I'm excited to announce we have officially joined the Once Wed family as a preferred vendor! 2014 is going to be a very exciting year here at Katie Parra Photography and I am thankful to have Once Wed be part of that journey. Hope everyone has a very happy Turkey Day! ...

Documenting weddings is such a huge honor for any wedding photographer, but when we get asked to be one of just a few that get to witness such a special moment it becomes a very personal and special occasion even for us. When Jared and Kelley asked me to photographer their ceremony at the Olympic Sculpture Park last month I was of course incredibly excited. I've known them for a few years through my husband and Jared working together, and was overjoyed when I found out they were going to...

Annie and Joel’s August wedding couldn’t have been on a more gorgeous day. Bellingham with it’s ocean vistas and majestic forests was the perfect back drop for this classic, timeless wedding. Both Annie and Joel’s family really made the day extra special. The ceremony was held in the back yard of Joel’s childhood home which happens to be just down the street from his Grandparents home where the ladies spent their morning getting ready. I always enjoy getting to know families on such an important day. I find myself laughing and crying along with them! The bridal party was a ton of fun and up for anything…like hiking to a waterfall….ok maybe more of a walk, but we ventured off the beaten path…that’s hiking right;) The reception was at the beautiful Bellingham Golf and Country Club and Annie and Joel had a beautiful sparkler send off for their wonderful mini moon to Canada. Thank you Annie and Joel for allowing me to share in your big day, it was a blast!! Cheers!

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The day before our wedding I was faced with a decision….tent or no tent. Thankfully I had put a tent on reserve several months prior knowing that having your wedding outdoors means you better have a rain plan. That Friday before I was sitting in the salon and watched the chance of rain go from 30% to 80% in about a five minute time frame…..decision made…..tent. Sure I was bummed that our wedding wasn’t going to be exactly as I had planned, but after about 15 minutes of being bummed I got over it. I knew I had a wonderful team in place that was going to make all the necessary changes and our day was still going to be beautiful. The day of the wedding it was slightly overcast with sun breaks throughout the day. The silver lining was that it kept the temperature down, there was a nice cool refreshing breeze, and the cloud cover provided beautiful diffused lighting for pictures.

The tent I had put on reserve was not the tent that got used however. I’m not a fan of the frame tent with all the framing exposed underneath and the liners for such a large frame tent are insanely priced. So some last minute decorating changes had to happen, but my amazing wedding planner Christina Gillon really came through and made it a space that she knew I would love.

In the end it didn’t rain a drop the entire day. It wasn’t until literally everyone was home later that evening around 11pm that the skies just opened up! We were incredibly fortunate with the weather we had, and when all was said and done the tents were a blessing. Our whole day was filled with laughter, smiles, tears of joy and all our friends and family pulling together to make the day run smoothly. Justin and I were in our own little bubble. This awesome little blissful bubble where all I saw was him and how happy we both were…..it was perfection.

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I was really happy how our welcome table came together. Having splurged on my first choice of invitation designer I knew I was going to have to do some DIY. I ended up making the menu, seating chart, programs and place cards.rosewed_64

Justin found these great Fuji max mini Polaroid cameras that we provided for guests to take fun snapshots of each other, stick them in our sign in book and write their well wishes next to their picture. It’s one of my favorite keepsakes from our big day!

rosewed_65In the South you can’t have a wedding with out some iced tea! I wanted guests to be able to drink and stay hydrated from the very beginning of our event so we had a lemonade and tea stand set up right outside the ceremony tent.

rosewed_66rosewed_67I found these adorable heart straws and knew they would be perfect for our tea and lemonade stand.

Below: Our ring bearers Eli and Tre hanging out before the ceremony, aren’t they so darling!

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Last year on May 12th I married my long time boyfriend Justin in a beautiful ceremony in Rosemary Beach, FL. I am now officially Mrs. Parra, which is so rad! I made the decision last summer to legally change my name, and I then decided to encompass all of my work into one website. I photograph more than weddings and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to change my website and re-brand using my new last name. After all it’s forever baby! So I thought it would be fitting for my first blog post on the new site to be of my wedding images!

I’m so excited to finally be sharing this post with the world! I have waited over a year to do this post and I can’t believe it’s finally time! If you are in the wedding industry you already know that if you want your wedding images to be featured in a magazine or on a blog you have to wait to share them so as to give that particular medium exclusivity. Last fall we were completely thrilled when Style Me Pretty featured our wedding. We were then even more excited when Weddings Illustrated Magazine featured a few images as well. Since then a few other wonderful blogs shared our amazing photos, but now…it’s my turn! The best part is there are going to be images in my post that have never been seen before! I, being the bride, have got the inside scoop and funny stories behind certain images. First, I have to start off by thanking our INCREDIBLE photographer KT Merry  and backdrops from katebackdrop and her husband Chad for our priceless and breathtaking images. There are truly no words to describe KT’s talent. She has inspired me as a photographer since I first met her in 2007 while working in Miami. She has been a friend, a mentor, and is hands down one of the best wedding photographers in the world!

So naturally I couldn’t fit all the images in just one post. With so many wonderful images to pick from I couldn’t choose, so I just picked them all!! In this first post I will cover the rehearsal, getting ready, bridal portraits, bridal party portraits and a few family shots. I previously spoke about Rosemary Beach in a past blog post and why I chose to have our wedding there. Check it out if you’d like to learn a little bit about this magical place. Lastly, before I get into the images I have to thank our family. Justin and I had the wedding of our dreams and it was all thanks to our amazing parents and the best sister in the world Miss Mallory Anne. From day one they supported our every decision, our every need and made it happen. It was truly a fairytale.

Here we go!

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This was the day of our rehearsal. I was bringing gifts for the flower girl Lainy and ring bearers Tre and Eli to my parent’s cottage, Touchstone, which is where we had our rehearsal dinner. Justin met up with me on his bike and KT Merry just happened to be at Touchstone when we arrived:)

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This was later that evening at the rehearsal on the Eastern Green.

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This is the courtyard at Touchstone Cottage. Our wonderful florist made the magnolia leaf wreaths for the front doors. My amazing bridesmaid (and Justin’s cousin) Miranda surprised us by coordinating with our florist to provide these beautiful flower arrangements for the center of the tables. I totally cried when I saw them! We had a wonderful catered dinner outside listening to the courtyard fountain and eating pie baked by our very own baker lady Miss Teeny! Bacon Bourbon and Tiramisu being some of the favorites!

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I got this idea off of a blog and thought it was such a cute idea. It ended up being a big hit with everyone, people loved all the funny kid pictures. A tip to other brides: bring framed images of people or animals that can’t be there for your big day. It helps personalize the space you will be staying in and it will make you smile every time you look at them:)

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This was the welcome bag that greeted all of our guests filled with beach toys, local goodies to snack on, information on Rosemary and the surrounding areas, water bottles and for those who were in the  bridal party an Itinerary. I found a wonderful gal on Etsy that designs these totes based on your love story! It started with how we met and ended at our wedding day…..so much fun! On the right is my adorable friend Blessing picking up her bag:)

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Our beautiful invitation suite was designed by Rifle Paper Co. Those who know me well know that I am obsessed with everything Rifle! So naturally they were my first choice when it came to designing invites. They customized the design to correspond with our wedding colors, and with Justin’s approval I went as girly as I wanted! I will love it forever! I found some vintage magnolia stamps and a beautiful sailboat stamp that reminded me of the place where Justin and I got engaged, and my mom addressed them for me with her beautiful handwriting.

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Our sweet puppy Charlie couldn’t make the trip down to Florida from Seattle for the wedding so we made a point to include him in little touches throughout our big day. We took our engagement photos with Charlie and had framed images of him in all the cottages and on the sign in table at the wedding. I also used an image I had taken of him as a little tag to go on our favors. My super talented cousin Meri made little round cookies with our initials on them and iced in pink and orange to match our wedding colors. They were super yummy!

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My dress was by Ivy & Aster and it was a blush pink which I thought would look much better on my fair skin than white. It was so comfortable and I felt amazing in it! I got my shoes from Kate Spade (another favorite of mine) and chose flats because I wanted to be comfortable and Justin is only an inch or two taller than me….so I didn’t want to tower over him! Another tip for brides: You spend all this money and time picking your perfect dress, find a beautiful hanger to showcase your dress on for your wedding photos. Plastic hangers make every photographer cringe!

Below: I also got special hangers for all my girls dresses, and made tags with the girls names. I decided to go with a bun for my wedding day hair because every time I attempted to do anything else it just ended up looking like “prom” hair. Having it down isn’t a smart option in the southern humidity so I went with a bun. I wanted it a little loose and carefree looking, just classic and simple. I loved it and I will never regret my choice!

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Some might tell you that Seattle is a lot like San Francisco, just smaller of course. Having spent lots of time in both cities I will tell you that I do agree. Both sit on a bay, great seafood, foggy/cloudy a lot of the time, hubs for the creative folk such as myself;) Both cities hold a very special place in my heart, and even though I call Seattle my home, I'm missing a little San Fran in my life! So here's a sampling of some images I took on...

Jason and Ashley chose to have their wedding at Ashely’s parents house in Leavenworth, WA this past August. They couldn’t have picked a more amazing backdrop for their outdoor ceremony, and all of Ashley’s amazing antique finds for the reception took this wedding to another level! Throw in a super cute horse and cafe lights and I’m sold! Both Jason and Ashley have a wonderful sense of humor and kept us laughing the whole day. I had the great pleasure of working with Portland photographer Yasmine Khajavi on this job, and goodness we were both in hog heaven with all of Ashley’s amazing details. The whole day was filled with laughter and lots of love, what else could a bride….or a photographer ask for! Congratulations Jason and Ashely! I hope your life is filled with endless amounts of love and laughter. Cheers!

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