Ashley & Blake | 365 Days of Marriage!!!
Ashley & Blake | 365 Days of Marriage!!!

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Weddings are great.  Sure.  I like them.  Let me tell you a secret though.  Even more than I like being there when a couple starts their life together…. I love creeping on them as they journey together those first few years.  That’s when it starts to get really good.  That’s when they start to realize that had no idea how much they could love each other.  They had no idea how fun it would be.  They had no idea how hard it would be.  Ashley & Blake were married a little over  year ago and they were kind enough to pull back the curtain and fill us in on what their first year together has been like.

What do you miss most about the single life?

The freedom to do whatever YOU want.

What was the the thing you stressed out most about in planning your wedding that now you look back on and laugh about?

We kind of put a lot of effort into figuring out which Bible verses we wanted read during the ceremony and who would read them, but then our pastor completely skipped that part.

Give us your best cheapo/fun married date idea.

Well, we LOVE ice cream. So to make us feel okay with it, we’ll go on a hike, grab some lunch, go check out the local succulent/gardening shops, and then discover one of the many amazing ice cream places of Los Angeles. And then spend 40 minutes trying to find the best free movie online. P.S. It’s LA, so cheap is relative.

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What have you liked most about your first year being married?

A: Being in the same city/apartment as Blake. (2.5 years long distance before)

B: Practical jokes are way easier to do when she lives with me and not 1,500 miles away.

What’s been the hardest part about being married?

A: Realizing how selfish we both are.

B: Samesies. Marriage isn’t about MY wants and needs. You have to be willing to serve your spouse on a daily basis.

What surprised you the most? (Either good or bad.)

A: Blake leaves used paper towels everywhere he goes. Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room, Dining Room…. Literally everywhere.

B: Apparently women don’t poop rose petals. But seriously, you think you have figured her out and everything’s going great — then BLAMMO — back to the drawing board.

 

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What have you fought about most and why?

Trying to find time for guy-time/girl-time while still making quality time for each other – especially since Blake has really long work hours during the week.

Do you have any advice for couples about to take the plunge?

A: Marry someone you have complete trust in and can really open up to when you have something you want to talk about. It’s very difficult to make yourself vulnerable enough to speak your heart even when you do trust that person. Also, be honest and genuine, while still loving, when you talk about the hard things.

B: You HAVE to discuss the important issues in life before tying the knot: religion, family/kids, money, politics, moral issues, etc. It’s terrible to see married people get a divorce over issues that should have been discussed while dating or engaged. Also, remember that love is not just a feeling, it’s a daily decision.

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Hilary & Kirk
Hilary & Kirk

I met Hilary last year at her brother’s wedding.  (Shout out to Ashley & Blake!!!)  I was so thrilled when Hilary contacted me to be her photographer.  Then I was bummed because I was already booked for her date.  Then I was thrilled again when she changed her date just so I could be their photographer.  (Shout out to Hilary & Kirk!!!)

Much like her brother and his wife, I loved these two front he get go.  So so fun to be around.  These two were kinda set up by Hilary’s mom and friend.  They kinda hit it off right away and dated for a little while but then Kirk just didn’t bother calling her back for a couple of months.  :)

Then one day out of the blue he called her back and invited her to go to the Muppet movie. (You can’t make this stuff up.)  Hillary hung up the phone, called her mom and had the “You won’t believe who just had the nerve to call me.” talk.  And now, a year or so later… they are getting married. :)

Oh, and they have a fur child named Marlo.

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My favorite thing in the whole wide world about Hilary is her laugh.  It’s infectious.  It fills a room and makes you smile just hearing it.

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Come November these two lovebirds are getting married at the Trinity River Audubon Center.

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My favorite thing about Kirk is how he seems to notice the smallest things.  Hilary is this force of nature  with her loud bubbly personality and he is her quiet rock.  Her constant who may appear to just be sitting quietly day dreaming but in reality he is taking in every detail of the moment.  (Bonus points to him for being the first to spot these ants that were creeping on their engagement session.)

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Thank you guys for trusting me enough to tell your story that you were willing to wait an extra 14 days just to start it. :)

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We Are Family
We Are Family

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I have looked forward to Jeff & Julie’s wedding since their awesome engagement session.  I knew it would be a chill day full of family and laughter.  (As every wedding should be.)

When I arrived Von Criswell (and bump) were getting Julie all dolled up.  Von does amazing make up work.  If you want your face to look better.  Book her.

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Jeff has twin daughter’s.  They like to read.  They are smarter than men.

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Julie & Jeff love to travel.  She gave him this great map with their date on it.  She also pinned where they were getting married.  Many more pins will follow in the years to come.  She also gave him a journal.  He may or may not have teared up.

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Of we went to Roseland Wedding Chapel.  The perfect setting for their day.

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Their First Look consisted of excitement and cheering.  Followed by lots of laughter.

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A Touch of Nature did so great on all the florals.

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Teenage girls doing what they do best.

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This is where you stop and look at the explosion of awesomeness brought to you by the fine folks of Event & Company.  They helped with the planning leading up to the day as well as ran the whole day.  Good wedding coordinators are worth every penny.  If you are getting married.  You should book Even & Company.

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I love that Jeff walked his girls in.  I love even more that his brother leaned over and cracked a joke when Julie was coming towards him.

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Jeff may or may not have had to stop and bite his lip to be able to finish his vows.

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Jeff’s father married them.  He is a preacher.  Jeff’s mother may or may not have ignored the preacher’s request for everyone to bow their head because wanted to take a photo.  (I don’t think she trusted my work.)

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Mucho fun was had at the reception.  Fun props, couches, and games from Pursuing Eden as well as yummy treats from Steel City Pops.

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How to kick off your reception in 3 easy steps.
1. Put on comfortable shoes.
2. Execute a successful twirl during your first dance.
3. Stuff your face.

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I’ve started jogging lately.  The main reason I run is to be able to eat more wedding cake.  Thanks Luscious Crumb for make my work out worth it.

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So many little kids at this wedding.  So many families.  It was like a scene out of a movie.  (A movie where CMB DJs provided a killer soundtrack.)

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I can’t even begin to tell you guys how full my heart was when I left your wedding.  Thank you for sharing your day and the beginning of your story with me.  It was an honor.

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Engagement Photos Super Post
Engagement Photos Super Post

I’ve been slammed this past week with 6 different shoots.  Each of theses couples was so great and it just didn’t feel right to not give them at least a little bit of blog love.

First up, Sarah & Caleb.  I adore their story about how they met and will share it with you soon when their July 4th wedding rolls around.  I don’t often end up in a field at sunset but this tree near Sarah’s home was too great to pass up.
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Tory & Brett are super perfect for each other.  They are both first year high school teachers & coaches.  They met at the start of school this year and are getting married at the start of summer. :)  They coach baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, track, football, and who knows what else.  Brett played a bit of college ball at DBU as well as some minor league ball for the Normal Cornbelters. (click the link to see their AMAZING mascot.)

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And finally we end our post with Jaime & Alan.  The only thing Jaime loves more than barrel racing is her fireman.  The only thing Alan loves more than fighting fires is his Jaime.  I am ALWAYS a fan when a guy seems big and strong enough to snap me in half, yet is tender and soft spoken to his bride to be.  (Nice find Jaime.)  Look for Alan in the 2015 Centerville Firefighters Calendar.  ;)

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Jo & I are going to Belize. Wanna Help?
Jo & I are going to Belize.  Wanna Help?

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UPDATE: ALL THE MINI SESSION SPOTS ARE SOLD.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SPREAD THE WORD.

Last year my 11 year old Jo and I were able to take a mission trip to Haiti.  By the end of the 1st day Jo was hooked and could not wait to go back.  I loved seeing him connect with kids from the other side of the world and I love how he came home understanding that there is a bit more to life than video games and new Lego sets.  This year we are planning a trip to Belize.  We will be helping build a basketball court in a village as well as teaching vacation bible school during the week.  Jo loves basketball and playing with smaller kids so this will be right in his wheel house.

(This is the part where you come in.)

We are funding the trip ourselves and are still a bit short of the full amount. So I thought, why not see if anyone out there is interested in contributing?!? As a little thank you for your gift, I’ll come out and shoot a mini-session of your choice. Family, baby, maternity, senior, kittens? You pick it and I’ll shoot it. (These will take place in the East Texas area.) I’m only offering 10 of these so get em’ while they last.

10 mini-sessions, $150 bucks each. All proceeds go to getting Jo & I to Belize.

Two more things…

1. If you don’t need photos, but still want to donate. That’s allowed. (Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com)

2. If you don’t need photos, and don’t want to donate. That’s also allowed, passing this post along to others would be a HUGE help.

Ready… Go!

(Email me here: alexmphotography@gmail.com if you want to book a session.)

Here is a little video I put together from our trip last year.

 

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