Hunter + Hannah | Fort Walton Beach, FL

I will insist, until the end of time, that I have the best job in the world. I get to hang out with people who love each other (like Hunter and Hannah,) and then I get to sit on my butt and stare at a computer screen looking at pictures of people who love each other! The best of being active and sedentary, which is my sweet spot. (PLUS! Doesn't Hannah look a little bit like Adele?? GORG.)

What was the most anticipated part of the day?

"The most anticipated part for the day for both of us was the ceremony. We had talked about that moment a lot while planning the wedding and it indeed was an emotional time for both of us."

Did anything unexpected happen? What was the outcome?

"I didn't even finish reading this question to Hunter and he yells out "YOU WERE LATE". HA. 

So yes, the big unexpected thing for our day was how late I was to the ceremony. I always said I would NEVER be THAT bride, but things happen, things like spring break traffic in Destin, Fl. In my defense though, you can't have a wedding without the bride and it takes time to look that good!"

Were you nervous at all? How did you squash the nerves?

Hannah: "I didn't feel nervous until the moment I slipped on my wedding dress; that's when it all hit me at once. Once I started walking down the aisle though, I wasn't nervous at all, I was just too absorbed in the moment and ready to marry my best-friend." 

Hunter: "I wasn't nervous at all, I had been waiting for this day for awhile, and I knew she was going to be nervous enough for the both of us anyway."

What advice would you give couples planning their wedding now?:

"This piece of advice had been passed onto us from many newlywed coupes and it only seems fitting to continue to pass it on. Your wedding day will be hectic, theres so many faces to talk to and pictures to take, but try to find at least five minutes to sneak away from the crowd and enjoy a quiet moment together. You'll remember it forever."

What were some of your favorite wedding details? How did you come up with them?:

"Anytime someone asks me about our wedding decor I always say "Pinterest, pinterest, pinterest!". It was my #1 inspirational go-to for most aspects of our day, including my favorite piece, a hand-made fireplace mantle used as the centerpiece of our ceremony. My father has always been an amazing craftsman, among his many talents, and it meant the world to us both for him to create such a custom beautiful piece for our special day that we will treasure forever."

What ended up being your favorite part of the day?:

"Although our wedding celebration was absolutely perfect, we both agree that our favorite part of the day was getting to change into our sweatpants and chow down on leftovers after the party was over! It was so nice just to enjoy each others company and talk about how magical the day was."

What are you most looking forward to about married life?:

"Right now we are very excited to start the search for our first home! After two years in our cute, but tiny apartment, we can't be any happier to be able to grow and start our adventure as Mr. & Mrs. Pharis."


Event details:

Ceremony Venue: Emerald Coast Convention Center

Reception Venue: Compass Rose 

Rentals: The Big Day Event Rentals

Photography: Rockwell Images

 

Philip + Sierra | St. Michaels & Palafox Wharf

It's always a little bit intimidating when someone hires you for their wedding (arguably one of the most important days of a persons life) without meeting you first. It's also probably not a good idea to completely space and run 2 hours late for your first meeting with this person. (Everyone makes mistakes, photographers are people too! I promise this is the only time I've done this.) Luckily, Philip & Sierra are two of the sweetest people, we met, hit it off, and everything worked out alright in the end :)

What was the most anticipated moment of the day?

Sierra- "Seeing each other at our ceremony! We didn't do a first look and wanted to keep with tradition of seeing each other at our ceremony. I couldn't wait to see Philip at the end of the aisle."

Philip- "The exchange of vows. I was excited to be able to finally express our vows for each other in front of our family, friends, and God."

What was the biggest surprise of the day?:

Sierra- "Philip gave me a Beauty and The Beast wedding figurine for my wedding gift. On our first date Philip brought me to see Beauty and The Beast in 3D since I am a huge Disney fan. It is a special memory that I was surprised to have him incorporate into our big day!"

Did anything unexpected happen? What was the outcome?:

Sierra- "My sister (MOH) forgot to bring the rings to give to the best man. The trolley bringing my family to the church had to turn around to meet the reception coordinator to pick up the rings. It was a memorable experience for my family and a fun way to have everyone included!"

Philip- "The priest telling my aunt to stop taking pictures with her phone during the ceremony and to leave the pictures to Molly! It was hard to not laugh at that moment!"

What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding now?:

"Enjoy every moment of the planning process, even the stressful ones. It goes quickly and you only have one wedding, it's worth every emotion!"

Were you nervous? How did you squash the nerves?:

Sierra- "No, I was more anxious the morning of. Anxious to see Philip. I remember just wanting it to be time for the ceremony so I could see him! Being surrounded by my Mom and bridesmaids kept me calm, Sage (my sister and MOH) was a big help!'

Philip- "Of course I was nervous! I was getting married! I just calmed myself knowing we were meant to be together." (AWWWWWWWW!)

What were some of your favorite wedding details? How did you come up with them?: 

Sierra- "The memory table to honor our family that passed away, we are very family oriented and know we wouldn't be who we are without our family. The Mickey and Minnie ears we wore during our cake cutting, to incorporate our love of Disney. We also had a raw bar since our family loves seafood and traveled across the country to Florida, we wanted to reflect that. Our grand exit was unique. We had everyone ring cowbells to match our last dance, a lot of our family commented on how that added a special touch to our wedding."

How did you feel at the end of the day?:

"Overjoyed, it was a perfect day! We were truly happy to be husband and wife celebrating with our friends and family."

What are you most looking forward to about married life?

"Continuing the journey of life together. We learn from each other, which is a beautiful thing."


Event Details:

Bridal Suite: New World Landing 

Ceremony Venue: Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel

Reception Venue: Palafox Wharf

Coordinating: P.S. Weddings

Catering: Nancy's Haute Affairs

Photography: Rockwell Images

 

John + Kelly | Destin, FL

John & Kelly are some of the most fun people I've ever met, and I've never seen someone make another person laugh as hard as John makes Kelly. These two are special to me also because I got to photograph BOTH of their weddings. Yes, you read that right. These two got hitched in August, but had a ceremony (and KILLER party) with their friends and family a couple months later.

Speaking of a party: I've also never been to a wedding where the bride and groom were on the dance floor ALL NIGHT. (Seriously, from the moment they walked in until the DJ had to turn the music off.) So. Much. Fun.

Take a look at that AWESOME ceremony backdrop!!


Event Details:

Venue- Beach Retreat Properties (Destin, FL)

Bridal Gown- Maggie Sottero

Florals- Couture Florals and Events (Destin, FL)

Catering- Cafe Hon (Baltimore, MD)

DJ- Any Day DJ, Brian Thomaston

Photography- Rockwell Images

Robert + Kimberly | Sowell Farms, Milton FL

I have a soft spot for brides who get unanticipated rain on their wedding day. Once upon a time (many moons ago....) I was that bride; the one with an outdoor ceremony, a backup plan, and crossed fingers. Sometimes the rain clears, sometimes it doesn't, but either way your wedding ceremony is always going to be something you remember fondly, no matter what the weather was! And it helps that the indoor space at Sowell Farms is just as beautiful as all the outdoor space!

(Plus, I met one of my now best friends at this wedding!!)


Event Details:

Ceremony & Reception Venue- Sowell Farms

Photography- Rockwell Images

Brandon + Alyssa | Niceville, FL

Since moving to Pensacola, it's always really fun to get to head back to my little hometown (Niceville, Florida....yes it's a real place.) for a celebration!!

Plus, Brandon was one of the most enthusiastic picture-taking grooms I've ever gotten to work with. He was cracking us up ALL day!

See what I mean? Look at Brandon, hamming it up!


Event details:

Ceremony venue- Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Church

Reception Venue- Soundside at Hurlburt Field

Photography- Rockwell Images

Andrew + Brianna | Old Christ Church & Palafox House

HOLY CRAP I'M FINALLY BLOGGING. You can all collectively gasp now. *GASP*

I've had this wedding ready to go for uh....longer than I'll ever admit, because I am the worst at blogging, but here it goes!!

Most anticipated moment of the day:

Brianna- "Seeing each other for the first time!"

Andrew- "Getting to say 'I do,' and finally marrying her" (YALL. HOW STINKING PRECIOUS.)

What ended up being your favorite part of the day?:

Brianna- "The ceremony, and when the whole day was over" (Because then the real fun starts- being married!! Oh, you thought I was gonna say something else? Get your mind out of the gutter!)

Andrew- "The ceremony!"

Any advice for couples planning their wedding now?:

Brianna- "Make sure you have someone you trust to help you, and don't wait until the last minute to do anything, plan everything waaaay in advance! If you don't, you, as the bride, might go crazy!"

Andrew- "Sit back and enjoy the ride" (If there ever was a more typical groom answer, LOL)

What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?:

Brianna- "Going on lots of adventures, and just getting to do life with each other."

Andrew- "Growing old with her." (I'M NOT CRYING YOU'RE CRYING!)


Event details:

Ceremony Venue- Old Christ Church

Reception Venue- Palafox House

Flowers- Fiore of Pensacola

Photography- Rockwell Images

Non-Bar Bachelorette/Bachelor Parties

Don't get me wrong, I love going out to a good bar every once in awhile. But if you're anything like me, the thought of being the center of attention (sash, crown, phallic-shaped memorabilia, etc) in a room full of drunk strangers makes me a little anxious. Or maybe bars just aren't your thing, and that's totally cool. (You could also be like me and have gotten married when you were 20, so the whole bar scene wasn't really an option.) So I have compiled a list of equally awesome non-bar bachelorette/bachelor party ideas!!

1. Sky Zone Pensacola

Two words. Trampoline. Park. I don't think I need to say any more, except this place is SO MUCH FUN.

 

2. Dreamland Skating Rink

I may be a little biased towards this one, since this is where I actually had my bachelorette party, but as a child of the 90's there's nothing like a good skating rink party! (Bonus point if you get the guy in the sound booth to play strictly 90's music)

3. Escape on Palafox

A great way to test out how your bridesmaids/groomsmen deal with stress :P Spend 60 minutes locked in a room with them trying to solve puzzles and find clues to escape!!

4. Pensacola Blue Wahoos Baseball Game

Even if you're not the biggest fan of baseball, live sports are so much fun. Plus, this option is family friendly if you or your partner have kids that you want to bring along! (You would have to be getting married during baseball season though.)

5. Gallery Night in Downtown Pensacola

I'm also a bit partial to this idea, since gallery night was where hubby and I had our first date. They close down Palafox St. and there are a TON of awesome bands playing, food vendors/trucks, and art galleries showcasing local artists. It's all the best downtown Pensacola has to offer crammed into one night!

 

Did you have a unique bachelorette/bachelor party? Or do you have a great idea for a non-traditional one? Tell me about it in the comments!!

 

 

Brandt Family

Last week I got the chance to take pictures for one of my absolute favorite families. That may sound weird to you, to have favorite families, but as a frequent babysitter...it happens. I've been babysitting for the Brandt's for about 2 years, and they are some of the sweetest kids I've ever met. (Not to mention their momma, who I also love!) 

 

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Clark is 5 now, and looking like such a grown up little man. I can remember when he was 3!! He's all boy, running around, climbing, jumping off stuff, and giving his mom a whole lot of energy to deal with :) He also has a heart of gold, and is one of the sweetest little (okay, not so little anymore) boys I know. Plus, he's practically a model. Look at him!!

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Now for Charlotte. I've spent more time with this little one than most, because she was in my preschool class last year. She LOVES singing, (especially Frozen)¬† says some of the most hilarious things, and is constantly trying to keep up with her big brother. She's also one of the cutest little things I've ever seen! 

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Their momma is also a rock star. Not only does she handle the crazy energy of her own two kids, but she also teaches preschool during the day! Plus she's freaking beautiful (and obviously passed that on to her kiddos) She is one awesome lady and I am so thankful that I get to be in her and her kids lives!!  

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I am so lucky that both of my jobs surround me with some of the most awesome people on the planet and their children.  

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- Molly

Lillyana & Caden

You may be sick of the amount of cute kids I keep posting about by now, but...wait, who could ever get sick of looking at pictures of the most adorable kids in the world? (And that's my completely unbiased opinion, honest!)

These siblings are no exception. Lillyana and Caden are the most adventurous subjects I've had, and during their shoot we all went swimming with our clothes on, it was great. 

 

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Lillyana was in my preschool class last year, and she is a girl after my own heart. She may wear dresses and bows (because who could turn down a good dress?) but she is also the first person to find the dirt/mud/messiest thing around and jump headfirst into it, which I love about her. I also love that her mom appreciates this about her daughter. No matter how many times we sent Lillyana home with mud stained clothes, her mom would just smile and say, "that's my kid!" 

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She is also a FANTASTIC big sister, and has passed on her brave explorer ways to her little brother Caden.  

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Caden, from what I've seen, is a little more mellow that his big sis, but definitely just as willing to dive into messy situations. He waded into the ocean water in his clothes without a second thought! I tell you, the kid is fearless.  

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He then proceeded to just plop down and look like a baby GQ model without even trying. He was, however, trying to eat the sand. (I get it, bud, I was a sand-eater once too. I even swallowed a rock once, but that's a story for another day.) But just look at that face!! 

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These two were so sweet together, and we so content to just play in the sand and water with eachother. 

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So here's to our older siblings who taught us to be brave, swimming with all your clothes on, and mommas who don't mind kids getting messy. 

 

- Molly

Bree

This past weekend I got to meet a sweet family awaiting a new addition. Bree and Antonio have 2 boys, but this newest bundle of joy is a girl!  

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As a mom to two boys, Bree's life is full of sticky hands, scraped knees, and the craziness that comes with chasing around two little guys all the time. But with this little girl, she's trying to embrace the whimsy of life!  

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Bree's sister Kiley made her tutu, which, in Kiley's words, is "so not anything Bree would ever wear ever." But Bree wanted these photos to be whimsical and girly, since her life is bound to be filled with more of both those things once sweet Merida arrives!  

That's another thing: can you imagine how awesome this kid is going to be with a name like Merida? She's definitely going to give her brothers a run for their money, that's for sure. 

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Also, can we talk about how FLAWLESS Bree looks? I can only hope that if/when I have children one day that I look this good.  

Best wishes to Bree, Antonio, and their boys for the arrival of baby Merida!!

-Molly

Beck & Luke

Remember me telling you about how I get to hang out with the coolest kids? These brothers are two more of them! Their mom happens to work with me at the preschool too! I seriously couldn't ask for a better work environment or to be surrounded by better people (and their spectacular kids!)

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We met at a playground and I basically just followed these guys around while they were playing. Although, Beck should be model, because every time I got near him with my camera, he would pose and smile perfectly. This kid is crazy photogenic.  

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And then there's Beck's little brother Luke. He is hilarious. He wanted nothing to do with my camera, he just wanted to climb on the playground and chase his big brother around. But that doesn't mean he's not STINKING adorable. And we finally got him to ham it up for me, after a lot of singing and dancing and me making Minion noises. (BA-NA-NA!)

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These boys are so sweet. I love watching siblings play together!  

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I hope these two will always be so sweet to eachother (even though that's probably wishful thinking, right?) But guaranteed, Luke will spend most of his childhood trying to catch up to his big brother Beck. :)  

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- Molly

Cory's USAF Swearing In

Last week, I got to be part of a huge moment in my baby brothers life. The same baby brother I have fought with, yelled at, and gotten in trouble with is no longer the long haired hoodlum he was when we were kids. He's grown up into a kind, generous, headstrong man.

 

About a year ago, he told us he wanted to join the Air Force. We were all kind of stunned, since it was the first time he had expressed any interest in the military as a career. The field he wants to go into is highly specialized, and just to get in requires passing an insane physical test. Well, if there's one thing I know about my brother, it's that once he makes his mind up about something, he goes for it wholeheartedly. He immediately started training for the test, and put things in motion to join the Air Force. He's had some hiccups along the way, but that's never deterred him from his goal.  

 

Last Tuesday, I got to be present while he was sworn in to the United States Air Force. This moment was made even more special by the fact that my father, a retired Air Force Lt. Col, was the one who got to swear him in, almost 35 years to the day after he first started his journey in the Air Force. My dad and my brother have always butted heads (if you ask me it's because they're too much alike, but neither of them will admit to that) but watching their relationship change and grow as my father has mentored Cory in this journey has been awesome. I have been blessed with the best family ever, hands down. It was an incredibly emotional day, but it was so wonderful to get to share this with my family.

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- Molly

Wells & Thomas

I love kids. LOVE them. I don't have any of my own yet, but that's because I get to hang out with the coolest kids in the world on a regular basis. I'm a preschool teacher by day, and a photographer by...all the other times. Recently I got to do a shoot with two sweet brothers that I know from the preschool, Wells and his baby brother Thomas.  

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Thomas is such a cutie, and is in that stage where he's discovering all the things his little body is capable of, and gets so excited about them!  

 

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And Wells is the best big brother. He stood behind me almost the entire time Thomas was in front of the camera talking to him, making funny faces, and getting him to ham it up!  

 

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Some of my favorite moments from this shoot are the pictures of the boys together. Wells is so sweet to his baby brother, and their love for eachother definitely shows!  

 

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Keeping up with all these kids isn't easy though. I scrambled around on the ground trying to keep up with this little guy!  

 

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I love getting to capture kids personalities on camera. Every stage of childhood is so different and so fun, and I love getting to be part of it! 

- Molly

And the winner is...

I had SO much fun doing this giveaway. I'm thinking I may make this an annual thing!! But anyway, now for the part you've all been waiting for, the winner!!! 

 

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I am so excited about Amy and Richard's wedding in April! And stay tuned, I promise more giveaways to come! 

- Rockwell Images

Ryan & Mae | 7.17.15

Marriage is hard. If you're married, you are probably fully aware of this, We all go into it starry eyed and naive, even though everyone has told us isn't always sunshine and rainbows. Marriage is messy. When two imperfect people pledge their lives to each other, things are bound to get that way. And while everyone tells you that marriage is hard, you never really realize how hard it is until you walk through the fire with someone. What no one ever told me though, is that some of the very best times come after you've suffered through something together. When you break a bone, after it heals the part that was broken becomes the strongest part of it. Marriage is a lot like that. Trials come, but knowing that you and your spouse made it through to the other side together, and are stronger for it, is a feeling that no one can prepare you for. Marriage is worth it. It is worth all of it.

That being said, I love vow renewals. LOVE THEM. People change, grow, and mature. And when two people go through all that and decide to reaffirm their love for one another? Well, cue the tears. 

Ryan and Mae have such genuine love for one another. Love that comes from accepting another person fully, faults and all. Though they haven't been married long, I think we could all stand to renew our vows to our spouses, be it in a ceremony or daily as we choose to love them no matter what. And this particular vow renewal ceremony was just breathtakingly beautiful, and full of so much love. 

After they exchanged vows, they took a piece of paper that had all of their past failures written on it, and burned it as a symbol of a new start, and then released balloons as a symbol of the hope they have for the future. 

Plus, Mae MADE her own paper flower bouquet and Ryan's boutonnière out of sheet music and old notes that he had written her over the years. How cool/stinking adorable is that?! SWOON.

And then we come to the couples photos. I can't even handle how precious these two are.

So, here's to Ryan and Mae, and may we all follow their example and renew our love to each other daily.

P.S. Mae happens to be an AMAZING photographer as well as a wonderful friend. Make sure you go check out her stuff!

-Rockwell Images

Polaroid Love

I have this little polaroid camera. It was a gift from my hubby on one of the very first birthdays we spent together. I love this thing. It travels in my purse pretty much anywhere I go, because who doesn't love polaroid pictures? People don't print photos out enough, and having an instant tiny print of a picture is the best thing ever, in my opinion. 

So I've decided to offer an album of polaroid pictures to all my couples at their weddings! I would have loved to have an album of pictures to take home the night of my wedding, and I figure other people would too! So from now on, all my couples will receive a photo album with at least 20 polaroid images at the end of their wedding! 

Andrew & Kelly | 5.29.15

Andrew and Kelly are a couple that you don't come across every day. They are a couple that was born out of happenstance (a Facebook message, of all things), rooted in the love of Christ, and the love they share for each other. On the day of their wedding Kelly shared a story on Facebook about going to mass with her mom a few weeks after she and Andrew had started dating. She saw him across the congregation and pointed him out to her mom. He had driven from the next town to be in the same church as her. Her father toasted at their reception, "He drove across town to go to mass with my daughter. As a father, was I okay with this?" We all waited as he looked at his youngest daughter and her new husband. "...Absolutely I was." Almost exactly a few years later, they attended mass as a married couple, and it was beautiful. I have never seen a couple so bonded by the love they have for each other and the love they have for God. 

Not only are they one of the most grounded couples I've ever met, they are one of the sweetest. I could hardly turn away for a second without looking back to find Andrew sneaking glances at his new bride, or Kelly staring at her husband. The love they share has literally gone the distance (they were long distance for most of college) and now they are on the other side as husband and wife. And if I do say so myself, they are SO. STINKING. PRECIOUS.

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- Rockwell Images

Event details:

Ceremony and Reception: Christ our Redeemer Catholic Church, Niceville, Florida

Flowers: Tracy Shelton, Vine & Petals

Welcome!

Well, I've finally done it. What I've been saying I was going to do for YEARS. I made a website! Stay tuned for lots of fabulous updates and goodies!