Courtney + Travis | Home Is Where the Heart Is Engagement

Courtney + Travis | Home Is Where the Heart Is Engagement

Not wanting my California girl reputation to be forgotten, I made sure to get my car stuck in said mud on my way there. Leaving my car half in a ditch, we continued on with their session. These two braved the cold, wind, and the muddy fields of their land and steep ladders of their barn for some spectacular images. We then made the most of Courtney’s home decor skills and their love of coffee and got cozy indoors. All the while my car was being rescued by Travis' dad. One thing I love about Courtney and Travis is their sense of humor—these two have been together for 9 years and to me, they are the definition of...

Jessica + Nate | Lake Geode Engagement

Jessica + Nate | Lake Geode Engagement

I met Jessica and Nate for the very first time at Geode State Park for their engagement session in March. It was super cold but my first impression of these two was their cheerful warmth not just towards one another but towards me and any new adventure as well. I love it when couples really make engagements their own and Jessica and Nate really did. We incorporated the competitive (yet loving) nature of their courtship by playing their favorite games--which I think Jessica won--and a blanket from Truman University where they met. The most memorable and laugh out loud part of this session for me was when I asked them to run towards me--I completely forgot that these two were athletes and highly competitive ones at that. So what I thought was going to be... (read more)

Emily + Athan | Romantic Winter Wedding

Emily + Athan | Romantic Winter Wedding

Emily and Athan winter wedding was the last of my 2016 season which was truly incredible! The pair wed on the gorgeous but brilliantly cold Friday after Christmas and the day flowed smoothly all at one location. I loved the style Emily chose to go with for her decor—lots of greenery, cranberry and blush tones and the barn with it’s huge space and twinkling lights was truly the perfect setting. Emily and Athan chose to have a first look in order to have lots of light for photos before their evening ceremony which are some of my favorite images of the day. Something about seeing your bride or groom before the wedding is so... (Read more)

Maddie + Alec | Modern Miltary Engagement

Maddie + Alec | Modern Miltary Engagement

I met Maddie and Alec for their engagement session on the sunniest, hottest Sunday afternoon imaginable for October in Iowa. I never knew when I get together with a couple for the first time what the chemistry level is gonna be and for some reason, that excites me. I really didn't need to worry with these two. They weren't very good at being serious hipster but that is totally fine with me, I'll take giggles and sunshine any day of the week. I also loved that they were willing to bring something unique...(read more)

Olivia + Cody | Snowy Junkyard Engagement

January 5th,  2017 | Burlington, Iowa

Olivia and Cody are my kind of people. Since meeting them in the fall and consulting about their wedding I knew we were going to make something really special together. They were initially hoping for a colorful fall engagement session but since they are getting married in the height of fall this coming year, I encouraged them to think about a different season, setting and mood than they'll have for their actual wedding day--nobody likes photos that all look the same! I'm so happy and grateful to say that these two totally trusted me and decided to wait for a snowy engagement. After waiting a few months (come on, Iowa!) a positively freezing Sunday came along with a bit of snow and the three of us just seized the moment, not knowing if we'd get another. Olivia had told me that for years she'd dreamed of having her engagement session take place at a local car scrapyard in "abandoned school buses". I had no idea what to expect when they took me to the location but not even the freezing cold snow and wind could dampen my excitement once I saw these awesome, long forgotten monoliths. The grungy and forgotten vibe this place exuded isn't easy to replicate in charming Burlington! After exploring the junkyard and freezing my fingers off (#worthit), we wrapped it up with a bit of sun and a snowball fight at Starr's Cave (pretty sure you'll agree with me that Olivia won).

Cody and Olivia are so sweet together and constantly make each other laugh which made shooting them a breeze. I'm so glad that this couple trusted me in such trying weather conditions but I'm even more stoked to shoot their wedding this fall. Take a look, give them some love and if you're wondering if that weird place you've been thinking about doing your engagement is just plain crazy, let me just tell you: GO FOR IT. Be different. Be you. Just go for it. It's worth it every time.

XO,

Melissa

Kate + Brandon | Vibrant Church Wedding

Kate + Brandon | Vibrant Church Wedding

Kate and Brandon's wedding was everything I hope a wedding will look and feel like when I book my clients: no fuss, warm, full of emotion and laughter and just plain beautiful with throngs of family and friends around to celebrate the couple with support and humor.

Though it was November, it was an incredibly bright, warm and sunny day, with deep cerulean skies and...(Read More)