Red, White, & Blue and I Love You
Red, White, & Blue and I Love You

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When you get married on the 4th of July and have a family full of service men, you know it’s going to be a great day.  I was giddy that this next image was one of the first I fired off that day.

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Sarah & Caleb said their vows at the fantastic Lake Tyler Petroleum Club. (A fantastic venue with lots of options for your wedding day.)

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Family, history, legacy.  These are all things that Sarah values.  (It’s part of what attracted her to Caleb.)  Much of her jewelry belonged to her grandparents and her friend even MADE her this frame.  How incredible is that?

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Basically every wedding has the same story.  Boy & girl like each other.  Boy & girl get married.  It’s the easiest story to tell, see, and document.

The thing is, sometimes that’s not the most interesting story of the day.

I love getting to know my couples in a way that helps me figure out the part of their story that they value the most.  What’s really important?  Is it the flowers?  Is it the dancing?  Is it the vows?

From my first phone call with Sarah, I was able to pick up on her commitment to Caleb.  But when she spoke of his daughter she spoke with a sense of respect and love that made it very clear:  She is joining both of them in life.  They are becoming a family.  She is aware of the impossible yet very tangible dynamics of becoming a mother.

All throughout the day, I found little moments where Caleb & Sarah gave time, space, and respect for Savannah to soak in the moments.  Not to force the day and union on her like two grown ups in charge.  Instead they welcomed her into their day.  They asked for her to be a part of it.  At times they literally held her hand as she navigated this emotional day.

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I love seeing a groom’s reaction to his bride.  The next best thing though is seeing a father look at his baby girl.

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Yes please.

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Go team America.

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Hey you know who La Tee Da is right?  They kinda kick butt at making flowers look fantastic.

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I caught Caleb having a little chat with Savannah right before the ceremony.  My heart turned all mushy.  I love it when dads “gets it.” When they realize that no matter how hectic and crazy a moment is, the main thing our kids need is us to connect with them and let them know we are with them.

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Then Savannah came out and Caleb went to meet her and walked her down the aisle.  (Because he wanted everyone to tear up a bit.)

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Right when Sarah was about to walk out, it hit her.  Sometimes this happens to brides.  And I’ll be honest.  Sometimes it leads to brides just crying all the way down the aisle.  I love everything about these shots.  I love that Sarah is completely overcome with emotion.  She is fully aware of the moment and understands how amazing their story is and that this is happening.

Her father gets it.

Her father knows his daughter enough to know that right now she needs him to look at her and reassure her.  That no matter how hectic and crazy the moment is, the main thing she needs is him to connect with her and let her know he is with her.

Caleb gets it.

He knows his bride so well.  He knows that she is full of emotions and he never once took his eyes off her.  He was locked in, he was steadfast, he was fully present.

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When you marry a military man on the 4th of July at the lake, and a boat drives by during your vows with “I’m Proud to be an American” blasting front the speakers, all you do is smile and know you picked the right day.

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Sarah’s brother was deployed 2 days before her wedding.  It was a tough break for their families, but it’s also what they do.  They serve.  They answer the call.  They go.

(They also Skype.)

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The Fatt Apple makes yummie food.  Need proof?  Look at how happy these kids are.

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The rest of the night was filled with people saying wonderful things, lots of dancing, and expositions in the sky.

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Thank you two for letting me be a part of your day.  I left with a full heart.

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Teaberry Farm Wedding Photos
Teaberry Farm Wedding Photos

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Tory & Brett had the perfect wedding day.  It was not perfect because everything went as planned.  It was perfect because they just rolled with the punches.  First off.  How about the AMAZING Teaberry Farms?!?!

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This is Tory smiling while getting ready.  Her wedding was about to happen outside.  It was raining outside and had been all morning.  Tory was my hero that day.

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I’ve photographed hundreds of First Looks.  They never disappoint.

P.S.  It stopped raining. ;)

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Sometimes I let moms creep from behind the bushes. :)
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Here are all the beautiful people looking beautiful.
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Props to Adalanté Catering.  They make things look nice and yummie to eat.

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These two were my favorites.

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Ceremonies are long.  Sometimes you just have to go stand in the back and have a beer.

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That moment you have dreamed of your whole life.  When you are man and wife and you walk off into the sunset together…. only to have to stop by the side of the barn to get your dress bustled.

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Fresh Air.

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Ring Bearer swag.

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As always CMB DJs did an terrific job with the music.  You should book them for your wedding.  Right now.
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Thank you two for being so chill and laid back.  You were All-Stars.

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How To End Your Wedding Day At The Chicken
How To End Your Wedding Day At The Chicken

Emily & Lucas has a killer Aggie wedding day.  She got ready at the MSC, they were married under the Century Tree, then they headed to Christopher’s World Grille for the reception.
(See all the photos here.)

There was only one logical way for the day to end.  At the Dixie Chicken.

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These two carved their initials here a few years back.  Of course we took photos by them.

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My favorite moment of the night was when Emily was drinking, Lucas wanted a sip and Emily would not allow it.  Welcome to your new life Lucas. :)

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So in the previous post we learned how to get married under the Century Tree.  This one is a bit easier.  You don’t have to make plans or call.  You just walk in to the Chicken.  And… bonus points to you because people will probably buy you a pitcher. :)

Congrats to you guys.  You had an amazing day.  Thanks so much for letting me share in all of it. WHOOP!

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How To Get Married Under The Century Tree
How To Get Married Under The Century Tree

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Lucas & Emily had an incredible first day as husband & wife.  They were surrounded by family and their closest friends and it happened right where their story began.  A little university in College Station called Texas A&M.  (You may have heard of it.)

The thread of family was so, so evident in their wedding.  From the very beginning it was easy to see how valuable it was to them.  Emily & her sisters must have spent thousands of mornings like this; laughing, music blaring, and getting ready together.  Well… minus the champagne.

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Shout out to Emily’s mother who made this.  Out of string.  All of it.

Game.  Set.  Match.

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Lucas did what many guys do.  He wrote Emily a letter for her to read on their wedding day.  Then he trumped all men everywhere by also giving her a letter he wrote to his future wife when he was 16.

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A little spot on campus called The Century Tree.

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Basically everyone was crying when Emily came out.

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Well, everyone but this guy.  He was all like: “Why are all you humans up in my tree?”
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I love veil mishaps during ceremonies.  They are the best.

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Emily’s sisters responded by cheering like wild banshees.  Her brother responded by tearing up and hugging her for about 30 seconds.
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The flower girls giggled and snuck a peak at all the kissing and hugging.

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This image is becoming harder and harder to get at weddings.

A groom, his bride, and their parents.

It always fills my heart with joy when I get to capture one.  I know life happens, times are hard.  Sometimes tragedy strikes.  But there is something incredibly Holy and sacred about seeing 2 couples with over 25+ years of marriage joining their children in that covenant.  It always gives me that much more hope for the bride and groom.

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You HAVE to take one “normal” photo of siblings.  But after that one is knocked out…  We get to the good stuff.

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Speaking of “the good stuff”…

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After the ceremony we all headed over to Christopher’s World Grille.  They spent the evening  Whooping, cheering, and saying wonderful things about each other.

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The older I get… the more I love these moments.

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Speaking of moments I love.  I LOVE when brides pull off a photo bomb.

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Normally the getaway is where the night ends.  These two had other plans in mind.  If you are an Aggie, you’ll recognize the location.  If you are not an Aggie, you’ll have to wait till Monday to know where we went. :)

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Oh… and for all you Aggies out there who are dying to know how they pulled off a ceremony under the Century Tree…

You can’t “reserve it”, but you can “show up”.  Other things may even be going on at your “time”.  Who knows.  Your best bet is to contact the University Events Coordinator.  Best of luck.  (WHOOP!)

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Amanda & Dale
Amanda & Dale

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Amanda & Dale had the perfect wedding day at The Vineyards at Chappel Lodge.  But it didn’t just happen.  They had to fight for it.

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Coby Neal and The Flower Studio in Austin CRUSHED it.  So so nice to look at.
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This next photo is one of my favorites.  These two had planned to be married last year but some date conflicts and a medical emergency caused them to postpone the date.  They were able to find a date early this year that worked and even then they had the threat of rain all day long.  They stuck with it though and had a fantastic day.  They were willing to keep pushing forward to get what they wanted.  Just like this image.  Amanda wanted photos in a field of bluebonnets.  They were far away.  She made the hike and never once complained.

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The rest of the night was filled with laughter and stories told by the fire.  It ended like every wedding should.

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