I first started working with Madi and Ryan in October 2017. They were my models for my bonfire minis promotion I was running that month, and let me tell you, they were so full of energy and had me laughing most of the evening! I remember Shortly after, Ryan contacted me to take some pictures at their proposal. After weeks of anticipation and some hardcore brainstorming, November 12 finally rolled around, and Ryan popped the question. I remember telling Elijah after their engagement session, "Wow, I wish every engagement session could be like this. They're so fun!"
Before we knew it, it was their wedding day, and a sense of excitement washed over me as I drove to pick up my second shooter, Nate Samson. On the way to the church we talked about angles and lighting and all of those photography things, but we both were anxious just to dive in and get creative.
The girls spent the morning getting their hair and makeup done and eating some insanely good bagels (I only had one...okay two). Madison got her hair done by Counting Stars Salon and her makeup by Carrie Miller. Madison was - in one word - breathtaking. Stunning. Gorgeous. Everything. Her dress was incredible. Jaw-dropping. Her bridesmaids and her mom prayed over her, and honestly I was crying, too. As if that wasn't enough for my emotions, Madison's mom presented her a little white Bible. An heirloom of sorts that had been given to Madison's grandmother, mother, and now Madison on her wedding day. Needless to say, it may have been the sweetest moment I've ever witnessed in my life.
The guys started their day playing Fortnite. When I asked Nathan how it went over at the guys house, he said, "I basically watched them play Fortnite for an hour, then I took some pictures of them for about 15 minutes." Not a bad time. I dig it. The men made their way to the church, and the ceremony began.
The vows. THE VOWS. So beautiful and heartfelt. They were hilarious, too. And that's who Madison and Ryan are. They're genuine, and their vows reflected it. I've known Madison for a little over two years. She's witty and funny. She's talented. She's a woman of God. And at this moment, she was a bride. She was about to become Mrs. Steenburgh. It's hard not to get emotional at weddings, especially when you know how much the bride and groom love each other. These two are head over heals in love. No doubt. The hardest part of the whole ceremony was trying to hold it together while getting a picture of the kiss.
Can we talk about how beautiful the Japanese Stroll Gardens are? Seriously so gorgeous. Having a wedding in early April, you never know what you're going to get weather-wise. Snow, ice, rain? I prayed and prayed for a sunny day, and God delivered. It may have only been 45 degrees, but it was gorgeous outside. We walked around the winding trails and found a beautiful spot by some pine trees. We snapped a few pictures of the happy couple under a gazebo, where only two years earlier they had taken prom pictures. Oh, and shootout to the maid of honor, Elle. She was a major help in making sure Madison's dress was laying right, and that Madison had an energy drink in her hand as soon as the pictures were taken. Gotta have that Nos.
The reception was held at this beautiful venue called 425 in downtown Springfield. Light and airy setting with beautiful wood floors and brick walls. For the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Steenburgh entered the room as husband and wife. Throughout the night, they danced, they laughed, they were happy.
Luckily, Nate and I were able to sneak them away for 10 minutes around sunset, and we took some gorgeous shots on Walnut street. Their friends and family sent them off with cheers and sparklers, and the two left. Later I found out that they went to Freddy's to celebrate. Honestly, that's what I would do on my wedding night, too.
Congratulations, Ryan and Madison. You two make a beautiful couple. Extremely happy for the both of you!