Win 8 Hours of Wedding Photography from Kate Holstein

Once in a while, someone comes along who can truly speak volumes without uttering a word; Kate Holstein is one of those special people.  Kate sees a kind of beauty in the world that most of us only imagine, and somehow, she has taken her vision and channeled it into absolutely stunning photography.

In order to get to know Kate, you need only look at the stunning images she creates. Through her images, you can see that she loves natural light and appreciates organic, simple, and natural details.  She is drawn to images and moments that translate movement,  and captures photographs of people and things in their natural state.  Kate’s relaxed and casual nature puts her couples at ease, which makes for organic and elegant photographs that truly represent who they are. Kate’s goal is to turn those moments into timeless, romantic images that will be treasured not only today, but also years from now.

Kate has two passions – photography and travel, which she calls her insatiable wanderlust. Kate adores combining her two loves by traveling the world to photograph beautiful weddings. Kate is so excited to continue on her search for adventure and travel that she is offering a free 8 hour wedding photography session during 2014 or 2015 to one lucky Once Wed reader. Although she is based in Colorado, she would love the chance to share in your destination wedding and travel the world to capture your perfect day.*

The winner will have their wedding beautifully shot in film and digital by Kate.  Your package includes proof prints, an online gallery, and all images on a USB flash drive.  Albums, wall prints and other products are additional and can be ordered through Kate.

To enter to win 8 hours of wedding photography from Kate Holstein, comment below with your name, email, wedding location, venue, and wedding date.   Because most of Kate’s inspiration comes from your love story, please tell us a little about your journey together, your wedding style, and why you think Kate would be the right photographer for you. Kate will read your stories, and pick the winner on April 17, 2014.

Good luck, and thanks again to Kate for sharing her talent with our readers!

This contest is now closed. Congratulations,  Leah Audrae! 

*Travel fees for Kate must be paid up front and Kate will make her own travel arrangements.

  1. Wedding website guest password: jtwedding
    Wedding location: Santa Barbara, CA
    Venue: San Ysidro Ranch
    Wedding Date: June 19, 2014 (Thursday)
    Our Journey: I met Jeremy on Christmas day in 2011. He was in Seattle for a wedding, and I was on break from nursing school in San Francisco (Seattle is my hometown). I didn’t attend the wedding but I knew about it because my best friend’s cousin was the groom. Long story short, we randomly met on Christmas day after the wedding during a party at the grooms mother’s house. We literally sat on the couch the whole day talking. We both realized that I was going to school in San Francisco, and he was going to grad school in San Francisco. During that time he was supposed to leave on a flight but it was cancelled twice and he ended up leaving at night, which gave us plenty of time to chat. At the end of the night he was headed back on a flight to Los Angeles (his hometown). I got back home that night thinking, I think I want to marry this guy (I didn’t say it out loud because I didn’t want it to sound silly). Anyways, fastforward a couple months and we’ve made it official! A few months after that I became very ill. Jeremy graduated from school and was moving back to Los Angeles. We were long distance for a good year after that. The truth is that we’ve been through a lot of hard things in our relationship, it wasn’t all peaches and roses. There were a lot of hardships we endured through my sickness, but I was really blessed with Jeremy. He stuck by my side the entire time and was always whispering in my ear that he loved he. He did everything he could to be by my side. Despite my sickness, Jeremy proposed on June.16.2013. We were both in Seattle, he got down on one knee at the waterfront at night and asked for my hand in marriage. He said he couldn’t imagine a life without me. It was very Jeremy. No frills or fluff. Our love is real and it has seen many ups and downs. We’re so excited to be married to each other and journey through it together.
    Our Wedding Style: We are getting married at a very private and beautiful venue. Our wedding is very small, 50 people max. We are only having a small cocktail reception after. We really emphasized quality over quantity when planning this wedding. There are lots of flowers at the venue, and lots of nature. San Ysidro Ranch is a hotel but all the hotel rooms are spread out around the place in cottages, making it feel like a beautiful village. I can’t say we have a specific wedding style but my wedding dress has lace sleeves, he’s wearing either a light grey or tan suit, my hair will be down, and we are letting the natural beauty of the venue overtake the decor. Our colors are very neutral with some dark colored accents. Our wedding style is relaxed but at the same time I feel like it shows who we are. Our wedding style is influenced by so many things, growing up in the pacific northwest, our love for greenery, and our simplistic nature.
    Why Kate would be the right photographer for us: Kate, I feel that your photography is so dreamy yet so real. It looks effortless the way you show the beauty of an event. When I looked through your albums it seemed that you didn’t capture just the mundane things that every photographer does, but you really pay attention to detail and bring out the reality of the event. The photos you capture are amazing, and it would be such an honor to have you bring the reality out in our event as well. We feel that your photography would capture us perfectly on our big day.

    Thank you!



  2. We will marry at our home next year with 40 close family and friends in attendance. We met at the office 15 years ago. So romantic, right? The first time we talked about how we felt about each other we both acknowledged that this was “for real.” We’d been good friends for years before that, and knew enough of each other in good times and bad to believe that we would really work together. And we were right. We’ve been through the death of a parent, buying our first house (and soon our second), a surprise pregnancy, the birth of our son, new jobs, and a kitchen remodel (that can destroy a relationship!) and each of those has been better with the other by our side. We love our tiny family, and want our son to be part of the festivities, but our wedding will be a moment to reflect on us as a couple, and all that we mean to each other.

    The event itself will be a dinner party with unbelievable food and some people getting married. No white dresses, throngs of attendants, or giving away of the bride here. A relative will marry us. We will send hand written invitations on beautifully textured, thick paper. I’m wearing a vibrantly colored Alexander McQueen gown, and have no idea what my partner will wear! We both love modern, minimal design, so the decor will reflect that and we’ll add a touch of romance to mark the occasion. Hundreds of candles from our favorite local shop in simple glass cylinders will light the room and decorate long tables. Our neighborhood florist will create lush arrangements in creams, plums, and dark pinks that drape over the simple white and grey linens. We need a photographer like Kate who can capture this casual, modern, family wedding.

  3. wedding location: saratoga, ca
    venue: saratoga springs picnic resort
    wedding date: august 30, 2014

    our story: My fiance Dan and I met in as bright-eyed college freshmen in Berkeley at church, but our friendship didn’t take off until our sophomore and junior years. After bonding over a shared love for music and food, Dan asked me if I would consider being in a dating relationship with him. Though I was shocked, ultimately I said yes.

    The next few years saw us through some major life changes — graduation, working life in the East Bay, and finally my decision to move temporarily to Japan and Dan’s decision to pursue grad school in the Bay Area. The most trying time of our relationship came in those two years. We kept in touch by video-chatting almost every day and taking trips to visit each other, but even so, the distance was hard to handle. However, even through these challenges, we were finally reunited after I moved back to the Bay Area this past year.

    Over Christmas, he popped the question (to my great surprise) and of course I said yes! Now we’re looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

    our wedding style and why Kate: We want our wedding to be low-key and simple. Our venue is completely outdoors in a woodsy area and we think that Kate would be perfect since she photographs natural light so well!

  4. I’m getting married to my best friend and the love of my life in New York City on September 6. The ceremony will be in Central Park and the reception will be at Bobo which is a restaurant in the west village. My fiance and I met 5 months ago. We’ve only been dating for 4 months but I knew 2 weeks into dating that this was the person God had for me to marry. Originally we had talked about getting married in spring of 2015 but our families asked why we were waiting that long if we knew we were supposed to get married. We realized that there was no real reason to wait. So we chose September wedding in New York City. Neither of us are originally from New York, I’m from Oklahoma and he’s from all over the world, but we met and fell in love here and this is where we are going to begin our life together. No better reason to have our families come up to see the city that we love so much and the person we get to spend the rest of our lives with.

  5. We met six years ago at our favorite music venue in Santa Barbara. I was home for the weekend for a job interview and decided to meet up with some friends to see a local band that I had never seen before. While sitting at the bar watching the lakers playoffs, before it was open, I started talking to this really handsome, but shy guy. He ended up being the singer in the band I had come to see (honestly I had no idea ad had never seen him before!)
    Well, I followed them up to San Francisco the next night (I lived there at the time and was graduating from SF state that month), and nervously gave him my number at the end of the night. Of course I thought I was supid and crazy for thinking this musician who was leaving for a European tour was anything but trouble, and would probably never call.
    That summer we talked everyday while he was touring and While I was moving back to “our” hometown to begin teaching at a small boarding school.
    Fast forward, he came home in August, we were already in love! and ready to start our new exciting lives together. Other than us both being artists(I teach high school art), we had pretty different lifestyles. I was living as a dorm parent with 40 teenage girls, dating a rock-musician (who like I said, is very handsome). He endured 3 years of cat calling, love notes left on his car, and sneaking in and out of my apartment! But being the sweet, charming man that he is, always had a gracious smile on his face and luckily my lifestyle didnt scare him away.
    We finally found a way to make his dream come true of building a house on his families property in the santa Ynez valley. So I moved out of the dorm and Into our first home, while we were still finishing it. We’ve spent the years laughing, traveling and enjoying life with amazing friends and family and when it finally felt right to tie the knot our home was the obvious choice. The wedding will be an amazing party, with a Mexican taco bar, all our closet friends and families and of of course, great music!
    Looking through Kate’s portfolio was like looking at our life in the beautiful, sun-drenched hills of santa Ynez. I love her etherial, romantic style of photography and see how well it would represent us. Our wedding is May 31,(right around the corner) so the valley will be warm, with colors of gold, greens and hopefully wild flowers everywhere!

  6. After 10 years together (10 years!!!), we’re looking forward to getting married on October 18, 2014, in San Gregorio, CA, which is about an hour south of San Francisco. We live in NY, so for us, this is a destination wedding. My man’s from California, we lived there for a brief time after college, and his family lives there still, but I chose California because it’s just so darn beautiful and for some reason, I just feel happier when I’m there.
    We’d love Kate to do our photos – we’re going for low key, rustic, beautiful in the outdoors. Also, did I mention it’s a summer camp and that October in the Bay Area is an “Indian Summer” type deal? And people are allowed to stay in bunks? Totally rad. There will be excellent grub, great tunes, and dancing all night. Not to be missed!

  7. I’d love for my good friend, Anna, to win this photography package! She and her fiance just got engaged over the weekend and we’re all SO excited for them! She and Jeremy have been together for almost 5 years and are a super fun, laid back, ambitious couple. They always sweet to each other and make each other laugh constantly. Anna is a researcher for an environmental law firm and Jeremy is a sales associate with Cisco. This past sunday, Anna ran in a marathon at Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC and Jeremy was waiting at the finish line with a GORGEOUS ring in tow. It was an awesome day and they’re so excited to be getting married. Their wedding will be next spring in Wilmington, NC and since the engagement is quite new, there is no venue picked out yet. But I do know that Anna will be the most gorgeous bride and their wedding will be laid back yet sophisticated in the best way. There will be LOTS of dancing and it’s sure to be an amazing night. Anna and Jeremy met while living in this beach town and I think Kate’s photography would be perfect for them because of the light, airy feel.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them!!

  8. the Loft on Pine, Long Beach, CA
    March 2015

    It sounds strange to admit but I have no idea where my fiancée and I met. ‘Love at first site’ is a funny thing to figure when you met in 2nd grade (in Mrs. Marlowe’s classroom). Going to school together everyday through high school means our histories are intertwined. So much so that all my major milestones have him somewhere in the background of a picture or video- 1st Communion, 13th birthday party, first day of high school.

    Our paths ultimately crossed junior year of high school and it has been the most wonderful nine years together since. We are looking forward to adding one more milestone to our parallel lives, this time fully aware and still head over heels in love. We are happy to be able to celebrate it among our friends and family in the oldest building in Long Beach- just 10 minutes from where we first met.

  9. After almost 10 years together, he finally popped the question! We met when we were very young… 12 years old. It has been a journey to say the least. We will marry in our hometown of Charleston, SC, on May 3rd 2015. Photography is one of my passions, and I admire Kate’s style of photography. So light and beautiful, I strive to be that talented!

  10. Wedding date: Sunday, October 18, 2015
    Wedding location: the Poconos, Pennsylvania
    Wedding venue: the Lodge at Mountain Springs Lake Resort

    Kurt and I met online on in December 2012 – I forgot to cancel my account and realized that my subscription had been renewed when I checked my credit card statement one month! He had been on Match for about a week when I sent him the first email. We had our first date on a Monday, second date that following Friday, and then continued to see each other every day until we both left to go to our respective homes for the Christmas holiday. We returned to Indianapolis, where we both were living, to celebrate New Years Eve together and decided to become “official”!

    We dated for six and a half months before Kurt proposed to me on the hottest day of July 2013. He proposed in the gardens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, a place we had visited and walked before. It was a surprise to me, his proposal – I knew he had a surprise for me, but because I had some stressful stuff going on at work, I tried to not pay attention because I didn’t want the distraction! His proposal started by dropping off at work for me a hand-drawn watercolor painted map and directions written in rhyming verse for where I should meet him when I was done with my work day. So I got in my car following work, drove to the IMA and followed his map to the secret garden he was waiting in. When I arrived, we sat and chatted for a bit before he began explaining to me what was actually going on.

    I should mention that one of the biggest reasons I didn’t think Kurt was going to propose when he did is because early in our relationship he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to live, study and work in Vienna, Austria for eleven months. So I knew that in August of 2013 he would be leaving me for eleven months to continue his professional development and jumpstart his career. We had already committed to staying together and I had told him that I was more than happy to wait for a proposal – knowing his financial situation I didn’t want to make him feel pressured to do something that wasn’t possible. So when he proposed in July, I was so surprised I almost thought it wasn’t real! He returns in June and will move to Florida in August to begin a Ph.D program. I will be able to join him and work remotely, but that date is unknown at this point.

    The ring he presented me with was his great-grandmother’s ring. Knowing that it is a family heirloom makes it so, so special to me. We have begun our wedding planning slowly because planning over 4000 miles apart is not that easy. We hope our wedding will be intimate and convey to our guests a sense of casual elegance. Our venue is almost literally a hidden gem in the Poconos, Pennsylvania – after living 45 minutes south of the venue location all of my life, neither my parents nor I knew it existed! But upon stepping into the reception space we immediately knew that this was the perfect space for our wedding. One of the things I love most about the venue is that it is a full, working lake resort. There are 37 cabins that sleep 2, 4, and 6 people each that we are going to try an drake the most of the weekend of our wedding. Having this option to have our out-of-town guests stay on site really excites me as I think about creating a mini-vacation experience for our guests.

    Kate’s approach to wedding photography would absolutely highlight our gorgeous venue, but I think more importantly it would help us to achieve and record the comfortable atmosphere we are really hoping to create for our guests. By the time Kurt and I get married, we will have lived apart more than we have been together. But I have absolutely no doubts about him – I know that he is the best person and partner for me!

  11. Hi Kate & Oncewed team!

    Our wedding will be on a private beach in southern Maine! August 8th 2014

    Our story is certainly a long one, we’ve been together about 4 and half years, and honestly, we’ve been through hell & back in that time. And unfortunately life has been very rough the last few months, so wedding planning has NOT been the fun and creative time we hoped it would be.

    We “met” the very first weekend of our freshman year at UMaine. And my ‘met’ I mean, I was walking up the stairs to go to my dorm room one morning, and I saw him through the doorway playing guitar with his bright blue eyes shinning in the sun and I truly almost passed out! (Good thing I didn’t because I would have fallen down 3 flights of stairs!) Then a few days later he came up to our floor to see my roommate…who he actually grew up with in the same town!! We stayed incredibly good friends who were obviously into each other for a few months, while we dated (or tired to successfully date) other people. Our friends were constantly finding little ways to ‘set us up’, like ditching us both for dinner so it ended up being just the 2 of us at a huge table for 12!

    I honestly NEVER even thought I’d get married. It has always been the biggest goal of my life, but for some reason I never thought it would happen for me. So the fact that we actually started falling for each other at first sight, is insane to me.

    We’re getting married by our very best friend, who without him, we honestly and truly wouldn’t have made it past our first year of dating. It is the most amazing full circle I couldn’t have even dreamed of as a little girl!

    We’re creating a very laid back beach wedding that’s fun (games, smores, fire pits and more!) and one that highlights all the amazing marriages and legacies we’ve been a part of in our lives. (Don’t tell our families since it’s a surprise, but our ‘first dance’ is actually going to be the ‘legacy dance’ where we thank everyone for setting great examples in their marriages and for helping us start ours, and asking all of the married couples there to dance with us to celebrate creating legacies with our marriages! Ah!)

    Thank you for your amazing heart & talents Kate!

  12. Wedding Date: October 18th, 2014
    Location: Highlands, North Carolina
    Venue: Family Cabin

    Alex and I are high school sweethearts. We were 15 when we first got together. We both instantly knew but were too shy to say anything. I fell asleep on his shoulder at a school assembly and the rest was history.

    This past summer we took an almost two month road trip around the United States. We started in our hometown in southwest Florida and headed across the country to Seattle then down the entire west coast. Our first stop on the trip was at his family’s cabin deep in the woods of Highlands, NC. On our last day in Highlands we hiked to the tippy top of the mountain the cabin sits on. We made it to the top just as the sun was setting. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife with the sun sinking behind the Blue Ridge mountains behind him. I’ll never forget that image in my head. The rest of our road trip was complete bliss.

    This fall we’re getting married at that cabin. The wedding is going to be small with no more than fifty people. Over the last few months we’ve built stone steps into the mountain and cleared a space in the woods along the creek that runs through the property. We’re filling the trees with dozens of vintage chandeliers. We’re serving dinner family style on long tables with sweeping grey tablecloths covered in candles and overgrown arrangements. I’m wearing an incredible gown from Rue De Seine. We have most of our major elements decided, we just need a photographer to document it. Kate’s style and eye are absolutely impeccable. Alex and I are both huge film enthusiast and love the idea of having our wedding captured in such a timeless art form. We’d be so honored to have Kate shoot our wedding.

  13. Patrick and I will be getting married by the sea in Rhode Island on June 13th, 2015.

    We met on a golden autumn day on the first day of college 9 years ago– my memory of that day looks and feels much like many of the moments you capture in your photos– dreamy, bright but also vivid and clear. Our journey to this moment has been a long, often rocky one but ultimately sweet one. The day we met, I had come from an island across the planet, he came from literally down the street but something made us so immediately familiar to each other. We have spent the last many years helping to weave our families, cultures and lives together. For many reasons, this time right now as we plan our wedding is so incredibly joyful and triumphant, we feel like we won the lottery! Through many moves, births, deaths, heartbreak, joy, travels, and distances, we have always been the presence at the other’s side, so to be able to make make it ‘official’ feels that much more special.

    We will wed next summer in Rhode Island, where we first met, on a warmer, but (hopefully) similarly golden day surrounded by our amazing friends and family who have been with us for every turn of this journey. It will be a truly once in a lifetime moment with family from 4 continents flying in to be with us so more than anything, we want to capture it to remember it forever. We would be so honored to have you present and to shoot our wedding, we can’t wait for it!

  14. Location: Louisville, KY

    Venue: Whitehall House & Gardens

    Date: Sunday October 5th, 2014

    Our Journey: My fiance and I have been together for 9 years – from high school to graduate degrees! It’s almost unbelievable to me that we’ve already spent a third of our lives together! We’ve both traveled and our relationship has endured months apart – my study abroad in China and internship with a microfinance organization in Kenya, his work with English camps in Japan. Through all of these years and all of these adventures, we’ve discovered the most beautiful truth – that we can grow separately without growing apart. Our relationship continues to blossom – including the addition of our new puppy, Sophie! – and we are so, so elated to begin this next step in our journey together.

    Wedding Style: Our wedding is a time to celebrate our relationship with the family and friends we cherish the most. We will spend the entire weekend with our friends and family who are traveling from out of town, introducing everyone to one another and celebrating our relationship before capping off the weekend with our wedding on Sunday morning. It will be an outdoor wedding in a sculpted garden at a beautiful historic home. My fiance’s childhood neighbor and best friend will play the violin for us during the ceremony (he is currently getting his masters in violin performance and plays part-time with several orchestras; he is absolutely incredible). Our colors are a light champagne gold, soft blush pink, and cream. The reception will be a brunch, served family style. Our wedding will be elegant yet casual in a beautiful outdoor setting.

    Why Kate is our Perfect Photographer!: We are in love with your pictures! Photography is one of the most important parts of our wedding – the pictures are the only things that will last. Photographs will inspire memories that have become blurred years after our wedding day, conjure the emotions we felt that day, and capture some of the beautiful moments that we will inevitably miss. Your photography – the lighting, the emotions you evoke for people we don’t even know – is the perfect fit for our wedding and wedding style.

  15. Location: Corinth, Vermont
    Venue: Tamarack Vermont Sheep Farm
    Date: July 5th, 2014

    My fiancé and I grew up in the same small town. Our families have been friends for years, but he is older than I am so our lives didn’t intersect much when we were younger. After both spending time away from home through out college and our first few jobs we both ended up back in our beautiful state of vermont. We both love playing soccer and reconnected playing pick up games in our home town. We had an instantly strong connection and have created a life together starting a farm, building a barn and a house and now finally we have created our dream venue to get married at, our very own farm.

    Our wedding will be simple and rustic, yet elegant. Our post and beam barn will hold the reception and dancing and our guests will meander through our fields to reach our ceremony location. From our hill top location, there are beautiful views all around and we will highlight the natural beauty of vermont in the summer and take inspiration from nature for our decorations and flowers.

    Kate, your photos are so lovely. Looking through your work, I can so easily imagine what beauty, love and happiness you would be able to capture at our wedding.

  16. My name is Stephanie and I am getting married to a wonderful man, named Jonathan, on July 9th 2016. I know it might seem crazy to some to be waiting over two years to get married but it’s a decision we made as a couple for multiple reasons. Jonathan just started a new job and I just accepted my first position after finishing graduate school. We want to take the time to be able to plan (from a distance) learn to live together, and save the money we need for the big day while giving myself time to pay down my student loans. We had a “goodbye to Pittsburgh” weekend as we were moving to Virginia and chose to take pictures in our favorite places and some new. While I was looking out at the skyline, Jonathan stepped back to take a picture of me with Pittsburgh in the background and dropped down on one knee before asking me to turn around to look at the camera. The wedding will take place in my hometown of Gallitzin, Pennsylvania–it’s not a spot most people know on the map–but it’s full of the people we love. I am amazed by your work and if nothing else I hope our love story made you smile. Thank you for considering us.

  17. Wedding date: Jan. 3, 2015
    Wedding location: Canmore, Alberta, Canada
    Ceremony: Canmore Nordic Centre
    Reception: Iron Goat Pub and Grill

    My fiancee (Calvin) and I met in university in our Christian fellowship on campus. Over the 4 years of university, we became really good friends through serving together in our fellowship, going on a missions trip to Nicaragua together, and sharing similar classes. It wasn’t until near the end of graduation that we both realized how much we valued our friendship so we started our relationship after we graduated. He then went off to volunteer in Kenya/Burkina Faso for a year while I started medical school in Toronto. He is currently finishing up his masters of social work/divinity in Texas. Long distance for 5 years really refined our love for each other and we are so excited to be married and living in the same city soon! Both of our passions is to work overseas in the future – I’m so thankful I get to start this new journey with my best friend :)

    We are having a winter wedding in the mountains! I grew up in Calgary and spent many of my winters and summers hiking and skiing in the mountains so Canmore has a soft spot in my heart! Both our venues have high ceilings with wooden beams and large windows facing the mountains. Our style is more laid back and rustic – we are mostly letting the beauty of the natural surroundings speak for themselves!

    Because we’ve gone to school and lived in so many different cities, we’re really looking forwards to gathering our family and friends together to celebrate and thank them for investing in us and supporting us through all these yrs of long distance! A lot of them haven’t been to Canada so we figured a semi-destination wedding to the mountains would be a great way to show them my hometown :)

    Kate, we love how your photography captures natural light and has a beautiful way of telling a story and showing the depth of emotion behind each image. On our wedding, we hope to highlight what this marriage commitment means to us and the incredible journey to get to this point. We would be honored if you would consider capturing this for us. Thank you so much for considering us!

  18. wedding date: 11.6.2014
    Location: RIU Palace Riviera Maya, Mexico

    We met on 11/11/2006 and plan to (finally!) get married on 11/6/2014. We met when I was applying to law schools and made our relationship official when I decided to attend a school in Dallas. Starting a relationship at the same time was challenging, but fortunately Marcos was very supportive which allowed me to focus on my studies. I would not have been able to get through school, the Bar Exam and looking for my first “real” job without him by my side. In addition, there have been other obstacles along the way such as the unexpected loss of my mother, and his mother and my father’s unemployment from long-term employers. But despite the hiccups, we always try to live life to the fullest and are always up for a challenge. We hope to win this opportunity because we have had to postpone our plans because of life’s misfortunes, so to be able to capture our special day with the family and friends that have shared in our journey would be a blessing and dream come true.

    My vision is a beach ceremony followed by a small reception. I think Kate is a perfect fit because she has experience with destination weddings. The pictures of the wedding she photographed titled “Beach Bliss-Cabo” are gorgeous. The colors look beautiful and the pictures tell a story. This is exactly what I want!

  19. OK, I originally was directed to another giveaway through Instagram, but am just seeing these new and completely gorgeous photo sessions. Smitten with Kate’s photography! If nothing else, I have discovered some really amazing up-and-coming film photographers.

    Mike and I met at our alma mater over six years ago while he was an athlete for the track team and I was working for the athletics department. Born in Paris, he had come to the states for school on a track scholarship. The next semester my two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and I needed to quit my job because I was living at the hospital. The same month I quit, he finally asked me out … and there began our relationship, amid IVs, prayerful nights, and tired eyes (we are joyful and thank the Lord that she is healthy and nearly four years chemo-free!). Almost three years later, he proposed next to the Eiffel Tower on a trip to meet his parents. He moved here permanently, away from his coach, to be with my two young daughters and I and has been training alone since — even during Olympic years. In spite of that, he broke the French record in the high jump last month (after being one centimeter away for five years).

    Between hospital visits, Olympic games, European track seasons, platinum number frequent flyer miles, a new baby (another sweet girl!) … and life, our wedding kept getting put off. We will (finally!) be married in France, in a chateau, in June 2015 to include a Catholic ceremony in a nearby church. Our nearest and dearest will stay in the chateau for the week (and if I can manage to find a salsa band to play, they will be there too :).

    Our wedding will be intimate and detail-oriented. I want to feel connected to the love and the strength of the women before me… biscochos from my great-grandmother’s recipe, my grandmother’s favorite Spanish ballad, traditions that I can pass on to my daughters. I am a lover of film (I own a Contax 645 and two Pentax 35s). Kate’s imagery (and clearly the wanderlust in her) resonated with me. Beautiful artistry!

  20. Wedding Location: Tampa, Florida
    Wedding Date: October 10, 2015 (or somewhere around this time)

    I actually met my fiance, Nate, online through OKCupid. I never really expected to find the love of my life through OKCupid, but – hey! I guess you can find love anywhere. Neither of us were really even looking for anything serious at the time, but it seems that that’s normally the time when you find “the one” – when you’re not looking for them. I had some screwed up experiences with guys in the past, which never felt right to me considering as a girl, I always dreamed of my own little fairy tale love story. Meeting him fit everything I ever dreamed of and more. Our first kiss was nothing like the kisses I had in the past. It was a little awkward, timid, with heaps of anticipation – and it was perfect. My self-worth was at an all-time low before I met him, but he built that up by treating me with the utmost respect, taking everything slow, and being a complete gentleman. I never thought I could be so comfortable with someone. The proposal was sweet and perfect and everything I could have ever wanted. I know he thought I wanted something grand, like in the movies. I know his original idea involved him falling from the sky – and even involved a trained falcon! (What?!) Needless to say, I am very happy that the original plan didn’t pull through. What really happened on March 14, 2014 was – he picked me up at home and brought me three bouquets – one for every year we have been dating. He drove me to Sarasota to recreate our first date – dinner at Applebee’s, a walk along the water at sunset, and then drove me to the Starbucks parking lot where we had our first kiss. A Starbucks parking lot may not seem like the most romantic place for a proposal – but oh, it meant so much to me. He pulled out a bag that was shut together by a lock that said “to unlock true love you need a key”. (He gifted me a key on a ribbon a month earlier on Valentine’s Day and told me to always carry it with me in my purse wherever I go.) I pulled it out and unlocked it, and inside the bag was the most perfect ring I (*ahem* may or may not have) picked out myself! Everything has been pure bliss being with him, and I can’t wait for the rest of our lives together.

    Now, I’ve been planning this wedding sporadically since after a year of dating him – partially because I’m really interested in wedding planning and partially because I just am so crazily in love with him. We don’t currently have a venue set, but we want to talk to our pastor this weekend about having the ceremony at the church we attend together. (I started going a few months after meeting him and got him to attend with me a few times before he got saved.) I am looking at venues in the downtown Tampa area, so they are not too far away from the church. (No one likes a long drive in the middle of a wedding!) My idea for the wedding is to have black, white, and silver accents at the ceremony – and upon our exit, let the guest throw either confetti or colored rice – something with a whole big punch of color – to represent that we bring the color into each other’s lives. The reception will also be black and white with those big punches of colors – deep, rich, saturated jewel tones like royal blue, purple, and red. I like the ceremony to be a little traditional, classic, and elegant, and the reception to have a vintage-sultry-jazz-lounge kind of feel going on.

    Kate would be the perfect photographer for our wedding, because her photos are so crisp and clean – and her B&W’s are oh-so-glamorous. I feel like her photos really evoke feeling, and what good are photos if they can’t help bring you back to the good feelings you felt in the moment?

  21. “The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
    I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
    Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

    Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
    The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and
    sweetness of man and woman,
    (The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter
    every day out of the roots of themselves, than it
    sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

    Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the
    sweat of the love of young and old,
    Form it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and
    Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.”

    -Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road.

    Our journey together began with the road. Well, maybe not as poetic as Whitman writes. We met by chance at a local whiskey bar, of all places. But we spent the night walking the crowded streets of the neighborhood. I guess sometimes you “just know”. And we found ourselves falling in love with each candied glance, each knowing smile thinking, “here is happiness.” When we met I was still a medical student and she a graduate student studying social work. Five months later we had moved in together. Two years after that we were travelling route 66 together to our new home in California. Two and a half years after we met I found myself on one knee, enlisting the help of Whitman as I asked her to travel with me, singing our song of the open road.

    Our wedding style, we hope, will match our personalities. Both the ceremony and the reception will be set against the Chesapeake Bay. My family will largely be travelling from Chicago; hers will take a shorter trip from a small town in Maryland. I want my family to know our shared love with the tonal caress of each ocean wave and effervescent sea breeze as we share our love together. She hopes her family will love the vintage American landscape they’ve known for generations. And we know our friends will love the potato bar! We hope our wedding represents how we cherish tradition as the wings of a thousand hanging origami cranes tickle our guests. And as our country evolves to accept all forms of love, together we forge new traditions as an interracial couple.

    Quite simply, I think Kate would be the right photographer for us because she takes beautiful photographs. I don’t know much about lighting or focus, but I can see that Kate makes couples look timeless, elegant, & intimate – but most importantly she captures their happiness. Erin and I will provide the food (potato bar, too, of course), the guests, and the occasion. We hope Kate will help us capture our song on the open road.

  22. We are having our wedding in orlando florida on June 20th, 2015.

    To be honest my fiance and I met by chance, we were both working and he came in to get pizza. I had just moved to Alabama and I did not know anyone. He was afraid of the fake spider that was over the register. It stuck a conversation. From there it was love at first site. We have been together for two years and the day he proposed to me i will never forget. We went out to a bar and i had no idea but i was on the dance floor dancing and i turn around to see him kneeling down. Everyone stopped because our song started playing and the tears stsrted pouring. In the middle of all rhose people he proposed to me.

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Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding. 

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