UK+USA=LOVE | Kingsley & Queensley United
It's hard to believe we've only known Maddie for less than a couple of years, considering how close we've become and how many times we've worked together! We've become fast friends and she is easily one of our favorite people! How lucky were we when we got asked to document her most special day?
We knew that Maddie fell in love with a British mate and that when we met her, he was back home in the UK waiting for a visa. Carmen knows first hand how difficult it is since she is from Germany and married an American. But nothing can stop true love and just like that wedding plans were made!
But let's go back a bit and let them tell their story in their own words ...
How did you both meet?
Kingsley was in the US on a business trip. He had originally lived and worked in Valparaiso a few years prior for 12 months for school. His friends who he had originally met had all grown up, moved, had kids, etc. etc. In the search of some friends Kingsley downloaded Tinder and began the quest of finding some friendship.
Maddie had just gotten back from a sour vacation where she had broken up with her then boyfriend. She wanted to get back out there (as any single girl would), and what better way to do it then download Tinder.
Kingsley matched with Maddie and after a few weeks of chatting, we decided to go for steak and wine. We really hit it off, but ultimately knew it wouldn't go anywhere because Kingsley was flying home in a few months, and neither of us could deal with a long distance relationship.
The second "date" was an impromptu trip to the mall, it was here where things got weird. Just chit-chatting, Maddie asked Kingsley if he has any tattoos (we've both lost a parent, and have tattoos to remember them by), Kingsley shown her the tattoo on his chest, which is a personalized version of a piece by an infamous British graffiti artist called Banksy (the Balloon Girl). Maddie got a bit awestruck, because she has the 2nd half to Kingsley's tattoo tattooed on her arm (There is Always Hope). It was kinda after that moment that we both realized that it was too much of a coincidence, and maybe there was something more in store for us.
How did you know HE was the ONE?
We started dating around Christmas time and we all know its hard buying a gift for someone you just stared dating. I had told him previously that my favorite movie is Peter Pan. Good thing he remembered because he bought me the BEST gift ever! It was a pesonalized Peter Pan book where he changed Peter to himself, Wendy to me, and Gus (my Chihuahua) to one of the lost boys. I just knew from there that he was the one for me, he knew me better than I knew myself.
How did you know SHE was the ONE?
To be honest, I think I knew Maddie was the one was after our second date. I was with a friend and she had asked me how the date had gone, so I mentioned how beautiful she was, and that I've never really met anyone who shares my sense of humour (or hilarious personality traits), but then I mentioned us sharing the same tattoo. Which, when you really think about it is some mind-blowing stuff. Two random people, one random graffiti artist, on the other side of the world? It was then that I knew Maddie and I had something special.
Well, we're a little different. Maddie actually proposed to me. She pulled out all the stops, and organized the best engagement party. I had mentioned before that if I ever become an American citizen, I need to be re-birthed into the American way of life. I'm talking, shot gunning beers, pistols, gun ranges, Twizzlers, Chipotle, I mean, I needed to do everything "American" that I could think of.
On evening she mentioned that we were going to a bonfire over at a friends house. I didn't suspect anything, just thought it was a pretty casual bonfire get-together. Drink some 40s, eat some hotdogs, etc.
We turn up to the house and I knew something was off but I couldn't put my finger on it. For one, there was about 20 cars in the driveway, but I just thought to myself that maybe the owners are into scrap cars or something.
We get out the car, and go to head inside. Rather than walking on the path to the front door, she starts to lead me on to the yard/grass towards this huge rock in the center of the garden. We're about 5 feet away when I notice that there's an extension cord through the grass to this rock, which I thought was really strange. It's then that we walk in front of this rock, which has a massive wooden board leaned against it that has the words "Marry Me" written with light bulbs that had been drilled through the wood. Before I could process what was going on, Maddie's down on one knee, and pulls out a ring from her overalls and asks me to marry her.
I think my actual words were "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!" (but I did eventually say yes). All of a sudden I hear a roar of claps and applause from behind the house from all our friends and families!
But being a traditionalist, I knew I needed to propose to Maddie. I think I actually googled "how to propose to someone" and "what's the best way to propose to someone". August 2016 was a really good month for shooting stars. We briefly discussed how we should wait up one night and see if we could see any shooting stars. I've only ever seen one shooting star but I knew how awesome and rare they were. I knew I had to somehow incorporate that into my proposal.
We planned to wait up one night, so I made sure I had everything ready. I went out and got some cheese, wine, vegetables with ranch, crackers, just legit snacking food. Maddie ended up falling asleep at 9, but we planned to stay up until 3. I managed to wake her up and convince her to come outside, where I had put down some blankets, a few LED candles, some wine, and a cheese board. All her favorite things.
I honestly haven't been so nervous in my life. I think I stuttered "will you marry me" as I'm awkwardly balancing on one knee. I didn't even give her chance to reply I just hugged her and started to cry.
We waited up another hour or so and did manage to see some awesome shooting stars.
The Wedding Day
The Venue was the historic Gary Aquatorium in Miller. A few years back the Aquatorium was renovated and is now very popular for events and photographers. It was the perfect location for their intimate wedding. Maddie and Kingsley had both the ceremony and reception there, which made it easier for everyone. They rented out the entire venue so Maddie and her bridal party could use the downstairs to get ready. The landscaped courtyards were a great backdrop to many of our photos.
Kingsley's family had flown in from the UK, and were staying at a beach house in Miller Beach, about a 5 minute walk from the Aquatorium.
We love that Maddie has pink hair (currently blue but maybe pink again soon). Maddie loves pink! Carmen arrived with 2 huge pink balloons and Jamie brought a couple pink smoke bombs for later...we love when a bride has the same taste as us.
The getting ready was so much fun! Jamie went over to the guys where they were trying to figure out how to tie his bow tie! Carmen hung out with the girls and dogs! It was a very relaxed atmosphere and everyone was just so excited and happy!
We were so thrilled we got to work with our friend Amy Bangalan again and she did an amazing job on everyone's make up. Maddie's friend Alora, another hairstylist, helped Maddie do her hair.
Charlyn from Charlyn's Floral did the flowers that were truly out of this world! Maddie showed Charlyn some pictures of what theme she was going for and told her to do what she does best. But she really wanted to incorporate Lamb's ear because her grandma always grew it in her garden. Maddie was beyond pleased with all the florals.
Maddie loves succulents and it was an accent throughout her wedding and even on her garter. Gus had the cutest bow tie and flower neck piece and Maddie's flower girls had sweet floral crowns.
Even prior to the wedding we were just so excited that the #dreamteam was going to be at work again this time for a real life event that was personal to all of us and that we'll always remember.
Who stood up in your wedding?
Kingsley just had his brother Damien, as his best man.
Maddie had her two younger sisters, Olivia and Brianna, as her bridesmaids.
Let's not forget Gus our favorite member of the bridal party, the ring bearer!
Although Maddie's flower girls Phoebe, Sophia and Isabella were also adorable!
Describe your wedding style in 3 words! Fairytale | Whimsical | Modern
What were your wedding colors? Sage green | Ivory | Blush Pink
The bridesmaids dresses were ordered online from showmeyourmumu.com and Maddie choose those because they were simple and comfortable! The dresses and Stella & Dot necklaces were actually bridesmaid gifts. The suit was from Men's Warehouse. Tie and bow ties were from thetiebar.com and the British socks were from Amazon.
Jamie and I were so happy that Kingsley and Maddie decided to do a first look! It gave us more time for more pictures and that's what we are there for after all!
Were there any challenges planning your wedding?: The biggest challenge was not knowing if Kingsley's family could make it to the U.S in a short amount of time for the wedding. But they all made it, which we are so thankful for!
I owe so much to Pinterest for helping out with the wedding decorations. And to my wonderful photographers for some awesome and unique suggestions.
What piece of advice would you pass on to future brides and grooms?: I would 10/10 suggest to not have a seating arrangement. Made our lives so much easier. And having a small bridal party relieved a lot of stress.
What made you choose Carmen & Jamie as your wedding photographers?: I had met them at a Bridal show, we all became instant friends it felt like. I helped them out with couple shoots, and I just love working with them. It was an easy decision on choosing them as my photographers.
We thought the pie bar was such a great idea! The wedding cake was beautiful! It was by Marilyn's Bakery. Everything tasted delicious. I guess we missed out on some handmade S'mores that were supposed to be wedding favors but they forgot to hand them out.
Maddie and Kingsley apologize...ha ha! (We don't think anyone noticed.)
So today a year ago there was anticipation and excitement in the air! Right about this hour Maddie & Kingsley had their rehearsal for the day they had been anticipating for what seemed like forever.
Maddie and Kingsley we hope you enjoyed revisiting your wedding day! We are so happy for you and can't wait to share your one year anniversary shoot on the blog tomorrow!
Carmen & Jamie
Maddie & Kingsley would like to dedicate this blog to Shirley Raspe and Russell Chambers.