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Welcome to our blog! We are a husband & wife photography team based in Madison, Wisconsin who document weddings & anniversaries for joyful couples who believe in marriage. This blog is a journal about real love stories, marriage & our own adventures along the way! We are so glad you're here — please stay awhile!




Mike & Kaitlin | A Private Estate Peony Garden Wedding in Joliet, Illinois.

June 2, 2016

You are in for a really special treat with today’s wedding!! ESPECIALLY if you love flowers … and specifically, peonies!! The wedding you are about to see took place at a gorgeous Private Estate located just outside of Chicago — a property that not only dons a 100+ year old home, but dozens of peony gardens, an English garden, + a Japanese garden. The wife who owns the estate has a major passion for flowers + gardening … can you tell?! We’re not done though, you guys!! ALL of the floral arrangements + bouquets for the wedding were made with peonies from the gardens ON the property! All were made in-house (including work from the bride herself!) + the arrangements + flower supply were truly endless! I’m not kidding when I say that all throughout the day, whatever room or location we were shooting in, people would just KEEP BRINGING in lush, humongous, gorgeous floral arrangements + placing them on all the tables in each room + outdoor space!! Like arrangement … after arrangement.. after arrangement!! I was in HEAVEN!! It smelled really good, too ; )

It was the most jaw-droppingly-beautiful venue for a couple that is just about as sweet as they come. We absolutely fell in LOVE with Mike + Kaitlin when we first met them for their engagement session in Chicago last September + our love + respect for them has only grown as we have gotten to know them + then experience so many incredible moments with them on their wedding day. I’ve said before that they have a quiet + tender but powerful love, + we heard this spoken over + over again all throughout their wedding day. From the pastor’s words of admiration of their mutual respect for each other, to the toasts at dinner from siblings who each so deeply respect Mike + Kaitlin as individuals + as a couple, it was a common thread about two people who are noticeably different in the way they serve + love the other in their relationship.

When they initially saw each other on the wedding day for their first look, it was an extremely overwhelming moment of emotion for both Mike + Kaitlin. (Ahh, getting to witness these things is truly such a privilege for us — if only I could do a better job of articulating it with my words!). It was almost as if each of them was struggling to just find a single word to truly describe to the other the love + feeling they were experiencing in that exact moment. Instead, tears + looks of deep longing + love.

Kaitlin wore her grandmother’s wedding gown from 1962 that her mother also wore on her wedding day. It was the most lovely gown that not only fit Kaitlin like a glove, but matched her personality + the feel of the wedding day to perfection. Timeless, elegant, purposeful. After an emotional first look + a revealing of the gown, the two swore there would be no more crying involved. But then the ceremony came + as Kaitlin walked down the aisle with another very special man in her life, both again found themselves with tears of love + joy + gratitude. When the toasts were given + those younger siblings spoke to their older siblings about that great respect + admiration, more tears … again : ) The sweetest couple + the most intimate, heart-warming day : ) I am so excited to share it with you — I just hope you are able to get a glimpse into what Caleb + I were able to experience with these two + their family + friends this past Saturday. ENJOY <3

I can’t get enough of all these peony-inspired details!!!

Oh, Kaitlin! You are captivating.

I just love this magical spot we found!! It’s out of a fairytale!!

LOVING the glow of this last spot!! We had crazy clouds + the light was unpredictable … but it sure cooperated with us on these!! : )

Such an unbelievably gorgeous ceremony space!!!!!

Ahhhh, the PEONIES!!!!!

Love them : )

Most details from Mike + Kaitlin’s day were personal to the couple, but a major thank you to the additional vendors who contributed to make everything such a success!

DJ: DJ’s for You | Hair Artist: Style by Sam | Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos | Menswear: Bonobos | Rentals: Fairytale Tents + Events | Catering: Duke’s Catering | Makeup Artist: Lindsay Schroeder, lkschroeder19@gmail.com


  1. Kelsey Kersting

    June 2nd, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    These flowers are hands down the most beautiful wedding flowers I’ve ever seen! I love the peonies! And it looks like they had a beautiful day, congratulations to Mike and Kaitlin! 🙂

  2. Maison Engel

    June 2nd, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Aren’t they!?! Thanks for the love, Kelsey! 🙂

  3. Dani Theisen

    June 2nd, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    This was a fairy tale wedding! All the peony details were absolutely stunning. Congrats Mike and Kaitlin!

  4. Maison Engel

    June 2nd, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    SO many peonies!! Such a dream!!

  5. Pat and Larry Schmidt

    June 2nd, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Beautiful weather, perfect wedding, so much love!

  6. Maison Engel

    June 2nd, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    It was the best day!!

  7. Samantha Helt

    June 2nd, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    What a beautiful wedding! All of those flower and details and that VENUE…what a gorgeous day! Great job Maison + Caleb!!!!!

  8. Maison Engel

    June 2nd, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    A fairytale wedding, we kept saying!! Thank you, lady!! Love you so much!

  9. Jana Mjor

    June 2nd, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    What a beautiful wedding — everything was perfect from beginning to end! I’ve never attended a more beautiful outdoor wedding. What a fun time from beginning to end! Congrats again to Kaitin & Mike — what a great couple you are!

    P.S. You are going to have to buy all the pictures — they are all so lovely!!

    Jana Mjor

  10. Maison Engel

    June 3rd, 2016 at 1:41 am

    You are so sweet, Jana! Thank you so much for commenting!

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