bridal portraits with Dan

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This is the end of the bridal portraits, promise. Several people asked me along the way if Dan would be in the wedding. The wedding packet for the church says that animals aren't allowed to be there, and everything on our wedding day took place at the church. I decided the best time for Dan to get involved would be during bridal portraits. 

Zack's dad took the responsibility of watching Dan and bringing him to the second location where we took pictures. That was so generous of him, and he was an awesome handler! 

Dan has been my best pal since before Zack and I were dating, and he's been by my side as I've spent countless hours at the computer planning the wedding. He's right beside me while I type this post. 

He loves Zack almost as much as he loves me, which is exactly how it should be. 

I'm so thankful that Zack loves me AND my dog. I'm also thankful for this woman's best friend! 

all photos by Krista Joy Photography

Independence Day 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day! 

I'm thankful to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, one of which is my husband. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and volunteered to go to Afghanistan, which blows my mind each time I think about it. 

No matter what happens here, I know our truest freedom and hope is in Jesus. 1 Peter 1:3-4 says, 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. 

I hope you enjoy this holiday and think about how fortunate we are and what you can do to protect our freedom.

all photos by Krista Joy Photography

view my past Independence Day posts:  

bridal portraits

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I just don't know what's more Hand Me Down Style than wearing my mother's wedding gown! I've told my mom for years that if I ever got married, I would wear her dress. My parents married in 1980, and they celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Amazingly, my mom chose a classic dress and mantilla veil instead of mutton sleeves or a cowboy hat. She will forever be one of my style icons, and I don't think she can say anymore that we don't look alike! 

This is the one I chose for the newspaper. I felt that it was traditional, having the veil, but also joyful! No one makes me happier than Zack, and I'm so proud to have my photo published with a caption that labels me his Mrs.! 

Since I'd already decided to wear my mom's dress before we were engaged, I did not experience going to a bridal salon and trying on gowns, seeing myself in a big mirror. I've heard that you should do your hair and makeup to see what the dresses would look like on your wedding day. I'd only tried on this dress at home, with messy hair and no make up, able to see bits of it in mirrors. We had a family friend do the alterations, so I had my fittings at home. I am so thankful for her and her hard work! 

When I got these photos from Krista, I fell in love with the dress! I didn't even know the back looked like that! It was like seeing the dress for the first time. I really had no idea what I'd look like on my wedding day, but these photos made me excited to put the dress on again. 

This is the one I chose for the reception. I love the detail on the back of the dress. Bridal portraits are one of my favorite parts of weddings (even beating out invitations and menswear), so naturally, having one displayed at our reception was important to me! 

The whole experience the day we took photos was fun, spending time with Sam getting ready and reminiscing about growing up at church together and her friendship with Zack. She knew both of us before we knew each other. It's kind of ridiculous that it took us so long to get together, but I'm incredibly thankful that we finally did! 

The dress is comfortable, and I started to understand why people say they want to wear their wedding gowns more than just one day. 

I wore earrings that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday and a necklace that Zack gave me at Christmas. 

Come back for more bridal portraits and an appearance by a special guest in the next few days! 

all photos by Krista Joy Photography 
hair and makeup by Lula hair and makeup

a tadpole with legs

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Zack loves analogies. Every time he explains something to me, he relates it to something else. When I'm taking notes in church, I write all of the analogies to the side so that when he asks me what I learned in church, I can explain the message by the analogies. 

My very favorite analogy that Zack has made up has to do with our engagement and how it's such an awkward time between dating and marriage. He called us a tadpole with legs. Not fully swimming tadpole, not fully hopping frog; a tadpole with legs.

It can be tough trying to move between states, set up house, and take care of errands for each other when we aren't legally married. We don't live in the same place, but we will soon. We don't have to make decisions together, but we will soon, and we want to now. We celebrate holidays with both of our families as if we were married, but we go home to our separate houses. Our stuff. is. everywhere.

I am so looking forward to finally being a frog!

bridesmaids luncheon

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I had the perfect bridesmaids luncheon last weekend, hosted by friends of my mom. We had a nice lunch at the country club, and I got to spend time with family and close friends. 

My nephew was the only boy there, so we had a mini photo shoot. 

He was jazzed to be there. But really, he behaved so well! 

He's only three months old and looks exactly like my brother. It's like watching my own (older) brother grow up! Wild! 

I'm thankful that these pals were there! It was pretty unreal that it was exactly a week before our wedding. How do people endure longer than a six month engagement?! I can't wait!!! 

Carolina Aero Club June 2015 fly in

Monday, June 22, 2015


We enjoyed a fly in at our home airport a couple of weekends ago. There was a crowd there and several airplanes flew in. My uncle made barbecue chicken and lots of other good food! 

There was a flyover by a Cherokee. 

We visited our planes. It's tough to fly in when it's at your home airport. 

The most exciting thing we saw was this Quest Kodiak. Zack did a great job modeling the plane. 

Actually, our friend Ben and his two children came to the fly in (not pictured). Holding his new baby was the most exciting part for me! 

I think this was a Cub flying over. 

It was neat to see how short the Kodiak took off, especially for such a big plane. 

We enjoyed visiting with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin, old friends, and new friends. 

engagement photos

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

We've been planning, postponing, and rescheduling for months, and we finally got to take some photos with our wedding photographer! I'm not crazy about the idea of engagement photos, but of course, she convinced me that we needed practice taking pictures together before the wedding. Truthfully, the first photos I took with Krista were my bridal portraits, but those are still secret for now. I may schedule some for just after the wedding if I can convince Zack not to peek at the scheduled posts. 

We had so much fun with Krista at the airport! I'm so glad we went there because it's really where our love story took place. I can't believe I have never written our love story here! I will have to do that soon, but basically we fell in love in and around airplanes. 

This time, I started planning our outfits with what Zack would be most comfortable wearing and look nice in, then planned mine accordingly. Keeping it simple helped. That's my bit of advice for engagement photo outfit planning--plan the man's outfits first and keep it simple. Outfit details are at the bottom of the post. 

All photos by Krista Joy Photography

K: Waccamaw Pearls // Anthropologie top // J. Crew 3" chino shorts // Jack Rogers Palm Beach sandal 
Z: Southern Proper shirt // Over Under belt // Onward Reserve shorts // Sperry shoes

K: Moon and Lola earrings // Anthropologie dress // HMD bracelet // Jack Rogers Napa Valley Navajo 
Z: Onward Reserve shirt // Over Under belt // Dockers pants // Clarks shoes 
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