I’m so excited (and, if I’m being completely honest, totally nervous) to share our engagement photos with you! Our wedding is coming up so quickly, and I know I’ve barely shared anything about it, so this post seemed like a good way to start talking about it. We weren’t sure that we would have a chance to take engagement pics, but when our photographer told us she would be in Napa to shoot a wedding, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. So, a few weeks ago, my honey and I were lucky enough to spend the day at a beautiful home in St. Helena, surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, eating lunch and drinking wine and giving each other lots of smooches.

I’ll admit, there was a lot of awkward nervous laughing at the beginning, which probably had something to do with all the hugging and kissing and hand-holding in front of a camera. Awkward, and also totally surreal. Like stepping through the looking glass to some alternate reality on the other side of the wedding blog, where I wear dresses and we eat cake and Elizabeth Messina takes our picture.

Our wonderful wedding planners (the inimitable Laurie Arons and Jenna Lam) put together the most perfect wine country farmers market lunch for us under the olive trees.

Sam at Perfect Endings made this darling miniature wedding cake, complete with marzipan olives and olive leaves. Chocolate cake with chocolate hazelnut truffle cream? Can you blame me for eating it for breakfast the next day?

We walked around and took photos in the vineyards that grew the grapes that made the wine that we had with lunch – such a treat! Oh, but let me give you a tip: do not try and walk barefoot in a vineyard. It might sound romantic and lovely, but then mutant thorns stab you in your feet. I swear those things had teeth. Not particularly romantic when your honey is helping you balance as he pulls the little monsters out.

This is just before I cracked up laughing because my honey kept smooshing his nose against my face.

This last one is my very favorite. To me, it looks the most like “us.” It was one of the last photos of the day and we’re in our everyday clothes, so we were way more relaxed than when we started. I also think it shows exactly how I feel, which is, “See this guy? I get to marry him!”

Photography: Elizabeth Messina

Venue: private home in St. Helena, California

Vineyards: X Winery

Lunch and details: Laurie Arons Special Events

Yellow dress / green dress / gold shoes: Kate Spade

Hair / makeup: Wallett Luburich

Cake: Perfect Endings

“I hear eloping is in” card: 9SpotMonk

It was tough deciding which photos to post (much tougher than choosing photos of someone else), so thank you to my honey for helping me narrow down our favorites (and for letting me post your handsome mug on the internet). You can check out some of Elizabeth’s favorites on her blog, Kiss the Groom, and more on Laurie’s blog where I believe she’s posting the menu of the amazing lunch she and Jenna made for us (I hope she tells you about the sandwiches, because I could eat one of those every day for the rest of my life). I’m so looking forward to having these wonderful ladies there with me on my wedding day!

A few of you have asked about my engagement ring, so I thought I’d share a bit about it. It’s a cocktail ring from the 1920’s, that came from Tail of the Yak in Berkeley. The center stone is an almandine garnet, which my honey jokes looks like a root beer barrel (you know those old fashioned hard candies?). I love it!

Kiss the Groom and Laurie Arons Special Events are sponsors of Snippet & Ink.

103 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Love Shoots, Personal, snippet + ink wedding
  1. Kate

    These are fantastic! You look beautiful and so happy hanging out with your other half. I’m sure you’ll cherish these forever!

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  2. Sally

    How beautiful are you guys!! The photos are amazing and I think that it must have been some kind of wonderful being in that world “where u wear dresses and eat cake and Elizabeth Messina takes your picture.” … and you know you will get to marry your special guy : )

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  3. Kristen Nichols

    You both looks so gorgeous and so sweet! Congrats!

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  4. Janie

    Hi Kathryn…you and Ryan are too cute…I love this and of course Elizabeth captured you both so perfectly and I have to give a huge shout out to Sam at Perfect Endings…love you both…xoxoxo

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  5. Martha B.

    Kathryn- Such sweet photos! :)

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  6. People St. Clair

    Kathryn–these photos are lovely, the location is beautiful the dresses are fabulous. the love and happiness shines through in every photo. thanks for sharing.

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  7. Kelly

    Kathryn, these are absolutely STUNNING! You’re such an adorable couple and the photos captured your perfectly. I can only imagine what the wedding will look like!


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  8. cyndi


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  9. Jacqui-Bay

    Just stunning! You guys are so fracking adorable! Pardon my geekyness… :)

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  10. Melissa de la Fuente

    You two are absolutely gorgeous! These photos are so joyful & lovely( not to mention your gorgeous clothes! ) Love these!

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  11. Josie

    You both look so relaxed and happy in all of them! Better buy up some frames because you’ve got a whole bunch of new pictures for your house :)

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  12. Sarah

    These are wonderful! So relaxed but soo rich in textures and flavors. Having a cake present at a photo shoot just makes everyone that much more smiley, I’m sure!

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  13. Tara K.

    In a word: perfect. Congratulations, you two are as cute as a button!

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  14. Asiya

    How nice to finally be able to post your own e-session photos!


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  15. amber of theambershow.net

    He’s dreamy! Nice catch! You both look so sweet.

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  16. janet

    What a sweet photo shoot! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Inessa Zherebnenko

    these are beautiful and it is so exciting

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  18. Jessica Lynn

    congrats on such a beautiful shoot!!!

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  19. Valerie K.

    What a beautiful photo shoot! Does anyone know what type of engagement ring she has? :)

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  20. Heather

    Beautiful photos. I especially like the sepia ones in the grass!

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  21. Meredith

    Adorable! You two look so happy. Congrats, and thanks for sharing!

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  22. chelsea

    Oh Kathryn! These are so sweet. You are so gorgeous!! What a darling couple you guys are. Congrats.

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  23. Kristi Wright

    Beautiful!! Congratulations.

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  24. Holly Hatam

    You guys get the cutest couple in the world award…my husband and I have decided to pass it along to you ;)

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  25. Lindsey

    Beautiful! You both look so happy and in love.

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  26. Amanda Bevington

    Kathryn!!!! These are absolutely stunning! What a fabulous engagement shoot! You and Ryan are adorable!!! So excited for you and can’t wait to see the wedding pics! Enjoy every second of this very special time together!!! xo, A

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  27. Kate

    I don’t even know where to start. How adorable you guys are! The dresses! The shoes! The amazing location! The food! I am feeling a little teary they are so sweet. Is that weird? To be teary over photos of someone you’ve never met? Probably, but I’ll go with it. Anyway, gorgeous photos and it looks like it was a super fun day.

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  28. redwhitebride

    kathryn! congratulations! these are beautiful photos… love them! best wishes for your wedding planning. can’t wait to see how beautiful it will be. xoxo.-

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  29. Michelle

    Kathryn, you and the future mister look so happy and relaxed together(as usual). I love that yellow dress! You look great. Can you believe these are your engagement pictures and the wedding ones are soon to follow?

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  30. kelly Kaufman

    Hi Kathryn!
    These photos are stunning!!!! I am disappointed that you haven’t talked about your own wedding on your blog! I was hoping to see an inspiration board and much more…=( Please keep us posted on what you plan to do, color scheme, etc… We are dying to know, well I am DYING to know! WHO IS DOING YOUR FLOWERS!!!! (you know I would do them for you in a heart beat if you would let me, hehehe!!!)

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  31. Ingrid

    You look GORGEOUS….and it looks like it was a lot of fun too!!!!


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  32. elizabeth

    beautiful kathryn…it was so wonderful to spend the day with you & ryan…you are so lovely inside & out….xoxoxo…elizabeth


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  33. raya

    Adorable! These are beautiful – so glad you shared. I brought a friend to Hitched and she was talking to you, but I was too shy to introduce myself – lame! Anyway, good to “see” you there. Love your site and can’t wait to see wedding photos :)

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  34. Shana

    Kathryn! I’m so excited! You and Ryan are so, so precious! I love it! I love the heart, the meal, the elope sign, everything about it! Yay – you’re getting married! :)

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  35. Bianca

    These are truly so beautiful. Unique yet classic. (And your yellow dress is marvelous!)



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  36. Ali

    Oh Kathryn, I know just how you feel! It made me smile so big when I saw your photos today on your blog… especially after I did the same thing on my blog today with wedding photos. I agree, it’s nerve-racking to post photos of yourself and see yourself in film! But (swoon), Mrs. Messina quite frankly took my breath away with your love shoot. You should know that you look absolutely gorgeous and soooo in love.

    Looking forward to being a fly on the wall for your wedding when you post those… :) Congratulations…

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  37. jane

    you two are so freaking cute (and look ridiculously happy)

    congratulations :)

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  38. Laura Ivanova

    So, so, so darn cute! I love your images! You don’t look nervous at all… just incredibly in love and so cute together!

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  39. Lou ~ Whimsical Wonderland Weddings Blog

    Oh my gawd – how gorgeous are you both!! Beautiful images, relaxed, filled with light and love :-) You shouldn’t have been nervous :-) x x x

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  40. Heidi@TrulyEngaging

    You are so beautiful! I love these pictures… awwww!!! Congrats and the last pic says it all! Congrats to you and your honey Kathryn!!!!

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  41. Super Burbs

    These are just stunning Kathryn!!! Love the personality in each shot! You must be so excited :)

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    LOVE these kathryn! you look so gorgeous and i adore that you didnt over-do your love shoot :) so simple and lovely… xoxo, c

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  43. Shervon

    You two look amazing together! You’re a beautiful couple. I love that I can see the love between you two. It’s really sweet :)

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  44. chris

    Stunning, my favorite is the one of you lying down laughing. But they all look amazing!

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  45. Summer


    Congratulations! You guys are absolutely adorable! I’m soooo happy for you! And what a dream to have Elizabeth and your photographer! AHHHH!!!! :)

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  46. Newly Domesticated

    How darling! Your green dress is particularly lovely, and I die for those shoes. My favorite is the one of your fiance holding up the heart while you smooch him. Very cute.

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  47. Kelly Langner Sauer

    I have been looking forward to these SO MUCH! I love what you chose – a dreamy location, and look at you stylin’! Love love love!

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  48. Vaen @Brooklyn Bride

    you crazy kids look adorable!! beautiful shots

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  49. Tracey

    Gorgeous, you look great together… I am sure you will treasure these forever!

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  50. Laura Reaux

    SO sweet! The pictures are gorgeous and you look amazing. :)

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  51. nole

    Yay Kathryn! You look so beautiful, and Elizabeth’s photos are incredible as always! You and Ryan look so incredibly happy. :)

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  52. alexandra

    So sweet and lovely!!

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  53. lydia {ever ours}

    so adorable, kathyrn! thanks for sharing them with us!

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  54. Jillian

    yippee!!! congrats kathryn. you both look so happy.

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  55. jen@greenweddingshoes

    These turned out amazing!!! Elizabeth did such a great job capturing the adorableness between you both. Can’t wait to see how she captures your wedding day :)

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  56. amanda@100layercake

    Wow, Kathryn. These are sooo lovely! You two are the darlingest.

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  57. Lo

    This is such a wonderful shoot!! And yes no one could help but to eat that gooooooorgeous little cake! Congrats to the both of you…

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  58. Alison

    Lovely, loving two-some. Beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing a sneak peak of your relationship with us! What a treat.

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  59. Gretal

    Really beautiful!! I’d love to hear more about your wedding & planning..

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  60. Tara Whittaker


    Congrats – your photos are just beautiful. I LOVE your outfits.


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  61. carina

    So sweet and adorable:-) thanks for sharing.

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  62. Lizzie [Ten Thou Bride]

    Love the use of food in their e-session! Such cute photos!

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  63. kelly

    I met you at Jordan’s craft night, and I wanted to tell you how adorable your engagement photos are! You two make a very sweet couple!

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  64. Jessica :: Delicatessen

    So sweet and beautiful! You two look so natural. Lovely photos!

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  65. Lily

    Kathryn! You look so beautiful!! I’m sure you too will be incredibly happy.

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  66. Molly Jean

    oh, so lovely! thanks for sharing!

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  67. Mo

    WOW! You LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL! You honey (as you say :-) ) looks so handsome! goodness gracious you guys are a striking pair and look so happy in love, congratulations you two!! hugs!

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  68. Polka Dot Bride

    Squee! Hello beautiful! I am so happy you decided to share these- the shoot captures everything I know yof you- your spirit!


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  69. ash

    OMG! You are beautiful!

    I love the green dress, looked great!

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  70. Katie W

    You don’t give yourself enough credit! These pictures are beautiful and you look amazing! The heart photos are my favorite. I can’t wait to hear more about your planning :)

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  71. ashley

    Where was your engagement ring from?
    I love it! It looks vintage

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  72. Heather@amorology

    Kathryn! So happy for you! So fun to see you so in love. You are even more darling than that little cake. Hugs and congrats to you!

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  73. meg

    Your ring is BEAUTIFUL and so are you!! Thanks for sharing these great pictures with all of us : )

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  74. Kate@MagnoliaRouge

    Kathryn… these are SO stunning… I’m so glad you decided to share them with us! And like you I love that last one too… it just looks so natural. Love that there are no major props, just you two! Can’t wait to see the wedding!

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  75. didi

    congrats! the photos are beautiful!

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  76. kristen ~ k.holly

    ::gasp!:: Elizabeth Messina! I’m in love – your session is perfection!! Congratulations!!

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  77. Marianna

    What a wonderful e-session. Congratulation Kathryn! Elizabeth Messina is the Great Photographer ever! I can’t wait to see the wedding. Hugs

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  78. Jane

    SO cute! I love the candid shots- you look like you’re having fun.

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  79. Erica

    These are gorgeous!! Unfortunately when my fiance and I did ours, the awkwardness just never seem to let up. Luckily it didn’t show too much in the pictures. Hopefully wedding photos won’t be as awkward!

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  80. Austen

    These beautiful pictures of you two make me feel happy! It’s such a treat to see your photos, thank you!

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  81. jonathan canlas

    um holy crap, these are amazing.

    when i first saw this, i was like, oh cool elizabeth messina. then i kept scrolling down, and thought, wow, that kind of looks like kathryn, WAIT! that IS kathryn!

    SO AWESOME! congrats to you both and you look SUPER pretty!

    i HEART the shot of him holding the heart above his head and you planting one on him. amazing.

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  82. Lisa

    Oh you two are so beautiful. So fresh-faced, is the only way I can put it. And the photos are fantastic. Thank you for sharing. I can imagine it was a little nerve-wracking. But you are just a regular bride too:).

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  83. Rachel – theWeddingVine

    The black and white shots are gorgeous!!

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  84. Allie

    Precious + adorable!!!

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  85. Molly

    Kathryn, your pictures are fabulous! They really communicate a whimsical, fun day, and seem so appropriate. Gorgeous!

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  86. the perfect palette {Chrissy}

    congrats kathryn. these photos are so great! so sweet and romantic! The little sign about eloping confuses me though~ are you planning to elope? I bet some days you feel like doing so! wedding planning can be so fun, but definitely stressful at times! Especially when you feel like the whole world is watching I bet! anyways, love these photos-thanks for sharing. you & your man are darling!

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  87. biz

    ooooooo…. ;) you’re sooooo pretty. and the pictures are soooo pretty. and you’re getting married!!!!!!!!!! and you’re my friend. :) so much love and i can’t wait until i get get my arms around you for a great big hug. (but it will be a significantly smaller hug because you look TEENY.

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  88. Ashley

    i love your ring! what stone is it?

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  89. redfrizzz

    BEAUTIFUL! Finally, a face to the space! And you two are such a beautiful couple. Not that it matters, but I also like the final photo, it appears so genuine and relaxed. Congrats on beautiful photos!

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  90. bob

    you’re darling! seriously SO darling and lovely.

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  91. Katie

    Hi Kathryn and Ryan,

    Congratulations and thank you for featuring our 9SpotMonk “I hear eloping is in” card. Send us an email to studio@9spotmonk.com and we’ll let you know of the goodies we have in store for your upcoming nuptials.

    Enjoy your engagement!!

    Katie at 9SpotMonk

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  92. Karen Wise

    Congratulations Kathryn! Beautiful photos, you look so pretty and happy!

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  93. Ozzy Garcia

    Beautiful images!!! You guys look perfect together.

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  94. Alex Wakeman

    Kathryn, you and Ryan are so beautiful! So happy to see you still together after we spent those years together in the Delta :)

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  95. Gia

    Love, love, love the last five shots! So relaxed and happy! And so happy *for* you two cuties!

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  96. Mary Phan of Very Merry Events

    Kathryn, you are so photogenic! These are very cute – I love it!

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  97. Pauline @Lipstickonpaper

    I love the photos – so sweet, simple, and fun. It’s so cool that you’re sharing your photos with your Snippet and Ink readers. I am in the process of planning my wedding for next August and I am addicted to your blog. I always find inspiration to draw from through the entries you post. Thank you!

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  98. Erin

    Congrats – The pictures are lovely!

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  99. ABS

    Definitely the cream of the crop from all the photos. Love you sista!

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  100. Samantha {Papermints}

    Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing Kathryn – you two look so in love…

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  101. Tina

    You guys look so blissful! What a great day. Your outfits are excellent and you look beautiful. Congratulations! I can’t wait for you to reveal all of your details.

    P.S. Is Tyler Florence going to cater your wedding???

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  102. MILLION


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  103. Jean Elizabeth Paul

    You guys look so cute together..!! God bless ! Amazing photo stints from the photographer..its no wonder you had a hard time choosing them!!

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