Less People Will Not Ruin Your Wedding Day
Less People Will Not Ruin Your Wedding Day

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It’s always an honor when I’m asked to document someone’s wedding day.  But for some reason, when there are only 10-12 people attending… it turns into a super honor.  That’s how I felt all day long at Leah & Jordan’s Lake Tyler Petroleum Club wedding.

I LOVE this next photo.  It may be my favorite of the day.

What if you could only have 12 people sit and watch you get married?
Could you do it?
Would you want to?

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There are so many misconceptions about what having a small wedding or ceremony might mean for your day.  Leah & Jordan proved that if you decide to have a small ceremony…. you can still have just as much fun. :)

You can still get your toe nail painted as your something blue.

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You can still get photos laughing with your bridesmaids.

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You can still have La Tee Da Flowers CRUSH your bouquet & arrangements.

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You can still have your grandfather perform the ceremony with his super old manuscript.

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You can still get yummy and delicious cakes from Designs by D’Anne.

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You still get to walk down the aisle.

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You can still have your grandmother tell your grandfather “Take a picture! Take a picture!”

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You can still have a pretty great ceremony that ends with man & wife.

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You can still take photos of the two of you looking gorgeous.

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You can still have awkward photos of you saying “I once caught a fish this big.”

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You can still get a killer ring shot on the book your grandfather has used to perform wedding ceremonies for over 50 years.

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Leah & Jordan didn’t choose a smaller ceremony because they didn’t have any friends.
(They just finished med school and residency. They actually have like a billion friends.)

They didn’t choose a smaller ceremony because they don’t like people.

They didn’t choose a smaller ceremony because they could not afford a bigger one.
(Remember, they are doctors.  Wait… They just FINISHED med school.  So yeah… never mind.  Still broke.)

They chose it because it was a good fit for them.

That is the takeaway.  Plan your wedding how YOU want your day to go.  If you want 500 people to watch you get married.  Fine.  Invite 800 guests.
IF you want 12, then invite 12.

Weddings have become a circus, and I don’t think they were ever intended to be that.

So my advice to you guys is this… The next time you get in an argument over a planning detail.  Don’t ask yourself “Do we really need 12 elephants or will 6 be enough?”

That’s not the question.  The question is…

Do we want any elephants at all?

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Perfect Wedding
Perfect Wedding

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Cassi and Justin had the perfect wedding day. True story.  OK, OK, it probably was not perfect.  After all, you can’t really have a perfect day.  Or can you?

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This was the path that led to the ceremony site.  Not bad at all.

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Cassi’s grandmother CRUSHED the decor.  She made most of the stuff and bought the rest.  It was like a custom made Canton just for her wedding day.

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Living and thinking globally plays a big part in both of their lives.  (I actually met Cassi on a trip to Haiti.)  This was my favorite decoration.

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It never stops being a huge honor when I get to capture the moment a father sees his daughter as a bride for the first time.

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I LOVED Justin bending his knees in anticipation during their First Look.

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Little people being adorable.

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I don’t know or understand this face.  But I felt it was my responsibility to share it.

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I mean seriously.  Look at these two.  Simply flawless.

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When Cassi’s mother turned around to watch her come down the aisle I heard her keep repeating “It’s perfect.  It’s perfect.”

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I’ll be honest with you.  There are no perfect weddings.  There may be perfect moments, but that’s about all we can wish for.  And right then.  That moment, with the sunlight, and her daughter and her husband and her daughter’s husband to be.  That was perfect.

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People break up. Divorce happens. I do always love though when a couple getting married actively fights against divorce from the moment they become man and wife.

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Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can’t Lose.

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Maybe I was wrong about the perfect.

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As Justin’s sister was hugging him she said “Someone finally took you!”

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As I go over and get in to take a photo of the bridesmaids they all shrieked in terror: “NO, DOUBLE CHIN!!!”

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Ah yes, that time honored tradition of YouTubing how to bustle a dress.

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At every wedding there is always that one couple where you can tell the lady wants to be on the dance floor more than the guy.

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The toasts were epic and super kind, the dances were also just right.  We were settling in for the prefect reception….

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But then this crazy storm blew in with about an hour and half left in the evening and we had to do a mock exit to avoid the rain and destruction heading our way.  So we were left with two options… End early, or move to the metal building.

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So into the big ugly metal building we went.

I told you there were no perfect weddings.

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This building didn’t have any decorations.

This building didn’t feel like a personalized Canton.

This building was full of old junky equipment that we had to move out of the way to make dusty dance floor.

I asked Cassi as we were walking into the building how she was doing.

She looked at me and said, “I’m not worried about it.”

Wait? What?

We just moved from fairytale magical outside dream wedding location with setting sun and unicorns grazing in the background into a big white dirty building and this bride says to me
“I’m not worried about it.”

Then something interesting happened.  No one missed a beat.  Within 10 minutes everyone was back in party mode.

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You know how you become a bride who is not fazed by a little drama on her wedding day?  You watch your mom not get fazed by things while you are going up.  And guess what?  Your mom probably watched her mom take on life with that same mindset.

Which brings us to the Anniversary Dance…

Like most great love stories, Cassi and Justin’s does not start with them, but by watching their parents and grandparents live out their marriage.
In 10 plus years of photographing weddings, I’ve never seen the anniversary dance end with with a dip and kiss. Of course Cassi’s grandparents with 49 years of marriage finished with that move.

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Their night ended just like they had planned it all along, surround by friends and family.  Celebrating the commitment these two had made.  A commitment they don’t intend to break, regardless of the storms that come their way.  A commitment to shrug at life’s obstacles and face them head on with a determination that says “I’m not worried about it.”

If that’s not a perfect way to start a marriage.  I don’t know what is.

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You know how sometimes at the end of a movie they have these little outtakes that don’t really go with the story but are just for fun.  Especially if you know all the inside jokes?  Here you go.

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Erin & Aaron
Erin & Aaron

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I first photographed Erin back in December of 2008.  She was a guest at Lauren & Brent’s wedding and has been creeping my work ever since.

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I was so, so thrilled for her when she got engaged last year, and I LOVE the man she married.  (You can see their super fun Dallas engagement session here.)

Once you are done with those, continue on down and enjoy the glorious goodness that was their wedding day.

It’s always great to work at the SPRINGS Event Venues.  Their location in Poetry Springs was perfect.

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Erica Ransom ( #hairbyericaransom ) from the deNovo Salon worked her magic on Erin’s hair.

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Erin truly was a beautiful bride. Stunning.

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One of my most favorite things from the day was how much Eric’s father made sure to include his other daughter, Lauren.  He was constantly affirming her, giving her hugs, and just generally being an amazing dad.

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Why yes, we would like a magical First Look.  Thank you.

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Aaron just kept repeating the words “I don’t even know what to say.” Erin didn’t worry about saying anything. She just kept tearing up.

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They both included the phrase “teamwork makes the dreamwork” in their notes to each other.  I had not heard it before, but man is that ever true.

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How about a nice slow clap for The Southern Table and the amazing florals they put together.

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You know how at every wedding there are those people that hang around the family photo time, even though they are not related to you; only because they hope to be asked into a photo?  Lauren & Brent are those people.  Gross.

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I LOVED when her mom pulled her grandmother over so she could get a great view of Erin coming down the aisle.

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I also love when Aaron went straight Gladiator “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?!” right after they kissed.

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Just because.

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Erin and all her little Aggie friends sang their friendship song together.

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Erin and all her little Aggie architecture friends built a building together.

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Hey look.  More people who would not be married were it not for me.

Give it up for Jennifer & Ryan and once again, let’s here it for Lauren & Brent.

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Erin had so, so many friend at her wedding.  You know why?  Because she is a friend.  She’s such a friend that when you bite it trying to catch her flowers, she’ll get down on the ground with you.

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Excitement?  Fear? Trepidation?  Not sure what that expression is…
Maybe I can Photoshop a smile onto his face.

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Of COURSE they did that thing I love where they are the only two people left dancing.

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Thank you guys for trusting me with your day.  It was an honor to be there.

And, to the unknown single lady who  was at this wedding and will be creeping on my work for the coming years…
I look forward to photographing your 2024 wedding.

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Rebekah & Matt
Rebekah & Matt

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Rebekah & Matt’s wedding at The Landing at Joshua Farms in Kilgore, Texas was such a joy to be around.  Every time I turned around there were more friends and family showing up.  These two are surrounded by an incredible support system.

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This little (big) printer is near and dear to Rebekah.  She’s had it for many years and it’s made her graphic design-loving heart full of happiness.  Of course it would play a part on her wedding day.

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I love a great First Look.  But, I also adore me some Daddy/Daughter First Looks as well.

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Anytime your getaway car and bridesmaid dresses match, you know your wedding is on point.

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“What do we do now?!” That moment right after you have been announced at your reception, but are not quite sure where to go next.

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I think Rebekah and her father laughed more during their first dance than any two I have photographed in the past 10 years.

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Whoop.

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Of course she had a reception dress.

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I was totally humming “and at last i’ve seen the light”.

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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?)

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Let them eat cake!

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Hey future brides… I can’t encourage you enough with this one… A last dance where you are all alone is THE BEST.

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You guys rocked my socks off.  Thanks for being so delightfully wonderful.

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Wildcatter Ranch Wedding
Wildcatter Ranch Wedding

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Niki & Jeremy were so, so chill on their wedding day.  Even the threat of rain didn’t phase them.  These two wanted nothing more than to hang out, get married, and maybe have a little fun at the reception.

Hey, if you are looking for a pretty great place to get married… Wildcatter Ranch in Graham, TX is your jam.

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Niki’s “something old” was her grandmother’s wedding ring. She passed away just shy of 50 years of marriage. Could this ring be any simpler?

Nothing about it says “look at me”.

All it really says is “Don’t bother looking. I’m taken. I’m committed.

‘Til death do us part.”

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This is what people pay me for.

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Jeremy and his son were getting ready together.  I loved how inclusive both Jeremy and Niki were to him the whole day.

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I love when a First Look goes from the first reaction being a smile to everyone tearing up within 4 seconds.

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One of my favorite family photo moments ever.  Of COURSE her grandfather said “hang on a minute” after their picture and gave Niki a 100 dollar bill. :)  Because that’s what grandfathers do.

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Their reception was what every wedding reception should be: laughter, dancing, family, & friends.

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Did I mention fireworks?

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And… what do you do if it’s raining when you are done with the party and need to walk back to your cabin?

You put a trash bag over your wedding dress.

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Thank you for being so relaxed.

Thank you for not stressing about rain.

Thank you for including your son every step of the way.

Thank you for leaving in a trash bag.

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