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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


What Have You Set Out To Do :: theFix

What Have You Set Out To Do :: theFix

There is nothing more exciting then connecting with a group of local photographers in your area all under the same roof.  I attended theFix Atlanta on Monday night and out of all the things that I learned, I believe the one thing that has stuck in my mind is the question:  What Have You Set Out To Do?  Jasmine asked us that midway through the night, and it hit me… what have I specifically set out to do?  In my photography career, just this year, etc.  Where are my goals?  Insert theFix… and the amazing photographers that I met that night.  There are so many things running through my head that I’d like to impliment this year, but first and foremost, I am so excited to invest in relationships with other photographers in the area.

Fabulous takeaways from theFix:

*Change is good.

*Influential artists thrive on each other.

*Find ways to work through our struggles that make sense.

*Surround ourselves with people you will help, and who will help us.

*Know what you want.

*Make friends.

*Professional is what you make of it.

*Break the mold by being you.

*What are you going to do tomorrow?

1 Cor 10:31

The Foundry at Puritan Mill

Jasmine signed all the EXPOSED magazines!

J* reading an excerpt from her EXPOSED magazine… and being fabulous in her J*Crew lime green pants!

2011 in the Making :: Favorites

2011 in the Making :: Favorites

2011 was my growing year.  When I first started over two years ago in the wedding industry, I was uncertain… I would go to weddings thinking I wish, I hope, I need.  When 2011 rolled around I decided it was a mindset I had to change… I can.  This past year was by far one of the most rewarding years for me in my business.  I feel like I’ve come full circle in so many areas and I cannot wait to kick off my 2012 wedding season in two weeks!

And so we don’t forget how amazing my 2011 Brides were… here are some of my favorites…



Cupcake Heaven :: NJ/GA Wedding Photographer

Cupcake Heaven :: NJ/GA Wedding Photographer

So cupcakes have been taking the wedding scene by storm to say the least and I’m a sucker for anything sweet.  Literally, I take the cake for biggest sweet tooth ever… no pun intended.  Out with the old fashion wedding cake and in with the cupcake tree of deliciousness.  I headed to my fav cupcake place down here called Gigi’s Cupcakes in Buckhead and picked up a red velvet cupcake just… because.  And to top it off…. they look SO good too!  Even the little box they come in!  I am all about presentation 🙂

What can I say?  I was feelin’ cupcakes… and Gigi spoke my name.

To all my brides out there… cupcakes are so much fun and such a great way to spruce up a dessert table!  They are customizable too, so it’s super easy to theme them to fit into your wedding colors!  Gigi’s Cupcakes have locations are all over the country, majority being on the east coast!  Be sure to check them out!!

New Beginnings :: New Digs

New Beginnings :: New Digs

Tah Dah!  Finally, I wanted to share some before and after photos from my new pad!  Interior design could honestly be one of my favorite things in the world.  You can find me most weekends in Homegoods almost regularly.  Typically what I like to do is find inspiration from a magazine (Veranda and Pottery Barn are two of my favs) and then figure out how I can replicate that feel on a smaller budget!

Moving out for me was a big step!  After college I lived home for two years to save up some money and was hoping to purchase something instead of rent.  I was dead set on wanting to buy a single family home… that is until I met with a mortgage broker went through a bit of a rude awakening!  So I thought about it for a while and decided maybe rentingfor a little while wasn’t the worst thing.  I am loving the new place and wanted to share a few of the before and after photos.  Enjoy!


Coffee and End Table:  Crate & Barrel

Couch:  Z Gallerie

Pillows:  Mitchel Gold & Bob Willams

Side Chair, Lamp, & Mirror:  Pier One

Coffee Table Accents:  West Elm, Pier One, & Homegoods