Beth & Tim | My Perfect Couple
Beth & Tim | My Perfect Couple

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When I got home from this wedding, I Instagramed a photo of these two and said this: “I have photographed hundreds of weddings. I have never seen a groom be more tender towards his bride than Tim was towards Beth.”

As I edited and looked over every image I captured that day, I still feel that to be an absolute truth.

The depth and richness of their relationship seeped through every aspect of their day.  I felt so honored to be there.  I felt like I should be paying them.  Then I was all like… wait.  My kids need to eat.  Nevermind.

Beth and Tim were married at Stone Oak Ranch in Athens.  It’s a Top 10 venue and I love shooting there.  Also Moss made the whole day explode with floral goodness.

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Beth knew exactly what she wanted in a dress.  But, unlike her groom, she could not find it in one place.  So she had one commissioned, that combined 3 different dresses on Etsy. :)

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Every time I turned around, these ladies were laughing.  About everything and nothing, all at once.

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Tim wrote in a little journal for her and as she was reading it she was tearing up, and then chuckled a bit.  I later asked her and she said that he had misspelled a word. :)

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Beth and her mom shared a super sweet prayer before the day really got rolling.

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I told you Moss killed it with the flowers!  Call and book them! 903.787.8821

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This is when I started noticing Tim’s attention to detail.  When he opened the gift Beth had for him, he looked over every part so carefully.  The card, the box, the small stuff we tend to glance over.  He even flipped through and read every page in a photo book she had made for him.  I was standing there photographing him, waiting for him to go to the next gift, but he just kept looking at the photo book.  Page by page.  After a minute or so, I began to worry because I saw that there was another book.  A longer thicker book.

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Sure enough, he opened this one to the table of contents and started looking over it.
(At this point I kinda freaked out in my head.  We are on a schedule bro.  I only allotted 5 minutes for “gift exchange” and you are making me nervous.)

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Then he went to this pose.  He settled in.  He got comfortable.  I think he forgot I was there, and we were there, and he was getting married.  He was so engulfed with the perfect gift that Beth had selected that it was threatening to ruin my day!!!

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He finally put the book down and we moved onto the business of this ever important “formal photos.”  This is Tim and his brother being “formal”.

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Tim also picked out bow ties for each of his guys.  (I’m scared to know how long that process took.)

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Boom!  Tim’s brother strikes with a perfect photo bomb.

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Beth’s sister made these.  Because she is awesome.

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Wedding time rolled around and I was waiting for it to start, when all of the sudden preacher man started talking.  I figured it was the usual, silence your cell phones, no flash photography announcement.

Wrong again, Alex.

Beth and Tim asked him to speak for about 5-10 minutes on what marriage is.  What it means.  What we strive for and commit to when we enter into this covenant.  And they asked him to do it BEFORE they came out because they didn’t want any of his words to be missed by the distraction of them, and their closest friends being up there.

They just wanted a not so subtle reminder for them and their guests that marriage is legit.

You don’t jack with marriage. (My words, not his.)

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Beth finally came out.  Tim cried.

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When she got to the front, they spent some time just hugging and holding each other.  Because why not. :)
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While at the back, I saw this.  It has nothing to do with covenants, or marriage, or the sacredness of the moment.  But you can’t NOT photograph dinosaurs.  Right?

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This is Tim’s “I CAN’T BELIVE WE ARE FLIPPING MARRIED YOU ARE SO GORGEOUS” face.
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After I finished their photos, I encouraged them to just take some time alone before heading back towards the wedding party and reception.  I looked over and found this.

Hello perfect moment.

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I love it so much.  It totally captured their day and relationship.  It wasn’t a kiss.  In fact, I would not even call it a “hug.”  It was more of a “hold.”

As in, I’m here for you.  I’m supporting you.  I’m committed to you.  I’m in this moment with you and will be in so many more moments for years and years to come.

Marriage is hard.

Mortgages
Kids
Budgets
School
Work
In-laws
Holidays
Bills

All of these things are a part of it.

None of them are inherently bad.  But boy, do they sometimes feel like they are pulling you apart.

Knowing your spouse is committed.  Knowing they are there to lean on.  Knowing that you can always walk into a room and hold each other, regardless of whatever is spiraling out of control around you, is what keeps marriages together.

I loved getting to capture their first “hold” as a married couple.

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I always like when this happens during a First Dance.

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And just when I thought I had seen it all…..  They go and give me a Marriage Monday quote on the side of their car.

“It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Thank you two for an amazing day.  I love you.

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Beautiful People You Love To Hate
Beautiful People You Love To Hate

 

Tyson and Bree are those people you love to hate. The super gorgeous, hipster-looking, amazingly haired, coffee snobbish, perfect together couple. The trouble is… If you ever meet them in real life, you’ll fall in love with them in about 10 seconds. Bree is so approachable and sweet and Tyson is like a throwback to the gentlemen of yesteryear. I love them so much that all I want is for their wedding to hurry up and get here so I can photograph them some more.

 

I mean, they can do anything. Tyson is all like dorky-flirty with Bree in this image.

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Then 4 seconds later I say, look this direction and it’s like I’m suddenly shooting for Abercrombie. (or whereever the beautiful people buy clothes nowadays.)

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And I LOVE their story….

Tyson and Bree met while attending UNT. Bree was walking around campus with a giant black portfolio art book thing and Tyson took notice of her pretty soon. Well, technically he noticed Luca first. Luca was Bree’s cocker spaniel. True story: Tyson said he may have liked her dog more than Bree at first.

Bree, noticing what an amazing dude Tyson was, soon made a super cool flip book to ask him out. Tyson told me that he was “always crazy intrigued by her” and once he found out she was interested in him, he took the lead. That was back in 2010 so today I think he may like Bree MORE than Luca, but I don’t know. Luca didn’t join us for the shoot.

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After stomping around the Bishop Arts District, Bree mentioned she wanted to go take some with “the big white bridge.” So we Googled that bad boy, went over, and took a few. But honestly, I knew we could do better.

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So we risked life and limb, and played chicken with a few cars, and ended up with a better view.  :)

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PS. The pretty white bridge is dirty if you look real close.
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Thanks you guys for being that super gorgeous, hipster-looking, amazingly haired, coffee snobbish, perfect together couple that I love to love.

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Amanda & Steve | The Mug Machine
Amanda & Steve | The Mug Machine

Amanda & Steve had a killer wedding.  It was what every wedding should be.  (A party.)  What better way to party than with The Mug Machine?

Here are a few of my favorites.dallas-wedding-photo-booth-01 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-02 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-03 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-04 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-05 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-06 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-07 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-08 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-09 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-10 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-11 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-12 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-13 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-14 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-15 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-16 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-17 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-18 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-19 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-20 dallas-wedding-photo-booth-21

Hey there bride who has already booked me for her wedding. You totally want to add this to your wedding coverage right?  Call me and we’ll make it happen. :)

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USA vs England | The Wedding
USA vs England | The Wedding

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Amanda and Steve may be my most favorite couple ever. In the history of couples. Ever. Because I love them so much. With my heart. Seriously. My favorite part of their wedding was seeing just how deep and rich so many of their friendships are. So, so many people came to support them and it really was a full day. OK, enough of that… on to the images.

 

Let’s kick off the day by getting ready at the Hyatt Regency next to Reunion Tower. Yes, please.
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Early on I realized socks would play a key role in this day.

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Spoiler Alert: Steve is not an American.

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These little peppers are a family tradition on Steve’s side.  His mother and sister spent part of the morning getting them ready for the big day.

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On to the Old Red Museum located right in the heart of downtown Dallas.
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HUGE shout out to Lottie and her team at Grit + Gold who made the whole day look AMAZING.  (You should book them.)

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Very, very “formal” photos of the guys.

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Sometimes my brides are excited to get married.

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USA! USA! USA!

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These two had such a perfect First Look.  They spent about 15 minutes talking/laughing/tearing up and exchanging gifts.

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Steve gave Amanda a cool framed photo of Texas. Amanda was happy, but curious about the gift…

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Then he busted out a little card that contained ANOTHER gift!!!!

It’s a painting that she saw once and loved. So he purchased it for their home and had the artist sign it. (Major bonus points.)

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More “formal” photos.

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Socks!

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How great are these two?

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Their ceremony was performed by a friend of Steve’s who had this perfect British accent.  It made the whole thing feel like a Jane Austen novel.  He also did a killer job on their vows.  He referenced Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy, Lady & the Tramp, and Marge & Homer Simpson.

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As I was shooting the image on the left, I realized that if I moved a bit to the right, I could turn Steve into a Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Pet.  Mission Accomplished!

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Ceremony done.  More picture goodness!

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Before the reception Amanda surprised Steve with a video of recorded messages from friends and family “back home” that could not make it across the pond for the ceremony.  (Major bonus points.)

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What happened next may be the greatest speech I have ever experienced at a wedding. It’s impossible for me to describe, but I’ll see what I can do.

You remember that guy form A Knight’s Tale, who would go around introducing Heath Ledger before each joust? Yelling and screaming and holding the crowd in the palm of his hand?

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Well, Steve’s best man did that for TEN SOLID MINUTES!  Telling tale after tale of the myth and legend that is Steve Harrison.  It was a riot and something I’ll never forget.

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Much dancing and merriment was had.

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Right before their exit Amanda & Steve did one of my favorite wedding things.  They cleared the room and had a last dance all alone.  Those ALWAYS work.  (You should try it.)

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The Mug Machine was also there.  (In full force.)  I’ll be posting some of those in a few days.

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My Favorite Part Of A Wedding Day: Family Photos
My Favorite Part Of A Wedding Day: Family Photos

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The day you get married is really unlike any other day of your marriage. It’s packed full of moment after moment after moment of memories. There are huge swings of emotion and sometimes the most unexpected thing will end up being the highlight of your day. I’m often asked “What’s your favorite part of a wedding?” The reality is, I don’t have just one answer for that. It really depends from wedding to wedding. I can say, that having shot over 400 weddings, a few trends have emerged and I’ve seen some patterns bubble up that I always look forward to documenting and being present for. I’ll be writing about one of these per month and I thought I would kick it off with one you might not expect.

My favorite moment of a wedding day is…. Family Photos!

That’s right, baby. I LOVE family formals. (I even wrote about how to have great formals a few years ago.) These are your people. This is your tribe. These images are so full of history and depth it’s impossible to not love them. This is your chance to laugh and cry with those who have known you the longest. It’s the time all your people look their best and these photos are the ones that will be put in frames and looked at for years and years to come. These are the images that end up on the kitchen counter, in the hallway, and above the fireplace. The thing is, sometimes in all of our planning and prepping for the day, they get overlooked. They become an item in your 76-Things-To-Do-On-Your-Wedding-Day-Checklist.

[ ] 4:30 Bridesmaid Photos
[ ] 4:45 Family Photos
[ ] 5:00 Reception

Just realize that that little block of your wedding day is one that many couples are not present for. I mean, they are there. They show up. They smile, pose, and hug. But, really, they are looking towards the next moment. The reception, the ceremony, the alcohol at the reception. :) They are not fully present and aware of how special these moments can be.

Need proof? Take a look.
This is typically what you think of when you hear family photos.  Bride with parents.  Check. :)

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But, you’ll quickly realize there is so much more happening.

 

1st family photo where all the kids are married.

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That super tender moment you have with your dad.

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A mother who has raised 4 boys into grown men.

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Sometimes things get a bit more fun.
Example: A photo of what this family typically looks like. ;)

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Siblings are the best!

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Sometimes the photos are not even about you.
That moment when a grandkid spits up on your grandparents.

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I LOVE to pull the bride or grooms brother/sister and their family aside.  It typically takes about 30 seconds and BAM!  They get a new photo to hang on their wall.

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How about one of your parents. Who NEVER get dressed up. Who NEVER get photographed. Here they are, looking good and in love.

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Or how about that picture with your grandparents who have been married 57 years and you have not even been married 57 minutes?

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Let’s fast forward to 2020.

 

Six years from now when you go home for Christmas and you have a three your old little girl, she will be at PaPa & NaNa’s house looking at the tree. She will stare at all the gifts under it and then she’ll notice a photo hanging on the wall of her mom in a white dress. She will look at it for a while, then she will ask her NaNa about the photo. And then your mother will tell her all about how beautiful her mother was on her wedding and how wonderful the day was.

 

And THAT moment, in the future, will be magic. And it will all be possible because you took a few moments on your wedding day to be photographed with the people who love you the most.

 

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