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Hawaii! Maui, Hawaii Sabbatical Images Part 2

September 20, 2016

“For me, the magic of Hawaii comes from the stillness, the sea, the stars.” -Joanne Harris

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And finally, months later, Hawaii Part 2!!!

When I was a kid, I remember spending hours and hours randomly next to our shelf of photo albums, going through and looking at all the different trips, people, fashions, etc.

I loved it.

I still do.

One of my all time favorite albums is of a trip my mom took with her good friend and a dog, driving from New Mexico to New York City where she picked up her German relatives, and drove them back across the country to New Mexico.  It was in the thick of the bell bottoms, crop tops, and platform shoes era… pre-husbands and pre-babies… I LOVED looking at my young momma adventuring with her friend. So brave, and just so damn cool.

I’ll have to share an image from that album next time I’m in New Mexico visiting my family.

BUT, that short story just to say, I sort of feel like this random adventure with Jill across the ocean to adventure holds the same significance as my mom’s awesome cross country trip.  I’ve been really lucky to have these crazy traveling opportunities, and to have the courage and friendships to jump at the chance to see different cultures and experience life in a different state, country, continent.  I feel like you learn so much when you travel.

What we learned in Hawaii:

-slow down

-always drive with the top of the convertible down [if it’s chilly, turn the heater on]

-sing loud with the radio

-buy/bring a scarf to wrap your hair in so it doesn’t get tangled

-make sure your flippers fit before you go into the ocean [otherwise, you might end up with a swim suit full of sand]

-when in Hawaii eat shave ice [yum]

-best way to apply sunscreen is naked in the bathroom before you even start the day

-if you’re there in the winter, go whale watching at sunrise

-before your trip get some motion sickness ear sticker things for the whale watching

-relax

Hope you all get a chance to travel around and see new towns, cities, states, countries and continents.  Experiencing life through travel is really a gift you can’t always put a price tag on.

Aloha!
~Maike

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Lindsay and Konye! Nigerian Wedding Celebration, Indianapolis, Indiana

September 6, 2016

“You are now my African Queen. And I know that this means that, you’re the only one that I will serve, I’ll give you my heart, my love, my body , and my money, and every other thing you could think of…”

Indianapolis Wedding Photography

So, remember the beautiful black and white shot back in November, of a couple walking in front of the Indianapolis capital building?  Ya, well that was Lindsay and Konye at their first wedding, and now I get to share images from their Nigerian wedding celebration!  Konye’s parents came to Indy to visit for a month from Nigeria, and while they were here, they held a Nigerian celebration with Nigerian food, Nigerian head wraps, Nigerian dancing, and this whole traditional theatrical- Nigerian wedding ceremony with a goat, and reading of scripts between the two families.

It was AMAZING.

I seriously loved loved LOVED being there.  Seeing how different cultures celebrate weddings is so SO cool!

And, you’ll notice since their last wedding, they have added a sweet little girl to the mix!  Meet Aris!  She wasn’t completely into the whole photo thing, BUT she was really adorable in her little dress, and was such a sweet baby during the whole celebration.  Taking it all in and being passed between all the aunts and uncles and grandparents that CLEARLY love her so so much.

You two!  Thanks so much for inviting me to photograph your celebrations [both of them!]  Loved celebrating with you and being a part of your party!  [In case you missed it, I posted a selfie of my own coral head wrap on my personal Instagram HERE].

You guys are the best!

~Maike

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Hair : Salon Lofts [Natalie Postma – when it was up], and Yvonne and Sinaria [Konye’s sister’s] helped place the Calabar headdress (which was heavy!)

Make Up : Becky Lee – MAC freelancer

Florist : Nigerian weddings don’t do the whole flower thing

Sound/Lights : Teeklef with Hipnavi – he kept the Nigerian music going and also MCed the event

Dessert : Shug’s Cakes [it was pretty amazing]

Catering : A local Nigerian caterer helped us, but Konye’s mom and sisters made the soups

Dress : My dresses were made in Lagos, Nigeria

Shoes : Michael Kors

Other Traditional Dresses : The dresses were all custom made in Nigeria, same with the “Geles”, the head wraps. (A HUGE credit goes to Pearl, Konye’s sister, who coordinated all the gorgeous outfits from Nigeria)

BRIDE & GROOM Q&A:

Most memorable moment?

Lindsay: The whole day was surreal. Traditional Nigerian weddings are SO different from American weddings. We tried to re-create the events that would normally take place over the course of a few days. (Thus, the live goat that represented part of the Bride Price paid to my parents!) So I will always remember the tremendous role of family and friends in the day, the gorgeous outfits, the spicy food, and the glorious dancing. It truly was a beautiful thing to witness–the coming together of two distinct cultures. Everyone seemed to really embrace the cultural experience they were a part of. I truly loved that. On a personal note, one of my favorite moments was late in the evening Konye’s best friend Owen requested the song “African Queen” by 2Face. Konye sang every word of that song to me while our friends and family looked on. It was in that moment that we were reminded it was just us, that our lives have been winding to each other for years and years. And that is a really beautiful thing.

Konye:Wow. Dancing with my wife, singing to her, watching her find me with a glass of wine from her father, and watching her stride around in her full regal Onyon-yon dress.

Advice for future brides/grooms?

Konye: Dance, sing, and save some reception food for a late night dinner in bed with the wife. (Didn’t we have this advice last year?!?)

Funniest memory?

Lindsay: The goat was definitely the unexpected, hilarious nugget of the day. I think it really surprised the group that we had a real goat (a mature, female goat to be exact) in the ceremony. (And thanks to my hometown girl Jenni and her family for bringing the goat!)

Konye: Funniest memory was watching my Caucasian American in-laws try to figure out the traditional proceedings expected of them. It was hilarious.

Lastly, are there any other vendors that you LOVED and want to give a special shout out to?

This was a family effort. We can’t thank all the family members who helped make this truly an authentic, traditional day! From the food, to the clothes, to the music, it couldn’t have been more beautiful. Thank you to everyone who made this day a memory we will hang on to for many years to come!

Kate and Lee! Indianapolis, Indiana Wedding Photography

August 30, 2016

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'” -Kurt Vonnegut

Indianapolis wedding photography

Kate and Lee had that fun awesome engagement session in downtown Indy, featuring the brewery [Two Deep], they got engaged in [don’t remember, CLICK HERE], and you guys… .their wedding was just as deeply personal and THEM as their engagement session!

Kate got ready in their awesomely decorated apartment [which, side note, matched PERFECTLY with their entire wedding design, the colors, the feel, etc.]  I would like to take a moment and say, getting ready at your home is pretty darn cool.  In my best case scenario, getting ready happens in a house, second option, a hotel room, third option church room [which, we should attempt to not get ready in the primary color decorated preschool room at all costs ;)].

Their day was full of beautiful moments, and unbelievable breaks in the weather, RIGHT when we needed it!  After watching the weather all week, everyone was SUPER relieved to have no rain drops when we were taking portraits!

My favorite parts of this awesome Indianapolis wedding in no particular order: Kate getting ready in their apartment, Lee’s excitement for everything, a handkerchief Kate’s mom purchased for her 12 years ago for her wedding day in Venice [I’m probably going to get this wrong but there’s Spanish linen, and Venetian lace, for good luck in a wedding], sawing a log at the reception [a German tradition; which one of the bridesmaids talked about and then lead everyone in “Saw.That.Log!” chant], the homemade ranch dressing on the salad [yum], the ‘best woman’s’ toast involving the Nuernberg Bridal Cup [you can learn about that HERE] and Kate and Lee drinking as fast as they could out of their different cups, the emotionally beautiful daddy-daughter dance, the awesome center pieces with law books as a staple [both Lee and Kate just graduated from law school in May] and the general buzz and feel of happiness and well matched-ness of this duo.

LOVED shooting your wedding Kate and Lee!  You two are so much fun, and just freakin lovely to work with.  Best wishes for your married life!

Cheers!

~Maike

PS: Special shout out to Elizabeth Hannah who second shot this wedding with me!

PPS: Uhm, in case you think you’re seeing double, you are NOT.  Two of those ladies in the bridal party are identical twins, shout out to Sally and Maggie!  I didn’t know you guys were twins till I talked with your mom at the reception :).  This is the second set of identical twins I’ve photographed together in a wedding this year [the first was Mike and his twin from Michelle and Mike’s wedding back in March].

Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography*above is TOTALLY my pic for a new edgy artistic profile photo… I mean, if it were me, this is totally the one I would choose.  Look at those awesome red lips!!!Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photography

*And Lee, I think the image above is an awesome profile pic for you!!!  Rockin that sweet smile, AND your new band on the left hand!!!Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography

*Uhm, you guys, can we say Downton Abby-esque?  I think yes.Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography

*above, Lee and his momma have the SAME laugh/smile!  LOVE how they smiled and laughed through their dance together.Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography Indianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photographyIndianapolis wedding photography *below is maybe my favorite kissing picture of all time.  GAH!!!! I LOVE it!Indianapolis wedding photography

Hair : Experience, A Hair Spa [Maggie Doyle (Bride) & Aleisha Zimmerman (Bridesmaids)]

Florist : Irvington Flower Bouquet CSA [Lauren Hall]

Ceremony Venue : St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Reception Venue : The Rathskeller– Athenaeum Theater

Sound/Lights : Paul Warner

Dessert : Long’s Donuts

Catering : The Rathskeller

Dress : Sophia’s Bridal [Sottero and Midgley]

MUSIC:
bride & groom first dance : In My Life, by The Beatles
father & daughter dance : No Woman, No Cry, by Bob Marley and the Wailers
mother & son dance : Child of Mine, by Carole King

BRIDE & GROOM Q&A:

Most memorable moment?

Kate: It’s funny because the things that really stuck out to me weren’t the things I had focused on in wedding planning. For me it was walking down the aisle– with my parents by my side, all my friends and family in the pews, and Lee at the end. I’ve never felt so much love. It was magic.

Lee: I’ve been separating the day into two phases: the Mass and the reception. From the Mass, it was when the doors opened and Kate and her parents began their walk down the aisle. From the reception, the moment that James and Paul brought the saw horse down to the dance floor and a murmur went through the crowd really sticks out most.

Advice for future brides/grooms?

Kate: Don’t plan a wedding for two weeks after the bar exam! But seriously, weddings can be overwhelming for many reasons but a major thing that people get caught up on is how it’s “supposed” to be. You’re “supposed” to do this, that, and the other thing just because that’s the way tradition and Pinterest tell you it’s supposed to be done. If you’re getting married on some level you want to adhere to tradition, marriage IS traditional. But I think it’s important to really look at every aspect of your day and say, “am I doing this tradition because it’s something that is meaningful to me and my partner or am I doing it because I’m ‘supposed’ to?” If it’s the second one, cut it. You will be so much happier knowing that everything you did on the day you got married was intentional and meaningful to you and your relationship.

Lee: For the grooms-to-be: Get involved in the planning. Having an open dialog with your partner about what you want is really important. If you really care about the flowers or your suit/tux or think that something doesn’t look good, then say so. The day will only be as good as the decisions made during planning, so make sure your opinions are taken into account. To echo what Kate said, the day is about celebrating your union, not about what your parents or distant relatives have to say. If you don’t want to incorporate something into the events, don’t.

Funniest memory?

Kate: Oh, just sawing a log with Lee in my wedding dress as my hilarious friend Jamie MC’d and everyone tried to figure out the heck we were doing.

Lee: Sawing the log!

If you could do it all over would you change anything?

Kate: No, even the hard and ridiculous things leading up to it made the day even sweeter when it finally got here.

Lee: Yes and no. Our engagement was a year-and-a-half, so there was a lot of waiting involved. I would shorten the engagement period, but wouldn’t change anything about the day itself.

Honeymoon?

We’re going to Montreal at the end of August-early September. We are so excited to just stroll around the city and eat good food and drink good wine!

Lastly, are there any other vendors that you LOVED and want to give a special shout out to?

I never knew that I could have so many feels about flowers until Lauren Hall worked her magic. I still tear up every time I think of those beautiful flowers. Also, one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Maggie Doyle, owns an awesome salon– Experience, a hair spa. Not only did she and her crew work magic to make us all look fabulous but the salon was the perfect location for getting ready the morning of the wedding.

Heather and Kees! Nashville, Tennessee Downtown Engagement Session

August 16, 2016

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

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Some of you know second shooter Ashley worked a few stints as a cruise ship photographer [if you didn’t know, it’s because you haven’t visited her website, which you should TOTALLY do HERE].  While she was on her first ship, she befriended Heather.  And while Heather and Kaas were in the US, and not out on ships, we were able to meet up with them in Nashville, Tennessee to photograph their engagement session!

I normally don’t have Ashley around to second shoot engagement sessions with me, so this engagement session had a lot to choose from.  But, I LOVE engagement sessions, add in another perspective, a different lens, or a different point of view, and this session was just LOVELY.

Heather and Kees met on the ship, and will be getting married in Amsterdam [close to Kees’ hometown], in March of next year [so jealous of the photographer who gets to shoot that awesome event!]  Eventually they will settle down in Nashville [where Heather’s family lives], when they’re done exploring the world and ship life.

So not only did this engagement photography session rock because Ashley shot with me, but it also rocked because we were in Nashville.  I’ve only been to Nashville, Tennessee once, and it was for a photography convention in February, and well… we really only saw the convention hall…. which was lovely… BUT, I had NO idea how cool Nashville was.  Before the session Heather e-mailed me a few different wall murals, and some cool places like the pedestrian bridge and the Nashville Parthenon.  And everything was AMAZING.

Luckily, we stayed in Nashville for the night, so when we got rained out of our evening session, we were able to catch up with an outfit change and all the cool downtown area’s early the next morning.

Speaking of being rained out.  There are two images below I ADORE.  They’re the ones were taken after being rained out, in the dark, with just the neon lights of the main Nashville drag [we didn’t have flashes with us].  Ashley and I both try to push ourselves to think outside of the box, and to try new things, so when Heather and Kees were up for some experimenting after the rain had tapered off, we played around a bit and I LOVE what we got.  They’re not really like the majority of our work, but it was so fun to try something new just for the heck of it.

So, I’ve written a bit much!  If you’ve stuck with me, thanks :).  Now you can scroll through the pretty engagement portraits!

Heather and Kees, thanks for hosting us!  We wish we could have stayed longer to explore your awesome city!  Best wishes for your upcoming wedding in Amsterdam!

~Maike [and Ashley]

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Katie & Owen! South Bend, Indiana Wedding Photography

August 9, 2016

“Have fun” – Everyone at the wedding [no but really, I asked probably three different people what their advice for either the bride, or the groom would be, and they looked over to Katie or Owen, and simply said, “Have fun”].

indiana wedding photography

What a great day!  I really do have all the best clients [how do I get so lucky?!?!].  Katie and Owen’s South Bend wedding was sooooo many things!  It was gorgeous, classy, colorful, emotional, full of laughter, smiles and love.

Ashley and I LOVED doing their day with them.  Being able to wander around South Bend and photograph each step of their wedding was awesome [we did this during the spring with less heat and less formal clothes ;), CLICK HERE if you missed their engagement session].

Katie is Catholic and Owen is Jewish [full discloser, this was my first Catholic/Jewish wedding], and their day was the most beautiful merging of both faiths.  The priest lead a beautiful ceremony in the afternoon, and later in the evening [after sunset] the Rabi talked about the different rituals in the Jewish ceremony part of the day.  I learned SO much!

Katie and Owen are also in the lead in M.Rinaye wedding photography for largest bridal party [I haven’t gone back and checked, but I’m 90% sure they’re currently winning].  And while there was a lot of them to get posed for photos, etc. they were all SOOO awesome and helpful and goodnatured and just wonderful.  I totally understand why Katie and Owen each ended up with 10+ attendants.  Because their bridesmaids and groomsmen were the coolest.

Favorite parts of this wedding: the incorporations of why Katie and Owen wanted to marry each other in both the Catholic and the Jewish ceremonies [oh so so sweet and genuine], the beautiful reception details, the ‘Did You Know’ signs all over The Brick with the little known facts about the couple, the makeshift Chuppah inside, because of the rain outside, held up by groomsmen [but we got photos with the Chuppah when the rain stopped!], the crazy fraternity brothers chants, the DJ playing both ND and USC’s fight songs, and the amazing ENERGY right after the jewish celebration and the dancing [woah].

This was a hot wedding, but everyone involved were such troopers!  You can’t even tell we were all sweating buckets!

Katie and Owen, I’m so glad you hired me to photograph your wedding day.  I loved every second of it.  Hope your honeymoon was amazing!!!

~Maike

ps: Second shooter Ashley shout out!  She rocked this wedding, heat and all [#sweatbabysweat].

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Hair : Sola SalonAshley White

Make Up : Sola Salon – Aimee

Florist : Poppies by Polly

Ceremony Venue : Little Flower Church

Reception Venue : The Brick

Sound/Lights : South Bend Premier Wedding and Event DJ

Cake : Country Bake Shoppe

Catering : Catering by Billie

Dress : Glamour Closet

Groom/Groomsmen Outfits : Louie’s Tux Shop

Bridesmaid Dresses : Azazie

MUSIC:
bride & groom first dance : Whatever It Is, by Zac Brown Band
father & daughter dance : How Sweet It Is, by James Taylor
mother & son dance : It was a mix of MANY different awesome songs, to accompany the choreographed dance

BRIDE & GROOM Q&A:

Most memorable moment?

Katie: When we were introduced at the reception and I realized everyone in that room was there for us. The applause and cheers when we entered as Mr & Mrs Weissberg was amazing. I have never felt so much love before that moment.

Owen: Seeing Katie tear up as we took our vows truly made my heart melt and reaffirmed 10x over that this will be my best friend and life partner for eternity.  There was also something magical about our grand entrance. I have always playfully spun and dipped Katie, but getting to do it on the big stage of our special night was perfect.

Advice for future brides/grooms?

Katie: Take deep breaths throughout and remember to stay in the moment, it goes by fast!

Owen: Plan. Plan. Plan. Put in the hard work in the months leading to your big weekend so that you can soak up and enjoy every moment of your special day. Take some deep breathes, live in the moment, and don’t take a second for granted.

Funniest memory?

Katie: Dancing the hora with our chairs flying in the air.

Owen: It had to be seeing the nervousness on my best man’s face, much more so than my own, and priceless.

If you could do it all over would you change anything?

Katie: Nothing, it was perfect. I would relive the day a million times exactly as it took place.

Owen: Nothing.

Honeymoon?

We went to Kauai, HI for 1 week – it was magical.

Lastly, are there any other vendors that you LOVED and want to give a special shout out to?

Poppies by Polly – her flowers made it complete.

Meredith & Jeremy! South Bend, Indiana Engagement Session

August 2, 2016

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” -Sylvia Plath, The Bell JarMJ-ENG-FAV023_WEB

I met up with Meredith and Jeremy for their South Bend engagement session and a beautifully cloudy Sunday morning. The night before had been stormy off and on, so I had prepared a list of indoor locations we could shoot at in case our Sunday morning engagement session was full of rain/heavy clouds/thunderstorms.

One of those options, was meeting up at their place and starting images there instead of a typical public location.  And you guys, I am SOOO glad we did.  Not only did I get some beautiful, comfy, cozy, romantic awesome images…. I also got to meet Puddles… the cat :).

Meredith told me when I got there that her mom had asked if it would be weird to ask me to their apartment to get some images with Puddles, so when we made the rain plans, it was PERFECT.  See the Puddles portraits below.

Meredith and Jeremy are nature lovers, so we incorporated as much nature into their session as we could.  Another one of their things, is Bananagrams.  Have you guys played this game?  I haven’t, yet… but after they explained how to play, I warned Ronald [my husband] we needed to go ahead and buy it.  I’m a big fan of scrabble, so I feel like Bananagrams is right up my ally.  Meredith and Jeremy take Bananagrams with them whenever their wandering, and then take a photo afterwards.  I love it when couples have their unique ‘things’.  Especially when they sort of just happen.  Which I’m guessing is what happened with the Bananagrams game.

Meredith and Jeremy met at Purdue, and are getting married there in just a couple short months!  And while wedding planning and whatnot seems like a lot right now, Meredith, I assure you, you’ll get to the wedding day and it will feel like it all went crazy fast.

I loved hanging out with these two wandering around South Bend!  So excited to meet your friends/party with them and your family on your wedding day!

Cheers!
~Maike

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Erin & Jake! Janesville, Wisconsin Wedding Photography

July 26, 2016

“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)”-E.E. Cummings

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Back in June, Ronald [the husband], and I traveled up to Wisconsin [Janesville, to be exact], where we were able to hang out with a bunch of awesome family and celebrate my cousin Erin, and her guy Jake exchanging vows and become husband and wife!

And after the year we’ve had [my Tillen family], it was SO GOOD to be celebrating their marriage.  See, in the 12 months prior to their wedding, we have had three of the matriarchs of our family pass away.  And the first one was enough [it was my grandmother, and that was SUPER hard], but then to have two more beloved wonderful women die this past year.  Sheesh.  It was almost too much for my soul to take.

So being able to come together and dance, and drink, and eat pie, and just ENJOY being around each other for a happy event was wonderful.  Oh so very wonderful.

My family is pretty big [my grandmother had 15 grandkids], and we all hail initially from New Mexico, so while there were some folks missing, we ended up with a pretty big pack of family around for Jake and Erin’s wedding.  The cousins all danced through the night, and it made me wonder why we hadn’t all gone out dancing together before [it’s now officially on the to-do list; which is tricky because we now cover 5 states and are spread miles and miles apart, but IT’S ON THE LIST!]

Their wedding was in Janesville at this camp Jake grew up wandering around, right off the water.  And while it was hot, and we all sweat buckets, it was SO dreamy!  Their ceremony was held looking out on the water, and then the reception was in a tent just a short walk away from the lake.

So, it doesn’t happen often, BUT, this wedding I was actually invited to as a guest!  As any good photographer knows though, I just couldn’t NOT bring my camera with me.  Plus, I just bought a new Sigma lens, so it was the perfect opportunity to wander around with it, and test it out, without the stress and go-go-go-ness of a wedding I was hired to shoot.

So here are some images of my cousin and her love…. and Wisconsin… and the beautiful lake…. and my family.

I’m really grateful for the family I grew up in.  It could not have been more perfect for me.

I hope you guys also have had great celebrations this summer, and that you love your family well because they wont always be around.

Cheers!
~Maike

ps: Best parts of this wedding: dancing [duh], my family [obvi], the flower girls literally scooping out big huge handfuls of flowers down the aisle, my cousin Jordan’s awesome band that played for the ceremony and the reception, the incorporation of important people in Erin’s veil [those matriarchs I talked about, ya… I had tears in my eyes when she explained the awesome patches that remembered those three and more], the awesome processional dance down the aisle after they were officially pronounced husband and wife, and the gorgeous sunset and fireworks on the lake.

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