meghan lee harris

Amber & Ryan are getting married tomorrow! I was looking back through their engagement session in preparation for their wedding tomorrow and got back ALL the feels. They originally weren’t signed up to do an engagement session with me but I’m so happy they decided to add one on – it became one of my favorite sessions to date! These two are just so effortless in front of the camera, and then add in the beautiful garden backdrops at Allen Centennial Gardens and the glowiest sunset… I have so many favorites!

I love connecting with my couples prior to the wedding day, it allows me to show up to the wedding already feeling like BFFs! Amber was such a gem of a bride to work with, not only did she leave me a sweet review BEFORE their wedding day, but took the time to write me throughout the planning process. Keeping me in the loop with their plans, sneak peeks of the DRESS!, continuously telling me how excited they were, and to just check in with OUR lives during our travels! They have hearts of pure gold.

They have a fun, easy love. The kind of love where you just prefer staying in on a Friday night with each other and their pup, making homemade cocktails and binging fav Netflix shows – PS: how cute is their idea to bring Brandy Old Fashioned’s to their session with me? 3 cherries for Amber, 1 for Ryan 😉 They were actually Amber’s Grandmother’s favorite cocktail (GREAT choice grandma!) and they’ll also be making an appearance at the wedding as their signature drink. When described what made them fall in love Amber wrote “We have such a fun relationship and I know even after the hardest days I can come home to Ryan and share laughs. And of course that Ryan plays with my hair”  –> okay YES to the hair playin’. Girls, you know a man is a standup guy if he is willing to play with your hair every night 😛

Amber & Ryan, you have been a dream to work with & I am SO excited for the big round 2 tomorrow! Cheers to the almost Mr & Mrs!!!

June 6, 2019

Amber + Ryan | Romantic Garden Engagement Session | Allen Centennial Garden | Madison, Wisconsin

Amber & Ryan are getting married tomorrow! I was looking back through their engagement session in preparation for their wedding tomorrow and got back ALL the feels. They originally weren’t signed up to do an engagement session with me but I’m so happy they decided to add one on – it became one of my […]

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Megan & Derek kicked off my wedding season with a beautiful downtown Milwaukee wedding, set at the industrial/urban venue Black Swan. I walked in and was greeted by the most beautiful aisle of candles, all the way down the stairs and into the aisle and I literally got CHILLS! The day was beautifully planned and executed by Midwestern Bride, and florals by Flower Mill helped up the romance in an already stunning exposed brick space.

The couple got ready in separate rooms at the Homewood Suites just a short walk away from the venue (gorgeous suites if you ever need a place to stay in downtown MKE, so much natural light and the tallest ceilings I’ve seen at a hotel – I’m not kidding, so dreamy). One of my favorite parts of the day actually was during the getting ready. Megan and Derek had both planned an exchange of gifts prior to the ceremony, and when Megan’s arrived we all gathered around. Derek and Megan had written many love letters throughout their time dating, so much so that Derek was able to make a special keepsake out of them, “Our Story in Love Letters.” It was such a beautiful moment watching Megan relive the letters they had wrote throughout the years. We all had to keep from tearing up!

I loved putting together these photos and reliving this beautiful day all over again. Gorgeous ceremony, hilarious speeches, my first grand sparkler exit! These two know how to throw an epic wedding day. Congratulations on one month’s marriage you two! Scroll to the end for their full vendor list and leave a congrats for the new Mr. & Mrs. Christiansen!

Contributors:

Photography: Meghan Lee Harris // Videography: Clear Vision Videography // Event Planner / Coordinator: Ashley Kuehnel, Midwestern Bride // Florist:  The Flower Mill // Wedding Dress Designer: Essence of Australia // Wedding Dress Store: Bon Bon Belle Bridal // Hair/Makeup: Hair – Kimberly Gozdowiak // Make up- Meg Dionne // Bridesmaids Dresses: Vera Wang at David’s Bridal // Cake/Dessert: Barb Christiansen (mother of groom)  // Band/DJ: Midwest Sound // Drapery: Chance Pro Events // Caterer: From Scratch Catering // Groom’s Suit and Accessories: Macy’s // Groomsmen Apparel: Blacktux.com

June 5, 2019

Megan + Derek | Romantic Industrial Wedding at Black Swan MKE | Downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Megan & Derek kicked off my wedding season with a beautiful downtown Milwaukee wedding, set at the industrial/urban venue Black Swan. I walked in and was greeted by the most beautiful aisle of candles, all the way down the stairs and into the aisle and I literally got CHILLS! The day was beautifully planned and […]

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These two humans are getting married today! Which also happens to mark their 10 year anniversary. I was looking back at these images from their engagement session last November and was immediately brought back to this cozy, winter morning. Filled with fresh snowfall, running through snow-covered trails, warm blanket cuddles, and finishing up at the soccer field where they grew up playing together.

Kelsie and Jason met while playing club soccer in high school and began dating shortly after. I LOVED that they wanted to incorporate this special part of their story into their engagement photos with me. Their session was so meaningful, playful, adorable! What cuter way to tell their story and celebrate how far they’ve come in the past ten years. Through eight years of being long distance (Kelsie in Illinois, Jason in Madison), they are now about to be married, ah! I am so honored to photograph it.

Kelsie is a talented wedding planner at Elevate Events, and after checking out their stunning warehouse/loft venue The Lageret and seeing a few sneak peeks of what’s to come today, let’s just say I already know this day is going to be so unreal. I cannot wait to get these two in front of my camera again, this time as husband and wife! Cheers to the soon to be Mr. & Mrs.

May 23, 2019

Kelsie + Jason | First Snowfall Engagement Session | Madison, Wisconsin

These two humans are getting married today! Which also happens to mark their 10 year anniversary. I was looking back at these images from their engagement session last November and was immediately brought back to this cozy, winter morning. Filled with fresh snowfall, running through snow-covered trails, warm blanket cuddles, and finishing up at the […]

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Kim & Nick got engaged early winter and began planning a wedding day that was equally as beautiful as it was simple. When brainstorming places to serve as backdrop for their most important day, their hearts kept coming back to Arizona where her and Nick had visited just a year prior. Kim recalls how during their Sedona travels, they imagined how incredible it would be to get married in a place such as this. Red rocks. Lush greens. Rock formations that blow your mind they are so breathtaking. When I got the inquiry from Kim it felt like the stars were aligned. Alex and I were already planning on visiting Sedona in March during our 5 month road trip. It was too perfect!

Although they were choosing an elopement / destination wedding, Kim & Nick felt it so important to have the closest people in their lives present. The day prior to their wedding, 30 of their guests flew in and joined up for a night of relaxation and fun at the hotel patio with epic Sedona views. Many of their guests were able to make an extended vacation out of this, and the atmosphere was filled full with joy & excitement – it was the best! I walked into the bridal suite the next morning to meet Kim – the most calm bride. Being a wedding photographer herself, throughout the day she kept saying how surreal it felt for her being on the other side of it all. Seeing wedding after wedding, she already knew how fast the day goes and how easy it is to be consumed by all the little details. From the get-go she made the present moment her only focus, and never lost sight of what really mattered. I was actually taken back during our planning because I must have sent her like 15 different trails/backdrop options/ideas while scoping out spots for their photos – expecting her to want to take control of that aspect. But every time she would respond “Whatever you think is best – I trust you!” This couple was truly a joy to work with, the wedding day and all the days leading up and beyond.

I gathered all her details, and just ADORED how she included vintage Arizona-themed postcards and stamps. So fitting!

Nick looked classy in Black while Kim slipped into her stunning embellished gown with the flowiest, most magical skirt! Sedona Fine Art of Flowers crafted a romantic overflowing bouquet for Kim, with pops of blush and ivory to match her vision. As they continued to get ready, I watched the love pour through while Kim’s mother helped her into her dress, all the way through her and her father’s sweet First Look. She took the time to gift her parents with mementos, creating another special shared moment between them. The anticipation was building as the two prepared for their First look, taking a moment to privately exchanged their own written letters and wedding gifts to one another.

With the ceremony not taking place until sunset, we had time to play around and explore Sedona. I came across Cathedral Rock Trail during my research and after scoping it out I knew it was the PERFECT location for Kim & Nick’s romantic portraits. We were able to get right up close – in a short amount of time – without requiring a jeep rental or having to actually CLIMB on all fours! (More on climbing to the top of Cathedral Rock later, we did it the next day and it was CRAZY!) If you’re traveling through or if you’re getting married in Sedona, Cathedral Rock is a must stop!

As the sun was starting to set we made our way to the ceremony location, a remote picnic site with walking trails along the river and the iconic Cathedral Rock as the backdrop. It was a completely raw set up, “aisles” were decorated with nothing except loved ones and the beauty of the surrounds. It was so different than any wedding I’ve seen or been a part of, and the simplicity and understated beauty of this moment is one that I’ll always take with me.

With 15 minutes left before dark we quick finished up at the ceremony site before heading to this nearby overlook. Pro tip to brides – always squeeze in sunset photos, even if it’s just 10 short minutes. You’d be SO surprised how much we can accomplish in little time and the extra variety it offers to your gallery! These turned out to be some of my favorite photos. How beautiful and glowing are these two? It’s like they just got married or somethin!

Congratulations on ONE MONTH marriage, Mr. & Mrs. Iossi! It was truly an honor to be a part of your day.

VENDOR LOVE:

Photography: Meghan Lee Harris // Videography: Character D Films // Event Planner: Weddings in Sedona // Dress: // White Dress Bridal Boutique // Hair/Makeup: Sedona Beauty Team // Florals: Sedona Fine Art of Flowers // Guitarist: Brian David

April 30, 2019

Kim & Nick | Destination Wedding at Cathedral Rock | Sedona, Arizona

Kim & Nick got engaged early winter and began planning a wedding day that was equally as beautiful as it was simple. When brainstorming places to serve as backdrop for their most important day, their hearts kept coming back to Arizona where her and Nick had visited just a year prior. Kim recalls how during […]

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WAH! My last wedding of 2018 season is finally on the blog. It’s bittersweet closing the door on this incredible year. It will always go down as the year I left the office world, dove head first into weddings, took risks, created a life of adventure, filled with the sweetest moments along the way. 14 beautiful weddings, 14 of the sweetest couples, the best families and friends, locations and decor that blew me away, I am so lucky I get to call this a career.

Amy and Andrew wrapped up my wedding season in the sweetest of ways. It was a brisk, fall day at Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, and I just remember this day being so calm and romantic. Everything about it exuded romance. Amy’s beautiful blush ball gown and matching blush veil, this rustic barn venue on the lake and the turning trees. The undeniable love and adoration they have for eachother. The sweet way Amy touches his face as they kiss. I loved all the detail and thought they put into making their day 100% theirs, focusing less on latest trends, and more on things that truly represented them. Because looking back at your photos years from now, isn’t that what you’ll want to remember?

Amy is one of the sweetest brides and left some super thoughtful wedding tips for you all! Scroll to the end to read all about it and enjoy some favorite images of their wedding along the way!

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ADVICE FROM BRIDE AMY
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What was your FAVORITE memory of your wedding day?
Andrew and I both agree on one of our favorite moments of our wedding day. Our venue was rented for the weekend so it allowed us to not pack up much at the end of the night aside from excess drinks and food. Our wedding day was so chilly that at the end of the night after every guest left the wedding barn, we sat next to each other wrapped up in blankets in such a great big open space and were able to reflect on the day and be in the moment with each other. It is a moment that I will never forget, and am so grateful that we didn’t rush off right as the festivities ended.
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How far in advance did you book vendors? Which 3 did you book first?
We booked our venue first… before getting engaged. YES ladies, we were that couple. Although… unlike Monica Gellar… Andrew was fully aware of our wedding venue and also on-board. Our family may have raised an eyebrow, but for us it was the perfect date and the perfect venue so we booked it. We were so excited to have a place where we wouldn’t have to drive back and forth between a ceremony space and reception, and our families could stay on site with their little ones within a short walking distance (across the yard) which removed a lot of logistical messes for us. Next, we booked Meghan. She hadn’t shot a wedding yet, but I knew right from the time I saw her first few posts that she was going to be the one. I loved her personal write-up on her website and was yes I’ll admit it… obsessed with her instagram feed. Hands down the best decision we made regarding vendors for our wedding. She was fantastic and was one of our vendors that made us feel extra special from the get-go.
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Any tips on dress shopping / saying yes to THE dress?
First off – I ended up going with the first dress I tried on. It seemed too good to be true and was also a little scary as I went with a non-traditional / non-white dress. But from the second the back was laced up. I was madly in love. I suggest making sure that you are 100% happy with the dress as it fits you when you try it on. If there is a part about the dress that feels uncomfortable or you don’t completely love how it looks on you – make sure you have a plan to alter that part of the dress or find one that is the perfect fit for YOU. Setting goals to completely alter your appearance by the time of the wedding is what every bride does, but make sure that you don’t stress yourself out too much before the big day. Remember: you are beautiful – I guarantee your future husband thinks so! Back to the dress – I went to Bon Bon Belle Bridal and they were SO helpful. I would suggest going to a place that first off respects your budget – if you tell someone a budget when you get there – don’t even try something outside of that budget on. You are going to fall in love and then be devastated when no other dress lives up to the feeling of slipping something $1,000 over your price-rage on. I went to one bridal store and they automatically brought over some VERY fancy dresses even though I had been clear about how much I was planning on spending. Bon Bon Belle was absolutely great! They made me feel special and the whole experience was amazing. Also, this is a special time where YOU are the center of attention – if you aren’t comfortable with a whole possy along when you try on dresses, its okay to have a small group go or even go by yourself. Long story short – stay comfortable, enjoy the process, and fall madly in love with the dress you ultimately go with.
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What was the hardest part to plan?
The timeline was the hardest part to plan and took the most thought. There is a lot going on and SO many logistics to plan out. Having a solid timeline helps make sure that there are no holes or things that you are overlooking. The most important part of having a crazy detailed timeline is making sure that you are okay with things not always going to plan. Although a detailed list of who should be where at all times is great – I can guarantee you that at multiple points throughout the day there will be a wild-card wedding party member or a missing aunt or uncle. Just roll with it. 🙂 Also, if anyone is ever interested in having help starting a timeline I am happy to share a great tool that a bride before me shared. It was a game-changer. **brides – email me if you’d like Amy’s timeline template!
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What did you NOT include but wish you had?
We are very satisfied with the categories of vendors that we included – there were a few things and/or specific vendors that we wish we could have changed – but overall we were happy with the mix we chose!
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What detail/expense could you have done without?
There were some items that we purchased and then never put out or used during the wedding – simplicity is key when planning a wedding – but its easy to get swept up into ornate decorations or little added details that create a certain vibe you are going for. Ultimately I wouldn’t change a thing – from the last minute purchase of pashminas, cozy blankets for guests, cups of coffee, to rafia string used to tie name tags to the mason jars… each little detail added to the over-all vision we had and hope for happy & comfortable wedding party/guests.
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Overall, what is the best advice you can give to planning brides?
I am a 100% believer that you should focus on what makes YOU happy. This is one day… hopefully one of many… but a time in your life where all the people you love will be in the same room together. Don’t be afraid to take two things that maybe wouldn’t go together in a wedding magazine but make you smile and add them into your wedding somehow. Is your fiancé obsessed with Star Wars? Maybe incorporate it with adding a little Darth Vader Lego Figure as a place-card/favor at each seat. Do you have a crazy song that you both love? Don’t walk down the aisle to the traditional wedding tunes. Do you love your Grandma and want her to have an extra special role? Let your grandma be the flower girl! Don’t be afraid to take risks especially if they are meaningful or are add a little extra joy to an already special day. Take the classic mental pictures and try to be as present as possible. As someone who is often nervous in front of a big group… its easy to get wrapped up with nervous feels. Focus on the hand squeeze your dad gives you right before you walk down the aisle together or the way your fiancé looks when they first see you, or the taste of your wedding cake. These simple beautiful moments are so special. Give them the attention they deserve. Also – plan for at least 5 things to go wrong. That way it won’t rock your world when the bartender forgets to bring cranberry juice for one of your signature mixed drinks. Or the DJ plays the wrong exit song. It happens. Take a deep breath. Focus on all the love and beauty around you on this fantastic day you get to spend with the man or woman of your dreams.

March 27, 2019

Amy + Andrew | Romantic Country Wedding | Lake Orchard Farm Retreat – Sheboygan, WI

WAH! My last wedding of 2018 season is finally on the blog. It’s bittersweet closing the door on this incredible year. It will always go down as the year I left the office world, dove head first into weddings, took risks, created a life of adventure, filled with the sweetest moments along the way. 14 […]

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