Goodbye, 2016… | Destination Wedding Photographers

2016 was an interesting year.  To put it mildly.  It was our first full year back in business.  It has kept us very busy.  It definitely had its ups and some downs.  The last few months of 2016 certainly felt like they kicked us in the teeth.  However, as I go through these pictures and add them, it really was a pretty good year…

We started off with maternity photos of Alex & Guido.  Such a beautiful couple!  It was chilly, but they were troopers.  They are now very proud parents to a beautiful baby girl, Victoria.

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We then were asked to photograph a proposal at the Magic Kingdom for Sommer & Ronny.  Ronny had contacted me about a month prior to set up the details.  We photographed their engagement photos the day after.  Such a sweet couple!  They will be getting married in March, 2018 (on my birthday!!!).  We wish you all the best.  And if you haven’t chosen a photographer yet…  😉

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We were vendors at a Bridal Expo in Gainesville, FL.  We were asked to photograph a live wedding.

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While at the expo, we met Audrina & Tylor.  We photographed their engagement session at the Butterfly Garden on University of Florida’s campus – this is also where they held their wedding.

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Our first wedding of the year was Lindsey & Robert’s.  They were married at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion.  Their reception was at the Living Seas with their dessert party in the France Pavilion – both in EPCOT.

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We photographed an awesome family in March in Gainesville.  So much fun!

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In april, Jessica, Eric and family came to Disney World.  It was their children’s very first time.  We spent two days with them in Magic Kingdom.

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Then, Catie & AJ won a wedding package with us.  they were married at Lake Louisa State Park and are now expecting a baby boy in February!

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We also photographed a proposal in Mexico in EPCOT.

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Then we met Erin & Paul!  I cannot begin to say how much we truly love these two.  So much fun!  And genuinely good people.  We are very excited to be photographing their wedding this coming July on Long Island!

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In May, we took a road trip to Chicago.  Steve had purchased Cubs’ tickets in February the day they went on sale.

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While in Chicago, we met Katie & Kevin and took some engagement photos at Lincoln Park Zoo.  At that time, I had no idea what friends these two would be.  We are so blessed to have them in our lives!

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After leaving Chicago, we drove toward St. Louis to meet up with best friends, Mike & Jennifer and their family.  We had missed them so much!

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We did a family session for Mike & Jennifer on Blackburn College’s campus.  This is where Steve and Mike met and were roommates.  This is where Mike & Jennifer met.  It is now where their daughter, Katie, attends school.

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Back in Florida, we met Kristi & Kevin.  Such a sweet, sweet couple.  I am hoping to see them when we are in Long Island this coming summer.

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We met Parker & Tyler for their engagement session at Disney’s Saratoga Springs.  It was hot.  It was VERY humid.  But, I instantly knew they were going to be amazing to work with.  I was not disappointed!

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Amanda & Louis were a very last minute booking.  I am so glad they contacted us and we were able to do their session.  again, they were so easy and fun to work with.  It was hot, humid and crowded, but they were extremely patient.  I loved working with them and getting to know them.

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Audriana & Tylor for married in June at the Butterfly Garden on the University of Florida’s campus.  It ended up raining a bit.  We got slightly wet, but it was a beautiful day!

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August was crazy and was our “Coast to Coast Tour”.  We started out the month by flying to California – our very first trip there. We did a tour of the Jelly Belly factory, Budweiser plant, Napa Valley and San Francisco.

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I was able to check off a “bucket list” item when we photographed Giselle and Mike’s engagement session at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  This place is absolutely gorgeous!

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We then captured Courtney & Jacob’s wedding at the Secret Garden in Bodega Bay – the entire reason for being in California.  I cannot say enough good things about these two and their friends and family.  The day was beautiful – 54 degrees compared to our 114 in Florida!  The location was perfect.  Courtney & Jacob were so nice to work with.

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After Courtney & Jacob’s wedding, Steve and I HAD to drive to Anaheim to go see Disneyland.  At this point, I still only have our cell phone pictures.  A blog post with better pictures will follow when I actually have some time to look at and edit them.  😉

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When we got back to Florida, it was time for Katie & Dominick’s engagement session.  SO. MANY. LAUGHS!!!  These two are so much fun!  We loved spending the day with them!

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Then, we got to meet Nicole & Rick for their anniversary session.  Again, we have made some lifelong friends.  I love these two so much!

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The end of August took us to Pennsylvania.  Back “home”.  We spent some time with my father and his wife, Bonnie.  Since they lived so close to Penn State, a couple of visits were a must.  We were even able to get some ice cream at the Creamery!  I’m so excited that Penn State went on to win the Big 10 Championship.  I’m looking forward to the Rose Bowl on January 2nd.  I wish we could be in Pasadena…

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We then headed north to Falls, Pennsylvania for Taylore & Jesse’s wedding.  I have known Taylore all her life.  I have watched her grow up.  I am so honored they chose us to capture their wedding day.  They were married at the Barn at Glistening Pond. This is a gorgeous property with some awesome owners.

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We then headed to my hometown of Canton, Pennsylvania.  We met Nakia and her boys at the Manley Bohlayer Farm for a family session…

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In September, we met Chloe & Adam.  They flew all the way to Disney from Ireland.  Such a sweet couple!  We were able to see them a couple of times while they were here on their vacation.  They will be getting married exactly one year from today in a Castle in Ireland!  I am trying to figure out how to go and crash the wedding!  🙂

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We were then invited – as Guests!! – to Katie & Kevin’s Disney wedding.  We were invited to their dessert party the night before.  We then gifted them with a mini bridal session as their wedding gift.

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Stacey & Pete flew from England to Disney for their honeymoon.  We were so honored for them to ask us to capture some honeymoon photos for them.  Again, such a fund couple.  Was their really any doubt?!  😉

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While in Pennsylvania in August, Brian contacted us and set up a surprise honeymoon session for him and his new bride, Joanna.  It was her wedding gift (she gave him an apple watch 😉 .  We loved working with these two.  So relaxed and trusted us with our requests.  I have come to learn as this year has gone on, Joanna is one of the most caring, giving people I have met.  I am honored Brian chose us to capture their session and allowed us in their lives.

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Ashley & Gavin also booked us for an anniversary session.  It was another warm day, but they were troopers.  We did something a little different and hopped over to Tom Sawyer Island in Magic Kingdom.  I am very happy with the results.

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Samantha & Vance!  Oh my goodness!  These two were so much fun to work with!  We photographed their dessert party, their wedding day and their bridal portrait session after their reception.  To quote Rapunzel, it was “THE BEST DAY EVER!!!”  🙂  Steve even helped Samantha & Vance plan their honeymoon through Cruise Planners-Vazul Travel.  They went on their very first cruise over Christmas!

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Jessica contacted me to capture a family session in Magic Kingdom the on the day she and her family were attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  They came dressed in their wedding attire.  Jessica & Anthony had been married just three days prior.  🙂  They are now expecting a baby!  I am so excited for them!

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Chelsea & Daryl came from England to get married in Orlando.  We spent the morning with them while their got ready and then met them at Disney’s Grand Floridian after their wedding.  Very, very nice couple.

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The very next morning after Chelsea & Daryl’s wedding, Steve, Grace, the two dogs and I were all packed, in the car and on the road by 5:00am.  The Cubs were in the World Series and we were heading to Chicago!!!  While entering Chicago City limits, I received a phone call from Katie.  She and Kevin had tickets for the Bulls’ game that night and invited us to join them!  (I learned during this trip that I really suck at taking selfies!!)  We ended up at Wrigley Field for the last home game.  We definitely didn’t have the money to be inside, but it was awesome to be there.  Very happy to say the Cubs WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!

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While in Chicago, we went to brunch with Katie & Kevin.  Then, we picked up Parker, Rachel and Oliver for some family pictures.  I LOVE their babies!  I just want to squish Oliver!

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When we got back from Chicago, I attended the AKP Magical Retreat hosted by Ashton Kelly Photography.  I was so nervous!  However, everyone was SO NICE!  And I learned so much.  More than anything, I learned I am worth it!  I have found some friends and support.  I will be posting a blog about this experience at some point, too.  🙂

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Three of the Chicago Cubs were in Magic Kingdom the same day we were there for the retreat!  I couldn’t have planned that any better!

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We were asked to photograph Melissa’s 30th birthday party at The Attic in Disney’s Boardwalk Resort.  She had an Up theme.  Everything was absolutely perfect!  Melissa was amazing to work with!  Such a nice get together.

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Parker & Tyler were our last wedding of 2016.  I.  LOVED.  THIS.  WEDDING!!!  Parker was so calm.  Tyler was so nice.  They were married in Disney’s Wedding Pavilion with their reception at the Whitehall Room & Patio at Disney’s Grand Floridian Convention Center.  Their wedding was the day before Thanksgiving.  They were lucky to get all of the Christmas decorations.  It was the perfect way to end our 2016 wedding season.

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Victoria & Casey drove from Alabama for a combination family/engagement session.  It was their children’s first time at Disney.  I give them a huge thumbs up for driving through the night and then turning around and driving back.  I couldn’t have done it.  🙂

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Our very last session of the season was with Talitha, David & Aubrey in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Steve and I photographed Talitha & David’s engagement session in 2011 and wedding in 2012.  They were here for Aubrey’s 3rd birthday.  Talitha & David are expecting a baby boy in March.  🙂

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2016 brought some challenges.  Financially, it was rough.  We had two weddings cancel.  A hurricane came through and took a bit of our roof.  I had a technical issue I had hoped to never have happen.  I lost many nights of sleep over it.  I was physically ill due to this issue.

BUT – it was a good year.  We are healthy.  We met SO MANY amazing people.  Some we now call friends. Many of our brides belong to the same Facebook group where we are preferred/recommended photographers – DisBrides On Disney Brides Diary.  I am SO THANKFUL for this group and our fearless leader, Lisa!!!  It is a true support group.   We reconnected with old friends.  We worked a few times with the AWESOME team from Fairytale Hair & Makeup.  We were able to travel.  We visited Disneyland for the very first time.  THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!  Penn State won the Big 10 Championship and are headed to the Rose Bowl!!!  We have booked weddings and sessions for 2017.  We will be traveling for weddings to California in May (and visiting Disneyland, again!!!), Long Island in July, Southern Florida in November and New Orleans in December.  I am looking forward to all that is ahead of us.

I’m not going to say that 2016 was horrible, but the last couple of months have been a bit rough.  Welcome, 2017!!!

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