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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Charity Water | Mini Sessions
Charity Water | Mini Sessions

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The past 5 years our family has gone on mission/humanitarian trips overseas. The thing with going to these places is that you always go intending to help someone and the reality is that you come back changed. Little by little, year by year, OUR hearts have changed. They have grown more and more open towards others and specifically towards those less fortunate.

One of the things we decided to do this year was not spend money heading “over there” but instead look for ways to help right from where we are. We’ve found ways to serve, give, and grow our hearts without having to take a plane ride. One of the ways we are doing that this year is by partnering with Charity Water.

Charity Water is an AMAZING organization that just celebrated 10 years. Every single dollar you give goes towards clean water. Not one penny goes towards payroll, paying rent, maintaining a website, or donuts for their break room.

To understand just how important water is watch either of these videos.

If you have 2 minutes, watch this one.

If you have 20 minutes and a box of kleenex watch this one.

So today is my birthday and I am turning 39. And here is what I’m asking you to do:

I’m asking you to give.

It’s that simple. I’m asking you to give a one time donation of 39 bucks. (That’s like buying two Blu-rays.)

39 bucks gives someone clean drinking water for 1 year.

39 bucks give a woman her dignity back.

39 bucks gives a young boy a chance to go to school.

39 bucks gives a young girl her future.

All of these things and so much more happen when people have access to clean water.

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It literally takes less than a minute to go online and give.

I’m convinced every single person reading this has 39 bucks they can spare.

Maybe you wait another month on that grill you’ve been eyeing.

Maybe you don’t buy those “essential” oils.

Maybe you don’t go out to eat this week.

Maybe you dip into that wedding account.
(Trust me, you can’t buy anything wedding related for 39 bucks, you ain’t gonna miss it.)

Maybe you are a college kid and your parents gave you a credit card.
Use that bad boy without even asking!!!! (I’m looking at you Beckie.)

I’m daring you to give.

I’m daring you to change a life.

I’m daring you to do the one thing this week you can look back on and be absolutely sure it was the best thing you could have done with 39 bucks.

Go give. I dare you. https://donate.charitywater.org/alexm/best-birthday-ever

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Oh yeah… about those mini sessions…

Anyone who donates $150 bucks or more gets a mini session. You can’t beat that.
(Once you donate, send me a copy of your receipt and you’ll be signed up.)
Donate here: https://donate.charitywater.org/alexm/best-birthday-ever

You get amazing photos of you and your people…

5 people get clean water because you decided to get your picture taken.

Mini Session locations & dates:
Austin: October 8th
Dallas: October 15th
Tyler: October 16th

One more thing…
My beautiful bride has a birthday coming up 2 days from now. All of you people who are always telling me how amazing and how wonderful she is… this is your chance to let her know that… by donating 74 dollars.

Nothing would fill her heart more to see this campaign reach our goal of $5,000 bucks.

Give 39 bucks. Change a life. It’s that simple.

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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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Beth & Tim | Year 1
Beth & Tim | Year 1

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Right after I photographed their wedding, I mentioned that I had never seen a groom be more tenter towards his bride.  1 year later, Tim still holds the title belt.  I have such great memories of their wedding at Stone Oak Ranch and I KNEW they would be the perfect couple to check in on after their first year of marriage.  Enjoy.

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What do you miss most about the single life?
Hahah, actually not a lot. Little things here and there; alone time, a different kind of freedom… But really we don’t miss it.

Give us your best cheapo/fun married date idea.
Build a fort in your living room, have breakfast for dinner, and watch a good movie (Tim always picks). We are the simple, stay home kinda people.
Getting ice cream and driving around looking at all the nice houses in our neighborhood and dreaming about one day…

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What have you liked most about your first year being married?
Waking up together, supporting one another, always having “my person” I can count on, figuring things out together, celebrating together,praying together. We like that we are forever together.

Tim: What have you discovered about Beth this year that you didn’t realize before?
How gracious she is and how she is able to forgive me on my off days.
Beth: What is one thing super gross thing about Tim that you learned now that you are married to him?
I wish I had something truly appalling but Tim is a lot of things but gross isn’t one… Not for a good story here but it makes living together much more pleasant.

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What have you fought about most and why?
Money! Because we both are independent and tend to want to control things in our own way. We have really had to work to understand each other and be on the same team when it comes to our finances and budgeting.

What was the biggest thing you were nervous about? How has it turned out?
Tim: I was anxious about the weight of responsibility and caring for my wife. It’s been a blessing to overcome selfishness and to learn (the beginning of) how to serve her and trust God as he leads us.
Beth: The first year being the hardest year of your life. It’s hasn’t been the simpliest year of life but we have really fought to have fun, give grace, forgive, and make memories together. We know more things will come but we have genuinely loved our first year of marriage.

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What do you wish someone had told you before you were married?
We honestly have a phenomenal community and they did well to prepare us. I will say one thing that someone did say that I wish I heard more was that every marriage is different and part of the fun is learning and failing together to make it the best it can be.

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Kayla & David | year one
Kayla & David | year one

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Kayla & David were married at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church last August.  (With a killer reception at Centaur Arabian Farms in Flint, TX.)  So now that they are total pros at being husband and wife I thought it would be fun to hear form them on what their first year of marriage was like.

1. What do you miss most about the single life?
What I miss most about single life is being able to sprawl out in bed.. That being said, we just bought a king mattress last week…haha.

2. Give us your best cheapo/fun married date idea.
Cheapo fun married date idea: garage saleing and thrift store exploring is one of our favorite pastimes, David is the bargainer and I am the treasure hunter. We always have a good time and laugh with odd things we see at garage sales.

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3. What have you liked most about your first year being married?
The looks on peoples faces when they find out I’m married.. Their reaction is mostly..”aren’t you like 12?!” Haha! It happens, I’ll be really smokin’ when I’m 60 and look 45 ;) but my most favorite part of our first year of marriage is the companionship that you feel with your person. Nothing beats the feeling of someone who has chosen and is still choosing to be yours everyday.

4.What’s been the hardest part about being married?
I would say the hardest part about being married right now is making future decisions such as when should we have kids?, should we buy a house?, should we rent?, where should we go?, which insurance plan is best for us?, what is a mortgage?  (Okay I asked that one)… What we’ve learned so far is don’t try to go it all alone, our parents have been our biggest supports and counselors. We don’t have all the answers and probably never will, but we are up to the adventure of figuring it out!

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5. What have you fought about most and why?
What we fight most about with me is my phone habit. (Guilty).. What we fight most about with David is the he refuses to use the towel rack in our bathroom and will hang his used towel over the bathroom door so the door isn’t able to be shut, and I am not the tallest so it is difficult for me to get it down so I am able to close the bathroom door, also he is a nail picker..eww.

6.  What was the biggest thing you were nervous about? How has it turned out?
The biggest thing I was nervous about was the expectancy to be a “good wife” to cook dinner, have the house spotless, be dressed and picture perfect everyday for my husband and being able to maintain that. The reality is that I am not perfect and David realizes that he also realizes he is not perfect and this isn’t the Stepford Wives. I do however attempt to do these things for him because of course as his wife his happiness is extremely important to me, but also in turn he does things for me and helps around the house and cooks dinner and still calls me beautiful when I could pass for a gremlin. Letting go of that stereotype for me and figuring out what works best for us has really helped our relationship.

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7. What do you wish someone had told you before you were married?
Your wedding will not turn out the way you imagined, things will go wrong: there will be a gathering at the church before your wedding and the floors will be covered is smashed brownies and you’ll walk out to see your dad and uncle on their hands and knees scrubbing the floor, you will get lost on the way to your own reception with no cell phone service, plan on not eating at the reception, your first dance song will get deleted off your iPod, and the forks you got personalized for the big day will go missing, but you can also count on the moments you never imagined happening such as: spontaneous bride and groom karaoke with the band to Don’t Stop Believing, you can count on a spontaneous break-dance dance off with your bridesmaid, husband, and usher so intense the usher will rip his pants (right in the crack..), and you also count on the band playing Miley Cyrus and all the guest on the dance floor surrounding you with a cup in the air and a smile on their face and singing at the top of their lungs, you can count on incredible photo booth pictures because your friends are awesomely weird like that.  oh and so is your photographer ;)) you can count on your bridesmaids and groomsman and family to go above and beyond their call to make your day one to remember, and most importantly you can count on going home with your newly wed spouse to start your life.

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Thank you two for opening up to us.  Kayla you were super sweet to share your struggles.

And David…. come on man, use a towel rack, we are not animals.

PS. If you can’t get enough of these two, check out their super fun hot air balloon engagement session.

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