Album Sale

We are VERY excited to announce our first ever album sale!  All albums are 25% off, past and present couples are able to take advantage of this awesome deal.  Not only are they all 25% off, but we are adding 10 pages (5 spreads) to every order at no cost.  Very excited!  Pictures are meant to be printed.  We look at our wedding album constantly and I love it!

Last, and possibly most exciting, parent albums (duplicate 8×8 albums) are an additional 20% off!  They make such a perfect gift for parents – our parents LOVED theirs! My mom kept hers with her and showed our pictures off to everyone for weeks!

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***These are not our images, they were taken from our professional printer so you are able to get an idea of what these beautiful albums look like!

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Spring Break/Work Week

It’s my spring break and I couldn’t be more excited.  As a teacher, those months after Christmas Break are stressful!  The weather is getting warm, the kids are getting spring fever, testing is approaching, and you can feel the tension in the building.  I am so overjoyed to have some time away from my little ones – and the big stresses to unwind and regroup.  Michael and I spent the weekend in Duck, OBX and it was so nice to have a couple of days to sit on the beach, curl up on the couch to catch up on our shows, and treat ourselves.  But now Michael is off at work and I am going to turn this part of spring break into a productive work week.  So many things get pushed aside during busy school months, so I am playing catch-up. Here is the to-do list…

Personal:

  • Do a deep clean of the house!
  • Plan out meals – and try making some freezer meals (anyone know some good recipes?)
  • Plan Easter weekend
  • Go visit two of my very best friends!
  • Finish painting the door
  • Organize our office
  • Do all the laundry and get everything put away (clean out the closet while you’re at it)
  • Keep up with the Explicit Gospel study & personal devotionals
  • Finish our honeymoon album.. it’s so close!
  • Buy a new fan for Michael to install
  • Update frames in the house with new prints!

Business:

  • Create a blogging calendar (at least twice a week)
  • Set up portrait dates
  • Send the last of our client gifts for this summer’s weddings!
  • Try out setting up a PASS gallery
  • Organize mailings

Hopefully I can get all these things done and feel a little more on top of things!  Help keep me accountable!!!

Little print from Jorey Hurely, ’cause every post needs a good image.

 

“I love”.. Airbnb

I just got back from a trip to NYC with family on Monday.  A long weekend staying in a little apartment in Brooklyn.  We went for my sister’s birthday and stayed for a long weekend at an Airbnb.  If you have never heard of Airbnb, go search it now.  I LOVE it!  It’s a house share site, and it’s amazing.  Michael and I stayed a few on our honeymoon, but it’s perfect for trips in the US too!   Easy to search, you can use a map feature to find an awesome spot, and a pricing bar to stay within your budget (WAY cheaper than a hotel!).  If anyone is thinking of a vacation soon, stay at an Airbnb.

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Just a few Instas from the family.

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For the Perfect Day – Tip # 8

Have I said how much I love Adam’s International?

Our rehearsal dinner was my absolute favorite decision we made.  (I know I keep saying that, but this one really was wonderful).  From the moment we started talking about our rehearsal dinner we knew we didn’t want to do anything too traditional.  I love all the ideas about a rehearsal dinner.  Getting the families to come together as one and spending some time in a small group before the big day, being able to really talk and thank the people who have supported you through this big time in your lives. I love it.  Which is why I didn’t want to do something traditional.  I didn’t want to go to a fancy restaurant and sit at a table where we couldn’t mingle around and spend time with those people.

So, we started thinking.

I looked up a ton of “alternative” rehearsal dinner ideas but didn’t find one I really loved.  We started talking about places in Richmond we love and where we could have the kind of rehearsal dinner we wanted… something fun that would get people talking and moving around.  We decided on Bottom’s Up Pizza, but their big upstairs area we had hoped for was booked.

We made fun little brochures for our invitations explaining what we were doing, the rules of kickball, and RSVP information.  We had lots of people ask if we were serious.. I guess playing kickball and eating pizza doesn’t scream “Rehearsal Dinner” to most.  Oh well.  ‘Cause it was a BLAST!  My best friend, Caitlin, made our family and the bridal party tie-dye t-shirts, we bought some sweatbands to show team colors, ordered two official kickball balls, and set up a make your own sundae station for dessert.Adam’s (our amazing venue) told us we were welcome to use their space, so we thought maybe we could have it catered.. what am I saying.. it’s pizza.. have it delivered to Adam’s.

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We were really toying with the idea but didn’t want it to be too informal or look just thrown together.  WELP.. that got thrown out the window when I “jokingly” (I was totally serious) threw out the idea of playing kickball to my mom.  (Keep in mind this is a woman who thought I was crazy to be getting married outside and having my reception in a barn.)  Well, my mom was on board with the idea of playing kickball even through my joking tones, so I told Michael and he was on board too, and it was a done deal.

People mingled, played if they wanted to, cheered if they didn’t.  Drank beer, ate pizza, and had fun.  It was perfect.

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For the Perfect Day – Tip #7

I have said it before, and I will say it again (and again, and again).. we LOVED getting married at Adam’s International.  It is so important to pick a location you love.

One of the coolest things about Adam’s International (I should say one of many, many cool things about Adam’s) was that I was given the option rent a house on the property.  They had cute house where we could rent the whole thing, or just a room, RIGHT there where we were getting married.  I knew right away that would be an awesome place to get ready the day of, and so convenient to stay in the night before.  Both our parents live about 45 minutes away and I did not want to add that travel time to the morning of our wedding day.  We had enough other stuff to do!

So, I talked to my bridesmaids and we quickly decided a huge sleep over right before the wedding day was a perfect option.  So after our rehearsal dinner I didn’t have to go home alone, we all got to stay together.. which was great for the nerves and excitement.  (Our rehearsal dinner was at Adam’s too, so it was really easy to just walk across the field and go to sleep.  Actually, in our case it was arrange like 50 or so flower arrangements.  My bridesmaids were pretty awesome… my sister, Lindsay, in particular became our flower whisperer.)  Whoa off topic.. back to the point..

If your location has this option. Take it!  I was able to stay the night with my bridesmaids and wake up, have breakfast, and get ready, right there with those girls I love so much.  No having to arrange transportation or trying to wait around for all the girls to get there.  I, right away, had my best friends with me and got to spend the whole morning with them.  As a photographer, I have seen many brides come to their venue later than expected (things happen and time is always an obstacle.. your wedding day goes by so fast!), or brides are freaking out that someone’s not there yet.  I was cool as a cucumber ’cause I was there and my girls were there the whole time.

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***(Also, a little tip for bridesmaids, if you have a decent camera, or even a crappy camera, bring it and take a ton of pictures.  I have a few from our photographer of us getting ready (thank you Katelyn!), but a friend has an ability to take different pictures and are there for moments the photographer may not be. Take some goofy ones, and group ones, late night chatting ones, and stuffing your face with bagels ones.  Then, pick out your favorite and send a CD of them, or create a google doc. folder and email the link to your newly married friend.  She will LOVE it.. guaranteed).

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It was so beautiful at the house, that Katelyn took ALL of our first look and bridal party shots there. See the house in the background? That’s where we stayed!

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Baby Wells

When I got the text from Audrey & Doug that their son had arrived I was sitting in church.  My phone had been glued to my hands, I was so excited to hear that this baby boy had come into the world.  I about squealed out loud in the middle of the sermon.  And we were absolutely thrilled when these proud parents asked us to capture their little newborn!  He was just 7 days old when we went to do his session.  They asked us to bring along some props they thought would be good.. and boy did we!  We took over their morning room/dining room with buckets, blankets, luggage, and more.  It was so much fun setting up these scenes for Elijah, I’m so happy Audrey didn’t shut the door on us after our third trip to the car to get more supplies!  Doug and Audrey, thanks for letting us take over, and thank you for trusting us with your little bundle of joy!

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Doug is a serious fan of planes.  It was so much fun using that love in our shoot!  Just check out that hat!!! Thank you etsy (and Grandma!)!

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They just happen to have this amazing propeller to use!

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What. AMAZING. Parents.

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AH! I’m in love.

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The nursery is so perfect.

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Doug MADE that plane!  And Grandma made that awesome bunting.

Michael & Laura Photography

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Gah. So perfect. So tiny.  Don’t forget to leave some love for this lil’ guy in the comments!

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Thanks again Audrey & Doug!  We loved being there!!!

For the Perfect Day – Tip #6

Oh goodness, the dress.dress

I was so excited to go wedding dress shopping.  I was definitely one of those brides that watched a million episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress” and yelled at the T.V. when those silly girls let other people sway their decisions or if they refused to try on a dress.  I’d get into it.  So when it was my turn to go shopping I was so excited.  Unfortunately, half my bridesmaids lived out of the state so it wasn’t really an option to have all the girls get together for an outing.

I went shopping three times.  Once with a couple friends, then again with my mom, mother and sister in law, and a third time with my mom, mother and sister in law, and my aunt.  The first time around I thought I had found the dress, but my momma wasn’t with me, so it didn’t feel quite right buying it.  I went home and showed her what I thought was “the dress” and she was not impressed.  I was angry and sad that she didn’t love it as much as I did.  The second time was a quick trip to a really horrible salon and where I hated every dress.  And the last time, I picked it.  I seriously  am horrible at making decisions for myself and take other people’s opinions in high regard, so dress shopping was tough for me.  It’s not like picking out a new pair of shoes or a shirt to wear to a party.  This one is a big purchase.

When I found a dress I liked (and my mom liked), I was exhausted and overwhelmed.  It’s tough trying on those huge heavy dresses and then hearing everyone’s opinion (and I do  mean everyone.. other people in the store will undoubtedly come up to you to comment on the dress you’re wearing) all at once (or possibly even worse, people not saying anything at all).  So, I found the dress and immediately started to freak out, and not in the happy, excited way I should have been.   The ladies in the store kept coming up to me asking how they could help, bring me water and pillows and such.  Yeah, I was freaking out.  They handed over the paperwork to buy the dress and I started crying.  So much so that the woman selling us the dress actually asked if we wanted to come back later.  Yes, the woman who should be pushing me to purchase the dress told me to walk away!  And I definitely wish I would have done that.  When you sign those papers purchasing your dress, it is a done deal.  In size 24 font, bold letter, italics, and underlined, it says “nonrefundable and final purchase” in about 10 different ways.  You want to be sure.

ExpertAdvice-WeddingDressShopping

So, here’s the tip… regardless if you are freaking out and crying like me, or you are totally sold and super excited.  Go grab lunch.  Sleep on it.  Walk away and come back.  Your dress is a huge decision, no need to pick it in one day.  Tip #2, Pick a good salon.  I would hugely recommend the bridal salon I went to (Bella Rosa).  I loved them and they were so nice to work with; they wrote me letters, sent me swatches, walked me through fitting, and picking the dress up.. they were fabulous.  And tip #3, go read this article from Southern Weddings.  It’s super helpful and practical!  

And as always, just ask if you have any more questions!

OH, and I should say.  Even though I was FREAKING out and hated my dress right after I purchased it, I ended up loving it.  Momma definitely knows best and I am glad she talked me out of the other dress.  In fact, the first thing my dad told me when he saw me on my wedding day was, “THIS is the dress that you were upset over!?”  It was perfect for our day, our setting, and for me.

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The dress was originally strapless, but I added lace straps (I wanted to dance without having to pull up on my dress all night) and the lace belt.  It was quite a bit extra, cost wise, but definitely worth it!  The straps were actually removable, but I left them on the whole day.  So, when dress shopping, remember you can always add and take parts away, just ask!
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My accessories were my favorite part.  Michael and I both wore these yellow converse for the reception.

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Lindsay got me these earrings from Anthropologie.  I LOVED them, but they were really heavy and actually tore my earring hole from jumping around in them all night, and people tugging on them while giving hugs.  Definitely something to think about when picking out jewelry!

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I wore these blue sparkly Toms as my “something blue” for our ceremony.

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Thank you Katelyn James Photography for the amazing pictures!!!

“I love”.. a change

Ok, suuuuuuuuper embarrasing, but I was taking a look at our blog the other day, and I realized that our “About Us” page had a horrible picture of us and said this.. “We are awesome.. blah blah blah..”  No lie.

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I figure that has probably been there since the last time we updated our blog and we never went back and edited that page! YIKES! Oh goodness gracious, I don’t even know what to say.. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  How many clients have clicked that page and said to themselves.. uhhhh seriously?  So embarrasing.  And now I have just pointed it out to all of you who may not have noticed that.  Please don’t judge.  

So, with all this beautiful snow, I have had some time on my hands.  Michael has been pushing through and going to work, but the schools aren’t even open!  So I have been doing some work around the house, and some obvious, seriously needed work on the blog.  We love our new herringbone background and colors!  Though we are still trying to work out some kinks, I’m really excited about the change!  We are working on our website too.. bit by bit it’s coming together. And we definitely need to get some head shots done!  But in the meantime, take a look around and tell me if you find some mistakes, or something you love!

“I love”… Southern Weddings Magazine

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I started following Southern Weddings on instagram and I have fallen in love.  There is just something about a southern wedding that gets me giddy.  Maybe it has something to do with me getting married in a barn.  Or maybe it is WHY I got married in a barn. Ha.  Regardless, go start following Southern Wedding.  Their website has some amazing weddings for inspiration, honeymoon spots, vendors, and all sorts of fun things.  And while you are at it, stop by their shop.  It has the most precious prints with some darlin’ sayings.  Michael and I got this one for our one year anniversary and it goes perfectly in our blue and yellow kitchen.  There are a bunch of prints that would make some awesome gifts and (though I hate cards.. $5 for a piece of paper that will likely get thrown away? no thank you..) they have the cutest cards that even I would purchase!

Enjoy your weekend.