Sam & Frankie – Danville Destination Wedding

Danville, California Destination Wedding

For him, it was love at first sight. For her, it took a little more convincing, but they were destined to fall in love & live happily ever after!

Danville, California Destination Wedding

Frankie saw Samantha & he just knew, she was the one! It took a little while to get the courage to approach her, but when he finally did it only confirmed what he was already feeling.

Samantha wasn’t looking. She had a list of qualities she hoped her “Prince Charming” would possess once she was ready to look for him. Frankie took her by surprise when he came into her life. Not only was he persistent, but he possessed 95% of the qualities she was looking for. She quickly knew he was the one too!

They’re love blossomed quickly & there was really no reason to wait. They got engaged on October 13th, 2016 at Lake Las Vegas & on May 20th, 2017 they tied the knot in Samantha’s hometown of Danville, California.

Congrats Mr & Mrs Consiglio, you two are destined to have a beautiful marriage! Thank you for the honor of being your wedding photographer!

Hidden First Look, Danville Destination Wedding Hidden First Look, Danville Destination Wedding

Danville Destination Wedding Danville Destination Wedding Danville Destination Wedding Danville Destination Wedding Danville Destination Wedding Danville Destination Wedding Danville Destination Wedding

Dionne & Kieth… a Wedding 35 years in the making!

Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding

These two are special to me! I met Dionne just about a month after I moved to Las Vegas. We serve at The Crossing in the cafe together & over the past 2 years we have become more like family than friends.

Now Dionne has known Keith since they were little. Keith always looked after her, made sure she was safe & as they grew up he made sure she was happy too. They dated off & on for years, got engaged before too! They drifted apart & each ended up having a child with someone else, but they always felt a piece was missing when they were apart!

A few moths ago Keith showed up on Dionne’s doorstep¬†with all his things. He had talked about moving back to Las Vegas for a while but wasn’t planning to be back until spring. Dionne was floored! She was so excited he was finally home! I had heard all about Keith & was so excited to finally meet him! He totally lived up to all the hype. ūüėČ

So within a few weeks, it seems they were engaged & the wedding was set to happen just a couple months later. It wasn’t a surprise tho, they’ve loved each other¬†for 35 years! I had the honor of being their engagement & wedding photographer. It was so wonderful to get to be a part of their amazingly special wedding day & love story!

Congrats to you both. I love you Mr & Mrs McCray!

Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding Bride of Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding Bride & Son/Best Man Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding Best Man & Groom Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding Bride & Maid of Honor Sweetheart Las Vegas Wedding

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is this Sunday… can you believe it?! I love getting to do Mommy & Me sessions in the weeks & days leading up to this special day. Although, I do think every day should be all about us moms! I mean seriously, my husband is an amazing dad, but we deal with EVERYTHING on the daily & 9 times out of 10 they get to do the fun stuff with the kids. But that’s beside the point.

So like I was saying, I LOVE Mommy & Me sessions! Kids love their mom so much & it’s so much fun to capture their interaction & the true feelings of love between them. I haven’t gotten to do nearly as many as I had hoped because I’ve been so busy with Weddings, Proms, Senior Portraits & my dad’s surgery. It’s great being so busy, & my dad is doing well so all is good!

So, here are a few of my faves from some of the sessions I got to do this spring!

There’s still time to get your Mommy & Me Mini Session in! I have a few spots open this week. Just $398 for 8 5x7s + a framed 11×14 ($620 value). Book TODAY!

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Tiara & TJ’s Desert Destination Wedding

These two had a story that gave me chills & warmed my heart! Tiara is a paramedic & TJ is a medical engineer. They were both at the hospital to see a mutual friend who was having a baby. Tiara took one look at TJ & just knew she had to know this beautiful woman. The problem was,¬†TJ was moving out of state the next day! When you know you know… Congratulations to the new Mrs &

The two of them got to know each other from a distance & with visits as often as possible, but when you know you know… so Tiara picked up & moved to be with TJ. Fast forward & here they are tieing the knot.

As they sat side by side with their eyes shut tight, we took off from their hotel to the famous Las Vegas Sign where they would have their First Look. It was so fun to watch these two!

Such a fun spot for a first look.

Then it was off to the wedding venue, with little time to spare. They were married out at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, about 30 minutes outside Las Vegas. The setting was just beautiful & they were blessed with perfect weather!

Their ceremony was perfect going off without a hitch! What a beautiful wedding!

How cute is this sweetheart table?! All the simple & elegant details from TJ & Tiara’s wedding were just so perfect!

I’m a sucker for succulents & all of their florals were so perfect for their desert union. The arrangements¬†were put together by Flora Couture by Floral 2000.

They had the coolest little bar set up by Events with a Twist.

Tiara has the sweetest parents ever, “Big Daddy” & Faith! I seriously may take you up on that offer if I’m ever in Atlanta! ūüôā

The kids are one of my favorite parts of a wedding. These handsome boys were so sweet & happy for their moms!

Can we just talk about how handsome they are for a second?!

I mean, they are just too cute!!!

Congratulations to the new Mrs & Mrs Davidson! I am so honored to have been part of your beautiful wedding day!

 

Desert vibes for a Vegas engagement. (Styled Shoot)

I’m a bit late posting about this, but a couple months ago I got to be a part of a gorgeous styled shoot out in the middle of the desert. It was so beautiful & our models¬†were so cute, and were an actual couple too!
This was during WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International convention) in February. I had been dying to get in on a photo walk or styled shoot & at the last minute came across another photographer that had put one together & still had a few spots left. I was pumped!
We headed out to El Dorado dry lake bed, just outside of Boulder City, & the conditions were perfect. It can get really windy here in Las Vegas, recently we had 95 mph wind gusts where I live, so we were lucky to have a light breeze.
There were only 3 photographers in total so we all really got to get all the shots we wanted to get. Our model Justine & her boyfriend were so easy to work with. She’s a pro & he was such a good sport. I always love working with models because they really know their angles & need little direction.Sidenote, posing is not my fave!

Cultivate Goodsmade a stunning bouquet for us using a silk fromHoney Silks. Justine’s nude dress was from Forever 21 & the crop top & pink skirt were fromAdinas Bridal.His tux, shoes & ties were fromFriar TuxLas Vegas. The jewelry came fromAnna Hubbard Jewelry. The shoot was coordinated byJenae Marie Photography.

Engaged? How to nail your "Save The Date".

Congrats! You’re engaged. Now what? Time to get your friends & family in the loop.
First step: Send Save-The-Date cards to your guests. It’s the pre-invite card that announces your wedding date & venue, as well as lets guests know that they’ll¬†be invited to the celebration.
Here’s a simple guide¬†to help you nail¬†save-the-date etiquette, plus¬†check out some of my¬†favorite Save-The-Date designs to inspire you.
Do we have to send out Save-The-Date cards?If you’re having a destination wedding, then sending a Save-The-Date is an expected courtesy, since many of your guests will have to make travel & hotel arrangements. Even if you’re getting married in your home town, Save-The_Dates¬†are a fun way to give your guests a heads up about the wedding. Plus, chances are it’ll¬†increase your guests¬†chances of attending.
When do we send them out?In general, it’s a good idea to mail them 4 to 6 months before your¬†wedding, or even earlier (8 months ahead of time) if you’re planning a destination wedding that requires more extensive travel planning.
Who gets¬†one?Only send your Save-The-Date to those¬†you’re planning on inviting to the wedding. Even if you’ve already gotten verbal confirmation from certain guests, you’ll still need to send them a Save-The-Date (that includes bridesmaids, siblings, parents, etc.). However, once they’re¬†in the mail, there’s no turning back, so lock down that guest list first before mailing them out so you don’t over invite. They¬†should only go to those you definitely want in attendance.
What information should we include?Give your guests any details that will help them plan for your big day: the wedding date, location, your wedding website URL (where they can find additional information), etc.
Can we send them via email?These days, it’s perfectly appropriate to send your Save-The-Date announcement via email. Just be aware there may be a few bumps along the road: Your e-card may get filtered into your guests’ spam folder, or maybe the email address you have is one they no longer check. Some of your guests may not even have email (grandparents), so you will need to spread the word some other way. So in other words, delivery is not always 100 percent guaranteed. Also, there’s the tangibility factor: Mailing a paper Save-The-Date, guests will probably¬†pin it up somewhere in their home or office, to¬†serve as a reminder of the wedding to come. Another thing to consider is the formality of your wedding. One function of the Save-The-Date is to give your guests a sneak peek of the wedding to come. The more formal the wedding, the more likely a printed card will set the tone you want your wedding to have.
My favorite ways to Save-The-Date:
Save-the-Date Photo Card- I’m partial to this one! ūüėČ

Use your favorite shot from your Engagement photos. This is a great way to personalize your Save-The-Date & give your guests a feel for what to expect at your wedding (will it be casual, rustic, elegant, etc.). Print it on a full-bleed photo-card design to really show it off. (custom save-the-date cards available starting at $169 for 100)
Save-the-Date Card

Keep things simple by mailing an elegant & straightforward card including all pertinent wedding information: your names, wedding date, location & an indication that the official invitation will be coming in the mail. (Save-The-Date download,TheBrumbyNestEtsy store)
Printable Save-the-Date Calendar Card

Save money on Save-The-Date cards by downloading these FREE calendar-style printables. Print ’em out on card stock, fill in your names, the month, & circle your wedding date. (Calendar save-the-date,¬†Free¬†download,Bells & Whistles)
Destination Wedding Save-the-Dates

Get your guests excited about your destination wedding with these leather luggage-tag save-the-dates – they are so chic and will definitely compel everyone to pack their bags & book a flight. (Luggage-tag save-the-date,LoveTravelsFavorsEtsy store)
DIY Save-the-Dates

Like a good DIY project? Get a custom rubber stamp with all of your wedding details and stamp the Save-The-Date information onto manila shipping tags for a vintage-inspired look. (Save-the-date design,HelloWorldStampsEtsy store)
So, how will you Save-The-Date?

Capturing the firsts…

I know it’s crazy, but my nearly 5 year old son just had his very first haircut! I know you’re dying to know how crazy I went over it, but first let me tell you a little about why it took us almost 5 years to cut his hair.

When our son LJ was born he was nearly bald, which I was not expecting because I had experienced a good amount of heartburn while pregnant (old wives tale). Anyway, he had very fine slightly wavy hair until he was about 18 months old, at which point super thick very tight curls came in almost overnight!
Everyone loved LJ’s curls, no one more than we did though. He’s an adorable kid & those curls just made him that much cuter! My husband & I said we weren’t going to cut his hair until he decided that he wanted it cut… until now he never did.
There were a couple other factors. First, I was afraid that the texture of his hair would change if we were to cut it. He has very soft smooth hair, like mine, & I really didn’t want that to change. I saw my nephew go from having nice textured hair to very thin & nappy so I was scared the same would happen to LJ. So far so good…
The second reason for not wanting¬†it cut is that I didn’t want him to regret it. When I was a little girl, I had hair past my waist & chose to cut it short… BIG mistake! I loved it for about 24 hours & then I hated it & was growing it back out! Also¬†so far so good…
A couple¬†months¬†ago started saying he wanted a haircut because the other boys in his class were getting haircuts. He would flip flop between wanting one & not so we¬†just kept the conversation going. Then few weeks ago he was really adamant about wanting it cut, so I said¬†“okay, lets find a style you like.” After going through Pinterest we found a few he liked & then narrowed it down to 1.
Being that it was the holidays, I was a little short on cash & time, which bought us a couple more days to mull it over. Gramma¬†(my mom)¬†was also coming into town for Christmas & really wanted to be there, so we made it a Christmas Eve event. We all headed to my husbands barber & patiently¬†waited for LJ’s turn.

It was time… I was a wreck! I’m telling you my stomach was in knots, I was a ball of nerves! LJ on the other hand was estatic! He was so ready! He jumped right into the chair without hesitation. No fear!

The ponytail was gathered (of course I forgot a rubber band to tie it with), a plastic baggy was on standby to keep his hair in & Rob (our barber) was ready to start cutting!

I must be honest, I think the only reason I didn’t start balling at this point was because I was focused on getting great pictures so we could remember this event forever (momtog problems). LJ just sat there perfectly still as his long locks were cut short. I was so impressed that he was so calm. For most kids the first haircut is a kinda scary event.

It’s funny because even after Rob cut like 5 inches off it was still really long! I kinda liked the mini-fro, but it wouldn’t last long! It was time to cut it down more & start shaping it…

I made sure to keep those perfect curls from the back of his head, I will really miss playing with those as he sleeps next to me!

He was so happy watching it all fall to the floor!

It was really starting to look cool, he looked like a totally different kid! I really kept looking at him like “who are you?”

LJ’s little brother Levon found himself a nice spot to sit back and relax… this kid is too funny! That sweatshirt is so perfect for his personality!

Now here’s the part where LJ started to wiggle. The edge up “bites” a bit so he was having a hard time staying still, He really did do a good job though.

Look at those curls!

It was done! Just a little dust off & it was time for the BIG reveal…

He saw that mirror & just lit up! There had been a few tears from the edge up, but as soon as he saw his “new do” he was nothing but smiles!!! He’s was like “I have a haircut, I look so cool!” Indeed, he looks pretty cool with his new hairstyle! I’ll miss those long curls, but I do like the new do! He looks more grown up & won’t be mistaken for a girls anymore. I never understood how that happened, long hair does NOT = girl!

Just look at that handsome kid… that’s our boy & we’re so proud of him!
So often I miss capturing my own family memories because I want to be involved & not stuck behind the camera, but this time it was to my benefit (& sanity) that I capture this major life event!