• It's Our Passion To Capture Your Story In A Way Only A Photography Can...LINDSAY & BRANDON

Hannah and Andy’s story began two years ago when simple conversation with a nurse from Alaska and a law student from Carthage grew into love. Their relationship is one of mutual trust and commitment that goes past all of the hype. It’s real, and it’s deep. Their love extends to Hannah’s daughter, and Andy even wrote vows for her and shared them publicly at their ceremony. Not a dry eye was found as little Maizy held Andy’s hand and cute as could be, wiggled and danced as she listened to his promises to her.

Hannah and Andy have family that support them fully and stood with them through the toughest of times, and on this day, shared in their joy of becoming their own family.

The rain cleared for a perfect sky peppered with fluffy clouds as these two prayed for and celebrated their union amongst their closest friends on earth. We were truly honored to capture such precious memories for this crew, and we wish Hannah and Andy the best marriage ever.

Hannah’s mom and step-mom working together to button the dress was a beautiful moment of love displayed for this precious Bride. Flower girl #1 steals the show…Flower girl #2 and daughter steals our hearts as Andy reads vows to herSo gorgeous!We loved this bridal partyFlower girls 1 and 2 steal the dancefloorAnd the dancefloor is OPENThat catch though…We hope you two had a great honeymoon. Thank you for choosing us to document this amazing day.

 

VENUE:  The Saltbox Inn and Stables

DRESS: Glitz Nashville

SUITS: Men’s Wearhouse

CAKE: Patti Collins

FLORALS AND DECOR: Dave Matlock, Saltbox

CATERING: Grade A Catering

DJ: John Rutherford

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We have known about Amanda for a long while before actually getting to meet this lovely lady. She is an outgoing, incredibly caring and inspiring individual. And she has waited faithfully for her Prince Charming. Enter TJ. He is a quiet soul but a strong and loyal one. These two complement each other as opposites yet share a deep abiding faith and ability to pursue love above all else. Their story is a beautiful one of the Lord’s provision and we will share more when we blog their wedding, but right now we cannot wait any longer to share their precious engagement session.

Amanda’s great grandfather built the gorgeous stone wall at Standing Stone park. This place holds a ton of rich history for her family and it is the spot that she and TJ will pledge their forever to each other. This darling led us through the beautiful scenery and showed us her favorite landmarks from her childhood, and we made sure to capture some sweet time with these two in the process. Here are a few from their engagement session, and I have no doubt the wedding images will be even more stunning!!!

THOSE EYES!!! The wall her great grandfather built…When the nervousness fades and the giggles kick in…

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Brandon and I firmly believe that a good marriage is stronger than romantic feelings. In fact, we think the best relationships are more about deep friendship and less about ooey-gooey emotions. Dating your partner is important even after you get married. When the emotions are less heightened, your marriage is strengthened by that bond of friendship. But we also know that money can be tight those first few years (or more) and that dating doesn’t have to cost you money. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite date ideas for those times when the budget just doesn’t allow for a fancy dinner and theater tickets or a weekend getaway.

     1. Berry picking

Here in middle-Tennessee we have several good options for pick-your-own berries. In May we typically go pick strawberries and in June we often go for blueberries or blackberries. This is something I dragged Brandon to the first year we were married and now it is an annual tradition that we love. Now, you can spend as much or as little as you want depending on how much you pick, but the point is having fun and doing something new together. You can then go home and have a muffin-baking day with your haul.

P.S. The photos in this blog post are all cell phone snaps. (If I only knew a good photographer to take photos of these things for me??)

     2. S’mores and a fire

This one needs no explanation. There is just something about sitting around a campfire with a blanket wrapped around you. You can invite friends or just keep it special for the two of you, but as that warm flicker of the fire lights up your face, something magical happens and you can just sit and talk for hours together. Plus, s’mores. Enough said.

3. Homemade pasta and Italian music

Cooking together can be a fun date night. Pasta is relatively cheap and it’s also fairly easy, so even those of us who aren’t chefs can have a hard time ruining it. But the best part of a pasta night is the music. Brandon and I will play a popular Italian station on Pandora and dance along to the accordion rhythm – sometimes even making up words as we go. It’s good to be silly sometimes, and if you like wine you could always add that in to your theme for the evening. (Bonus points: speak in your best Italian accents as you cook for a more authentic, and ridiculous, touch.)

   4. Volunteer

It doesn’t cost you anything to volunteer your time, and getting involved in the community to help someone less fortunate is a great relationship builder. Not only that, it will open your eyes to things you might not have thought of before, and it’ll give you a tremendous sense of pride. Get involved in a local charity that you are interested in and give a little time and a little love to people who could use a hand.

     5. At-home spa

Even guys like to be pampered, even if they act like they don’t. If your fella is up for a facial, massage or manicure (with no polish of course), this can be a really fun date night in. You can buy a facial mask or make one with brown sugar and honey, or maybe coconut oil. (Hello Pinterest.) Use some lotion for a hand and arm massage and a quick nail file for some tidy nails. Or if you’re brave, go for the feet. And if he’s up for it, have your fella paint your nails. Brandon painted my nails once in college and he was surprisingly great at it!

     6. Star-gazing

On a clear warm night, grab an air mattress or some pillows and blankets and take a drive to a spot where you can see the bright stars. You can take a map of the constellations and see what you can find, and who knows – you might even see a shooting star. If you have a truck you can lay your pillows down and lay in the bed of it, and even play some light music. Or borrow a telescope if you’re into that. It can be fun exploring the night sky and chatting alone with your favorite person.

     7. Explore your area

On a nice day, going for a hike can be just the therapy you need. Enjoying nature together can be a new favorite relaxing or adventurous date day. Bring a picnic for lunch and don’t forget the bug spray. You can explore a new trail, find a waterfall, or just go to the park and plop down a blanket, but get out there and enjoy a pretty day with your love. Or if outdoors really isn’t your thing, you can go for a drive. Windows down, music up and exploring backroads you’ve never been down can be a fun mini-adventure too.

      8. Drive-in movie

There’s something about a drive-in movie that takes you back in time. Not only is it cheaper, it’s fun to eat junk food in your car and enjoy the summer night cricket-chirping air while you enjoy a couple of movies with your boo. Grab a pizza or some fast food and hit up your local drive-in for a different movie experience. 

 

 IN CONCLUSION…

The point of dating isn’t always about romance, it’s about BEING together. So it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Heck, stay in your jammies for all we care! Just make sure to make time for your spouse. Check IN with your partner and check OUT of social media for a bit. This is how you grow together, not apart. The time you spend having fun together is so healthy for your relationship so plan a day to say no to everything else and yes to a date.

Thanks for reading! If you end up taking one of the adventures we listed above, leave a comment below and tell me about it, we’d love hearing your take on these ideas!

 

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Over the last two weeks we’ve been talking about dressing for your engagement session. First we talked about styling your session for a classy feel, and then we addressed some specifics for the ladies. Today’s post will be all about the fellas.

You know, we know it: men look awesome in a suit. Your guy might not be keen on the idea of wearing a suit any more than he has to, (honestly in the ten years we’ve been married I’ve only gotten Brandon to wear a suit 4 times!) but when he dresses up to match your classy look, it pulls the whole shoot together.

As with ladies’ ensemble, we recommend a solid instead of a pattern or pinstripe. We want the focus on you two, not being distracted by a pattern. Tightly spaced stripes give off a strange wavy effect (called moiré) in photos, so we recommend avoiding those small and tight patterns.

Most brides will choose their look first before deciding on their groom’s attire. This helps because we always recommend the outfits to be in the same color palette so they aren’t competing for attention. Having colors in the same family but not matching will help bring the overall look together.

And to kick it up a notch, have an element of your guy’s attire match you: for example if you are in a blush pink skirt with ivory top and light blue jewelry, he could wear a navy blazer with a light blue or light pink tie or pocket square. We find that most of the time, greys and navys will pair well with most color families and will easily complement well with a bit of color in a tie, shirt or pocket square. Your blue skirt might compliment a blue tie, or match your earrings to his shirt. Any little pops of a similar color will bring the look to a more cohesive feel.

Don’t want the whole suit? That’s ok. We do think a blazer is a great piece because it broadens and defines a man’s shoulders and upper body. This is a perfect opportunity to invest in a piece (either a whole suit or just a jacket) that he will wear for years to come, so we highly recommend a great fitting. Finding a tailored look is a bit tougher, but there are still off-the-rack pieces that can fit well and accentuate your man’s features.

For a more casual take, we love a layered look: blazers, vests and sweaters can all be great over a button up (and even a tie) so don’t be afraid to layer even if it’s warm out.

Long pants and close-toed-shoes are a must for our guys – this draws all the attention to the face you know and love, without having any distractions. And all our men need a great pair of brown leather shoes, so it is a great time to invest in that as well.

Now that we’ve covered the clothing, let’s chat next time about adding props in to your engagement session! Stay tuned.

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Brandon and I pride ourselves on being pretty healthy. We rarely get sick, so when we do, we are all about the home remedies. One thing we always do is when one of us gets sick, the other of us will make fresh squeezed orange juice. This dates back to my late mother who, upon hearing a sniffle, would quickly run over a jar of this liquid gold. There’s just something about that tangy, pulpy sweetness that makes you feel like you can kick a cold straight in the nasty green face. We can just imagine that vitamin C pulsing through our veins ready to heal all of our afflictions.

Recently after travelling, Brandon and I both had bouts of sickness, worse than either of us had seen in years! For an entire week after a waterfall adventure in the Dominican Republic, Brandon had a sinus infection so severe he was down for the count for a week! While he recuperated in bed, humidifier on and essential oils diffusing, I was determined to do anything I could do lessen his misery. My first thought, of course, was orange juice. I pressed oranges ALL week long, and even made dinner most of the week (which, you guys know from my previous post You Cook I’ll Clean I am not very good at doing!), and he finally bounced back to health…just in time for me to get the flu. You guessed it – more oranges. He brought me all sorts of orange juice, soup, tea, and even homemade elderberry syrup. Luckily my illness didn’t last long and I was back to normal within a couple of days. Plot twist:the next day, the flu found him. As his fever spiked I was back to slicing and squeezing, straining and pouring. Y’all, we went through SO MANY ORANGES in that two week period!!!

 

And funny as it may sound, this blog post isn’t about the magic powers of oranges. We know they aren’t actually magical and they don’t cause immediate healing. The point, though, is this:

In marriage and in life, we aren’t always going to be able to operate at 100%. And when we are struggling, we need other people.

It’s not a show of weakness to have help from someone when you are in need. It’s just life. You may have health issues, job struggles, or family problems such that you can’t give your normal effort to your marriage. This is usually short-term, and it’s absolutely normal. It’s a season in which your partner can give a little more effort to meet the needs you can’t meet for that time. It’s an act of love: when your spouse can’t lift the heavy burden, your load will become heavier.

But you do it out of love knowing that you CAN, and because you love him, you WILL. And, maybe, just maybe, this is part of what you vowed to do when you stood in front of family and friends to confess your love and commitment to your spouse. Like a see-saw, sometimes when you’re down, he’s up, and when he’s down, you’re up. It still takes effort to keep the rhythm going, and if one person gets off the see-saw, the other person is never going to go back up to the top without them.

Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love isn’t always pretty: but maybe, just maybe it’s actually the most beautiful when it’s the most messy. When we use our marriage as an avenue to love and serve our spouse in the toughest of times, we strengthen our marriage and we are always the better for it. How can you lift your spouse up today?

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