tom + joan MARRIED!!
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Tom and Joan have this amazing connection/chemistry/spark…whatever you want to call it – just talking about each other brings smiles to each of their faces. Every time they look at each other you can see the love.

I love it when my friends get married and I can be there to show them how in love they are!!! :-)

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Tom really enjoys photography and always has some fun ideas for photos – the next image is something he had seen and wanted to re-create for him and Joan. I thought it was way too cute to not share with you!

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See? They can’t help but smile when they look at each other!!

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The next image is why I love candid photography – no one told Tom to look at his wife like that and I LOVE it!!

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They are also pretty entertaining – Tom was thanking everyone for coming and making the day so special, “oh, and the dance starts at 7:30”

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Tom + Joan – thanks again for having me do your wedding photography!! I hope you’re honeymoon in Cancun is fabulous!

mark + becky MARRIED…for a while
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After Kelli + Jesse’s wedding I stayed with my cousin Mark and his wife Becky for the rest of the weekend. Last time I was there visiting, we were talking about how people only get photos taken when they graduate from high school, get engaged, get married or have babies. Well, Mark and Becky are in between the ‘get married’ and ‘have babies’ stage in their lives, so I thought I’d take a few photos of them just for fun.

When I asked them if I could put a couple on my blog if I thought they were really cute they said, “sure, but good luck finding any cute ones…we’re really good at making photos look bad.” I disagree. I think they’re cute. :-)

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I warned Mark + Becky that these would be engagement-style kind of photos because that’s how I know how to pose couples. I’ve never had the opportunity to photograph couples who have been married for a few years. :-) While we were at our second location, a few people drove by, smiled and gave a ‘thumbs up’ to Mark + Becky thinking they were a newly engaged couple out taking photos.

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Mark + Becky – thanks for letting me stay at your place again!! I had a great time staying up until 2 a.m. visiting. Except I kinda feel like I sound like our moms when I say that because that’s what they do every time they get together…

jesse + kelli MARRIED!!
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I have known Jesse + Kelli for a couple years and I can honestly say that they are SO meant for each other!! They are always laughing and goofing around when I see them – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them unhappy. Sure, Jesse might get a little irritated when Kelli and I keep talking at breakfast after 10:30 mass at the Newman Center, but I think he’s used to waiting for her. I was running late to the church Saturday morning (butterflies do not mix well with running behind schedule) and I texted Kelli letting her know I was on my way. When I showed up she said “yeah, I’m running late too, so don’t worry about it.”

What I love the most about Kelli and Jesse is how romantic they are. Their proposal story is AWESOME!! They went to have a picnic at McCrory gardens and Jesse had prepared everything – even a poem!! He made Kelli turn her back to him as he read the poem aloud to her and at the end of the poem had her turn to face him and see him down on one knee with a ring in his hand. I know, the story would be MUCH better if you heard the actual poem, but seriously, how many guys do you know who write poems?? Especially poems that result in an engagement?! :-)

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Kelli is not much of a wedding planner – after she got engaged she said she wasn’t going to do any planning until she graduated from college in May – giving her only one month to plan. Thankfully her sister helped keep her on track with what needed to be done and when – here she is lacing up Kelli’s dress:

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Does Jesse look ready to get married or what? :-)

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Sometimes photos are so much more romantic in black and white…

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Hooray for blue skies!!!!!!! :-)

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I love the moments between father and daughter right before the ceremony…

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That’s right, Fr. Paul was there – and nearly made me cry again (have I mentioned his homilies are the BEST?!)

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This next photo was through the windows in the doors in the back of the church – thanks to the ushers for helping me out with this one! :-)

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All the details were so well put together!! From the invites to the programs to everything at the reception – If I were a wedding planner, I would be proud! :-)

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Kelli + Jesse – CONGRATS on your marriage!! I’m so excited for the both of you! Thanks so much for having me as your wedding photographer – you have no idea how awesome it feels to have your friends believe in you so much to ask you to spend the whole day taking photos with them!! And it was pretty cool being listed as “Photographer, Laura Braun, friend of the couple” on your program. :-)

bill + jacqueline MARRIED!!
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Bill and Jacqueline traveled all the way from California to have a South Dakota-style country wedding – Bill grew up here, and Jacqueline loved the feel of small town midwest weddings and everything turned out so well for them!! Bill’s mom made all the girls’ dresses and guys’ vests. Jacqueline, with her background in costume design, designed her dress and had a friend make it out of lace from an antique dress. Everyone who was around the week before the wedding helped with all of the final preparations and everything turned out picture-perfect.

Enjoy the images :-)

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The next photo is a sample of the kind of images Bill + Jacqueline had come up with…I love their creativity and willingness to do fun photos like this!

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Cowboy boots were EVERYWHERE!! Vases, salt & pepper shakers, candles, bubble containers, and probably lots of other places that I didn’t even notice!

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Gotta love it when they ‘lose the ring’…

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Thankfully Bill and Jacqueline found it amusing, too! :-)

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I love how excited Jacqueline is to be putting Bill’s ring on his finger!!

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After the ceremony, Bill + Jacqueline surprised the wedding party with a horse-drawn carriage to whisk them away!

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Jacqueline’s dad gave a great speech at the reception:

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The barn dance was a big hit – Bill + Jacqueline danced more than I have ever seen any newly-married couple dance!!

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eric + jennifer MARRIED!!
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Sometimes (okay, most every time) I get so excited for weddings that I get butterflies in my stomach right before I start shooting. I have been excited for Eric + Jen’s wedding ever since their engagement session last fall in the Black Hills – they are such a great-looking and laid-back couple, it makes my job SO easy!!

We started the day at Jen’s mom’s hair salon:

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This next photo may or may not have been when Jen was texting Eric that he should probably shave for the wedding, despite how much Jen likes his ‘scruffy’ look. ;-)

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Another one of my favorite parts of weddings is when the bride first sees herself in her wedding dress – I think that’s the moment she thinks to herself “I’M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!!!!” :-)

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Hooray for first look moments!!

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The next photo is my favorite from the day:

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Isn’t her bouquet awesome?!

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I know, they’re only walking to my car, but I love it when a guy holds the train of the dress!! Really, it’s all about the little things in life that make me smile. :-)

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It was a little too cold out for ice cream, but way too cute of a spot to not take photos!!

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“Not only do you get ‘congratulations’ but also ‘have a great life together!'” :-)

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Can I just be best friends with you two and have your adorable-ness rub off on me??

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The best part about their first dance was the fact that they actually DANCED!!! Not just swaying to the music, but actual footsteps! So romantic!

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Jen told me she loved every song on the playlist and she didn’t think she would be able to stop dancing – and I don’t think she did the whole time I was there!!

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Eric + Jen – I am so glad that I was able to be such a big part of your wedding day! You both looked great and all the planning and details turned out so amazing! The D.J. was right – you guys just fit! You are both so comfortable and happy around each other – you truly make my job so easy. The looks you give each other are filled with love and that is such a beautiful thing! Have a wonderful time in Hawaii and congratulations to the both of you on your marriage!