Remembering the Beginning

Right after moving down to Kingwood, I got an email from Peanut’s school searching for a volunteer to step up to be the head volleyball coach for the middle school girls. Now, I played volleyball for a long time, and I loved it. But coaching? Never.

Before I could really think about it too much, I figured I’d go ahead and go for it since I have more time than I ever have before (and may have again). And the thought of those girls not getting to play just hurt my heart.

And you know what I’ve loved about it? While I am trying to figure out how to coach rather than play, it’s been so good to try to remember the beginning.

When you’ve done something for years and years, it’s easy to forget the struggle at the start.

It’s easy to forget how it’s hard to make your body do what you know it should do. It’s easy to forget that the movements aren’t really instinctive, they must be learned. It’s easy to forget that it takes a lot of effort to remember the rules.

And in the middle of all this, a photographer I look up to immensely (as do THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of other photographers) took a few seconds to leave a positive comment on an Instagram photo of mine.

Houston wedding photographer black and white close up image of groom's hands around brides waist

And that right there, paired with my hours in the gym at volleyball practice, made me appreciate just how important it is to remember the beginning. But even more important than remembering is taking the time to reach back and help those who are in the thick of the start. To encourage them and pour into them – even if it’s in as few as two words.

And then maybe, someday down the line when they’ve grown out of their beginning, just maybe they’ll take the time to reach back too.


If you’re not already following along on Instagram, I’d love to have you come join me! You can find me @bmariephoto – be sure to leave a comment and say hi!

Wedding – Emily & Joe

Y’all I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I was to be a part of Emily & Joe’s wedding day. I truly believe that they were an integral part of God moving in my life, and I am so so thankful for them.

Emily and Joe have such a sweet kind of love… the kind where you can tell the rest of the world just melts away when they look at each other. The kind where God is present and at the forefront of their relationship, and they trust the words he speaks into their hearts. The kind where they can be 100% themselves and be totally comfortable. The kind where a laugh is always just a moment away, but there is enjoyment in the quiet moments too. The kind where they have chosen to use their honeymoon as a time to serve, and are working with a mission program in San Francisco.

There were so many sweet details in their day… whether it was an adorable sign about spooning, adorable utensils and drink ware with the most perfect tags, the perfect spread they created for their amazing cupcake dessert station, or having friends officiate the ceremony and provide the beautiful music, things were just perfect. And they carried special meaning.









The atmosphere in the room as all of the girls got ready was amazing – all were so calm and I could tell just how much they were all trying to really soak in the day and enjoy each moment. Emily was a relaxed and peaceful bride, and I couldn’t think of any other way I’d like my brides to be as they get ready. As her mom helped her into her dress, I got chills remembering what a special moment that is.




Emily made the most stunning bride, and she had the most amazing women surrounding her as she married her love. These girls were all so kind, so welcoming, and so so good to Emily.




2014-06-04_0011Joe and his groomsmen aren’t a bad looking group either! And they had me cracking up at times… such a fun group of guys.



Before the ceremony, their friend and officiant for the ceremony took a few moments to pray with Emily, her bridesmaids and her mother, and then with Joe, his groomsmen and his father. I was so moved by this and the way that not only are Emily and Joe encouragement to each other in their walk with Christ, they are surrounded by so many people who are not just celebrating this marriage, they are praying for it.



As the ceremony begins, I always love to see the reaction of the groom when he sees his bride walking toward him. Joe’s reaction did not disappoint!





There was the most amazing pause for worship in the middle of the ceremony. One of the songs that was played is one of my recent favorites, and I was moved to hear it begin. But I was really just overcome when I first heard Emily singing along… her voice is beautiful, and it was so special to see the two of them make a point to begin their marriage with praise. Simply amazing. Josh Taylor did a great job with the music.



I love this one of Emily looking at her husband! 2014-06-04_0025



As the rest of the bridal party walked back down the aisle and began to mingle with guests in celebration, Joe gathered up his wife in his arms and they shared the sweetest of moments with the noise of their family and friends in the background. 2014-06-04_0027

I also loved these sweet moments with the parents of the bride. Their pride and happiness for the women their daughter has become was so clear to see! 2014-06-04_0028


We stole away from everyone to get some portraits of the newlyweds. I seriously don’t think Emily could be any more gorgeous, and I just couldn’t decide whether I like the black & white or color version better!





2014-06-04_0037Congrats, Emily & Joe! May your love for one another grow with each day, and may you always hold on to a little bit of this newlywed feeling. You two deserve the best in life!!

 Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: H&M

Men’s Suits: House of Traditions

Music: Josh Taylor

Cupcakes: Jordan Coe

Videographer: Katharine Garcia