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engagement sessions

Documenting Life Stages

Documenting Life Stages

One of my favorite aspects of the job is getting to journey through life with some of my amazing clients. I can't count how many friends I've made through this job, and am honored every time I get to document each new stage in their lives. 

This amazing girl was one of my first clients early on. After several mini-sessions with her and her amazing pup, I got the call that she was getting married. For their engagement session, they chose a location that was personal to them - a walking trail they had spent significant time on - and it served as the perfect back-drop for that session.

And then for their wedding.

And then for their next family session where they announced that they were growing their family of 3 by 2. :) 

There's some magical about watching love blossom and families grow. But getting to do it in the same spot each time has been incredible. 

And then I got to meet the sweet littles and - oh my heart - they are dear. Here's a few from their newborn session. Can't wait to share more moments with these two babes and their amazing family. 

J & T { DIY wedding}


J & T { DIY wedding}


I don't even know where to start with this picture perfect wedding. Tom and Jenni were an absolute DREAM to work with - from the booking process, to the engagement session and all throughout the wedding day, it was easy and natural and just felt right. Don't you love those kinds of connections??

I asked Jenni to share part of her story and some insights from her wedding day. Upcoming brides?  You're going to want to take notes!  She's got some great tips and insight. Stick around - you'll be glad you did :) 

Their Story: 

Our love story starts the way that every girl dreams it... One night in a bar. In our defense, we were in the same bar celebrating a mutual friend’s birthday. We hit it off - having more in common than anyone can imagine... And then, like every knight in shining armor, he forgot to ask for my number! The next day I woke up to my friends blowing up my phone because Tom was relentlessly trying to figure out what my number was and how he could reach me. The rest was kind of history from there. And perfectly describes the hilarious type of relationship and love that we share. I had never met somebody that I was so comfortable with and from the beginning, I truly felt like I could grow with this person . All of the ups and downs in our relationship only made us stronger and me more confident that this is the person that I want annoying me, cracking me up, and loving me for the rest of my life.
— Jenni
groom looking at camera

Let's get down to the nitty gritty - the wedding details. 

The Venue: LakeView Farms 

Jenni andTom started looking at wedding venues right away. Jenni is a planner (and a darn good one, at that) and so having a venue where she could have a say in the details and planning was super important to her.  Upon visiting Lakeview Farms, they knew it was everything they wanted for their day - from the beautiful country farm atmosphere, a stunning lake and perfectly maintained historic barn - it was the perfect venue for them. With only ONE date available, only 6 months away, they excitedly booked the venue and began finalizing the other details of their day. 

The Dress:

The detail I was dreading the most was finding a dress. I feared everything was more expensive than what I wanted to spend and would just look like every other dress I’ve ever seen.

Through a referral she looked into Anthropologie's bridal line BHLDN. On a whim, her and her mom decided to head down to their Georgetown, MD location - not really expecting to find anything. But how can you resist an excuse to check out their perfectly elegant and romantic dresses? 

I tried on just four dresses that day and found exactly what I was looking for. I bought it on the spot. The Marvana dress was exactly what I wanted. It was all lace , simple, and that vintage romance that I loved, plus it paired perfect with my cowboy boots. Did I mention that it was less than $800! I feel like when things are right they just fall into place which made me know that this was the dress for me. 
— Jenni

The Rings:

Tom had a diamond that he was able to turn into a gorgeous customized setting at Littman Jewelers.  After doing research on Tom's ring and looking into tungsten, titanium and ceramic rings Jenni discovered you can find the same things on Amazon for a fraction of the price. 

ring shot
We are talking $30-$60! It’s unreal I highly recommend looking into that before buying one from the jewelry store. By the way I ended up buying Tom 3! He enjoys the variety!
— Jenni

The Flowers: 

You can customize pretty much every detail of them and I could not have been happier with how they turned out. Not to mention I still have them to this day and have found different ways to decorate and repurpose them.
— Jenni

Jenni had the same qualms about flowers that a lot of bride's seem to have - not being able to fathom spending money on real flowers that would be dead in a matter of days. After some research, she settled on Eco-Flowers - a company that makes flowers out of wood and other recycled materials.


"As far as all of my centerpieces, I knew I wanted everything to be a little different and nothing to be matching. I started searching high and low in my relatives attics and at flea markets. I found collections of antique railroad lanterns, birdcages, mason jars, and milk glass. I cleaned all these items up and decorated them with some lace and incorporated my eco-flowers, and some wheat from the farmers field out back from my parents house. I ended up pretty happy with my collaboration of different antique items. We ended up finding lace off-white tablecloths on clearance from Bed Bath and Beyond and still have them to this day vs. renting them for hundreds of dollars and having to give them back! Any other decorations I got from searching Pinterest high and low . I ended up with a pretty unique customized day. I feel like that's the way to go because it speaks the personality of the bride and groom so much more than just something that everyone typically does.

The Cake:

Jenni is one of those rare individuals that doesn't like cake...  This could have almost completely destroyed our work-relationship ;) But, just like every other perfect detail throughout their day, their cake alternative was 100% taylored to them. Jenni's in-laws are pretty much the masters of desserts.

It’s kind of tradition to have a dessert smorgasbord. We ended up with three 8 foot long tables filled with more desserts than I could ever list here. As favors, I ended up finding cute take-out boxes on Amazon and making customized labels and everybody got to fill a box with a ridiculous variety of desserts. For my cake itself, I was really into the look of the naked cake because of it being so different. We ended up getting that same look with tiered layers of chocolate chip cookies and cream cheese frosting in between the layers.
— Jenni

Advice & Regrets:

While this wedding was about as perfect as they come, everyone of us can look back at an event or experience and find one thing we might have changed...  Jenni has some great perspective on this: 

My only regret in regards to our day was our DJ. While I did all of the right things - researched, red every review possible - this still turned out to be the worst part of our night. And I wish I had stuck with my gut feeling before booking - it seemed too good to be true and his prices were incredibly low. We went with him because I could not find a bad review and he was great to deal with in person. But always trust your gut . His attitude, lack of professionalism and slight craziness had serious potential to ruin the day, but I refused to allow it. Our wedding venue and vendors said that they never have seen somebody like him in all the weddings that they did. We made the best of it but I still definitely twitch if I hear his name. I would strongly advise going with somebody that you have a personal referral with and if your gut steers you in a different direction listen to it! Inevitably something will not go according to plan on the day of your wedding the best thing you can do is not let it ruin your day - focus instead on all the other positive things that are going right!
— Jenni

And as for the positives - they were many. Jenni and Tom seemed to enjoy their day more than a lot of other couples I've worked with - and I think Jenni nails it on the head when she the decisions that they made that ensured their day ran smoothly:

We feel truly grateful to be able to look back at the day of our wedding and be able to say we are so happy with how everything came together. I think we can attribute this to several choices we made in the planning process and on the day of.

1. I wanted to be as prepared as possible and as organized as possible so that that day could be fun, relaxing, and a day to never forget. This is an absolute must to guarantee that you're not stressed out the day of your wedding. Think about everything in advance and do as many things as you can to get out-of-the-way beforehand. Our venue allowed us in two days before to allow us to set up and get all of her details ready. The day of our wedding we had nothing to do but enjoy ourselves.

2. Instead of having to pick and choose family and friends for a wedding party we did it super untraditional and opted to not have a wedding party at all. Our friends seemed to appreciate not having so many logistics to do that day and not having to spend so much money on their attire. We still did all the traditional bachelor and bachelorette parties. And still had our friends coordinate somewhat of a color scheme for taking photos that day. All of my closest girlfriends still got ready with me, but there was no bridesmaid drama. It was perfect.

3. Tom and I did first look photos and it's one of the best decisions we could have made. We got time together just the two of us. After this we took photos with family and friends. This way after the ceremony we didn't spend our entire cocktail hour taking pictures. Instead we actually went to our own cocktail hour and were able to enjoy it and get candid pictures with all of our guests. 

4. Step back. Enjoy it and breathe it in. This day can easily become about everyone else and not about the bride and the groom. One of the biggest things that we insisted upon was to spend time together that day. We took multiple breaks and walked away just the two of us to be able to take in this amazing moment that we created with everyone that loves us. It's a pretty incredible feeling and at times overwhelming but at the root of all of the madness this whole crazy magical day happened because you fell in love with someone that you choose to be with forever!


S & J {engagement}


S & J {engagement}

I absolutely love it when a couple decides to choose a location that is significant to them, or include props in a session that shows a part of who they are, both as individuals and as a team. 

I have known Sarah for awhile - she was in one of my favorite weddings years ago, and I casually follow her on social media. When she booked me for her upcoming wedding, I was beyond thrilled. And every time she would post a picture of her horses, I would think, "Oh man - I hope she wants to use these beautiful beasts in her engagement session!"  

Wishes do come true. :) 

love and horses

Working with two massive animals does make a session slightly more challenging. And brought with it several fantastic laughs and epic photo bombs. 


Sarah bathed her large white horse, Dragon, before the session. He was wildly unimpressed by this and decided to roll as soon as his human turned her back. #whitehorseproblems

A few more bloopers below. Scroll on through for a few more smiles.  

All in all, it was a perfect session, horse rolls and licks included. Enjoy scrolling through this gallery with dozens more images from this gorgeous couple's engagement session. Cannot wait for their wedding this July!


T & A {engagment}

I'm obsessed with this couple. They were beyond amazing to work with. Gorgeous. Fun. Super flexible. And clearly so very much in love.

boiling springs love

We met up at the always beautiful Boiling Springs Lake and spent an hour or so getting to know each other better, talking, and taking some stunning images of this amazing couple. 

My favorite piece of their story? They met in KINDERGARTEN!! PEOPLE!!!  That's insane. One of them passed a love note to the other, in the most articulate and romantic way a 6 year old can, and they became boyfriend and girlfriend. Life took them very different directions and after individual success in different areas, heartbreak and loss, love brought them back together. True story. 

Enjoy some images from their engagement session. T & A, cannot wait to share your day with you at MoonStone Manor in October!