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Ok, so this wedding was one for the books. Here is a partial list of the adversity Scott and Mel had to overcome in their wedding week:

1) The massive flood closing the campsite where their wedding was going to be.
2) Their wedding transportation bus catching on fire and burning to a crisp, leaving them without their planned transportation
3) The day before the wedding, their tent company telling them that they gave their huge tent (which they had reserved) to someone else and they there were just plain out of luck.
4) Rain…and now without the aforementioned tent.
5) Millions and Millions of bugs…bugs love all the flood water (I probably swallowed at least 20 over the course of the day)

You would think this would lead to a stressful day. And you would be completely wrong. All there was all day long was laughter and joking and fun (interspersed with bug swatting). It was amazing. There are certain weddings that you know will stand out in your memory for years to come. Even though every wedding is unique and has its own special elements, after 250+ weddings, some weddings are set apart from the others. Sometimes that is because of the location, sometimes it’s the people or the events or something else. This wedding can check each one of those boxes. We have shot many weddings at Pere Marquette, but we have never shot (or even knew about) some of the other larger campgrounds that are part of the park. Scott and Mel spend a week at “camp” each year, and they planned it this year to have the wedding at the end of their wedding week. That alone made for a memorable wedding, but really…the best part was the people. So many amazing, fun, and just insane-in-the-best-way people (looking at you especially, bridesmaids) all around, and it’s hard to not jump right into it all with them.

And for Mel and Scott…what an amazing couple. So comfortable with each other and who they are that their joy is infectious. With all the aforementioned chaos that went down right before their wedding, they handled it with such humor and ease. If they would not have told me about all of it, I would never have even realized so many things had gone “wrong.” But when you are with people like this, though, you realize that it’s not about what goes well and what goes off the rails…it’s about celebrating your love, your friends, your family, and how freaking amazing it is to be alive.

Here are some of our favorites from the day. Huge congrats to you both…so thrilled to have been a part of it all!

Joel

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Ryan and Diane first met at in Carbondale, IL. Her brother Andrew and Ryan were in the same fraternity and attended Southern Illinois University. Diane attended college at Illinois State University, but she went down south one weekend to visit my brother. That weekend these two met, and Ryan took quite the liking to Diane right away. At first, she was not very interested in him. But to his credit, he was very persistent, and since her college was not far from his hometown, he asked her to go on a date when he was home for the weekend. The date went very well, and they continued to talk and see each other when he came home on the weekends….which he started to do with increasing frequency. Pretty soon, it was clear they were an amazing couple.

A few years later, the time had come to take it further. Ryan and Diane had a very busy summer with attending weddings, going to New York City, and remodeling their home. There was one weekend in there that they had free to refresh and relax, but Ryan had different plans. It was a Friday night and they were sitting out in the swing in the front yard (that they bought for their 4 year anniversary) and were watching the sunset. They decided to talk a walk down the lane like they sometimes do in the evening, but once they turned around and headed back towards the house, Diane felt the conversation get a little deeper than normal. He said numerous compliments about her, and shared some ideas and plans he had for the future. All the while she was thinking, “This is getting deep…why isn’t he saving this for his proposal speech?!?!” She did not realize that he was in the middle of it. Once they returned to the swing she went to sit down again, but Ryan continued to stand in front of her and said, “Diane, I want to continue to watch the sunset in this swing with you for the rest of my life…will you marry me”? She could not believe what she was seeing…him there on one knee. Of course, she said yes, and that relaxing weekend turned into traveling from one end of the state to other to share the good news with our parents and family.

People that know Shannon and me (Joel) know how much we love people who are passionate about each other, their family, and their friends. Ryan and Diane are two perfect examples of that. Their wedding day was incredible and overflowing with laughter, tears of joy, dancing, and bliss. You cannot ask for anything more than that for the start of a new family. Their wedding ceremony was in Jerseyville, IL at St. Francis Xavier Church, and their reception was the beautiful Aries Winery in Grafton (with some photos at one of our favorite places in the world, Pere Marquette). Here are some of our favorites from the day. HUGE CONGRATS to you both!

P.S. Check out the killer video done by our awesome friends at Garon Photo & Cinema…check it HERE.

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