November 20, 2010 is when we stood before our family members and friends & vowed to be true to one another forever. Four years have passed. So much has happened. Our first big event as husband & wife was our honeymoon in Montego Bay, Jamaica. After our wedding reception at The Links at Firestone Farms and walking together hand in hand through the gauntlet of dwindling sparklers held by our favorite people, we drove just down the road to the Dutch Village Inn. I remember my tulle ball gown barely fitting in Josh’s rusty Ford Focus; it poofed out all around me as he opened and shut the passenger side door for me. I am not exaggerating even a bit when I say that I could NOT stop smiling for the entire ride to the hotel. The day had been so joyful. I was giddy that I could call Joshua my husband & that I knew we’d be together through everything from then on. 856602_10101344466225934_720859828_o

We were only at the hotel for three hours before we excitedly drove to the airport to jet off to Jamaica. Unbelievably enough, it was the first flight for both of us! We were both like energetic, ecstatic little kids!

janddbeachJamaica was paradise, beyond beautiful, and the perfect way to celebrate our new marriage! Josh did have food poisoning for a couple of days, sadly, but we still got to kayak, travel to and climb Dunn’s River Falls, snorkel, swim, relax on the beach, compete in a funny newlywed game, and simply enjoy being together in a lovely place!

Throughout the past four years, there have been plenty of other highlights in our marriage.

In 2011, just five months after our wedding, we started our photography business together. We were both still working our full-time jobs. All of the money that we earned from the business (and some from our full-time jobs) went straight back into the business. We often worked 10 hour days at our respective offices simply to come home and work determinedly at building a business that we could call our own. At times, it was stressful. We were tired. We often lost faith in ourselves and had lots of doubts. But we stuck through it together because we had a passion for what we were doing & we trusted that we’d end up where God wanted us. Now we both exclusively work for Menning Photographic & couldn’t be happier!

JDM_3180In 2012, we bought our home. We’re both country kids at heart. We both grew up running through cornfields, breathless and scratched from head to toe, spent countless hours climbing trees, explored through the woods with friends, and generally made our own amusement in the great outdoors. (Not together because we didn’t know each other yet, but our childhoods were very similar). We’ve always felt freest and most at home surrounded by fields, wide open spaces, and nature. We moved into our home in the country in July 2012 & started a new chapter in our married lives.newhouseOur travel adventures during marriage have been so much fun! We love exploring together and experiencing new cultures and areas of the world!

We loved Munich, Germany! (You can read about those adventures HERE).

Eurotrip_00We shared lots of laughs, fun, and seafood at the Outer Banks.OBX_0001Our gondola ride in Venice, Italy:

Euro_0002We traveled to St. Pete Beach, Florida with all of my mom’s side of the family- aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. Here’s my parents, sisters, bro-in-law, niece, and nephew (in my sister’s belly)-

FAMatStPeteSee also: this photo because it’s awesome! I love my family!
315376_10100982366671344_1177569364_nWe enjoyed awesome weather and lots of fun with my friend Kristin during our trip to Buffalo & Niagara Falls!

Buffalo-NF_0012

We’ve gone to Boston a few times to visit my wonderful sister, Lisa.  She entitled this photo: Menning Photographic in Action.:)
MPinBostonAnd we’ve gotten to travel to Georgia a few times to enjoy CONNECT Retreat & visit our friends Jeremy & Cynthia. (Here’s our small group at CONNECT; love you all! Photo creds: Katelyn James).
View More: http://studioelle.pass.us/connect2014Between traveling, remodeling our home, hanging out with family, welcoming another pug into our family, meeting new people, photographing weddings, expecting our first baby, and all of the other highlights that you all see on our blog and on social media, it may seem like we have it all together and that nothing ever goes wrong. That’s the thing about social media; you’ve witnessed the highlight reel of our marriage. Sure, we occasionally share funny anecdotes about little mishaps or silly happenings in our lives, but we don’t share the tough stuff. The private matters that bring us into one another’s arms with such force because we wouldn’t be able to stand on our own, the puffy, bloodshot eyes, the tear stained cheeks that we wipe away for one another, the disappointments, the heartache, the nagging self-doubt, the unimaginable losses that can never be replaced or forgotten. . . these are all interwoven with the happy snapshots you see above. . . these moments are as much a part of these past four years as all of the highlights that we happily share. Getting through the happy and the sad alike TOGETHER makes us stronger. It makes our marriage more unshakeable. It inextricably intertwines us into one life rather than the two lives we led prior to our marriage. Yes, we’ve been through so much in these four years of marriage; some incredibly happy times & some unbelievably sad times, but we’ve always clung to one another, helped one another, encouraged one another, and stood by one another. . . through it all. That’s the beauty of marriage- it doesn’t just celebrate the highlight reel; it celebrates the entirety of life and allows us to share the joy and the sorrow, always knowing that someone is there through everything.

DJMenning_W_0272[Photo credit: Inlux Photo]

Happy fourth anniversary, Joshua! I love you.

Today is Danielle’s birthday! Woohoo! She is also 26 weeks pregnant and looks absolutely radiant! I (Josh) just wanted to write a short blog telling you hope extremely awesome she is.

There’s something about the way she looks at me with her honey-green eyes that steals my heart with each glance. Her smile brightens up a room and surely makes me greatly happy that she is my wife.

She is very selfless, dependable, and passionate about life. She remembers the fine details in others and even sends out birthday cards to her family members and friends. I’m not sure how many people our age still do that.

Her commitment to exercising and trying to remain healthy is very admirable. She has helped so many people reach their fitness goals and climb higher than ever before. Her faith has inspired me to be a better each day and strive to be the best person I can be.

I CANNOT wait until I see her as a mother!!! She is very nurturing and caring towards our nieces and nephews (and our pugs) even though she doesn’t admit it. I can’t wait until the day she will be holding our baby and I get to experience that new chapter in our lives! Danielle, you mean the world to me and love more each and every day!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Dani

  • November 18, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    Susan Liberatore - Happy Birthday pretty lady. Hope you are enjoying your pregnancy. There really is nothing like it in the world. Cassie and Byron’s pictures are beautiful. You two do an awesome job. Thank you and best wishes.ReplyCancel

Kylie & Nome’s Cleveland engagement session was really fun because they are SO goofy, funny, and natural together. One of my favorite things about engagement sessions is this: the couples who tell us at the beginning of the session, “Please make sure we don’t look awkward” are the couples who are extremely natural together & don’t look one single bit awkward! It’s like that every single time! And my best advice to couples posing for engagement photos or wedding photos is this: choose a photographer whose style you love, trust them, and just HAVE FUN & be yourselves during the photo session. . . the photos will be special because they’ll reflect who you are as a couple in that amazing time in your lives.

We started off Kylie & Nome’s engagement session at Wade Park. There’s still some color in the trees there & the wind was only a bit chilly.
Stunning Bride-to-Be!These two share a similar sense of humor & are full of funnies. Anyone who hangs out with them gets an ab workout from laughing!This one belongs on their wall . . . for sure! I’m full of advice today apparently: don’t let your photos rot in digital purgatory! Print them! Hang them! Display them! Smile as you walk past them in your home!:)We stopped by the Cleveland Museum of Art.Then we went to one of Nome’s favorite places- First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns. And I just have to say it- the FIRST PLACE in their division Cleveland Browns!:)Kylie & Nome made East 4th look good!
Twinkly lights in photos are pretty much always a win.These two have come a long way since the days long ago when they met at the Salem Community Center (where Kylie worked). Nome liked to watch her booty when she carried out heavy bags of trash! That little detail is hilarious so I couldn’t leave it out of the blog.:)Since they knew each other before they started dating, they skipped any awkward phases there might have been & just went straight to having a ton of fun together. And we know their wedding day will be an absolute blast! These two are full of so much happiness & we’re so glad we get to photograph their wedding day next year! 

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These two are a special couple. Keri & Shawn are high school sweethearts who love being goofy together, having tons of fun, and being there for each other no matter what. We had fun with them, although their session was pretty chilly! We even had some snowflakes, which made for some pretty photos. Mill Creek Park nevers lets us down for engagement photos & we’re so glad we have it so close to home.
I loved their interactions together; it’s easy to see that they’re really fun & relaxed around each other- it’s one of those “We’ve known each other for practically forever” feelings that just makes you feel right at home with another person.There was an outfit change (Keri said, “Thank goodness. . . my legs were numb in that dress!”) and then the snow came!Snow mixed with a few scattered Fall colors & the few roses that are still clinging to life in the Rose Garden:When we first met with Keri & Shawn many months ago to talk about their wedding day, Shawn had longer hair and a full beard so Josh & I were surprised to see his face:)when we arrived for the engagement session.They’re so sweet & I love the composition of this shot. Good job, Josh! We headed down to the Silver Bridge, which allowed us a little time in the car to warm up.Shawn said he’s smitten.Oh I have to share their proposal story! Keri was away at college & not feeling well, but she had planned a trip home for the weekend so she decided to come home despite the icky feeling. Shawn was glad because he was planning to propose to her. They were driving around & Shawn pulled over to the side of the road and asked Keri to get out. She was sort of confused, but got out anyway. Shawn asked her to marry him in the middle of a field on the side of the road. . . she definitely wasn’t expecting that & it was surely the highlight of her “sick at home” weekend.:)Now they’ll vow to love each other “for better, for worse, in sickness, & in health” next year. How perfect.At the end of the session, I told them to just let their goofy selves shine through. They were a little chilly at that point & Shawn was really hungry for IHOP & this is what came out.:)We had a fun engagement session with you, Keri & Shawn! Your wedding day will be here before you know it!

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I get to share a fun wedding with you today! Lauren & Evan are just downright adorable together. They’re always full of smiles & their smiles are infectious! Their wedding and reception were both at The Corinthian in Sharon, and the Fall decorations, homemade caramel apples for each guest, and the amazing band made for one FUN celebration full of love & happiness! I started off the day with Lauren & her bridesmaids at Styling One for hair & makeup.
So gorgeous, Lauren! No wonder Evan teared up when you walked toward him down the aisle! See what I mean about the infectious smiles?! Just wait until it’s BOTH Lauren AND Evan in one photo. . . you won’t be able to stop smiling!:)Josh was with Evan & the groomsmen at the best man’s house.The Corinthian has a lot of character inside. Here’s Evan’s reaction to seeing Lauren walk down the aisle:The ceremony was sweet & full of laughter. I’m sure their marriage will be the same way.We traveled around in Sharon for some bride & groom portraits, but not too far. We stayed in about a block radius of the venue. It didn’t really matter where we were because the focus was on these two & how in love they are. As long as we find good light, we’re golden! :) This is definitely one of my favorites.Pause for vendor shout outs: her dress is from Henri’s Cloud Nine & her flowers were done by Green’s Floral Shop.Clarencedale Cake made their wedding cake.The two happiest people on the planet that day: They danced to “At Last.” Their band was really great & helped everyone have a great evening. They’re called The Chozen Few. We’d definitely recommend them!This little guy was such a ham! He was the ringbearer and also quite the singer. Everyone got a kick out of his cuteness.This was pretty entertaining. One of the singers for the band got the groom to show his moves down through the gauntlet. The bride had to show some, too!Everyone enjoyed themselves on the dance floor the entire reception.
We had a fabulous day with you, Lauren & Evan! Congratulations again! We wish you two the very best!

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