When I first met Shawn and Stephen, we bonded over shared senses of humour and a mutual love of Milwaukee and bourbon. After telling me more about their vision for the wedding which included a desire for honest and authentic photos from the day and their details revolving around a DIY bourbon theme, I knew I just had to photograph their wedding. When their fall celebration rolled around, I couldn’t have been happier that they selected me for the job. All my couples are deeply in love, and I always say couples show that bond in many different ways, all of which are beautiful and wonderful. However, once or twice a year I photograph a couple that has such a palpable and obvious bond that adds an even more deep and meaningful twist to the photography. Shawn and Stephen are definitely this way, and several times throughout the day — including during a first look in the hustle and bustle of Wacker and a first dance surrounded by all their friends and family — you could almost see and feel the rest of the world fall away, with them completed focused on one another only.

Aside from this connection, their day was also just such FUN. Stephen is from a family of boys and Shawn, from a family of girls, and the entire group was just having such a blast the entire day. A bourbon theme doesn’t hurt, either, and Shawn and Stephen (designers and art directors) really brought their own touch to the details, collecting dozens of bourbon bottles and dipping them in gold to hold their centerpieces with the help of their florist, making a sculpture of their self-designed monogram out of an old barrel, signature bourbon cocktails, and using the top of a barrel for a guestbook. Both the couple and their guests were so wonderful about truly being present on the wedding day (the biggest factor toward getting great photos in my opinion) and I think and hope it really comes across in the photos. Thank you so much S&S! I had such a wonderful time and couldn’t have been happier to shoot your day.

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Invitations, Favors, Custom Decor: DIY by couple | Florist: STEMS | Bride’s Dress: Blue by Enzoani | Groom’s suit: BOSS | Caterer: Paramount | Cake: Amy Beck | DJ: Toast & Jam | Guitar: Michael Mcavena (friend of couple) | Assistant/Second Photographer: Julia Franzosa

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