the wedding of David + Kayla : La Crosse, WI wedding photographer

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This past fall I had the immense delight to photograph the wedding of my dear friend
Kayla as she married David, an amazing guy.
When I shot their engagement photos in August, we joked about how the time would fly by
and soon enough the wedding would be here..and it did!

Waking up the morning of their wedding and looking out to sunlit cornfields was just the beginning.
Getting married in the late autumn, you never know what the weather is going to do,
but it was absolutely gorgeous -- the perfect day for a wedding.

Thinking back through their day, some specific things I loved:

- Their focus on others. From an early morning text telling me 'breakfast is at the church for you!' 
to serving cake for their guests themselves, it was really beautiful to see.

-  How close Kayla & David's families are. I mean, the entire bridal party was made up of just their siblings!! Both the Moschel's and Kozelek's already had such a friendship and connection, which was really evident. After the ceremony had ended they all hugged and people started crying..then I found myself tearing up, so precious.

- They each wrote their wedding vows, and only the pastor had read them before the ceremony. 
Since I loved how powerful they were, I asked Kayla if I could include the vows in this
blog post and she graciously sent them to me. 

A huge thanks to my best friend, Amanda for second-shooting with me,
reading my mind, and always being the best assistant I could ask for.
She is so helpful and an immense blessing, love her!

Groom/Groomsmen Vests : Sheplers

Bride's Dress : Wedding Tree

Bridesmaid Dresses : Dainty Jewells

Hair/Makeup : the fabulous Chelsy + Allison Bontrager

Enjoy my favorite images, and hopefully they script a story of how beautiful this day was.
Thank you, Kayla + David for choosing me to document it.
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Kayla, you are stunning.
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Kayla, you have no idea what you’ve become to me.  Ever since God placed you in my thoughts, I wondered how a meaningful relationship with such a Godly woman like you could ever come about.  Some things I observed about you during this time of doubt were; your work ethic, your love of family and children, your love of God, your graciousness and gentleness, your vision of a future generation, your go- get- em attitude, and your love of all things western.  But most of all, your desire to live a life that gives honor and glory to God through all these character traits is what caught my attention.  Everything I observed of you is what I would want in a spouse- which brought you to my thoughts even more. 
As we start our lives together, this is the direction I want us to follow; Place God above all else, raise up a generation of culture changers, encourage those around us to live a life that walks closer to God, and find ministries to invest in. This sounds like an impossible task- and it is if we do it in our own strength.  It will take a day by day commitment, and a day by day walk with Christ to complete this life long goal. 

So now, Kayla,  I David Joel take you, Kayla Lauren to be my wife.  My pledge to you is this… to love you with an agape love, a love that sacrifices for others, just as Christ loved me. To protect and provide a secure and safe relationship, that our home may be one of true love, joy, peace, patience that endures, kindness, goodness, faithfulness to each other, gentleness, self-control.  To lead our family and make it a light house, guiding others to the One who created this union, and to be your best friend till our lives have run their course and our purpose here on earth is complete.  For the times I will fail at these goals, I want to then ask forgiveness and encouragement to live up to the standards we are setting for our family. 
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David Joel-  2 years ago I had a dream, It wasn’t long or extra detailed, but I remember every bit of it to this day.  It was a dream of a feast around a large table.  Though I couldn’t make out the faces, amongst the midst and fog, laughter and fellowship was taking place. As we began to pray, a very large and manly hand enfolded mine- it clearly was a special hand. 
As we began our relationship and got to know each other on a deeper level, I noticed more and more about your hands.  They are expressly manly and rough.  Your hands callouses and stains tell the stories of your hard working character, drive for life, and desire to learn new skills and things. Your hands are also some of the most giving and gentle of any I have met.  It wasn’t long before it dawned unto me- the hand I was holding was the one in my dream. 

Today, I Kayla Lauren, have the privilege of taking those hands in marriage.  Through the good and hard times I promise to hold them and stand by you. As your wife and helpmeet I promise to cherish you and submit to you as my God given authority with all joy in my heart. I vow to serve alongside of you, care for you, and lovingly nurture any children God may give us. I promise to support you, cheer you on, and help you fulfill your dreams and visions- even the wilder ones we will have together as a husband and wife team.  As your wife I promise to make our home a lovely place- your haven of rest, and also a place to welcome others to feel at home.  I promise above all to always be your best friend and closest confident. To celebrate and rejoice with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and disappointment. 

David, you have more than won my heart. Falling in love with you was a slow and steady process for me… each conversation with you and by time spent with you, I saw more clearly just who you were.. and all that was missing in me.  Today, we become one.  
I devote my life, my love, and my hands to you from this day forward.  
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Hannah Elise
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  1. Oh my word! I am in love with these images!! You did a fabulous job! <3

  2. These are stunning! Well done, Hannah!

  3. It really was a beautiful and God honoring wedding! Great job capturing all those special moments, Hannah!

    Sarah F.

  4. Those vows were so beautiful and the photos! Especially those of after the wedding and the autumn leaves!

  5. These are simply S T U N N I N G. You did an amazing job!!

  6. Hannah, those are GORGEOUS!!! When you had your little photography class I almost croaked. I would have LOVED to have attended, but unfortunately I live on the east coast, which is a little far to drive on the spur of the moment. I am a budding photographer, and have enjoyed seeing your pictures so much. It's an encouragement to know that you've not been to photography school but have just worked long and hard to get where you are now. Have you ever considered giving online photography lessons/tips? I have a Nikon D200, which I love, but I'm somewhat stuck as to what all the buttons mean. I can definitely change the settings, but not necessarily to what I want! A couple families have been patient enough to let me photograph their family portraits, but I've not had a lot of practice. It's hard to ask people to take time from their busy schedules to let me snap away. (plus the fact I'm a little timid because I AM practicing, and I often don't get lovely pictures, and if someone's going to the trouble of letting me take pictures of their families, they usually want copies) I do a lot of babysitting, and I always pull out the camera when I'm babysitting, but that's not always ideal because the kids usually come messy and enjoy playing in all the places where the light is the worst. All that to say, your photography is FANTASTIC. If you had any tips I would greatly appreciate it. (And a couple random questions...) What camera do you have, and what's your favorite lens? How do you know what lighting areas are best? How do you pose people without having them feel stiff and uncomfortable? And how do you get such sharp, clear "bursting with color" images? Keep up the stupendous work- you're definitely my favorite photographer!

    1. thank you so much for the sweet words!! I would love to answer your questions more in-depth via e-mail! Can you send me a message? hannah@hannaheliseblog.com :)

  7. Ohhh, Hannah. <3 What a beautiful, joyful day it must have been. Words fall short to comment on stunning pictures like these....and, wow, that sounds cheesy. ;) But seriously, so much gorgeousness <3 Love!!

  8. Hannah, these are gorgeous. My dream would be to have you photograph my wedding. I'm not getting married. But, if and when. :)

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm speechless... flabbergasted... these are... Hannah, love, you outdid yourself! These are gorgeous!!! Love them. LOVE THEM!! it was so wonderful meeting dear Kayla and her family at family camp. Thank you for taking these, dear soul!

  10. Hannah,
    I am always really impressed with your beautiful images but after looking through these photos I was absolutely speechless. You have such a fantastic talent for capturing people and their emotion through your lens. You outdid yourself! And adding those beautiful vows may have made me tear up a little:) Keep up the good work Hannah!

  11. There are so many things I love about this wedding and I don't even know the bride and groom! Their love for God and others is so clear through their vows and servants hearts - I mean serving cake at their reception? Very cool Absolutely stunning pictures as well!!

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please leave a comment -- I would love to hear your thoughts on this post!! :)