chantal stone photography: the blog

December 16, 2007

The Nominee’s Are In!!

Filed under: contests/competitions,Photography,Weddings & Engagements — chantal @ 7:30 am

Having to narrow down all of the incredible entries to only 3 was a very difficult task. But below are the nominees for my FREE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY contest. The winning couple will receive the following Wedding Photography Package:

  • Engagement photo shoot
  • one free digital negative for Wedding/newspaper announcement
  • up to 6 hours of Wedding day coverage
  • online proofing galleries with Pictage ( for both the Engagement session and Wedding photos
  • $100 discount on a flush-mount, coffee table style Wedding Book!

Honestly, I love all of these couples and they all deserve to have the Wedding of their dreams. I love what I do so much that if it were financially feasible I would totally do it all for free! But only one lucky couple can win, so read their stories, welcome them into your hearts, and consider carefully….and don’t forget to vote!!

Melissa & Steven, June 21, 2008:


My name is Melissa Sale and my Fiancés name is Steven Edell. We first met in Chemistry class at OSU (2004), when he asked me to help him study for our final. We struck up a friendship and decided to start dating in Jan. 2005. Steve’s in the Army Reserves, and we found out in March ’06 that he was called up to serve overseas in Iraq for 18 months. He works as a License Practical Nurse in Iraq saving lives. We were in nursing school set to graduate together with our Bachelors in Nursing. Our plan of graduating together and getting married was flipped upside down; we put all of our plans and dreams on hold for fear of what the future would hold. We had talked about marriage, knew we wanted that, but decided to wait until his return home to get engaged. Being the girl I am I could have married him the day before he left!

December 17, 2006, Steve arrived in Port Columbus airport for his two week break during the deployment. Channel 6 news was there for the event “To welcome a solider home for the holidays” so I thought; little did I know what he was planning. I saw him walking through security and ran and gave the biggest hug. He set me down and said he needed to give his mom a hug. “Of course” I said. He shook his Dad’s hand and gave his mom a hug and proceeded to walk back towards me and I was just excited to get to hug him again. He looked me in the eyes and said “Melissa, you know you are my best friend and you know I love you with all my heart”…and then I go deaf, start shaking/crying…….he’s down on one knee………and I said YES! Both of our families were there and all of our friends…everyone knew but me even the News crew! It was a wonderful surprise.

Those next two weeks flew by and he left for Iraq on Jan. 3, 2006. I have now not seen him since our engagement and he is set to return home in 8 days. I have never been more excited to fall back in love with the man of my dreams.

These last 16 mo. of our lives have taught us so much about dedication, love, caring, respect, and communication. Our relationship has grown deeper and stronger than I could have ever imagined. This has taught us about what truly is important in life and a strong relationship. Back in March of 2006 I wasn’t sure how we would make it. Not only did we make it but we’re a better couple because of it. This has been a rough year, I won’t lie, but I can’t wait to marry this man.

I’ve done most of the big planning without him but have left the details to do together. We are getting married June 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm, at The Four Seasons Columbus in Hilliard, OH. The expenses of having a wedding are outrageous and because of that I don’t have much money in my budget for photography. It would mean so much to capture this long awaited day with pictures. Please consider us as candidates for your Free Wedding Photography.

Thanks for your time.


Samantha & Michael, June 22, 2008:


My fiance, Michael, and I have a very unique, very blessed story. We met for the first time on February 1, 2007. That was the day that we both landed in Venice, Italy to study the Bible abroad. I have loved all things Italian and dreamed of living in Italy since I was little girl, so starting the three month semester there everything seemed so surreal. Italy and I hit it off instantly. The same can’t be said for Michael and I…

I don’t have much memory of Mike, for the first week of the semester (which is strange, because I remember EVERYTHING), but by the second week I knew that he was someone worth avoiding. It seemed his life’s goal was just to pick arguments and annoy
me, and to top it all off we were put in the same group for a major class project. Ugh! It seemed there was no escape!

Until one night, while a classmate and I were on a walk, we witnessed a small dog that we had just been playing with be run over
by a car. I was a mess and couldn’t get to sleep that night. So I decided to skip breakfast the next morning and asked if someone could save a piece of bread for me and bring it to class. The next morning I woke up “breakfast in bed”. Mike had put togther a little breakfast of warm bread and Nutella for me and sent it up to my dorm room with one of the girls. For the first time, I said to myself, “Wow, maybe he’s not such a bad guy.” And obviously things went uphill from there.

We spent three wonderful months together in Italy learning all about world missions and each other and traveling. Our first “date” was actually during a class trip to Rome, where we went to dinner with classmates and then took a late-night walk to see the Trevi Fountain. It was beautiful.

We are now very much in love and engaged to be married on Sunday, June 22, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio at the Grand Valleydale Ballroom, and we plan to move to Italy the following year to become church planters and work for the organization through which we met.

Things are difficult though. Mike is in LA, finishing his BA and working to save money for us to live on after the wedding. I am in Wisconsin working as a nanny, trying to pay off my debt from my semester in Italy and trying to save for the wedding. We only get to see each other about every three months, although we talk everyday, and we were just making ends meet. Until this week.

This week, I was in bad car accident. Although, miracloulsy I escaped with very minor injuries, my car was completely totaled and I have no means of replacing it except for the small amount that I have already saved for the wedding. I have to have a car to get to work, so that is our only option, cutting the already small wedding budget.

Winning this photography package would really bless us and lift my spirits, especially because we both agree that a photographer is our most important vendor to us, because years from now it will be all that we have from the wedding.

Thank you for your time and consideration!


Nikki & Craig, October 4th, 2008:


I believe my fiancé Craig and I deserve the free wedding photography for many reasons. First of all, we have known each other our entire lives. He lived up the street from me when we were very young. Craig showed his first interest in me when we were just in the second grade. He “asked me out”, but believing that boys still had the cooties I said, “no” to which he replied. “fine I didn’t really want to go out with you anyways!” We drifted apart as we went to different schools from 4th to 6th grade, but in the 7th grade we were again at the same school and inseparable from that day forward. We became best friends!

For my 15th birthday I received my first ring – a gold one with a heart and a diamond in the middle. Craig has been my first everything. We grew up together, he was my first best friend, my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first everything. That is why it just makes sense for us to have the free photography, because we have worked very hard our whole lives to get good grades and encourage each other through both good and bad times. We have never had anything given to us, we work very hard together sharing expenses and encouraging each other to succeed in school.

Right now I am in college and we will be paying for our own wedding with only limited [assistance]. We have never had a free ride for anything, but getting free photography could be yet another first for us as a couple and we would be eternally grateful!

We are getting married on October 4th, 2008 at Maple Ridge Lodge in Mt. Airy, Ohio.

Thank you!


To keep the suspense going, the results of your votes won’t be visible (I’m such a stinker!). And since WordPress was acting funky about embedding the poll into my blog, I linked to it below. I’m also adding a link to the poll in the sidebar so that all of your friends and family and they can easily vote too!!  Voting will end at 3:00 pm EST on December 31st, and then I will announce the winning couple.  Good Luck!




  1. I voted! My vote was for the couple who reminded me the most of Ryan and myself- not the best start, but ending up the best match 🙂 Chantal I think its wonderful that you are offering this- thank you for having such a huge heart! Thats what makes me love your photography all the more, I know the true love you have not just for the art but for your clients as well! Merry Christmas, and good luck to all the couples!

    Comment by jannypie — December 16, 2007 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

  2. Three amazing couples! They all deserve it! Can I really only vote once??? 🙂

    Comment by Heather — December 16, 2007 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  3. Congratulations on your engagement and upcoming wedding, and best of luck with the photography competition! I hope you win! My vote was for you two!

    Comment by Jami Levy — December 17, 2007 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  4. I vote for Nikki and Craig

    Comment by Deborah Lawson — December 17, 2007 @ 3:22 pm | Reply

  5. Three cute couples, but I vote for Nikki & Craig. 🙂

    Comment by Maryjoy — December 17, 2007 @ 3:31 pm | Reply

  6. Nikki and Craig couldnt be 2 more deserving people.


    Comment by Amanda — December 18, 2007 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  7. […] CONTEST!!! To read about the Final Nominees for my Free Wedding Photography Conest, cick HERE! To vote, click […]

    Pingback by Contest Update #2 « chantal stone photography: the blog — December 18, 2007 @ 9:41 am | Reply

  8. Go Nikki & Craig!!

    Comment by Beth — December 18, 2007 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  9. Wow! It looks like Nikki & Craig have quite a cheerleading section! I wonder if the actual results reflect this enthusiasm? Hmmm? No one knows but me 😛

    Where are the other couples’ cheering section?!?

    Comment by Chantal — December 18, 2007 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  10. Go Nikki and Craig!

    Comment by Angela — December 18, 2007 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  11. Nikki and Craig – they are so PHOTOGENIC!

    Comment by Jennifer Plattner — December 18, 2007 @ 11:17 am | Reply


    Comment by SCOTT — December 18, 2007 @ 11:18 am | Reply

  13. Craig and Nikki deserve it more than any of them! They have known eachother basically since birth! When you’re around them, you just feel the love that they have for eachother =]

    Comment by Angela — December 18, 2007 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  14. I voted Melissa and Steven!! I like their story the best!!

    Comment by Becky — December 18, 2007 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  15. Of course, I voted for Melissa & Steve! 🙂 Love, Mom

    Comment by Beth Sale — December 18, 2007 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

  16. Get it Melissa, what a sweet love story. Best of Luck. Love Karen

    Comment by Karen — December 18, 2007 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  17. Here is my guess

    cookies- Nikki and Craig

    Brownies- Samantha and Michael

    Cupcakes- Melissa and Steven


    Comment by Steven — December 18, 2007 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  18. My vote is for Nikki & Craig. A couple that has been together this long is destined to stay together and deserve all the help they can get.

    Comment by Maxine — December 19, 2007 @ 7:45 am | Reply

  19. Go Melissa and Steve!!! You guys deserve it 🙂

    Love your bestest Middle School friend,

    Comment by Bethany Sloan — December 19, 2007 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  20. Good luck Nikki and Craig!

    Comment by Jamie Osterday — December 19, 2007 @ 11:44 am | Reply

  21. Probabley 80% of the comments are for Niki and Craig. But, my vote still goes to Melissa and Steve. What a nice story Melissa has told & with Steve coming home from Iraq. Wow! How can you not vote for Melissa & her soldier man.

    Comment by Tony Russo — December 19, 2007 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  22. Because Nikki and Craig deserve it the most!!ave been together since birth!

    Comment by Angela — December 19, 2007 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  23. Three deserving couples, but my vote is for the childhood sweethearts!

    Comment by Connie — December 19, 2007 @ 3:56 pm | Reply

  24. Melissa & Steve all the way! My dad was a Navy Corpsman in WWII, so the fact that Steve is an LPN in Iraq just clinched the deal for me! Melissa is going to need all the help she can get, planning this wedding all by herself.

    It’s all about Melissa & Steve!

    Comment by Susie Squillions — December 19, 2007 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  25. Steve saved lives in Iraq and Melissa helps bring babies into this world safely. Um….nurses are the best people ever!

    Comment by Rachel Frick RN — December 20, 2007 @ 12:29 am | Reply


    Comment by deleted — December 20, 2007 @ 9:39 am | Reply

  27. I take offense to that last comment. This is not a place to criticize any other couple or there stories. So lets not go there.

    Comment by Steven — December 20, 2007 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  28. I agree and I deleted the comment…Let’s keep things friendly, folks. There’s nothing far-fetched about true love and all three of these beautiful couples deserve to win. This contest is about fun and giving a great couple the opportunity to have a fabulous wedding. I’m only doing my small part. Unfriendly comments are not welcome here.

    Comment by Chantal — December 20, 2007 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

  29. some think young marriages wont last. including me. but, with nikki and craig i dont believe that for one second. if your lucky enough to know them you feel the love and respect they have for each other.

    Comment by brigitte — December 21, 2007 @ 5:42 am | Reply

  30. My vote is definitely for Melissa and Steve. Building a strong loving relationship is hard but even harder when there is long distance in between. God bless you both and I wish you the very best.

    Comment by Your Old Neighbor - Theresa and Chris Buchanan — December 21, 2007 @ 9:01 am | Reply

  31. Good Luck Nikki and Craig, Nikki you have always been a sweetheart you deserve this!!

    Comment by Melissa Parrett (Eldridge) — December 21, 2007 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

  32. […] contests/competitions — Chantal @ 12:39 am Because I had to let you know that my contest has just reached it’s 10,000th […]

    Pingback by Why Am I Blogging At 12:35am? « chantal stone photography: the blog — December 23, 2007 @ 12:39 am | Reply

  33. I vote for Nikki and Craig. I think they will be together for many years to come and deserve to have the most beautiful pictures to look back on for their long future together

    Comment by linda setters — December 24, 2007 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  34. I vote for Nikki and Craig! They deserve and will appreciate this nice gift!

    Comment by Steph — December 27, 2007 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

  35. […] — Chantal @ 3:18 pm I am so excited to finally announce the winning couple for my Free Wedding Photography Contest!! After 12,656 votes, the final couple, The Cupcakes, managed to rake in 9,883 votes for […]

    Pingback by The Winner!!! « chantal stone photography: the blog — December 31, 2007 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

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