I haven’t posted on the blog in a long while. I went from virtually no work in 2020 to full-blown nonstop work in 2021. I am NOT complaining. I somewhat began to resent the business last year when it was taken from me without any control. Join the club, I know. It was a hard year for everyone. I stopped replying to emails the moment they came in, I stopped taking photographs of my children because I didn’t want to sit at the computer to edit them and become painfully aware that I had no work. It was really hard.
One week I saw a post in “Wisconsin Brides” on Facebook. I replied differently than my normal “www.errinhiltbrandphotography.com CONGRATULATIONS!” Instead I made mention of how my family was not local but we’d LOVE the opportunity to head that direction because my boys love the outdoors and riding ATVs and that area was full of great spots and it’s a COVID-friendly little getaway. To my surprise, they replied. It was going to be a small gathering of immediate family at Interstate Park, a place whose name lacks any romanticism but makes up for in awe-inspiring views. I’d never been there, but it doesn’t take long to google image the place to know it would be beautiful. They hired me and I booked a place on airbnb, a cute little cabin on a lake. It was going to be perfect. I had a small savings tucked away for a vacation in 2020 but realized that wasn’t going to happen—and then this weekend getaway came about and I was so excited! As it turns out, without knowing, I booked a place AT the reception area! They had rented a cabin (really nostalgic-looking cabin that I absolutely ADORED the moment I saw it) on a lake. So had we. When I was done with photographing their wedding, I walked probably 40 yards down a gravel drive around the lake to our cabin. We sat around our campfire and listened to the good tunes they played and the crickets singing and the lightening bugs floating on the breeze. Truly. It was wonderful. Little lights twinkled on the lake and I noticed small ripples from rain drops begin to distort them. We could still hear laughter around a campfire and see lightening in the sky so decided to head in. That’s when our night became legendary.
Eventually that storm blew in and was really fierce. When we headed inside, we started to teach our boys how to play euchre and within minutes, the lights went out. We lit a few candles and welcomed the owners who said they’d get us a generator – which we declined – and played by candlelight. My husband had some battery left on his phone so we we introduced the boys to CCR and Pearl Jam. What we didn’t realize that night was that in two months our son would be in a terrible accident that would break both legs and an ankle and put him in a wheelchair, external fixation, casts, and lots of pain for the following year to come. During the recovery process, euchre saved us. It was a way to pass the time. A way to do ANYTHING while you can’t walk or move like you’re used to. We were able to take his mind off the pain and being stuck in a wheelchair by fueling his competitive nature with cards. I’m not sure we would have ever started that tradition if not for Sarah and Jeffrey’s wedding at Big Rock Creek and I’ll truly never forget it or them.
As Covid goes—no one knew how others would receive a wedding—even intimate, and I was thinking they might have a big wedding when the time was right—so I held off posting these photographs. I’m truly thankful I can post them at all!
If you get a chance to explore Wisconsin, I can’t recommend Big Rock Creek enough. I’m sure they are booked solid with weddings and it was a fluke we were able to rent that cabin on a weekend, but it’s worth the look. Incredible place with a lot of charm and some really cool ATV trails nearby. I’m including some personal photographs too because I like looking back on the simpler days and it reminds me and maybe you, too, not to take life or health for granted and, as cliche as it sounds to type this, tell those you love that they mean the world to you. You just never know what tomorrow may bring.
Big Rock Creek: https://www.bigrockcreekwi.com