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Weddings + Engagements

My Favorite Bouquets of 2018

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My Favorite Bouquets of 2018

A compilation of some of the bouquets that caught my eye in 2018. Florists include Harbour Bay Florist, Anna Flowers, Polished Petals, J.Adan Flowers, and Simply Flowers. Click to see more!

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Should You Have a First Look?

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Should You Have a First Look?

Should you have a first look? This can be a question that can plague a bride. However, some know just where they stand.

What is a first look?

A first look is when the bride and groom see each other prior to the ceremony. Usually the first look is a private moment between the bride and groom (and of course the photographer) where they can get the pre wedding jitters over with without the company of their guests. Most of the time, the wedding party is not present at the time of the first look. An area that is low in foot traffic is the best place to have one.

why should I have a first look? (the pros)

Sounds untraditional doesn’t? Yes, it does. But, there is a purpose behind it. There are many varying factors that go into play on a wedding day and there are so many moving parts. The first look is good because it addresses a few key things which I will be pointing out here.

  1. First, your anxiety level. The anxiety level (butterflies, nerves) are extremely high for some brides the entire day up until the point that they see the groom. At that time, when the bride and groom see each other for the first time, the bride’s nerves go down and she is much more relaxed.

  2. You get to spend more time with your groom on your wedding day (instead of hiding from him). When brides have a first look, they will get to spend about 2-3 hours more with their groom prior to the ceremony.

  3. First looks affect the timeline. You get the majority of your portraits completed prior to the ceremony which means you can enjoy your cocktail hour.

  4. You get your photos done when your makeup is the freshest.

  5. You can take advantage of beautiful lighting during the day for your photos (if you’re ceremony is at sunset). You will have plenty of light for photographs.

  6. Walking down the aisle will be less of a nerve wracking and you may enjoy it more + take in the moment.

  7. You can have more time to hold on to the moment of seeing each other for the first time because you will be able to hug, kiss and cling to each other.

  8. You’re wanting larger family grouping photos and you will have time for this after the ceremony.

  9. You are having a receiving line after your ceremony which will take up some of the time in which portraits would normally be taken.

what are the downsides to a first look? (the cons)

Some brides do not want to see the groom prior to the ceremony. And that is perfectly fine. Here are some of the reasons why you may not want to have a first look.

  1. You just don’t want to go against tradition and you’re just not ok with that.

  2. Having more time for portraits of the two of you isn’t something that you want. You are ok with a handful of portraits only.

  3. Nighttime portraits is ok with you.

  4. You do not want to go to cocktail hour.

  5. Your family grouping photos are so small that they won’t take much time after the ceremony.

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Surprise Proposal | Hutchinson Island, FL

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Surprise Proposal | Hutchinson Island, FL

He called me and told me of his plan to propose to her on the beach. The more he told me about his plan, the more I knew how much he cherished her. unbeknownst to Callie, Chris had secretly arranged to have me waiting at the beach, ready to photograph his proposal. He had kept a ring in a secret spot so that she would not find out, and devised a plan to have rose petals spread out in the shape of a heart. In the middle of the heart was a message in a bottle. I do not know what the message read, but I assume it was from the heart because that seems to be how Chris does things--from his heart.

As I waited on the beach for a couple that I had never met, I became increasingly nervous for some odd reason. Maybe because storm clouds were threatening? Or, I guess it was the anticipation that I had for what was about to go down. I checked my gear and kept it hidden, as to not be seen by Callie. The waves rolled in and lapped on the shore, setting the perfect scene. 

Soon, I heard voices. "What's that?!" Chris questioned as he walked down with Callie. A trail of red roses lead the two love birds down to the heart where Callie reached down and pulled out the message in a bottle. After a few moments, Chris knelt down on one knee and presented Callie with a gorgeous halo set diamond ring. Callie was elated!

Just as the sun came out, the two popped a bottle of bubbly and celebrated their engagement together. The moment was perfect, just like Chris had wanted it to be! To Chris and Callie, thank you for giving me the honor of documenting your proposal! I wish you all the best!!

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House of Refuge Engagement | Traci + Jeremy

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House of Refuge Engagement | Traci + Jeremy

Among the hot summer temperatures, we found a refreshing breeze close to the ocean. It was Traci and Jeremy's love for the ocean that inspired us to photograph their engagement session here at the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island. They both love to scuba dive off of Jupiter, Florida, so this was definitely a great location and I am so glad they choose it!

We spent just about the whole session laughing! Nothing too serious about our session, just fun! These two really brightened up my day, I'm so thankful for clients like them! And I am even more excited that I have the honor of photographing their wedding :-D 

Here are some of my favorites from our time together!

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Hobe Sound Nature Center Engagement | Ashley + Ryan

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Hobe Sound Nature Center Engagement | Ashley + Ryan

The Florida summer has officially arrived! Rain, check. Heat, check. Mosquitos, check. Yep, folks we are smack dab in the middle of summer. Fortunately, I have wonderful clients like Ashley and Ryan who brave all of the summer elements to create fun engagement photos! Like, this one of their dog, how cute is that?!

Ashley and Ryan met me at Hobe Sound Nature Center for their engagement photos and we had such a fun time! I'm always eager to photograph my clients for the first time to see how they interact together as a couple. Ryan and Ashley were so great! 

We started our session by the river and then made our way to the hiking trails. The soft sugar sand added an extra obstacle as we walked up hills. Ashley and I both commented that we were so out of shape! Lately, photographing sessions has been about the only exercise I've been getting. Well, not to mention chasing a toddler around the house :) 

I'm so excited to share some of my favorite photos from our session, enjoy!!

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House of Refuge Engagement Photos in Stuart, FL

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House of Refuge Engagement Photos in Stuart, FL

Two strikes and we hit a home run! After trying to schedule our session the first time, and getting rained out, we were FINALLY able to have our session at the House of Refuge! The afternoon was beautiful and I think you will love their images, go take a peek!

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Delray Beach Marriott Wedding | Megan + Brian

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Delray Beach Marriott Wedding | Megan + Brian

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The days leading up to Megan and Brian's wedding were flooded with sheets of rain on a daily basis. The clouds were gloomy and promised to leave the ground soaked. The morning of Megan and Brian's wedding came. It was overcast and windy. As the afternoon progressed, the clouds slowly started to dissipate and before you knew it the sun came out. YES! The sun! We could not believe that we were actually getting a break from all of the rain. Not only were we getting a break from the rain, but the fact that the sun was shining was just glorious!

Our day began and The Delray Beach Marriott hotel where Megan and Brian got ready. The hotel, which was right across the street from the beach, had beautiful Mediterranean inspired architecture, I was pleasantly surprised! As we scoped out the hotel and looked for places that might be a good place to photograph portraits, we were surprised to have so many beautiful options. 

Megan and Brian's ceremony was held at the Lake Worth Casino, about a 25 minute drive back north on the beach. Guests from all over the country came to witness their beautiful day. Their ceremony was just as gorgeous as the rest of their day had been. Megan and Brian, thank you so much for the honor of photographing your wedding! Frank would have been so happy with all of the photos! I wish you all the best!

Vendors to credit:

Coordinator: Carmengloria Davis

Getting ready + First look location: Delray Beach Marriott

Venue: Lake Worth Casino

Officiant: Neil Saffer

Florist: Mary Prokop

Cake Artist: Al pan pan

DJ: Mikey Nunez

Make up artist: Kim Keown

Hair: Hot Heads

Bridesmaids dresses: Etsy

Men's tuxedos: Nordstrom

 

 

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Delray Beach Wedding | Ali + Adam

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Delray Beach Wedding | Ali + Adam

She had spent all day getting ready, her makeup perfected down to the very eyelash. Her smile was contagious as was her positive energy. Simply put, her beauty radiated from the inside to the outside. All seven of her bridesmaids complimented her with their faces beaming and cheers of excitement for her.

The moment that Adam saw Ali, the room went silent and Ali's face gave a new meaning to the word Joy. She was just as enamored with Adam as he was for her. I am honored to have witnessed and documented a beautiful first look. 

Ali and Adam choose to be married at Gleneagles Country Club in Delray Beach. It was a beautiful location. Even despite the rain, we were able to capture some beautiful portraits of the two of them around the pool and veranda area. 

When night fell, their guests were seated under the veranda for their ceremony. Candles and roses lined the sides of the aisle and added a beautiful touch to the ceremony. Ali and Adam cozied up beneath their Chuppah which was adorned with a gorgeous arrangement of flowers (lots of roses!). The rest of the evening was spent partying and DANCING. It's always so fun to watch the guests dance the night away!

Ali and Adam, thank you for giving me the privilege of documenting your wedding day! I wish you both all of the best! I know that Frank would have been very pleased with these images :) 

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Vendors to Credit:

VENUE: Gleneagles Country Club

HAIR/MAKEUP: Tyler Presley Salon

FLORIST: J. Adan Events

CAKE: Johnson's Custom Cakes

DJ: Eddie B & Company

BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Azazie

MEN'S TUXEDOS: Men's Warehouse

 

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Sailfish Point Wedding Photos| Morgan + Carl

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Sailfish Point Wedding Photos| Morgan + Carl

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There are a ton of beautiful, eloquent words that I could use to describe Morgan and Carl's wedding, but I would still feel at a lack because words just don't do their day justice. The photos from their wedding are by far some of my favorite all year! 

The best thing that I can do to explain their day is to simply begin by telling the story of their day.

Morgan's dress was adorned with hundreds of tiny beads, it was so regal, I felt that it would be perfect to hang in the orchid room for a photo. Morgan's mom helped her get ready and her soon to be sister in law helped her put on her veil. The veil was an heirloom, estimated to be about 80 years old and had been worn at weddings in the past by the women on the groom's side, a very special sentiment. At one point, right before Morgan's mom helped her with her shoes, her veil caught the air and made for a fantastic portrait.

The groom, Carl prepared for the day offsite on his family's yacht. This way, he had the opportunity to kick back with his groomsmen and enjoy the last few hours as a single man. I was fortunate enough to have my second shooter Kim and my husband Jeremy venture out into the water to capture those photos of Carl.

Before the ceremony, we snuck Carl into the orchid room for a first look with Morgan. We then had some time for a few portraits around the home. We were even able to dodge the rain and get a couple of outdoor portraits. 

The ceremony took place beneath tall cathedral ceilings and gave ample space for over 200 guests. Florals from Harbour Bay Florist added a beautiful touch of elegance. What a beautiful sight it was from the staircase. 

The night concluded underneath a tented reception, provided by Event Makers. Morgan and Carl's send off was grand, as they boarded a boat and drove off to their honeymoon destination. The crowd from the seawall wished them farewell with sparklers. I can't thank my team enough and the team from The Golden Pineapple Event Company for their collaboration on this wedding! 

Morgan and Carl, thank you so much for giving me the honor of photographing your BEAUTIFUL wedding! I had a spectacular time! I wish you both all the best and pray you will have a lifetime of wedded bliss :) 

Thank you to the amazing vendors:

DRESS: Lulu's Bridal

SHOES: Steve Madden

HAIR: Amora Bridal Beauty Co.

MUA: Makeup Artist Candace

FLORALS: Harbour Bay Florist + Dimar Flowers

CATERER: Elegant Events

CAKE: Magnolia Cakes

TENT: Event Makers

RENTALS: Atlas Party Rentals

PHOTOGRAPHY: Kristen Browning Photography and Kimberly Smith (thanks, Kim). Special thanks to Stephanie McLaughlin for assisting

VIDEO: One Concept Weddings

COORDINATOR: The Golden Pineapple Event Company

DJ/BAND: Tropics Entertainment

 

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The Cruz Building Wedding | Andrea + Derby

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The Cruz Building Wedding | Andrea + Derby

If there was ever a wedding with SO many moments, this one is it! From the moment that I began shooting, moments just manifested! Andrea and Derby got ready at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables, Miami and the energy in Derby's room was so upbeat and energetic. I soon learned that Derby was just as energetic and upbeat as his groomsmen, it was certainly a fun group! 

The ceremony was held at Andrea's church, where her father is the minister. To Derby's surprise (and sheer amazement), Andrea seranated an original song for her groom! How she EVER pulled that off without crying, I will never know! Derby was floored and tears began to flow immediately. I am so grateful to have not only witnessed such an amazing personal and initmate moment, but to document it for the couple. 

Later, we headed to the Cruz Building in Coconut Grove, Miami for their reception. The grand, three story venue made it the perfect place for Andrea and Derby. The moments continued on, father daughter dance, mother son dance and toasts! 

This wedding was special to me because I documented for my dear late mentor, Frank Donnino Photography. I was honored to shoot alongside of team member Gwen and Frank's son John. Andrea and Derby thank you for giving me the honor of documenting your day for Frank. I know that he would be proud! 

The room was crowded with groomsmen getting ready as was typical on wedding days. But here, in this little corner we found a beautiful pocket of light for Derby to sharpen up.

The room was crowded with groomsmen getting ready as was typical on wedding days. But here, in this little corner we found a beautiful pocket of light for Derby to sharpen up.

Looking dapper, for sure. I love Derby's unique cufflinks, they are gears!

Looking dapper, for sure. I love Derby's unique cufflinks, they are gears!

This photo just encapsulates Derby's personality and the vibe of the day. This group was FUN!

This photo just encapsulates Derby's personality and the vibe of the day. This group was FUN!

I have one addiction on wedding days: the ring. Isn't this yellow stone beautiful?!

I have one addiction on wedding days: the ring. Isn't this yellow stone beautiful?!

Putting the finishing touches on Andrea's lip.

Putting the finishing touches on Andrea's lip.

Again, more amazing light. Is Miami light better than everywhere else?

Again, more amazing light. Is Miami light better than everywhere else?

This is always a special moment for the bride's mom. I love that Andrea's sister is helping her too!

This is always a special moment for the bride's mom. I love that Andrea's sister is helping her too!

The moment when the bride came out of the elevator and her entourage lost their minds over how gorgeous she looked!

The moment when the bride came out of the elevator and her entourage lost their minds over how gorgeous she looked!

This moment right here. On a wedding day you must be ready to photograph on a moment's notice or you will miss it. 

This moment right here. On a wedding day you must be ready to photograph on a moment's notice or you will miss it. 

Her girls carried her dress for her so it wouldn't get dirty.

Her girls carried her dress for her so it wouldn't get dirty.

Andrea sang flawlessly as she came down the aisle to meet her groom.

Andrea sang flawlessly as she came down the aisle to meet her groom.

The reaction on Derby's face when he saw Andrea for the first time was priceless. 

The reaction on Derby's face when he saw Andrea for the first time was priceless. 

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Beautiful performance; he sang the Lord's Prayer.

Beautiful performance; he sang the Lord's Prayer.

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The moment they have been waiting for...married!

The moment they have been waiting for...married!

Such beautiful architecture here at the Cruz building.

Such beautiful architecture here at the Cruz building.

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Andrea and Derby's first dance together as husband and wife was touching.

Andrea and Derby's first dance together as husband and wife was touching.

So much love.

So much love.

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They made Derby's father get out there to catch the garter! 

They made Derby's father get out there to catch the garter! 

Here is a slideshow with MORE images!

Thanks to these amazing vendors:

WEDDING COORDINATOR: Annesia Pyfrom

FLOWERS: Terra Flowers Miami

CAKE: Edda Cakes

DJ: Dj BoogieG305

MAKEUP: SitiArt LLC

HAIR: Michelle Whitaker

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Konchellah

TUX: Jc Penny's

PHOTOBOOTH: Yuliia Embon

DRESS: Boca Raton Bridal, The designer Martina Liana

VENUE: The Cruz Building

CHURCH: Bethel Church

 

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Downtown Stuart Engagement Photos | Meghan + Charles

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Downtown Stuart Engagement Photos | Meghan + Charles

They were the first couple of mine who ever wanted to be photographed in a coffee shop. I consider Coffee Blue Door my second home and was ecstatic. I met Meghan and Charles this past week for their engagement session. I am so happy to have gotten so many wonderful images and now I get to share them all with you!

Meghan and Charles escaped the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. come down to south Florida and tie up some loose ends wedding planning and to enjoy a relaxing day with me! We took all of their photos in Downtown Stuart, one of my favorite places to shoot. There are so many cute little areas that just beg to be backdrops.

I could help but admire Meghan and Charles’ chemistry together. They are each other’s “other half” in the sense that they completely compliment one another. I cannot wait for their wedding this fall! Here are some of my favorite images from our session!

 

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