James and Katy

Ever since Katy asked if I'd be willing to help out with her wedding pictures, I've been wondering what in the world was I going to write in the blog post. All that time to think and brainstorm, and I still don't know what to say. Because it's James and Katy. And they're so much more than could ever be summed up in a few short paragraphs.

Katy is my first cousin, and has been my good friend since childhood. She's my fellow coffee/tea drinker, vintage lover, poetry reader/writer, thrift store shopper, and picture taker, among so many other things, which means we can sit and talk for HOURS and not run out of things to say. We've done it millions of times.


And James. James is an amazing guy. He's an adventurer, an optimist, a romantic, a creative mind, and just one of those people you're always happy to have around. And, one of the best things about him is, he loves Katy just as much as she deserves.


Seriously. The relationship these two have is a rare kind of special, one that I don't know how to put into words. Which, I suppose is okay, because their love story isn't the kind that you can write out. It's not the kind that's found in the movies or the romance novels or the daydreams, but rather, it's the kind that's written by God. And there's no better love than that.

Katy, for those of you who don't know her, is crazy talented and creative. Not only did she plan a GORGEOUS wedding, she also handmade her own bouquets and designed her own invitations!

Quick stories here.


This perfume is Katy's favorite, but she couldn't find it anywhere. James, being the awesome guy that he is, found it for her so she could wear it on their wedding day! And the necklace on the perfume bottle has been worn by so many brides in Katy's family, starting with her great Grandma in 1934 as a gift from the groom on the wedding day!

The bridesmaids were such great entertainment all day long. Katy picks good friends :)

After spending a bit of the morning with the girls, I headed over to where the guys were getting ready, so that I could snag a few pictures of them and then bring James back to Katy's for the first look. All of the groomsmen were James's brothers, and they were so much fun to be around! So many jokes and so much laughter!


Katy had sent me with a watch to give to James to wear. Eric, the best man, came over to get a good look at it before deciding that it was a 'sharp timepiece.' James was pretty happy with it too.

On the way to Katy's, James asked if I wouldn't mind stopping at a flower shop so that he could buy Katy a rose. No way would I have said no to this, especially since I knew their history that sparked the request. Katy is the kind of girl who doesn't demand much, nor does she need much to be happy. But James is such a romantic and thoughtful guy, that throughout the years they dated, he would randomly buy Katy a single rose. Not a whole bouquet, but enough to show how much he cares. I told you these two are awesome.

He gave Katy the rose during their first look, and she later added it to her bouquet so that she'd have it throughout the day. Seriously.

Some of my favorite photographers have made the point that the pictures you have taken on your wedding day aren't so much for you or your family present, but more for your future family. And I totally agree. It's one of the things that I love so much about this job, and this next picture I love for that reason.


Because this is the kind of picture that I imagine hanging on the bedroom wall for years to come; the kind of picture I imagine the kids and grandkids looking at and smiling. They'll see the way that Mom and Dad, or Grandma and Grandpa, looked at each other on their wedding day, with so much love in their eyes, and they'll know how blessed they've been to be raised by these people.


For me, THIS is a huge part of what wedding days are all about.

Brenna and Maryn had their own, slightly exaggerated version of a first look. Good entertainment, as usual!

The newest nephew, Hans, just a few weeks old. So precious!

And the bridesmaids were gorgeous! You can't even tell that it was insanely hot and humid!

After a few bridal party pictures on the road in front of Katy's house, we headed over by Thompson Lake in Howell. Katy had spotted this ivy wall a few days prior, and knew she wanted pictures here. I love how they turned out!

So much laughter in this group, but really, how could you not be happy, as your sister/lifetime friend or brother is getting married to the love of their life, surrounded by their favorite people.

I don't remember if these pictures were their idea or not, but afterwords there were comments along the lines of "okay, yeah, that didn't feel right."

After bridal party pictures it was off to the church to grab detail shots and family pictures. The decorations were so Katy; painted jars, wildflowers, and, on the bridal table, the same vintage camera that was used as a prop in their engagement pictures!

James has a lot of older siblings, which meant, since they were at the church early for the family picture, there were so many adorable nieces and nephews for me to take pictures of!

The birds on the top of the cake were carved by Grandpa Pietila and have been used in many of the cousins weddings as a cake topper, or just as a decoration. I'm not positive what the story is, if he made them with that intent, but we all lovingly refer to them as the lovebirds.

Also, I LOVE this naked cake trend!

Pre-ceremony moments with Katy's brother Nate before he went to do his usher duties and the ceremony would officially begin. They all did their game face for the camera, and then followed that with a "1-2-3 Sturos!" before he headed up the aisle.

So many photographers say that first looks are their favorite part of the day, but these pre-aisle moments are right up there on my favorites list. The emotion between the bride and her bridesmaids, and between the bride and her dad, are so special, and so much fun to be able to witness and capture.

And these immediate post-ceremony moments are equally as special! The first moments as husband and wife! So much happiness!

These boys were so funny! As soon as they saw my camera pointed at them, it was a mad dash to get their heads under the table and out of my sight before I could snap the picture. They seemed to enjoy the game, and I certainly didn't mind!

I think every wedding should have cupcakes, if only for the sake of they make for the cutest pictures! Especially the ones below, oh was this cute! She had got her arm in her cupcake, and as she was cleaning it up, her other elbow ended up in it too!

James and Katy, thank you (times a million!) for letting me be a part of your day! It was an honor to be able to witness it all, and capture what I could! I wish you two a lifetime of love and happiness, you guys deserve the absolute best!


And Brita, thanks again for letting me follow along behind you, I learned a lot and had a blast!

To everyone else, make sure you check out Brita's posts of the wedding! (parts 1 &2)



Write a comment

Comments: 3
  • #1

    Brita (Monday, 14 September 2015 06:55)

    Wonderful post, Sara! That 3 mirror reflection pic of James...I had let that one slip. It's awesome!

  • #2

    Larissa (Monday, 14 September 2015 08:07)

    Fabulous job Sara! Love it!

  • #3

    Christine (Monday, 14 September 2015 14:04)

    I always get choked up at weddings, but I think this is the first time that it's happened when looking at the
    pictures. You did an awesome job!