Meet Russ and Anastasia. My dear friends from my college years!
Their story started at the University of Michigan grad student mixer. Anastasia was dancing with a guy, who she felt was a bit pushy. After a few dances, she retreated back to the medical students on the couch and ended up sitting next to Russ. They talked for hours on that couch about their shared (and sheepish) love of the band Tool and her accidental run-in with the seedier side of Athenian nightlife. He ended up walking Anastasia back home and introduced her to the secrets of the undergrad campus, especially the 24/7 library that can be used for critically important bathroom breaks on the way home from the bars. Over the course of summer grilling and several long road trips their friendship grew into love. Russ’s patience and generosity astounded Anastasia, and his optimism and sincerity reflected the Midwestern attitude she come to love since moving from the East Coast; “I knew he was the one for me.”
After three years of dating, Russ and Anastasia embarked on the daunting couple’s match process, a three month tour of the country to interview at residency programs and decide on a city that would be perfect for both of them, as they took the next step in their medical careers. On the way to an interview in Iowa, they stopped at Ludington State Park. It was an overcast day in late October, so once the rain stopped they had the whole park to themselves. They wandered along the docks and island trails on Hamlin Lake, enjoying the quiet as the setting sun illuminated the autumn leaves and the heavy thunderclouds overhead. On a wooden bridge over the lake, Russ got down on one knee and asked Anastasia to continue being his partner in all the adventures to come.
Here is more from the couple themselves: “The rest of our interview season was a whirlwind of jet-setting, beer touring, and occasionally donning professional attire to explore potential residency interviews. We were especially lucky to be able to spend a week in the Pacific Northwest after our interviews in Portland. On one morning we met Lauren Ryan Photography at Rattlesnake Ledge outside of Seattle for a lovely day of hiking and photography. The photographs are beautiful, and the exceptional setting provides more than a lovely backdrop. Set atop a craggy peak before a sweep mountain vista, the photos serve as a commemoration of our adventures thus far and a promise of many more to come.”
“Russ made sure to discuss my preferences in engagement rings from very early on in our relationship so that he could have a sense of my taste without tipping his hand by asking too many questions right before the big moment. I told him from the get-go that I wanted to break the mold a bit with a non-diamond ring. I thought throwing a little color onto my hand would be fun, and I would just as soon avoid supporting a conglomerate like De Beers. Russ told me later that opening up so many options made the search more difficult, but he had fun exploring the wider world of gems. The ring he settled on is perfect! Designed by Konstanze at Nodeform Weddings, it’s a pear-shaped sapphire set flush to a silver-palladium band. The sapphire was chosen because it is one of the few naturally-occurring colored gems with the hardness to stand up to decades of wear, and its asymmetric setting gives it just enough eccentricity to stand out while maintaining a sleek, timeless aesthetic.”
Reviewed On 8/16/2016 Anastasia
love, love, love our engagement and wedding photos that Lauren took. We had so much fun during our photo shoots, and the candid shots that she chose to take were all particularly amazing. Obviously, the staged shots were all great too, and all the locations she picked out were amazing, with beautiful backgrounds and great lighting. I’m so so pleased with our galleries and I think I’ve looked through them both about a hundred times. She did such a great job of capturing our wedding day and all the excitement and emotions. Would definitely recommend her to others!