A Marriage Proposal Done Right | Elegance and Style in Downtown Madison

1 Comment

A Marriage Proposal Done Right | Elegance and Style in Downtown Madison

Charles had a plan. It involved champagne, a bunch of candles, a new suit and the love of his life, Kim. Oh, and a big diamond ring. He planned out a romantic weekend for his longtime girlfriend in downtown Madison, and contacted us to help him document the moment he popped the big question. We were excited.

Proposals rank second only to weddings for us in terms of the opportunity to capture that giddy love which drives our photography. Emotions aren’t something we manufacture as photographers, but rather they emerge naturally between people when they’re in the right frame of mind, at ease in their surroundings, and connected to their partners. Charles had a great plan, proposing at the quaint and quiet Period Garden Park and celebrating with a glass of champagne surrounded by dozens of candles that linked the walkway. She, of course, said yes, and after a few minutes of quiet celebration they came with us for a quick pre-engagement session downtown.

We felt like we were working with models—Charles in a new suit and tie, his chiseled features popping each time we snapped the shutter, and Kim in a slinky blue dress that almost glittered in the evening light. And man, were they troopers. Not only was it more than a little cold, we also had to navigate around Freakfest and the costumed crazies streaming past us as we walked around downtown.

But the effort was worth it. We got to capture not only the moment of the proposal but also the joy and passion Kim and Charles obviously share, and all of it in time for them to make their dinner date that night. Thanks so much to both for braving the elements to get these stunning shots.

If you’re thinking of documenting your proposal, we’re happy to work with you to help create an evening that neither of you will forget! Give us a call at 608-620-8304 or email at info@stevedaubs.com for more information.

1 Comment

From "Wal-Marting" to Wedding Bells: A Picnic Point Engagement Session

Comment

From "Wal-Marting" to Wedding Bells: A Picnic Point Engagement Session

We are blessed with consistently amazing clients. They’re all different; some are wild, some are quiet, and some are silly, but they’re all different and that’s one thing we love about them. It gives us the opportunity to collaborate with our couples to create both wedding and engagement photographs that go beyond the ordinary and capture their love in very specific ways.

So when we start to plan a Madison engagement session, we always ask: Is there a place or activity that is important to your relationship? We’re not looking for the most beautiful location or setting. Rather, we’re looking for the places that are special, that evoke memories and emotion and allow our clients to showcase their real selves.

Nikky and Greg delivered this in spades when they answered, “Wal-Mart.” We were more than a little intrigued. As we started our session in the beautiful fall colors of Picnic Point, Nikky and Greg explained that when they started dating, they weren’t quite ready to tell their kids about their new relationship. But they were hungry to get to know each other, to build the connection that eventually resulted in their engagement, and they devised a plan: Wal-Marting.

Living in a busy household, they both needed to make regular runs to Wal-Mart for something or another, but now they teamed up to meet at there, pick up a few things they needed, and spend some time getting to know each other better. They strolled the aisles, and sat in Greg’s truck talking into the night. So after getting some more traditional “pretty” photographs of the fall color, we headed to Wal-Mart. That’s where I got to see their goofy side, the way that they know how to enjoy each other regardless of anything else. They’re truly some of our favorite moments from any of our engagement sessions ever.

We all had a blast, and we can’t wait to photograph their wedding!


Comment

A Symphony of Color at Olin Park Engagement Session

Comment

A Symphony of Color at Olin Park Engagement Session

Most Wisconsinites look at us incredulously when we tell them we moved from South Florida to Madison a couple of years ago. “Why would you do that?” is always the first question they ask. But the truth is, we love the change of seasons here, and no more so than in Fall, when the forests erupt in orange yellow and red, like a cool weather sea of fireworks across the landscape.

Those same people who wonder why we moved back to the Midwest also are the first to call in scheduling their fall color engagement sessions. They appreciate it, too, but after several years of hot and humid falls followed by hot and humid Christmases, we can’t get enough of the fall color. So when Anne and Reed wanted to schedule something when the leaves turned, we were happy to oblige.

Despite scheduling around the wet weather, we were able to get a beautiful, crisp fall day at Olin Park, and we spent the afternoon wandering the park's paths and lingering on the view of downtown Madison and the Capitol across the lake. We also were able to spend a little time documenting them at their house as well.

We can’t wait for their wedding next year!


Comment

Lovebirds over the moon at Over the Vines Wedding

1 Comment

Lovebirds over the moon at Over the Vines Wedding

Last weekend marked the end of the wedding season for us, bringing a mixture of joy at all the great people we met this year and exhaustion at the six months of heavy work that isn’t quite finished. Between all the editing and planning and consultations, it could start to feel like a grind.

But people like Ben and Jordan make us remember why we love photographing weddings in the first place. We had a blast with them last winter in our snowy outdoor engagement session, so we knew this wedding would be fun. They are as madly in love as anyone we’ve met, and Saturday’s wedding at Over the Vines showed us that it’s not just the two of them, but all their families and friends who enveloped the day in love.

The cold weather and wind didn’t even slow them down, and they put on a beautiful ceremony near the vines and a rocking fun reception in that gorgeous barn. And the weather gods rewarded them with the most spectacular sunset we’ve seen since we moved to Wisconsin! We wish them all the best in their future together!

Special thanks also to the other great vendors: getting ready: Courtyard Marriott East Side; ceremony & reception: Over the Vines; DJ—JS Sound & Events; catering & cake—Hy Vee Madison East; pies—Hubbard Avenue Diner & Bakery; hair & makeup—Creative Beaute Agency; dresses—Vera’s Bridal; suits—Men’s Wearhouse; ceremony & cocktail music—Soggy Prairie; day-of coordinator—Melissa Finkelstein.

1 Comment

A Cozy, Intimate Milford Hills Wedding

Comment

A Cozy, Intimate Milford Hills Wedding

Nobody would call Stephanie and Amanda traditionalists, so when they decided to tie the knot last weekend, their first priority was making everyone feel at home. They made a great choice with the Milford Hills Hunt Club. The rolling hills, sloping valleys, and still-turning hardwood forests of the club are the facility’s featured attraction, but the lodge itself is warm, inviting, and a great place for their intimate wedding.

Olga and I felt more like guests than hired help, and their friends and family joined together with us to celebrate two women who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside. Even the constant rain didn’t deter anyone from a great time, and we were able to sneak outside in between the raindrops to capture a little bit of that gorgeous scenery.

Everyone got in on the fun, whether it was maid of honor Mary reading the perfect Shel Silverstein book, “The Missing Piece,” as her toast to the couple or parents rocking out on the dance floor or friends recalling memories of their times together.

Special thanks to the vendors who made everything work just right: Milford Hills Hunt Club, the Sweet Spot for cake, Cris at Red Velvet DJs, Taylor Kallhoff for hair, and David’s Bridal for dresses.

We certainly had a great time, and we wish Amanda and Stephanie a lifetime of joy together!

Comment

A Union of "Mutual Weirdness" | Star Wars Wedding at Olbrich Gardens

Comment

A Union of "Mutual Weirdness" | Star Wars Wedding at Olbrich Gardens

One piece of advice we give all our clients is to be themselves. It’s easy to get swept away by all the cool things you see on Pinterest or get pressured into choices by well-meaning relatives. We believe there is no one right way to have a wedding, and we will work with you to create the most fun, representative wedding you can imagine.

Samantha and Zach didn’t need our advice. They came to us with a vague plan to have a space-themed wedding of some sort, possibly involving “Star Wars” characters and other costumes. We were all in on the idea! Last weekend at Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Olin Park Pavilion, Samantha and Zach, along with their closest friends and family, all delivered.

While the Olbrich Gardens ceremony begin simply and classically, the recessional turned into The Imperial March as Zach donned a Darth Vader mask and cape as they left the intimate ceremony in unique style.

So when we arrived at the reception in the Olin Park Pavilion, we were charmed by all the space-themed details. Our favorite was a sign proclaiming “Mutual Weirdness Forever.” But even more fun were the varied costumes the guests wore, from R2 D2 dresses to Princess Leia hair buns and white robes to Zach’s Darth Vader bow tie to steampunk jet packs and goggles.

To borrow a phrase, the force is strong with these two.


Comment

Joyous Abandon at Common Gardens Wedding

Comment

Joyous Abandon at Common Gardens Wedding

We were particularly honored to photograph the wedding of a dear wedding industry colleague, Jen, and her kickass fiancée, Courtney, last weekend. And like you'd expect from another industry pro, they took great care all day to make sure everyone there had a blast, from the family and friends who came from all over, to the staff at their whimsical venue to the chickens wandering the grounds and the family dogs who join in the ceremony. And they made sure they had a blast too, bringing energy and loads of personality to every photograph we took. 

This wedding was amazing because the people there were extraordinary in the joy they brought to celebrating the union of two people and families. Instead of a dollar dance or fundraiser for their honeymoon, Jen and Courtney held a 50/50 raffle to raise money for the JDRF to honor their dear friend Julie and Agrace Hospice Care for their dear friend Dana. The love showed during the ceremony, officiated by Courtney's brother, extended into heartfelt toasts and a wild and exuberant night of dancing. 

Special thanks to all the vendors who made this great celebration possible. Common Gardens provided the scenic venue and great help in making the day smooth, Bunky's Catering served up a wonderful family-style meal, and to D&S Rentals and Steve at Master Works Design Group for decorations and support as well. 

It was an honor capturing the moments of this fabulous day, and we wish Jen and Courtney the very best in their life together. 

Comment

Beauty and Brains at a Downtown Madison Wedding

Comment

Beauty and Brains at a Downtown Madison Wedding

Kenneth and Emily met in physics class at UW-Madison, but these two scientists proved to have more than mere alchemy when they married last weekend, on the most popular day of the year (thanks to the coincidence of a Saturday featuring a palindrome, 8-18-18). But every couple is unique, and so, therefore, is every wedding. This one had enough style and class for a dozen weddings. And Bucky came out to get the party going on the dance floor! 

The ceremony and reception were held at the stunning new St. Paul University Catholic Center, and the couple spent time at Memorial Union for photos as well. Special thanks to planner Alexis at Lillian Rose Events, Alan Koa Salon for hair and makeup, Felly's Flowers for floral decor and bouquets, the Knock Shoppe's Country Cakes for the wedding cake, DJ by Thini from C'est La Vie,  a stunning Martina Liana design from Brandi's Bridal, bridesmaids dresses from Adriana Pappell, suits from Suit Supply, ceremony music by Quartessence String Quartet, Event Essentials for linens and place settings, and Heritage Tavern Catering for dinner. 

Congratulations to a warm, wonderful couple and their families! We wish you all the best!!

Comment

Joy abounds at UW Memorial Union Wedding

Comment

Joy abounds at UW Memorial Union Wedding

There's always a lot of happiness at a wedding, but as I was reviewing images today from Mae and Eric's beautiful nuptials at Memorial Union and The Pres House, I was struck by how joyful everybody always looked. 

The guys hooked up a Playstation and enjoyed some FIFA while the ladies had a breakfast party and makeup down the hall. They all were game to showcase downtown Madison and the Union Despite the oppressive humidity. And when entrances came around for the grand march, they did not disappoint, from rail sliding to summersaults to football. The party continued deep into the night, with plenty of dancing and singing thanks to Piano Fondue, and we were even able to break free for a late-night portrait or two on State Street, despite the continuing humidity and this season's very hungry mosquitoes! 

Olga and I wish Mae and Eric the very best! It was a pleasure sharing the day with you. Thanks also to all the great vendors who came together to make this wedding special:

Venue: Memorial Union and the Pres House

Videography: Stacy Bruner

Florist: Rose Cottage Florals

Cake: Gigi's Cupcakes

Band: Piano Fondue 

Makeup: Alicia Jaedike 

Hair: Hair Legacy Salon

Officiant: Joe McAlpine

Dresses: Vera's House of Bridal and Brandi's Bridal Galleria

Suits: Men's Wearhouse

 

 

Comment

Blending Cultures in Rural Wisconsin | Nitish & Elle's Indian Fusion Wedding

1 Comment

Blending Cultures in Rural Wisconsin | Nitish & Elle's Indian Fusion Wedding

It is no easy task to pull off a backyard wedding under typical circumstances, but when Elle and Nitish decided to tie the knot, they faced the unique challenge of bringing important elements of Indian wedding tradition to her family's rural Columbus acreage. 

Elle's father built an outbuilding just for the reception and tamed the mosquitoes hiding in the lush green forest surrounding them. Elle and Nitish traveled back to India for Elle's stunning hand made lehenga as well as Nitish's sherwani and the attire for the entire wedding party. Their wedding programs included details about both American and Indian wedding traditions, and they even found a white horse for the baraat, or pre-wedding parade of the groom's family and friends. 

Saturday dawned clear and cool for July, and despite the hiccups that occur with such a jam-packed wedding day, Elle and Nitish breezed through everything with class, joy, and humor. And there wasn't a dry eye in attendance as they read their beautiful vows to each other. Thanks so much to both families for welcoming Olga and I on this important day. Its a wedding we won't forget!

1 Comment