Seth and Lisa {Honeysuckle Hill}

Hey there Gorgeous! Got another lovely summer wedding coming at you!

 

Couple: Lisa & Seth

 

Seth & Lisa met at a church in Washington D.C. They ended up in the same small group, had the same group of friends, and went to all the same places—you get where I’m going with this—their love blossomed. 

Over their time as friends and then dating, they realized they had a love for breakfast and coffee and cherished that time together. 

One morning right before Christmas, Seth came over early with their fav—breakfast & coffee—and asked her a simple question, “what do you want for Christmas?” Her response was, “You” and with that statement he got down on one knee and proposed. 

 

They then contacted me about going to dinner and we hit it off immediately! They booked me for their dream day and voila! Instant friends & a perfect wedding in the making.

 

On the day the bridal party got ready at ‘Engaged Asheville’ – check it out if you haven’t heard of it or are looking for a space to get ready for your special day—it’s beautiful.

 

Venue: Honeysuckle Hill

Think red barn, church pews, a beautiful outdoor area, and a tractor with a chandelier. 

I am totally obsessed with all things barn and farmhouse!

 

I couldn’t get over or get enough of the farmhouse table decked out in greenery and flowers. It was so fresh & bright & enchanting, just like a summer wedding should be.

 

A lot of their closest friends brought delicious homemade pies. 

 

The Bridesmaids wore blue dresses with baby’s breath bouquets.

 

Light pink and white roses mixed with gorgeous greenery were in bridal bouquet

 

A precious detail of their ceremony was when the bridesmaids and groomsmen gathered around them to pray over their marriage.  

 

The food was amazing 

 

Another sweet detail was one of humor—when the Bridesmaids very joyfully photobombed the couple during their golden-hour, romantic couple pictures—who doesn’t want all their best friends flying through at a moment like that?

 

Wedding planner: Mingle

Videographer: Justin Mitchell

Calligraphy: Joy Unscripted

Catering: smash events

DJ: Erica Berg Collective

Flowers: Pam Ross

Second Shooter: Julia Lindholm

Makeup: Pop of Color

 

 

Witnessing people coming together as one in front of their friends & family to promise forever, never gets old. Congratulations Blankenships, thank you letting me photograph your day!

 

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Catie and Sheldon <3 {Sedgefield Country Club}

Sweet summertime and weddings galore! Here we have Catie & Sheldon.

The first time I met C & S was at their engagement session at Catie’s parents house in Greensboro. It was one of those times where instant besties were born and all three of us were feelin it! I was already 92% sure that I loved them but when they started attempting to imitate Cardi B to make each other laugh during pictures—it went to 110%.

The stunning wedding was at Sedge field Country Club in Greensboro.

Best time. Best Food. Poppin dance floor. Incredible family and friends!  

Catie’s bridesmaids rocked a bold and beautiful burgundy.

My detail-loving mind was totally obsessed with the flowers. Each bouquet included succulents and dangling from the bridal bouquet was Caties mother’s baby teether—looking very daintily like a silver bell. How cool is that for "something old"?

Cute & Clever, Catie wore white sparkly Kate Spade tennis and was comfortable all day long.

The favors were an embroidered bag of grits with a recipe card on it.

Always a plus: to-go cupcake boxes! Who doesn’t love a happy couple who shares the love through with cupcakes for home? 

My two favorite details: 

1. The two signature drinks named after their dogs

  • The ‘Ace elderflower martini’ (in honor of Ace)
  • The ‘Zoe-hito’ (in honor of Zoey)

 

2. The precious napkins with 6 random facts about the couple

There were many hilarious & adorable facts but my fav was 

‘Sheldon speaks whale when he sleeps.’  

Catie & Sheldon have been together for over 5 years but they looked at each other like they were in the beginning stages of a relationship. Their love was refreshing and so fun to be a part of. 

 

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Leilani's bridal session

Beautiful Leilani loved the idea of a floral greenhouse look, so that’s where we started. 

 

I am totally obsessed with the way these turned out, and have been dying to share them with all of you since the day I took them. 

She had her sleeves custom-made & I’m swooning over the detail.  Add the tulle and the long sweeping veil, and you get a breathtaking photograph.

 

I’ll be sharing her actual wedding day soon so stay tuned <3

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2017 favorite moments

Can I just tell you guys how thankful I am for my job.

All my brides and grooms out there—I am so honored to be the person you chose to capture your big moment.

2017 was a wonderful year of weddings. Here are some of my favorite moments from the year.

I can't wait to see what 2018 holds!

 

#1 

Moments filled with fun. This father of the bride stops to take a selfie before giving his daughter away.

 

 

#2

This bride pauses to remember and reflect over a picture of her brother, who passed away before her wedding. Pictured with her is her brothers best friend.

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#3

This is possibly my favorite picture from the year, at the Chapel at Chesnut Ridge. The Bride & Groom read letters they wrote to each other before their first look.

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#4 

Hands down, this is the youngest (and most precious) wedding guest I’ve ever captured. The groom & his one week old niece who just couldn’t miss out on the big day.

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#5

Here, Caroline is having an emotional facetime with one of her bridesmaids & best friends. Talyor had to miss the wedding because of a hospital visit. Shortly after, Taylor passed away from a chronic illness, making this picture an even more priceless memento.

 

 

#6

Tia was very emotional during her vows. This is always one of my favorite parts of a wedding. 

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#7

This is a classic “before he fell” picture of Layton—hence the hilarity of the sign. 

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#8

Pictured here is the Brides aunt dancing to her own first dance song. The wedding happened to be on the same day as her nieces & the couple wanted to honor their day as well. 

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#9

Andy & Erin’s ‘first look.’ Surprisingly warm enough in January to get a beautiful shot but still cold enough to give out the blanket party favors!

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#10

This bride did a first look with bridesmaids. Friendship & excitement are always contagious.

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#11 

The sweetest twin sisters having a special moment together right before the ceremony

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#12

Mother & Daughter before the ceremony; when the mother gifted her wedding band to her daughter, the daughter then turned and got the precious wedding ring split for two. Now both wear a piece from the same ring—much like mothers and daughter and two hearts from one piece. 

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Neely and Jade's Princess Party

Todays blog post is going to be a little different from what I normally post.  I am sharing my daughter and her bestie's (yes, you can have a bestie when you are turning 3!) birthday party.

As a photographer, it’s no secret that I love for things to be pretty & look a certain way.

I also love a good party!

Way back when, in Spring 2014, I connected with a girl named Whytni. We were both pregnant and had just found out we were having little girls nine days apart.

Our friendship started strong, with a bond forming fast over our girls. We chatted for hours online about itty-bitty ruffle clothes, nursery themes, diaper bags, and all things baby, anxiously awaiting September.


We are both true Disney fanatics and by default, both of our girls may actually think they are ‘real’ Disney princesses. Based off of Whytni & I’s obsession, combined with the way our girls are, it was only fitting that their third birthday parties be joined together & princess themed.

 

 

Side Bar: winning the ‘how many times can we use the word ‘princess’ in one blog post’ award

 

 

 

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Jade & Neely’s took place at “Engaged Asheville.” Engaged is a community workspace for wedding professionals and local creators—and one of my favorite places to do literally anything.  Candace Hightower is the owner and an incredible planner and organizer. If you ever have the need for a place or planner – whether it be a wedding, bridal portraits, birthday party, rehearsal dinner, or pictures of any kind—this is the place you want to be. For real, I want to be like Candace when I grow up.

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Moms & daughters both knew from the start that the theme for the party would be be princesses but one thing led to another and all of a sudden we had hired real live princess from “Songs, Sealed, Delivered Party Entertainment.”  

 

 

Being the Disney Enthusiasts we are, I knew we would be pretty picky about who would come and how they would look (snobby, I know). OH MAN were we impressed! Their dresses were phenomenal, they were great with kids, they were prepared to entertain, and bonus: they sang!

Here we are, enjoying this party, when all of a sudden: Belle walks in! Shortly after, Cinderella came in singing ‘a dream is a wish your heart makes’ followed up by the entrance of Ariel. It was truly magical.  

 

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After their grand entrances, each princess set up and went to a different station. Ariel made balloon wands, Cinderella did makeovers, and Belle applied glitter tattoos.

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Delicious & Beautiful Foods:

  • Chips’ Chips

  • Tiana’s tiara sandwiches

  • Ariel’s fish crackers

  • Belle’s ‘Gray Stuff’ dip

[“try the gray stuff, it’s delicious, don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!”]

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The cookies—from Sunshine & Sugar Bake Shop—were just as lovely as everything else at the party and on top of looking awesome—were to die for.

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The cake was from ‘Hey Hey Cupcake’ in Black Mountain

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The Cinderella dresses came from the Etsy shop ‘Belle & Kai’. Neely & Jade’s crowns were collected and gathered from all the past trips to Disney.

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When you were done getting your wands, crowns, and tattoos (or before you got those things) the girls were welcomed to the ‘Beauty Bar’ station. Here there were necklaces, rings, crowns, wands, and all things princess.

Some princesses didn’t follow ‘the less is more’ rule of thumb and ended up a lot of their favorite thing.

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Prince Charming even made a guest appearance – aka Neelys older brother

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This day of magic was finished up with a Coronation Ceremony for Princess Neely & Princess Jade, presenting them with crowns and certificates from the ‘Royal Kingdom University.’ This certificate stated that the girls completed their princess course on kindness & friendship and were being officially declared true princesses!

This is what our little girls’ dreams are made of!

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Siver Wedding {yesterday spaces}

Here we have The Siver’s providing us with one last look at summer—sigh deeply and start daydreaming as you walk through this delightful wedding day. Their ceremony and reception was held at Yesterday Spaces in Leceister, North Carolina at the end of June.

Yall, I am totally obsessed with this rustic venue.

I arrived to bridesmaids getting ready in the barn. These sweet girls were so laid back and hilarious—exactly the vibe that you want on your wedding day. The bridesmaids wore white & their flowers were baby's breath & hydrangeas. There was an adorable flower girl crown made of baby’s breath lying on the table, completing the whole setting beautifully.

 

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Lindsay did a precious first look with her dad on the front porch before her first look with Shane.

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Long before Lindsey was looking at wedding venues and planning little details, her mother gave her her own wedding band, wanting to tie their marriage to her daughter’s in a significant way. One of my favorite moments of the day was when Lindsey pulled her mom aside to give her a gift in return. Lindsey was obviously touched when her mother gave her her ring, but decided to take this symbol of love to a jeweler and get the ring split in half – so that both mother & daughter could both be wearing the ring; seeing her mother open the present & finding half of her beloved ring, was priceless!

 

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After these emotional moments with her parents, Shane & Lindsey got to do their first look. This whole clump of photographed moment’s were my favorite pictures of the day—so candid and raw and full of love.

 

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*moment of silence & admiration for her gorgeous Rapunzel hair*

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This crew was so fun—unlike any bridal party I had ever been around. There was a lot of laughter and an equal amount of bud light. There were coozies that said 'to have and to hold and to keep your beer cold' and oh man did they radiate this truth throughout the whole day. If that doesn't set the tone for a great wedding—I don't know what does!

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The Boutonniere was another one of my favorite things. These sweet, precious flowers were tucked neatly into a (can I call something to do with a gun, ‘cute?’) shotgun shell and pinned onto those handsome suit jackets.

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Frequent questions asked:

Melissa “do you want to put the beer down for the photo?”

Everyone else “Nope!”

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The reception was just as glorious as the ceremony.  The first thing a photographer notices—well the first thing THIS photographer notices—is the dessert table! There were cupcakes, mini-pies, cake, cookies, brownies, and cake pops—NEED I SAY MORE?! 

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There was a photo booth, non-stop dancing, donkeys, dessert, and even some shotgunning beers. It was a fun, marvelous, & true celebration of the love between them. It is an absolute joy to be able to photograph an unhurried & enjoyable day for a bride & groom.  

 

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and, last but not least my second favorite part of the day.  Honestly, it may go down as one of the most epic "exit photos" ever.  The bride and groom didn't want to interrupt the party for exit photos, so we grabbed 3 people and did an "exit" on the porch. The perfect and most hilarious ending to such a fun and beautiful day. 

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did someone say donuts?!

It's been a while since I have done a blog post.  Wedding season has been kicking my tail to put it lightly.  

I’m sure most of you are used to seeing smash cakes for babies on their first birthday. First birthdays are magical, a time where we celebrate the teensiest of milestones in the lives of our little ones.

They have teeth? ‘YES! Celebrate!’ They are a certain number of months old? ‘OH YEAH! Party!’ They want to be a space-rock-blaster or a cupcake when they grow up? ‘YOU CAN DO IT ALL KID!’ They eat food? ‘What a gifted human you are! REJOICE!’

{throwback of my little one at her cake smash}

 

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When is the last time you were celebrated to that extent on your birthday? Wouldn’t it be nice to be affirmed in your eating habits & life goals at say… age 30?

That brings us to our business today! We are talking about a way for us to let loose, binge eat sugar, and look lovely in lovely pictures.

Just two words for all of you: Donut Smash

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My beautiful friend & senesister (if you have no idea what I am talking about, feel free to check out my other business... www.kissandmakeupbymelissa.com). Whytni is turning thirty years young this month and true to ourselves, we decided to put a fun spin on getting older. Instead of drowning our sorrows in margaritas & re-living old days, we decided to celebrate with donuts.

Here’s how this went:

We had no plan; just a couple of wild twenty-somethings (can we still call her that even though there is going to be a 3 at the front of her age?) jumping in the car and determined to make the most of this day. We stole a crown from my three year old (shout out to Senegence for making our ranks royalty and acknowledging that we are princesses) and went to Krispy Kreme to get a dozen pink iced & sprinkled donuts. On the way to get our donuts, we realized we didn’t print the precious and informative birthday sign that she had made prior to our outing. How many months old is Whytni? ‘360 months! What a big girl!’ How much does Whytni weigh? ‘None of your business!’ What does she want to be when she grows up? ‘A princess.duh!’  

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When we had our donuts & all our props gathered, we picked a spot downtown and started our photoshoot.

 

forewarning: champagne involved

forewarning two: no ability to open champagne (party foul)

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Enjoy these photos & don’t forget to celebrate yourself!

 

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Self Wedding

Sometimes as I edit photos I sit here and think to myself "Wow, how did I get so lucky to capture some of the most precious moments in peoples lives".  Whether I am photographing those moments for a stranger, a close friend or a family member my heart explodes.  This wedding was very special to my heart because it was the wedding of my cousins.  The entire day I was surrounded by family, and it was absolutely perfect.  Megan decided to do a first look with her daddy, and I think it was emotional for us all.  The huge storm brewing held out, and everything about their day was breathtaking.  My little Jade was at the wedding, and called Megan and Alex Cinderella and Prince Charming the whole day.  I think that explains their day perfectly...  a fairytale with a happily ever after <3 

 

Congrats Alex and Megan.  Watching your love grow over the years is inspiring, and I know God has huge things in store for the two of you. 

ps- the crazy dancing guy in the blue polo with the khakis is my husband haaaaa

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