Kathryn and Bryan | Elizabeth Park Engagement

Kathryn and I had been planning her engagement session for a few weeks and had to cancel it twice due to weather.  So we finally just decided to go for it, even if the weather forecast didn’t look great.  Oh my goodness, we could not have asked for a more gorgeous evening.  We started off the session at Elizabeth Park and Bryan showed me the exact location where he proposed to her….there isn’t a better place than that do engagement photos!  They brought along their sweet pup, Sunny, and I couldn’t have been happier!

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Ben and Jourdan | Bliss Farms Wedding

Ben and Jourdan had the most joyful wedding celebration at Bliss Farms this past Saturday.  Jourdan walked barefoot in her long flowing bohemian dress to meet Ben atop a grassy hill, where they shared their wedding vows.  They spent the rest of the day with their friends, playing corn hole, hanging around a fire, and dancing.  The entire day from start to finish was such a breath of fresh air.  They are a total nontraditional couple, and their day flowed naturally with lots of laughter and so much love!

Venue: Bliss Farms

Florals: The Tangled Grapevine

Gown: Pure Bliss

Getting married at Bliss Farms and looking for a photographer, email me at Brooke@brookeellen.com to chat.

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Megan and Anthony | Delaney House Wedding

Megan and Anthony were married on one of the most perfect fall days.  Each couple that I work with is so different, and each love story is so unique.  I loved working with Anthony and Megan; they go out of their way to be kind to others, they are so considerate, and most of all they adore each other.

They chose a quaint, little, country farm for their first look and brought a vintage car and props.  Megan was moved to tears after the first look, that’s why I love them!  The ability to have that moment to yourselves and be free with your emotions.

They had a traditional Greek ceremony in a gorgeous old church, and super fun reception at the Delaney House.  Enjoy your honeymoon!

First Look: Browns Farm

Venue: The Delaney house

Salon 322

Dj Nino

The wedding embassy


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Why You Really Should Set Aside Time for Golden Hour Wedding Photos

If you’re not a photographer, you probably have no idea what I mean when I say “golden hour” wedding photos. However, when you see them you’ll probably know exactly what I’m referring to. Golden hour photos are those photos that almost look magical, like they have come straight out of a fairy tale. Some of them do have a golden hue, but others do not. Instead, they might feature a cotton candy pink sky or just soft, beautiful colors with amazing backlighting.

In photography, the golden hour refers to the hour (or so) right before sunset where the lighting is extra favorable for great photos. I love taking photos during the golden hour. It’s my first choice for engagement photos, and when a couple is willing to schedule wedding portraits during the golden hour I get super excited because I just know they’re going to get great images out of it.

Golden Hour Photos Versus Traditional Afternoon Photos

When you schedule your wedding photography right after the ceremony, there’s just so much going on! You have all the family members nearby who are eager to get photos taken with you, and it’s so easy to feel like you’re caught up in a bit of a whirlwind. After all, you just got married! The moment you’ve been planning and dreaming about for months has just happened and you haven’t even had a moment to process it.

It definitely makes sense to utilize the time between the ceremony and the reception to shoot portraits, especially family portraits. But if I can, I love to do most of the couple portraits during the golden hour. It gives you a little more time to move past any lingering nerves from the ceremony, plus the lighting and colors are a dream. come. true. You never know what you’re going to get, but you’re guaranteed to have MUCH better lighting and fewer shadows than you do at two or three o’clock in the afternoon!

How To Plan for Golden Hour Portraits

This is where it can get a little tricky. Golden hour usually happens right in the middle of the reception, but depending on the time of year, it actually can time out pretty perfectly. Once you finish the cake cutting and the first dance, it’s usually just about 7pm which is just about when golden hour starts for most of the “traditional” wedding season.

I don’t like to take too much time, so even if you can only sneak off for 20 minutes, it’s enough time to get some really great shots. That way, you can get back to your reception with plenty of time left to dance the night away! Just let your DJ or other hired entertainment know that you’ll be gone around that time and ask them if they wouldn’t mind playing some songs that your guests can dance to while you’re out getting your portraits taken.

While it’s important to think about setting up a wedding day timeline that makes sense and makes the best use of your time, it’s also important to consider the memories you want to hold onto from your day. Wedding photography isn’t just about snapping a photo to document the occasion. It’s about creating a beautiful heirloom that you will love and cherish and even show your children and grandchildren someday. It’s something that’s important enough to sneak off for a few minutes to get just right… and I’m not saying that because I love photography!

If you have questions about golden hour wedding photos or want more tips about working them into your timeline, just let me know! I am always happy to help!

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The 5 Things No One Tells You About Your Wedding

There are SO many wedding blogs out there, you could spend years reading through all the advice for couples getting married. There’s lots of good content out there, but there’s also a lot of stuff that you really don’t need to worry about. Personally, I’ve seen brides with emergency kits that must have cost a fortune to put together! It’s good to be prepared, but chances are, your wedding day will go smoothly.

However, after attending so many weddings, there are a few things that I wanted to share that I feel like don’t get talked about a lot. Hopefully these tips will prevent you from feeling disappointed or having regrets after your wedding is over.

Oh, and you won’t find “it goes so fast” on my list because that’s something you’ll hear from everyone before your wedding. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. It does go SO fast. Be prepared.

#1 – You Won’t Remember the Vows
I’m not saying you’ll get up there and forget what you wanted to say. What’s probably more likely to happen is you’ll be up there, and you’ll see your partner’s mouth moving, but you won’t really hear his or her vows because you’ll be so nervous and caught up in the moment!

It’s a lot like the proposal for most people. You probably remember generally what was said, but it’s difficult to remember the exact words. This is why I love when couples opt for videography at the ceremony. It’s so wonderful to be able to sit down later and really absorb everything your partner said to you on your wedding day.

#2 – You’re Going to Wish You Had More Pictures
No matter how amazing your wedding photographer is, they’re just one person and they can’t be everywhere at once. While you’re getting your portraits taken, there could be something happening at the cocktail hour that won’t be captured.

Having two photographers is an option if you’re concerned about not getting enough photos of your wedding day. I just advise against going the disposable camera route. Sure, you’ll get lots of photos, but most of them will be such poor quality you won’t be able to even make out what you’re looking at. If photography is important to you, ask about a second shooter or more coverage throughout the day.

#3 – You Won’t Be Able to Talk to Everyone
This one kind of depends on how many guests you’re inviting, but if you’re having an average sized wedding (100 guests or more), chances are you aren’t going to be able to talk to everyone individually. If you’re someone who is super into etiquette, this is probably going to bother you.

I’ve seen couples make a real effort to talk to each guest at the reception, but there’s also so much going on, like the dinner, speeches, the cake cutting, and of course, dancing. Your guests will understand if you don’t have time to carry on a conversation. If they were at the ceremony, you probably got to hug them and thank them for being there, so don’t stress too much about getting to everyone during the reception, too.

#4 – Someone is Going to Drink Too Much
Hopefully it’s not you or your brand new spouse… unless that sort of thing doesn’t really bother you. I’ve seen couples get a little too tipsy after too many toasts and celebratory shots, especially if they didn’t eat enough (which is very easy to do).

Drinking too much on your wedding night is not fun, and it’s one of the top regrets people have about their big day. Not only will you feel like garbage the next morning, you might forget parts of the night or end up too sick to enjoy your post-reception plans. If you know what I mean.

#5 – That Slight Discomfort Will Turn Into a Huge Distraction
So, you go in for your final dress fitting and it’s just slightly too tight. Or the boning is scratching you. Or the sweetheart top is just half a cup size too big. This is your final fitting and you wanted to take your dress home today, so you’re hesitant to bring up your concerns, but trust me on this: the slight discomfort you’re noticing now will be a huge distraction on your wedding day.

We’ve all seen a bride who constantly has to pull up her dress and you do not want to be that bride. You want to be able to let loose and feel comfortable dancing, hugging, and eating your delicious meal without pain or discomfort because of a too-tight or ill-fitting dress. Same with shoes and other accessories. If they’re bothering you at all now, try to avoid wearing them on your wedding day.

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