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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Wedding | Caroline + Josh

I am so SO excited to be sharing this wedding with you guys today. I’ve been dreaming of photographing a destination wedding since I became a wedding photographer, and that dream finally came true this past weekend!

Caroline and I first “met” over the internet back in 2013. We emailed back and forth about photography things and then she reached out to me one day in 2016…about her wedding photos! I was ecstatic! Not only was I so excited to work in Mexico for her and Josh’s big day, I was so excited to finally meet this internet friend in real life!

The day of the wedding was overcast since it’s getting close to the rainy season in Puerto Vallarta, but, it was beautiful and so perfect for photos! The heat was slightly less intense, which made it even better. Caroline, being a wedding photographer herself, budgeted lots of time for her portraits and first look so we got to take a variety of shots around the resort. Speaking of the resort, this was our first time visiting an all inclusive and we LOVED the Hyatt Ziva!!

Some of my favorite moments from their wedding day:

  • Their ceremony recessional where their guests waved custom “terrible towels” that Caroline and Josh had personalized as a nod to Josh’s love for the Steelers.
  • Caroline’s brother’s speech where he encouraged everyone to really soak up the memories and the moments….and their brother/sister dance to Lullaby! I think every single person was crying at that dance!!
  • Caroline taking off her shoes and jumping off of a rock in her wedding gown to get down to a spot I wanted to take portraits at…that’s dedication!!
  • Josh had written a special note on the bottom of her shoes as a surprise for her during getting ready…I loved seeing her read it for the first time!

All in all, this was a wedding that will be really hard to top! Not only was it one of the sweetest and most heartfelt days I’ve ever been a part of, it was probably the most fun and close to the most photos I’ve ever taken! Here are a few favorites!!!!







Vendors:

Wedding Venue: Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta // Flowers: Hyatt Ziva // Cake & Catering Hyatt Ziva // Cocktail Hour Music: Trio Veracruzano // DJ: Eden Mendez // Hair & Makeup: Vitamar Spa at the resort // Stationery Suite: Britt Larson Graphic Design //Bridal gown: Olivi’s Lace // Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse //

See my personal snapshots from the trip here!

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Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Wedding Previews`

Today’s sneak peek post will be pretty quick because we’re still in Mexico enjoying the gorgeous Hyatt Ziva, but I couldn’t pass up sharing these previews with you guys! Caroline and Josh’s wedding day was SO incredibly perfect! It’s going to be pretty hard to top. And even harder to go back to reality later this week when we get home!!

Here are a couple little peeks at how beautiful everything was!

You know when you shoot a wedding photographers wedding day it’s going to be amazing and their day totally lived up to that!! Can’t wait to share more! Catch you guys later on in the week!

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5 Year Self Employment Anniversary!

We all know that feeling…that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you look at the clock and realize that Sunday is almost over and Monday’s arrival is imminent. Most of us have experienced that at least at some point in our lives, some of us may still be feeling that. When I think about the kind of life I want to live, I’ve realized that when it comes to my career, one thing that’s really important to me is never again feeling that sense of dread when it comes to Monday mornings.

I used to feel that way…about Tuesdays, at least. I worked four 10 hour days at my day job and Monday was actually my day off, so Tuesdays were essentially my “Monday”. My job wasn’t my favorite thing, which was probably pretty obvious from the lack of passion I put into my work. Instead of taking pride and enjoyment in what I did every day, I lived for the weekends, which were a time when I could do things that really mattered to me, like growing my photography business or spending time with John and Lucy.

It was a huge, HUGE leap of faith for me to leave my day job to pursue running my business full time. I had very little saved up and not much was guaranteed, including whether or not I would continue to book weddings or be able to raise my pricing to a point where I could sustain the business. The only thing I really had to go on was my passion for the business, my desire to see it succeed, and my desperation to change my life into something where I could stop living for the weekends and actually find meaning and purpose on a day to day basis.

Five years ago I was only 13 months past photographing my first wedding and was living paycheck to paycheck. I’d shot 7 or 8 weddings and I was still renting almost every single piece of gear I needed to photograph a wedding day. Everything logical said it wasn’t the right time to quit, but somewhere inside of me I knew that it was where my heart was taking me. Though there have been times where it’s been hard, I wouldn’t change a thing about the past five years. This has been the most rewarding, exciting adventure of my life, and I’m so glad I get to have this amazing career!!

Sitting here today I still remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach…that feeling of a whole lot of fear and excitement mixed with a whole lot of YOLO. I don’t want to ever forget that feeling, that drive to succeed no matter what.

If you are reading this and we have worked together, or you have supported my business, helped me grow, referred business to me, mentored me, second (or third) shot for me, or in any way influenced my business over the past few years, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for letting me be able to do this and helping me support my little family 🙂

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2017 Summer Bucket List

Does anybody else feel like this year is just FLYING by?? I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it’s already the first day of summer! It feels like it was just the beginning of Spring! Since the seasons seem to change within the blink of an eye, I like to make a seasonal bucket list at the start of a new season. I strongly believe in making the most of our time and filling that time with as many experiences as possible! Making a bucket list is a great way to ensure that you get out and make memories 🙂

Here’s what’s on my summer bucket list this season!

  • Spend the day crabbing and then have a crab feast
  • Cook out on the grill at least a few times a month
  • Stand up paddle board
  • Go on a sunset boat cruise
  • Go fishing at night
  • Spend the day riding roller coasters at Busch Gardens
  • Day trip to the Outer Banks
  • See a baseball game
  • Go to an outdoor concert and have a picnic
  • Make boozy popsicles at home

I’m sure we will do many of these things next month while wedding season hits a bit of a slow down (usually July is quieter since it’s SO hot out). Does anybody else make seasonal bucket lists? What’s on yours?

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Monthly Meeting – June

I just woke up this morning and realized that it’s already halfway through June! And not only that, I’m just beginning my last month of being 29 years old! That’s right…next month I’m turning THIRTY! How crazy is that? That gives me even more of a motivation to spend the next 30 days intentionally since I’m about to close out what was a really big decade of my life!

Here’s how I did with last month’s goals:

Start pre-planning my Instagram content (can you believe I’ve never done this before??) I never got around to starting to do this. I like an organic approach to my IG feed, so I’m trying to figure out a way that I personally will stick to for this!

Clean up my Pinterest BoardsIn progress. It turns out that there’s a lot to clean up over there since I’ve had my account for over six years now!

Research rechargeable flash batteries. Done! After careful consideration, I think I’ve found the right batteries for our flashes!! I’m going to be purchasing these.

Refresh website galleries with new images. Also in progress. I’ve got a few things from the end of last month and this month that I want to add too, so more updates are on the way!

Here are my June business goals:

  • Replenish packaging materials (stickers, boxes, stationery, etc)
  • Photograph our first destination wedding!!! Can’t wait to celebrate with Caroline and Josh
  • Update blog categories, reorganize and clean up the blog a bit
  • Submit April/May wedding work for publication
  • Take some time to set some long term goals for next year

Last month’s personal goal progress:

Eat less refined and added sugars. I experimented with eliminating added sugars from my diet for a few days and could tell that it really did make a difference in the way that my body craves sugar. I’m much more conscious of this now than I was before!

Limit screen time in the evenings. We’ve been so busy that we really haven’t had time to spend in front of screens as it is, so WIN.

Refrain from checking emails outside of “office hours”. This is still a work in progress! I feel like having my phone near me is a compulsive habit and looking at my emails when I shouldn’t be is something I still need some work on.

Celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary! We celebrated six years with a day out at brunch and then a winery!! Two of my favorite things!!

June’s personal goals:

  • Finish at least 5 more things on my 30 Before 30 checklist
  • Take at least one day off a week
  • Read a novel for fun
  • Keep my patio plants alive
  • Visit a naturopath for the first time

What I’m excited for in June:

  • Our cousin and his longtime love got married this weekend!
  • MEXICO!!!
  • Summer!
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