To: the Fatherless Bride

Today, I’m going to take this blog to a little bit more of a serious place. This is a topic that hits home for me. Almost every wedding you go to you see a bride and her father walking down the isle, doing the father daughter dance, but has that ever made you think “When I get married, I won’t have that experience?”, then this blog is for you. Whether it be that you’re estranged from you father, your father passed away, you’ve never known your father, or any other reason you’ve ever had that thought at a wedding, just know I’m here for you, as I know how it feels.

My Story:

I was the bride that told my father, I didn’t want him to show up to my wedding, but why would I do that…you may ask? Well, to make a long story short my parents went through a nasty divorce during my senior year in college, to the point that I don’t have a picture with both my mother and father at my college graduation because my father couldn’t come within 2 ft of my mom. So when my father asked me if I wanted him at my wedding, every ounce of me wanted to say sure…but what actually came out of my mouth was “If you can’t be civil, then I don’t want you there”. My husband and I chose to have an elopement style wedding for several reasons, but one of those was to avoid our family drama, so as much as I wanted him there, I wasn’t going to make my whole day about who can be near who. Now on to my message to all of you out there who may feel the same.

To: The Fatherless Bride

Whatever your reasons for not having your father at your wedding, just know you’ll be ok. Your day can still be just as perfect without him, sometimes even better.

If your dad has passed and you were close, you can still honor and remember him as a part of your ceremony, and take solace in the fact that he’s always with you. If you have something of his you’ve kept with you over the years, you can even utilize that as your something borrowed. I know this is going to be a sad day not having him there, but you have to remember that it should also be a joyous one. However you choose to honor and remember him, just know that he’d be there if he could.

If you’re estranged from your dad, and you do everything you can to get him to your wedding, but yet he still doesn’t show up, know that the people in your life that truly care about you will fight through snow storms and hurricanes to be at your big day. You’re not important enough to him, therefore you should stop making him overly important to you. I know this can be hard, I know this is easier said than done, but trust me when I say that your day will be less stressful, less painful, and more joyous if you leave that stress behind and realize that the people who want to be there will be. It’s you and your husbands big day, if your father doesn’t want to be there to celebrate it with you, than SCREW HIM.

If you’re like me and made the conscious decision to tell your father not to attend, know that you made the right decision. Whatever your reasoning for telling him to stay away, don’t doubt it. It may be hard, you may think you’ll regret it, but from someone who did it and has never looked back, if you feel strongly about your decision you won’t look back. Ultimately, its your day, not theres. You may catch heat for your decision, and you have to be prepared to deal with that, but you won’t die, and ultimately, your day will be better because of that choice.

Not having a father there may make you feel sad, may make you look at everyone else’s weddings and say “Why can’t I have that?”, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, it gets better, and you’ll be perfectly ok. If you don’t want to walk alone, ask another family member to do it, if you don’t want to be alone while your husband has his mother son dance, ask the DJ not to do a mother/son father/daughter dance. There are ways to make your day seamless without your father being there. My personal favorite….doing everything you typically would have done with your dad with your spouse instead. Walk into the ceremony as equals, rather than being given away like a horse. Have your first dance together or don’t do a first dance at all. This day is ultimately about the two of you, do things how you want to do it. Just know that you are not alone, there has been brides before you that have knowledge of ways to maneuver through your wedding day without your father, and there will definitely be brides after you that you can help.

You are the star of your wedding, don’t let anyone else take that away from you.

Sincerly,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer

Justin and Lissa

Wedding Highlight #3

Spring Weddings in a state where seaons actually exists may be full of flowers and pastel colors, but here in Florida they’re full of blue skies, temperatures that won’t kill you (hopefully), and green country grass, or at least when your wedding is in March, and on a ranch!

The day started with some detail work, and a little bit of rehearsal before everyone went their own way to start getting ready. Obloy Family Ranch is an amazing location for those country brides and grooms looking for a real ranch experience. With rescued and baby animals all over for guests to go see after arrival, this ranch is fun for all ages.

Now on to what you really came to see….the photos.

The Details:

Getting Ready:

Ceremony + Formals

Reception:

This group of people, this wedding, and this night was by far one of our favorites. The leaping point for our career here in the central Florida. We will forever be thankful to this Bride and Groom and their families for allowing us to be a part of this amazing day.

Until Next Time,

Just a Girl Photography

Wedding Traditions…Outdated or Must Dos?

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Probably one of the only traditions I myself followed (unintentionally) at my wedding. Every American bride knows there is a certain amount of tradition worked into your wedding from the moment you start planning it, even before you have colors, you have parts of your day planned just based off of what came before you. That is…if you chose to follow them. I’ve worked with traditional brides and I’ve worked with extremely unconventional brides, yet they’ve all worked in at least one the classic wedding traditions everyone knows. With that introduction out of the way its time from another….

HOT TAKE

Now, I’m going to limit this opinion to just the American wedding traditions, religious or cultural traditions to me are in a completely separate category. The traditions I’m going to discuss here with my opinion are:

-The somethings (old, borrowed, blue, etc)

-Garter/Bouquet Toss

-Not seeing the Bride the day of the wedding

-Not seeing the Dress Before the Wedding

-Cake Smash

-etc.

Now, seeing as I’m a sucker for emotion and tradition (I got married on my deceased uncles birthday and took his motorcycle jacket with me to wear for photos), this is going to be a complete 180 for me as far as my opinion.

I think that Wedding Traditions are completely outdated and unnecessary. At least the standard ones. 

Did I wear a garter at my wedding? Yes, but I did it for myself, because it matched my sash, and because I fully planned on doing a trash the dress photo with the garter but never got around to it. I didn’t do it because some tradition dictated it, and I sure as hell didn’t do it to make my photographer suffer through the awkwardness that is photographing a groom removing a garter from under his Brides dress. I’ve had brides do the bouquet toss, but not the garter, I’ve had brides/grooms do both, and I’ve had brides do none of the above.  Really, I think the whole idea of the garter/bouquet toss is pointless. No one wants to be the singled out single at a wedding. If your a man planning to make a proposal happen at someone else’s wedding during the bouquet toss, JUST DON’T.

Now, that was a lot of hatred for only one of the normal traditions, on to the next one. The Somethings…this one is a tradition that I feel a little less strong about. I think pieces of the something tradition are actually kind of sweet (see previous comment about my something borrowed at my wedding), but I don’t think it is something any bride should stress over.  If you only have something borrowed and something new, than you only have borrowed and new. There shouldn’t be an entire task dedicated to your maid of honor finding all these items for you.

The cake smash is one that I’ve seen time and time again back fire on grooms. Brides constantly screaming “NO” throughout the wedding to their grooms suggesting that cake will end up on and all over their faces at some point during the night, and Grooms just not listening. Inevitably, cake gets everywhere, including the dress and you end the night with a pretty upset bride…especially if the cake was chocolate.

I guess what I’m trying to say in all this ranting is….Make your own traditions or throw out traditions all together. Just like families all have their own traditions for the holidays, even if that tradition is having no traditions at all, every couple should make their wedding day about them. If you want to smash cake in each others faces, then it should be a mutual decision. If you want to have a first look instead of leaving the moment to the altar, make sure your photographer is there to capture it. If you want to forgo anything resembling traditions, than do it, just be aware that you may get some heat from your family members for it.

Thats all For Now,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer

Christy + Mido

Wedding Highlight #2

Summer Weddings, can be both a blessing and a curse. Typically, here in Florida they would be a curse, especially with an outdoor wedding. It was way too hot, humid, and unpleasant, which is why when I was asked to go back to Utah to shoot yet another Utah wedding my immediate answer was Yes! (Even if that wasn’t Josh’s exact response :P)

Starting from the beginning the wedding was untraditional. Most of my brides are the traditional “I want him to see me at the altar and get his true reaction” type brides, this wedding however gave me a whole new challenge. First look photos that will be ready to be printed for the wedding the next day. We arrived, we shot a whole day of getting ready and first look/bridals, and I made sure those photos were edited and ready by the next morning…..even if it meant editing in the back of a car on an hour long ride.

First Look & Bridals:

 

The first look was stressful, but I adored it, I honestly wish there were more locations like this here in Florida. 🙂

Going into the wedding day, things were stressful, but thankfully Josh and I could kind of relax until the ceremony started. We got a chance to enjoy our time in Utah, at least for a little while. Backyard weddings have a certain sort of whimsical element to them, and that was the essence we tried to capture while working on the details before the wedding.

Details:

With the details out of the way, it was time to start the ceremony. Without really any vantage point to shoot from this time around, I had to find my groove. So, I decided to try something completely different. I decided to move around the small ceremony space to capture the intimate, sentimental ceremony from all angles (Actually, where our now staple dual angle perspective came from)

Ceremony:

A beautiful ceremony officiated by the one and only Christine G (Also my and the brides grandma), the night quickly moved into the reception and family formals. Unlike the typical wedding with a sit down dinner, this crew was ready to party the night away from the minute the newlyweds said “I do”!

Reception & Formals:

Jareck + Kara

Wedding Highlight #1

The room was filled with Blush and Gold, the bride in a boho sheik style dress and accessories, and the groom filled with emotion. Our first wedding is one we’ll never forget. Not only because it was the first wedding my husband and I shot together, but also because it was the wedding of the two individuals who were the witnesses at our wedding. This wedding will always hold a special place in Just a Girls portfolio.

The Details:

Every wedding is unique in this arena. Every bride has her own style, every groom tries to work in his despite his brides protests, and every venue has its own unique little things that can create an image that stand out.

The Ceremony:

Whether it be religious, short and sweet, traditional vows, or self-written vows, the ceremony is always the emotional part of a wedding. This couple chose not to do a first look, leading to the true raw emotion when the bride walked down the isle. There was laughter, there were tears, and there was a kiss.

The Reception & Bridals:

The fun part of a wedding, where the dancing starts, the food is passed, and the stress the bride and groom felt up until their ceremony starts to melt away. Honestly, I think I like receptions more than I do ceremonies as a photographer, its a better chance to get those candid moments and raw emotion of the bride, groom, their families, and their guests.

At the end of the night, the wedding went off without a hitch, well….as much as weddings can at least. We left the venue happy with what we we’re able to get and couldn’t wait to deliver the images to the amazing couple who came on the journey to the altar with us.

Until Next Time,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Wedding Photographer

Just a Girl?

Our name can be misleading, so we thought we’d start this company’s jump into the blogging world with a little more of an introduction you can put on an About page. I want our couples to understand who we are, just as much as we want to understand them and what they’re about in order to best capture their big day.

Who are we?

By day:

We’re both engineers with uber technical, stressful, and chaotic jobs.

By Night:

We’re Florida Nature Loving free diving and paddle boarding free spirits that come home to a house full of 3 fluffy creatures (2cats and 1 bunny).

By Weekend:

We’re also those nature loving people, but we’re also photographers looking to make other couples big days and special events easy and amazing.

Our Journey to the Altar:

We met in Downtown Disney, truly apart of our generation seeing as we met on Bumble. It was a short, sweet, whirlwind, kind of love. We went into this relationship knowing what we wanted, we had both had rough lives growing up and weren’t typical 23 year olds.

Fast forward 3 months after we met and there was a perfect ring on a finger of a 23 year old woman completely head over heels in love. Remember that feeling? We sure do.

Fast forward another 3 months, we we’re hopping on our cruise ship with our favorite other couple (Also our witnesses 🙂 ). In case you didn’t catch on, that was 6 whole months from first meeting to marriage, told you it was a whirlwind. We decided to have a small intimate thing with just us and the people closest to us, we realized sometimes our families can be a lot so the smaller the better. It was perfect, we were perfect, the cruise was perfect. The perfect day, for what in our heads was the perfect couple.

Fast Forward a Year and some change….(Brings us to present day). We’ve celebrated our one year anniversary, about to celebrate our 2 year dating anniversary, photographed some weddings together, went through some crazy adventures, and now are looking forward to making other couples weddings as special as ours was.

We want everyone to feel as special as we did, and as Just a Girl Photography, we strive to make a couples big day or special event in life turn out as perfect as we can. We shoot from a dual angle to catch all emotions of the day. We’re a couple that has been through all the chaos recently, we understand what it is you’re going through and try to make it easier on everyone involved.

Now on to the photography,

Just a Girl Photography.