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Month: June 2013

A Year In The Making & The Wedding Process

A Year In The Making & The Wedding Process

I got to thinking, dangerous, I know… throughout my entire wedding planning process, I did not blog one single thing about any of the details along our six month engagement.  Most likely because I was crazy insane oops we planned a wedding in 6 months, but… I feel like I cheated you all!  Haha  I’m not sure how many of your know my Husband 🙂 Josh and my story, but I thought… being the transparent blogger that I am….  I would take you down the road through how we met, our engagement, the wedding process and all the details in between!

Some of you may know this already, but for those of you who do not, Josh and I met online… that’s right, we met online… and I am not ashamed in the least to admit it!  After a few weeks of emailing and a few phone calls, He finally asked me to dinner!   Date one happened… which led into date two, three and four in just the first week and I thought to myself… hmmm, there may be something different about this guy!  And because no memory lane is fun without some photos…. below is the first photo Josh and I took together, out on Date numero four 🙂

Our first evening on the lake together… and I remember perfectly knowing that night that this could be a forever kinda thing 🙂

Josh and I dated for just one year before he mustered up the courage to propose on our trip to Florida for my birthday… excuse the wind blown hair and the puffy eyes… the below image was taken 5 minutes after he proposed on the beach in Jupiter, Florida!

We spent the rest of the weekend in a state of bliss… one of my favorite photos from the weekend below on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

Now on to the planning… to say that I started my planning AFTER Josh and I got engaged would be ohhh, let’s just say… not the total truth.  Being a wedding photographer myself, I knew full well that I wanted Katelyn James to shoot our wedding.  I’d followed her for a few years and quickly realized how much I was drawn to her style, the candid way she captured photos, and most importantly… that she was a Christian.  For both Josh and I, our faith is the most important thing in our lives, so having someone document our day alongside us and have that in common, was a bonus to say the least!

Just three weeks after we were engaged, Katelyn just so happened to be in Georgia for a conference (thank you Jesus!) and it worked out perfectly!  Before then, I hadn’t been on the other end of the camera in YEARS.  Years I tell ya!  I’d gotten so used to shooting weddings myself, I somehow disappeared from all photos from 2009 on.  Who knew!  Within minutes, I felt natural with Katelyn behind the camera.  I knew having her as our photographer was worth every penny of the investment, and she did not prove me wrong!  Here’s a few favorites from that day…

Some would say planning a wedding in six months is crazy… I would say, well… I agree.  When we first started the process, I knew two things for sure… I wanted to be married in Georgia, and I wanted to have Katelyn capture our day.  Everything else was up in the air!  Josh and I were also in the middle of looking for a house… add huge decision numero dos to the pile.   I spent so much time invested in the house and crossing off the most important things first, like decorating for Christmas, duh!!  …. that I almost forgot we have a wedding to plan and that the time was drawing near… fast.

Sneak Peek of our first home 🙂

A few details about our day… once I found our venue, Barnsley Gardens Resort, I knew that was the place I wanted to get married… the entire property is just breathtaking and they offered absolutely everything right in one place.  So, now we had two things down, photographer, and venue.. and I was on to the DIY project of making our own wedding favors which surprisingly were easier than I thought they would be… I bought soy wax from Amazon for super cheap, used a double boiler to melt the wax and poof… cute, homemade candles… and we even added a scent to them!  And of course topped them off with some pretty ribbon from Michael’s and a personalized Thank You tag from Etsy.

Our invitation design was on of the most special things throughout our entire process… I worked alongside Aliya from Aliya Rinaldi Design to design personalized wedding invites and I absolutely LOVED the final product!

Full disclosure… here goes nothin’!  I had the pleasure of stumbling across Brush Worx website one evening while tirelessly searching for a on-site makeup and hair stylist for my wedding day.  I’ve been getting my hair done forever ten years now by the same person up in NJ, Ashley Malone and literally considered flying her down to Georgia for our day.  It was one of the hardest vendors to find, but I couldn’t be more pleased with the work that Rachel from Brush Worx did… she was super sweet and so accommodating.  I’d recommend Brush Worx to anyone… love love loved them!

Onto the wedding dress shopping… this was something super special about our day… I decided to wear my SISTER’s wedding dress that she wore just two and a half years ago and it was one of the best decisions I made… Pam and I are almost the same in every aspect, so I didn’t even need to alter the dress!  It was let’s just say a BIG something borrowed!

Photo from Pam’s Wedding copyright of Dana Duncan Photography

Within the six months that we were engaged, I felt like my life was not my own!  We were so busy with the new house, planning, and trying to find some time in between for ourselves, that it literally went by in the blink of an eye… before I knew it we were pulling up to Barnsley Gardens the Friday before our wedding… we spent the first two days of the weekend RELAXING… it was the first time I had felt the weight lifted off my shoulders in months and it felt amazing!  I would recommend a destination type wedding to anyone, even though Barnsley was just a short hour away from Atlanta, those two extra days we had prior to the wedding day allowed us to relax, enjoy our families and really soak in the weekend! Here are some of my favorites that Katelyn captured from our day…

I cannot recommend First Looks enough to my brides… it was the best decision Josh and I made and the most intimate moment of our day.  And we have SO many more photos together, bonus!

We decided against the typical guest book and had our guests take a Polaroid photo of themselves and write a special note and paste it into this album!  So fun!  Also, side note… a LOT of the wedding details from our day we already owned… I brought almost all my mercury glass with us that weekend!

Josh and I opted for a dessert table… I am a sweet-aholic, so I needed a little bit of every single one of my favorite treats!

The album process… Katelyn made this SUPER easy and I was so grateful for her guidance throughout the process.  Two weeks later, our wedding album showed up on our front doorstep!  And can we talk about Leather Craftsmen and how I adore them?!  I use them for all of my brides that purchase a wedding album and I could not be more proud of the products they deliver!

And just like that I felt like our year had come full circle.  Josh and I are finally starting to settle into being newlyweds and enjoying this special season of our lives and I could not be more excited to be his wife!!  Thanks so much for taking this journey with me today!  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite memories from the day… Ryan Lindsay, of Imagine Productions captured our day and I could not love it more!!

Our Amazing vendors from the day!  A quick copy and paste from Katelyn’s blog, thanks Katelyn!!

Venue | Barnsley Gardens Resort
Dress | Bijou Bridal Collection
Florals | David LaVoy
Hair & Makeup | Brush Worx
Videography | Ryan Lindsay
Bridesmaids | Alfred Sung , Weddington Way
Invitations | Aliya Rinaldi Design
Linens | Nuage Designs


Pam :: Ramsey Country Club Maternity Session

Pam :: Ramsey Country Club Maternity Session

Moving to Atlanta and away from my family has been the biggest plunge I’ve ever taken.  Though the grass has proved to be greener 🙂  I still miss my family every day!  My sister Pam lives in Maryland with her husband Brandon and we had thrown around the idea of doing a maternity shoot somewhere in between my crazy wedding planning.  We missed a few opportunities in between, but were finally able to land a weekend we’d both be back in New Jersey and take some much needed shots of her growing belly! 🙂  Pam and Brandon have decided to call their first born son, Gavin.  How awesome is the name Gavin… love.  If only I had been pregnant before her!  Juuuuuust kidding.

Whole we were up in New Jersey celebrating our marriage with some of our closest family and friends, we decided to steal a few shots at Ramsey Gold and Country Club.  I am so thrilled with the way they came out and looking back on them makes me even more excited to meet Gavin and become an Aunt in July!  Eeeep!

Hello gorgeous tree…

My sister is so pretty, just sayin’ !


Samantha & Daniel :: The Wedding

Samantha & Daniel :: The Wedding

Meeting the bride for the first time on her wedding day admittedly makes me a little nervous!  I met Samantha and Daniel for the first time on Saturday and I truly feel like it only takes a second to get to know a couple once they’re in front of the camera for a few shots.  Samantha and Daniel and I weren’t able to squeeze an engagement session in, so last Saturday I drove down the coast of NJ to meet Samantha and Daniel at their wedding venue, Paradise Vineyard.  I met Daniel first… took some getting ready shots of the groom and he mentioned how Samantha was great in front of the camera… it sounds silly, but I was so excited in that moment to meet her.  Knowing a bride is comfortable in front of the camera goes a LONG way.  And without fail, Daniel did not disappoint.  I met Samantha and she was a natural right away… I mean could they make my job any easier?  I seriously think I barely posed them throughout the entire day.  Love love love.

Samantha and Daniel… thank you for allowing me to capture the love that you share with one another on the most important day of your lives.  So excited to share a few of my favorites from your day!

I just loved some of these little tea cups as cocktail hour centerpieces! 

What did I tell you?!  Samantha you are a pro!

Samantha & Daniel wrote personal vows to one another, lurve.

Mr. & Mrs. Bage!

Well hello gorgeous…  whew!

Love this one!

Love these next couple… perfect lighting!

Sort of felt like a creeper, but I couldn’t resist!


There are certain photos I cannot explain why I love so much… below is one of them, so simple, yet elegant.

Another fav… need this in a canvas!