ericamay photography blog: thought studio.

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Kansas City Wedding: Kim and Kyle October 25, 2009

October is such a great time to get married in Kansas City — the trees are gorgeous, the weather is typically pretty mild, and… well, I got married in October so I’m a little partial to the month. :) Kim and Kyle chose a late October wedding because they wanted the trees to be at the peak of the fall season. It was perfect timing.

Kim and Kyle got married at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, with a reception downtown at the Aladdin Hotel. Their day was very relaxed and laid-back, which was perfect for these two and their guests. Here are some of my favorites. First, their rings on a gorgeous fall tree!

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Their ceremony was beautiful, and I really loved photographing in this church, which is a circular design and has some great natural light! Kim’s dad walked her down the aisle:

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Kim and Kyle got to sit down for part of the ceremony. It was fun capturing their glances during the ceremony. :)

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Some more ceremony favorites:

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Husband and wife! Yay!

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After the ceremony, Kim and Kyle scheduled in time for creative portraits downtown before the reception, which was amazing! Here they are with the wedding party:

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I love their reaction here to something their friends said. :) So happy!

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Now get ready for a big set of portraits. :)

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These two are so sweet together. I love this one:

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24 is the date they got married. :)

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The wonderful Kasie helped me shoot this wedding — here is one of the shots she took! I love this wide-angle view!

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More of my faves:

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The next two are Kasie’s shots — I love both of these. 

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We found this great wall with pretty fall vines. These next shots are mine:

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Their reception was on the 16th floor of the Aladdin Hotel in downtown Kansas City. It was set up to be a reception where people could visit with each other and relax to the tune of some great live music. :)

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It’s a tradition in Kim’s family for family members to design squares of fabric that are all sewed together in a quilt for the couple. Here’s one of the quilt squares, designed by a grandmother:

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More reception shots:

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Kim and Kyle, congratulations on your marriage. I hope you’re having an awesome time in London or France, wherever you might be when you see this. :) Thanks so much for asking me to be a part of your wedding day.

Friends and family who want to view all of the wedding photos can click here for the online gallery. Sign in, and you’ll be notified via e-mail when all of the images are available online!


Coming Soon: The Andersons! October 12, 2009

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I knew Mrs. Anderson (YAY!) would want to see a photo right away. :) Jamie, this one’s for you! Many more to come this week!


Manhattan Kansas Wedding: Amy and Brian

I love fall. And I love weddings. So you better believe I love fall weddings. :) Amy and Brian got married this past weekend in Manhattan, Kansas, and it was a great fall day — right before the weather turned so cold! They got married in the evening at Seven Dolors Catholic Church with a reception at the Manhattan Country Club.

We started off with Amy getting ready at the church — the details in her dress were amazing.

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Amy and Brian chose to see each other before the wedding for the photos, and we had their first meeting outside on the church steps, which was surrounded by beautiful trees with changing leaves. These are from their first few moments together:

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I loved the golden tree, so we did a few of Amy’s bridal portraits in front of it, too. The backlit sun was just lovely… and so was the bride!

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The wedding party went outside for fun and relaxed portraits, too. This is on the side of the church:

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We walked to downtown Manhattan (just a few blocks) for more photos with Amy and Brian. I could’ve spent all day taking portraits… but they had to get married. ;)

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I love the next two that Jeff took:

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Brian’s family owns Danenberg Jewelers in downtown Manhattan, and that’s where he proposed to Amy. Of course, we had to get some photos in front of the store on their big day!

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These next three detail shots are by Jeff — ring shots (of course — the groom is a jeweler!) and the gorgeous church:

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Jeff also grabbed this one right before Amy walked down the aisle:

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The ceremony was in the evening, since the wedding was on a Friday, and it was really romantic — lit by candles, with the focus on the altar of the church. 

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Jeff’s ceremony shots:

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And their grand exit (the first is mine, the second is Jeff’s):

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I like this shot of the car window as they were pulling away — the people in the reflection are Brian’s sisters and grandparents. :)

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When we arrived at the Manhattan Country Club, which sits up on a tall hill, Amy and Brian gave me a few more minutes for portraits!

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The reception was very elegant, and had a really laid back and classy feel. Here are a few of the details:

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I love to watch the bride and groom during events like slideshows of their love story — the reactions are always great. Here’s one of Amy:

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Instead of a bouquet and garter toss, Amy and Brian chose to dedicate it to their grandparents, who have been an example of lasting love and marriage for both of them. It was really special. Afterwards, they had a special dance for them — here are Brian’s grandparents dancing:

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The flower girl was Amy’s niece and she was so adorable, especially gliding around the dance floor like a princess. :)

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Amy and her dad during the father-daughter dance:

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And I’ll leave you with a shot from Amy and Brian’s first dance:

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Congratulations, you two! I hope you’re enjoying your honeymoon in Hawaii! :) Best wishes for a joy-filled marriage.

Friends and family, click here to sign the guestbook for the online photo gallery. You’ll receive an e-mail when the photos are all ready to be viewed online!


Topeka Wedding: Michael and Sara October 5, 2009

The day was filled with tradition. And family. And love.

It was everything you expect a wedding to be, when a couple unites as one and their closest family and friends celebrate right along with them.

For Michael and Sara, that was a big crowd. And it was amazing. :)

I’m going to get all sentimental talking about how sweet these two are, and how fun their families are, and how beautiful their wedding was… so I’m going to cut it short and just show the photos. I’m working quickly to get these up before the couple leaves for their honeymoon in the morning. :) Let’s just say that Jeff and I had an awesome time sharing the day with Michael, Sara, and their hundreds of guests!

The ceremony at Holy Name Catholic Church in Topeka, Kansas, was beautiful. The morning light was streaming through the stained glass, and I knew it was going to be a great day.

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Jeff’s shot:

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Sara walked down the aisle with both of her parents, and she was just beaming.

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And Michael was, too. They didn’t see each other before the ceremony, so this was his first time seeing his bride — Jeff captured this one:

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The ceremony was lovely, and filled with traditions from their culture. I loved it.

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The beautiful (and packed) church:

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Here, Michael and Sara are presented with the arras — 13 coins that represent Jesus and the disciples and symbolize the sharing of riches between the bride and groom. They also signify hope for future prosperity and their promise to take care of one another. 

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Here are the arras up close:

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Another tradition is that of the manquerna. It is shaped like a figure eight, the symbol of infinity. The bride and groom’s mothers place the manquerna to symbolize the lifelong bond between husband and wife.

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Some more of my favorite ceremony shots:

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The next few are Jeff’s ceremony shots. I love Sara’s sweet expressions in these!

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My view of their first kiss as husband and wife:

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Jeff’s shot:

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And mine — I love this moment!

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Michael and Sara had two portions of their reception — the first was a dinner reception in the afternoon, followed by a break, and then everyone returned for a night filled with music and dancing. At the dinner, guests were served delicious homemade (seriously, all of it!) Mexican food, all prepared by their families!

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After the first portion of the reception festivities, we had Michael and Sara all to ourselves for their portraits together, which were taken around the reception site (Agricultural Hall in Topeka). The weather was great, the fall colors were just emerging, and the couple was carefree — the only thing left to do was celebrate!

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Here’s one of Jeff’s:

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And my shot of the lovely Sara!

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I couldn’t decide which of the next two I liked better, so you get to see them both. :)

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Jeff also captured some pretty awesome shots of their rings! Here are two of my favorites he took:

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After that, it was time to party. :) The couple hired both a live band and a DJ, who were both amazing. The band — Grupo Picante — kept everyone salsa-ing all night. And the DJs didn’t use iPods… oh no, they had turn tables and mixed music with them all night. It was awesome.

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This one goes out to Josh, who I know is reading this right now. :)

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This is Jeff’s, and I wish it were my shot. :) I love the motion of the dancing, and how beautiful Sara looks.

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And I’ll leave you with one of my favorite reception shots — bride and groom surrounded by their wedding party (or, a small portion of the wedding party!). :)

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Michael and Sara, congratulations to you both. Jeff and I are so thrilled for you and excited to be a part of your engagement, wedding, and marriage. Enjoy Chicago!

For family and friends who would like to see all of the images (and there will be a LOT to see!), click here to sign in to the online gallery. You’ll receive an e-mail when all of the photos are available to view.


Also, one last shout-out to Whitney, who came along to assist with this wedding. Whitney, thanks for being a part of the day — I can’t wait to see where your photography endeavors take you. :)


Manhattan KS Wedding: Megan and Adam, K-State Gardens and Alumni Center September 15, 2009

Rain, rain… go away. :)

It can’t rain on a wedding day — at least not when a fun couple has planned a gorgeous outdoor ceremony, just a few hours after what is supposed to be sunrise. It just can’t rain. Because the couple carefully planned their wedding ceremony to take place under a beautiful canopy of flowers, surrounded by flower beds full with beauty in early September. It’s just can’t rain. Because the couple had visions of saying “I Do” in the fresh and bright morning light, surrounded by God’s beauty and their close family and friends.

It just can’t rain.

When I got a text from Megan at 5:45 a.m. on her wedding day with bad news about the rain, I said a little prayer. Okay, a big prayer. For Megan and Adam, for their wedding day, and for the rain. To go away, if at all possible. :) 

And guess what? It didn’t rain. :)

In fact, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was peeking through a gorgeous thin layer of clouds, a slight breeze was blowing, and the air was filled with laughter, joy, and hope for what this new day — this morning — would bring. 

Megan and Adam planned a morning wedding ceremony, and very ambitiously wanted to do their photos before the ceremony began. Always up for something new, I said “Absolutely!” to the early morning starting time. :) It was still drizzling when we started photos that morning, so we started at K-State’s Alumni Center for indoor portraits and for Megan and Adam’s first look.

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Then, right on cue, the rain let up and the sun decided to join us — although a little timidly at first — for the most beautiful morning portrait session!

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The K-State Gardens are so romantic. I found myself drawn to the more romantic portraits in this set, too. :)

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Proof that the sun joined us:

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I love outdoor ceremonies, and white chairs all lined up in pretty little rows.

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Kasie helped me shoot this wedding, and I’ll be sharing some of her shots here, too. She got some great detail shots of the gardens to help paint the picture of the wedding day atmosphere:

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The ceremony was perfect, made even more joyful by the thankfulness everyone felt for the sunshine and cool September morning. Here’s a shot Kasie captured of Megan and her dad getting ready to walk down the aisle:

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Here’s my view of Adam, waiting for his bride!

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And my view of Megan’s walk down the aisle:

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The group sang hymns at the beginning of the ceremony, which was just beautiful. My heart almost burst with happiness. :)

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Kasie did some very stealthy hiding in the trees and bushes for some awesome shots. Here are some of my favorites she took:

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I loved the delicate white flowers in the greenery over this archway. These are my shots:

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Husband and wife! I love this moment!

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Megan and Adam had their big send-off with fresh flower petals in all colors. They also had “Flower Ladies” (instead of Flower Girls) who had huge baskets of petals for guests at the end of the ceremony.

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This next one is Kasie’s view — I love the expressions on people’s faces surrounding them!

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Since Megan and Adam’s wedding ceremony was in the morning, they followed it with a breakfast-themed reception. It was so much fun and a great time for guests to mingle and chat and really have some time to talk with the newlywed couple. Here are a few details:

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They gave out flower seed packets with their names and wedding date on them as a wedding favor, and had this funny poem that Adam wrote to Megan on the tables… reading it might give you an idea of how funny they are, and how much fun they have together. This is Kasie’s shot:

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The toasts… the first two are my shots, and the last one is Kasie’s. Megan’s sister was her maid of honor, and Adam’s dad was the best man.

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And I’ll leave you with two ring shots… both done in honor of their morning wedding and breakfast reception. :)

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Megan and Adam, congratulations on your wedding and marriage. May God bless you with a joyful marriage, sunny mornings, and a garden full of beautiful flowers. :)

Family and friends who want to see all of their wedding images can click here to sign in to the online gallery. You’ll receive a message when they’re ready to be viewed!


Wichita Wedding: Leah and Michael September 8, 2009

Relaxed. Calm. Serene. 

Not words that are usually associated with a wedding day…

Unless you’re Michael and Leah, their family, and their friends. Because relaxed, calm, and serene is exactly what they were. And exactly how their wedding day felt. And exactly why they were able to be so joyful, so happy to be getting married, and so excited about everything all day long. In other words, a photographer’s dream. :)

Leah and Michael got married this past weekend in Wichita, and it was an honor to be a part of their special day. I grew up with Michael (okay, okay… we call him “Mike”) at my house a lot… he’s good friends with my older brother, who was in the wedding! I got to know Leah over the past several months of their engagement… and what a sweetheart she is. It’s no wonder these two found each other. They both share a huge love for music (and were both part of the Singing Quakers at Friends University), and their wedding really reflected that.

I met up with the ladies as they were getting ready at the church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wichita. 

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Leah and Michael opted to not see each other until after the ceremony, so we opted for photos of each of them individually beforehand, and did their couples’ portraits after!

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Leah’s dad walked her down the aisle…

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…to her groom, who was absolutely beaming. :)

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I have so many favorite ceremony shots to share with you, because they were just smiling and giving each other these “I’m-so-in-love” looks throughout the whole ceremony! It was amazing! I’ll be sharing both my shots and Jeff’s with you here… the first two are mine:

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And Jeff’s (I love this one so much)…

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Mine again:

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And Jeff’s:

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Back to mine… here they were just announced as husband and wife!!

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And Jeff’s of the same moment (is he good or what?!)… and isn’t Leah lovely? 

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After the ceremony, we had some time for a portrait session with the bride and groom at the church (one of my favorite parts of the day!).

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Jeff took these awesome shots of their rings!

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And then we were off to the reception at the Homewood Suites at The Waterfront in Wichita. They incorporated such great details and colors into their reception decor — I loved the personal touches, and the details I kept finding all over the reception venue! They had a great indoor space and a beautiful outdoor patio that overlooked a lake. It was gorgeous! I’m going to share some of the details first…

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They incorporated their engagement photos so nicely, blending them in with florals or placing them amongst other details.

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They used old doors painted a light lavender color to display photos (attached to ribbons) of each of them, their relationship, and each of their parents’ relationships. It was really cute!

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They had a “wishing tree” where guests would write notes or advice or congratulatory messages to the newlyweds, and hang it on the tree! I love this idea.

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The toasts had everyone laughing. I love watching the couple during the toasts…

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And their first dance was just so sweet… just like them! :)

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The new bride and groom even let me steal them away for a few minutes for outdoor portraits in the late evening. Of course, I loved that. :)

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Leah and Michael, congratulations on your marriage! I’m wishing and praying for you to have the most beautiful life together. Enjoy your honeymoon with no plans in the Northwest… it sounds amazing! :) Congratulations!

Friends and family can view all of the images online (or just sign in and you’ll be notified when they’re ready to go!).


Kelsey and Danny’s Wedding (Topeka and Lawrence) August 31, 2009

Every once in a while, we meet someone who is everything a person should be — happy, energetic, driven, kind, smart, and thoughtful. Every once in a while, that kind of person blesses our life with and brings us just a little more joy and reminds us what it is to love the details in life.

And every once in a while, two people who share those qualities meet. And fall in love. And invite me to photograph their wedding. :)

Kelsey and Danny. What can I say about these two except that they are absolutely wonderful? Jeff and I have been looking forward to their wedding day all year, especially after their awesome engagement session. Their wedding day was exactly what we expected it to be — a celebration of their love. These two were so excited to get married! They put on an amazing wedding, and I’m going to stop gushing about it now and show you the photos. :)

We started off wit Kelsey putting on her finishing touches:

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Her dress had a jayhawk sown in (they are both die-hard KU fans… more on that later!):

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The flowers were beautiful, done by Corlis at McLouth Flower Loft. I’ve worked with her a few times in the past, and I’m telling you, she’s brilliant with florals. Here’s Kelsey’s elegant bouquet:

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Kelsey and Danny opted to see each other before the wedding for their formal portraits. I absolutely love the “first look” between the bride and groom on their wedding day. Kelsey and Danny were just so excited, and I love the sheer joy in these photos!

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Jeff caught this awesome photo of Danny’s expression when he saw his bride for the first time!

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I love how Kelsey dropped her train as she hurried towards Danny!

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Jeff’s view of their first meeting — this one is sooo romantic!

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Seriously, I could not have scripted this cuteness! :) I love it!

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Their expressions here just make my heart melt. 

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We started with their portraits together, and did most of them outside since the weather was absolutely perfect. Who knew we’d get a 70 degree weather day in August? :) The church provided a beautiful backdrop for photos.

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One of Jeff’s shots:

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The gorgeous bride:

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And the handsome groom (these are both Jeff’s):

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I could’ve taken photos of Kelsey all day long. She’s beautiful. So I have to share a few more with you… :) I wonder if Danny knew he was marrying a model? :)

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A few more of their cuteness together… 

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Jeff did some creative shots of their rings. This is one of my favorites:

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Kelsey’s nephew Oliver looked so cute in his baby-sized tux. :) You might remember him from this post.

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The ceremony at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Topeka, Kansas, was beautiful. The architecture was lovely. Kelsey’s dad walked her down the aisle.

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A few of my favorite ceremony shots:

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Seriously, how sweet is Danny? I think I almost said “aww!” out loud when he kissed Kelsey’s hand during the ceremony. :)

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Here’s one of Jeff’s. I’m not sure if Danny was wiping away tears or just rubbing his eyes, but either way… :)

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Their exit was one of the cutest ever. :) Yes, I just said “ever.” They opted to use confetti poppers for their guests and it looked amazing in the photos! To give you an idea, I’m going to give you the extended version of their grand exit from the church! :) The first three are Jeff’s view:

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And one of mine:

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I hopped in the stretch-Hummer limo for a few photos of Kelsey and Danny during their first few minutes as husband and wife!

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Their reception was in a beautiful ballroom at the Holidome in Lawrence, Kansas. The details were very elegant, and the party was amazing! I usually don’t share so many reception shots, but these are too good to pass up. :) Kelsey and Danny’s first dance:

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… which turned into THIS:

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… an amazingly choreographed first dance to a mix of songs. It was awesome, and a surprise for the whole crowd!

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Jeff’s shot:

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I love how Kelsey and Danny can have so much fun and get a little crazy, but they’re also super classy. :) They wrapped up their first dance with a few more minutes of a slow dance.

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One surprise wasn’t enough for the crowd. Oh no, not when Danny’s involved. :) He surprised EVERYONE — Kelsey included — with a smaller version of the KU marching band. Yes, you read that right. I even laid aside my K-State loyalties and got into their lively renditions of KU fight songs. :) And I sacrificed my hearing for some of these close-up shots. :)

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Kelsey and Danny, big congratulations to you both. I’m so excited for you and the fun chapter of your lives that started this past weekend. Wishing you a very happy — and fun-filled! — marriage together. :)

For friends and family who want to see more of the c-r-a-z-y reception photos, the beautiful portraits, and the other memorable moments throughout the day, you can view all of the photos online. Just click here to sign in to the online guest book, and I’ll let you know when all of the photos are ready to be viewed!