Wedding // Eric + Ashley: Schuster Center: Dayton, Ohio Portrait & Wedding Photographer

WOW! What a beautiful beautiful day Eric and Ashley's wedding was. It was kind of gloomy in the sky but gloom was far from Eric and Ashley's faces and all those that were there. We started off at Ashley's parents house while the girls got ready and it was just a sweet, fun, and carefree atmosphere. Ashley is such a natural beauty inside and out. The way she treated her friends, putting them before herself, even on her wedding day, making sure they were taken care of. A genuine friend. 

Eric and Ashley as a couple makes me feel all mushy inside (in a non-creepy way, I promise), they are just too cute together. You'll understand when you see the pictures, so I will let them speak for themselves. 

The reception was at the beautiful Schuster Center and let me tell you it didn't disappoint. One of my favorite reception sites to date. It was a vibrant and a fun filled reception that is definitely going down in the record books.

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Engagement // Tim + Jenna: Dayton, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer

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Tim + Jenna

Really really in love, cute, friendly, stylish, a tad reserved, and a perfect match for each other - were my first impressions of Jenna and Tim. The engagement session was the first time I had met them and we hit it off perfectly. I love when I get a couple and we just "mesh" really well (if that makes sense lol). Jenna and Tim are the kind of people you want as your friends. Jenna is in school to be a vet tech (I think that is the proper terminology, Jenna? You know the ones that do all the work at the Vet clinic ) How cool is that?! My dogie August would approve (hehe).  Anyways, enough rambling on to the good stuff. 

(I'm beyond thrilled I get to photograph their wedding next April.)  

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Love // Learning // Together: Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

"God's grace is sufficient for you" and "God never puts you through a trial you can't handle" have been my words to live by as of the past few months. It seems like hardship after hardship has crept up on our family + church and turned our lives upside down. How real and close your relationship with God comes to life more when you are tested than at anytime. It is the purifying time when you are tested. The "actors"-impure-weak in Christ will be sifted and fall by the way side while the strong in the Lord keep focused on one thing - God and bringing Him glory.
 
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths". Has always been my favorite verse but I have never had it be as real to me as it has been the past few months.
 
I don't usual like to be doom and gloom in my blog but this is real life right now. Trials. It is a nasty 6 letter word but everyone has do go through them. My constant pray is that the outcome will be "...when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." and that I will be even stronger in the Lord once the trials have pasted and that I will depend solo on HIM and that my faith will be increased and my life will be a living example of His faithfulness. Because He IS faithful and has been faithful to Reed and I. We are blessed beyond measure with all the things the Lord has done for us and I know these' trials are just to make us stronger individuals and together.
 
Amongst all the hussle and bussle of life we took a little weekend trip to Sleep Bear National Lakeshore in Michigan to spend some him and I time alone. Our relationship has blossomed so much over these' trying months. He has been my shoulder to cry on, my sound mind when mine wasn't, my listening ear, my best friend when it seemed I had lost so many "good" friends in the past few months, my support, and most importantly my leader. He gave good council when controversy was brought up. He knew what my limit was and what I could and couldn't handle. It is a true beauty when God brings two souls together as one in a marriage relationship.

We had such a wonderful time together climbing the dunes and seeing northern Michigan. We are both a big fan of MI now.
 

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Matt + Kahle // Wedding: Westerville, Ohio

Kahle + Matt

I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me about Kahle + Matt's relationship was how serious they took marriage. They knew "once married"  "always married". They didn't rush into their marriage. They took it slow. They seeked God's will for years and years and years on what His will was for "them".  They discovered what real love was. It wasn't just a feeling to them, it was an action. It was waiting til the other was ready to say "I do", giving space, not rushing marriage because they were willing to do what was best for each other regardless of their own wants + the act of giving each other to the other person in a whole. So many wonderful characteristics their relationship/marriage holds. It was built on a rock not sinking sand. 

I don't think I've seen a guy so in love with his bride. Matt's face as Kahle walked down the aisle was truly priceless. Kahle in return knew how blessed she was to be marrying Matt and calling him her husband forever. It is so so refreshing to see God-honouring couples unite in marriage and having one goal - bringing glory and honor to God. 

I'm so blessed to have been a small part of their love. 


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Jenna + Kyle // Wedding: Dayton, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer

Jenna + Kyle decided on forever. And forever started with "I Do".

When I first met Jenna & Kyle I knew their wedding day was going to be very personal and thoughtful. They wanted to get married somewhere that mean't something to them as a couple. They decided on having it on her uncle's property. They worked and worked and worked to get the property ready for their big day. They cleared fields, cut down trees, mowed grass and weeds down etc., It was finally ready for their day. The man that married them was Kyle's old baseball coach who got ordained just so he could marry them. The log cabin they got ready in was beautiful and had pictures hanging up everywhere, of families, of couples, of children - moments froze in time. Reminds me why being a photographer is so important. 

Kyle + Jenna are so much fun. I just adore them. They tease each other and are sarcastic. Yet they love each other beyond words can say. I'm truly blessed to be a part of this amazing day in history. 

"I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours." -The Notebook
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In Memory of My Preacher

On Wednesday afternoon, Oct 23rd, 2013 about 5:15pm Reed and I went for a run. It was cold outside and the wind was harsh. We laughed and talked as we ran. Reed had brought a back pack with 10 extra pounds that kept jiggling around in his bag that made him run funny. He wanted me to try it so I did. I ran even funnier with it. With my shoulders and arms being stiff so the bag wouldn't jiggle. I handed Reed back the bag. After a little bit we turned around and headed back home. My cheeks felt very wind torn. We were almost home. I stopped to get the mail as we both caught our breathe. We walked down the driveway toward the house to get ready for church. As I entered the house I saw Mom had called several times and left a message. Mary called me several times also. We both knew something was wrong. I listened to Mom's voice mail and I could feel the tears in her voice. She told me to call her back as soon as I could. Which is exactly what I did - as fast as I could. My mind was racing, "Who is it? What happened? Are the kids ok? Did someone get in an accident?" were my thoughts. She answered the phone when I immediately blurted "what happened"??! "Pastor passed away" she said with tears swelling her voice (I was in shock. My mind couldn't believe it. He can't really be gone I thought.). I busted into tears. "What! No! What happened?". She didn't know much other then that he was passed on to be with the Lord. He had had surgery the previous day that was suppose to help him heal up quickly not make it worse I thought. He wasn't suppose to die! Reed was sitting next to me when I called Mom. He gently put his arms around me and hugged me as my face was in my hands - he is always there when I need him and always tough even though he lost Pastor too.
Mary called me a minute later and asked if I had talked to Mom yet. She wanted to go up to the hospital to see the Sugi and the rest of the family who was really our family too. Reed and I rushed to get dressed. We drove to Mary's house to pick her up and then went straight to the hospital. I was confused why God would take a man we needed so much here on earth. My mind was going through memory after memory of him. I couldn't control the tears that rolled down my face as we drove. We arrived at the hospital and we all tried to contain ourselves as we walked through the hospital. We finally reached the ICU. We tried to get into where he was but the nurse who opens the door wasn't there, finally someone came out and we got in as quick as possible. As we walked up to his room we saw Sugi first and then the rest. Sugi's eyes were swollen from tears. She hugged us tightly and I could feel the strength and courage she had already displayed. We walked into the room where Pastor was laying (right before they took him out). It didn't look like him. The pastor I knew was health and handsome with a ornery smile. Katie was clinging to Eric and I could feel the hurt in her eyes. The other girls too were devastated and crushed by this. CJ had been crying too. Which I hadn't seen before in all the 20 years I've known him even when we were little kids he was tough and didn't ever let his emotions show. Him and Pastor were best friends.
Mostly silence filled the room, along with tears. "Can this really be happening I thought?" Mary asked how it happened, they said his organs, one by one, started to shut down. They had given him pints of blood because he had lost so much. His heart stopped beating and they did chest compressions but his body was too weak they said. God wanted him home with Him.
We may not ever understand why God took him from us so soon but we will one day. We know he is in a perfect body now probably making laps around the Lords throne with his Dad and Mom, Bro.Danny Hall, Marvin Clanton, and Earl Hughes.

After a little while we headed to church because we were still having church because that's what Pastor would've wanted. Instead of a normal service Dad had people come up and say things about Pastor or give a memory of some kind about him. It's really amazing the love and compassion he's given to so many people. He started Liberty Baptist church in 1988 and has been faithful through thick and thin. My Dad has been the associate Pastor for a long time now and Mom as Pastor's right hand man so to speak. He was been our God-father and spiritual leader for my entire life. Words can't express the hurt and emptiness felt without him here with us. BUT We will still press on for the Lord. We will still fight the good fight of faith. The fight will be a little more lonely, a little more sad without him, but we will "Keep on Keeping on" as Pastor would say.

I can remember previous months before he went into the hospital he had preached on "Passing on the Torch", "Standing even when he was Gone", messages about having your own personal walk with God. Looking back it's almost like God was preparing us all for his passing. Even though it's hard to go on without Pastor, we must. I know he is watching us from Heaven and he's been waiting to see the Lord face to face for many many years now. Though it seems unfair to us he is the Lord's son and it is his turn to have Pastor Craig Lovell with him. We had him here with us for 63 years and the Lord wants him now. Heaven is a happy, brighter place now that he is there.

I would always tell Pastor that he was the best preacher ever and I truly meant that. You couldn't beat the love he had for his people. You were truly blessed to have met him if you did. Pastor was in SO many of my memories growing up. He would always show up on Christmas morning with bundles of gifts for us kids. He baptized me in 1999 shortly after I had got saved. He would always give us hugs and tell us how special we were to him. Not to mention all the camping meetings and church activities that were some of my fondest memories. As we got older he would take us teens out for Pizza and Kings Island etc,. He made everyone feel special and important to him regardless of your age. He did marriage counselling with Reed and I also and married us. I'm so honored and privileged to know Pastor like I did. So thankful for all the years we had him here with us.

Pastor, I love and miss you very much and I hope my life will be one to make you proud and honoured to have me as "Your Body Guard" (inside joke lol) and adopted daughter. Say hi to my Grandpa up there.
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"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." -Philippines 4:4 

(one of Pastor's favorite verses).
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Pastor's favorite place to be.
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WE WILL YOU PASTOR!
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Missy + Brian // Wedding: Columbus, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer


Missy + Brian

It was a beautiful morning in September when Reed and I headed up to Columbus to shoot Missy and Brian's wedding. We were super stoked about this wedding because I knew it was going to be, well, it was going to be nothing short of amazing.  Missy is very particular and she knows what she wants and I knew her wedding was going to turn out perfect. It was exactly that - perfect! Her friends, family, her hair + makeup, jewelry, venues, colors, SHOES, how the centerpieces were all from the Wineries they've been to together, and the trolley we rode around in all over downtown Columbus.....I could go on all day, it was all just perfect. Even her pendant gifts to her bridesmaids finished their look precisely right. The "getting married under a gigantic oak tree" was a nice perk too ;) Normally I just let the pictures speak for themselves I couldn't help but brag on Missy's wedding planning skills a little bit. 


Them as a couple is even more perfect though. They are just, ya know, "right" together.  They light up each others lives like no one else. They are a team. The best dance partners ;) Adventurers and each others biggest supporters. 

I adore them. They are just so great. Enjoy a sneak into their preshhh precious day :)


//  I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years

I'll love you for a thousand more //  
Christina Perri

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Kelli + Michael
So in love. So happy. So content with each other. 
Kelli and Michael's wedding was one of the 4 weddings I had within a weeks time and though it was a lot of working it is so rewarding to be able to capture days like this one was. Just all the little thoughts and emotions that go into every detail. Kelli reminded me of myself on my wedding day - happy + ready to give her heart to her guy. Planning a wedding isn't for babies that's for sure ;) so when the day does finally come it's like a breath of fresh air to be able to see it all come together into the wedding day you always imagined and I know Kelli felt that way. 


Kelli's brother walked her down the aisle because their Dad had passed away. I'm close with my brothers and my Dad and it was sweet to see her brother being there for her and being her rock. Also, the car you will see later on in the post is the car her Dad bought before he passed away. They had it restored and drove away in it in honor of her Dad.  

It was a lovely-incredible day to be a part of!

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Engagement // Allie + Andy: Dayton, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer

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Allie + Andy

("Allie + Andy" doesn't that just sound so right together?! I think YES.)

As you can probably see I had a ball photographing these' two as they were waaaay to cute together. They were constantly laughing at each other and with each other (haha). Their serious face lasted about 1.2 seconds (haha). My favorite favorite favorite kind of people. Why be serious when you are in love and so so happy, right?! They remind me of Pooh and Piglet (not in their looks of course, because, come on, look at them--beautiful+handsome as can be) but in their friendship. In the fact that they are best buds. I know that may sounds childish (but kids are cool right?).  I love when I see that character in my couples. Along with a love for the Lord and a wanting to serve him....you can't beat that combination. Ohh yeah, and the fact that they are madddddlllyyy in love is just a topper for the cake ;) Enjoy this little collection happiness. 

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Jason + Hannah // Wedding: Dayton, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer

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Hannah + Jason

They are farmers. They are country people. They bale hay. They know how to work. They know how to work hard. They knew what they wanted and they found it in each other. Hannah and Jason's wedding was a perfect mix of country life + "pretty in pink".  They already have a family and wouldn't have had it any other way. They are each other's dream come too, for real. 

Hannah is so upbeat and vibrant. Jason is honest and genuine-kind person.

Two peas in a pod they are! 


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Jordan + Emily // Wedding: West Chester, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer

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Emily + Jordan

Love is sweet and Jordon and Emily have it--that sweet, tender, passionate, unconditional love for each other. You can see it in their eyes. They both lite up uncontrollable when they saw each other for the "first look" on their wedding day. 

When I met with Emily prior to the wedding day she was as happy + anxious as can be to marry her man and become Mrs.Colvin forever. She had been waiting for this day to come and when it finally did she was as joyous and beautiful as ever (and so was Jordan). She told me several times that Jordon was her rock, her safe place. He made her feel complete, safe and calm--fulfilled, and that is the exact reason she wanted to do the "first look" instead of waiting til she walked down the aisle. 

Emily and Jordon's wedding was very nontraditional and I loved it, it was "them" and let me tell you it was so lovely. Everything. Simple lovely. 

//"One day, far away, you gently won my heart
And one night, by candlelight, we made a vow to never partAnd then it seemed just like a dreamWhen wide eyed, side by sideWe faced the future holding hands"// -Steve Green

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Love // Learning // Together: Niagara Falls + Toronto, Canada

Back in June Josh and Eastlyn + Reed went on a weekend road trip headed north. We were headed to New York to see Niagara Falls, and Canada to see the city of Toronto. It was nothing short of amazing. Four best friends with a map and a mini van full of campfire wood (lol)--what else do you need? 

The trip was so refreshing. Having our best friends with us spending the weekend traveling (which we all love to do) and having a blast. Taking SO many pictures and laughing so hard we cried, literally, several times. Mostly at night while talking in fake accents. Walking by the Falls at night and finding a rainbow, but then got worried because the guys couldn't remember where they parked (lol).  Switching drivers because my husband sometimes drives like a crazy man (bless his heart). Staying up like 2-3am talking about everything and anything under the Sun. Getting to know each other on a whole new level--even though we've known each other for so long. Sweet friendship is what I call it. Reed and I wouldn't trade their friendship for the world.   

Niagara Falls is spectacular. I was speechless at the beauty of the Falls. Toronto was full of adventure and life.
(While we were in Toronto Taylor Swift had a concert going on at the convention center so there were people with "Red" shirts on everywhere. EVERYWHERE. I was conveniently wearing red also, even though I'm not a Taylor Swift fan, at all. I felt like I was deceiving everyone lol). 

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Scott + Sarah // Engagement: Cincinnati, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer



Sarah + Scott

There is so much to say about this couple. They met at church (briefly) but really got to know each other on a missions trip to Dominican Republic where the history of  "Sarah + Scott" really began.

 Did I mention they both have the *biggest* heart for God and missions.

 I've known Sarah for a few years now and she really is a light for God. She's so full of life. She is always smiling, seriously, ALWAYS smiling, which I love about her. She has a constant Joy! She lights every room she walks in. She lifts others up above herself and I know Scott has seen all of this in her. Though, I just met Scott at the engagement session I've heard and can see how much he loves God and how focused he is at doing the Lord's will and that was exactly what Sarah was looking for--someone focused on God and truly a follower of Christ, a preacher man ;)  (she may have mentioned something about liking the tall, blonde and muscular type, too).

They've are saving their first kiss for their wedding day. 

(^major props *clap hands*)

Their engagement session was the first time I saw them interact together and I wasn't disappointed. They are so so so good together. Like, fairy tale-forever kind of good. He compliments her strengths and she compliments his. They love holding hands and just being together. He makes her laugh so much and she can get him to smile no matter what. They have to deal with having a long distance relationship, but their relationship/friendship is so strong because they based it on God. Their courtship is one to be looked up to and highly esteemed. So honored I get to capture this special time of their relationship and can't wait to see them say "I do".

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Wedding // Garrett + Sara: Westerville, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer

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Sara + Garrett
   
    Incredible. 

We pulled into Sara's parents house where the girls were getting ready. There was wedding decorations outside the house to get everyone into wedding mode.  As we walked in we hear girls giggling, the smell of hair spray, and many smiling faces greeting us. Sara was so so giddy, like I've never seen any bride be. She was full of vibrant life and excitement. She kept saying "I get to married Garret today!!"  *with a squealover and over. With her Starbucks cup in hand, that said "Bride",  she was getting ready to be Garrett's bride forever. As she got her dress on everyone had to hold back tears of joy because...

"SARA WAS GETTING MARRIED TO GARRETT TODAY!"

We headed off to do the First Look.  Sara waiting in the car. We took Garrett back to the spot where he would see his bride for the first time. Sara headed down the path to see her Groom. She took off his blind fold and the look on both of their faces was priceless pure joy is the only way I can describe it. I believe that is truly what God intended for Husband and Wife to find in each other. 

The ceremony was God-honoring, emotional and overflowing with tears of laughter and joy. Even though they got rained out and had to move the ceremony to the Barn, Sara and Garrett didn't let it put a damper on their day or their mood--high spirits the entire day. Oh, and the bridal party was fantastic helpers, seriously, the best I've seen. 

Garrett + Sara and are like two peas in a pod. I know that's kinda corny but they are. They just match. They rhyme well. Mesh perfectly. They are each other's God-send. 


Oh and yes, every detail of this wedding was particular and unique.  Sara you had an amazingly-beautiful wedding. Check out their first dance too--incredible.
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Wedding // Justin + Erin: Anna, Ohio Wedding & Portrait Photographer


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Justin + Erin

Being loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone 
deeply gives you courage.
 -Lao Tzu 

It is neat to see the different couples God sends my way. Erin was home schooled and from a large family just like me. I think it made us kindred Spirits (as Anne of Green Gables would say).  She also reminded me of Anne of Green Gables in her looks. She isn't talkative and dramatic like Anne, but she is quiet, caring and very sweet. The whole day she kept asking us if we were doing ok and if we needed anything (even though it was HER wedding day). Selfless. 


Justin & Erin compliment each other so perfectly.  They love each other deeply and are confident in what they have together, the kind of confidants that last forever. They are best friends and know how to laugh and have fun together (even on their wedding day they were carefree and just really really enjoyed each other. They didn't rush things--they soaked it all in).  
I don't think I've ever seen so much family at one wedding. I could see how loved and how important they are to so many people. 

(Ohhhh yes, and they square danced!).



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