Welcome to my blog! I'm thrilled to be able to share with you my favorite images from weddings, engagements, maternity, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and get snuggly cuz this blog will give you all the feels!
I am a big fan of community over competition. I spent most of my musical theater collegiate years fighting for a spot on the stage, fighting to be heard, fighting just to feel accepted. Those years were hard, but they taught me to never give up! Plus, I’m pretty sure that’s where I get all of my dramatic flair from in photography.
When I tumbled head over heels in love with wedding photography, part of my joy was finding a community of people who wanted to help me succeed. It was incredible to go from fighting the world all by myself to having a family of like minded photographers cheering me on. I am so grateful for each and every person who poured their time, knowledge, and sometimes even money into. I am forever grateful for your investments!
All of this mushy stuff is leading to a point and that point is I’m always on the look out for amazing communities to connect and invest in. If I can help just one other photographer reach a goal, get inspired, or never give up, then it’s all worth it! One such community that I was recently invited to join is called Otterplan Connect. Their motto is “Connecting wedding creatives. Growing together” and it’s specifically designed for North Carolina Wedding Professionals.
Otterplan recently reached out and asked to interview me for their monthly member spotlight! What an extreme honor! You can read the full interview here:
Now that Daniel & I have settled in Western North Carolina, we’ve been looking for new ways to connect with professionals in the area. Otterplan is a great way to meet new people & they’re constantly revamping & implementing new connection strategies into their site! I’m looking forward to the network of amazing wedding creatives that Daniel and I will continue to connect with through this site!
There’s the quaint little town nestled just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachian mountains called Burnsville, NC. It’s one of those beautiful little spots where you could just spend your day drinking coffee and sneaking into antique stores or used book shop. As soon as I visited Burnsville for Jenna’s bridal session I knew I was going to love this little town. After their wedding day I definitely was! Jenna and David took over the whole of Burnsville’s town square! They got ready at the Nu Wray Inn, married in the First Baptist Church, and then partied at the Burnsville Town Center! Daniel and I just had to walk across a sweet little park and BAM! There we were! How wonderful!
Jenna & David’s getting ready time was some of my favorite. We had lots of time to get all of the details as well as some incredibly beautiful moments. These two are so intentional with their time and their families. These two especially wanted to honor God on their wedding day and they took several intentional moments to pray, worship, and praise. Taking those moments truly set the tone to the day of reverence and joy! Jenna and David not only worshiped along with their guests, but lead worship at their reception! These two are a talented team and it was SO COOL getting to witness their faith in such a vibrant way. Make sure you check them out at Jenna’s website!
Overall their wedding day was as lovely as that sweet little town. So many family & friends gathered to celebrate and share in Jenna & David’s joy. Thank you for choosing us Jenna and David to capture your love. Daniel and I couldn’t have been more excited for you both and the new adventures you’re embarking on!
Tell me about the planning process of your wedding:
I love anything that feels romantic and dreamy. I picked light pink, golds, and ivory. I loved using lanterns and plenty of twinkle lights. I picked the same church that my parents were married in 35 years ago. We even had our rehearsal dinner and stayed in the same inn that they did when they got married (The Nu Wray Inn). I wanted lots and lots of flowers and candles and touches of gold.
What was the hardest part when planning your wedding?
We got engaged and then married in a short period of time (engaged Feb. 14 and wed June 11) So there was a lot of challenges when it came to picking vendors, but it made it exciting! The hardest vendor to book actually was the cake. After finally booking a baker she had to back out for health reasons, so we scrambled to find a new baker! I didn’t taste test or anything. I just sent her the design and let her do her thing! I was really flexible when it came to planning. There were stressful moments for sure, but it was mostly fun.
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
It’s hard to pick. There are so many moments that stick out. I think the best part was when it was over and while everyone was cleaning up David and I sat out front the inn in the rocking chairs still in my dress and his suit and just took it in. Pleople walked by and cars honked congratulating us over and over. We couldn’t believe we were married!
What was the funniest moment of your day?
Gosh… this isn’t really “funny” it was pretty much horrible in the moment, but it’s funny now. My bustle was a challenge for my bridesmaids because we forgot to practice doing it (NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN). I was the only one who could do it and I was freaking out because it was taking so long…it didn’t help to have my big brother come in saying to hurry up before everyone left! I felt trapped in my dress and helpless. The fact that I couldn’t help or do it myself was killing me! Finally I calmed down and just let them do it. I am embarrassed to say that was not a pretty moment for me! I did have my sweet hubby to tell me that it was okay and no one would leave before we made it to the reception. Anyway, we got the dress bustled and the night went on.
If you had to do it all over again is there anything you’d do differently?
Yes, I would have had my bridesmaids practice the bustle!
Any advice to future brides & grooms?
Try your best to take it all in…every moment. It really does rush by. You wait so long for this day and it really does happen so fast. It will not be how you imagined. It will be better. Trust your family and friends who are helping. Relax and smile. Look your new spouse in the eyes as much as possible and take a moment and even acknowledge the fact that it’s really happening to each other. Look at him/her and say, “We did it.” Don’t get too distracted by all the craziness going on that you miss spending it with the one you said “yes” to for the rest of your life. It really is the best day ever. Take it in.
What, specifically, was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?
She made me comfortable. She was flexible and willing to try all kinds of different things. She was open to my ideas and came up with her own ideas as well. She made me feel pretty which is a huge deal when trying to be comfortable in front of a camera. She was kind and smiled a lot and was genuinely having fun. Which in turn made me have more fun. I could tell that she was on my team and I felt supported by her.
Sometime between living in Syracuse to my moving to Kernersville, the vision of my dream wedding changed. I use to dream about a simple wedding in my parents beautiful back yard. They have gardens everywhere and it was where I spent many days of my childhood creating imaginary adventures…most of them musicals. How befitting of a place for the greatest adventure of all right?
Then I moved and the reality of getting married in NY changed. I started dreaming about weddings all over the country as well as right here at Cre8 where I live.
However, when Daniel proposed the only thing on my wedding mind was mountains. I desperately wanted a beautiful mountain view to say “I Do” to this mountain of a man. I also couldn’t imagine anything more telling of God’s glory than the mountains. They just echo his creation so beautifully!
However, finding the right mountain venue for Daniel & I proved to be no easy task…
– First there was our fiances to consider. We had to find a venue that fit in our budget and included most of the things we needed. A lot of venues were incredible, but they sat way outside our budget or you had to pay for a lot of the extras. Being a wedding vendor myself, I understand that this is just the nature of the wedding industry. We’re a luxury business and if you want the right experience, you’ll need to pay for it. On the other hand, I don’t believe that you need to start your life off in debt for one day. So I grabbed my computer & started to hunt!
– The next obstacle was the “feel” of the venue. There are A LOT of mountain venues, but most of them are very rustic. I discovered there are two kinds of mountain rustic: The burlap & lace kind or the antlers and ski lodge kind. I wasn’t very keen on either. This of course made our dig a little harder. We had to find a place that was fairly neutral when it came to it’s theme. We wanted something comfortable, special, & romantic.
-The last piece of the puzzle was the response time of the venue. I had found several venues that fit our budget & our “vibe,” yet for some reason getting an email response from some of them was like pulling teeth! From the business side of things, this is unacceptable. Granted I’m not always the quickest to respond, wedding season is quite crazy, but I do my best to respond in a reasonable amount of time. It’s just good business. When someone doesn’t get back to you within a week and there is no good reason as to why, then it says that they wont prioritize me as a client. We’re in the wedding industry people and that means making the bride feel as though she is special, because it’s part of the wedding experience!
Most of this process happened when Daniel & I were originally thinking about getting married in April. Even then I was nervous about finding a venue that was available. I know how quickly certain venues can book up. I had actually visited the Inn at Crestwood’s website before I ever met Daniel, but it slipped my mind. A friend mentioned it to me after I was neck deep in the mountain dig. As soon as I saw their website I remembered how I loved it. I immediately contacted them & Vanessa at Crestwood immediately got back to me. They fit every piece of our puzzle and we were sold! Thus far, Crestwood has been fantastic to work with & I have no doubt that it’ll be the perfect venue for our tiny dream wedding!
Daniel & I got to visit a few weeks ago and it was the first time (since the engagement) in this whole wedding process that I actually got giddy! Touring the grounds made my heart so happy & I can’t wait to walk down the isle, stand before God and our family & friends, and say I Do to our most wonderful adventure!