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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As I've mentioned before my cousin Ray is now a Daddy:) When I was down in Florida back in April I got to meet Baby Ashtyn for the first time and I took the opportunity to take some pictures. Ray and Ashtyn have a beautiful bond and it's so neat to see Ray holding a little baby and feeding her a bottle...

In exactly one year I will be marrying Mr. Justin Parra at Rosemary Beach in the Florida Panhandle. When I say it out loud it feels much further away, but I'm going to enjoy this year being engaged and I look forward to all the fun planning:) I went down to Rosemary last month with the family to tour our venue and book our official date. Here are some photos from that visit: My future Mother-in-law's name is Gigi so I thought this was really cool! I had my amazingly beautiful Maid...

In two short weeks I'm headed to sunny Seaside, FL and the neighboring town of Rosemary Beach to book the venue and some vendors for our wedding next May! It's extra gloomy here in Seattle today so I'm daydreaming of the white sands and sunny skies of Seaside. Let the countdown begin:)...

“Where bare feet and sandy floors rule!”

Seaside is one of my families favorite places to vacation. We discovered this small beach community years and years ago while visiting family in Panama City Beach. Seaside is about 40 minutes west of PCB. We’ve had lots of family reunions, vacations, and birthdays at Seaside, and it’s been fascinating to see how it’s built up in the last 15 years.  The Seaside of years past was literally a one road town with cute little shops and markets, and a killer shave ice store:) Now it’s a humongous community with art galleries, restaurants, and high end shopping. Thankfully though most of our favorite spots are still around, and now there are six, yes I said six, air stream trailers with shave ice and other assorted goodies.  The white sand, blue umbrellas, and clear ocean water do us in every time, and the essence and beauty of Seaside is still very much in tact.

Seaside is one of the hardest places to leave, it’s literally painful every time we have to pack up and go home, but we always know we will be back again soon. Riding bikes, eating shave ice, and laying under our big blue umbrellas starring out at the gorgeous Gulf.  Seaside has been lucky so far not to have received any oil, and we continue to pray to the beach gods that our adored beach community will make it through this horrific tragedy.

Seaside I miss you already, until next year!

You might recognize the Post office from the movie “The Truman Show”

Well I'm back from my wonderful vacation with Justin and my family, and I'm so excited to share with you the portraits I took of my baby sister Mallory. I wish we could have done a real portrait session, but I was able to snap a few shots of her here and there. The vacation went by way too quickly, it seems like I blinked and it was over.  However, I got some wonderful sister time in, and I miss her to pieces already. I know I'm a little biased...

Me at Hampton Court, England 2008 So another Monday has arrived, and the usual anxiety of all that I need to get done is rattling around in my head. I'm doing my best to find that "happy place" and realize that I really don't have THAT crazy of a week, at least compared to the weeks I've had recently.  I think the hardest part of this week is wanting it to be over as soon as possible. I'm so close to being in Florida I can already smell the coconut scented...

In five short weeks Justin and I are headed to Florida for 5 blissful days! We are both so ready for a vacation:) Family, fishing, BBQ, beach, pool, margaritas...