Last-minute photographer

It seems fitting to share a few favorite photos on the blog today, our one-year anniversary. I enjoyed going back to look through the photos to help remember the day that Tony and I both agree was the most fun day of our lives. With friends and family spread out all over the country (and the world), it was a one-of-a-kind moment to be surrounded by all the people we love on that one special day.

And in addition to reminiscing about the wedding itself, we took some time today to talk about all of the things that have happened over the past year: the dog we adopted, the promotions we each earned at work, the new apartment we'll be moving into, and the new business we've started together, not to mention all of the little things that have made this year so happy for us.

When beginning to plan our wedding, the photography was one of the things that was most important to us. After all, once the champagne stops flowing and the music stops playing, it's the photos that you get to hold on to forever. So we immediately decided to work with an experienced wedding photographer from Chicago, who also happened to be one of Tony's close friends (and the person who taught Tony to juggle years ago).

But plans abruptly changed only days before our photographer was scheduled to make his cross-country trip to Charleston. On the Tuesday before our wedding, he was injured in a fire and was hospitalized for weeks, leaving us worried for our friend and scrambling to find a new photographer. (Ironically, on this same day about an hour later, the building attached to the Riviera Theater was badly burned by flames that threatened our venue as well.)

With the help our our wedding planners, we were able to find three local photographers available on our wedding day. As Tony and I made our 8-hour drive to Charleston after work on Tuesday night, our groomsman Chase scouted out our options online and made his recommendation. We made our decision the next morning and then met with our new photographer over coffee the following day to seal the deal.

As it turned out, working with Liz Duren was an amazing experience. She captured all of the details and intimate moments of our day, and did it all in her charmingly sassy way. I was a little concerned at first that we would be working with a stranger instead of a family friend, but Liz just had a way of making everyone around her feel comfortable.

As I was going through her website to put this blog post together, I was excited to see that she has added quite a few of our pictures to her online portfolio, and she included an e-mail Tony sent her in the "compliments" section of her site. I think that e-mail really sums up our experience with her, so I wanted to share some of it here:


We received the DVD of wedding photos yesterday and almost immediately took them to the store to begin making simple prints for our at-home frames, to include with thank you notes to guests, and for our families.

Your photography really was wonderful, and more than that, you were a complete stranger who was suddenly there for the both of us in a time of need. I don't know exactly what we expected to find in a short-notice photographer, but it wasn't anywhere near what you offered us.

We liked your approach, your pictures, and your sass. You listened to what we liked and seemed to understand what we were all about. You seized every opportunity to photograph the zaniness of the night -- which, really, we had no idea would unfold like it did. I don't think either of us would change a thing. Your photos will always remind us of exactly that.

Did I mention how we freaked out when you posted photos online so quickly after the wedding? 100% wow. And Katie was quick to the mailbox all this week awaiting the disc.

Thank you, again, Liz, for being so great to work with, so skilled, and so cool.

Tony & Katie

To see more of Liz's work, check out her blog and her website. You can also check out more photos and a slide show from our wedding on her blog.