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This past weekend I met up with the winners of my Wedding Photography Giveaway, Ashley and Clint for their engagement session! The day started out gloomy and so did the start of our session but within a half hour the sun starting peeking out and we had insanely gorgeous light! It was so great meeting Ashley and Clint in person and getting to know them. We met up at Rustic Oaks, where their wedding will take place in 2013. I’m really looking forward to their wedding! A big thanks to my pal Richelle Dante who was visiting from California for shooting with me! Now on to my favs…

My favorite of the day taken by Richelle is below.

  • Sarah Eisenschenk - So cute! I love the photos!May 22, 2012 – 11:19 pm

  • Erica Nord - What a gorgeous start to forever together :) Love them and you!May 23, 2012 – 10:31 pm

  • Alicia - Love the true expression of the future bride and groom. You really captured the people that they are. Great job.May 24, 2012 – 9:13 pm

  • Becky Crompton - Love the pictures!!! Can’t wait for next summer! It looks like it will be the perfect spot for the wedding! My favorite picture is the closer up one of you two sitting in the grass!May 26, 2012 – 1:34 am

  • veronica nelson - great pictures, they are absolutely beautiful.May 26, 2012 – 9:53 am

  • Heidi Sell - Great pics! Congrats on your engagement!May 26, 2012 – 6:44 pm

  • clint - they look great. thank you so muchMay 28, 2012 – 8:45 pm

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This past weekend I met up with Kaylee and Roman for a couples session. They have been together for five years and Kaylee wanted some pictures of them together. We also took a few of just her as well and it was so much fun! Here are a few of my favs…

How gorgeous is Kaylee in the below image?!!!

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After 2,537 votes there is a winner in the Wedding Photography Giveaway!! The winner is….

Ashley + Clint!!

Congratulations you two!!! I’m so excited to photograph your wedding in 2013!!! Thank you so much to all of the other nominees! Be sure to check your email because there’s a little something in there for you too!

  • Julie Thompson - Congrats Ashley and Clint! What a great contest to win! Start practicing your smiles:)! Best wishes to you both! Julie T.May 13, 2012 – 11:52 am

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**This post will stay at the top of the blog until May 12th. Please scroll down for my newest posts!**

I’m so excited to announce the finalists for the 2013 Wedding Photography Giveaway! Read through their stories and vote for your favorite at the bottom. You can only vote once per computer so vote from as many different computers as you can and tell all of your friends, family, co-workers, strangers on the street, whoever!!! The poll will not show who is in the lead because it’s gotta be a surprise!! Voting will end at midnight on May 12th. For a reminder of what the winning couple will win, just go HERE!

PLEASE VOTE IN THE VOTING BOX BELOW. FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS IN THE FACEBOOK OR COMMENT BOX, BUT KNOW THAT DOESN’T COUNT AS A VOTE! ONLY BY CLICKING IN THE VOTE BOX NEXT TO THE COUPLES NAME AND PRESSING VOTE, DOES YOUR VOTE COUNT!! THANKS!!!!

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1. Krystal Lacey (22) + Joshua Crance (22)

Wedding Date + Location: August 24th 2013 on family farm near Breckinridge, MN

How the couple met + their love story: 

We started talking because we had in common that we both weren’t supposed to be at this college recruiting event.  We both had already been accepted to Northern State University and were attending the following school year.  However, this event was for HS juniors that were just starting their college search (which Josh and I didn’t know about till we got there).   So since most of the information presented was irrelevant to us we sat in the back and just talked.  After that day we both went our separate ways and I didn’t think  anything of the day.  Shortly after my Freshman year of school started and I was enjoying being a college student.  By mid October I had almost forgotten about this guy I had met at this college event the summer before.  He hadn’t forgotten about me and had built up the guts to friend me on Facebook.  At this time I was adding everyone that would request me.   The first couple weeks he would send little message here and there whenever he could get near a computer.  Computer access was a big thing because at this time he was at AIT (second military required training were they learn their specialty).  Mid October, Josh is home from AIT and he asked if we could hang out when he came to Aberdeen (where Northern’s at) Halloween weekend.  I agreed (even though I didn’t think he was my type at all, boy was I wrong).  We hung out that whole weekend and were inseparable after that.  This last year throw a curve ball at us.  Josh’s national guard unit was called up to be deployed for a year in Afghanistan.  Deployment is hard on relationship and we knew this going into it.  We knew communicating would be hit or miss and there would be a lonely year for both of us.  However,  this never got in our way if anything it brought us closer.  Than when Josh got 15 day break back in December Josh proposed to me.  I was at the Bismarck airport to pick him up with his family (they knew what was going to happen).  As soon as Josh got through the gate and gave me a big hug he got down on one knee and proposed to me.  This was the best christmas present ever.

 Why does this couple deserve the prize? 
We are best friend and couldn’t love and adore each other more.  We are just finishing our first deployment here in the next few weeks.  Deployment is hard on a relationship but this has only made us stronger.  We have developed a level of communication  that before we speak we know what the other will say or what the other will want.  I know without a doubt that he will always be there to support me and be my biggest fan and  he knows I would do the same. We have gone though a lot with Josh being in the military as well as living in different town due to being in different school and even through all of that nothing has every made us second guess our love for each other.
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2. Cassandra Perish (26) + Paul Fiechtner (26) 
Nominated by Amanda Johnson
Wedding Date + Location: August 3rd, 2013 in Moorhead, MN
How the couple met + their love story:
Cassandra and Paul first met on Valentine’s Day 2008 in Fargo, ND. Paul claims he picked Cassie up at the bar but I (Amanda) take full credit for introducing my two good friends that night.Paul and Cassie were instantly smitten with each other but had to face some major obstacles early on in their relationship. Paul had already secured a job in Texas and was set to move after graduation in May, while Cassie still had a semester left of school that fall at MSUM and was planning on continuing her education in Chicago. They made a long distance relationship work for a long seven months until Cassie’s graduation from MSUM. She then put her dreams on hold to be with Paul in Texas where their relationship and love for each other grew. After nine months together in Texas, Paul transferred to a job in Chicago so Cassie could pursue her goals. They bought a home there together and this is where Paul proposed to Cassie on Valentine’s Day 2012, the four year anniversary of the day they met. That night Cassie came home from a graduate class to their home where Paul was waiting at the door all dressed up. He had the house filled with candle light and the table set beautifully with white roses, while a nice meal was cooking in the kitchen. He poured her some wine and asked her to change into one of the dresses he had laid out for her in the bedroom. She had no idea that the evening was anything more than Paul planning a sweet dinner for Valentine’s Day. Paul popped the question over dessert and Cassie was in such complete shock that she forgot to give him an answer right away. She finally said yes and they are now planning a wedding back in Fargo-Moorhead where they first met.
Why does the couple deserve this prize?
Wedding planning comes with a lot of decisions and sometimes some stress, especially when you’re planning a wedding in a town a few states away. Cassie had shared with me that she was only certain about one decision for her wedding:  she knew that Katie Lewis would be perfect for capturing her and Paul’s special moments on their wedding day. She was so happy that she at least had one very important decision made and that she felt great about. After more planning, looking at venues, making a rough guest list and looking at catering prices, Cassie was extremely disappointed when she told me that her dream photographer was probably not going to make it into the budget for their wedding. They both have large families and want to include everyone that is special to them on their wedding day, so catering costs were going to take up a major part of their budget.

A couple of weeks later, I saw Katie’s facebook post about her 2013 wedding giveaway and I was so excited! I couldn’t think of a more deserving couple and I was so thankful that there was still a possibility Cassie and Paul would be able to have their dream photographer after all! I am so happy to have the opportunity to nominate them for this contest as they are such a kind and caring couple who would truly appreciate having beautiful photography to remember their day by!

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3. Ashley Nord (27) + Clint Malikowski (27)

Nominated by Erica Nord

Wedding Date + Location: June 29th, 2013 in Moorhead, MN

How the couple met + their love story:

After being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend their relationship lasted the test of distance when Ashley left 2 months after to study abroad. The night Clint bought his tickets to come and visit he looked at Ash and said “I can’t not be with you and I can’t not see you for that long”.

Since the time Clint has been dating Ashley – he has been like the big brother for me (Erica) I never had. Clint’s family has been going through some difficult times, and I know he has found support in Ashley and in joining our family.

Why does the couple deserve this prize?

I believe the couple deserves this prize because of who they are. Ashley has been in school for over 8 years and will have 5 more years of residency. She devotes so much time to studying that she hardly has time for herself or as a couple. Just one testament of Clint’s love for Ashley is that he is willing to leave his home state and sell his house in order to create a home of their own in Michigan during Ashley’s residency. One of Ashley’s passions is photography and having photographs from her special day will remain a lasting testimony to the love that they vowed that day and will continue to grow for every day after. I love my sister and her fiance and am so happy that they have found each other!

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4. Natalie Reiser (24) + Dane Heid (26)
Wedding Date + Location: June 15th, 2013, Riverdale, ND
How the couple met + their love story: 
Her story: I met Dane when I was 16 years old at a high school basketball game; pretty much the epitome of romance at that point in your life. However, I didn’t forsee that moment as being a major life changer because I was there with my current boyfriend….who happened to be one of Dane’s close friends. I remember when I first saw him; he was wearing these Weezer-style glasses and oozed confidence. I was immediately drawn to his strong sense of self that is so rare for people of that age. Unfortunately, that was not the beginning of our story. We had other life experiences to face first. As I continued to date his friend, Dane went off to the Navy. I was disappointed by his absence, but I never realized how much of an impact it had on me until the day he came home. A big group of us were at Dane’s hometown celebration, and none of us were expecting him to return anytime soon. All of a sudden, we saw him coming from across the carnival and I took off running into his arms (to the shock of everyone around us). I think both of us were surprised by my reaction, but that’s when we knew there was something there. After another year passed, we finally found a point in our lives when it was possible to come together. Our compatibility was so obvious (except for the fact that he is a Red Sox fan and I am a Twins fan) that we felt foolish for not connecting sooner. Now, we have been together for six years as each other’s partner, supporter and best friend.
His story: I first met Natalie at a basketball game in my hometown. I was accompanying my friend who was dating her at the time. After the game, while my friend and I were hanging out with Natalie, I realized how much I really connected with her. She was so fun to be around, as if she was one of the guys. Sadly, she was taken and I was unable to pursue her, so I headed in another direction. Soon, high school ended and I was on my way to the service. During my final days in the Navy, I told my family and friends that I would be coming home a day later than I knew I really would be. It was a surprise to everyone to see me, especially Natalie. She wrapped her arms around me and held me tight enough that I felt uncomfortable for her boyfriend. Again, we connected as if we were best friends. Fast forward another year and we were finally both single. We started talking nonstop and I eventually convinced her to go on a date (she wasn’t thrilled by my choice of baseball team, but we worked it out!). That first date sparked a flame that has been lit for six years and counting. We’ve shared so many memories already and I look forward to creating even more with her.
Why does this couple deserve this prize?
As we mentioned, we have been together for six years. For three of those years, we were very spoiled and fortunate to be able to live in the same town and see each other every day. However, we both highly value education and agreed that it would be best for our future together to pursue our educational goals, even though that meant being separated by 246 miles until we had obtained our degrees. So, for the past three years, we have been putting everything we have into getting our degrees (Masters in counseling for Natalie, Doctorate of Chiropractic for Dane) so that we can be together again. It has been difficult in many ways; we have been tested emotionally and experienced the stress of dealing with major life events without the immediate support of the most important person in your life. We also experienced the financial strain of pursuing an education while shouldering the costs of travel in order to see each other. We had to accept that the marriage we both wanted would have to be put off until we could complete our educations and afford a wedding. Now we are nearing the end and are close to getting our degrees, but we still are being faced with the problems of money. Because we haven’t had the opportunity to earn an income and save for the wedding yet, our ceremony and reception next summer will require a lot of strict budgeting and sacrifices. Although photography is something that is extremely important to the both of us, it is an element that we simply cannot afford. Our current plan is to request the help of some camera-saavy family members, but we know it won’t produce the result of a professional photographer. We appreciate the personal value of an artfully-taken photograph and would be thrilled to be selected as the recipients of this prize. We both know what photography could potentially provide for us; a beautiful echo of a day which we will cherish forever.
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5. Amy Ingebretson (26) + Jared Mohelski (28)
Wedding Date + Location: April 27th, 2013 in Moorhead, MN
How the couple met + their love story: 
Jared and I met in the summer of 2005.  We met through mutual friends, and eventually became really good friends.
Through a series of years, we remained friends, but there was always more to it than even we realized at the time.  During this time, we were hanging out with friends and enjoying some cocktails, Jared was sweet and brought me home, because I wasn’t able to drive.  I realized when I got home; I only had one of my favorite pair of heels.  Thinking it was lost forever, I tossed the other shoe.
In the summer of 2007, our friendship grew closer and we started to spend a lot of time together.  To the point where he would spend the night, and we weren’t even dating at this point, we literally just loved each other’s company.  He worked construction and was up at dawn, when I would wake up there was always the sweetest love note to me, they were his way of saying goodbye without waking me.  I treasured these notes.
My birthday is in July and on this day he confessed to me that he had signed up for the Army National Guard.  My heart broke and I pretty much thought whatever we had, would be on hold and soon I realized I would have to live without him while he went to Basic Training in August.  We threw him a going away party, and he left with our future very uncertain.  We left it open, realizing there was still feelings, but not knowing who we would be when he got back, was a very scary thought. On December 7th, I had his best friend pick him up at the airport and immediately drove him to his friends, where I had planned a Welcome Home party for him.  It was supposed to surprise him but instead he turned the tables and surprised me by getting down on one knee and asking me to be his girlfriend. Eventually we moved in together, and you’ll never guess what came back to me.  My high heel shoe, I thought I had forever lost it.  He had found it in his truck and kept it all this time!!
On November 22, 2010 we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Mason Lenard.  He has brought us so close, and really made us into a family.  It’s hard now, to imagine life without Mason.
This last Christmas, Jared surprised me with a trip to Mexico and promised we would go in April. When we left for our trip, it was bittersweet.  I looked forward to spending time alone with Jared, but I was devastated to leave Mason.  Our last day there we were on big boat on our way to dinner and a show on a small island near the coast.  When we were getting ready to dock, I was admiring the beautiful view and Jared suddenly turned me to face him, and asked me to be his wife.  Instead of picking out a ring I didn’t like and carrying it on the plane, he used my Grandma’s ring.  My Grandma had passed away earlier this year, so this is the sweetest most genuine gesture he could’ve ever imagined for me. When we got home, we announced it to our families and immediately started the planning.  I’ve always wanted a fall wedding, so we started trying to gauge if we could do this in only 6 months.  I slowly started realizing that wasn’t going to be feasible, and so we started looking at other dates.  We finally decided to get married on the day he asked me, 4/27/13.  I started communicating this date to my family and got the most surprising reactions. My aunt disclosed to my Mom that my recently passed Grandma and my Grandpa were married on April 27th, 1940.  So not only did Jared propose to me on their wedding anniversary, I am now blessed to be marrying the most wonderful man on this same date 73 years later.
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**Please note: You must vote in the box below. Leaving a comment or ‘liking’ it in the Facebook section DOES NOT count as voting. Thanks! 
  • Lindsay - Vote for number 27. Ashley and Clint!May 6, 2012 – 9:13 am

  • Sara Okeson - 5. Amy & JaredMay 6, 2012 – 12:09 pm

  • marie greer - I vote for Ashley and Clint! She has sacrificed so much and deserves the most perfect wedding day.May 6, 2012 – 12:43 pm

  • Brittany Gunderson - Amy and Jared :) May 6, 2012 – 3:45 pm

  • Kelly - Ashley and Clint! #3May 6, 2012 – 6:49 pm

  • Kim Carney - Vote for Josh and KrystalMay 6, 2012 – 10:13 pm

  • Shayla beer - Josh and Krystal they are my voteMay 6, 2012 – 10:20 pm

  • Jenna - Paul and Cassie, a very sweet couple :) May 6, 2012 – 10:24 pm

  • Hillary Beyer - My vote’s for Josh and Krystal.May 6, 2012 – 10:32 pm

  • Chris Thomas - #1 Krystal & JoshMay 6, 2012 – 10:36 pm

  • Annie Maciejewski - Josh and Krystal!May 6, 2012 – 11:32 pm

  • Barb Gross - My vote is for Krystal & Josh. #1May 7, 2012 – 1:37 am

  • Kelli Jo Miller - Cassie and Paul!May 7, 2012 – 7:14 am

  • Lin - Vote for Ashley and Clint (27)May 7, 2012 – 8:47 am

  • nick - My vote is for jared and Amy…congrats again.May 7, 2012 – 9:23 am

  • Carmen maher - Josh and krystalMay 7, 2012 – 9:59 am

  • Vicki mccomsey - Josh n krystalMay 7, 2012 – 10:10 am

  • Sarah - I vote for ash and clintMay 7, 2012 – 10:32 am

  • Sarah Kate - Ash and clint!!May 7, 2012 – 10:46 am

  • Abby Janis - My vote is Josh n KrystalMay 7, 2012 – 11:08 am

  • Jill - Cassandra and Paul!May 7, 2012 – 11:09 am

  • Tully - Josh and krystalMay 7, 2012 – 12:13 pm

  • Taylor lutzwick - Krystal and Josh!May 7, 2012 – 12:29 pm

  • Tina - Amy and Jared! :-) May 7, 2012 – 1:05 pm

  • melissa lang - Amy and JaredMay 7, 2012 – 3:36 pm

  • Danielle Johnson - My vote is for Josh and Krystal!!May 7, 2012 – 5:04 pm

  • Lacey - Josh and krystalMay 7, 2012 – 6:11 pm

  • Lacey - Josh and krystal are my vote!May 7, 2012 – 6:12 pm

  • Sean DeVaney - 1. Krystal and JoshMay 7, 2012 – 6:13 pm

  • Shannon - Cassandra & Paul! Good luck everyone!May 7, 2012 – 7:54 pm

  • Roxanne Dominis - Cassandra and Paul.May 7, 2012 – 9:18 pm

  • Diane - Go JOSH and KRYSTAL!May 7, 2012 – 9:27 pm

  • Mark - Josh and KrystalMay 7, 2012 – 9:30 pm

  • Meghan - Ashley and Clint alllllll the wayyyy!May 7, 2012 – 9:34 pm

  • Megan - Cassie and Paul!!May 7, 2012 – 9:54 pm

  • danielle - amy and jared!!!!!!May 7, 2012 – 9:55 pm

  • jamie - Ashley and Clint get my voteMay 7, 2012 – 10:02 pm

  • Taylor Janssen - Ashley and her boy Clint!!!May 7, 2012 – 10:12 pm

  • Rose McNellis - Josh & Krystal !!May 7, 2012 – 10:13 pm

  • Larry H - Ashley and Clint!May 8, 2012 – 12:15 am

  • Lindsey C - Cassie and PaulMay 8, 2012 – 2:20 am

  • Hailey K. - 1. Krystal and JoshMay 8, 2012 – 2:35 pm

  • Alyssa - josh and krystalMay 8, 2012 – 2:51 pm

  • Hanna N - Vote for Krystal and Joshua!May 8, 2012 – 3:23 pm

  • Chris Sacramone - Dane + Natalie!May 8, 2012 – 5:58 pm

  • jett - Josh & krystalMay 8, 2012 – 7:24 pm

  • jessica - Josh & Krystal!May 8, 2012 – 7:28 pm

  • Cassie Weller - Krystal & Josh!May 8, 2012 – 7:48 pm

  • Kelsie Kay Haskell - Josh & KrystalMay 8, 2012 – 8:07 pm

  • anonymous - Leaving a comment doesn’t count as a vote…head to the vote box (above) and cast your vote!May 8, 2012 – 8:31 pm

  • Ayanna - Krystal & josh!May 8, 2012 – 8:39 pm

  • cory hanna - Krystal and joshMay 8, 2012 – 9:18 pm

  • Alicia Allen - Krystal & JoshMay 8, 2012 – 9:19 pm

  • Roni Rae - Josh & KrystalMay 8, 2012 – 9:29 pm

  • Toni - Josh and krystal!May 8, 2012 – 10:10 pm

  • Korey - Josh and KrystalMay 8, 2012 – 10:10 pm

  • Marlene - Amy & JaredMay 8, 2012 – 10:36 pm

  • jaycee - #1 joshua and krystalMay 8, 2012 – 10:39 pm

  • Maelene - Wishing you both happiness in your new journey in your lives together as one.May 8, 2012 – 10:46 pm

  • matt lenz - Clint and ashley get my voteMay 8, 2012 – 11:12 pm

  • Eric - Josh n Krystal get my voteMay 9, 2012 – 4:49 am

  • Anne - Paul and Cassie!!!May 9, 2012 – 6:51 am

  • Ron - josh and krystalMay 9, 2012 – 7:07 am

  • Andy Cameron - Krystal and josh. #1May 9, 2012 – 7:32 am

  • Bramblee - Krystal & JoshMay 9, 2012 – 10:10 am

  • Hoa Tran - Amy and jaredMay 9, 2012 – 12:12 pm

  • çhasity - My vote it for Josh and Krystal love u guys!May 9, 2012 – 8:51 pm

  • Deb Godding - Cassie and PaulMay 9, 2012 – 9:17 pm

  • kirk - Ashley and ClintMay 9, 2012 – 9:23 pm

  • sharon hanson - Amy and jared for the winMay 9, 2012 – 9:41 pm

  • Brandon - Ashley and ClintMay 9, 2012 – 9:57 pm

  • Dave Metz - Ashley & Clint! Congrats!May 10, 2012 – 8:41 am

  • chantel - Amy & jared! <3May 10, 2012 – 10:06 am

  • Shari - Cassie and Paul!! All the way!May 10, 2012 – 10:42 am

  • Shari - Paul and CassieMay 10, 2012 – 10:44 am

  • nicki - My vote is for paul and cassandra..May 10, 2012 – 3:28 pm

  • Shane - I have voted for Natalie Reiser (24) + Dane Heid (26). I was fortunate to know Natalie and I do believe she deserves this gift.May 10, 2012 – 4:35 pm

  • Kaylin - Amy & Jared!!!!May 10, 2012 – 8:59 pm

  • Brittney Thoreson - Ashley & Clint!!May 11, 2012 – 10:09 am

  • Nadia - Cassandra & PaulMay 11, 2012 – 10:46 am

  • Michelle Wilson - Natalie & Dane!! Chiropractor and Counselor, they’re sure to cure what ails you <3 HugsMay 11, 2012 – 8:41 pm

  • nicole adamietz - Ashley and Clint!May 12, 2012 – 1:43 pm

  • roxanne - Amy and JaredMay 12, 2012 – 5:42 pm

  • Kaysi - Cassandra and Paul :-) May 12, 2012 – 10:07 pm

  • Rachel Weled - AMY AND JARED!!!!May 16, 2012 – 10:49 am

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