Kenzie and Mike's Perfect Vineyard and Beach Engagement Session - St. Joseph, Michigan
For the longest time, I didn’t believe in soulmates. It doesn’t seem logical to me because there are so many people in the world and honestly, it doesn’t seem to mention anything about it in the Bible that I’ve read. However, after being married for 5 years and spending every single day with the exact same person, I have come to believe in them in them now. We wake up next to one another each day, hug each other, love each other, and help one another. We communicate in good times and in difficulty, we dream, laugh, and sometimes we even cry together. But beyond that, there was only ever one person meant for me--and that is my wife.
Mike and Kenzie met in middle school and spent a brief time being boyfriend and girlfriend then. Of course, like most middle school flames, it was quickly cooled into a friendship that lasted until their junior year of high school. It was at that point that Kenzie and Mike started dating again--but now having a few more years of experience, life, and just not being in middle school, they set off on a path that would take years down the road to this past weekend and their engagement session.
I bring up the idea of soulmates because when you meet someone--or rather--a couple--I think you immediately can see how well they mesh, click, and work with one another. Everyone is different of course and everyone shows affection differently. Kenzie and Mike are sweet and thoughtful, funny but driven.They attended college together at Central Michigan and have since returned to their hometown of St. Joseph, Michigan, to begin their life together. They just purchased a home not a month ago and decided to get an adorable dog named Bella to keep them company along with Kitty, the cat.
If you’ve ever traveled internationally--or even just on a plane in general with someone else, you know that it can be a somewhat stressful occasion. There are so many what-ifs and concerns about missing planes and being late and safety and the lot. Kenzie and Mike love to travel--so much that they’ve both been Europe multiple times together and that is not an easy trip. You’re talking a minimum of 5 hours on a plane together, crossing a cold ocean cramped next to one another. For them, travel brought them to this point in their lives. You see, after a sweet Christmas gift planned for Kenzie’s mom which included Kenzie taking her mom to see her favorite spots in Europe, Mike also decided to host his own surprise. After a week of the girls spending time together, Mike flew into Italy and spent time with them there. It was in Rome (as they say--When in Rome…) that Mike proposed. They then went on with the rest of their trip as an engaged couple.
Travel isn’t easy. Love requires sacrifice and communication. Finding your soulmate in 7th grade doesn’t happen every day (even if we think it sometimes does when we’re in 7th grade). For Kenzie and Mike, the perfect pairing was always there and as they plan the rest of their lives together, I know that they’ll enjoy each moment as they continue to grow together.
I met Kenzie through her one of her besties, Claire. You might remember Claire from the last two Aprils in which I photographed she and Ed at their engagement and wedding. Kenzie was a bridesmaid in the wedding I don’t always get to create super close friendships in the 8 hours I photograph weddings. I just do my best to ensure that my brides and grooms and those that they care about are having a good time and can follow the wedding day timeline as best as possible. I guess I did something right because Claire sent me a message after their wedding photos were delivered and after Kenzie and Mike were engaged saying that she (Kenzie) might be reaching out.
Let me say, that I LOVE TRAVELLING. My dream for this company is to be able to travel frequently and to meet wonderful people all over the world. I want to photograph a piece of history for two people and to give them a piece of art of and piece of their love that they’ll have until the day they die. So, to be able to travel to one of my favorite places in the Midwest, St. Joseph, Michigan, home of the best pizza place ever called Silver Beach Pizza, some of the best Midwestern wineries such as Tabor Hill, Round Barn, and many many others, and all around just kind and wonderful people, I was excited to say the last. (sorry for the mega run on sentence).
Kenzie and Mike are what I would call “ideal clients.” Number one: they love each other and really value what they’re doing. They also value marriage and for me--that’s important because my marriage is important. They don’t know exactly what they’re “doing” in front of the camera. You’d never know that these two gorgeous people weren’t sure of how to act, “pose” or what to do while being photographed. I love working with people that are unsure of that because love is beautiful and it makes you beautiful and that shines through as you’ll see soon. They LOVE travel--and from the sound of it--have travelled more than me. Awesome! We get to swap cool stories about Europe and our other favorite places around the world! I could go on--but let’s just say, that it was an absolute pleasure to get to work with them.
Kenzie and Mike wanted to host their engagement in their hometown. Since they both love wine (another winning combination for me!), they decided that they would want some of their photos done at a winery. We were able to visit both Dablon Vineyards and Tabor Hill Winery to get some of these shots. We also spent a brief moment at their new home with their sweet puppy, Bella, and finally ended things with the perfect sunset on a St. Joseph beach. Oh yeah, and then we all ate together at my favorite pizza place, Silver Beach Pizza. Kenzie also happens to be a full time restaurant manager there so that was even sweeter.
Since Europe is so special to Kenzie and Mike, they’ve both decided that they are going to be married in Italy in August 2020. They’ve also decided to hire me for their international elopement in Italy for next year! Literally, a dream come true for me. While this blog isn’t about me, I just want to say that I am so honored and excited (which doesn’t even begin to grace the surface of it!) to have the opportunity to not only capture these two soulmate’s wedding but to travel with them to Italy for 5 days and stay with them at their villa along with their wedding party and their family. Another exciting part is that two of my brides will also be present and so while I’m going to work--it will certainly feel like I’m just spending time with friends.
Thank you one million times, Kenzie and Mike. You two are so wonderful and absolutely reinforce the truth to soulmates and excellent friendship.
Much love to you both and I cannot wait to share all of these pictures with you!