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Connect Retreat 2014

April 11, 2014

If you’ve been following me for at least a year, you might recall my blog post about the 2013 Connect Marriage Retreat where I wrote about the retreat itself and the retreat center, Winshape. If I thought I could tell you much more than I did last year, I would write about all of that once again. The only thing I can say about the retreat itself was that it was TEN TIMES better than last year.


{Our small group from last year, taken this year by the lovely Katelyn James with Suzanne‘s camera. LOVE this group SOOOO much!}

Neil and I feel this way because 15 out of the 40 couples from last year returned this year, several to which we grew really close. Also, the speakers were even more amazing, even though they were the same speakers we had last year! This year we had more free time throughout the week, built into our daily schedule, but Neil and I, along with 6 other couples, chose to stay an extra 24 hours and that made all the difference! During that extra day, we hiked, rode bikes, and stayed up late just chatting the night away with the other couples. It was the most fun we’ve had in a while! And, last but not least: Our small group was exactly what we needed this year AND it was led by Michael & Katelyn Alsop, so, yea. Enough said 😉


{Our lovely small group from this year, thanks for sharing Amy!!!}


{The Old Mill, Berry College, Mt. Berry, Georgia}

There are so many things that make the Connect Retreat different from any other marriage retreat in the world, and one of those things was the date night portrait sessions that went on all around the retreat center that Wednesday night after dinner, during the golden hour before sunset. Would you expect anything less from 40 photographer couples? Nope! Somehow the retreat center was even more beautiful this year so you know we couldn’t pass it up!

The cherry blossom trees in the back of the retreat center were blooming in all sorts of gorgeousness so Neil, myself, and three other couples hiked up the hill in our dresses and suits and started snapping away. Jenna & Eric, who rode with us to Georgia, went first… Gosh if we could love this couple any more I think we’d be moving up to Wisconsin!


Jenna had a special surprise for me when they met us at my parents’ lake house the night before we left for the retreat… she’s pregnant! Expecting their second child and I couldn’t more excited for them! Check out her TINY little baby bump!


Next up was Kelsey & Craig… seriously, they cannot be any cuter!! And how cool is it that they live in a hour from us?? We’ve made non specific plans to hang out a lot 😉




Oh my goodness, the deliciousness of sun flare!


The last couple I photographed happened to be the instigator of the date night mini sessions this year, Carol & Allen. They are both so amazing at what they do PLUS they homeschool their children so Neil and I drilled them with interest 😉


I just love how Allen makes Carol laugh!!


I handed my camera off to Craig and he took a few shots of me and Neil before the sun started setting. I love these images more than any of images I have of us. Thank you so much Craig!!!


I just love how the focus is on Neil… while I move around like a crazy person 😀


Outtake time! Eric & Neil are definitely buddies… they are the same in so many ways!


The men made the magic happen with the cherry blossoms falling all over us during the portraits… thanks guys! Part of me thinks that they just wanted an excuse to climb trees!


Until next year!


  1. Jenna Beach says:

    Oh my gosh I love this whole blog post! It made us giggle and miss everyone so much. Love you guys.

  2. Kelsey Hodge says:

    I love it! Thanks again for taking our pictures 🙂 You two are so great and I’m so glad God put us together in small group this year!! And YES we definitely have to get together sometime soon! 😀

  3. Jenna says:

    omg, you and neil are like perfect models. what a gorgeous couple! those photos are fantastic.