MORGAN + CHASE'S WEDDING IN CONWAY, ARKANSAS

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I wish all the happiness in the world to Morgan & Chase! It has been so much fun getting to know this awesome couple over the past year, we bonded over coffee, favorite movies, music, & a rainy hike out at Petit Jean Mountain for their lovely engagement photos. And though, like every wedding, there were challenges along the way when the wedding day finally came it was so full of joy and love.

Morgan really wanted a non-traditional wedding dress (her first choice was black, I love it!) but, this blush pink gown couldn’t have been more perfect. While her bridal party was helping her into her dress, the theme from Beauty & the Beast started playing and everyone just lost it!

Her unique bridal bouquet was created with vintage brooches passed down from the women in her family. I love how she incorporated sentimental & vintage touches into her look while still keeping it elegant and timeless.

Their wedding reception welcome table featured custom signs (pet nicknames also represented!) and a really cute timeline of their love story

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Although Morgan eventually decided on the blush wedding gown instead of black, she still incorporated black lace in her table decor, wedding cake, and her bridal party’s dresses. Seriously, the flower girls were feeling so chic in their black lace & tulle.

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Whether it’s just the couple & me or the whole world is watching, the First Looks are always incredibly special and emotional. Upon seeing Chase’s stunned reaction, Morgan said, “that’s the picture every bride wants” and “my face hurt from smiling so much!” I’m sure many brides can relate!

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Happily ever after indeed, this is fairytale stuff here, ya’ll! This was my first time photographing a wedding at St. Joseph’s Church in Conway, AR and I was so struck by this place! The pastel blues, golds, and reds of this ornate church ceiling were such a beautiful background for this moving wedding ceremony.

Chase & Morgan’s guestbook was a memory frame filled with little wooden hearts signed by their guests. There were lots of natural wood & DIY type details included in their decor. They are both nature lovers & Chase even handmade a ring box for his bride to be with wood he gathered from one of their hikes (awww) so it was a perfect fit for their style & story.

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That “I just married my best friend” victory dance! A confident ring bearer taking his job just the right amount of serious. Throughout the day the couple shared a few special gifts with each other but, also with their best friends & family. The guys are showing off their new sunglasses below.

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It was such an honor to be your wedding photographer, Congratulations, Chase & Morgan!

HALEIGH'S BRIDAL SESSION AT ALDA'S MAGNOLIA HILL

Haleigh & Clayton were married last month so, I can now share her lovely bridal session! Haleigh’s wedding style is a little classic vintage & a little country chic, with lots of personalized details. She chose Alda’s Magnolia Hill in Little Rock for her session, maybe cue the SNL Stefon voice but, this place has everything - horses, vintage cars, and even a cute little pond with a rowboat! We had so much fun just checking out all the pretty little nooks on the property, petting the pretty horses, & capturing these beautiful portraits.

 
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EMMY + AMANDA'S ENGAGEMENT SESSION AT TWO RIVERS PARK AND DOWNTOWN LITTLE ROCK

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It was a gorgeous day for Emmy & Amanda's engagement session! We started early at Two Rivers Park to beat the heat. Amanda & Emmy were right at home as they love to go running together & hang out with their dogs. They left their pups at home for this session, but, the park had quite a few cute puppies to distract us in between poses. 

After Two Rivers Park, we headed downtown to Kilwin's, one of their favorite ice cream spots, and for a stroll around the River Market. I love when engagement sessions incorporate the couple's favorite places, it makes the session that much more fun & memorable. Congratulations & all the happiness in the world to these two! 

 
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Travelogue: Colorado, Spring 2018

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

Last month I had the awesome opportunity to spend some time in Colorado with my bestie (who is a fabulous photographer herself). I thought I'd share a few photos of our adventures!  

A day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park was a great way to kick off my visit -catching up while we drive through winding roads into the mountains, learning that those spike-y shoe things are called crampons, and seeing wild elk right next to the side of the road! 

The crampons were definitely needed as we traversed 4 foot high snow drifts to this frozen lake. As we walked up, we saw a couple getting engaged! What a beautiful spot for a proposal! Of course we dropped everything to document this beautiful moment for them! Love is everywhere you go. 

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so, so cold and windy!

so, so cold and windy!

Congratulations on your enagement!

Congratulations on your enagement!

Pro tip from my Cara, If you do come upon wild elk, stay in the car, you don't wanna tangle with them! 

Pro tip from my Cara, If you do come upon wild elk, stay in the car, you don't wanna tangle with them! 

After visiting the park, we sorely needed a warm up (this Arkansan wasn't quite ready for the cold!). I am a huge horror movie fan so visiting the Stanley Hotel (where The Shining was filmed) was on my bucket list! I was not disappointed. The overcast day just upped the creep factor! 

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Two things I might take on any trip -my camera and my ukulele! :) I also love checking out local hangouts & eateries. We had some great veggie burritos at the Jamestown Mercantile Cafe. Also pictured is the Blue Mustang outside of the Denver International Airport. Fun/weird fact, it has glowing red eyes & has been nicknamed Blucifer! 

Next it's time to head to the beach at the Boulder Reservoir for a sunset maternity session. We made a few new furry friends along the way. 

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That's all for now! I'll be returning in the summer to attend Cara's wedding (I'm so excited! It'll be weird not hauling around pounds of camera gear, ha!). I can't wait!

CARRIE & MIKE :: BOBROOK FARMS :: FALL ENGAGEMENT SESSION

Bobrook Farms was the perfect setting for Carrie & Mike's sweet & bookish engagement session! They'll be tying the knot here next November. Bobrook Farms features a pumpkin and berry patch, wedding venue, and winery. The yellow muscadine vines made a beautiful backdrop! It was a lovely afternoon filled with laughter, golden light, and a little bit of romance. 

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I love the red cover & copper embossing they chose to personalize their session book. (And the title is so cute and perfect!) Congratulations on your engagement, Carrie & Mike!


 
 

FEATURED PRODUCT :: MAPLE WOOD BOX W/ PRINT BUNDLE

I am obsessed with these maple wood boxes!  Aren't they a beautiful way to store and display photos? I love that you can customize them with a simple engraving or even an image from your session to truly make it your own.

A wedding date detail shot was used to customize this box lid of a Fall engagement session at Faulkner Lake Orchard.

Another option is to have 30-50 loose prints from your session included or 10 mounted prints for a polished & sturdy finish. 

I think these are perfect for engagements, weddings, family sessions & kids portraits! 

 

Guest Post: Stephanie from Made by Matthews

Hello all, I hope everybody is enjoying the holiday season! Maybe  you were gifted with a shiny new ring (woo hoo, congrats!) and are already thinking about planning the Big Day. No judgement on that, planning can be exciting but, it can be super stressful, too. My experience in weddings has taught me the better prepared you are beforehand the smoother the day will go. 

Awesome wedding planner and all around nice gal Stephanie Matthews was kind enough to share some of her experience with planning & how to best enjoy your wedding day. *Blatant plug here* -she offers different levels of wedding planning to fit the bride who only wants day of coordination to the  bride who needs help through the whole process. Pretty cool.

 

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"Months and months, if not years, of planning go into a wedding day. For that reason alone, I think the couple should enjoy their day and not have to worry about the moving parts that make it all come together. I’ve learned that the couples who have the most fun on their wedding day are those who spend the least amount of time working on the wedding that day.

 

Some couples need a wedding planner to help them from the beginning—to figure out all the details and assist them throughout the entire process. Some couples choose to plan the wedding themselves. Regardless, it’s important to think practically about what happens on the day itself. Who is responsible for all of your plans coming together?

Before I was a wedding planner, I planned my own wedding. I’m type-A and organized, so I didn’t think I needed help. Then, our wedding day rolls around, and I am at the reception venue early in the morning arranging uplights and delivering the flowers and cake that I made (yes, I made my wedding cake and don’t recommend taking that on!). I also stayed up all hours of the night for about five days leading up to the wedding to complete all these projects and then some. I should have been soaking in the excitement and spending time with family and friends, but I took on too many responsibilities, which left me feeling overwhelmed and crunched for time. All of that could have been avoided if I had relinquished control and prioritized and budgeted for a wedding coordinator.

My heart hurts for couples that feel increasingly overwhelmed as the wedding day approaches because they have taken on too many responsibilities. Yes, you are capable of handling them. But, you have to ask yourself, “Do I want to be responsible for these things on my wedding day?”

Here’s the truth about weddings, big or small—something will go wrong, even with the best laid plans. Who is going to troubleshoot and problem solve on your wedding day? Unless you have hired someone, it is most likely going to be your mom, your sibling, your best friend, or you. If someone else is not responsible for being “on call” on your wedding day, people will call you when a problem arises.

On a wedding I coordinated, the cake was delivered and left in front of a window for too long on a hot day. Not long after I arrived, the icing on the top tier of the cake began to pull away from the cake and slide off like an avalanche in slow motion. The cake was delivered from a bakery two hours away, so I could not get the staff back to the venue before the reception. I was able to work with catering staff, who were at the venue and had the proper tools, to smooth some icing back on the top tier and decorate it with flowers so that the missing icing would hardly be obvious. Was it perfect? No. Did the bride or groom ever notice? If they did, they never told me.

What I’ve learned from being a wedding planner is that brides and grooms are emotionally attached to wedding details. It’s personal for them. Wedding planners are a step removed. Of course I care about my clients and want them to have the wedding day they’ve dreamed of, but when there is a hiccup, I start thinking about logistics and plan “B.” I’m not reacting emotionally to the situation. I can’t imagine the pressure my bride would have felt if she would have been responsible for figuring out how to fix the messed up cake herself.

To enjoy your wedding day not only does someone need to be “on call” for you, but also the wedding day has to stay on track, in terms of timing. Timing is one of the most important factors to a successful wedding day. Working with a professional planner to create a timeline for your wedding day is so important. You, your family, and your bridal party will know exactly where they have to be and when. So will all of the vendors you’ve hired. This timeline ensures that you have enough time for photos, that you’ve factored in transportation time from the ceremony space to the reception, and that the DJ knows when the first dance song will happen, for example.

Even more critical than having a timeline is having someone to implement it. Time is money. If you’re off-schedule the whole day, will your photographer have to stay an extra hour to take those must-have photos you want? If your ceremony starts late and, because of the ripple effect, your reception starts late, it still has to end on time. Going over your allotted time at a venue often comes with hourly charges. A wedding coordinator is there to make sure the timeline is followed as closely as possible.

Whether you are someone who wants complete control over your wedding or not, I encourage you to give over that control on your wedding day. It’s okay to “do it yourself” and watch the plans come together as your wedding approaches, but allow yourself the joy of being fully present on your wedding day for all of the things that truly matter—the time with your family and friends, the first time you see your fiancé, eating, celebrating, and dancing night away. Let a professional handle the rest."

Rachel & Dylan's Wedding at the Promenade

I loved shooting Rachel & Dylan's wedding. It was pretty fun to see their two very different styles meld together for a unique wedding that was elegant & nerdy all at the same time. Rachel brought in soft, feminine details with ballet pinks & a gorgeous tea length wedding gown. Dylan brought fun details such as Marvel superhero cufflinks and a reception full of Star Wars references, including a surprise slideshow created by yours truly with a custom Star Wars style opening crawl just like in the movies! Wishing ya'll the best as you embark on your next epic adventure!