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Real Bride Advice: When to Save, When to Splurge, and Taking Care of Yourself

photography

You’ve all seen wedding advice from a variety of professionals. In fact, you’ve even seen them here. While wedding planning advice from professionals is definitely helpful (in fact, I’ll be featuring some different vendors on here soon), it’s wrong to forget about those who have just been through the whole process. That’s right. Those who recently got married are an incredible resource for those who are heading down the aisle. I’ve had the privilege of working with some fabulous brides and decided to ask if they’d be willing to share what they learned. Thankfully, several were gracious enough to respond and I couldn’t be more grateful. So, without further ado, I give you Claire. 🙂

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Portrait Session | Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi | Isabella

family

Oh Isabella,

You are darling! You with your budding front teeth, button nose and beautiful brown eyes. And, I must say you did such great job throughout your shoot, even though it was bedtime and the grass wasn’t your favorite. You are inquisitive and funny, you love jewelry and have a fabulous sense of fashion. 🙂 Thank you so much for letting me photograph you, and your parents. I so enjoyed it!

Cheers to you,

Nikki

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First Baptist Chapel + The Bryan Building | MS Wedding | Meghan + Drew

Mississippi

Meghan + Drew,

I loved your wedding. It was such a delight to be a part of, and so much beauty to behold. I loved all the tenderness and thoughtfulness that was woven throughout the entire day; how it was close friends who played the most important parts from dressing, decorating, and directing.  Drew, the way you looked at Meghan, and kept your eyes on her all day was the sweetest thing to watch.  And Meghan, you radiated joy, all day, with eyes only for Drew.

I hope you have loved your first month together as husband and wife! Thank you again for letting me document you and your love for one another.

Cheers to you,

Nikki

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City Wedding: A Bride’s Guide To An Epic Wedding

Northwest

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of shooting a wedding a wedding that literary took place all over town. The couple had gone to school at Mississippi State University and they absolutely loved their four years in Starkville. They decided to have their wedding in town at small, beautiful little chapel, and their reception in an iconic building on Main Street. Rather than just locating their photos to those two places, they built enough time in their schedule to get photos at an amazing VRBO, the Research Park and a few spots on campus. It ended up being absolutely amazing, giving them a diverse set of portraits for the bridal party, family, and themselves.

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Episcopal Church + Hewlett Barn | Starkville, MS Wedding | Claire + Michael

Mississippi

Dear Claire + Michael,

I knew that your day would be a wonderful, beautiful celebration. I knew that there would be happy tears and lots of laughter, that everyone would be so excited for you, and that months of anticipation and planning would finally all come to fruition. What I didn’t know was how lucky I was to be your photographer. The two of you are so full of grace. Claire, the way you gave me total control over the photos, where they were shot, how long they took, everything! You complied with my every request and working with a bride who so trusted my judgment was and is such a gift. Michael, the way you thanked me for how the groomsmen photos were handled was so humbling because the reality was that I should have been thanking you. You all listened, were ready when I needed you, where I need you to be, and didn’t complain once about the heat! The two of you are extraordinary people and that couldn’t have been made more plain to me throughout the day. From the work you do in your professional lives, to the vibrant, selfless, way you love others, the two of you are incredible together and I cannot wait to see all the you accomplish. I wish you both nothing but the best.

Cheers to you!

Nikki

 

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Wedding Play by Play: Scheduling Your Day

Scheduling

“The ceremony will take an hour at most, the reception will probably be two or three. But, how long does the whole day actually take and how long do I need to plan for each different part? Do you have a sample wedding day timeline I could see?”  These are questions I get all the time.

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Rehearsal Dinner | Claire + Michael

Mississippi

Claire + Michael,

The only words that could be used to describe your rehearsal dinner are love, beauty, and tenderness. Clearly, it was planned with the two of you in mind as a time to celebrate you as a couple, you as individuals, and celebrate all of the love you have for others. Everything about it was beautiful; the decor and the food, the words people used to describe, and all the sentiments that family and friends used to share their experiences with you. And the tenderness. At times, it was almost too much. There was tenderness in the way everyone shuffled in, being sure to sign the “guestbook,” tenderness in how the meal was served, and tenderness in the eyes of all who participated. Thank you so much for allowing me into such a beautiful, rich evening.

Cheers to you,

Nikki

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Elopement Location: Ecola State Park, Oregon

real-wedding

It’s the perfect place for an intimate, gorgeous, outdoor elopement. Ecola State Park is located in between Cannon Beach and Seaside, OR, and it’s a place like no other. It’s a place where sky and earth, water and rock, trees and hills all meet. The elements compliment one another perfectly, different in beauty yet equal in majesty. When you look in, you see the trees, green  and lush. The ferns grow abundantly around it, softening the wood and complimenting the browns. As your turn to look out, the sky blends into the sea. Looking down, the water splashes up to the rock, the rock disappears into beneath the soil, and the soil goes up and up, hidden by the moss that gives way to the pines.

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Starkville, MS Wedding |First Baptist Chapel + The Dawg House | Emily + Will

Mississippi

Dear Emily + Will,

I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to be a part of your wedding. The two of you are so gracious, so kind, and so loving. Emily, I so appreciated your attentiveness to detail, how you made sure there was time for photos, and how you trusted my judgement. You are the type of bride that photographers dream of. And Will, thank you for being patient, for being willing to go with the flow even when things needed to change at the last minute. Thank you for being willing to endure the heat. And most of all, thank you for allowing me to document your first moments together as husband and wife. You two really are such an incredible couple, and I look forward to seeing what your future has in store.

Cheers to you,

Nikki

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