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Go call your mom. Tell her you love her.
Or maybe call your dad. Or grandma. Or brother or best friend or your college roommate.
Right now. I'll wait....

...

If this wedding has taught me anything, it is that we don't have as much time with our loved ones as we think we do so cherish the time that you have them. And also I still really love rose gold accents but that's not as important.

When I met with Kaitlyn, she mentioned that she moved her wedding ahead 6 months due to her mother's pancreatic cancer diagnosis. At that moment, I knew that this would be a special wedding, and that I was the perfect fit for what she needed. What did she need? She needed someone who could deliver all the normal wedding photos, as well as someone who could document her mother's presence without being intrusive. Fortunately, I have plenty of experience with this type of delicate photography from all of my years as working for the newspapers when I was a full-time photojournalist. I had to tell the whole story of the day, even the tough parts. No one had a better understanding of this than my second shooter Brian Henry of Evermark Studios. Brian also used to be a full-time photojournalist and is still heavily influenced by photojournalism in his own wedding photography work.

The toughest part of the day was the moment the DJ started to play Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" and watching Kaitlyn share a dance with her mother. Now, I don't consider myself to be an emotionally expressive person, but I struggled to maintain my composure. But I knew that I had to put my emotions to the side so that I could properly photograph and honor that moment for Kaitlyn and her sister Jillian. For Travis, for everyone there and for everyone who couldn't be there. I've been shooting weddings for 10 years and I'll never forget this. I cried the next day when I was downloading my images. Then I called my mom.

I asked Kaitlyn if I had her blessing to blog her images, and she graciously obliged. Normally, I don't even ask my brides, I just go right ahead and blast whatever I want but this wedding was different. Even with her permission, I still wasn't sure if I should share something so personal. Kaitlyn's expressions throughout the day were so raw and real and I didn't want to exploit that. But then I thought that even if a few people who saw these images took the time to reach out to their loved ones and tell them that they loved them, and hugged them a little tighter, then it would be worth it. I asked Kaitlyn if there was anything that she wanted to share about her mother and she said this, "She was a fighter. She never believed she was going to succumb to cancer. So, she rose above it." Anyone wanting to donate to pancreatic cancer research in her memory can do so by going to pancan.org.

On to the fun stuff...

Let's all give a SLOW CLAP STANDING OVATION for Kaitlyn in that dress! Wowza you rocked that gown. Your hair looked flawless and your makeup was on point. Travis, you are a lucky, lucky guy. One of my other favorite moments was watching a few hotel guests walk past the entrance to the reception and almost going in! So of course I shot their picture. And then I caught an actual wedding crasher dancing along! So of course I shot her picture! She's blogged below...

Kaitlyn and Travis, thank you for hiring me to document your wedding. It was an honor.

Vendor love~
Photographer: Erica Dietz Photography
Second Photographer: Brian Henry Evermark Studios
Hair: Samantha Topping
Makeup: Domenica Tendick
Wedding Gown Designer: Allure Bridals
DJ: Ryan Leech 2ndIINone
Florals: Friend of the bride's mother
Desserts: Signature Desserts
Ceremony: Heinz Memorial Chapel
Reception: Erin Sharpe Wyndham University Center