Jackie and I met up at Hanson's in North Lake to discuss her wedding plans. One of the biggest honors I have is being able to photograph the weddings of old friends. Jackie and I went to high school together. She has always been one of the funniest, sweetest people I know. I was ecstatic that she had found her person in life.
After my Old Fashioned was perfectly made and sitting in front of me, Jackie walked in. If you have never seen a walking rainbow, you need to meet Jackie. The room lit up with happiness and palpable excitement. Jackie told me about Jonathan, who is serving in the Air National Guard. It was not a furious excitement that overtook her, but a calm contentment. It is what tells me they are in this forever.
For their engagement shoot, Jackie and Jonathan kept it simple and meaningful as we shot mainly on Jackie's parents' farm in North Lake, WI. The broken down barn, tractors, and fading summer light were the perfect backdrop. As we discussed respectful ways to incorporate the American flag into their pictures, I watched a true partnership in the works. Things were important to both of them, even if the idea originated with one.
The day of their wedding, December 30, the temperatures in Wisconsin were abysmal. It was so cold, that when I got a hot chocolate, I set it on top of my car for a moment while loading equipment, and it was already cold by the time I got driving.
I met Jackie's half of the wedding party at Anton's Salon and Spa in Delafield, WI. I loved hearing that Jackie's mom had spent the night before ironing the individualized colored button-downs Jackie's attendants wore. As we chatted through make-up, Jackie shared with me a special book of letters the wedding party and parents had put together for her and Jonathan.
It is the little moments like this one that truly make a day special, and Jackie had plenty in store.
My favorite thing about couples is when they are pretending to be relaxed on their wedding day. When I saw Jonathan at the church, he was laughing and making jokes, but in between those moments, his lips pursed and his eyes unfocused. Jackie was the same, but with a little more energy (which, if you know the two, is par for the course).
As Nick Vombrack, the videographer, and I met for a few moments before everyone walked down the aisle, and the sweeping cold of guests coming through the doors upon arrival subsided, a suspended energy ran throughout the church. Jonathan was ready to see his bride, and their beautiful ceremony began.
Now here is where the fun/complicated part began: I was hellbent on getting these two outdoor pictures, and the windchill was nearing -30 degrees Fahrenheit. For those of you who don't live in colder region, this is what I like to refer to as "breathless cold." When you walk out the door, into the elements, your breath is stolen. It is kind of like in the movie, Frozen, when the one chick turns into an ice cube.
This crew was tough, though and it totally paid off. I have to give some credit to Jackie's wedding attendants, though, for complaining a little bit less...
After torturing the bridal party with my outdoor Arctic photo shoot, we ventured to the reception at the Delafield Brewhaus where Jackie and Jonathan had created a fun party atmosphere with details uniquely them.
Aside from the fantastic cupcakes, one of my favorite parts of the night was snagging this awesome 3-generation wedding ring shot.
Jackie and Jonathan kick-started the reception with their fun dance to Ed Sheerhan's Perfect and dances with their parents.
Congrats, Jackie and Jonathan! May your love always be filled with happiness and calm assurance.
Milwaukee Street Traders for letting us not freeze to death between pictures.
Revere's Wells St. Tavern for letting the wedding party warm up with a strong drink.