I remember the first family session he joined us. Ryan's job was to help corral Amelia who loved to run at the time and he voluntarily carried my bag for me if we moved spots. The way he worked with Jax and Amelia at that session in 2015 showed me he was a keep and Mel had found a good one. Fast forward to 2016, I was 8 months pregnant with Lochlyn and again, Ryan helped corral kids but their demeanor with him had shifted to one of ease, love and comfortability. I knew some good things were on the horizon for Melissa and thankfully, they became engaged in 2017, planning a New Year's Eve wedding! 

I am beyond grateful for them both welcoming me into their special day, braving the frigid temps for the best shots ever and just how they treat me like family every time I see them. I've watched Jax grow from a 2 year old to a little man now at the ripe old age of 7 and I've photographed Amelia since she was a newborn. What a joy to capture these sweet interactions with them and their Mama on her wedding day. 

Welcome to the family, Ryan! 

I'm so thankful that Mel & Ryan trust me and my second shooter, Sarah, so implicitly. We knew we'd get the best shots outside as the sun was softening in the sky, the only drawback? It was -10, not counting windchill! Quite literally, the coldest day of 2017! Melissa had a fur wrap and blanket, we mapped out what we'd do first, middle and last and made a run for it. We grabbed this in the span of 5 minutes! Just enough time to no longer feel my trigger finger that had gloves on! 

Amelia stole the show during the ceremony! As I've watched her adjust to having Ryan in their lives, it warmed my heart to see her grab both of their hands and clutch them closely as a sort of security blanket. What a perfect picture of them all becoming a complete family!

There were such special moments during their dances that I had to make it a separate "chunk" of this post. After Mel & Ryan had their first dance, they did their parent dances jointly and then brought Amelia and Jaxon onto the dance floor with their additional grandparents. The moments with Amelia and Jaxon dancing together was incredibly sweet and I love the moments we captured between Jax and Melissa. Maybe it's because I have a son now that I know these images will be SO important to his wedding some day....

Melissa & Ryan: I can't describe how special your day was to me. I'm so thankful for playing a part in it and getting to document the incredibly poignant moments between you, Amelia and Jaxon. I know you enjoyed your honeymoon thoroughly-welcome back to the cold Iowa winter!! Hopefully, these images have warmed your hearts even if your toes are chilly! 

Blessings on everything, 


PS You can view their wedding day slideshow HERE. You can view the entire day HERE. 

Vendors of Note: 

Tuxes: Men's Warehouse of Ankeny

Hair: Pure Salon

Cake & Floral: Hy-Vee of Ankeny

Wedding Dress: Stacey's in Urbandale

Shoes: Bagdley Mishka

Catering: The Radish in Grimes, IA

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stoney Creek Inn, Johnston IA