winning our hearts . . . STUFF to report

so we looked at each other with 40 applications in hand and thought:

wow the international flavor of these: wales, poland, australia, honduras, mexico; tours of duty in iraq + afghanistan . . . this contest rippled round the world.

of course there were plenty of stateside smokin' hot stories, too . . . couples who've gone from farms to cities. couples who've gone from the city to the farm. couples living in NYC. couples marrying in DC. (couples with no "C" at all ~ tee-hee) couples marrying by land, couples marrying by sea. in the mountains, in the valley,  down south, up north + then there's the southwest, too. can i get an "AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH, sister!!"

sometimes the love was at first sight.
sometimes it was right next door.
we've loved hearing from you, our midwest neighbors, as well as new friends around the globe.
thank you, thank you ALL ~ you've made us laugh, made us cry, made us remember just why we love this job so very much.

here's the 3-phased plan

honorable mentions
3 couples who did indeed win our hearts, but who can't qualify because on their wedding dates, we're under contract with other couples (but note we're going to work extra hard with these couples to find fabulous options for them ~ stay tuned!)


each night meet one of the 5 silver medalists
help choose which of these couples will be crowned the GRAND WINNER. we're looking forward to hearing from each couple's family + friends and you Silver Lining aficionados.  
(so chime in, esp. if you are friends/family of the featured couple ~ tell as what you love!  tell us why THIS COUPLE should win their wedding!)


win our hearts  |  win your wedding   
The finalist is announced! oh, can you believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!
we'll be reading raves sent in, tallying, re-tallying, pulling our hair out with brooke + allen (the Originals team!) and trying to nail down, from these 5 most fabulous couples who utterly + completely won our heart and thus has won their wedding!

and now for tonight's main course:
honoring our Honorable Mentions

Jodie + Lee | Kirksville, Missouri

this first couple really did win our hearts.
much of their story is private + personal, so we're sharing select excerpts but they
had us at hello with this opener:
"We may not be your idealistic, perfected, no-flawed couple. But, I will tell you, we will be your most realistic, grateful-for-second chances pair."

It seems for both of them life wasn't turning out as planned. Jodie had relocated from NY to kirksville for a new job + a new marriage. lee stayed closer to home, but my how the look of his home was changing. both found themselves unexpectedly single . . .
jodie writes:

"At first when I met Lee his eyes told his story. We talked for hours as we had known each other's pain personally. we saw a movie, we ate, we cleaned floors in empty houses....and moved truckloads of memories from here to there. Healing wasn't an option, surviving had to be. After months I was introduced to the sleeping angel who Lee was breathing for....a boy who was as innocent and as kind as this man, yet smaller in stature. Logan, age 3, a pure joy to both of us as he bounced and hugged and laughed and played . . . "

these two,
jodie + lee, are engaged! and:

"two people grateful for the struggle, thankful for the experience. And no less determined to take their second chance at love..."

Rachel + John | New York, New York
this second couple took the fast train to our hearts via favorite SilverBox show: Sex in the City.

She said in the initial application:

"John is Vice President of a movie production studio and when word came that Sex in the City was shooting a scene on one of his stages, I begged to be an extra."

When the big day arrived, Rachel was not only an extra:

"John took the floor and said to the crowd, "Today is a special day for me. My girlfriend is in the audience. It was always her dream to be an extra in Sex in the City and now I hope she makes my dream come true and marries me."

What's not to love about this? But wait, there's more.

He said on contest deadline day:

"I'll be honest: My fiance' doesn't know I'm writing this...She mentions the contest daily, telling me again and again how she loves your whimsical style and fresh take on art. How she would do anything to have you shoot her wedding...Rachel, a girl who can't commit to a pair of shoes or a nail polish color, is sure: this is true love.

Do I want to win? Sure. Do I love your photography? Absolutely. But the joy on Rachel's face knowing our special day will be captured by an eye as artistic and gentle as yours trumps both."

Candy + Scott | Portland, Oregon

Candy admits to stalking the Silver Lining along with Snapshots ~ Images from the Design Studio (have you seen Brooke's ORIGINALS blog?) for sometime now.

"I was like a fly to the paper the first time I saw both your sites. So, when I heard about this contest, I had to enter on the pure hope that at some point, when I am religiously viewing The Silver Lining, I would be able to see MY very own glowing face (perfectly shadowed by the setting sun)."

so what's not to love about Candy!  :)

but soon we found ourselves falling head-over-heels for Scott, too, thanks in part to his elaborate proposal, which started with:

it tickled our funny bones to think of him dragging his sleepy girl to their neighborhood Starbucks so bright + early that morning where the in-the-know barista handed Candy a rose and small ring box containing...not a ring...but a note with directions to the start of a scavenger hunt that

"continued all day with friendly smiles handing me the next piece of paper direction me on to place such as downtown Portland, to movies, hotels, walking around blind folded."

and so it went until, finally, at dinner

"he said the words I had been dying to hear all day...'Candy, I love you so much and I can't imagine spending my life without you. Will you honor me by being my wife?' (saying it now still makes my heart beat faster). Of course I said yes, it was actually more like a "YES, YES, OF COURSE YES," I didn't get up that early on a Saturday to say no!"

The grand finale: Scott not only orchestrated dessert, but the arrival of BOTH families (including his sister, who flew in from New York) to share in all the excitement. Can there be a sweeter ending to a perfect day than that?:

"We sat there and recapped the adventurous day and talked all about our future wedding plans with the people we care most about in the entire world."

So there you have it!
Three couples we want to reach out and hug.
They are perfect SilverBox couples, but our calendars fill up quickly, so we're going to help them find fabulous solutions for documenting their wedding days which we know will be just as unique, heartfelt, and clever as these 3. 

stay tuned.

tomorrow: meet the 1st of the five Silver Medalists, + chime in if you like, because each Silver Medalist is still in the running to win the wedding photography of their dreams.

kim + amy