Kaylena + Louis | Preston Woodall House: Benson, NC

Meet Kaylean "KK" and Louis! These two are no strangers to a good time. Their wedding was at the gorgeous Preston Woodall House in Benson, NC and you will never believe that KK made all of the decorations herself! This wedding takes DIY to a whole new level. 

Enjoy their teaser film! I can't wait to show you their whole highlight reel so you can hear the sweet toasts their friends made. 

How much do wedding vendors cost in Raleigh, NC? 

Hello Brides-to-be!

Thanks for stopping in and congratulations to all of you who got engaged over the holidays! You’re probably beginning the wedding planning process and are overwhelmed with information. One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding is being educated on how much things really cost so you can make informed decisions. Below I’ve broken down some of the vendors whose prices seem to vary the most. I’ve split the prices up into low, medium, and elite costs. The reason these prices vary so much is because these vendors are providing a service, not a product. A service requires skill and experience so when you hire a low-cost vendor you’re usually hiring a low experience vendor; same goes for elite vendors – elite price, elite service. Sorry that this blog is a little long, but here we go! Let’s talk about the average costs of these vendors in the Raleigh, NC area:

Wedding Planner: Low - $300-1,500 | Medium: $1,500-$4,000 | Elite $4,000+
Wedding planners are the unsung heroes of the industry. Wedding planners offer an array of services from day of coordinating, week of planning, month of planning, and whole process planning. Elite planners will book your choice vendors for you and proof their contracts, set up on your wedding day, and schedule travel for out of town guests. They are usually your planning partner for at least 6 months and most will provide design services to achieve the look you want. Low cost planners usually offer day of coordinating or week of planning which is useful for telling people where to go and when on the day of your wedding. 

Venue: Low - $0 - $5,000 | Medium - $5,000 - $10,000 | Elite - $10,000+
Venues provide an array of services, some even include the food in the price! Low cost venues will usually not include anything other than the space and maybe tables and chairs. Elite venues will usually provide everything: food, drink, tables, chairs, linens, food and drink, cake, flowers, planner, and sometimes decorations.  Medium priced venues could include everything or nothing besides the space. Be sure to talk with your planner and the venue about what is included with the venue and make sure it is spelled out clearly in the contact. 

Photography: Low - $500-$1,000 | Medium - $1,000-$4,000 | Elite - $4,000+
Photography is the kicker. This is the one where if you have the money to get an elite vendor SPEND IT. Low budget photographers are usually new to the wedding industry, medium priced photographers will usually have at least one year of wedding experience under their belt, and elite photographers have years of experience and the top of the line equipment. Generally more experience = better quality photos = a higher price tag. The price you pay will also reflect how many hours the photographer is on site, how many prints you get, and the type of photo release you will receive. You can save money by cutting down on hours your photographer covers and trimming some of the bells and whistles, but I would not recommend skimping on photography.

Videography: Low - $700-$1000 | Medium - $1,000-$5,000 | Elite - $5,000+
Video at weddings is a relatively new trend, but he same concept goes for videographers as photographers: the price reflects how how experienced they are and the number, length, and quality of videos you receive in the end. Be sure to watch the videos your videogrpaher produces to see if you like their style before booking with them. 

A few tips from one budget bride to another: If you're on a tight budget, make sure you save up and designate the proper amount for the vendor that's most important to you so you get the best service in that area. If you can't afford the vendor you specifically want, don't be afraid to tell a vendor you only have $X in your budget for their service. They will either tell you that they can offer you 'this' much for that price, or refer you to another trusted vendor who can accommodate your budget. Don't be afraid to ask for a payment plan, either. Most vendors will break up payments leading up to the wedding so all the expenses don't hit at once. However, always be respectful when asking for favors; vendors don't owe you a discount just because you're on a tight budget. 

Happy planning!

Lindsay + Justin | Millikan Farms

Lindsay and Justin were wed at the beautiful Millikan Farm in Sophia, NC in October. Their wedding celebrated the coming of fall and the new romance of a husband and wife. Their wedding was decorated with personal touches celebrating their family and friends plus a surprise from Sir Purr! See it all in their wedding video below: 

Chelsea + Sage | The Exchange

Chelsea and Sage are two peas in a pod. Their relationship began slowly then was immediately put on hold when Chelsea joined the peace corps and moved to Africa. While she was there, Sage knew she was the one and started to plan their lives together. Fast forward a few years and many dates later and he proposed with a scavenger hunt and beautiful custom ring! You can see their proposal and read more of their story here: https://howheasked.com/sage-and-chelsea/ 

Their wedding day was held at the beautiful Exchange venue in Asheboro, NC and was littered with belly laughs, happy tears, and ear-to-ear smiles! What made their day even more special was a little snow (the first snow in December in the piedmont of NC in 7 years!). See more of this Christmas winterwonderland wedding below!  


What you and your photography business need to know about Net Neutrality

Hello photographer! Thanks for stopping by. I wanted to talk about this week's hot topic: Net Neutrality. 

First, let’s talk about Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is simply a government mandated, equal playing field for everyone on the internet. That means that everything cost the same for everyone – from the big guys to the little guys. This mandate also put in place a sort of ‘honesty’ act that forced providers to disclose data caps, if they would slow speeds and when, and forces providers to abide by their own rules (that way the provider can’t sabotage others on their network). You can read more about NN here.

The proposed reversal of Net Neutrality (which you can read here) means that the internet would belong to those who provide it – companies like Comcast, Spectrum, and Dish can now decide who gets priority speeds, if they want to charge for certain sites, and can enter into a payment for speed or visibility structure. What this means is that the big guys will naturally win out because it will all come down to money – if you have the money, you can get the speed and the visibility. It also means that providers can charge you to access certain sites like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Etc. No one knows exactly how the providers will structure their new plans; there's a chance this could actually be better for consumers with more reasonable rates as the providers will be in open market competition. 

So, what does that mean for your photography business? Well it means that it’s time to:
(1) take advantage of social media to the fullest and
(2) start storing your data on some of the larger providers who will be able to pay for the speed you’ll need if providers lean that way.
As far as social media marketing goes, this is the time to establish your business on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Make a business page on Facebook, up your Instragram game (check out this free e-course), and register your website with Google so it will show up in searches. Next, store your data on larger providers.  If you’re a photographer move your galleries to sites like Pixieset and Pass, if you’re a videographer move your videos to YouTube and Vimeo. These larger providers will have funds to keep up their speeds which will keep your clients happy when trying to view or download their products. As always, network marketing is going to be your friend. As many in-person connections as you can make the better! Get your name out there so people know who to call. As far as your personal website goes, keep up with blogging and posting on social media to keep your SEO going – at this point no one knows if the new structure will help or hinder the little guy if the bill passes at all

What are your thoughts on Net Neutrality?         

Lacy + Cody

Lacy and Cody are the cutest pair! They agreed to be my models for me to test out my new presets and work on a few I've had in the bank that I've yet to tweak. Lacy owns Lacy Matusek Photography which amazing because other photographers make the best models! Aka, they don't mind when I fidget with my settings for a few minutes between shots because they get it. These two are new to Raleigh, so if you see them around town say, "Hi!"

Taylor + Kevin's Teaser Film

About a month ago, I had the please sure 2nd shoot for Ariel Perry Photography and I even got to sneak in a little highlight film as a surprise for the bride and groom - that brillinat idea goes to Cathy Anna Events, who designed and planned this whole day! 

Heather + Brandon's Teaser Film

A month ago I had the pleasure of filming a local wedding planner's wedding! Since this beautiful bride the planner behind Pailsey and Pearl Events, I knew this wedding would be gorgeous and run smooth as butter and I want not wrong. Here's a sneak peek of Heather and Brandon's wedding day: 

Baby Raiden

Meet Court and Daniella - these two were wed in the summer of 2016 and I had the pleaseure of documenting their wedding day through video! Now these two are new parets to little baby Raiden and big sister 'Blayze'!


Alexa + Tyler | Willstella Farm

Meet Alexa and Tyler - two peas in a pod; they're the perfect mix of dry humor and utter ridiculousness. Their wedding day was the perfect meshing of both their personalities; it was full of love and laughter plus many happy tears. They were wed at Willstella Farm which was the perfect venue for their vintage vibes. All of the little details come together to bring out their silly side (I'm looking at you, dinosaur ring holder) and their love for one another along with friends and family. Enjoy this little sneak peek!


Fall Update


Fall Update:

Hello lovelies! Thanks for stopping by. September has been my down month and I am so thankful for some time to spend with my husband, doggo, and friends! September is one of my favorite months here in the south. The summer heat has died down (a little), it’s bearable to be outside, the cool fall breezes start to kick up, and all the stores are prepping for fall! I’ve got some big goals for the remainder of 2017, mostly personal and some professional.

Here’s my fall snapshot:

  1. 6 weddings left for the year
  2. 5 Family birthdays + mine! (all in October!)
  3. OUR FIRST MARRIED: Birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (okay, Christmas is technically winter... But still.)
  4. Craft parties, coffee dates, and bible studies with the ladies

Fall Goals:  

  1. Work out every week day
  2. Find a better work/life/media balance - For our family that means all phones, tablets, and computers are OFF by 8pm. We’ll see how this goes ;)
  3. I’ve started a chronological bible study and hope to finish it by the end of 2018. It’s a 1 year plan, but knowing my reading habits, I’ll need the extra 4 months to end on time!
  4. Finish my 6 audio books that have been in the que since March…
  5. Record 2 E-courses: Admin. for Photographers and The Quick Start Guide for A Home Based Business

What’s on your list for the fall?

Daniel + Amanda | Lonnie Poole

Daniel and Amanda's intimate North Carolina Wedding is on the blog today! This wedding was so full of laughter, big bear hugs, and some crazy dance moves. One of my favorite things about this day is that Amanda had a bridesMAN and only the best of family and friends for a small, intimate wedding! If you have one take away from this wedding it should be this: do it YOUR way because it's YOUR day! Enjoy!

Tyler and Alexa's Engagements | NC Museum of Art Raleigh, NC

Meet Tyler, Alexa, and their pup Foster! This was hands down one of my favorite engagements for 3 reasons: Alexa is gorgeous, Tyler is hilarious, and Foster is the cutest!
Bonus points if you can guess the movie Tyler reenacted at the end!

Wedding Etiquette for Vendors


Hello wedding vendors! Thanks for stopping by! I wanted to go ahead and throw in my $.02 on wedding etiquette since there seems to be a lot of blogs telling guests what to do, but we all know that it takes team work to make the dream work. That’s why this blog is all about wedding vendor etiquette! Lets dive in.

Planners. Planners are the glue that holds an entire day together! They pour their heart and soul into the design and flow of the day and without them no one would know anything. Vendors, the planner is your point of contact! Don’t ask the bride, family, or caterers about literally anything – they won’t know. Always, always, always ask the planner and never give instructions to anyone without being 100% sure it’s the planner’s plan.

Caterers. Caterers are hired by the bride to serve food and clear tables. Don’t ask them to do more than they’re contracted for like haul gear, decorate, or give you tours of the venue. They’re busy! Also caterers, vendors would like to eat during the reception so do us a solid and include vendor meals in your packages. I know a lot of you do and I LOVE YOU.

DJs. DJs will be your best friend as they pretty much direct the reception. We all know that weddings get off schedule sometime between the ceremony and the reception beginning because of photographs (aka: me). At this point, the DJ almost always re-writes the reception timeline to keep it moving. Connect with them and the planner to make sure you know where and when to do your thing.

Photographers. Photographers are either the bane of the wedding or can make it seamless. Photographers, STAY on schedule the best you can and make that planner and the DJ your best friends – they’re your most valuable assets for not missing a beat. Vendors, most photographers will give you photos or let you license them to share your work, but please do not post photos before the photographer does. We may be submitting them for publishing or we may not have delivered them to the couple yet, and having photos floating around can hurt our chances of being published or make the bride and groom impatient.

Videographers. We’re kind of the forgotten vendor. Not many couples have video and no one really knows what to do with us. Our role is simple, we follow the photographers around so the video content matches the photo content. We have a lot of bulky gear that is not easy to move on short notice. Planners and photographers, we need extra time to set up our gear – please let us know ahead of time where to be so we can get set up without holding up the timeline. Videographers and photographers, don’t get in front of each other – playing the ‘this is my space’ game only leads to bad footage and bad photos in the end. Communicate and work together for the best results especially during the ceremony.

Florists, HMUAs, and Cakes. Y'all make everything look beautiful and I love you. 


Daniel + Amanda | Wedding Day Sneak Peek

Meet the new Mr. and Mrs. Price! These two fell in love at NC State's campus and tied the knot there on the Lonnie Poole Golf Course!
Here's just a short little teaser of what's to come.

Daniel and Amanda's Engagement Photos | JC Raulston Arboretum Raleigh, NC

Meet Daniel and Amanda: Daniel is a transplant from Wales and Amanda is a North Carolina Native. From jokes about green cards, to dreams about adopting all the dogs, these two hog all the funny! Their wedding in exactly 7 days form today and I cannot wait to share their day with you. 

Jessica and Adam's Tropical Wedding Shoot | The Leaning Tree in Bailey, NC

Meet Jessica and Adam. These two love birds offered to model for us only 2 weeks out form their official wedding! Jessica is a sweet heart and also a local photographer (check her out here!), and Adam, along with his faux groomsmen, were a hoot! (Check out their dancing cameo in the video - you won't regret it.) P.s., this wedding was featured on B&B!!

Venue: The Leaning Tree in Bailey, NC
Coordinator: Elizabeth’s Events
Videographer: Gold + Sage
Decorator: Mint to Sell
Florist and Stationary: Alexis Kremer
Brides Dress: Alexia’s Bridal Boutique
Hair Stylist: Naomi Yata/Sky Parlor Salon
Makeup Artist: Makeup with Nancy
Cake Artist: Rachel Bailey
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid
Menswear: The Tailored Look
Rings: Joint Venture Jewelry

The Glenwood | Raleigh, NC // Court and Daniella Wedding Video

Court and Daniella are the sweetest couple and I had the pleasure of videoing the wedding in July of 2016 and now they are expecting a baby! Time flies, but I love to see happy couples and their happy babies. Court's mother is a wedding designer at Cathy Anna Events and killed it on the decorations! Check it out below.