and you can view the entire album here.


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As an Buckeye-loving Iowan, it’s rare to come across many others who can sing Carmen Ohio while simultaneously living in Hawkeye country. So you can imagine my delight when I first met Trevor & Emily and found out that Trevor (and his family) are avid Buckeye fans! Cue the start of my adoration for this beautiful couple. (Emily isn’t a Buckeye fan yet, but Trevor is working on it…)

Trevor & Emily were married at The Celebration Farm, a place I shoot at often and the people there I adore (hi Katie & Liz!). For the end of June, the weather was surprisingly cool. I mean, let’s not get crazy. It was still June in Iowa, but the breeze was delicious and the shade was perfectly comfortable. The ladies were getting ready in the Double Round barn while the guys hung out in the Timber Frame barn. I loved how Emily incorporated different shades of purples into the bridal party and the touch of orange was just enough to make everything pop and yet come together at the same time. It was a fun, fun day!

Emily wore her grandmother’s pearls. The beautiful story of the pearls is that they were given to Emily’s older cousin to wear when she was a flower girl in Emily’s parents’ wedding and now they were loaned to Emily to wear on her own wedding day. Emily’s grandmother had loved cardinals and when she passed away, she wanted to be remembered by them. “We see and hear them all the time, but especially at special times,” Emily said. Emily had a cardinal tattooed on the nape of her neck as a reminder of her grandma and the pearls clasped right above the red bird. Emily said during the ceremony (which was outside in the amphitheater), she heard a chorus of cardinals singing in the trees. I love the significance of that and how special it was to hear to feel her grandmother’s presence in spirit at her wedding.

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