Angela & Kai

Everything about Angela & Kai’s wedding day was absolutely gorgeous.  Stunning.  Exquisite.  Elegant.  It was our first time shooting at The Founders Inn and Spa, an amazingly beautiful location.  We grabbed her incredible details, just wait ’til you see these shoes, her dress, the bridesmaids’ dresses.. GAH!  Her florist dropped off the fantastic bouquets.  Her hair and make-up was FLAWLESS.  The first look on the grounds, the ceremony location in the gardens, the cocktail hour in the atrium, the reception in the ballroom.  All gorgeous.

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This dress is amazing!

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Can’t decide which ring shot we love more.. Which do you like?

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So excited so many of our couple this season opted for first looks!  We LOVE them!

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Such a beautiful couple!

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One of our favorite group shots!

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Angela & Kai, thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your beautiful day!


Carol & Eric

Carol & Eric’s wedding day was very different from wedding days we are used to.  We usually arrive 1-2 hours before the dress goes on.  We have a chance to meet everyone, talk with everyone, and shoot a crazy amount of details before all the excitement begins.  In this case, we arrived and almost immediately started shooting ceremony #1 out of 3.  I was pretty nervous about jumping right in, but these people were AMAZING and needed no revving up!  Carol, Eric, and their families are so joyful and loving.  They started the day with a traditional Vietnamese ceremony, then went to another location and had a tradition Chinese ceremony and had an incredible lunch (complete with a roasted pig), and then our “normal” day began with a traditional western ceremony.  It was a whirlwind of a day, but it was so much fun! Carol & Eric, thank you for inviting us in to these beautiful moments.

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How cute are they!?

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Carol & Eric let us steal them away for a few minutes in between ceremonies. SO glad they did.

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‘lil Oscar selfie for ya.

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And then to the beautiful Virginia Oaks Country Club.

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Took a fun golf cart ride to the best view over the lake!

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We just love beautiful outdoor ceremonies!

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Time to get to the dance floor!

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Congratulations Carol & Eric! We are so excited you chose us to celebrate your beautiful weddings with! You guys are such a wonderful couple, and we wish you all the happiness in the world!

“I love”.. summer

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We have an awesome tradition at our school; on the last day, the students all pack onto the bus and all the teachers stand and wave them off as they go around the bus loop a couple of times.  I love seeing all my students, past and present, hanging themselves out the window waving goodbye.  It’s always a bittersweet feeling, but I am so excited for this summer!  We have so many AWESOME things planned.  Hopefully we get to them all!  You can keep up with us on Instagram (and most likely a few blog posts) with the hashtag #MLbucketlist.

What is on your summer bucket list?  Help us add to ours!

  • go to Newport News Park (we’ve NEVER been!!!)
  • walk the Noland Trail
  • go to many more concerts
  • go to busch gardens
  • have a picnic in the park
  • visit williamsburg
  • go camping
  • go to a farmers’ market
  • try some pinterest how-tos
  • clean out the closets
  • pick fruit
  • spend a day on the lake
  • go to the eastern shore
  • go wine tasting
  • plan an awesome baby shower
  • go to the watermelon festival
  • go to D.C.
  • go to the VA beach music festival in july
  • attend and shoot some AMAZING weddings
  • road trip along the pacific coast highway
  • help friends with wedding planning

 And just incase you missed this ‘lil gem..

Amanda & Travis

I feel like Amanda & Travis are old friends now.  From our coffee date out, to engagements, and bridals, to our many emails back and forth I feel like I’ve known this couple forever.  Sometimes we meet our couples for the first time while they are getting ready the day of their wedding, but we were lucky to meet with these two many times before the big day.  Come portrait time, they were like seasoned pros!  There is seriously something to be said about doing engagements and meet ups with your wedding photographer!  Amanda & Travis, we hope you love your images!  Thank you for trusting us during this amazing time in your lives.

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I LOVED Amanda’s bridesmaid’s gift!  Monogrammed bag.  SO cute!

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Loved these beautiful robes.

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Now THAT’S how you make an entrance!
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I love when we have a few minutes during the reception for some extra portraits!

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Jen & Ryan

Jen & Ryan, we had such a BLAST at your wedding!  We hope you enjoy this little video of our favorite parts of your big day.  We love you both! Thanks for including us in this AMAZING day!!!


One thing I wish we had invested in for our wedding day is a videographer.  I am so glad we had a friend take some video, but almost 2 years later (HOLY cow.. I’ve almost been married for two years!? yikes) we still haven’t taken the video off the camera!  So glad our wedding images are amazing and we get to flip through our album constantly.  I love sites like wedding mix where you can get hassle free, inexpensive video memories (it looks awesome.. go check it out).

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.

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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.


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”… 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.