Welcome to the world baby Berklie! You have parents that are so in love with you. I am always so grateful to have clients that let me into their homes to capture these fleeting moments. Overjoyed.
I think I’ll forever be swooning over Becca and Drew’s wedding day. Check out some of my favorite moments to see why!
Flowers: Wood Violet
Venue: Boerner Botanical Gardens
Dress Designer: Lorenzo Rossi
Groom’s Tux: The Black Tux
Cake: Batches MKE
DJ/Chairs/chandelier: Double Platinum
rentals: Treasure Chest Relics and Vintage Rentals
Bride’s Hair and wedding party hair: Neroli
Bride’s engagement ring: Powers Jewelry and Arctic Mark diamonds
Bride’s wedding band: Christopher Augmon
Groom’s band: David Yurman
Katy and Jonathan wanted to be sure that their wedding day focused on the most important thing to them, being with family and friends. An intimate Milwaukee Courthouse ceremony followed by a break for some cheese curds at the Journeyman Hotel, and ending with a patio celebration at Engine Company #3 with all of their friends. It couldn’t have been a more special day. Check out some highlights below! (Oh, and for my friends that share a love for thrifting, Katy’s found her amazing designer dress at the thrift store!!!!! GORGEOUS)!
On the fence about doing an engagement session? Here’s some reasons why you absoLUTEly should!
So you chose your photographer, probably for a few important reasons like: you like the work they put out and you connect with their personality. So you clearly know you’ll get plenty of beautiful images from your wedding day. And maybe you’re not one to want to plaster prints of your gorgeous faces all over your house, so you’re thinking, how many pics do we actually need of us?
Let me stop that train of thought right there, because I feel that the engagement session is less about getting more images than it is about creating an experience and more memories. So, here’s a list I’ve made of my top 5 reasons why you will be happy you did an engagement session!
1) BANISH THE ANXIETY!
You will have a chance to see how you and your photographer work together. This will provide some comfort for you on your big day, because you’ll know what to expect. You’ll gain so much insight into what it’s like to be the subject for your photographer. And your photographer will also gain valuable info on how to best photograph you guys! For me personally, I don’t like to force poses on my couples. I like them to fall into their comfortable ways, how they look at each other, how they touch or hold hands, or how they make each other laugh. These are all things that happen naturally and there needs to be a level of comfortability for those moments to unfold in. And this kind of session is a great way to learn how that happens. I also think a lot of people experience anxiety when it comes to getting their photo taken. This is a great way to wash that anxiety away. Because it won’t be something unknown looming over your big day. Your wedding day is about celebrating your love for each other, not dreading being in front of a camera. So let’s do that!
2) WE HAVE FUN!
You guys, I know YOLO was a thing, and I’m bringing it back because TRULY, whatever your beliefs are, this moment, this right now is only happening once. Our experience on this planet, the relationships we have, they’re just here for this one life. Let’s be present. Let’s make the most of it all. We will spend a couple hours having fun! Bouncing around to some of your favorite locations or doing activities that bring you joy and celebrate your relationship and love. How can that not be fun? Also, I say a lot of weird random things and it’s sure to make you giggle at some point :)
3) BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU IN STYLE!
On your wedding day you’ll be looking and feeling fantastic in your stunning attire. And while that is pure perfection, it’s also nice to have some images of you and your love in clothing that reflects your personal style too! Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to wear my wedding dress everywhere, but I also love my jeans and white tee shirt with my fav boots. Because that’s the everyday me! So let’s see the extraordinary genuine style you have too!
4) DOCUMENTING THIS SPECIAL TIME!
You’re only engaged for a short amount of time, and then onto the next exciting chapter of marriage. So let’s document your relationship at this magical point. All the excitement and love you have leading up to this lifetime commitment to one another is something so important. This is a once in a lifetime session. (I think that YOLO thing applies here again:)
5) SMOOOOCHES UPON SMOOCHES
You guys. Sometimes life gets so insane (especially when you’re planning a wedding). During your engagement session, you will get to smooch and snuggle through out. You get to reconnect to why you’re doing all this planning for this big day! It’s because you LOVE this person soooo much! So pack your fav chapstick and let’s do this!
Last week was Maternal Mental Health Awareness week. And I totally missed it. But, better late than never. Especially with Mother's Day around the corner, I'm always very aware of others journeys surrounding motherhood. I wanted to share a tiny piece of my story. Because I truly believe we need to share our stories. Because in that place of sharing there is healing and love. It's always a funny spot to figure out where to start with this story, but here goes.
I always felt way deep down in my gut, from a rather early stage in my life that I was made to be a mom. That it was who I was destined to be. When my husband and I decided to start our family, we painstakingly found out we had a less than 1% chance of conceiving with out the help of science (also, thank you science)! We ended up having IVF abroad in the czech republic (a whole other great story for another time). Fast forward to a pretty healthy twin pregnancy with zero bed rest (and let me tell you I am grateful every day for that entire experience, even the dark times). Cue water breaking, it was finally time to meet my children. And I'm going to fast forward a bit here too, bc the point I'm getting to is more about my mental health after. Kiddos were born, and while I was in recovery I complained of lingering pain to a nurse. She came into the room to check me over, and when she pushed on my stomach, my life quickly changed. I rapidly lost over half the blood in my body and was whisked away into the OR. It was kind of like a scene in grey's anatomy, where you're watching the ceiling lights rush past you overhead as you have NO IDEA what's happening, bc there was no time to explain anything. I was laying on a table, going in and out of hallucinations, getting glimpses of doctors and nurses working quickly around me. I remember at one moment believing that the anesthesiologist was trying to end my life. In these strange moments, I would drift in and out of my head and thoughts. And at one point I made peace with the fact that this was it. This is my death. My purpose of bringing these babies into this world was served, and now they have a wonderful father that will have wonderful support in raising them. I said my goodbye to my babies. And at this point, one of those babies, Henry, I hadn't even met yet. I came to terms with my death in that moment. Everything went black. Then I woke up safely in recovery again. The first year after that, was like living in darkness. It was painfully lonely and filled with intense irritation.I no longer had any sense of self. Only numbness. Joylessness. Deep anger and sadness all kept within a husk of an unrecognizable Dana. I had really no connection to my children. Children that I felt destined to be a mother to, until they were born. I remember thinking about other moms gushing about how in love with their babies they were, and i felt nothing. I didn't want help from anyone. I didn't want people to tell me it was going to be okay. I didn't want people to tell me it's okay to feel anyway I was. I also then started struggling with flashbacks and PTSD. I felt this shame and guilt constantly. I finally had what I always wanted, and I'd never felt more awful in my entire life. My best friend told my husband that she could see something was not right, and he needed to get me help. He listened, he found me the most amazing therapist and I entered into a lifelong journey of self healing. I LOVE my children with all of my fibers. and my PPD and PTSD never meant I didn’t love them. Instead it made my bond with them now, coming out of that darkness, even stronger. Being a parent is a thankless job for sure. But those struggling with PPD or PTSD have it even harder, because not only is it thankless, but there are no rewards in the form of loving snuggles or gazing at your sweet baby. These rewards don't exist. There's no "in love" feeling as a reward while you go through this incredibly selfless life changing time. but you do itanyway, and THAT makes you an amazing mom and partner. THAT makes you strong. THAT is the love of a mother. Getting help, is the best thing you can ever do. and I am grateful for my bff and hubby for knowing what I needed in a time that I was unable to connect with my own self. My kids are almost 5 now. and I still cringe every time another mom tells me to "appreciate this time with them while I have it" bc I already do. Trust me. I do. and it's been such a journey, and the biggest part of my life story that has scarred my heart in the most beautiful way. So the unsolicited advice comes with the territory, I know. and I have to shrug it off or laugh, bc, dudes. You have no idea how I value these moments. I'll never not be affected by my PPD or PTSD, but I am now living in a place of awakening and acceptance of how I got here. My biggest plea, please look out for the new moms, it is life saving.
Thanks for reading this <3
Here’s a glimpse into some of my favorite moments from Rachel and Reid’s evening winter wedding. I loved every detail and thought that went into their day! (And be sure to check out the amazing ceremony structure that was handmade by a crazy talented family member)!!!
Venue: The Cooperage Milwaukee // Getting Ready: Airbnb above the cooperage, styled by: Shop Ursa // Caterer: Taco Moto // DJ: Midwest Sound // Bridal bouquet: Flowers for Dreams // Wedding Dress: White Dress Mke // Cake: Cake Lady Designs //
Hair and makeup: Studio 890 // Reception venue: The Grain Exchange // Wedding party portraits: The Milwaukee Art Museum, Cubanitas, Hilton Garden Inn.
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda