I love taking pictures of people in love. What’s not to love about it? Shawn and Brittany were a dream couple to photograph. I loved how Brittany knew exactly what she wanted and was very organized. She’s a teacher. Maybe that’s why we connected so well.
When she contacted me, she knew she wanted bridal photographs and a photo in a frame to be on display at the venue. She picked Brushy Creek Park as her bridal photo session spot and we got some really nice photos of her just before sunset. She had her hair and make-up done prior to getting her bridals done, which is always a HUGE bonus in my book. When a bride feels confident and smiles, the wedding gown can’t compete with her beauty.
I truly believe that a smile is the most beautiful thing you can wear. Brittany’s smile is contagious. Don’t you think? It’s no wonder Shawn fell in love with her.
This was her favorite shot from the bridal session we did. She had this one framed at the reception. I love seeing my images making other people happy – and in print. I guess that’s one reason I usually buy a book of each wedding I do for myself. I love to look through the images on paper, not just in a computer or on Facebook. Call me nostalgic. Wedding books are my favorite thing about being a photographer.
When it came down to the wedding day, Brittany had me come out to walk the property when they were enjoying a rehearsal dinner at the venue. I fell in love with Pecan Springs Ranch instantly. It is nestled away at the foot of a hill in the Texas Hill Country in Austin, Texas, and has hundreds of amazing spots for lovers to look beautiful in front of a camera.
A love shack, a love pond, a bridal cottage, green grassy slopes of sunset goodness… twisted oaks, streams, chandeliers hanging from trees, windmill wheels, Mr. & Mrs. couches, covered porches, swings… you name it. They have it all.
Some of my favorite things were the details at Pecan Springs Ranch. You have to do very little to make it a beautiful setting. I loved the succulents, the rustic metal things, the garden gnome, the jeweled vintage purses… so many beautiful details. I’m still enjoying sharing little bits of Brittany’s wedding on my instagram feed.
They had a really nice bridal dressing area – a whole tiny house – with room to sit and hug and cry and get your face “did” and open presents… I wish I had room to share a bunch of photos of all of the features of the house. I took a lot because I am a Pinterest nut and love cute, rustic, charming decor. The ladies who own this place did a fantastic job of decorating.
Brittany had a really awesome team of bridesmaids and her family was so easy to work with. It helps when you have people around you who are supportive and calm in the midst of such a whirlwind, busy, stressful day. I especially loved catching moments of her friends with her when they weren’t paying attention to the camera. This shot is of her opening a gift from her maid of honor.
They dolled up nice, didn’t they? Magazine perfect. The Knott should be jealous of my blog.
Even though the venue was a bit rustic, Brittany was more of a classy kind of gal. She added a bit of charm to her detail touches like gold, pearls, and modern rings.
No cowgirl boots here. Just on the photographer.
Isn’t Shawn’s black wedding band gorgeous? I hadn’t ever seen one like it. My eldest son was my second shooter for the wedding and he told me he wants a ring like that when he gets married. I just love this photo of the rings on wood. I took three ring shots for Brittany and Shawn. One was on a budding tree branch, one was on a ledge with a blossom which was the same blush pink color she picked for her wedding, and this rustic wood shot. She picked the one with the flower to go in her wedding book.
I always have a few highlights from each wedding that I can remember a wedding by – the parts that make it unique. Shawn and Brittany had quite a few of those. My favorite was their pre-wedding secret vow session that they did privately with just one bridesmaid video-taping and me taking photos. What a huge privilege to get to witness these promises and prayers as they wiped tears away and held hands before walking down the aisle.
While Shawn and Brittany were tucked away behind the shed making their personal vows to love and honor each other – sharing a moment… the rest of the crowd was making their way to their seats and grabbing a blanket to stop the chill. The wedding was in February, so it was still a bit cool. Texas winters are the best.
The groomsmen were a lot older at this wedding than the one before. Many were married already. It is neat to take photos of all the different stages of life and silently witness how time and experience change and grow people. I guess that makes me not just a photographer, but a people-watcher.
As far as wedding pictures go, this is one of my favorites of all time. I love the look a groom gives his bride as he takes her hand or sees her in her dress walking towards him for the first time. It is the look of all those cold feet, questions, worries, and fears melting away into peaceful assurance and overwhelming surety. It’s the stuff true love is really made of. The reason for the whole gig.
And if you are going to walk down an aisle, why not do it under an old oak tree with a chandelier hanging above your head…. in the sunshine… outside… on a cool February morning in Austin, Texas? So many things about this wedding were A+ in my book!
Oh, yes – and how can I forget to mention, starting your married life off with a prayer? And communion with the Lord?
Classy… AND spiritual. So many little touches of Jesus tucked away in this wedding. Best of all, in the bride and groom’s hearts.
We had a moment to grab some sunset husband and wife shots right after the wedding and Brittany’s favorite spot was the swing. There’s no telling what they were whispering to each other. I used the long lens and stood at a distance.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch… get it? Pecan Springs Ranch? I crack myself up.
No, really… Back in the spacious reception hall with glossy concrete floors, guests were lining their gifts up and leaving their names on Brittany’s fantastic wedding tree sign. I hadn’t ever seen one of these before. It was a big tree with white leaves for all the Martin’s family and friends to sign. What a beautiful reminder of all those you care about to hang on the wall, long after the wedding is over. If you are a handwriting freak like me, a sign like this is even more special… because having someone’s handwriting is like having a little piece of them. One of my only things I have from my grandma is a recipe she wrote me in her handwriting and I cherish it.
Her decor was fabulous, elegant, and simple. I loved these roped wine bottles with chalk numbered signs. They had a seating chart, also, which was nice for guests, so they knew exactly where they belonged.
The bride and groom had the best spot in the room. I loved the sweetheart table decor, too.
Her dress was fantastic. I loved the back. I also loved that she had her hair down in ringlets.
As with all fairy tales, eventually, the husband and wife will dance. The dance is a symbol of life – a dance in itself.
One of my favorite photos from the wedding – albeit blurry – which I was pleased to see Brittany loved as much as me (she put it in her book), was of Shawn dipping her as she laughed while they danced together by the glow of multi-colored disco lights. They didn’t care who was watching. They were lost in the moment together. That’s the kind of love that lasts; the kind that can block out the whole world and focus itself entirely on the two people who feel it.
“Sing like no one is listening. Dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.” ~ William Purkey
As people trickled out, it was natural that they were still on the dance floor alone in the last few moments before the music stopped.
No need for a DJ when you are making music together.
What a beautiful love-story, memorialized forever in these images. And that brings us to the end of this post… and the beginning of – Lord willing – very many beautiful years together for the Martins.