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Why We Love DeGroot Film Co.

In the world of wedding planning, the most gratifying part of being a destination wedding concierge is the opportunity we have to connect with so many amazing people from around the world with impressive talents. Weddings by Funjet’s office is located in Milwaukee, WI, right in the center of an area that is flooded with artistic talents by local photographers and videographers, including the lovely couple that own and operate DeGroot Film Co.

Meet Katie + Devin.

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We had the pleasure of meeting Katie and Devin early this year while working to create a traveling photographer package for our couples. Their eagerness to connect with couples on a deeper level to capture raw emotions on the wedding day attracted us to their work, and we have been working to grow and strengthen our partnership ever since! We highly recommend DeGroot Film Co. with privileged pricing and inclusions to Weddings by Funjet couples, and are even launching a Vow Renewal Contest starting this October with an exclusive photography and videography package included for the winning couple.

We sat down with the soon-to-be married couple themselves to get the 411 about who they are and why they do what they do, and mainly to boast about our newly found friends that we admire and adore.

Let’s start with the basics.

Q: How long have you been photographer(s) and Devin, a videographer?

KATIE: I went to school for photography and started shooting weddings in 2013, a year after I graduated. We are currently wrapping up our 5th wedding season. We both had a desire to film these special moments as well, which we started doing 2 years ago.

DEVIN: I started photography when Katie & I met in 2012. We decided to start weddings later that year and have been doing them ever since. We started offering video in 2015 after teaching ourselves.

Q: Fascinating! Where did you study?

KATIE: I went to Concordia University and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where I got a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography.

DEVIN: I studied business at UWM, as well as Colorado State.

Q: What do you love most about your craft?

KATIE: I think for me, the moment I feel the most in touch with what I’m doing for people is when I see and hear their reactions to these amazing moments that we’re able to capture so beautifully.

DEVIN: I enjoy being able to meet couples from all over the country and learning about their stories.

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Q: What inspired you to start your own business, as a couple?

KATIE: I was on the fence about what to do with my degree and it was actually Devin that convinced me to start weddings almost 6 years ago. Working together as a couple makes us feel even more comfortable in our connection to the couple we’re photographing or filming.

DEVIN: It was Katie’s passion after graduating college, and I decided to help push her to take the jump.

Tell us all about your love story and proposal. We like the gushy details.

KATIE: Devin and I met on Match.com. He asked me out for my birthday, just one day before my actual birthday. He had the waitress sing Happy Birthday to me at the end of dinner with him. We spent the night talking for hours on the pier in front of Discovery World and the next night he came to my birthday dinner and met my entire family! He asked me to be his girlfriend on the car ride home that night and the following day I left for Puerto Rico for 10 days. The proposal was a long time coming. 😉 Devin proposed under a waterfall in Big Sur, California last August after we had been together for 4.5 years. Despite me always thinking about getting engaged, I was completely caught off guard and can’t even remember anything he said to me in that moment! It was magical!

DEVIN: As far as our proposal goes, I knew Katie wanted that moment to be photographed. We were heading out to California for a trip to the Pebble Beach Concours, which Katie gifted me for our anniversary. She had no idea I was planning to propose on the trip. We were staying with our friends who are also photographers that we normally do shoot swaps with when we’re in California. We planned another shoot swap a couple of days after we arrived. When Katie was in the shower, I told our friends that I was going to pop the question and asked them to photograph it. As it turns out, it almost didn’t happen because of the large Soberanes wild fire that was going on at the time, which had most of the parks shut down. Luckily, we kept on driving and stumbled upon another park with a waterfall. We hiked up to the waterfall and stood on a rock in the middle and I got down on one knee and asked Katie to be my wife.

Q: How romantic! When and where is your wedding?

KATIE: We’re planning a mountain wedding in Colorado in July of 2018! The mountains mean more to us then either of us can really put into words, so it just feels like the best place to say our vows.

DEVIN: What she said!

Q: What is one important lesson/takeaway you’ve learned from planning your own wedding as the bride and groom, and not a vendor assisting in the planning process?

KATIE: I think one thing we’ve realized when planning is that it’s a lot harder than we thought to find the perfect venue that we had imagined. We’ve also realized how tough it can be to make decisions and commit to them, as well as how easy it is to get carried away in the stress of planning. We envision our wedding to be very intimate and relaxed. Weddings go by so quickly and we just want to be fully present for the whole weekend with our closest loved ones.

DEVIN: I’ve realized that it’s a lot harder to make decisions than I had anticipated. Even things like putting together a guest list come with a lot of hard choices.

Q: What is one piece of advice you can give couples on their wedding day, before the important moments are captured?

KATIE: The most important thing I want all of our couples to remember is to just breathe, relax and be present. Let the emotions happen. Let us capture them. Be comfortable with us being there and capturing them. That’s where the best images will come from.

DEVIN: The best thing I think you can do is have an unplugged wedding. Tell your guests to put their phones away and to be present. Picture yourself walking down the aisle with layers of cell phones on both sides. You’ll never get those moments back.

Take us behind the scenes.

Q: What is your favorite moment of the wedding day, as seen behind the lens?

KATIE: Every wedding is different but the one thing I always love most is when couples write their own vows. Witnessing that emotion is unlike anything else.

DEVIN: I enjoy the time we spend with just the couple, we get to pull them away and capture their love on a deeper level.

Q: Do you have a favorite experience as a photographer/videographer you would like to share with our couples?

KATIE: For me, I would have to say the best experiences I can recall are the weddings that are filled with so much compassion throughout both families where we feel as if we are a part of the family ourselves. Another experience that will never get old is when we are able to capture surprise proposals.

DEVIN: We had a couple hire us from across the country to capture their Big Sur wedding. The day was absolute perfection and to this day we continue to stay in touch with them and meet up with them for dinner whenever we’re all in the same state. Those are the kind of relationships we cherish.

Q: What makes you feel the most alive in your art?

KATIE: I feel the most alive when I’m in an epic location with Devin, capturing a couple madly in love who aren’t afraid to show it. Add some wind in her hair and some real emotions in the embrace and that right there is such a high for me.

DEVIN: The thing that makes me the most excited about shooting, is when we are able to capture small and intimate elopements – especially in an amazing location. We love connecting with our couples on a deep level and there’s nothing deeper than being the only other people there witnessing their vows.

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Q: What is your favorite place you have been internationally, and why?

KATIE: I guess it’s not international since it’s a US territory, but the trip I took with Concordia to Puerto Rico was incredible. We toured the island learning so much and experiencing so many incredible adventures like zip-lining in the rain forest and kayaking through the mangroves at night in the bioluminescent bay.

DEVIN: Unfortunately, I’ve actually only ever been to Mexico. So naturally, that would have to be my favorite!

Camp Dewan – Short Film from Katie + Devin on Vimeo.

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Are you working with Weddings by Funjet and interested in hiring Katie + Devin for your destination wedding or vow renewal? Request more information here.

This post was written by Weddings by Funjet

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