BIGGEST wedding post ever! :: HOPE+EVAN :: Grand Rapids Wedding Photographer

When I sat down in my chair this morning to write about hope and evan I was kind of befuddled as to where I should start. There are so many different things to say about them and their wedding day that I fear I will just blurt them all out and make no sense at all. I want, no… I need you all to know how awesome they are.

I feel it’s important to start by saying why I like them so much. They get us. They understand and appreciate our style and work. That really lays the groundwork for us to really do our best for them. They were fun, enjoyed taking pictures and photos were at the top of their priority list and thats the way we like it. They gave us tons of time to shoot on the day of, did a first look and really knew how to just being natural, have fun and love each other in front of a camera (let me tell you, thats not easy to do sometimes!). They are for sure my ideal wedding clients. They are both such incredibly nice people and I really feel honored to have been able to use our gift in photography for them. Believe it or not, the night we wrote them back to say we were available to shoot their wedding, they had literally just gone with someone else. I was devastated, she was devastated, sadness all around. Then, a few days later we hear from them and heard they got out of it and we were good to go! Happiness all around. :)

I guess I’ll continue by walking through my day.

Ryan and I arrived separately since he had some things to do and I didn’t want to leave that early (being a girl, I’m fairly high maintenance on wedding days). So I left later and got him lunch along the way and went to the venue. When I walked in the GOEII center I just have this feeling rush through my whole body. This place was…AWESOME. It was what I have been hoping to have for a while.

It’s really kind of like duck duck goose. Church wedding, Church wedding, Church wedding, Church wedding, RENOVATED FACTORY! and then we run around in circles because we are so excited to shoot there.

So I walk in, sit down and inhale my turkey tom from jimmy johns and just take it all in. The white leather couches that were as soft as a baby’s butt, the amazingly old wood flooring, the tall ceilings and abundance of natural light streaming in from every angle. It was magical and I was happy.

Hope arrived shortly after and I followed her back through the building to where she would be getting ready and…wait for it…. it’s a LIME GREEN room. My little heart could hardly handle how awesome everything already was.

First thing I do is get the dress and details to get those shots done with so I can then focus on the people as soon as I can.

Hope’s dress is one of my favorites of the whole year. It’s diferent and fits her personality perfectly. Her shoes were awesome, jewelry was perfect…everything was just so her.  I found this great pipe to hang the dress and shoes on and it was pretty easy to get some cool shots which was really nice not to have to run all over creation for sweet shots. This thing was right outside her room. :)

…and seriously, peacock earrings? YES PLEASE!

While I was doing detail shots and hanging around the girls, Ryan took the guys out for their session. I never go on the guys session so I don’t really know what all happens there but the pictures are sweet is all I know.

Ok so we get bored of stuff and try to do as many new things as we can but man, jumping shots just never get old to me. Every group of guys does it differently and it’s always very interesting, haha.

If the girls are done getting ready early (it does happen…sometimes) or if ryan is running a few minutes late with the guys I will start with individual shots of each bridesmaid and some bride shots. There was a huge empy room with the greatest light so I knew that would be the spot.

Ok so I’m super jealous of her. I SO WISH I had this very photo but with me in it from my wedding. GIVE IT!

Fun Fact: This is what was outside of the window she is looking out of up there! A gross pool and a creepy chucky doll. Haha oh the glamour!

Also, this goes without saying but hope is stinking goregous. Every facial expression is photogenic and she just made our job so much easier. I should also mention how great her hair was. Her sister is a hair stylist and goodness sakes, must be a good one because hope had some of the biggest coolest wedding hair of the year. Her name is Sandy Kladder if you want to look her up! :)


The first look is gaining in popularity and I can’t wait for more people to jump on that band wagon. It really does change the vibe of the day. It’s not just about getting better and more pictures or even just about not making your guests wait and less stress. The first look is really an awesome moment to have and I honestly think people who choose not to do it because they are saving that for walking down the isle are the ones missing out, not the other way around. With a first look, it’s just you two. You get to talk, see how your groom likes your dress, listen to him say how beautiful you are, ect. You get to spend some real intimate moments together that you would never do standing together in front of the church during your ceremony. When you walk down the isle, even after he has already seen you, it’s still a huge moment. Your walking down the isle to marry him, trust me, he will be beaming either way.

From a photography standpoint, first look photos are wonderful and special moments. We stay at a comfortable distance to get photos but also give you your space to just be together. Then, we get to have time to do a really nice bride and groom session and when your not stressed out because your running out of time, your able to really enjoy it and have fun. Hope and Evan were very smart to do the first look since they gave us a ton of time for bride and groom since it was the most important thing to her. We were really able to get some amazing shots for them.

So that wasn’t all the photos for the first look since I can’t really put every image in this post but they are awesome. If your questioning a first look, just let us know and we can direct you to their gallery to see more of what we got from it. After the awesomeness that this was, we had about an hour and a half to do bride and groom photos and I was a verrryyyy happy girl! It was so relaxed and fun.

Sometimes Ryan just kills me with how cool he is. This shot is EPIC! I swear, his giftedness makes me crazy. I love that man so much.
I love the following two pictures. The left is the PERFECT serious faces. I mean, they have happiness in their eyes, relaxed faces and both just look amazing. However, although we love a look like this for photos, we still know and understand how important being who you are is. The photo on the right is Hope and Evan. It’s love, it’s fun, its pure joy and happiness.

I thought I would put the two happy faces together, but them remember how much hope went crazy over Evan’s serious face in the middle photo (which can be seen in the reception slideshow video at the bottom of this post). But since that face didn’t last all that long until he started laughing, it only seemed right to include them both. :)

It was supposed to rain that day. I was devastated but miracles happen and it didn’t rain for any of the sessions outside. What makes the miracle even better is that the temperature was comfortable because it was overcast and the stormy sky looked stinking sweet. Thank you God!
My favorite father daughter shot. EVER. enough said.

We had such a great time shooting their wedding. I can honestly say I would love to go back and shoot it all over again. It was so laid back, had perfect weather and they were just such fun people to shoot. On top of everything, they have the love and it really shows. They really understood the style and kind of work we do and I know appreciate everything which just means the world to us. Best Day Ever! We have a couples shoot planned for them so this won’t be the last you see of them. :)


For wedding thank you cards, I like to use the same type of design style I did in the wedding album. I like to take your colors and style and incorporate it into the book and thank you cards over just leaving it all blank and boring. If you know me, you know I’m not boring and if you met Hope, you would know she isn’t either. I knew right away she would be the perfect person to bust out the stripes with! Custom cards are a super duper awesome way to say thanks. No more generic ones from target people!


We did a slideshow at the reception of the wedding photos we took that day and their reactions, especially hope’s were just so loud and hilarious I had to secretly video it to remember her excitement for always. :)

Oh, and not to toot my own horn but there album design is crazy awesome. One of my best. Check it out!

and again, we secretly caught her reactions on video again, hahaa. I think she likes the album?

WHEW! That ends the awesomeness of hope and evan’s wedding extravaganza. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have. :)

October 7, 2010 - 9:03 pm

Quinze - So great … wonderful shooting !

October 8, 2010 - 9:13 am

katie - awesome! love it ALL!

October 10, 2010 - 5:11 pm

Faith Van Enk - Holly, Ryan,

So beautiful! When life slows down a minute I have to get copies….

Did you send this link to Goei Center? I think they’d enjoy them!

Faith (Mom)

November 14, 2010 - 4:49 pm

cayce - these photos are amazing! I love all the angles you used and the style is really incredible…I only wish you were shooting my wedding :(

January 3, 2012 - 12:48 pm

cara walen - OMG. These shots are so amazing I’m in awe!!!!

November 4, 2010 - 9:08 pm

Derek + Sam // Peacock themed colors and fall goodness! // Kalamazoo Engagement Photographer » theGAUPERSblog - [...] I literally squealed hearing her ideas and seeing a picture of her dress. I think it will rival hopes dress [...]

October 20, 2011 - 4:26 pm

Hope & Evan // Kalamazoo Maternity Photographer » theGAUPERSblog - [...] Just in case you don’t remember, Hope and Evan are awesome. See their wedding photos here. [...]

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