my favorite part of a wedding day: bouquet toss
my favorite part of a wedding day: bouquet toss

OK. It’s time again for that killer blog series: My Favorite Part of A Wedding.

Today’s topic: Bouquet Toss

Ah, yes. That moment in every wedding, where single ladies either get way too excited about it or vomit at the shear thought of it.

Quick history lesson:
Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England. Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride’s dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd, the bride would toss her bouquet and run away.

First of all, this sounds AMAZING! More like this please.

Somehow, the toss has evolved into this thing that now guarantees that the lucky lady who catches it will be the next one married. Because you know… magic.

So even though it’s a bit corny, I do love this little moment when your girlfriends get a chance to go all Hunger Games during your reception.

I love when there are literally dozens of competitors.

I love when they stretch their arms like NFL wide receivers.

I love when the girl that does NOT catch it is more excited than the girl that does.

I love when the girl you think is going to catch it does not.

I love the taunting that is often performed by the victor.

I love when the girls trip over themselves trying to catch it.

I love it most of all, when a girl falls to the floor, and a bride is willing to meet her down there for their photo together.

I also love when a lady has so much swag and confidence, that she knows she can jump, hold her red solo cup in one hand, and snag the bouquet with the other.

But seriously. Here is the key that I have found after shooting hundreds of weddings: some people love it, some people don’t. But you know your girls better than most. If you think they will enjoy it, then by all means, go for it. If you know they hate the idea… punt it. Sure it’s your wedding, but these are your closest friends. The goal isn’t to embarrass or shame them because they haven’t found someone to file taxes with jointly.

And, sure it’s a glorious moment for the winning lady, but it’s not like catching your flowers actually empowers the girl with the ability to become the next one married.

Or does it?

Because you enjoyed this, I know you’ll want to see more in this series. Click here for more words and pretty pictures.

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Haley + Devin = Joy
Haley + Devin = Joy

Haley & Devin’s Ashelynn Manor was may be the most joy-fill wedding I have ever attended.
(Because of course you can accurately measure joy and I keep track of such things.)

Haley’s bridesmaids were a fierce bunch.  I loved them to pieces.

True story: while putting on her jewelry someone asked where she got the pearl bracelet and Haley blushed a bit and said it was a gift form an old boyfriend.  Everyone laughed and Haley’s mother said “You don’t get rid of pearls.”

Gypsy Blooms made everything look super pretty.

Devin’s connection with his family was incredible to watch.  the way he interacted with his brother and honored his mother gives me so much hope for their marriage.

I LOVED this groomsman.  For the first 2 hours he was either napping, or having someone trim his beard.  Either way… he was not going to exert himself.

Of course they all had themed socks.

Shout out to the groomsman with the slightly too tight pants. (You know who you are.)

Devin lasted about .0001 second before the tears came out.

There’s always one.  Also, make a mental note of this iPad.

We spent about 10 minutes in song.  It was pretty great.

So… about 75% of the time, the ring never quit fits the guy’s finger.  I always wait for that face from the bride.

That giddy moment right before you are about to be married when you arch you back to express the pure joy and anticipation of two becoming one.

A lot of couples raise their hands in celebration.

Most don’t actually skip and jump down the aisle.

Seriously, the wave of joy, emotion, cheering, and clapping that this crowd of people let out almost knocked me over.

Hey hey, look at all the beautiful people looking beautiful.

This was actually the THIRD wedding I have photographed for this family.  Haley is a cousin to Hilary & Blake.
You remember Hilary right?  Hilary of Hilary & Kirk fame.
And I know you could never forget Blake.  Form that one time Ashley & Blake got married.

The cheering continued.

The best man and maid of honor gave the sweetest speeches.

Despite not wearing shoes.

I love a good first dance.

And I also love a Mother/Son dance.

And of course I love a Father/Daughter dance.

But sometimes my favorite is to capture other fathers and daughters during the Father/Daughter dance.

Anniversary dance.  And…. when you’ve been married 52 years… you are allowed to take an iPad out into the dance floor with your lady.

The dance floor was on fire.  Seriously.  On. Fire.

I told you the bridesmaids knew what they were doing.

Lipsync battle.

Bye Bye Bye was good.

But the guys managed to come up with choreography for Man! I Feel Like a Woman on the spot.  It was epic.

My top 10 Mug Machine photos from the night.

To Haley & Devin: Thank you two for letting me share in your day.  Your energy, excitement, and love for each other is so contagious.  I can’t tell you how full my heart was when I left your wedding.  You guys are a joy to be around and I can’t wait to see what you build your marriage into.

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top 10 2016 | the winners!
top 10 2016 | the winners!

Hey hey, the people have spoken and here are the winners for this years contests.

1. Cassi & Justin: I love how competitive these two are. I also love how Justin beat her at basically every contest they had that day.

2. Rings: Erin & Aaron
This little catchphrase these two had is my favorite. They worked it into their vows and my wife and I have since worked it into our lexicon as well.

3. Bridal: Rebekah
Rebekah was a stunning bride and so so full of joy. So easy to photograph.

4. Mug Machine: Circle of Life.
I’ve been doing The Mug Machine for 7 years. I’ve never seen anyone come up with this.

5. Random: $100
Grandparents are the best. Full stop.

6. Wedding: Katherine & Josh
How amazing is it that these two had a Texas wedding in December where it was like 70 degrees and it managed to snow?

Each year it’s so hard for me to narrow down the categories and pick only 10 photos per section. Here are 100 more of my favorite images that were not able to make the cut into the top 10.

Lots and lots of eye candy below. Enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who voted and a HUGE thanks to all my 2016 couples. You guys are super generous to allow me into your lives on these intimate days. You are the best.

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top 10 2016 | wedding
top 10 2016 | wedding

It’s that time again. It’s time to look back at some of the best photos from 2016. Everyday we’ll be taking a look at a new category. Voting is open till 8am MONDAY morning. ALL the contest winners will be announced Monday at 10:00am. The winning entries will each receive a 16×20 print.

Today’s category: Wedding

All the other stuff is great, but really, when you get to the bottom of it, weddings are all about two people getting married. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of photographing couples on their day. Here are a few of my favorites form the past year.

1. Beach (Key Largo Lighthouse)
All Ali & Greg wanted was a wedding on the beach. They nailed it.

2. Dance (The SPRINGS Event Venue)
First dances are one of those moments in your wedding day where it really does feel like a movie.

3. Ring (East Texas Arboretum)
I always love snagging that moment when a couple realizes this is legit and really happening.

4. Walk (Wildcatter Ranch)
I mean… I’ve seen a lot of wedding walks. It’s tough to top this location.

5. Lanterns (The Landing at Joshua Farms)
Thank you Rebekah & Matt for allowing me to feel like I was in the movie Tangled.

6. Verse
Cassi & Justin come from a long line of strong marriages. This arch made such a great anchor for the whole day and ceremony.

7. Dino (Houston Museum of Natural Science)
Come on. Seriously. Dinosaurs. Rebecca & Tony took the “something old” to a whole other level.

8. Alone (Bella Sera Ranch)
There are few things I enjoy more than a bride and groom alone on their wedding day. (#FirstLook)

9. Snow (Harmony Chapel)
Of course it snowed for Katherine & Josh’s December wedding. That’s snow. Real snow.

10. Fireworks (Bella Sera Ranch)
I love how the fog caused the whole sky to light up for Morgan & Trevor’s New Year’s Eve wedding.

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top 10 2016 | random
top 10 2016 | random

It’s that time again. It’s time to look back at some of the best photos from 2016. Everyday we’ll be taking a look at a new category. Voting is open till 10am and the winners will be announced Monday. The winning entries will each receive a 16×20 print.

Today’s category: Random

Sometimes it’s the unexpected moment that stand out the most to me from a wedding day. The things you don’t plan for, the tiny details that bubble up to the surface and make your day that much more unique. Here are a few of my favorites from this past year

1.  Run!
(This little man made a run for it. Thought he could get out of the group photo. He was wrong.)

2. Pits
(The best part about getting married is when your sister rubs in your deodorant for you.)

3. Fall
(Sometimes brides fall on the dance floor. Sometimes I take photos of it.)

4. Aunts
(When your Aunts wear this to your rehearsal dinner.  You know you have a great family.)

5. Head
(I LOVE this photo.  Who gets married in a museum full of stuff like this?  Get married where YOU want to.  Tony & Rebecca sure did.)

6. Young & Old
(Sometimes the people watching the dancing are more interesting than the people dancing.)

7. $100
(That moment when during your family photos your grandfather remembers he wanted to give you 100 dollars.)

8. Powder Room
(Sometimes I wait outside the bathroom for the bride to walk out so I can get an awkward photo of her. That’s not creepy right?)

9. Drops
(Erin truly was a beautiful bride. Stunning.)

10. 2075
(Sarah’s grandparents have been married for 59 years. When I mentioned to her and Thomas that they won’t reach that milestone till the year 2075, she closed her eyes in amazement, and Thomas wiped his brow.)

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