Feel free to ignore me down here and just go ahead and re-load this blog post and look at the photos again. It's okay, I'll wait. Okay, you back? You still breathing? Because Iceland was literally breath taking. Many folks who don't know Ingrid and Kris but knew that we were headed to Iceland to shoot a wedding always asked us two things: 1) Are they Icelandic? and 2) Why Iceland? To clear up those two things first; Ingrid and Kris are American and they chose to have a destination wedding in Iceland for many reasons, but the primary reason being the absolutely stunning landscape and beauty of the place. We knew going into the wedding that it was going to be an amazing experience, but we really had no idea how austerely beautiful the weekend would be. It was other-worldly in many ways. As we drove three hours north from the airport in Keflavik we were quickly greeted by stunning volcano-mountains and lava rock plains. Civilization seemed to lull to a place of prehistoric proportions, and we had to laugh when we entered a stretch in the drive where the only radio station that came in clearly was an abstract fog horn musical composition. So very cool and Scandinavian.
As if the landscapes weren't enough to get us excited; when we finally pulled into Ingrid and Kris' wedding location, Hotel Budir, we were greeted by a cozy hotel on the shores of the Atlantic. In many ways it was in the middle of no where - but it felt very idyllic and community-like with roaming dogs and wedding guests arriving with hugs and excitement for the weekend to come. Ingrid and Kris welcomed their guests with a twilight dinner (the sun doesn't really go down until 11:00pm or so, and even then it doesn't get truly dark) that we were able to enjoy with the guests. On the morning of the wedding Matt and I ventured out to see some scenic views (and take photos of course) while the wedding party started to ready themselves for the big day. When we arrived to photograph Ingrid and Kris getting ready for the ceremony, excitement was high and laughter was plentiful. Despite the drizzly weather conditions we managed to take some portraits of them outside amongst the stunning landscapes. We were in photo heaven! The ceremony was held in the cutest little chapel up the road from the hotel which ended with the sweetest rendition of 'My Favorite Things' from The Sound of Music on the small church organ. The celebration continued back at the hotel with some amazing food, heartfelt toasts, an adorable first dance and all ages of guests rocking out the dance floor. We had to take the opportunity to grab a few more couple portraits at sunset (aka, 10:45pm) and were so glad we did since the rain had stopped by then and we were able to see more of the snow capped mountains. Ingrid and Kris, we are so grateful for the opportunity to work with you and capture such a special time in your lives. Til Hamingju!!!
I could gush allllll day about this wedding. When Kelsey and Danny approached us about photographing their big day in Antigua, Guatemala - we were head over heels for their wedding vision and for them as a pair. Kelsey and I go back to our college days in Minnesota. We danced together and I always admired her photography skills (she's a talented photographer herself) and heart for helping people. Naturally, these two things left me Facebook stalking all of her travel photos to Guatemala when she used to visit with her dad for medical outreach work - which only deepened my admiration for her. Fast forward a few years when Kelsey and Danny met in Guatemala. They fell head over heels for one another and the rest is history. We'd never met Danny in person, but once their wedding planning arrived in full force and we started talking with them more - it was clear what a great match he was for Kelsey. Grounded, compassionate and a heart of gold; Danny is a keeper. Their wedding day started much like our local weddings do with the bride getting ready with her crew and the groom doing the same while Matt and I photograph them separately. The hotel they got ready in was crazy gorgeous so we took full advantage of the nooks and crannies for their attire details and found a quiet little spot for their adorable first look (can you even handle the blindfold? I die). After some additional portraits on the grounds of the hotel with their families, wedding party and the parrots (hello!) we wandered around the streets for a few photos where Kelsey and Danny were literally stopping traffic with excited on-lookers. We eventually made our way up to their ceremony and reception venue which was owned by the same hotel but was the outdoor art-museum portion of the property. The venue was up a large hill which overlooked the city and the three volcanoes that surround the town, so the view was breathtaking. After a few more portraits we all prepped for the ceremony and I had my breath taken away when I saw their entire ceremony space FILLED with candles. Overlooking the city with volcanoes and hills, it was such a beautiful space to begin with, but with the addition of candles, sunset and the calm, joyous energy of their multilingual Catholic Ceremony - it was a truly beautiful experience. After the ceremony the party got started on the right foot with a gorgeous candle-lit reception set-up draped with roses and pearls. Kelsey and Danny made a lasting impression with their grand entrance by wowing all 300 guests with the most amazing first dance I've EVER seen. I later learned that they made up the entire thing on the spot. I shouldn't have been so surprised given how talented of a dancer Kelsey is, but I've got to hand it to Danny too. Wowzers. So much fun. The evening continued with sweet words from their loved ones and went on to be an amazing dance party that lasted until 3:00am. The Guatemalans know how to party (and dance)! We loved every moment of working with these two and their wonderful families. Congratulations Kelsey and Danny! You guys are the best!
***Special Note: Our hearts go out to all of the Guatemalan families who have lost loved ones and homes during the earthquake yesterday. While we feel gratitude that the earthquake did not happen while we were shooting Kelsey and Danny's Wedding in Guatemala it does not lessen the tragedy of so many lives and communities broken.*** Where to begin? Today we're sharing the second part of Kelsey and Danny's Wedding Story - their Engagement Session! We arrived in Guatemala the day before Kelsey and Danny were to say 'I do' and hit the ground running. After arriving at the gorgeous hotel they had chosen for their guests to experience during their stay in Guatemala, we packed up our gear and met up with Kelsey and Danny to capture their last day as an engaged couple on the streets of Antigua. Immediately, we were reminded of how great Kelsey and Danny are (both together and apart) and wasted no time getting them in their photo groove as we excitedly took advantage of the photographers delight that is Antigua. Every building is a different vibrant color so one you mix in the lush green plants, historic ruins and a stunning bride and groom t0-be who are ALSO rock stars in front of the camera you get two photographers with huge grins wiped across our faces feeling like they have died and gone to heaven. Seriously. If you liked these, just wait for their wedding photos tomorrow. We'll be back with part III and many more juicy details!