Ryan + Allison | South Paris, Maine | King’s Hill Inn Wedding

HELLO EVERYONE!!!

Let’s give it up for one really super fantastic couple…. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. ELLIS!!!!

Ryan+Allison_Kings_Hill_Inn_Bride_Groom_Ceremony_0282 _ Eyes Closed, Heads together

I loved photographing Ryan and Allison’s wedding on May 25th, 2014 at King’s Hill Inn in South Paris, Maine.

Although I love all the weddings I photograph, it’s a special joy to photograph the weddings of my good friends. Allison and I were roommates when she lived in Nashville and became really great friends. While Allison was living here I did have the opportunity to meet Ryan before they were an official couple, but I could tell they were crazy about each other! Allison moved back to Maine a couple years ago and of course we have kept in contact.

How did you and Ryan meet?

Ryan and I both attended a Christian internship program called the Rockford Masters Commission, but we attended separate years. We met at a reunion there at the end of his 2nd year, through mutual friends. We had zero interest in each other that night, although later found each other on Facebook keeping in touch a friendship. A couple years later I was traveling to Illinois to meet friends out one night, and everyone bailed except for Ryan! We debated whether to still meet since we barely knew each other, had never hung out, he was dating another girl and we didn’t want to lead each other on or be awkward… but we did meet. After our night at Buffalo Wildwings to watch the Stanley Cup Final in Chicago, we played pass outside with a football in a parking lot, talking about life. He was moving to Mexico in the fall to be a missionary, I was living in Nashville. However, we both knew that night we had probably found our spouses. He called things off in his long-distance relationship with the other girl, we kept in touch all Summer…. Life has definitely had its way of separating us, but yet we always wound up back together and inseparable for life.

How long have you been together?

Our first hang-out was June, 2008, we officially started dating that fall… we were on/off for the next couple years while Ryan served as a missionary out of the country and life separated us for awhile. We officially dated right before Ryan moved to Maine, June 14th, 2013, just 11 months before our wedding day!

How did he pop the question?

He took me to Boston on New Years Day. We were supposed to go for New Years Eve but things just kept not working out for us to get there! He still took me New Years Day, we spent the day walking around the city. I kind of suspected it would be the day, since I was dead convinced he was going to pop the question two months before on my birthday but didn’t, so I was trying not to get my hopes up this time, even though I kind of had a feeling. We walked around the city for the day, went to “Little Italy” got pastry and coffee, shopped a little… I even tripped and fell flat on my face in the middle of an intersection of the streets of Boston and twisted my ankle, ha ha. Ultimately, he surprised me with a SUPER fancy dinner at the “Top of the Hub”, which was at the very top of the Prudential Center in Boston, 52 stories high, completely surrounded by glass windows over-looking the city. We didn’t bother with dessert because of our earlier pastry in the North End, but at the very end of dinner Ryan grabbed my hand, quickly slipping on a ring saying, “uh, will you just marry me because I’m really nervous right now…”. I said no, absolutely not, get down on one knee and do it right! He responded with a, “HERE??!” while I insisted. 🙂 So, he did. It was a quick, “Will you marry me?” with everyone looking. By the time the waiter came back to take pictures, it was already over! Haha! We were both so nervous. But the location was beautiful, it was a really special day. Ryan was given my engagement ring when he was 13 years old and has saved it for his future wife ever since.

Speaking of popping the question we got together a couple days before their wedding and took a few engagement photos… Here is one of my favorites…

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Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?

David’s Bridal. I figured with all of my bridesmaids out of state, it would help them with universal dresses to have the convenience of David’s Bridal instead of bridesmaid dress searching on their own, and since David’s are seemingly everywhere, it worked out well for everyone. By getting my dress there, they all got discounts. I got discounts at David’s too, from all the bridal shows/magazines I took advantage of. In some ways I wish I went to a little boutique, but my dress was under-budget and still gorgeous. I was able to get it altered outside of David’s (they have cheaper dresses but get you on alterations… I was able to find a local seamstress that did ALL my alterations for a total of $64, vs $250+ at David’s). Dress-wise, I know friends who spent $1,000 on their dress alone at local places, yet I spent $400 after discounts and sales. I knew my dress was the one 3 hours later after being in a dressing room haha…. no but seriously, it was the first one I tried on that made me feel like a princess. Not something I’d definitely ever wear again, but special.

What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?

Leave yourself more than 4 months to plan it, unless you have lots of people helping. We did have so many people offering, but I knew just how I wanted certain thins to be and didn’t feel I could personally have someone else pick out my venue or my caterer. I recommend a longer engagement (perhaps even just 6 months would be a good balance), to leave more time to attend more than one bridal show, give your vendors time to set up actual tastings with you (we had one super quick one a couple weeks before the wedding, not leaving enough time to go with other caterers if our tasting didn’t meet our expectations, something we definitely regret!). Also, if you’re going through a venue that is just a venue leaving you to do all the other pieces from there, as opposed to going through a venue that already includes food, lighting, etc., make sure if you have a bare-bone space that you ask them what THEIR PREFERRED vendors are. This means they already have experience with these people and can stand behind what they do. I did use a preferred vendor for my lighting/tables/chairs, but did not use a preferred vendor for my catering. I believe with a longer engagement and word of mouth from others you can find a decent caterer on your own, however, choosing not to go with the already preferred people, and only having a short engagement, you’re unfortunately not leaving yourself a lot of room to do all the research it takes to do it the right way. Trust someone else’s judgement to do that research for you.

Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos?

Be relaxed. I’d say the biggest thing is to force yourself to try and be rested for your wedding day. Try and sleep the night before. Also, make sure you eat breakfast that morning! Sounds silly, but things like that make your emotions more relaxed and your body taken care of, so you can be at your best the day of your wedding when you have a lot of candid shots coming your way, and posted ones! A posed smile is a lot harder 4 hours later, when you haven’t slept or eaten anything all weekend. Also, have someone who does makeup professionally do your make up that day. Even if you do know how. They are the ones who truly know what will look best for pictures, according to the lighting you will have during your photos, vs what other people will see all day, and can also apply it in such a way that it lasts all night. I had my makeup professionally done and I never thought I would,, but I’m glad I did!

Their wedding day was beautiful. Nearly all the decorations were DIY and King’s Hill was an AMAZING venue.

This perfect day would not have been possible without the help from:

Venue: King’s Hill Inn, South Paris, Maine
Cake Maker: Isaiah Capeda, friend of bride and groom
Wedding Planner: The Bride
DJ: Bill O’Neil
Where Dress was Purchased: David’s Bridal
Florist: Bride’s Mother

HUGE THANK YOU TO ANDREA SIMMONS PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SECOND SHOOTING + ASSITING!!!!

“Working with you was Amazing. You were so gracious with location change upon the “First Look”, accommodated our lack of engagement pictures and did them two days before the wedding. You were professional, yet really fun.. You had creative ideas for pictures as I knew you would, amazing editing ability and your professionalism was fantastic, even when you fell off a rock and we all thought you broke your hand…” says Allison.  SIDE NOTE: I did not break my hand, but I did jam my thumb and had a massive bruise on my behind. #photographerlife

I love you Ryan + Allison and wish you a life of LOVE + HAPPINESS!!!!

NOW ON TO THE PHOTOS!!!!


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