Month: February 2014

jill + dennis

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I have been blogging about how much we love shooting at Becker Farms for years now, but it never gets old.  There’s just something about the rustic, laid back vibe of this place that makes it a perfect fit for our style.  There isn’t one negative comment I can make about weddings at Becker Farms – not one.  I must admit, though…when we heard that they were building a second venue right next to the original venue, we were skeptical.  We were afraid that it would take away the relaxed country vibe and turn one of our favorite places into a dreaded “wedding factory.”  Well, as soon as we arrived on the scene of Jill and Dennis’s wedding, our fears were immediately laid to rest.  The new venue was flawless, and perfectly integrated into the landscape.  We absolutely loved it, and look forward to photographing many more weddings at Becker Farms!

One of the most impressive things about Dennis and Jill’s wedding, is that they planned the entire thing in SIX MONTHS!!  Yes, people, it CAN be done.  Jill DIYed just about every detail you see here – from the adorable cupcake/cake stand to the super cute popcorn bags.  She’s a full time teacher, AND a small business owner, so in my book, that makes her a super-human-mega-hero.  We loved working with these two!  Being a part of their day, and capturing these memories for them was an absolute honor.  We knew they were the perfect fit for us the minute they walked through our door!  (Animal lovers, unite!!!)

Jill and Dennis were kind enough to share some of their favorite wedding day memories, plus some excellent advice that all engaged couples should pay attention to!  They also took the time to explain why they decided that we were the perfect photographers for them, so I included that, too…because it was way too sweet.  Look for these throughout the post!!

Dennis:  “The moment I first saw Jill walk out, my heart was thumping and I felt something I have never felt before.”

Jill:  “I loved our outdoor ceremony at Becker Farms.  The walk down the aisle seemed so long, but seeing my soon-to–be hubby waiting at the end helped me make it down.  I just remember thinking how incredibly handsome he looked!”
Dennis:  “Our first dance felt like it was just Jill and I on a cloud; it didn’t feel like anyone else was there.”

Jill:  “Our first dance as husband and wife was probably my favorite moment.  Dennis picked out the song.  It was Stand By Me, the Sara Neimeitz version.  It was such a cool twist on an old school song.  I just remember feeling so happy and complete.  I loved being wrapped in his arms.  Every so often Dennis will play that song in our house and we stop what we are doing and we dance together.”

Jill:  “We had the most amazing weather.  The sun was shining, there was no humidity and we even got a full moon at the end of the night!”
Dennis:  “I am not a dancer and I actually danced throughout the night – including with the other wedding party that came over and crashed our wedding!”
Jill:  “The fireworks were amazing.  I am so glad Dennis made that happen.  I feel like our whole day from start to finish was exactly what I have always dreamed of since I was a little girl.”

“We  saw the Ayres’ blog on a friend’s Facebook page and fell in love.  Their photos were the style that we loved.  We met with Ben and Jenn at their home and we felt an immediate connection.  During our e-shoot, they made us feel very comfortable and they were so down to earth.  We really felt like they were our friends and had a blast!  In addition, Jenn’s love for animals sealed the deal….I love them so much, too!  The day of the wedding Dennis and I chose to be traditional and not see each other before the ceremony.  This made time a bit of an issue, but Ben and Jenn respected our wishes and were able to get plenty of amazing shots for us.  We will use them to document all of our lives’ most cherished moments!”

We’ll wrap up the post with some fantastic advice from Jill and Dennis.  If you’re still in the planning stages, definitely read these!!  They are spot on.  :)

1.  Be decisive.   When you find something you like, go with it.   We planned our wedding in 6 months and didn’t miss a detail.  We didn’t second guess anything.

2.  If you are creative, make your décor.  We saved a lot of money with DIY projects and it was really fun to get some family and friends together to help.  Seeing all of our visions come  together the day of the wedding was amazing!

3.  The day goes so fast; make sure to take in every moment.

4.  The day of the wedding, pass off duties; you should be relaxed and have no stress!

jessica + steve

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This has been my longest blogging break since I started blogging back in 2007.  Crazy.  I can’t believe how much I’ve missed it!!  I decided to take a break so that I could ensure that all of our couples would have their wedding galleries before the holidays.  SUCCESS!!!  It felt really good to accomplish that goal!  However, I haven’t blogged since October 2013, and SO MUCH has happened since then, so I have a ton of gorgeous posts to share.  Get ready!!!

I’m super excited to finally be able to share Jessica and Steve’s wedding and the absolutely beautiful memories of their day that they so kindly shared with us.  This was our first time shooting at Terry Hills, and we loved it!  It’s a beautiful venue, and the friendly folks who run it are so very accommodating.  We loved everything about this day!  Between Jessica’s easy-going, no stress demeanor, and Steve’s bone dry sense of humor, we felt right at home spending the day with these two.  :)

Be sure to read the beautiful wedding day memories Jessica and Steve have shared throughout the post, as well as the excellent advice they have to offer!

Jessica:  “I woke up at 8:00 and by 8:10 I was crying. Steve slipped a letter to me under the door of my hotel room so I could read it as soon as I woke up. It was the most beautiful note I had ever read. I was so happy and so in love, I couldn’t believe that the day we had been planning for 18 months had finally arrived.”

Steve:  “As the guys and I were getting dressed before the wedding, Blaine put on his shirt for the first time and we discovered it was WAY too small.  He had to run to JC Penny for a new one.  He also wore a camouflage belt – just to stress me out a little.”
Jessica:  “Waiting in the bridal room right before I walked down the aisle with my dad was probably only 5 minutes but it felt like FOREVER. I was so excited and so ready, I seriously thought I might pass out with excitement. With all the preparations and good advice from my family and friends, nobody prepared me for the excruciating wait before I was allowed to be seen!”
Steve:  “Seeing Jessica for the first time that afternoon was exhilarating.  I can still picture how gorgeous she looked walking down the aisle.  She was about 15 minutes late – so I was worried for a while that she wasn’t going to show up!”
Jessica:  “We choose readings that were meaningful to us and not necessarily your standard wedding poems. Listening to my mom read and get choked up, listening to Steve’s sister and a friend of ours read were all amazing. The entire ceremony went exactly as I had pictured it but BETTER. The feeling of love and complete and utter happiness I felt during the ceremony was indescribable.”
Steve:  “I was trying so hard not to laugh during the vows because of a joke that our celebrant made the day before during rehearsal – ‘Steve, notice there is nothing in there about her obeying you.'”
Steve:  “Chasing each other around the golf course on the golf carts for pictures was a lot of fun.  We definitely needed the fresh air and a moment to get away from all of the guests – who were starting to get a little overwhelming.”
Jessica:  “The first dance song was very emotional for me. I tried SO hard not to cry (again) but dancing for the first time as husband and wife was really special.”
Jessica:  “After all of the craziness of dinner, pictures, dancing and throwing the bouquet, I had the chance to walk into the room where we ate dinner. Everything was cleaned up but the tables were still all set with the centerpieces and candles still lit. It looked absolutely stunning and I was so glad that I got a chance to see the room without everyone in it.”

To wrap things up, here is some awesome advice from our beautiful couple!!!

Jessica:  “Plan early and take your time. Steve and I worked better when we felt like planning and didn’t work as well under pressure. We got things ready slowly over the course of 18 months which made the entire process more enjoyable. We had fun putting our ideas together and came up with a wedding that was truly “us” and not your standard cookie-cutter wedding.”

Steve:  “The day before our wedding a friend gave me a piece of advice that someone gave to him on his wedding day.  It was: During dinner, stop eating, and look around you for a moment.  Realize that all of those people are there for one reason – you.  Chances are you will never get all of those people together in the same room again.  Cherish that.  Enjoy your day – and relax.  One other piece of advice I would pass along is this: Don’t stress about your day being perfect.  In the end, no one will know if something doesn’t go quite right.  The most important thing is to enjoy yourselves.  And also (I’m full of advice) – Don’t put off working on planning for the wedding day.  We timed it so that we basically had nothing to do the day before the wedding.  We took care of the rehearsal and then had the day to enjoy with our friends.  

“Working with Jenn and Ben was definitely a positive experience.  From the first day we met, (I went a little crazy about the tie knots), to our engagement session at Letchworth State Park, (trespassing in a ramshackle old barn to get an amazing photo), to the day of our wedding.  I was impressed that at the wedding I never saw you.  You blended in perfectly with our crowd and you kept us on track to make sure we got everything done that we were supposed to.  Your professionalism is astounding and I would (and have) HIGHLY recommend you to my friends.  I am certain that our wedding will not be the last time we see you.”
  • Lisa Ippolito SAYS...

    What a lovely blog. Such beautiful photos! Congrats guys!