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Wedding Day


sometimes, somethings got to give - catching up on the last 6 months!

Here it is, December January (I started writing this in December).  My last post was July.  

July.  5 6 months ago.

A huge portion of starting this photography journey was for the writing.  I love it.  I love what it invokes in me - deeper thinking. awareness. appreciation.  documentation of life.  To be honest, the photography was almost secondary.  Life, Love & Lemons - is really about life.  My life, and others.  About the journey - ups and downs of life - through words and pictures.  This blog has been neither, lately.

Life is happening. It is moving so fast, I can't keep up.  My passion for writing, is now just another thing to do.  At some point, something has to give.   I have many posts that I have started in my head - lovely short stories that have come from the tender moments with my kids.  And others, the tender moments that arise while taking family pictures, celebrating new life - of bellies, babies and weddings.  I just can't find the time to post them.  I want to! I want to boast about this little chubby cheeked girl that has graced my life - and the highs and lows about everything else.  The photography business is booming with weddings and families and adorable kids -  and one more reason why I can't get sessions blogged - I try to pride myself on a prompt turn around time, and I have been able to keep it - but not blog. I just can not find the time. 

Here it is, December January and I am finally able to put some words down.   I call this the start of my slow time.  And, it isn't.  It is still busy.  It is the time when my mind and body finally get to catch up to each other.  I am once again, thinking about the next step - the next adventure that I want to start down.  The best part, through all of the hussle - I get to keep dreaming.  I am still finding inspiration at every turn.  Winter is my time to plan my attack.  Approaching and building ... right after I update my website with a new look and updated pictures!  What a difference a photography season makes.  I'm learning a lot - and I love the loyalty I get from clients, and the referrals they continue to bless me with!

Below is just a taste of all of the beautiful people I was able to first meet, or watch grow - from engagements to weddings and from growing bellies to growing families.  I loved 2014 and am super excited for 2015!  




 Thank you for all of the loyalty - you all have become more than clients -  you are dear friends!  Can't wait to see what happens in 2015!





All done 2013 weddings, onto 2014!

I wrapped up my last 2013 wedding about a month ago - We have been steadily booking for 2014.  Our wedding season starts in February!!  Here is one of my July wedding couples - could they be any more beautiful?  I am very excited to capture their intimate wedding at The Mora Farm.  It will be photographed by Chris and I - and vintage styled by me and my team!  CAN NOT WAIT! :) 
If you are recently engaged and starting to plan - make sure to contact me for available dates and vintage rentals!



Day 20: My Church burned down - 80 days until the wedding

Day 20: Get real. Share something you're struggling with right now.

With all of the 'things' to do with a wedding...  having a plan B for 'what if' the church burns down isn't really something I had accounted for, 80 days prior to our wedding.

After several texts and calls from John and other concerned family, I discovered yesterday afternoon that our church had caught on fire, and it is bad. 

I spoke with Father Hougan this morning to schedule a meeting to discuss next steps.  He said he thought of us, and felt bad but we would have to  plan our wedding elsewhere.   

This church wasn't my childhood church, but ever since I moved back and started attending church again, Father Hougan has been instrumental in building and educating my faith. My faith has always been present, always close by - by religion has not.  I am learning about practicing religion and my faith are much deeper then I ever realized.  I have learned more in the past 2 years attending his masses then I have in the previous 28 years.  

The church was beautiful.  It was moved, picked up and carried to a new lot a few blocks away.  Determined to keep the old beauty, the structure and original woodwork was kept but the church was updated, expanded, and more economically efficient.

I was looking forward to our wedding there.  It feels like a home, comfortable and familiar - much like it does for the rest of the parish.  I am disappointed that I won't be getting married in my church, which to me symbolizes the part of my prsoanl transformation, but our wedding is more then the church we get married in.  I think I am more upset about the displacement we will all feel during Mass.  I am sure after a few weeks it will become more routine and we will all adjust.    I know there is a lot of work that will need to be done to put St. Paul's back to it beauty.  

So for now, we will brainstorm options... add yet another revision to my already printed, addressed, stamped and ready to be mailed invitations...  

Here are a few pictured I got of the Rockford Diocese website:



wedding talk - the countdown is on

pinterest. etsy. amazon. vista print. modcloth. Very Jane. Rustic Wedding Chic. Style Me Pretty. {found}. something borrowed.

Plus a bazillion sites and photographers on Facebook. 

These sites are consuming my time, and my money!  

When I was the 12 year old girl that talked of her wedding, it wasn't a big, fancy, detailed event.  I can remember telling my sister Marcy that I would be perfectly happy having KFC cater my wedding.  Put some picnic tables in the yard and I would be happy. Well, here we are, 18 years later  and I am far from the KFC reception - far, far from it.  

When John and I started talking about getting married, I started pinning my ideas for our wedding, dream a little dream. Well, 777 pins later - I am in over my head! It is easy to get consumed by the beauty that weddings represent.  I have had the frame work of what I wanted our wedding to look like in my head but, to actually get to that non typical wedding that represents me, and have a budget, has been more challenging then I ever imagined.  

I narrowed my selections to a 14 page word document that detailed and narrowed down the selection for our big event.  I detailed costs, responsible persons, due dates with deliverables.  It is still evolving, adding and deleting with realism - now that actual money is being spent and the date creeps closer.  I am behind schedule.  I haven't sent out my save the dates yet, 2 months beyond the 'minimum requirement' of when they say you are supposed to send them out.  We crossed our 4 month mark until the walk down the isle on Wednesday, April 10th.  That day was a very real day for me.  Lots of emotions - coupled with panic of everything that has to be done.  

Realizing the importance of resources, I thought I would share some of mine; listed above.  But, also, I thought I would share what I am doing to make our special day, special.  

The Catering Gourmets  was the first 'to do' that we checked off our list.  This may have been done a little backwards, because we didn't have a venue.  But, they are worth it.  I was blown away at our food tasting and I continue to boast about my caterers - about how excited I am for our food and the uniqueness of what we are doing.  The best part, I went to the food tasting and I told Janet what I wanted to do.  I told her it would be an outdoor event and I would be doing all of my place settings with China.  I want to create an experience and an ambiance with the set-up.  She piggy-backed off what I have in mind and tailored our meal to go with the experience.  They are bringing the big grills for our dinner.  The aroma of a fresh grilled meal with beautiful colors in the strawberry salad and bright veggies is going to be a big hit of the night.  I am convinced that I will be a bride with a Nikon around her neck - I want so badly to photograph my own wedding :)  I think I just might have to - at least have my camera within an arms reach.   

Speaking of photographers, I really struggled with finding mine.  Literally, I waited until just last week to book mine.  I now understand the struggle of finding a photographer, I didn't get it before.  It isn't a lack in selection, it is a struggle with finding someone you feel you will trust.  I found someone that was recommended for Child Photography on FB.  I checked out her albums and knew at that moment that I had found my photographer.  Her and I have the same style, taste, pose selection, etc.  Then after I met her, it made all of my nerves about finding just the right person, calm.  finally.  I will share her info at a later date - I didn't ask in advance if I could blog about her, so, after I get the nod - I will share her. :)

VENUE.  I had a vision of what I wanted.  I wanted this big beautiful barn, I wanted my parents big beautiful barn.  But, a working farm and a 'fancy' reception don't always work well together.   So, I had to search elsewhere.  The Mora Farm is where I found just the right place for us to celebrate.  It is a beautiful atmosphere and very accommodating owners.  

Vintage Rentals.  We made the decision to invest in our own place settings - dinner plates, salad plates and bowls, dessert plates, teacups, silverware, glassware, serving dishes, etc.  So, down another avenue, coupled with my wedding photography, I am excited to help create the same classic vintage comfort to other weddings and special events.  I have already booked a few vintage rental dates.  Along with my china, I am a self proclaimed hoarder - lover of everything old.  I plan on having different decorated corners to give the vintage vibe wedding.  My own wedding will be used as my marketing material! 

Band.  I was very determined to have a modern country band for my wedding.  It isn't everybody's style, but it is mine and John's.  So, that is what we are doing.  We have a band that I am very happy with.  We need to do some finalizing, but as soon as that is done I will share them with you as well.  We will have some other music played during the break times to play the other genres of music. Finding a band was a huge challenge.  I think it is because we are kinda in the sticks.  I had to do a lot of research and eventually I got a referral from one band for another.  It all works out!

Bridal Party.  We decided not to have one.  This was a difficult choice.  In the end, after all of the weighing and discussions, it came down to one important fact, the wedding is about us, John, Brayden, and I starting our family.  We have the 'unofficial bridal party' that will still serve the same roles.  They will be there to support us now and forever.  There will still be pictures of our closest.   They will still be present before, during, and after the partying.  We believe they don't need the title to know their importance to us on that day.  It actually has helped to eliminate a lot of extra 'stuff' like dresses, and tuxes, and shoes and jewelry, and...  all of the extra coordinating.  

Wedding favors.  I have to admit, this is a little bit of a guilty pleasure.  Damn you Pinterest! I am having a very hard time selecting / limiting what these are going to be.  Creative by nature, I want to do everything - and make everything by hand.  I believe I have it narrowed down...  I will wait to share that later when I can show some samples.  

Save the Dates / Wedding invitations.  I made ours.  And by made I mean designed, no template.  From the picture in our Save the Dates, the invitations,  and the rsvp cards.  It has been a process to teach myself to expand into the design aspect - but I really enjoy it.  I originally thought it would save some money too.  And, it may very well have - but, I never researched what they cost so I can't say for certain.  But, it is just one more little touch of the wedding that has made the wedding more ours.  

The countdown is on.  121 days. 



capturing love {through a lens}

I was given the opportunity to photograph two weddings last year.  Both couples took a leap of faith in me, because I had only assisted in one other wedding before.  I believe both weddings were a roaring success!  You can see the blogs about them here and here.  

Shortly after, I was contacted through my site by a lady named Laura.  She was referred to me by a friend - the best compliment a photographer can receive is a referral.  Laura was getting married.  She told me a few things up front.   They were both middle aged and they didn't want a big 'to-do'.  Just a small, simple wedding.  My thoughts after reading the email... it sounded perfect.  And definitely something we could make work! We decided to meet and go over some of the wedding details.  

When I met Laura, she was very pleasant and kind.  We went over the details -and she had them all mapped out.  Very organized - beautifully planned.  She had addresses and contact information all ready for me.  We discussed Save-the Dates.  I asked her if there was anything significant in their story that she would like me to bring out in the save the dates.  And, she beamed - literally.  She said there was a quote by David that she would like on there.  We planned it out - and scheduled a date for their engagement shoot.

We had a beautiful day, a little windy but we made it work.  My favorite part, it was as if I was invisible to them.  Not because they were rude or it was an awkward encounter.  It was the love and their engagement of each other that was so perfect.   David is a character!  He was joking and laughing and kissing the entire time. Which made Laura giggle and smile, the entire time.  It shows in their pictures. 

I feel very lucky to have met these two people that found their way to each other.   All good things are worth waiting for - and Laura and David have found a meaningful and true love that they will share together forever.  I am blessed to be able to witness it.  Here are a few of their pictures - you can feel the love.

Here is their Save the Date that we came up with.  I think it represents them well :) 

Congratulations Laura & David! 



tying the knot - {Aubrey & Justin}

This post is long over due.  

Aubrey and Justin got married on October 6 and it marked the day of their marriage but also, a milestone for Life, Love & Lemons.  It was officially,  wedding #2.  And, we defiantly chalked it up as a success! 

Their ceremony was intimate and beautiful.  Justin, was a childhood neighbor.  And, he grew up with my brother.  So, this wedding was special to me for many reasons.  Being able to witness and capture their union was close to my heart.   And, I have to admit - I did shed a tear or two during the ceremony. It was heartfelt and beautiful.  The minister held up a string.  She said " I tasked Justin and Aubrey to go home and tie this sting into a knot, together.  At first the task seemed difficult.  However, with communication and working together, the knot came together.  Much like marriage.  It is work, and sometimes hard but communicating and working together will provide a happy and successful marriage." It was very touching. 

Congratulations Justin and Aubrey!

Here is a glimpse inside their beautiful and special day. 




Sneak Peak {Wedding Day Love}

I have been holding off on this post... but, I can't wait anymore! :)  We are almost finished with this beautiful couples special day. 

I will do a full post soon.  I have so much I want to say about this day and how special it was to share it with this couple, their family, and their friends.  For now, here is just a peak of what is coming.  :)



pretty cool stuff happening....

In the church parking lot - not panicking, at allLife, Love & Lemons {photography} has been really busy...  and, it doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.  So, that means the blog may have less personal 'stuff' and a lot more photography bragging! ;)   

We had our first Life, Love & Lemons Wedding this weekend - it was a blast - And the weather, OUTSTANDING! Chris and I got amazing shots - I can't wait to share them. The bride and groom were stunning, and the whole gang was a lot of fun.  We have our 2nd wedding in a couple of weeks and I can confidently say, we are ready!!  :)

On the party trolley (taken with the cell)

Yesterday, after a 14 hour wedding day - I wanted to do some relaxing, but had a few changes in my plans.  It involved running back to the reception hall, I had forgotten some much needed equipment (glad it was still there), dropping off rented equipment, and picking up my car that got left at the church.  I also squeezed in a super cool senior smiles session - I will do a full entry on it soon!  Here is a sneak peek: 

By the evening, John and I found time for a few cold beverages and enjoyed eating our take-out pizza by the river.  We watched the barges come through and ducks squrry as the sun went down.  It was perfect, almost.  


 Brayden made another trip to Virgina.   I feel like I am walking around in circles most of the time, always feeling like I am forgetting something.  Not having that little guy at my arms reach is hard to adjust to.  I know he is having so much fun and he will be home soon.  Until then, every morning I unconsciously turn the tv to the disney channel (172), when I had full and complete intention to put it on CMT (166).  Every. Morning.  And every time I do it, it starts my day out pretty rough...  because I miss him so much.  

Stay close by to catch all of the upcoming session posts!  

Hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend as much as we did! :) 

Talk soon! :)