The fact of the matter is that I honestly cannot think of a single thing I would change to make shooting Marissa and Matt’s engagement portraits more perfect than it was on this day we spent together back in September. The weather, the couple, THOSE DRESSES, the sunshine, the ducks??? — GOSH. All the things, just coming together.
Marissa and Matt, let’s do this again sometime. Does the second of weekend of May work for y’all? Let’s pencil it in.
All cards on the table, this will be a very long blogpost. At first I thought I would try and do two separate blogposts — one of my personal travel photos and one of my dear friends’ German wedding day. But when I tried to separate them, I couldn’t do it. The entire reason we went to Germany was to celebrate the marriage of Meagan and Marvin, so I couldn’t very well separate any of the trip from that. It’s what the trip revolved around.
Why do I have a friend getting married in Germany you ask? Because she met and fell in love with a German man, of course. When Kelsey and I found out the wedding would be in Germany we didn’t even hesitate for a second — we WOULD be getting on a plane in September to see our best friend marry the love of her life and there was no other way around it. So that’s exactly what we did.
As if LIFE COUDLN’T BE SWEETER than getting to travel across the world to be with our best friend, her fiancé and both of their families on wedding week, my little brother Jacob hopped over on a plane from Spain to attend/help me photograph the wedding! I swear my heart could have exploded from all the feelings.
// the farm //
The entire trip we stayed in a flat on a lovely little farm which was quite nice because it didn’t feel like we were foreigners staying at a hotel, it felt like we got to experience a little bit more “day-in-the-life” — we’d grocery shop at Aldi and buy way too many soft pretzels, prepare our meals together, drink coffee in the mornings and stay up way too late at night giggling just a little bit too loud.
// the engagement session //
One evening Marvin so sweetly surprised Meagan by dressing up all dapper in his suspenders and tie (we had to look up a video on youtube to figure out how to tie it so THANK YOU, INTERNET) and we walked down the street to the village garden for a few engagement portraits.
// hochzeitsblumen //
One morning we walked down the road from the farm and cut our own wedding flowers for the reception. It was GLORIOUS. GLORIOUS, I SAY! Where else can you do that???
// the civil ceremony //
In Germany the civil ceremony is what makes the marriage legal, so the day before their wedding ceremony in the church Meagan, Marvin and the families gathered at what I’m going to assume was the German equivalent of a town hall for the civil ceremony, which was followed by a bbq at the Schaefers.
// the wedding day //
The girls woke up at 6:30 a.m. to have a quick breakfast before Meagan’s hair appointment, the ceremony started at 2 p.m. and we left the reception at 1 a.m. Almost 20 hours of wedding-ing.
It was a long day but in the BEST possible way. If you want the mushy best friend take-away, my favorite part was when Marvin told Meagan in his vows that she was his treasure. CUE THE TEARS.
Germans know how to reception, let me tell you. First off, they START with cake and coffee. And not just one cake, but an entire table full of cakes. And then they visit with each other — FOR HOURS. And no one gets bored or leaves. It’s awesome. Then there’s dinner — I still dream about that schnitzel. Dinner was followed by a program put on for Meagan and Marvin where guests perform skits, put on game shows, or toast the bride and groom (that’s what all the American’s did BECAUSE IT WAS OUR FIRST GERMAN RECEPTION AND WE WERE NEW AT IT). During intermission there is — you guessed it — more cake and coffee and conversation. After the second half of the program there was a bit of dancing, some MORE FOOD, and then the send off. It was epic and never rushed and so very sweet. Yes, Germans know how to reception.
Oh, hey guys, it’s me. Just shooting my best friend’s wedding in Germany, no big deal.
I have to brag on Jacob for capturing these next couple of photos, because they’re so very good and I love him and don’t you all think he’s so talented??
// the forest //
The day after the wedding we cleaned up the reception hall, ate lunch together one last time and then sent Meagan and Marvin off on their honeymoon. We had a few hours of daylight left so we decided to go on a walk to the forest because I would not be able to live with myself if I didn’t get to fully peruse such a magnificent setting when it was so close to me.
HANNAH DID AN IRISH JIG IN THE FOREST AND THAT’S WHY SHE’S MY FAVORITE.
// Koblenz //
On day one of being tourists we explored Koblenz, ate more schnitzel (BECAUSE GERMANY) and took a short little boat ride down the Rhine.
(Fun note: you’ll find a similar self-timer shot of me and Jacob drinking coffee together at the tail end of my Spain blogpost, and we also have another like it from our favorite breakfast spot in Denton. I know, we’re cute.)
// Castle vibes //
Because sometimes you need to wake up in Germany, drink a cup of coffee, and go walk around a castle.
// Last night in Germany //
We finally made it through the labyrinth, packed up our suitcases, and seesawed at sunset. Ya know, just your typical German evening.
Thank you to my brother for coming and taking any photo that I got to be in. You’re a gem and I love you.
Thank you to the Hodsons and the Schaefers for showing me and my brother so much hospitality that it was crazy.
Thank you to Meagan and Marvin for getting married in Germany and taking us on this grand adventure.
Thank you to anyone who did not go on this trip but still made it all the way to the end of this post. I award you 27 virtual high fives.
Still to this day, four years into shooting weddings, I’ll sometimes find an inner commentary going in in my head, “Me?? You want ME to photograph one of the biggest days of your life?? Cool.” And you know what? It is pretty cool.
Here’s the thing — Chelsey is one of the most wonderful people in the entire world. I wish I could enumerate all the ways she is wonderful, but it would be too many to count and also I just know I would forget some major points so you’re all just going to have to take my word for it. The girl is wonderful in all the most important ways, and in all the most surprising ways, plus she knows all my favorite movie and television quotes and she has the best vocabulary and phrasing out of all the other speakers on this planet and did I mention that she is SWEET AS ALL GET OUT? (That last sentence accidentally turned into a list. For this I apologize.) She’s a favorite for sure and has been for about seven years now. Having her in my life has been such a gift.
And one day we get a text about this boy named Colby. And then the Instagram hashtag #boyfran started showing up on her feed. And then she brought him to Denton for us to lovingly interrogate. And then we found him to be outstanding as well, (not that she needed confirmation of this fact). And then #boyfran changed to #boyfranforlife and then I drove to Canton to take their engagement photos and to shout about how happy I was for them.
Enjoy a few of my favorites of Chelsey and Colby, her #boyfran #boyfranforlife #husbandof4days.