Once upon a time there were two major badasses who both were into mixed martial arts. They kicked and they punched and they had lots of victories. Then one day, these two amazing people found one another, fell in love, and a few years later, got married.
Of course there are a lot of amazing things that happened between the time that they kicked and rolled their way into one another’s lives, but I’ll give you the abridged version. Claire and Ed are from northern Indiana and Michigan. While they may have gone to different schools, their mutual interests in fighting, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brought them together. In fact, it’s taken them from Indiana to Colorado where they live, train, and work now. Their lives involve a lot of self-discipline and organization. I commend them both for being able to work so hard on not only their personal selves but also their relationship in order to bring it to April 20, 2019 and the first day of their marriage.
Surrounded by their dearest friends from high school, college, and beyond, these two celebrated their love at The Woodward Room in South Bend, Indiana in a cabaret style ceremony. No, Liza Minnelli didn’t break into song and dance, but everyone was seated at the tables that they were to dine at later that evening, allowing for the ceremony area to be turned into a dance floor that was filled the entire night with their friends and family. While documenting and celebrating their wedding, I found out that Claire and her bridesmaid and bestie, Jessica are apparently missing a calling as backup dancers for Britney, JLo, and Ariana Grande as they performed multiple choreographed songs to our favorite dance hits.
Personal touches such as a customized wedding topper with Ed and Claire wearing white gis really set this wedding apart from others and the thoughtfulness that went into the speeches shared by Claire’s father, her maid of honor, Morgan, and best man Leneil, was just a brief inclusive glimpse for everyone at just how special these two are to their guests.
As some may remember, their engagement was something I had looked forward to, having met them a year prior to it at a wedding. From there, I kept in touch with them and when Ed proposed on Easter of 2018, I was so excited to hear from Claire that they would want to have me photograph their engagement and wedding. Their engagement took us to Claire’s hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan where we hiked sand dunes, ventured into some of the best coffee shops I’ve ever been to, and ended the evening with Silver Beach Pizza. While Claire and Ed may be very physically fit and train hard, they are no strangers to excellent food and the catered taco bar from Cafe Navarre did not disappoint, offering up three different types of perfectly tender and seasoned meats, veggies, and taco loading options.
This delicious food just fueled everyone for more dancing, pictures, and lots and lots of hugs. One highlight that ended in a successful and happy ending was when the breeze took Claire’s veil for a little trip up into the air, down the road, and around the building with her father and groomsmen in tow. Thankfully, it was retrieved and safely retired afterward.
Claire and Ed, thank you so much for trusting me to capture your perfect day and I wish you all the happiness in the world. I look forward to that trip out to Colorado to venture into the mountains with you two and take even more stunning adventure shots of you both.