Gram & Jessica
Their day began long before I arrived at 10:30 on Saturday July 22, 2023. Months of planning had gone into this very moment. Florals were purchased from Lindsay at Tatum Studios of western Kentucky, dresses from USA Bridals in Louisville, KY and rings from a jeweler near Columbus, Ohio.
Family is very important to Gram & Jessica, so much so that they travelled from Circleville, Ohio to Paducah, KY to be with Jessica’s beloved grandparents. Jessica couldn’t imagine spending this important day apart from them, so when it came time to plan their wedding, they knew they had to host in Paducah.
Wearing matching pajamas, Jessica, Danielle, Rachel and Jenna prepared for the big day ahead. Jessica glowing in adorable white satin representing the beautiful gown she would wear down the aisle. Her bridesmaids in blue satin pajamas, they donned their make-up and fixed each other’s hair.
When the time came, Jessica’s sweet mother Traci, helped her into her dress and veil. The last piece of the puzzle was The Necklace. Worn by 7 women before her, The Necklace was a gift from Traci’s grandfather to her grandmother for their wedding many years ago.
Shedding a few happy tears, Traci threaded the delicate Necklace around Jessica’s neck. Admiring the gold filigree adorning her beautiful daughter, Traci beamed with pride seeing her wear that treasured piece.
With dresses on, shoes strapped in and bouquets ready, these lovely ladies made their way to the front door to head to the first look of Gram and Jessica. On the way through the house, though, Jessica got to experience a first look with her beloved father. These images speak for themselves, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the whole room, including my own!
There is something magical about a first look between a bride and groom. You have found the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, wearing a beautiful gown, holding gorgeous flowers and you walk up to your groom.
Tapping him on the shoulder, he turns around with a huge smile on his face. Things start happening in slow motion.
You see each other and time stops. All the planning, preparations, and purchases have led to this very moment. Hugging, crying and smiling, you cling to him, and in that moment you are so thankful that you met before the ceremony.
The anxiety is gone, vanished like it was never there. All that matters is you and your fiancée. It’s the day you’re marrying, and you couldn’t be happier!
Pure joy radiated from Gram and Jessica, that translated into absolutely gorgeous photos! We went straight into their first set of wedding photos prior to the ceremony, riding on the high of meeting in wedding attire. Gram admired Jessica’s dress, and Jessica beamed with pride at the sight of her groom in a dashing black suit, tie and cufflinks she’d purchased for him.
Crepe myrtle trees along a paved pathway provided the perfect backdrop for photos immediately after their first look. Immediate family nearby lined up to wait for their turn to take photos with the happy couple.
Spending about an hour at that location allowed for several important photos to be captured. The Bridal Party, Family and other combinations allowed the rest of the day to flow smoothly.
Arriving at the venue, Floral Hall at Carson Park in Paducah, Kentucky, the families took a much needed break.
Food and drinks had been prepared ahead of time for everyone to enjoy while resting. A timeline had been established for the entire day, thanks to the amazing work by their coordinator Lindsay (with a little assistance from myself), we established a relaxing and stress free timeline that allowed for these breaks.
Three o’clock approaching, everyone made their way to their designated spots before the ceremony. Family and friends filled the seats, and exchanged smiles. It was finally time to get married!
Proudly standing next to her father, Jessica glided down the aisle to meet Gram at the altar. “Her mother and I,” Greg proclaimed when asked “Who gives this woman to this man?”
Seats taken, and loved ones looking on, Gram and Jessica made vows to love, honor and cherish each other. Through sickness, in health, for richer or poorer as long as they both shall live.
To signify their union, Gram and Jessica braided a cord of three strands. One representing God and their faith in Him, with the other two representing Gram and Jessica. Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, and with God leading them it is not quickly broken.
Gram and Jessica put their faith in God to lead and guide them, and this poignant act during their ceremony spoke volumes. Allowing God to lead their marriage will set them up for success for many years. With the witness of many married couples before them, Gram and Jessica have the tools and resources to achieve a lifelong relationship.
The ceremony concluded as Gram kissed his Bride, friends and family cheered as the preacher presented Mr. & Mrs. Martin.
Pure joy radiated from Gram and Jessica as they walked down the stairs to the waiting exit, but they paused at the perfect moment. Leaning in for another kiss, Gram lifted his wife into the air for the best possible silhouette photos I could have ever imagined.
They spent the rest of the evening dancing, eating, drinking and living their best life surrounded by loved ones. Smiles abounded all around, and laughter rang out all through the crowd.
Oh, and cake!
Before my time concluded, Gram and Jessica joined me outside to toast their wedding with a beautiful bottle of champagne surrounded by their bridal party.
Golden hour photos followed on the grounds of Carson Park.
“It looks like a real Kentucky horse farm!” Gram exclaimed as I showed this photo.
I beamed! This wedding had been a true blessing. I am so thankful to have been a part of this very special day.
Gram, Jessica, thank you so much for allowing me this wonderful opportunity! I wish you all the best!
P.S. Dancing during the reception was so much fun!
The York Family
Picture this moment with me.
You’ve been hired to photograph a magical, Disney themed wedding with a joy-filled bride and groom. Smiles abound, perfect details surround you and a beautiful bride walks down the aisle, escorted by her dad, to marry the man she loves.
White pumpkins line the aisle, the bride, wearing a beautiful Cinderella style gown, clutches a Minnie Mouse themed bouquet, in shoes she painted herself to meet her groom under a floral archway. Making their vows to one another, the bride gifts the groom the Ellie badge from the Disney film Up.
Vows made, rings exchanged and the first kiss as husband and wife shared, the happy couple make their way to the reception where they dance the night away surrounded by their loved ones. Friends and family offer congratulations and special memories are made.
That’s how I met Cory and Amanda York. To date, their wedding theme has been one of my favorites. While each wedding holds a special place in my heart, Cory and Amanda’s attention to detail will forever be what I love about weddings.
A few years go by, and they are expecting their baby girl, Leia. A perfect name for a family that adores all things Disney! Last summer, I photographed their maternity session at a sunflower field owned by my cousins, Brock and Kimberly. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this special couple again! That was last summer, in 2022.
When my cousin said they were ready again this year, I had to make that announcement on Facebook. Cory and Amanda were the first in line for a session with Leia!
“We have to come full circle on this!” Amanda’s words were music to my ears! I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to capture their precious family photos at this very special location!
Cory, Amanda, thank you both so much for allowing me these opportunities over the years to capture these special moments! You are both precious and I can’t wait to see what the future brings! I am so grateful for both of you!
There are special moments in life that are few and far between. The first time you meet your spouse, the first time you say “I love you” and holding your child for the first time. So many different “firsts” throughout life, and you want to hold on tight to each one.
Six and a half months ago, Cory & Amanda experienced one of those firsts. Holding their precious baby girl, Alaina Leia, in their arms. I wasn’t in their room, but I’ve been through that experience in my own life. Twice, I got to hold my precious boys after giving birth. You don’t forget that feeling. The sights, smells, sounds…. They’re all engrained in my memory. I’m shedding happy tears as I think back on my own experience, and I know that is what Cory & Amanda went through as well. There’s nothing quite like meeting a new tiny human being. Cradling them in your arms, that overwhelming sense of gratitude, fear, elation, panic and the proverbial roller coaster of all sorts of emotions. Then you blink, and six months have gone by quickly.
That’s what this session captured, Ms. Leia at six months old. Time can be wildly unpredictable, especially after a child is born. Six months can seem like a really long time before, and then an instant afterwards. A blink of an eye, and six months is here. In the 11 years that I’ve been a mother, I’ve heard a phrase over and over. “The days are long, but the years are short!” Oh how true that is! Rocking a hungry baby in the middle of the night is exhausting! The hard part is, though, you never know when you’re last time will be. You’ll never know when you pick your baby up for the last time, because, pretty soon, you’ll have a toddler, then a young child going to school.
I’m not crying! (Okay yeah, I’m crying, but they’re happy tears!)
Well, I digress. I could talk about that sappy stuff for hours, but let’s get to the fun part!
St Patrick’s Day has always been a fun day for me. I was born on this day, a long time ago haha. So, this year, I wanted to design a set to commemorate the occasion. Amanda almost immediately booked a session! I was so excited!
A little backstory: I first met Cory & Amanda in 2020. Their wedding is by far one of my favorites! Although, each one holds a special place in my heart, as well as the couples that joined together!
Amanda’s Disney themed wedding was perfect. Everything from her Cinderella gown to the pumpkins that lined the aisle. I look back on that day with extreme fondness, as I’m sure they do too!
Last year, in 2022, I was elated to learn about her pregnancy! We met for a sunflower field session in late July to capture the short season of maternity before she gave birth to precious Leia in August. The joy on their faces, oh my goodness, I couldn’t get enough! They were so happy! I mean, look at this, Amanda is glowing, and Cory looks every bit a proud Papa, and they haven’t even held their little girl yet.
Amanda was gifted a newborn session, and I’m grateful she has those images to look back on. I enjoy working with older infants that are able to sit up on their own. It takes special talent to photograph a newborn, one that I’ll admit I don’t have. So, I’m glad there are other photographers out there that are skilled in that craft!
March 18, though, I was honored to capture these photos! St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Spring and a Boho backdrop were all put together at The Focus Building in downtown Paducah.
Leia’s first set was the St Patrick’s Day background, and oh my goodness, how adorable is she?! That smile, the tiny giggles, she was a very happy baby!
Next was the Easter/Spring set. There’s nothing cuter than a naked baby, I mean, look at those adorable chubby cheeks and baby belly!
We finished her set with the Boho background. That outfit, I LOVE how well it coordinates with her surroundings!
Cory, Amanda, I hope y’all enjoy these images as much as I do! Thank you for trusting me with capturing these memories!
Jon & Stephanie have been married for 10 years, but being a military family has prevented them from hosting the wedding ceremony of their dreams, until August 20, 2022. Jon’s military career in the Army has taken them all over the world, from Germany to the Middle East, and Stephanie traveled with him through it all. Those of us that live in the United States don’t often think about the lives that our military families lead. We are so blessed to have family’s like Jon & Stephanie’s that answer the call to protect our freedoms.
Through the years, they welcomed their daughter’s Anslee and Addyson. In September of 2021, Stephanie contacted me to schedule some family photos while Jon was home during leave from service in the Middle East. I was so excited to provide photos for this family that has sacrificed so much for our country. I have so much respect and admiration for the members of our nation’s military. Anslee and Addyson were (and still are!) two adorable little ones that looked so happy to have their mom and dad together. They hugged and laughed all throughout that session, and I was fortunate to capture those moments for their gallery.
On Saturday, August 20, 2022, I walked into the Paducah Country Club and noticed that Stephanie had a framed photo sitting on their gift table. The table was adorned with beautiful greenery, white flowers, soft fabrics and twinkle lights under a swath of green gossamer fabric. The photo immediately caught my attention as one from their family session. My heart melted, I was so humbled and overjoyed at the same time.
Guests sat at tables surrounding the arbor while watching Jon & Stephanie proclaim their continued commitment to each other. The ceremony began with Anslee and Addyson walking down the aisle, hand in hand, to their Dad standing at the arbor.
Stephanie made her grand entrance wearing an absolutely stunning floor length strapless gown. The fit and flare silhouette was adorned with white lace atop an ivory satin. She chose delicate gold details like the rhinestone clip in her hair, the pear drop earrings and matching necklace. Carrying a fresh flower bouquet, she glided down the aisle to meet her husband. They chose not to see each other prior to the ceremony, and the looks on their faces, as they saw each other for the first time that day, reflected the deep love they share.
Surrounded by friends and family, Jon & Stephanie spoke about the life they’d created together over the past ten years. They shared the memories of living abroad, bringing their children into the world, and how proud they were of all they accomplished. They promised to continue loving and supporting each other, and shared a sweet kiss at the end of their vows. Their smiles were so infectious that I couldn’t stop smiling, myself.
After the conclusion of their ceremony, Jon, Stephanie, and I went outside to take some photos of the two of them. I love the quiet moments after the ceremony, when it’s just the couple and I together. The joy that radiates from the couple photographs beautifully.
The families in attendance enjoyed a delicious meal provided by the caterers at the Paducah Country Club.
After the meal, Jon & Stephanie invited everyone to view the cake cutting. The cake, provided by Karen’s Cake Creations, LLC, was absolutely delicious! Karen is a very talented individual, and I love her cakes as well as her personality! Before jumping ship to cake making, Karen did photography for a short time. She photographed my own wedding, and I cherish the photos she captured.
Photographing the cake cutting was my last event of the evening. The party continued well after my departure, and I’m sure they created many new and lasting memories. I am so thankful for Jon & Stephanie, not only for hiring me to photograph their vow renewal, but for their service to our country. May God continue to bless your marriage and your lives!
Thank you, Jon & Stephanie, for allowing me to be a part of your special day! I am forever grateful to you both!
Cory & Amanda
I met Cory & Amanda in 2020 in preparation of their wedding day on October 24th. They hired me to capture their Disney themed ceremony and reception. I loved every detail they planned, from the white pumpkins lining the aisle to the tiny carriage the flower girl rode. Amanda’s dress was straight out of a fairy tale, and she looked stunning. Cory’s smile showed how much he loves his wife, and I have very fond memories of their big day.
Several weeks ago, I posted the news that I had access to a sunflower field. Soon after, Amanda contacted me to schedule her maternity session at that special location. They are expecting a baby girl, Alaina Leia, near the end of August, and I loved capturing some photos of this special moment in life.
I’ve always loved the hours leading up to sunset, even as a kid. I called it magic hour, not knowing that it had a different special name. Golden hour, as I now know it, is a magical time for outdoor photographers like myself. That beautiful glow around a landscape can make everything look stunning. Amanda and Cory’s glow as new parents were amplified by the landscape surrounding them. The multitude of sunflowers surrounding us almost looked like a bright, golden ocean. Swimming around the edges, we started with a set showing off Amanda’s adorable bump with an opened button-up shirt. She thought it was the shirt Cory wore at their wedding, how sweet is that?!
After our first set, Amanda changed into this gorgeous sunflower dress. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect dress to wear to a sunflower field. Complete with beautifully long, curled hair, Amanda perfectly personified a proud mother-to-be.
I let Cory take a break for a set, and captured these images of Amanda by herself amongst the flowers.
My cousin cleared out a space for Cory & Amanda to sit in the middle of some flowers. I love how these turned out.
For our next set, Amanda changed into another perfect outfit. This yellow dress with green cardigan perfectly mirrored the colors surrounding us. We chose a different section of field that was in a different type of light. I love how soft and dreamy these images look.
Bringing the session to a close, we did one last walking and dancing set. With everything beautifully lit, as the sun slid behind some cloud cover, Cory danced with his beautiful wife. It brought back the memories of their wedding day, watching them twirl on the dance floor. With that same look in his eyes on his wedding day, I captured the last images of the evening.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to my cousins, Brock and Kimberly, for allowing us to use their land and planting the sunflowers. I’m also extremely grateful to their son, Nathan, who helped by holding reflectors (even when his arms started hurting) and carrying things back and forth. Thank you so much!