elayna + kendall | mackinaw valley vineyard wedding.

I liked Elayna and Kendall from the moment I met them. We met first at a coffee shop, then spent an afternoon together for their engagement session. I learned the things one can learn by interacting with solely a couple – what they’re like and how they compliment one another, and when the story of the two of them began. This is when I learned that Elayna and Kendall had been together since high school – they began loving each other when they were young, and never stopped or grew out of it. Instead, they grew up with one another, and as is sometimes commonplace with high school sweethearts, essentially grew up with each other’s family and friends as well. However, there is one thing you don’t learn as a photographer until a couple’s wedding day – what they are like with their other loved ones, and how these qualities make up not only who they each are individually, but also how these qualities helped craft them each into the person the other one fell in love with.

Early in the day, I watched as Kendall’s mom helped him adjust his tie, just minutes before I watched Elayna help her own mom into her shoes, and then fasten the back of her sister Lorena’s dress. I photographed the ceremony a few hours later as Kendall’s father married him and his high school sweetheart.

Elayna’s maid of honor was her younger sister, while Kendall’s best man was his younger brother. Lorena and Klayton’s speeches had a way of mirroring one another’s – they both spoke of the years they spent looking up to their older sibling, of the funny memories and the silly fights, and the ways in which their sibling has positively impacted who were as kids, and even more so, who they are continually in the process of becoming. As my time photographing their day was coming to a close, I felt myself drawn to continue photographing as Elayna’s brother Tony spun her around the dance floor, and as her mom and grandma and younger brother all beamed and laughed as they danced with one another.

I really love learning about who couples are together, but there is something special about who I get to see them become when they are surrounded by all of the people they love most in the world, who love them fiercely and excitedly. Weddings are cool for a million reasons, but one of the biggest is the sheer amount of love that fills a room full of people who adore one another.

Ceremony Venue: Mackinaw Valley Vineyard
Reception Venue: Five Points Washington
Food + Plates: Nelson’s Catering
Floral, Chairs, Backdrop: Heaven on Earth
DJ: Crystal Entertainment
Bride’s Gown: Adore Bridal
Hair: The Parlor
Quartet: Heart Strings Music

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Chicago, IL


Weddings + Engagements + Life

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