Engagements with Melanie & Mike - Arkansas Wedding Photographer

I met up with Melanie and Mike, who traveled in from their home in Chicago to visit with their family over the Thanksgiving weekend. I loved spending time with them to photograph their engagement session at her family's property outside of Hot Springs.

Below are some of my favorites from their session.

Stephanie & Kevin: An Arkansas Elopement | Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, Hot Springs

I really love photographing elopements. There's something extra special about being the only witness (other than the Minister) to someone's wedding. It's unique. It's Intimate. It's a way to document someone's wedding day without interruption.

I've photographed numerous elopements at Lookout Point Lakeside Inn in Hot Springs. It's a wonderful and quaint Bed & Breakfast in Hot Springs looking over Lake Hamilton. Everything about the Inn is exceptional. The staff, the grounds, the rooms. Everything is perfect.

Stephanie & Kevin drove up from Bossier City, Louisiana last August for their elopement. I really loved my time with them. Kevin looked quite handsome in his Arkansas' own Strong Suit and Stephanie looked nothing short of perfect...And that dress. Oh my that Grecian-style wedding dress. Simply exquisite.

Portraits with Fatimah and Ali | Garvan Woodland Gardens | Little Rock Arkansas Wedding Photographer

Fatimah reached out to me early last summer with a lovely e-mail and a simple request. She wrote, "I was looking through your albums and your photos are really wonderful. I was thinking of getting a wedding photo-shoot at some point this year. I’m already married but I did not have a wedding so my husband and I never got to take any photos. I’m not sure how it’s done. I’m flexible with dates whenever it fits your schedule."

I immediately wrote her back. I hate the thought of anyone not having any wedding photos, even if it's just a few.

Since summer was knocking at the door, and since we both HATE the heat, we decided to wait until the fall for their couples photo shoot.

For the first part of our photo session, Fatimah and her husband Ali were dressed in their wedding finery. She bought the dress just for the photo shoot! We spent a perfect Wednesday afternoon in late October at Garvan Woodland Garden's in Hot Springs. If you're wanting to do a photo shoot at Garvan in the fall, mid-week is the time to do it! The gardens was nearly empty. We practically had the place to ourselves.

After the "formal" wedding photos, Fatimah and Ali changed into something a little more casual for a few more photos.

Paige & Jesse | An Incredible DIY Wedding | Hot Springs, AR | KES Weddings

Paige & Jesse

Paige & Jesse were married on June 6, 2015 at the Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Hot Springs. Following their ceremony, they celebrated with friends and family in the Church's fellowship hall.

Below are some of my faves from their wedding day. You can see MUCH more on their main gallery on my website by going here.

On a personal note: This is one of the most well-planned, detail-oriented weddings I have photographed in a very long time. The surprising this is that this is a DIY wedding and this was done with an extremely minimal budget. Nearly everything was donated.

This wedding proves that you can do so much, with so little. The only thing you need is vision.

I spoke to Paige a few weeks ago about how she planned and executed all the amazing details she had at her wedding and reception. Paige's vision was shabby chic meets vintage. Paige told me that she spoke with her grandmother and those at the church Paige grew up attending with her family (where the ceremony was held) about her ideas and the ladies took it from there.

Paige said the ladies scoured every location imaginable: flea markets, yard sales, antique stores, Church rummage sales, auctions, and their own cupboards and attics to find the vintage items Paige used in her reception decor. They found: teacups, teapots, old books, lace and crocheted doilies, vintage shoes, pearls, hats and hat boxes...and the list goes on and on. You name it, the ladies found it. They filled numerous boxes. Several times over.


Grand Avenue Baptist Church fellowship hall was pretty sizable. The room held about 15, 8-round tables. Each and every table had a different centerpiece. That's not easy to do with a small budget. Paige said she gave all the items to her florist, Kelly Efrid, a close friend of Paige and her family, the owner of Kelly Efrid Flower Events.

From there, Kelly placed all the items in separate boxes as she planned her floral vision for the day. Kelly even used several items donated from her family as well to help create Paige's vision.

The results were simply stunning.

And blog faves!

Lindsey & Mark | Garvan Gardens Wedding | KES Weddings

Lindsey & Mark

It didn't just rain on Lindsey & Mark's wedding day, it stormed. I mean it poured down. But a little (a lot) of rain wasn't about to dampen their day. When it rains, it pours. And you still go out and take great photos.

Lindsey and Mark were married on Sunday, May 24 at Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Immediately following, they celebrated with friends and family in the Magnolia Room, also at Garvan Gardens.

You can see a ton more photos from their wedding by going to their full gallery by clicking here.

......On a side note......

Couples portraits are some of the most important photos you can take on your wedding day. And they are some of my favorites. It's very, VERY important that you allocate enough time to get in lots of portraits in lots of locations. Lindsey & Mark planned for a 45 minute couples session...and they stuck to it. We did have to divide their session in two because we were interrupted by rain. But we had the time. This was so important. Too many brides run late which forces everything else to get cut short. Or they simply don't want to dedicate the time.

So when you're planning your schedule with your photographer (and hopefully that's me) be sure to allocate at least 30-45 minutes for yours couples session. You won't regret giving up anything, especially reception time, for the photos you'll cherish for years.