Just as this family is nearing their time as a family of three, I thought I would post this session from last month of my dear friends Lynell+Dan and their little Ellie. As tradition holds, I have photographed some pretty big moments for these sweet friends. Their engagement session, their wedding day. Their maternity session with Ellie, Ellie’s grand entrance into the world, and now as they await their baby girl Lilly…set to arrive…well, soon (and hopefully while I’m IN town and around to be there for Lilly’s birth too!), will round out some pretty big moments in the past 3.5 years.
Knowing many friends who have gone from one baby, to two, and then more…I know how hard it is…especially on those mamas, about giving their next baby the same and equal love the first one(s) have enjoyed. I know that Lynell has been holding tight to these precious last moments with Ellie before she becomes a big sister, and I tried hard to encapsulate their sweet bond they all have. I also have absolutely no doubts that Ellie will be an incredibly excited and doting big sister to her little Lilly!
It makes me incredibly joyful to have the privilege to document these moments. Not perfectly choreographed moments. But real ones. In a field of sheep.
A little cameo of the back of my own little Mayer Grey. My family was along for the shoot and these two babies are seriously the sweetest together.
http://amycarroll.photography/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ACPWebsiteLogo-300x214.jpg00Amyhttp://amycarroll.photography/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ACPWebsiteLogo-300x214.jpgAmy2016-08-25 14:16:262016-08-25 14:16:26Lynell + Dan + Ellie / Maternity and Family Session / Grand Rapids Family Photographer
Hello again! Nice to see you all again, now that it’s August and summer is almost past us. I have a lot of great blogging coming up in the future and today’s post was a favorite from earlier this June of Anna+Jake’s sweet wedding. I had such a great response when I had Krishanna write about her and her sweet groom’s USVI wedding, that I decided to repeat the feature and ask Anna to write a little about her wedding. I feel like many of you bride’s out there get a lot out of another bride’s words than just mine describing how awesome everything was. So enjoy Anna’s perspective of her wedding day accompanied by some pretty photos. Enjoy! -Amy Carroll
The Venue Jake and I got engaged in August 2014. We live in New York but knew we would tie the knot back home in Michigan, so we immediately decided on a long engagement in order to make wedding planning a little easier. The first thing on our priority list was the venue. We knew we wanted something different, but couldn’t quite figure out exactly what that meant. I spent hours researching online and then on October 10, 2014, I came across Greencrest Manor on a photographer’s blog. (I remember the date because that’s how much I love Greencrest.) I immediately called the venue, then called Jake, then called my parents. Thankfully, my parents went and toured the venue and FaceTimed us in. Even in the dreary fall Greencrest was gorgeous and exactly what we had been looking for.
Vendor Recommendations Many of our vendors came from recommendations by other vendors. In fact, the owner of Greencrest suggested Amy. You can spend days researching vendors online, but a good recommendation from someone else in the industry, I think, says much more. We made a priority list and booked vendors one by one. They honeymoon came after the photographer—not really a vendor but very important! Then came flowers, catering, the band—you get the idea. Booking the things that were most important to us first ensured that we got exactly what we wanted.
How to Stay Sane Throughout our two-year engagement, the number one question I was asked was: “How are you planning a long-distance wedding?!” If I’m being completely honest, I think a long-distance wedding is the reason I was so calm during planning. Besides wishing I was closer to my mom and sister, living so far away meant that I was a little bit removed. I wasn’t constantly running around to vendor appointments and because of that, I didn’t overwhelm myself with options. We picked vendors who were easy to work with over phone and email and that made me confident that they would be easy to work with at our wedding. (Our cake baker even brought samples to my parent’s house during Christmas so we could do our tasting at home. Amazing!) I truly think wedding planning only has to be as stressful as you make it, and I really wanted us to enjoy just being engaged instead of stressing about the wedding for two years.
Be Flexible The day of the wedding, I was as prepared as possible. I made timelines for the wedding party. I created floor plans and seating charts for the vendors. I had the giant binder. And then, an hour and a half before our outdoor ceremony was supposed to start, it rained. Not just rained, it poured. A bride’s worst nightmare, right? Somehow I remained relatively calm (thanks, champagne) and was determined that we would still get married outside. But 15 minutes before it was scheduled to begin, it was still pouring. Luckily I married a genius and he suggested we swap the timeline and start with cocktail hour. Greencrest has a gorgeous spiral staircase in the foyer, so our wedding party did a grand entrance down the stairs, with us following behind. Walking into a sea of 200 of our closest family and friends was amazing and Jake says it was his favorite part of the entire day (besides marrying me, of course). Halfway through cocktail hour it stopped raining. Our phenomenal team of vendors sprung into action, wiping down chairs and getting the guests outside. I had my dream outdoor ceremony, our guests were happily buzzed and everything turned out perfectly.
The Best Advice All of this being said, my best advice is to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt—mine included! People give you advice with the best intentions, but at the end of the day, it’s all about you and your future husband. Do what makes the two of you happy. If we would have listened to everyone, we would have ended up with a Vegas elopement (“save money!”), a grand celebration at Disney World (“everyone would think it’s so cool!”) and no flowers (“they just die!”). I very quickly learned to just smile and nod.
http://amycarroll.photography/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ACPWebsiteLogo-300x214.jpg00Amyhttp://amycarroll.photography/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ACPWebsiteLogo-300x214.jpgAmy2016-08-04 11:10:362016-08-04 11:10:36The Miron's / Grand Rapids Family Photographer
http://amycarroll.photography/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ACPWebsiteLogo-300x214.jpg00Amyhttp://amycarroll.photography/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ACPWebsiteLogo-300x214.jpgAmy2016-07-20 07:52:142016-07-20 07:52:14Whitney + Alex / Grand Rapids Wedding Photographer / Bissell Tree House Wedding