Oh, Megan and Eric! I have so many wonderful things to say about these two. We officially met them at their engagement session and we had such a fun time getting to know them. We realized a few things that day. 1) Eric can easily make Megan laugh. 2) The running joke between them was that this was Eric’s :big white wedding”, because Megan would have been fine with something much smaller lol! and 3) That Eric was probably going to cry a lot on the wedding day. (And view the images below to see that this is true.)
Megan is originally from Maryland and moved to Valparaiso to go to VU to get her nursing degree. And this was where their story began. Through a mutual friend, Eric (who is also a nurse) met Megan.
These two are surrounded by some of the best people who made an already enjoyable wedding, even more enjoyable.
Eric and Megan are so easy to photograph and it is so evident that they just love being with one another. We are beyond happy for these two, but it is bittersweet that their wedding day has come and gone. We loved being a part of this season in their lives.
Mr and Mrs Shanahan,
Congratulations again. And thank you so much for booking us. We absolutely loved your day.
Kayla and Kris
Florist: Another Season Florist
Cake and other Desserts: Marilyn’s Bakery
DJ/Band: REEB Entertainment
Hair: Under the Veil
Make up: Makeup by Krissy V
Catering: Sandy Pines
Gown: Here Comes the Bride
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Azazie
Shoes: David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Transportation/Limo: Jarrette Shuttle Service
Save the Dates, Invitations, and/or Programs: Zazzle
Personality tests are my jam. I will gladly take anything and everything that has to do with personalities. My favorite tests are Myers Briggs, Enneagram, and the four temperaments test. I actually have my bachelors in Psychology, so to no surprise, I also love knowing others’ personality traits and descriptions. I find it so fascinating how different every person is, yet there are only so many categories we each fall under.
Understanding someone else’s personality is so important for any relationship. Lord knew that I needed to major in psychology, because it has given me so much grace for others.
So why are personality tests so important? Well, I already briefly mentioned it. If you can understand your personality and your spouses personality…well then you will have much more grace for them than you would have before. Understanding someone else’s personality truly helps you comprehend why they may say or do the things they do. It can help get into their mind just a little. You can learn about how your personalities work together and how they really, really contradict each other. My gosh. If I didn’t understand my husbands personality, I would probably go insane. Skim through and read what we scored and then Ill briefly talk about the importance of this!
Real quick, before I talk about results – lets talk about these tests :
Myers Briggs was one of the first tests I took while still in college. I have never found a better description of them than the one that my professor handed out. So I am going to list those down below. It is fun to read these descriptions prior to tests to guess which one you think you and your spouse are! (Typically girls are better at figuring the guys out than the other way around!)
I am an ISFJ and Kris happens to be ESFJ. (So basically he is the extroverted version of myself) LOL! And even though the only difference in this test seems to be that he is extroverted while I am introverted, his extroverted-ness makes the SFJ completely different, too. (See why I love personality tests)
Next is the beloved Enneagram. If you have never taken this test, it is an easy 60 question test and you can take it HERE! I am type 3 (THE ACHIEVER The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious) Which explains why I run a business. I actually happen to be type 3 but tied with type 1 (the perfectionist). And tied for second is type 8 (the challenger) and type 6 (the loyalist).
SO to sum it all up : In order to survive, I must be orderly/planned, impressive and attractive, secure and safe, strong and in control. Yeah…I know, my poor husband.
Kris, on the other hand, is a type 9 (THE PEACEMAKER The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent) and his second being only one point lower as type 7 (the enthusiast). So basically… if you read my blog, “For the Workaholic”, this all is really making sense.
The Meyers briggs test doesn’t do a good job and pinpointing how our personalities contradict one another. But I still love the paragraphs. So while I am not going to really talk too much more about the Meyers Briggs, I still recommend guessing which one you and your spouse are and then taking the test to see! You can take that test HERE! And for the “Four Temperaments”, I have an entire blog I will be writing about that one that will be titled, “When a Melancholy Marries a Sanguine” so be sure to check that out when posted!
Back to the enneagram.
I really do love to have fun, but it certainly comes much more natural to Kris than it does to me. I don’t like doing things that Im not great at – and if fun consists of anything too risky, count me out. Oh, and I love meeting deadlines, running a business, and learning new things.
Kris on the other hand is definitely the risk-taker, easy-going, down for whatever and whenever, and incredibly adventurous.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Kris has helped me become more adventurous and easy-going. While I have helped Kris become more adult-like. (I know…BORING!) But really, we do even each other out. And if we didn’t look at it that way, we would butt heads constantly. I could easily focus on finding Kris too easy-going and not serious enough. While he could easily focus on me being uptight instead of care-free.
Earlier in our relationship, this did bring friction. Neither of us were willing to recognize the good in one another’s personalty and constantly focused on the negative. Several years, and one or two personality tests later, we realized that we can actually learn from one another instead of constantly trying to change one another.
And by doing exactly that, we have seen our personalities slightly change. I am able to still operate when plans get changed, and Kris can turn down an opportunity to have fun (aka play basketball or football) when something around the house needs done.
I probably have lost many of you while reading this, but I hope you at least skimmed to the conclusion.
Spending your life with the same person can be either really awful or really wonderful. I like to view it as really wonderful (obviously). It is two people who can be really different, way too similar, or somewhere in between, that are trying to do life together. And it can either grow you apart or strengthen you together. So I will leave you with this – learn your spouse’s personality, love their differences, and always extend grace where they need it. — With Love, Kayla
But Why an Engagement Session?
So, you’ve been proposed to and wedding planning has begun! You have started booking your vendors – Venue, Photographer, Dj, Make up, Hair, Videographer, etc etc. And I totally get trying to cut corners and save money on certain things!
There are a few things I get asked when a couple inquires with me. And one that I have heard from several inquiring couples is something along the lines of, “My friend is doing our engagement session. How much would it be without an engagement session from you?”
First, let me add that I love that they are getting an engagement session done by their friend! When my best friend was planning her wedding, I definitely did her engagement session (and she really had no choice). But here is why I offer my E-session as complimentary.
I believe that they are a VITAL part of the entire process. During the engagement session, our couples get a chance to know me and experience how I work. But more importantly, I get to know them. And this makes a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. Come wedding day, I arrive knowing how the couple interacts with one another, what poses fit best, and how to bring out those genuine smiles. I learn things during an engagement session about the couple that is invaluable! More than they could ever try to tell me with words. And I arrive on their wedding day feeling like friends rather than strangers.
As your wedding day draws closer, there are going to be many things you prepare for. You get a hair trial to figure out what hair style fits you best for this occasion. You get a make up trial so you can visualize exactly what your make up artist is going to do to bring your best features to life. You have a cake tasting, food tasting, and some even practice their first dance! You also will have a few dress fittings to make sure your perfect dress is tailored exactly how you need it to be. You practice reading your vows, and the day before the wedding, you will have a rehearsal to go over the Ceremony.
So it only makes sense to practice with your photographer! This way you will feel like a pro as the wedding day approaches. PLUS sometimes things happens you may have only very limited time to get the max amount of portraits.
So, if your photographer offers an engagement session – take it! You will not regret being prepared knowing exactly what to expect come wedding day.
For the Love of GRACE
“Grace died thirty years ago…” If you aren’t familiar with that line from Family Christmas Vacation, just know that is a favorite line in our household. And if someone asks to say grace, you better know that line is being said or, at the very least, thought of (if we happen to be somewhere that it wouldn’t be appropriate to shout out.) Lol!
In our marriage, I usually am the optimistic one. I always try to see the best in people. And any time Kris is just trying to vent to me about something, I always try to play devil’s advocate by trying to see the best in the situation. (And more than often he responds with, can I just vent without you sticking up for the other person for a minute?) Insert here my inability to do so. I am just a natural fixer and really like when everyone is at peace with one another. I hate opposition and the thought of confrontation makes my anxieties rise and my heart race.
I usually can extend grace to most people pretty easily. But I find that the person it is hardest for me to extend grace to…is Kris. And my gosh… the person Kris probably extends the most grace to is ME!
I am not sure if this is because he is the person I can be the most real with or if because I can say and feel exactly how I want to, knowing he won’t hold it against me – probably an even mixture of the two – but the girl who rarely gives attitude to anyone else can quickly get sassy at home.
And ironically… for most of our relationship, I actually extended way more grace than Kris did. Honestly, I probably still extend the same amount of grace, Kris has just improved immensely. (Thank you, Jesus).
When I started writing this blog, I actually stopped writing after the third paragraph. And as I was talking with a friend of mine about being stuck on this blog and not knowing where to go with it, she responded with, “Do you think it is because it is something you’re still working on and don’t have a final conclusion to it?”
Ding. Ding. Ding.
(Notice the periods between the “dings”. This is to emphasize the fact that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with that thought – but it is certainly right.)
So, this isn’t going to be a blog with a really nice conclusion at the end. Because it is something I am still working on and will probably forever be working on it. So this is going to be more of a blog that shows how imperfect I am and really, really stubborn.
As I was talking with Kris about this topic just a little bit ago – I was thanking him for the amount of grace he constantly extends to me. (If you ever saw me hangry – you’d be thanking him for the grace he extends, too). Knowing that I should extend more grace to him, isn’t what helps me extend more grace. Nor does him telling me to be a little more gracious to him help. And nor does him telling me to read “Law and Gospel” help me either.
But the grace he constantly extends to me, is what makes me want to extend more grace back to him. Which really makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Because growing up, did being told to clean your room ever make you actually want to clean your room? I could want to clean my room, but the moment I was told to clean my room, all of a sudden I didn’t want to. But on a day that my mom was cleaning the house, and my dad was cleaning up the yard…I, too, wanted my room to be nice and tidy.
I know that seems obvious now that you have read that, but I know just those facts alone have taken me awhile to comprehend. It also helps me understand why the nagging on my end about different situations never seems to help the problem. (Reference back to my “Flaws” blog for more insight regarding that.)
Your struggle may not be having enough grace for your partner, but you can insert whatever your struggle is and whatever your partners struggle is, and the idea of a possible conclusion remains the same.
The perfectionist in me doesn’t want to post this blog until I have a real conclusion or answer, but that isn’t the point of these blogs. I want the blogs to be real and true. And the reality of this one, is that I am a work in progress. — With Love, Kayla
June 1st, 2019
The Pavilion at Sandy Pines | Demotte, IN
I have so many wonderful things to say about these two. We first met them at a Sandy Pines bridal show. One of our past couples (Bryce and Kylie) recommend us to them so prior to even meeting us, they had already planned on inquiring with us. (Thanks guys!) Just standing there with them, I already felt like this couple was going to be a great couple to get to know. So they officially booked at Sandy Pines and their wedding day felt so far away.
Fast forward a little, and prior to their engagement session, Katlin had already recommended us to her bestie, Demi, for an engagement session. Which actually ended up resulting in us being flown down to photograph Demi and Josh in JAMAICA! You can view their amazing wedding blog HERE.
In case you have been following my page for sometime, you will remember Katlin and Scott by their breathtaking Greenhouse engagement session. Still, hands down, one of my favorite sessions. I am so glad Katlin wanted to do something a little different. It may have been incredibly hot in there, but that didn’t stop them from looking great! Because greenhouses close so early, Kris wasn’t able to come with. But Scott and Katlin graciously let me ride with them and not make the drive to Chicago by myself. (So sweet) Scott and I had a mutual love for Post Malone and he got pretty excited when I mentioned Kris’ love for IPA’s. Instant friendship I’m pretty sure.
We got to know Scott and Katlin pretty well – Katlin actually became my brow girl – and she’s pretty fantastic. And we got to spend a few days with them in Jamaica for Josh and Demi’s wedding. And Kris is a huge fan of both Josh and Scott LOL!
Now onto the wedding day – My goal for every wedding we book, is to really make a friendship with the couple. We want them to trust us and feel comfortable with us. It creates for a better experience for them, which ultimately produces phenomenal images. And this wedding day definitely felt like a friends wedding.
We had so much fun celebrating with them. Their day was absolutely beautiful and everything and everyone looked so great!
Scott was so excited to finally see Katlin as she walked down the aisle. And it was obvious that they had such a great group of friends and family surrounding them.
Congratulations again, Mr and Mrs Homner! We are so thankful that you asked us to be a part of your biggest milestone, yet.
Are flowers really an expense you should splurge on? I totally understand the thought process – Why spend so much money on something that is going to just die?! While this is not a rash thought, don’t forget that they will be in your wedding images that you will have forever! There are so many expenses when it comes to wedding planning and I totally understand that. Normally, brides prioritize what they want to invest the most in and what they want to try to save money on. Usually brides want to invest in photographer, videographer, and dj. I totally recommend those being high on the list, if not the highest, but don’t leave out flowers! I recommend making your bridal bouquet a huge priority! Spend less on the bridesmaids bouquets and groomsman boutonnieres and focus on your bouquet. I, along with most other photographers, use the bridal bouquet to add to bridal details, reception details, and of course bride and groom portraits. And it really does make a huge difference. The bridal bouquet is a simple focal point when it comes to your images so I highly recommend going for your dream/pinterest-find bouquet. Go big and go bold, add in colors that look great together even if they aren’t exact colors of your wedding (I so regret not doing this for mine!!) And find an experienced florist and TRUST THEM! A good florist knows what they’re talking about. Let them get creative and make your dream bouquet.
Here are some of my favorite floral inspirations!
— With Love, Kayla
As long as you keep providing the internet, Ill keep paying
So who here looks forward to the days you have to call Comcast because they raised your bill, yet again, or graciously added on additional services you never once asked for, yet you are paying for?
I would assume that we all dread making that phone call. Because we ALL know that calling Comcast is NOT just a few minute conversation. You’re looking at a minimum of an hour wasted. And if anyone out there enjoys these calls, I will gladly let you make all of my future phone calls to them.
I can almost predict the very verbiage they’re going to use. “Im sorry, but that deal you signed up for has since passed. But now, for only XX more dollars, we will give you this deal and include this “free” added on service.” Since I have called annually for the last 5 years, I now know the lingo and have stopped wasting as much time as I used to. Now when I call after they have raised my bill and hear all about the new, more expensive, “deal” they’re willing to offer, I just say, “I know you’re supposed to give me this huge spiel about this added feature for a different price, but can you just transfer me to the person above you so they can just give me the price I had before?” Because this is what happens every time I call: They say they cant do anything for me. I ask to cancel. They transfer me to a person who can do exactly what I spent the first hour of the conversation asking. (Insert eye-roll)
Let’s imagine a scenario real quick.
What if Comcast told me that they needed me to keep their services still, but they currently could not provide me with internet any longer. But… that contract price hasn’t changed. On my end, everything needs to stay the same. They just will be lacking on their end for a bit.
I know what you’re all thinking. Oh heck no. You promised me something and since you’re no longer able to hold up your end of the agreement, I am out. See ya!
Understandable. I’d be out too.
But let’s relate this to marriage for a minute. You all know the quote – “Marriage isn’t always 50/50. Some days your partner will struggle. You suck it up and pick up that 80/20 because they need you.”
“But they promised me 50/50” “Their vows said that they would always keep the house clean while I spent my days at work” “They vowed to always respect me. To encourage me. To be always honest with me”
What happens in a marriage when one can no longer hold up their end of the vows for a period of time? What if the 80/20 lasts longer than a day? What if it is a month? A year??? Marriage isn’t like calling Comcast. The fix to your issues is not just an (hour long) call away. What happens when they can no longer provide what you have expected them to provide?
What happens when there is a job loss? Post-partum depression? Mid-life crisis? Affairs…?
Take a minute. How do you view your marriage? Do you view your marriage covenant like a contract with Comcast? Are you only willing to stick with them as long as they hold up their end of the agreement?
Because many do. And while marriage is one of the most beautiful things in the world… Gosh, it can be so darn ugly. You choose to spend your days, moments, and every single night with the same person for the rest of your life. And in life, there are bad times and good times. And throughout an entire lifespan, there are so many changes. And there are going to be moments that get really, really ugly.
To make it clear, I am not talking about a constant 80/20 mindset. Because if your cup is constantly being emptied and never filled, that isn’t a good place to be for you. But, during the time that your spouse is needing you to be that 80…just keep in mind the times that they had to be that 80 for you.
Kris and I have been together for 10 years this year. And gosh, there have been so many times that each of us had to step up and be that 80 while the other could only give 20. And we don’t even have kids to add to the mix yet!!
So here lies the difference between your Comcast contract and your marriage covenant. Your relationship with Comcast is solely conditional. You are only willing to pay as long as Comcast is giving you the service you are paying for. And Comcast will only give you that service if you continue paying for it. But with marriage, it has to be unconditional. It has to be a love that loves even when they don’t deserve it or haven’t done a thing to earn it. If your love for your spouse is only there when they do what they are supposed to be doing…that means your love for them is conditional. And it looks a lot more like a Comcast contract than the vows that said “for better or for worse”.
Those times that I have had to be the 80 was so incredibly difficult. But I will forever be so thankful for the many times that Kris had to be my 80.
I’ll end with this – take time this week to think about your marriage or really any relationship. Is it based on conditionality like a Comcast contract? Or is the understanding of loving unconditionally, evident? — With Love, Kayla
May 26th, 2019
Matt + Loryn
Salem Church | Wanatah, Indiana
There are so many wonderful things to say about Matt and Loryn. But let’s start from the beginning.
Loryn is also a photographer and I had admired her work from a distance for some time now. I remember when I got an inquiry from her last year about ME photographing her wedding. I started freaking out to Kris and telling him that even if she doesn’t book me, I am just honored that an amazing photographer like her even INQUIRED with me! Fast-forward a little… she not only booked me to capture her wedding, but we actually became friends!
This past year has consisted of many editing dates, several breakfast plans, swapping sessions for one another, and even a date night.
She is such a beautiful person and I am so glad she reached out to me because I am a huge fan of the friendship it brought along.
Now as for Matt…his personality is so perfect for Loryn. When Loryn begins freaking out or stressing about something, he always knows how to calm her down. He also is pretty hilarious. And every time he answers her phone call, he responds with something along the lines of, “Hey, Good-lookin”.
Now, as for their wedding day…it couldn’t have been more perfect. It called for rain, ALL DAY, and it did not rain once. Oh, and Loryn also got her sunset, too.
We are so happy for these two and wish them all the happiness in the world.
Thank you Loryn for reaching out to me last year. I love the friendship that has come from it <3
Congratulations again Mr and Mrs HOMAN! We hope you enjoy all of these sneaks.
We have really loved getting to know Mandy and Zack. We first met them at their engagement session in New Buffalo and it was so easy to get them to pose and act natural in front of the camera. They were definitely just focused on one another and the things we were asking of them. Which made for a perfect session.
Zack knows exactly what to say to get Mandy to genuinely laugh, which really makes my job so easy. And the wedding day was the exact same.
Mandy’s sweet family surprised her by buying a tux for her pup, Mickey, and it was certainly one of the highlights of the day.
I loved everything about Mandy’s look for her big day. She really made such a stunning bride! Sta-Glam and Under the Veil really perfected the vision that Mandy had for her day.
Mandy and Zack married at the Avalon and beside them stood a really wonderful group of ladies and men. They were surrounded by so many people who loved them and were just as excited for them as they were.
Leading up to their wedding, it was calling for rain and thunderstorms all day. But as the morning came and the day continued, the rain kept showing it was going to be pushed back until it was completely off the radar. (This literally never happens and it happened both Saturday and Sunday for me that weekend) It ended up being a beautiful day.
Zack probably gave the greatest garter toss dance and after it Kris even said “I want to be his best friend” LOL! Like I said, he knows exactly what to do to make Mandy genuinely laugh (as well as pretty much everyone else)
Mr and Mrs Hansbury, we are so happy for you and wish you the absolute best. Enjoy so many of our favorites as you wait for your remaining images!
Jewelry/Rings: Rings – Silvermax / Earrings – Something Blue Bridal
Men’s Attire: Dunhill Tuxedo
Save the Dates, Invitations, and/or Programs: Vistaprint
Officiant: Rob Wondaal
Today’s post is about wedding favors for guests! This is something every bride assumes she has to have on each table as a thank you gift. And I wish I would have read a blog like this one, because I assumed the same thing! And when you see the prices, it is usually at least $1.00 – $2.50 each, which is a few hundred dollars!
Wedding Favors | Are they necessary?
Here is the mistake I made –
I packaged a small Hershey’s bar with half a graham cracker, and 1 large marshmallow in a sweets bag with a cute thank you tag which took many hours putting all together. (Thankfully I had 8 bridesmaids) Their cost was about $1.10 each and I made 200 of them. So that was an extra $220.. There was a fire pit to roast them (hence why I had smores as a gift) but it was wet outside from a short amount of rain and I actually also forgot to bring metal rods for roasting marshmallows. Yeah, I know, total fail on my end. I ended up throwing away probably close to half of them (Thank you to those guests that took them home so I didn’t feel even more overwhelmed with the amount wasted) And even though the rain and my lack of planning had an affect on it, not many guest would have stood over a fire roasting marshmallows on a wedding day. They looked adorable on my tables and in pictures, but they really weren’t a needed necessity.
Here is where I clearly went overboard and never even realized. I was so focused on the gifts at the table that I forgot I also was going to have a photo booth and chocolate fountain! Both things that are for the guests to enjoy. Thankfully I didn’t let my guests down too much because I had other options available as a thank you, but the cute s’mores just weren’t worth it.
Here is what I would suggest – instead of spending money on something cheap (that adds up) for each guest individually, book a photo booth, do a candy bar, popcorn bar, s’mores bar, or even a caricature artist! And then to still have something on the table if that’s what you are wanting, add a “Thank you for coming” card with information about using whichever favor you decided to book or provide.
It made me excited to see my guests using the photo booth and laughing and enjoying the chocolate fountain! & the only one I saw use our table favor was my cousin… 2 weeks after the wedding who was sending me snaps of her making a s’more on her stove. True story.
So just to be clear, some type of “thank you” is nice for your guests. And it can be so much more fun and simple instead of staying up late the night before your wedding making 200 s’mores bags…
Ultimately, however, you are the bride and you should do what YOU want for your wedding!! But, I know I would not have made those darn s’mores if I could rethink that one.
So glad you stopped by my blog! I am a wedding photographer based in Northwest Indiana. Take your time viewing my blog where you will find past weddings, engagements, and even some educational blogs and tips! I have a degree in psychology, but I couldn't get past my passion for wedding photography. I hope by viewing my blogs that my passion is evident. My favorites are Jesus, my husband, my pup, weddings, coffee, Christmas, and sunsets! And I am positive you will be able to find blogs that mention those. Grab some coffee, take your time, and stay as long as you want while you view my blog!