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!

For Brides: The First Look

Kingwood wedding photographer - Why you should include first look portraits in your wedding day timeline

Choosing to do a “first look” is definitely something that’s gained a lot of traction in the wedding industry lately, but I still think there is some confusion or some concern about whether it is the right choice as brides are planning their wedding day. While I whole-heartedly believe that each bride & groom needs to make the choice that best fits them as a couple, I do think that the first look is a GREAT option for a variety of reasons!!

As a bride myself, I have to admit I was a little nervous about how the first look would impact that moment of walking down the aisle – would it still be as special if Max had already seen me prior to that moment?  Ultimately my photographer side won out and I decided that having the extra time in our wedding day timeline for portraits was really important to us, and we went for it. And y’all, I can’t tell you enough how glad I am that we did it, but mostly for reasons I didn’t expect…

Nacogdoches wedding photographer post for brides about wedding day first look

I tell brides all the time that our first look ended up being one of my favorite parts of our day. Yes, getting to just focus on Max and our reactions to seeing each other was great, but really, that was such a special time because it was the only time we were alone pretty much all day! You’re surrounded by family & friends all day, and often you don’t have much time to just be together. The first look was a chance for us to just have time with one another, and it also allowed for us to have more time alone later in the day because we could get a lot of our wedding party photos done pre-ceremony.

Getting to get gorgeous golden hour bride & groom portraits, PLUS being able to sneak away in our first moments of being husband and wife? Loved it.

Nacogdoches wedding photographer post for brides about wedding day first look

Another thing I didn’t really think about was the way that getting to see Max helped me kind of settle into the day. There are so many emotions flying around, and seeing Max helped me feel grounded and able to really just soak in our wedding day. That was definitely a bonus I didn’t really expect! I know this has also been helpful for any grooms (or brides for that matter!) who may not be too big on being the center of attention – getting that time with their soon-to-be-spouse eases nerves & makes things so much more enjoyable for them!

As for the fear of not having that amazing coming-down-the-aisle moment, I think this photo can clear up some of those worries! There’s nothing that can take away from the moment of walking down the aisle to your forever, and when the groom sees his bride walking through their family & friends on her way to him, it’s an incredible moment – regardless of whether it’s the first time he’s seen you!!

Nacogdoches wedding photographer post for brides about wedding day first look

So of course, as a photographer I love that the first look gives some breathing room in the timeline so my brides & grooms can relax a little more.

Of course I LOVE that it allows for more portrait time.

Of course I love getting to get great photos of that initial reaction of the groom seeing his beautiful bride.

But most of all, I love what it does for my brides & grooms as they start their marriage. Because after all, the wedding is about the beginning of a life, not just the party or the dress. And those moments together to really cherish what’s happening, those are my favorites. 

For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: 

Wedding – Kelsey & Justin

Kelsey & Justin, your wedding day at Grace Bible Church was beautifully full of the best mix of prayer, love & joy. You were so much fun to work with, and Max and I truly enjoyed getting to be by your side as you became husband and wife!

One of my favorite things is the personal touches throughout a wedding day, and I loved how Kelsey & Justin brought in their past & their personalities into the day in various ways. Kelsey & Justin met at bible study, so their relationship began with a foundation in Christ. They started their ceremony with a moment of prayer, and it was really moving to see the two of them standing in front of family & friends to bow their heads together in a conscious moment of again grounding their lives in Christ.

As the celebration kicked off, they danced for the first time as husband and wife, surrounded by their family & friends as John Legend’s All of Me played. Justin explained to me that they had heard that song all throughout their first vacation together in Boston, so it was a natural choice for their first dance. Then after John Legend faded out, a second dance began. A much different dance…. a mash up of a wide genre of songs accompanied by some impressive dance moves! At the end, amidst the applause, Kelsey said to their guests “You all know me… The only person in the entire world that could get me to do that is Justin!” And that, y’all, is what I love about love. That when you find the right person, they push you to be whole in ways you didn’t know you needed, and they’re right there by your side while you do it.

Nacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TX

Kelsey, you were a stunning bride!!! That dress was just perfection on you!

Nacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TX

This is just one of the reasons why I love first looks!!

Nacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdochesGraceBibleChurchWedding_Pelham-23_WEBNacogdochesGraceBibleChurchWedding_Pelham-25_WEBNacogdochesGraceBibleChurchWedding_Pelham-24_WEBNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdochesGraceBibleChurchWedding_Pelham-28_WEB

Always one of my favorite moments of the day – when the groom gets to see his bride walk down the aisle!

Nacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdochesGraceBibleChurchWedding_Pelham-63_WEBNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdochesGraceBibleChurchWedding_Pelham-64_WEBNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TX

Kelsey & Justin, you two are just perfect together, and I pray that you have the type of marriage that is a beacon for others to come closer to those they love and closer to Christ. May you have many happy years together!!

Nacogdoches photographer images of May wedding at Grace Bible Church in Nacogdoches, TX