You never know where destination wedding photography is going to take you and who you are going to meet. Sometimes, it takes you right back to where you started and to people that you have known all along. For Dan and Erica’s wedding it brought me back to where it all started, my home town in Illinois.
I have known Dan from when he was in the seventh grade, when I grew up with his older brother Jason, as my best friend. Jason & I graduated high school three years before Dan so we always gave him a hard time and he was always such a cool kid about it. Three years later, at his high school graduation party, was the last time I saw Dan until he got engaged. His brother would always keep me updated through the years but it wasn’t until I met with Dan and Erica last fall for their engagement photos, when I found out just how amazing their story is.
Dan and Erica are simply meant for each other. They met when they worked together as lifeguards at a local water park in their hometown, when Erica was a senior in high school and Dan had just started college. Little did they know what a “summer of love” would begin to build together and how deep their love for each other would be. They are two of the most ambitious people I have ever met. Dan was attending Central College in Iowa and Erica was still in Illinois when they met. Erica graduated from WIU after high school and then to Valparaiso University to receive her degree in sports administration. She now works as the head athletic trainer for a clinical outreach rehabilitation center. After Dan received his undergrad in biology, he went on to UIC where he is currently working on his PhD in neuroscience.
Through the years of pursuing their goals they built a trusting, loving and supportive relationship, where they know each other as well as they know themselves. Every moment not spent on achieving their goals, was spent together. No matter the distance that separated them. When Dan and Erica visited a local brewery after eight years together, he handed her an album of their photos together. At the end of the album, he proposed. It was amazing to see the man that Dan had become and to meet the woman that was his perfect match. After the engagement shoot in Illinois, they then visited me in Vail for another shoot and we really got to know each other.
The friendship that developed leading up to their wedding is one that I cherish. The excitement that they shared in their engagement and wedding photos made everything so much fun and so easy to work with. Erica knew exactly what she wanted with her photos (with my own little touches, of course) and she put so much amazing work into the details of her wedding. She was the perfect bride and communicated so extremely well. On their wedding day, the schedule went exactly as planned. The day went free of worries, it was full of laughs, love and tears. By the time the beautiful sunset came out, I watched these two friends, both old and new, become husband and wife. Oh….and Dan even got in a round of golf.
Congratulations, Dan & Erica! I feel so blessed to have been a part of your wedding day and to tell your story. You have come so far together and have such an amazing future ahead of you.
To see their whole story visit HERE.
Venue: McEachran Homestead Winery