If you’ve ever met with me even just to discuss wedding photography I’ve said these words to you (perhaps multiple times too) — plan a wedding day that you actually enjoy. If you do that I can give you great photos. Danielle + Tim did that. They surrounded themselves with all their favorite people, wrote their vows in their words, and snuck off after the ceremony to celebrate their minute-old marriage with some champagne. They ran and high-fived everyone for their reception entrance and had tacos and margaritas for the appetizers. Then commenced a most epic dance party — complete with live band and a makeshift limbo and jump rope portion — and wrapped the night up with confetti and a food truck.

This was a Danielle-and-Tim wedding through and through, and that makes me happy.

I found it so funny that Tim + Danielle’s candid sibling photos ended up looking almost identical.

These three boys trying to jump all at the same time (to no avail) makes me think of The Office episode where they’re trying to get a jumping Christmas card and Erin keeps jumping before ‘one’ because she “doesn’t want to miss it!” — cracks me uppppppp.

A friend of the bride and groom surprised them by having shaved Danielle and Tim’s initials into his chest hair and, well, I thought it was too funny not to share.

Vendors:

Nasher Sculpture Center

Refined Romance Events

Beauty by Yari

Flourish Floral Designs

Big D Party Rentals

Downtown Fever

Wolfgang Puck

Emily Paige Films

Ruthie’s Food Truck

 

Jenna and Ian had a destination-at-home fusion type of wedding. Destination because they’re Texas transplants living in California flying in for their wedding, but home because it’s where their roots are.

The day before the wedding we met up (for the first time in person) at sunrise around Bull Creek for some engagement/day-before-we-get-married portraits. I know not everyone can swing a portrait session the day before their wedding, but I love that these portraits show Jenna + Ian just the way they were mere hours before getting married — chill, care-free and most comfortable together. (And sure, Jenna got a weird stomach bug/food poisoning after we parted ways that almost made her miss the rehearsal, but we’ll pretend that didn’t happen).

Wedding day // at the lovely, lovely Barr Mansion in Austin, Texas.

Jenna’s Grace Loves Lace dress was so dang striking and absolutely perfect for her.

These photos from Jenna + Ian’s first look make me smile because Ian said he was nervous until he heard Jenna ask me, before he turned around to see her, “Soooooo what do I do?” “That’s my girl,” he thought as all his nerves subsided.

That’s the thing about first looks that makes me such a fan of them, so much of a build up to a wedding day can sometimes feel like a production, but the first look is a pleasant reminder, “Oh right, it’s me and it’s you. And that’s why we’re doing this.”


Sometimes I’ll get asked if I take formal family portraits since I rarely blog them and the answer is YES, OF COURSE! But I tend to blog images that are more storytelling oriented, that capture mood or emotion or personality, which is why I love these goofy photos of Ian and his mom.  This is what I got when I asked if they’d like to have a mother-son moment. It’s them, it’s their relationship. And those are my favorite photos to take.

Stems of Austin did suchhhhhhhhhh an amazing job on on all the bouquets + centerpieces — all the air plants all the places!!

 

 

Let me tell you what I liked about Megan + Brian’s wedding — they did what made them happy.

You’ll notice as you go through this post that they spent a fair amount of time on their wedding day off in the gardens, together. Because that’s what made them happiest. I loved it I loved it I loved it.

In her initial inquiry to me Megan wrote, “I want to look back on my wedding day years from now and feel the same feelings I did on that day. Your photography is beautiful and I think it does that.” It made me smile when I first read it and it makes me smile even now looking back on these images because preserving the mood and emotion are my top priorities as I walk into someone’s wedding day. Enjoy a glimpse into what Megan and Brian’s rainy-turned-golden Dallas Arboretum wedding felt like.

These images of Megan just minutes before the start of her ceremony, so thoughtful and so giddy, make my heart happy.

Vendors:

Venue – Dallas Arboretum

Floral – Gathered Floral Design + Events

Bride + maid of honor hair + makeup – Sydney Lopez

 

You guys, I could just about cry looking at these photos, reminiscing about this morning spent with Kelsey and Talon at sunrise along the Seine. What a gift it was to take these photos, in this truly magical city, of two such refreshing, lovely people! This shoot was invigorating. There are times when I put work out into the world and I really hope that other people like it, that they get what I’m going for, that it’s well received. (That’s the majority of the time and I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I just don’t want it to own me, ya know?) And then there are times like right now when I feel SO DANG STRONGLY about this work being everything that I want it to be, about it capturing that very morning and these very people that I’m happy with it just existing. I’m happy just to have made these photos. I’m happy just to have been there.

In July James and I had the immense joy of visiting some friends of ours who moved to Paris at the end of last year (HI, COLIN AND CINDY!! OH MY GOSH I MISS Y’ALL) and in the months leading up to the trip I saw Kelsey post on her instagram that she and her husband were going to be in Paris THE SAME TIME AS US. Funny story, we all used to live in the same city (Denton, WOO!) but never had a chance to actually meet in person so logically the time to make that happen for the first time was on the other side of the world, at sunrise.

Kelsey and Talon love big and that is for real one of my most favorite things to photograph. Other things to note — it was super chilly and James shivered his way through the shoot, my brand new shoes wouldn’t stay on my feet and kept slipping off THE. ENTIRE. TIME. and my eyes watered so much that Kelsey lent me mascara for the second half of the shoot AND taught me how to curl my eyelashes (HASHTAGfriend material). Also when we were all finished taking photos (Kelsey took some of us too and I love love love them so!) we all had coffee at Shakespeare and Co and sat at a table next to Dianne Wiest (which was especially exciting to me because I had JUST finished watching “Life in Pieces”).

Take me back, take me back, take me baaaaaack. As they say (“they” being Audrey Hepburn as a character in the movie ‘Sabrina’ so like, do I attribute that to the writer?? QUANDRY! I digress.) — Paris is always a good idea. Enjoy some of my favorites from their shoot along the Seine.

As you were reading the opening paragraph of this post you were probably rolling your eyes like, “Yeah, I’m sure that’s reeeeeeeeally hard for you to feel this strongly about photos taken in PARIS, Jillian.” (and first of all, touchè haha) but also I think that’s one of the joys of traveling to a new place to shoot and, in my humble opinion, it’s a reason to at least not rule out hiring a photographer you really connect with to travel to you to shoot.

There’s wonder that comes with fresh eyes.

And please do not hear me say that it’s impossible for people to maintain their air of wonder about the place in which they dwell (Y’ALL KNOW I LOVE DENTON), and there’s certainly something that comes with a photographer who is knowledgable of an area. But all I’m saying is, wonder is a magical thing. It’s an inspiring thing. And I will always, always be open to traveling to shoot in new places and bringing all the wonder with me when I do!

 

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