“I browsed online to get an idea of the general style and silhouette that I was looking for. A handful of dresses kept standing out to me day after day; they were all made by an Italian designer, Eddy K. I took that as a sign and looked through all of his collections. Rather quickly, I narrowed it down to 3 dresses; one of them being my top choice. I knew I was traveling to Illinois to visit my parents in a couple of weeks, so I starting calling bridal stores near my parent’s house asking if they carried Eddy K, specifically any of my top 3 dresses. One store less than an hour away in Chicago had one sample of my top choice (the next closest store that had it was 3.5 hours away). I quickly made an appointment although she couldn’t promise it’d still be there when I came in. But fortunately, it was. It was the very first wedding dress I’ve ever tried on at the first bridal store I went to. Just seeing it on the mannequin when we walked in was so unexpectedly emotional. I just knew it was the one before I even tried it on and trying it on simply solidified that feeling. But naturally, I had to try on about 12 more dresses so I could be 1,000% sure, and sure enough, no other dress came close to my top choice.”
Grant: My most memorable moment was walking into the Atkinson House, seeing all of my friends and family, and waiting on my future wife to walk through the doors. Having my brother and best friends on one side and my father (the officiant) on the other side. The moment the doors flew open and I saw my Sami walking in with my father-in-law was the most memorable moment to me still to this day. It was a special feeling that’s nearly impossible to describe.
Sami: There are so many memorable moments that I cherish so deeply that it’s hard to narrow it down… the first touch, the first look with dad, having our mom’s with me all morning, slipping away for a few minutes alone together after the ceremony, the father-daughter dance, the fireworks. But the moment that I was looking forward to the most is my most memorable – seeing Grant. The look on Grant’s face when the doors to the Atkinson House opened and the love that I felt between us during the ceremony was so powerful; it’s truly indescribable.
Grant: My suit and the lining of my jacket. The suit was custom made special for our wedding day and the inside of my jacket is lined with pictures from when we got engaged in Arizona.
Sami: I’d say both my “something blue” and my engagement ring. My “something blue” was a blue handkerchief that has been in my family for generations, so it was something old, borrowed, AND blue. My engagement ring is something that obviously holds a deep meaning to me. Every time I look down or catch a glimpse of it, I’m reminded of how blessed Grant and I are; it brings me a great deal of comfort, love, and security.
From the very beginning, we knew that our photographer would be the most vital vendor that we chose. Of course, we were looking for quality pictures, but we were looking for more than that. Trust, open communication, and honest intentions were imperative to us. Unfortunately, there are a lot of wedding photographer horror stories out there. We wanted to feel confident in knowing that we would not have to worry about any aspect of the photography; especially since pictures are the mementos that will commemorate our day for generations to come. Style-wise, we felt rather picky but we were looking for a distinct style that had a balance of portraits, candids, original and unique ideas, and pictures that were not noticeably posed or staged. We wanted natural, timeless looking pictures without overdone editing or presets. And lastly, we wanted to genuinely get along and feel comfortable with one another. Pasha and Natallia effortlessly managed to not only meet but far exceed the remarkably high standards that we had set for our wedding photographers.
Groom: Enjoy your engagement. Don’t let the stress and details of the big day take over the special time you have before you tie the knot. All that matters is that y’all enjoy the quality time together, enjoy the process, and don’t lose sight of what’s important.
Bride: Enjoy your engagement – go on dates, be present and at the moment, soak up your fiancé being your fiancé because you won’t be able to call them that forever! Don’t get so caught up in the stress of planning that you lose sight of the whole point of the day or forget to plan not just the wedding, but for your MARRIAGE too.
Wedding Photography: Pasha Belman Photography / Wedding Planning: Steel Magnolia Events / Flowers: RSG Events / Wedding Venue: Wildberry Farms / Hair and Makeup: Beautiful Salon and Spa / Videography: Hart to Heart Media / DJ: Joyful entertainment / Photobooth: Make My Day / Catering: A.R.T. Catering / Ceremony musician: Strand Strings
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