Christian & Sarah | Wausau Engagement
North Central Wisconsin Senior & Portrait Photographers James & Katie Stokes Located in Medford, Wisconsin // Rib Mountain
From Minneapolis to Chicago & just about every region in between, we have captured couples this past year. One common thread that ties them all together is their mutual love for each other and thrill of a great adventure. Many of them have a great passion for the outdoors and enjoy taking in every moment of it together whether it be fishing, hunting, jogging, hiking, or camping. While some live in the big city, they often have roots here in the Northwoods or Central Wisconsin and it is their down-to-earth personalities that make them all so easy to get to know.
Katie and I are an open book. We may share with you much more than you ever hoped to know when it comes to life, marriage, and raising a family during one of our meetings; our story stretches back over nearly 20 years. Many of our couples met online or through mutual friends while in college or grad school. In our initial hangout dates with our couples, I like to ask how our couple met and more often than not, one will look at the other and hesitantly say, “Online!.” I then reassure them that they are not alone and it isn’t weird. We think online dating or long distance relationships are great! They’re often driven by strong communication and algorithms designed to match people based on their personalities and interests. Gotta love psychology!
Dating can be rough. I know that Katie and I wouldn’t know where to start. We’re so very thankful that God matched us when we were pre-teens to become best friends and it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that we would say, “I do.” It is so neat getting to have conversations with couples from around the country who are willing to open up and share a part of their story with us. Even more so, it is is an honor when couples entrust us to capture one of the most important days of their lives. We feel privileged to be able to spend our weekends with such extraordinary people who place a premium on their wedding experience and their marriages as a whole. They know this [marriage] is a once in a lifetime event and they want to embrace it for all it has to offer and hold dear to every passing moment; because they know it will fly by so very quickly.
You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Hold on to one another and invest as much time in your marriage as you will on planning your wedding day! Life is truly made up of all the little moments and you will remember the times that you slowed down and intentionally reflected. Make time, better yet, schedule time to be alone without your phones, screens and the like and simply be present with one another. Listen. Be quite. Just exist in one another’s presence. That feeling of complete comfortability combined with butterflies is what we all wish for in a soulmate. Take a walk, ride a bike, go on the trip you always wanted. Sometimes life gets a hold of us and once it does it is hard to step off the merry-go-round. If you’re the journaling type, which we hope you are, take a few moments out of your week to put pen to paper. Write it all down, the good with the bad. When you look back and reflect, you will want to be as true to yourself as possible – and to your future generations who read your words you will want to provide wisdom. Share your mistakes, your frustrations, your passions and your regrets. Life is short, but also precious – so cherish and revere it. #liferevered. Make memories and dream big!
“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
One of the favorite aspects of what we do is meeting knew people, getting to know their story, how they met, and how they do life together. Engagement sessions are the perfect opportunity to have a conversation with a camera. Making our couples feel comfortable in front of the camera is such a huge part of how I view the success of a shoot. Brooke and Kellan have a sweet serendipitous beginning and share common interests in coaching, teaching, and simply rocking at their jobs as educators. They make you feel like you have known them for years – I see why their students love them so. Granite Peak’s ski lift allowed for an incredible view and a fun hike once we reached the top. Katie and I are thrilled to be capturing their 2014 wedding atop Rib Mountain.
Getting married on top of a mountain is something people from Wisconsin only dream of. While we have plenty of rolling hill, fields, and bluffs we lack any major mountain range, however, Rib Mountain is as good as it gets and it serves up an incredible view and the feeling you’re standing in the clouds.
Katie and I are thankful to have been referred by friends and previous clients. They knew that we would be the perfect fit for Luke & Melissa’s outdoor Wausau wedding.
During our engagement session, we shot on Luke’s family farm in Athens, WI. Luke and Melissa make you feel like you have known them your whole life and are a true joy to be around! Growing up on a dairy farm myself, it always feels like home whenever I am photographing in the country surrounded by cows and fields.
Moments before the ceremony, Melissa stepped out of the limo to be escorted down the isle by her father. Luke, in all white, eagerly waited atop the Rib Mountain Amphitheater. Emotions ran high as parents looking onward. Melissa’s aunt, an aspiring wedding planner, attended to every detail and everything went off without a hitch. Their wedding celebration continued at the Sundance Chalet at Granite Peak in Wausau, Wisconsin. With vaulted ceilings and large windows, it made an ideal location for their evening’s dance and reception. The venue was decorated with pink accents, mason jars, candy, & wood blocks.
The couple snuck away for a few minutes during their wedding slideshow so we could capture them just before sunset. Upon their return, they were greeted to a surprise their parents and siblings were in on involving the police!
We feel lucky just have met Luke and Melissa, but we are even more honored to have been able to capture their incredible day!