2017 Behind the Scenes

It's time for one of my favorite posts of the year! I so love looking back through the behind the scenes images photographers send me after busy wedding days. They're usually filled with hilarious faces I tend to make, genuine interactions with my amazing couples, and moments of pure gratitude for everyone that helps make the season as wonderful as it is. 2017 sure didn't disappoint! While getting to work with some of the sweetest couples and talented vendors, some crazy fun times were certainly had. Take a peak at a few of my favorite moments!

These are the faces of two girls carrying over a hundred chairs off a stormy beach and loving their job!

These are the faces of two girls carrying over a hundred chairs off a stormy beach and loving their job!

I'm so lucky to have friends/past brides/fellow vendors that are willing to step in and help me out when I'm short handed! Adore you Katelyn!

I'm so lucky to have friends/past brides/fellow vendors that are willing to step in and help me out when I'm short handed! Adore you Katelyn!

Whenever Angie and I get to work a wedding together, we make sure to get a picture with our couple. It's my FAVORITE little tradition!

Whenever Angie and I get to work a wedding together, we make sure to get a picture with our couple. It's my FAVORITE little tradition!

The tradition continues!

The tradition continues!

This is a horrible cell phone picture, but I had to document 2/3 of the Wolfpack being at the same wedding for a change!!

This is a horrible cell phone picture, but I had to document 2/3 of the Wolfpack being at the same wedding for a change!!

This was easily the hottest day of the year and I loved every minute of it spent with these two!

This was easily the hottest day of the year and I loved every minute of it spent with these two!

Especially since it was my first time working a wedding with my beautiful gem of a friend!

Especially since it was my first time working a wedding with my beautiful gem of a friend!

I have the most amazing couples!

I have the most amazing couples!

When your dog thinks the train of your dress is a dog bed! Hahaha!!

When your dog thinks the train of your dress is a dog bed! Hahaha!!

Forever fixing those trains and loving every minute of it!

Forever fixing those trains and loving every minute of it!

These are the faces the bridal party makes when you deliver hors d'oeuvres during portraits.

These are the faces the bridal party makes when you deliver hors d'oeuvres during portraits.

I love my brides!!!

I love my brides!!!

This sweet friend of mine helped with so many of my wedding this year and I'm so thankful!

This sweet friend of mine helped with so many of my wedding this year and I'm so thankful!

A million thank you's to my 2017 couples and their sweet families & friends for letting us play a part in your beautiful wedding days! You are so loved!! Also, a big thank you to the photographers that are so great at capturing me making hilarious faces throughout wedding days. Angie McPherson Photography, Elizabeth Friske Photography, Cramer Photo, Elovephotos, & Leigh Skaggs Photography ... Ya'll are the real MVPs!

My Goal to Get Outside

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Back at the end of 2016, I made a goal to get outside more. Whether it's taking the dog for a walk around the neighborhood or tramping into the woods to hunt with Wes, being outside has always been my favorite place to be. But somehow in 2016, I let life, business, and general laziness get in the way of that. I wasn't spending nearly enough time out in the elements to make my heart happy, so I knew that 2017 had to be different. I wasn't sure exactly what that would look like, but I knew that I needed to make it a priority.

Just a little while after I set that goal for myself, I saw a post by my friend Jessica of Jessica Ryan Photography. Jessica was always outside doing the things I wish I was doing. She and her now husband were always hiking and exploring and taking their adorable dogs along on their adventures. Every time she posted pictures of their outings, it pushed me a little harder to make the time for those things myself. When Jessica posted about the group she was putting together, Her Hike Collective, I knew this was the universe at work, pushing me to meet my goal.

Jessica created Her Hike Collective for a number of reasons that she explains best on her website. But one of the reasons was to introduce other ladies to the great outdoors. There are so many of us that wish we could do something and we just need that little extra push. We need that hand to hold to show us the way and make us realize it doesn't have to be overwhelming or scary. That's exactly what Her Hike Collective was for me.

This year, I was able to go on a total of three hikes with the group. Definitely not as many as I'd hoped, but way more than I made time for in the past. I hiked over 20 miles, climbed rocks I never would have pushed myself to attempt before, spent time with old friends, and made a surprising number of new friends that I didn't realize I needed.

Here are some of my favorite pictures that Jessica took on each hike and a little information about each one. I can't wait for the next one. I'm also sharing my hiking bucket list below!


Sharp Top Mountain - This was the first hike I got to go on back in January and I had no idea what to expect. To say it was incredible would be doing the whole thing a terrible injustice. In fact, the girls kept laughing at me because I just kept saying that it was the "best day ever" all day long. I started off the day only knowing Jessica and ended it feeling like I had been friends with everyone for a long time. This was a pretty emotional day for different reasons for each lady there and it was absolutely perfect.

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Raven Rocks - The second hike I was able to make it to was back in April to Raven Rocks in Bluemont. We crossed the Virginia-West Virginia line at one point, we watched some other climbers repel down the rock wall below, and we had the most insane view to look over while we ate our lunch. 

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Buzzard Rock - We hiked Buzzard Rock in September and this hike was extra special because I convinced my bestie to join us! We also had two dogs along on this hike and you all know how much I love a dog!

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To say the hiking bug has bit me would be a huge understatement. I've caught myself dreaming of new places to hike often. Here's a little list I've put together of hikes I'm determined to go on in the next year or so. Let me know if you've done any of them!

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Old Rag Mountain 

Grandfather Mountain

Dragon's Tooth 

Hanging Rock

Bill Goat Trail 

Crabtree Falls

 

To Jessica: Thank you times a million for creating this group, for opening your heart to each of us and sharing your love of the outdoors. Thank you for pushing me to stand on scary ledges to take once-in-a-lifetime pictures. Thank you for documenting these memories for us. Thank you for being an amazing friend and helping me accomplish my goals. Love you to pieces and so happy to know you!

 

Emily & Hogan - Cape Charles, VA

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The last wedding of our 2017 season was definitely one for the books! Emily & Hogan were married in her parents' backyard on the Eastern Shore and it was the perfect day, despite the moody weather. The days leading up to the wedding had been rainy and pretty miserable, but it cleared up that morning and stayed dry throughout the ceremony, cocktail hour, and even most of the reception! They had buried the bourbon a month prior {if you're unfamiliar with this southern tradition, check it out here...it's a favorite of mine for sure!} and it definitely did the trick!

One of my favorite parts of the wedding was the ceremony. In our first meeting, Emily told me that she wanted to have a circular ceremony setup, using gorgeous antique church pews provided by Eastern Shore Events & Rentals. I loved helping to bring her vision to life and I think it turned out to be one of my favorite setups ever!

This group was such a blast! The bridal party was rowdy and hilarious, and it was super apparent how much they love their friends. Hogan kept Emily laughing all night long, even after it started sprinkling later in the evening. Emily had decided to embrace the elements and wore white rain boots under her dress and she danced the night away with Hogan and partied with all their family and friends.

To round out a perfect evening, the couple arranged for a food truck to bring freshly baked pizzas for their guests to snack on. It was the coolest late night snack ever and their guests loved every bit of it!

I had the best time working with Leigh Skaggs Photography for the first time and I'm pretty much obsessed with the images she and her team captured. Here are just a few of my favorites! Be sure to check out her blog for even more!

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Congratulations Emily & Hogan! Thank you so much for letting me and my team play a part in your perfect day! I can't think of a better way to have ended 2017 than with the two of you and your sweet families!

Also, a huge thank you to the incredible vendors that made the day possible!

Venue: Private residence in Bay Creek // Planning: Just Dandy Events // Photography: Leigh Skaggs Photography // Catering: Hook U Up Gourmet // Cake: Corner Bakery // Florals: Simply Fresh Floral Creations // DJ: Tony Campbell // Beauty: 76 West Salon // Rentals: Eastern Shore Events & Rentals // Pizza Truck: The Thirsty Frog

Wedding Shoes

This is going to sound so weird. But one of my favorite things to do on a wedding day is to see what type of shoe the bride is going to wear. They are always such an awesome expression of her style & attitude about the day and I LOVE THAT! Gone are the days where brides are expected to wear plain ivory pumps throughout their wedding day and I'm so glad. Those pumps aren't usually all that comfortable!

So if you're looking for some less traditional options to wear on your wedding day, here are a few of my favorites!

Shannon Moffit Photography

Shannon Moffit Photography

Elizabeth Henson Photos

Elizabeth Henson Photos

Angie McPherson Photography

Angie McPherson Photography

DCPG Photography

DCPG Photography

Elizabeth Henson Photos

Elizabeth Henson Photos

Pullen Weddings

Pullen Weddings

Angie McPherson Photography

Angie McPherson Photography

Andi & Zoe

Andi & Zoe

Cramer Photo

Cramer Photo

Angie McPherson Photography

Angie McPherson Photography

Hillary & Aaron - James River Country Club

It poured buckets the day of Hillary & Aaron's wedding at the James River Country Club. But had you looked at their faces, you never would have guessed. They didn't stop smiling at each other all day! One of the highlights of the day was seeing Aaron sing to Hillary during their ceremony. There wasn't a dry eye in the whole room!

I'm so thankful for sweet couples like these two. Thank you Hillary & Aaron for letting me play a small part in your beautiful wedding day!