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I’m a huge proponent of everyone’s wedding being perfect in its own way. After all, your wedding day is the day you fuse your life with your favorite person, so even if nothing else goes the way you planned it to, you’re married when it’s over and that is significant in itself. However, in the 150+ weddings I’ve photographed, if I ever had to pinpoint a day that came as close as possible to what I’d personally deem “perfect” Kimberly and Travis’ wedding day would definitely be up there on the list.

And let me tell you, it’s not because of the flawless design and decor that was throughout the entire event (although ohmygoodness we’re gonna ooh-and-ahh over that here in a little bit). What stood out to me time and time again was how carefree Kimberly and Travis were, how focused they were able to be on their love for each other, how content they were to be surrounded the entire time by friends and family gathered to celebrate with them. Nothing outside of that mattered and they didn’t allow any periphery issues to cloud in. They were in the present, and for that reason, I believe the day was as treasured as it possibly could have been. This is what I would hope for every single one of my couples. I would never suggest that the wedding day itself is the “be-all, end-all”, but it is the start of something wonderful, and that is surely worth celebrating well. And celebrate well is precisely what Kimberly and Travis did.

Of course I would be remiss not to take this moment to quickly explain that a huge reason Kimberly and Travis were able to relax, breathe deep and not worry about a single thing is because they hired a dream of a wedding planner and designer in Jen Rios. I really cannot say enough high compliments about this one, so I’ll just say she takes such great care of her brides and grooms, she’s awesome at putting together an amazing team of vendors to fit the aesthetic of each wedding she takes on, and when Jen is on board the wedding day runs smoothly.

Without further ado, enjoy a look into Kimberly and Travis’ elegant fall wedding day at Howell Family Farms.

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Kimberly chose her four sisters to be her bridesmaids and all of the little ones in the wedding party are nieces and nephews of Kimberly and Travis.

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Notice how flawless Kimberly and her sisters’ hair and make-up looks? That’s all Rayven’s doing (of Beauty & the Blush) and would you believe that they all looked equally as flawless at the end of the night too — see for yourself at the end of the post.

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Just look at all this delicious, edible goodness by Layered Bake Shop, y’all.

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You may have noticed that I haven’t been able to stop photographing Kimberly’s gorgeous bouquet by The Southern Table, but can you honestly blame me? Maxine is a powerhouse when it comes to beautiful florals.

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Say it with me: oooooooooh! ahhhhhhh! When I saw all of this come together I stood there shaking my head in disbelief at how beautiful it was. Seriously, hire all the vendors from this wedding (there is a list at the end of this post).

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I’m so happy for you two, Kimberly and Travis. So very happy. Your love is beautiful and definitely worthy of such a grand celebration.

// Vendors //

Design & Planning – Jen Rios Weddings

Photography – Jillian Zamora Photography

Floral Design – The Southern Table
Paper – Chips & Salsa Design Studio
Linen – La Tavola Fine Linen
Rentals – Posh Couture Rentals
Cake – Layered Bakeshop
Beauty – Beauty & the Blush Makeup & Styling
Bridal Gown – Vera Wang
Entertainment – Spin Productions
Venue – Howell Family Farms
Caterer – Square One Cafe
Bartending – MR Bartending
Officiant - Love Notes Weddings
Ceremony Music – Nick DiGennaro

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They walked down the aisle together as husband and wife and we whisked them right outside to document the “WE-ARE-MARRIED-THAT-IS-AWESOME” high. Seeing my brides and grooms experience and really feel that crazy wave of emotion instead of letting it pass them by locked up in a room by is my favorite, favorite, favorite. I believe so strongly that people should take the time to feel their wedding day in those moments. Don’t resist it because your make-up might run if you cry (p.s. if you hire a good make-up artist then you don’t have to worry about that anyway), or because you are trying to remember what comes next after this or any other reason.

Stop and breathe and feel and relish the sweetness.

I promise you won’t regret it if you do.

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This is who I’m looking to work with — brides and grooms who are on board to feel all the feels and want me there beside them the whole way to document it unfolding.

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Hi, hi! Something about this cloudy afternoon and this darling Houston couple in their dapper threads just begged for me to bust out my tilt-shift lens a lot this shoot. I certainly don’t hate the results.

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So pumped to meet back up with Rebecca and Drew tomorrow for their Fort Worth wedding day at Marty Leonard Chapel and Stonegate Mansion — woo!

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In my last post I shared some of my favorites from Sam + Dustin’s Seattle engagement session (if you haven’t seen those yet, check them out here). This blogpost will pick up where that one left off and show some moments from the following day spent touring the city, followed by many grand adventures in Bend.

Day 1 // Seattle

I say “moments” instead of “highlights” because looking back at these photos I didn’t document all of my favorite things — like the DELICIOUS brunch where sweet Sam met up with us that was so much fun that I never wanted it to end. My dear friend Allison was in Seattle shooting a wedding the same day I was there for Sam + Dustin’s shoot so we got to MEET UP AND HANG OUT IN SEATTLE TOGETHER SO HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! Life is awesome. And her friend/room-mate, Natalie, was there too because she had second-shot with Allison the day before so I finally got to meet this girl that Allison had been raving about for months. Win-win. You’ll be able to tell we’re all photographers from the following photos because there are a lot of portraits — we just couldn’t help ourselves.

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The hands pictured above are mine — I couldn’t very well leave coffee out of a blogpost about a trip to Seattle. Photocred to Allison . . . or Natalie . . . either way WOO MILSTEAD & CO!

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The next leg of my trip was actually in pretty little Bend, Oregon to see the area where Allison had been living for the past year after she moved out that way for grad school. I had SO MUCH FUN on all the outdoorsy outings Allison took me on particularly because James is not a fan of the great outdoors, so while in Oregon I took every single opportunity I could find to breathe in the grandeur that is the Pacific Northwest.

Day 2 // Tumalo Falls

This morning was actually super-relaxing. I dropped Allison off at one of her grad school classes and then explored in town a bit on my own, got me some amazing breakfast and laid in a hammock drinking coffee reading Valley of Vision until it was time to pick Allison back up. For a small business owner whose work literally never stops, this was divine. Later that afternoon we met up with Allison’s boyfran Johnny to go belay down a waterfall. Just your average day in Bend.

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Below is my nervous laughter like I’m totally cool with the fact that my life was going to be in the hands of a guy I’d just met that day. (For the record, it turns out Johnny is pretty trust-worthy.)

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Day 3 // Smith Rock State Park

So the trees in Bend were suuuuuuuuper yellow (yes, all 8 of those ‘u’s are necessary) and we spent most of the morning marveling at this fact. The rest of the afternoon was spent at Smith Rock State Park which I really cannot state emphatically enough how beautiful it was. We hiked up Misery Ridge and you’ll notice there aren’t that many photos of our route up because I was panting too much to take photos, but the views were seriously so great I would do it again in a heartbeat next time I get the chance.

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Okay so there is a funny story that goes with the next two pictures. We were walking along the trail deep in conversation when we pass this 3-4 foot snake and Allison just walks right past it like it’s no big deal and I’m all “Ummm, shouldn’t we acknowledge this sizable snake with some sort of exclamation at the very least??”

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Not ten minutes later we’re still walking and talking and all of a sudden Allison lets out a full-fledged scream . . .

. . . AT THIS TINY 6 INCH BARELY-EVEN-A-SNAKE.

To this day I refuse to stop giving her a hard time about her inappropriately proportioned reactions.

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Day 4 // Proxy Falls

OH ME OH MY this was the day I saw the most beautiful site I’ve ever seen — Proxy Falls. We stopped for coffee in Sister’s and I looked every single person I passed in the eye just to check and see if any of them were Rainn Wilson (none of them were, but it didn’t hurt to make sure), then we set out on the most glorious road trip. First we drove through the lava fields (those were made of lava). Next, just picture this scene with me: winding mountain roads lined with massive trees filled with yellow and orange leaves, perfect fall weather, Sigur Ros playing on the radio, and your arm hanging out the window while you take it all in. I think if the ride to Proxy Falls had not been that momentous I might have straight up dropped dead when I first saw the falls but at least this way I had a bit of a warm up.

It was a little hike to the falls, during which we ate our delicious, home-made sandwiches that Allison concocted (but really, Allison, send me that recipe please) and before we knew it we there there.

Proxy. Falls.

Just . . . wait until you see the photos and see if you still think I’m making too big a deal out of this. Actually, the pictures really don’t do it justice, but at least they’re something.

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Obviously any of the photos that I’m in (other than this one below) were taken by the lovely Allison Harp.

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And as if one waterfall per day were not enough, we ended the day at Sahailie Falls.

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The next day I didn’t take any photos because my super-gracious host and I were out of the house by 6 a.m. to get me to the airport. That right there is the mark of a good friend.

Allison, let’s do this all again ASAP, mmkay? Thanks.

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