Back in early 2013, Kaitlin rode with a friend to game night. Parking was challenging so her friend picked her up as well as another friend, Alec. “Alec and I bonded over our nerdy love of cardiovascular physiology while drinking our mutual favorite beer that night. I knew he was something special when he was leaving to catch the bus, but ran back to the doorway where I was waiting for my ride and told me that he hoped that wouldn’t be the last time we hung out.”
Their first date ended up being a casual “sweatpants” date since Kaitlin got a cold and didn’t feel good. “When I told Alec, he didn’t cancel plans, but instead offered to come sit around in sweatpants with me,” Kaitlin says. Alec adds, “I showed up wearing a red onesie, which her roommates found strange and Kaitlin found peculiar. I remember talking with her for hours while sitting on her couch. I was so relieved and thankful that conversation came so early and that–at least outwardly–found my words to be interesting.”
Kaitlin doesn’t recall a specific moment that she knew Alec was the one, but she does say, “Alec and I both value our families a ton and love spending time at each others’ homes. As the first year of our relationship progressed, I found myself feeling like a part of his family and I saw my family taking him in as well. In particular, watching him good around with my nieces and nephews made me heart melt. We both just settled into each other’s lives like we had been there all along.” Alec echoes this sentiment, saying that he knew when he had unsolicited approval from him mom.
The weather had been so finicky the weekend of their engagement session, but thankfully, we got slightly milder temperatures and no rain and wind for their session! I was especially thankful since Alec was in town and we had limited time to meet up before he had to return to med school. We met up at the Lake MacBride Fossil Gorge, which boasted a lot of leaves still clinging to the trees (yay!).
When it came to proposing, Alec went back to the place where they first met: outside her old apartment right before getting into their friend’s car. “We were planning on going for a walk in the old neighborhood (which is actually something I had suggested we do that day). We parked outside the apartment and I started walking. Alec told me to wait because there was something messed up with his sandal. (His sandals are always giving him blisters so I was getting annoyed that he chose to wear them again.) As I approached him, already down on his knee “fixing his shoes”, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring box. Anyone who knows Alec knows that he loves pranks and jokes so I honestly didn’t believe that it was true. But then he started saying some sweet words about bringing me back to the place where we first met four and a half years ago and I realized that was the real deal. I was in complete disbelief and honestly can’t remember what else he said. I just knew I said yes.”
I love how he makes her smile.
They are currently separated by 4+ hours due to residency and med school, but I’m so excited to see them back in the same city again soon! They are both compassionate people with big dreams and lots of humor infused into their relationship. Seeing them together is a joy and I know that together, they will accomplish so much.
Their first date was at Olive Garden because she loves Italian food, but they had originally met at work. “They sat her next to me three years ago. At that point, I didn’t know I met my future wife,” Fernando says. He says he knew she was the one when she met his family for the first time. “Even though there was a language barrier, she blended in perfectly. And, of course, my mom loves her so, yeah, she passed the mom test.”
When it came to proposing, there was a bit of lying and heartbreak involved, but only with the best intentions of a true surprise. Terra says it was worth it in the end! Fernando says he “wings” everything, so the proposal was “a tactical, well thought-out plan. Not really.”
“We had gone to Greenberg’s just so he could get an idea of what I liked in a ring,” Terra starts. “We found one that I was in love with so they sent it to get cleaned and Fernando said I was no longer able to be involved so that he could surprise me. The jeweler had said it should be ready to be picked up on a Friday and when that day came, Fernando went on his lunch break to pick it up.”
“This was pretty much one of the biggest ‘wing it’ I had ever done. I had been thinking of proposing for some time. So when we found the perfect ring, we decided to buy it,” Fernando says. “The element of surprise was out the door so I had to come up with another plan. We sent the ring to get cleaned and polished (to stall for time). It was suppose to take a week so Terra had an idea when it would be ready to get picked up.
“On Friday, while we were at work, I received a call from the jewelry store to pick up the ring because it came back and was ready. I made an excuse that I was going to pick up some lunch and come back right away. I asked Terra what she wanted and she just wanted something to drink. I went straight to the store to pick up the ring and it was perfect. By this time, I have been gone for 20 minutes. Terra called me, worried, of course, because the restaurant is 5 minutes away from work, and when I answered I told her that I was a the jewelry store. It just slipped out. Then she asked if there was problem. I told her yes because they called and said it would take another 2 weeks because they failed to do their job (of course, it was a lie). I told her that I was made and told them if they don’t have it back within a week they should keep the ring and process a refund.
“Of course, this crushed her, but it was a necessary evil. They gave me the ring and I was already freaking out so I drove home to hide it. At this time, I was speeding just to get back to work as we’re only given a 30 minute lunch break and by now I have been gone for 45 minutes. I was about to pull up in the parking lot of our work when I realized I had forgotten her drink that she wanted. So I turned around to get her drink (you know since I already crushed her soul by telling her that she might not get her dream ring because the ‘didn’t do their job’). I made it through the day.
“That night I realized that I had given myself a one-week time frame to propose because I told her that if her ring was not back in one week that we will get a refund. I didn’t slept that night. My mentality was ‘how can it make her dress up without her having any suspicions?’ Then around 4 AM, I remembered the Sunday brunch at Iowa River Power restaurant. Then I remembered the pedestrian bridge and thought of proposing on the bridge.
“That Saturday we had our first snow. I realized if the snow stays until Sunday, it would be perfect. Everything was clicking into place. I invited her to get dressed up to go have a nice brunch. She agreed because she loves that place. I invited my two brother because I wanted them to be a part of it, but the main reason was to have someone to take pictures without being too obvious. Sunday came and I was freaking out. No one knew the plan, not even my brothers. We arrived at the restaurant and I asked her if we can take pictures on the bridge, because the snow had stuck and it looked awesome. She agreed and I told my brother to take pictures of us. As he was taking pictures, I was talking to Terra about how perfect the place looked. The I dropped ‘if i would have proposed, this would have been a perfect spot.’ She then told me stop telling her that and not to spoil it. But I kept going, ‘I would tell you how beautiful you look and that you made me so happy all these years. I would get on one knee like this’ as I was going to one knee. By then she was losing it. I took out the ring and I took her hand, then she started crying (a crazy amount). I asked her if she would marry me and she said yes. It was awesome and my brother was taking pictures to document the entire thing.”
Terra is a planner and Fernando is not so when he concludes that the moral of the proposal story is to never plan, just wing it, she rolls her eyes and says that’s not a good motto, even though it did work out for him that time. It only seemed fitting that we take their engagement photos back on the bridge where he proposed.
The dam is loud and there was no way I could give them posing instructions from so far away so I decided we’d have to use our phones, something I’ve never done before, but it worked! I called Fernando’s phone and we put both of them on speaker so that I could tell them what to do from half a bridge away.
Terrraaaaaaa!!!!! You gorgeous girl!!!
The way they look at each other is magical.
The weekend before their wedding, we had been blasted with unusually hot temperatures, but fall finally came and just in time for this gorgeous outdoor wedding. Kimberly & Scott filled their day with the most delightful colors–that delicious cranberry and rich navy!–as well as plenty of sparkle and fun (those great little polka dots!), but the thing that struck me most about them was their joy. These two were bursting with laughter and beaming with smiles the whole day and they were such a pleasure to photograph!
Kim & Scott first met at work, but he swore during his toast there was nothing inappropriate (he being her trainer at the time) and, in fact, they were simply at different points in their lives. It wasn’t until she left that job that started talking more and it was then that their relationship truly started.
“Our first date was a whole day experience,” she recalls. “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.”
They were married in the outdoors under the autumn leaves and, being the nature lovers that they are, it made perfect sense that they were surrounded not only by their friends and family, but by the sounds of birds and the crunch of leaves.
Kimberly shared several first looks: one with her dad, one with her ladies, one with her mom, and one with Scott. Each one was a treasure in its own way.
Tiffany from Studio Bloom outdid herself with the gorgeous florals! They were works of art and some of my favorite from this whole year!
Kimberly & Scott do a lot of rock climbing and I love that they incorporated that into their wedding, both with the knot-tying during the ceremony as well as the carabiner that Kim had along for some photos.
While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, we took Kimberly & Scott out for some sunset photos and it was pure magic. Truly. The sun was low in the sky and getting prettier by the second and it was so relaxing to be able to get them away for a few moments alone, just brand new newlyweds!
Kim’s veil was so beautiful and a perfect addition to her full bridal look!
Kim & Scott, it was such an honor to not just photograph your wedding, but to get to know you both over the last year. You took a chance on a venue that hadn’t even been built yet when you booked it and it could not have been more perfectly suited for you! I wish you all the happiness in the world and I know there will be so many more good things in store for you. Your wedding day was just the beginning! Enjoy this life together!
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
Photography: Emily Crall Photography
Venue: Rapid Creek Cidery
Videography: Nepo Productions
Florals: Studio Bloom Iowa
Cupcakes: Molly’s Cupcakes
DJ: Unique Events of Iowa
Makeup: 100% Pure Pro
Hair: Eden Salon & Spa
Bridal Gown: Pronovias from Gigi Bridal
Maids’ Gowns: J.Crew
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Coordination: Abby Rush McNabb & Kelsi Perkins
Paper Suite: Minted
Their first date was at a local ice cream shop. “I was very excited,” Brooke says. “Because we had hung out a few times before that in a group and I thought he was a funny guy with a big ball of energy! I knew he was the one pretty quickly. As we continued to get to know each other, everything about him was just what I was looking for. He had a plan for his life, was motivated, knowledgeable, and always trying to learn more about things. His positive attitude forced me to always stay positive and we just were having a great time traveling together. When we got back from the U.K., I realized we could get through anything together, even driving on the wrong side of the road and trying to navigate in a foreign country with no internet service. If we love each other after those frustrations, we always will.”
Just a few miles from the ice cream shop of their first date, we got together last week for their engagement session. Just as Brooke had warned, Brandon was a ball of energy and full of laughter. Seeing the two of them together was a beautiful (and fun) joy!
When asked how he proposed, Brandon says, “[I] was sitting at work one day and thought to myself, ‘April 22 sounds like a perfect date.’ I already had a birthday party lined up for our dog so it made perfect sense to put an engagement party and birthday party together.”
Brooke adds, “He decided to throw a birthday party for Ike, our dog, and invited people over to grill and bring their dogs. I went to the store to get food because Brandon didn’t plan that. He told me to hurry, but I always get more food than actually necessary. When I got there, I was rushing and wanting him to help me bring the for in and he told me to just wait because he had something to show me on the porch. He brought me outside and I thought it was a hammock or volleyball court in the backyard. He instead turned me around and tried to tell me how much I meant to him, but got choked up.”
“I was going to propose at the lake near by dad’s house,” says Brandon. “But ended up bringing her out on the back deck and filmed with a GoPro I had set up while I asked her to be my wife.”
“We had family and friends come over and we got to surprise them as well with our announcement! It was a great of talking and celebrating with our friends and family!” she says. And she got to show off her sparkling new diamond ring as well!
This is one of my (many) favorite shots from the evening!
The way he makes her laugh. <3
Brooke & Brandon, I’m so excited for your wedding next year!!! If this session was any indication, we are going to have so much fun!
Special thanks to Eden Salon & Spa for Brooke’s hair and makeup.
It was early in 2015 when they first met. They had been chatting online when he mentioned one day that was going to see a movie. She mentioned that all her friend had seen it and loved it. “I asked him to let me know what he thought of it and that’s when he asked if I wanted to come with him. With butterflies in my stomach, I accepted his invitation and he actually picked me up that day.” They went out to eat beforehand and then walked to the theater. “We had the best conversations. It wasn’t at all awkward. There was never more than a minute of silence.” After spending the evening together, she remembers sitting on her couch that night “giggling like a little school girl. That’s when I knew he was special.”
It was so much fun to photograph Gideon and Lindsay’s bond last week at the Palisades! They have a sweet, tender love that is so special to witness. If you’ve been around them, you know just how wonderful they are together.
Gideon surprised Lindsay with his proposal right before their one year anniversary. “We planned a trip to Des Moines the weekend before our anniversary to celebrate. We made reservations at a fancy Italian restaurant and before that, Gideon wanted to show me Gray’s Lake. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going and it made me so frustrated! It was freezing that night and me eyes were watering, my nose was running, and I wondered why in the heck he’d chosen that night of all nights to show me this lake. I was ruining his special plans by complaining. While we were walking, I realized he wasn’t standing next to me anymore. When I turned around, I saw him down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I didn’t believe him! It felt so surreal! The bitter cold disappeared and all that I saw was him. Nothing else mattered. We kissed and hugged and then he looked at me and said, ‘So is that a yes?’ I then said yes a thousand times. To think I could have ruined such a beautiful night with my bad attitude.”
One of my favorites from the evening!
Lindsay & Gideon, I’m so excited for you to be married and can’t wait to celebrate with you next spring!
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