full length photo of bride and groom looking at each other in front of the tarrant county courthouse
Weddings

How to Adapt Your Wedding Because of the Pandemic and Stay Sane

Hey y’all. This is a truly stressful time right now, and none of us know if, when, or how it’s going to get better. It’s cheesy to say, but these are uncharted waters, and we are in this together.

backyard elopement at home with pets

If you’re trying to plan your wedding in the midst of this, it might feel like the sky is falling. I assure you though, it is not. Take some deep breaths, eat your stress away with cake (in moderation of course!), or meditate – whatever you need to get you through the moment. For me, I have been going through Beachbody’s Barre Blend program; dancing around like a fool has been great for my mental/physical health! Once the feeling passes, break out your favorite list taking app or an old school notebook, and map out your thoughts.

Should you postpone? Or should you keep your original date with an elopement and then throw a big party later? Maybe your wedding was already small and your main concern is keeping everyone safe and healthy. Sit down with your fiance, and discuss your options. You may want to involve some of your vendors at this point to see how they’re enforcing social distancing. Remember, this is hard for them too – don’t tolerate rudeness, but be patient. 

Once you’ve decided how to adapt your wedding plans, it’s time to act on them:

Lesbian elopement

Your Pandemic Wedding Process:

  1. Make a list of what matters most to you and your fiance. You may end up having to scratch some things off, especially if they aren’t taking safety steps that are important to you, so it’s vital you place your must-haves at the top.
  2. Reach out to your vendors to understand your options. If you have to leave messages, keep calling/emailing/texting. Whatever it takes. This is a tricky spot for you and your vendors. Your contracts will likely have force majeure clauses – while most vendors are human and understanding, they have bills to pay too. Take a really deep breath and come to terms with the fact that as much as it sucks, you might lose some of your deposits. Make sure you talk safety with each vendor. Like it or not, your vendors might not be following any CDC protocols, and you may need to part ways.
  3. If you have to find new vendors because of booking issues, contracts, or safety concerns, don’t panic. It’s going to be OK. This is where that list of must-haves comes in. Think about what matters the most, and make sure it happens. The rest is nice to have, and if you have to go without, it will be alright. No one will notice what you think is missing.
  4. Approach your invite list about your new plans. Be prepared to proceed with caution. You might want to write a script. It’s not actually anyone’s business why you’ve made your decision, yet a prepared statement can make the conversation easier. Some of your family and friends might fight you; stand your ground because whatever decision you’ve made is right for you.
  5. Be flexible where you can and firm where you need. You have the right to make the decisions that help you sleep at night and so do your vendors. No one has the right to bully you for your choices. 
Courthouse elopement

So what am I doing for my clients and potential clients during this uncertain moment? I am extremely risk-averse, so I am still social distancing and only leaving my home for bookings and essential trips (and yes, I dearly miss my friends and family right now). I always wear a mask and wash/sanitize my hands, clothing, equipment, and car every time I go out. 

My Pandemic Pre-Wedding Procedure:

  1. As much as I want to hug my clients, all meetings will be virtual until I get to see your smiling face in person on your wedding day or engagement session.
  2. I’m offering flexible payment plans to help ease you through this stressful time.
  3. I’ll be in a mask for the entirety of your wedding, and I’ll be sure to keep six feet of distance between myself and your guests, your wedding party, and you!
Elopement with pets including a dog and lizard

My Pandemic Wedding Day Process:

  1. More verbal instruction (and patience!) for posed photos. We’ll get through it together – I promise!
  2. I think it goes without saying, but I’ll be washing my hands on repeat, and I always have hand sanitizer on me.
  3. One week out from bookings, I will take my temperature daily to make sure I’m not surprised. If either myself or my second begin showcasing COVID symptoms, I will provide a substitute photographer at no extra cost. I only recommend people I 100% trust.
  4. I am only taking weddings with less than sixty guests for the rest of 2020 to keep myself and everyone else as safe as possible.

I know this is weird for y’all. It’s weird for me, too. And we’re all learning on the fly, just trying to take it one day at a time. We. Will. Get. Through. This.

Destination elopement in the mountains

One thing I know for certain. There will always be love. There will always be celebrations of love. There will always be weddings. They might look a little different, sound a little different, and/or feel a lot different. That doesn’t make them any less filled with love.

bride and groom laughing at tarrant county courthouse

Wear your masks. Be kind to essential and service industry workers. Stand up for what’s right. We are all in this together.

Are you considering eloping in 2020? Contact me today and let’s talk about capturing this moment for you.

– Mel

Nighttime bride and groom portrait with groom in wheelchair.
Weddings

Jillian and John’s Wedding at Sanford House in Arlington, TX

Jillian and John’s Sanford House in Arlington Texas wedding took place on a crisp, November evening in 2019. I didn’t get a chance to meet them until their wedding, and when I meet couples sight unseen, it’s always a joy to discover that they’re a couple of goofballs! (Not to mention their family made me feel instantly at home: seriously warm, kind and incredible people.)

John is a pro wheelchair basketball player, and they both met at UT Arlington. Arlington will always hold a special place in my heart because I went to UTA as well. Go Mavericks! Granted, I have never been the best student (sorry to all of my teachers and professors!), but Arlington is where I became independent, where I met Nick, and where I discovered myself.

It was such a pleasure to work with both Jillian and John’s family and their friends! Scroll down to see the vendor list below.

 

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Bride getting ready at Sanford House

Bride getting ready at Sanford House

Bride getting ready at Sanford House

bride and dad first look

portrait of bride and mom looking at each other

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

bridesmaids flower details

bridal portrait sanford house arlington

bridal hair detail

Groom and groomsman posing

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

groom laughing portrait

bride and groom first touch
The most hilarious “first touch” ever. Jillian and John just kept cracking jokes and making all of us laugh.

bride and dad walking down the aisle

groom watching bride walk down aisle

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

wedding ceremony bride smiling

groom smiling at bride

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer
When it came time to read their vows, they played “rock, paper, scissors” for who was going to go first.

 

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

wedding cake at sanford house arlington

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

sanford house first dance

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

sanford house arlington first dance

bride and groom in wheelchair share a kiss during their wedding reception
Probably one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. It’s cool.

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographere_arlington_tx-49

sanford house reception

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Sanford House Arlington Wedding Photographer

Check out Jillian and John’s blog here!

I want to share if you’re wondering how to pose someone in a wheelchair – it’s just like posing anyone who’s sitting down! Don’t be afraid to get creative with it. You’re there to capture their love. Let them be natural but still direct them as you need. I always research and look at photos of venues and couples before I shoot anywhere, so I can have new, fresh perspectives in my head. There are plenty of examples online of differently abled couples.

We still have some 2020 dates available. I’m so happy to be sharing actively on my blog again. It feels like it’s been awhile! I fully plan on sharing some tips and tricks about hiring the perfect photographer for your wedding and more about my life.

Vendors:

Planner: Rhianna Dempsey with Polished Planning Events
Venue/Catering: Sanford House
Videography: Everlasting Wedding Films
Cake: Baked by Kim Lisa
DJ/Photobooth: It’s Your Night
Bridal Beauty: Pretty on Premises
Florist: The Blooming Bride
Rentals: Gold Dust Event Co

Weddings

Becki and Brittany’s Brik Venue Wedding

Becki and Brittany’s Brik Venue wedding was one for the books! The day started off with Beki doing a bit of homework and chilling while Brittany and her squad partied and sang to Lizzo in her getting ready room. While Becki was having her makeup done, I got caught up with her and her Matron of Honor, Lindsay, who we had the great pleasure of working with back in 2017. I truly felt more like a friend than a vendor – mostly like a friendor! We always love photographing and working at Brik Venue.

Their first look was full of happy, joyful tears and the beautiful Brik Ivy wall was covered in bright, vibrant fall colors. The ceremony was heartfelt and a T-Rex even made an appearance during the reception.

Becki and Brittany, we loved getting to photograph your wedding! Be sure to scroll down to see the inclusive and fabulous vendors they used.

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

wedding dress on hanger

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

wedding rings on flowers

Brik Venue Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Weddingbrik_venue_lgbt_wedding-7

Brik Venue Wedding

Two Brides Wedding Reception Setup
brik venue lgbtq wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Weddingwedding-11

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

First Look at Brik Venue

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Weddingue_lgbt_wedding-38

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding
brik venue lgbtq wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

Brik Venue wedding exit

Brik Venue wedding exit

Brik Venue LGBTQ Wedding

In the near future, I’m planning on sharing tips and tricks on how to best serve LGBTQIA+ couples. I can’t wait to share all of these ideas and thoughts bouncing around in my head for 2020. I believe DFW is becoming more inclusive every day, and I’m extremely happy about it.

Shoutout to these LGBTQIA+ welcoming vendors:

Planner: Cloud Creative Events
Venue: Brik Venue
Florist: Sage Fine Flowers
Hair/Makeup: Ashley McNabb Artistry
Cake: Leigh Baking Co
DJ: LeForce DJ

Weddings

Yazmine and Preston’s Wedding – Hidden Pines Highland Village

Yazmine and Preston’s wedding at Hidden Pines Highland Village took place one week ago today. (Happy one week anniversary, you two!) We were so honored to capture this truly special day.

These two avid Texas Rangers fans were surrounded by close to 300 of their friends and family and celebrated the start of this new chapter of their lives with a taco bar, cheesecake bites (yum!), and an excellent dance party. To top it off, Yazmine’s mom and grandmother also created all of the beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets.

hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village wedding
hidden pines highland village
hidden pines highland village

Venue: Hidden Pines Chapel Highland Village 
Bridesmaid Hair & Makeup: Lush Bridal Beauty
Desserts: Dandelion Cheesecakes
Great American Cookie
Brandy Cakes
DJ: DJ Poohcasso
Catering: Rosa’s Cafe and Integrity Events and Design
Dress: Georgio’s Bridal
Florals: Nicole Fernandez and Dorothy Lee (Mother and Grandmother of Bride)

I’m currently booking 2020 dates. Let’s talk!

Weddings

Katie and Greg’s Wedding

It has been such a joy working with Katie and Greg as they’ve been planning their Plano wedding. Katie and I go way back: all the way to high school when both of my parents were her band teachers! I first met Greg at their engagement session and couldn’t be happier for the two of them. They adore each other, they’re both such creative spirits (Greg is a professional music composer, and Katie is an artist), and they definitely have a bit of fun goofiness together as well.

The wedding day finally arrived on a surprisingly pleasant, summer day. Venia Flowers provided stunning details that were such a sophisticated touch. I also had so much fun getting to know (and to catch up with) Katie and Greg’s friends. Congratulations to the happy couple!

plano wedding reception setup
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding
plano wedding

Vendors:

Venue: NOAH’S Event Venue Frisco/Plano
Caterer: Two Sisters Catering
Florist: Venia Florist and Event Design
Cake: Delicious Cakes
Officiant: Leslie Morgan

We are currently booking for 2020 weddings! Contact me today to reserve your date!