A wedding, 2 engagement sessions and 1 proposal all in less than 24 hrs!
Before my husband and I got married we did premarital counseling. In one of our sessions our counselor recommending a book called “Sacred Marriage.” In this book, the author, Gary Thomas, unpacks the idea that God’s design for marriage is to make us holy… not happy.
And this one thought changed EVERYTHING.
Any one who has been married for any length of time can tell you that the early years of marriage can be interesting. During those early times issues come up from a variety of things. The fact that we had different upbringings and how that plays out in every day life. The idea that what motivates me and what motivates my husband are completely different. Different definitions of love, different expectations, breaking down ideal views of marriage, communication, needs and wants, hot button issues, intimacy, different personalities… the list can go on and on.
But learning this idea before me and my husband ever said “i do” changed everything for me. It helped me always view my marriage in a selfless light. To remember that it wasn’t there to only serve me. And that really… most of the time… its not about me at all.
These days it tempting for others to look at marriage and wonder why its necessary. It all boils down to the fact that we live in a time where ease & painlessness equal value. The easier something is, the better it is... and if it hurts you... something is wrong and you better get rid of it. (Please no that I am not talking about abusive situations here.)
But life has taught me just the opposite. In fact, sometimes things can be hard and painful and really, really good at the same time.
Marriage is hard.
Relationships in general are hard.
Getting Pregnant can be hard.
Being Pregnant can be hard.
Discipline can be hard.
Parenting IS hard.
Childbirth is hard.
Exercise is hard.
Growth is hard.
Owning a business is hard.
Loving *some* people is hard.
Forgiveness is hard.
Patience is hard.
When things get hard we have 2 options. We can run from the difficulty or we can admit that while yes these things are hard, we have the opportunity to address these challenges head on because frankly, some things in life are designed to make us better people and not just make us happy people.
Sometimes the purpose of something is not for mere enjoyment but instead to be transformed from the inside out and marriage and parenting can DEFINITELY fall into that category.
Don’t get me wrong, are there some really amazing times… absolutely! And they outnumber the bad times. However, the bad times are present and when they are… it feels real and it sucks. But I am able to remember that marriage isn’t always to make me happy but holy instead.
Marriage is designed to reveal something bigger. For my husband and I… we long to use our marriage as a way to proclaim God’s love to the world around us. By me and my husband loving each other and choosing to work through the good, bad, & ugly things that come up… we show the world around us that valuable relationships take work. That sometimes we are on the same page and all is well and other times I have to confront something ugly in myself and get rid of it.
But even stubborn old me can look back at those times fondly knowing that because of our dedication to reconciling our issues…. I am a better person and so is he.
Keep on fighting my friend! It’s worth it!
I’m going to sound totally cliche saying this… but as a photographer I find details beautiful! Whether it’s a brides hand squeezing her dad’s tux during the father/daughter dance or a vase full of fresh flowers on a reception table…. I LOVE DETAILS! But i’m not the only one….
Images of wedding decor are easily the most Pinned and searched images by engaged couples JUST LIKE YOU! So when I photograph a wedding… I want to make sure I capture each and every one of those details that you’ve been working on for months!
So I make sure my timeline allows just the right amount of time for me to style my couples’ rings, flowers, ribbons, fabric swatches, and anything else that inspired their day! This makes my photographer heart so incredibly happy! What can I say… I like pretty things! #sorrynotsorry
But one of my VERY favorite details to photograph that is often left out is the invitation!
I love looking at the wording, the fonts, the colors, the texture, and the style that the couple has chosen to be the first representation of their day to everyone they know! So when Basic Invite invited me to partner with them, I knew it would be the perfect fit! Because not only are their products amazing… but they are giving my brides a discount! (Keep scrolling for some sample images and a discount code at the end!)
As a former bride and a current photographer, I’ll be the first to say that every detail of your day matters! It should say something! It should encompass who you are as a couple! And Basic Invite is the PERFECT place to find that!
I’m glad you asked! :)
My Day, My Way
One reason I love Basic Invite is because not only do they have over 900 Invitation sets… but their invitations are completely customizable. But not just the wording and fonts! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that gives their customers almost UNLIMITED COLOR OPTIONS with Instant Previews Online. And again, not just the font is custom colored, EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT of the design is customizable! Even the envelopes! Still not sure!?! Take advantage of their custom sample service! Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their ACTUAL INVITATION! That way everything looks exactly how you want it— down to even the tiniest detail.
All the Things
All of their wedding products have an entire matching set to go with it, so if you find a save the date you like, they’ll have you covered with the matching wedding invitations, bridal shower invitations, programs, envelopes, menu cards, place cards, coasters, magnets, direction cards, RSVP cards, accommodation cards, reception cards, registry cards, and thank you cards! ALL IN ONE PLACE!
But don’t worry, if #allthethings aren’t in your budget… Basic Invite provides you with a FREE WEDDING WEBSITE! That are just as customizable as their invitations, mobile friendly, and super ease to use for even the oldest guest! Heck, you can even choose a design that matches your wedding invitation! You can instantly upload ALL of your wedding details along with images, a map, and anything else you want to make it easy as pie for your guests!
When’s the last time you opened up a wedding invitation and said “Wow!” Because if you order anything from Basic Invite that will certainly be the response but the following invitations REALLY caught my eye! BUT REALLY… You don’t want to miss this…
These are wooden invitations, ya’ll. Like REAL CHERRY WOOD! One Rustic, Elegant, Whimsical day coming RIGHT UP!
Or these save-the dates… THEY ARE CLEAR! You guys… nothing shouts elegance quite like this invitation!
Flowers are one of the main elements of most weddings. Flowers have the ability to brighten any room or venue and have the power to take a room from ordinary to extraordinary. Particular flowers convey particular emotions! One type of flower that has been showing up for many of my weddings is the sunflower! Sunflowers are the perfect summer flower and have always been a favorite among many brides.
The bright yellow petals are sunny and cheerful, while the dark centers add a touch of drama. And while sunflowers are the perfect complement to a rustic, country-themed wedding when they're skillfully paired with other flowers and greenery, they can also take on a much more formal look when paired with some cream colored stock blossoms!
But there are more ways to incorporate flowers into your wedding celebration than the traditional way! And one of those is through your invitations! These Bridal Shower Invitations Sunflower are the perfect way to tie together your wedding day with all the celebrations beforehand! Not to mention the matching Wedding Invitations! Their matching sets are the perfect way to string your bridal experience together from bridal shower to thank you card.
So, while they’re website doesn’t have an actual big, red easy button that we can push… it does make things as simple as possible! Basic Invite knows that Brides have a lot on their plate…. that’s why they offer products like these all-in-one send and seal wedding invitations. The RSVP can be easily detached and sent PLUS guest addresses are printed right on the front so envelopes aren’t needed! (WOOT, WOOT!)
However if the invitation you choose does require an envelope… don’t worry! You can use Basic Invite’s free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get FREE ENVELOPE PRINTING! (Can I get an Amen!?!?!)
One last thing…
When ordering your products, plan for a little extra shipping time (7-11 days). When my samples arrived they were packaged extremely well and looked PERFECT! Plus it came with a brochure that showed different color and foil options so you can see them side by side!
Overall this process was easy and the quality was amazing! If you are interested in ordering some samples or products for yourself, you can use this coupon code: PhotosbyAriel for 20% off your order from Basic Invite!
Thanks for reading and happy wedding planning!
Shelby and Jake approached me a couple of months ago about their November wedding! I just HAPPENED to have that date open and after meeting her at the consultation I knew we would be a perfect match! When planning her engagement session she wanted to have the location be a place that was meaningful for the both of them so their first location was one of the firehouses that her fiance volunteers for and the second location was their family farm! Firetrucks, cows, chickens, ducks, sheep, kittens and the like were all involved making this engagement session one of the most memorable ones for sure! Enjoy some of my favorites from their session!
After moving to Lincoln, Illinois in 2016, Rachel was one of the first people I met! She worked in the nursery at Lincoln Christian Church and my child was THAT CHILD. The one who screamed and was inconsolable. But Rachel was one of her caretakers and she was absolutely amazing! She was dating Ridge at that time too but in 2018 they made their love official when he asked her to marry him! They decided that a May 2019 wedding would be perfect! Rachel planned this wedding WHILE SHE WAS IN NURSING SCHOOL! Isn’t she amazing!?! And not just that… she planned it from far away! Anyone who has planned a wedding knows that this is NOT an easy task! But she did it with grace and poise as she does with all things!
Rachel and Ridge! Your day was beautiful and so are both of you! You two are so full of love for each other and for God! You know that their marriage isn’t about you! You know that your marriage serves a bigger purpose and it’s these kinds of marriages that end up changing the world. It was such an honor to photograph the start of your life together!
Florist - Linda berg - firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ - Nick Davis
Hair - Grace Stephenson - Evolve salon
Makeup - Adri Doolin
Tuxes - Men's warehouse
Dresses - David's Bridal
Rings - Helzberg Diamonds