September — Recap // Personal Post

September — Recap // Personal Post

It’s the first week of October, which means I’m due for a September recap. I’ve been struggling today, after waking up this morning from one of those crazy pregnancy dreams (ooooh boy), and not being able to get back to sleep. I’m thankful that I don’t have a wedding tomorrow, and I might just have to grab a nap this afternoon – sometime after I finish my editing for the day and walk the dog and… ;)

So, September! The month started with a flourish – I popped over to Gonzaga for a meeting and then immediately headed out to Cave B Winery for Leslie & Drew‘s elopement before we drove over to Seattle for the weekend. Basically, I ran around non-stop from mid-August to mid-September. Baby Wenzel has now been to four state and three countries.

Lipstick Selfies // September RecapCave B Winery Sunset Elopement // September Recap

While we were in Seattle, we did some major baby shopping, including picking up a used chair/glider for the nursery (which will be finish before the baby arrives…I hope), and doing a massive IKEA run. Can I just say that it takes a certain type of insanity to go to Ikea on a holiday weekend while the Ikea is under construction? Yup, we did it and lived to tell the tale. Lola and I tested out the glider shortly after we arrived home, and to this day, it’s her new favorite spot in the house. Hopefully she still feels the same way when it moves up to the nursery. H had a huge conference in town, and was working late, so I allowed the dog up on the couch for some Dancing With the Stars and cuddles.

Cuddling with pets while pregnant // September Recap

I went down to Walla Walla in early September to attend the ABC NW Regional Conference. It was great to hear from other wedding businesses, and I’m glad I was able to squeeze in a conference this year. The night before the conference, we attended a small dinner at Foundry Vineyards, and while I only got to try a sip of their wines (I bought a bottle for after baby Wenzel arrives!), the food we had was amazing. I forgot to grab a photo of the salad, but it was perfection. This was the main course, below, and dessert was a smaller version of the chocolate caramel tart below and some caramel gelato. The tart was from the Colville Street Patisserie in Walla Walla, so I swung by to grab one for our anniversary dinner. Let me tell you this, I eat a lot of dessert. I like dessert, and there’s a lot of dessert at wedding events. This tart was one of my top three desserts ever. Seriously. So after telling H this, and realizing that we had a salted caramel and chocolate cake layer at our wedding, I knew this was the perfect way for us to celebrate five years together. FIVE YEARS. We kept it simple and ate a quiet dinner at home, since we’ve been traveling and eating out so much. Bonus: I remembered to snap a belly photo while I was in Walla Walla. I’ve been terrible at these, partially because the only full length mirror in our house in an awkward spot, thanks to our renovations. Sorry, kid.

Foundry Vineyards // September RecapColville Street Patisserie Walla Walla // September Recap

At the end of August, I was able to work with the Nazareth Guild to do a big project for them, and I photographed their annual gala in September. It was so fun to see our work presented to the attendees, and I wish I could do a reveal with my wedding couples more often…maybe I can Skype with them, since so many are long distance? ;) Anyway, they had a small photobooth there, and I decided to cheese it up for the student who was trying to demonstrate how the Instax camera works. These cameras are a blast, and I need to use mine more!

Nazareth Guild Gala // Emily Wenzel Photography

The rest of September passed in a blur of editing and housework, and the last wedding of the year at Arbor Crest. September still felt a bit like summer, but fall has truly arrived this month, and I’m excited. Just…cool it with the Christmas decorations, okay? Because I have to bake this baby a little bit longer, and I am not ready for Christmas to be on the radar yet!

How was your September? Did you do anything exciting? What’s your favorite dessert??


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Changes // Personal Post

Changes // Personal Post

A secret keeper, I am not. But I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping a fairly large secret from the internet for nearly five months.

I didn’t do it to see if I could keep a secret. I didn’t do it because I don’t want to share. I did it for a lot of messy and complicated reasons – work, personal, feminist – that I may get into at a later date.

But yesterday, I got a couple rounds of earth shattering news. And my first response to all of it was #fuckcancer. I don’t know that there is any more appropriate response than that. But my second response was to realize that, while we’ve kept this news to ourselves, instead of sharing it with the internet at large, it was for reasons that, in the long run, don’t matter.

It doesn’t matter that I may not get a job because of this news.

It doesn’t matter that I feel like it’s not my duty to “perform” for the world at large.

It doesn’t matter that I want to keep everything private, to share the news in person.

What does matter is that good news should be shared with the people we love. And since so many of the people I love are not nearby, since my greatest dream in all the world is for all of my family to be in the same place for just one day (a dream I may never, ever, get to see happen), this place has become a space where I can share my work and my life with those who love us.

And who doesn’t love a good Christmas present?!?!

German English Baby Annoucement

We’ve visited Europe and attended half a dozen weddings together already this year, so I guess it’s time this sweet babe made his or her internet debut!

Oh, hello.

Oh, hello.

I’m afraid to look at the thermostat, because I don’t want to know what the temperature is in my house right now. Safe to say, I’ve got some AC blasting to deal with our latest heatwave, and I’m practically glued to my desk, editing wedding after wedding after wedding this summer. Oh, and this one too. Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat lately, but I’m determined to catch up. Which will be a little funny, because next in my queue is this lovely winter engagement session. You guys surely remember Sara & Joel’s North Idaho elopement on Leap Day, right? Yeah…I’m a bit behind. Oh, and I just realized I never blogged the film photos from our trip to Barbados last winter.

So, here’s a promise to get back on the blogging train in August. I’ve got way too much good stuff I want to share with you! Barbados Destination Wedding // Crane Beach Hotel



Road Block.

Road Block.

I open the tab to post something here, or on almost any media form, and find myself overwhelmed.

I’ve seen people take a “break” before, and thought, “I don’t need to do that, I’ve got more self control.” Lately, I’ve felt drained by it though, the pouring of my life into the internet. Between a nasty cold, and things around the house, my to do list keeps growing, and I have more unfinished posts than I know what to do with. It gets to the point where I spend hours upon hours avoiding writing, or working on any to-do list project, because I don’t know where to start.

Then I look at my schedule, oh boy. My calendar is crazy this month, with the days I’m out of town nearly outnumbering the ones I’m home. My suitcase is never fully unpacked, and the mail has been stacking up. Hey friends, sorry I’ve been neglecting you too.

So, a break might be good.

Time for me to focus on the building blocks of my business – photos and editing them – and leave the social media for another day. Here’s to a few weeks off, and maybe a little more clarity. I’ll be back in June, and of course, you’ll be able to reach me via email:

Bastyr University Chapel Wedding // Emily Wenzel Photography

PS – I’m fully booked through July for weddings, but I still have availability for August-October weddings! I’d love to hear from you.

Year Three — Running a Business

Year Three — Running a Business

I wanted to write a sweet little post about what I’ve learned in three years of doing this full time. But then I realized, I don’t know how it’s been three years! It feels like it was just a year ago I was waking up on the first day I didn’t have a day job and working in my jammies in the living room of our apartment in Seattle. It feels like just a couple months ago that H got the job offer here in Spokane and we moved over here. How was that over two years ago? And wasn’t it just last week that we bought our house?

Three years is a big deal. Not only do many businesses fail in their first year, many more don’t make it past three years. So being here, now, feels like a huge accomplishment. I was going to do some silly stats, like number of photos taken, but I realized that that isn’t important. What is important is saying thank you.

This wouldn’t be possible without you. So thank you. Thank you to all the couples who’ve booked me, all the friends and past clients who’ve referred me. Thank you to those same people who have gone for coffee or drinks with me on good days and bad days. Who’ve helped me through the good times and bad. The truth is, it has taken me these three years to find my footing. I’m finally feeling more confident as a business owner, as a person. Maybe that is something that has come with age, and not with the time as a business owner. Either way, I’m finally at the point where I feel like I’m not in a state of panic at all times.

In the past three years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned to get dressed, so I do better work. I’ve learned to take the day off – or walk away from a project – when it’s just not flowing. I’ve learned to show myself grace, because no matter how much I look like superwoman on the outside, I know that I’m not perfect (no one is)!

I’ve learned that my greatest fan is, always has been, and always will be, the man I married. He has been here in the good times and the bad. He has wiped my tears and told me it’s not a failure if I want to move on from this. He has celebrated every booking with me. Given me pep talks and cake. He has been there to wish me good luck before almost every wedding, and helped me carry my gear back in when I’m exhausted at the end of the day. He has made me dinner on the days where I’ve had to work until the wee hours of the night, and for this – and so much more – I know he’ll always be there for me.

I’ve learned that failure is the best way to find out what works well. I’ve learned that you have to take risks in order to reap rewards. I’ve learned to ask for the sale, but I’ve also learned that sometimes you have to tell a client when they’d be happier with someone else. I’ve learned that money isn’t everything, time is more important.

I’ve learned that this is exactly where I’m meant to be right now. And that I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all of you. Even though I pretend my mom (hi mom!) is the only person who reads my blog, the numbers tell me otherwise. So thank you all. After three years of this, my advice is to always take chances. You never know where life might lead, so take a chance and jump for what you’re dreaming of.

Anchorage Alaska // Emily Wenzel Photography