Christine & Drew have an incredible story. I tried hard to write a blog story for you and for them. However, I couldn’t bare change what beautiful words Christine wrote when sharing her story with me. So I leave you with a journey into Christine & Drew’s life. From the very beginning and featuring photos from their beach Vow Renewal styled as a Beach Elopement in Kewaunee.
“It was 1988, we were just kindergartners at Jefferson Elementary School! We know this is true because Drew’s mom found pictures of us playing in class together. The beginning of our friendship! We lived in the same neighborhood growing up so we went to the same schools together, and hung out with different groups of friends but knew of each other. If we saw each other walking down the hall or outside of school, we always said hello. Did I have a crush on him? Maybe? I don’t remember haha! He was on the football team and homecoming court, I was in the band. Later on, in high school, I found out that he was my best friend’s neighbor! I had been to Annie’s house a million times and never saw him once until one summer when I was over at Annie’s and he was outside with his dog. It was my moment to shine and introduce myself but all I said was, “Hi” and ran away. I think that was the moment I knew I had a crush on Drew. Of course, after high school, everyone starts a new chapter in their life and either move away or just stays in the same city – we stayed in the city and moved into our own places, actually living in the same neighborhood in our early 20s! We ran into each other a few times throughout the years in town but it was always a quick hello and we went our separate ways.
And then it finally happened …
I remember it like it was yesterday, it was the spring/summer of 2009, I was out with some friends downtown and decided to call it a night. I didn’t live far from the area so walking home was no big deal. I stood on the corner waiting to cross the street and all of a sudden it starts pouring rain, I was drenched and I remember covering my face from the rain and hearing this high-pitched noise from around the corner – its this guy, on a moped and he rides right up to me and asks me, “where I was going and if I needed a ride.” It was Drew! I told him I was on my way home and he offered to give me a ride home on his moped. It was a very wet and uncomfortable ride home and I remember having this huge smile on my face and laughing the entire time with him because we were going 5 mph and I could have gotten home faster by walking instead, hahaha! As scary as the ride home was, I felt 100% safe with Drew and I knew at that moment I was into him.
The universe had called for our time to be together …
One month later, we moved in together, and two years later he proposed. We had our first child, a daughter Olive, in 2015 and bought our first house that very same year. We eloped, surrounded by our closest family and friends on a beautiful wooded pathway at Baird’s Creek Hiking trail in 2017. It was such a special day that I’ll never forget and I’m so happy we did it the way we wanted to! In 2018, we brought our son Levi into the world and into our family on Thanksgiving Day!
It has been the best 10 years of our lives, sharing this adventure and raising our kids together.”
– Christine Clark
I mean, my heart just sank! I just loved reading their story and even more so getting to capture them for what started as my yearly personal project, a styled shoot. And morphed into a beautiful evening filled with friends, charcuterie, and champagne strolling along the beach on their 10-year anniversary of being a couple.
It became very clear in the questions I asked that the most important to both Christine & Drew are sharing their lives with their children. Christine is Hmong and Drew is Polish/German they enjoy sharing their cultures through tradition with their children and she said it is so special to be able to pass those traditions down to their children.
Reason number one I may stop by their home around dinner time some evening hoping they’ll take me in, apparently Drew is quite the chef and baker. Christine loves when he makes a broccoli bake or casserole and sometimes he even surprises them with chocolate cake. Think she’ll share him?? Or can I hire him to teach Troy how this all works, this Mama is tired of living in the kitchen here. When Christine cooks it’s usually a home-cooked hot noodle dish like pho or a curry soup, and when going out they love one of our hometown favorites as well, Plia’s Kitchen. I love these two! You can tell how much they love being with each other and their little ones with their emphasis on home-cooked meals and time spent with their whole family. She went on to say, “We can’t live without our kids! They’re both a piece of us that we can’t be without!”
With a couple and story so special my job capturing them in love, and enjoying each other was of utmost importance. Although it was a styled shoot that was originally my ideas on a Pinterest board, looking through these images I can feel their story unfold before me and the raw beauty of a true relationship. We were blessed and beyond grateful for our talented vendor friends who helped create this elegant beach Elopement in Kewaunee that ended up turning into a Vow Renewal for Christine & Drew. In addition to successfully putting this shoot together, Christine says these images helped her beautiful and like it was their second Wedding. We were both pretty emotional throughout the whole journey of this shoot throughout months of planning every detail that brought us so much closer together and as one of my closest friends I’m so grateful we were able to share this time together.
Vendors who made this day reality while keeping our sanity and achieving a gorgeous set of prints that Christine & Drew can pass on to their babies.
PHOTOGRAPHY TEAM // Danielle & Troy Helgeson | The Helgesons
MAKEUP ARTIST // Patricia Dufek | A Mint Wedding / Mint Salon
HAIR STYLIST // Brittany Hanson | Salon 325
FLORIST // Hanna & Patty Mott | Ebb & Flow Flowers
STATIONARY // Danielle Helgeson
CHARCUTERIE BOARD STYLING & RENTAL FURNITURE // Gary Simms
VENUE // Kewaunee City Park Beach & Kewaunee Marina
GETTING READY VENUE // The Bastique Villa – Private Residence
BRIDAL GOWN // Lulu’s | RING // Vintage
SUIT // Men’s Warehouse | TIE CLIP // Vintage
Behind the Scenes of Christine & Drew’s Beach Elopement in Kewaunee
For more behind the scenes check out the highlights section of our Instagram.
View Christine & Drew’s little family that we had the opportunity to photograph.