Kansas to Kentucky |Historic Bardstown Engagement Session

Flanagan- Watson Engagement Session

Flanagan- Watson Engagement Session

Include your pets in your enagement sessions

Include your pets in your enagement sessions

Bardstown, Whiskey, Bourbon, Historic

Bardstown, Whiskey, Bourbon, Historic

Engagement Rings to make a statement

Engagement Rings to make a statement

 “Our Love Is Here to Stay” Frank Sinatra

“Our Love Is Here to Stay” Frank Sinatra

All I can say is “WOW”, some couple seem to just bubble over with love. David & Michelle are one of those couples. Michelle had contacted me several months ago about shooting an elopement ceremony here in Kentucky. Michelle lives in Kansas and her Fiancée David is in the military and just recently returned from overseas. They had planned to get married in Springfield at a bed breakfast in May, but plans changed. Since Michelle had already paid for her wedding coverage we converted it to an engagement session. They took a little road trip from Kansas to Kentucky stopping along the way. They mailed out wedding invitations along their route for their wedding that would now take place in Kansas. 

We chose Bardstown, Kentucky for the location of their engagement session, specifically downtown, the historic buildings and wonderful shops provided us with some fun unique backdrops for their session. The day was perfect, weather was pleasant not to warm , just enough to let you know spring was on its way. When David & Michelle arrived we spent a few minutes getting to know them a little better. They both noticed the distinct aroma in the air on their drive in; xplaining the smell throughout the air was the smell of the local bourbon distilleries. We all agreed that the smell was awesome. It really did lend a hand to the overall atmosphere of our location choice. 

I knew from their personalities that I wanted a casual, relaxed feel to the session so figured that the best way to achieve that was to explain to them that for the most part we wanted them to forget we were there, to relax and be themselves. We provide tips and suggestions along the way but for the most part we want our couple to relax and be themselves. We spent the afternoon on a walking tour, stopping along the way capturing fun and unique photos.  One of our favorites shots from their engagement session was a window reflection in front of a small shop downtown. The reflection, we later found out was a poster of the late Frank Sinatra’s mug shot. I wasn’t aware of that at the time; I just loved the look of the reflection. It wasn’t until a week later that I discovered through a Facebook post that it was his mugshot, followed by a piece on CBS news on Sunday morning with a segment celebrating 100 years of Frank Sinatra. Funny how things happen, but couldn’t have been a more appropriate reflection…with all the love songs he has sang I felt this one was the most appropriate “It Had to Be You”.

If your recently engaged lets start planning your engagement session.

Selecting Wedding Vendors


Melanie Wells Photography

Melanie Wells Photography


Congratulations your getting married now its time to select your wedding vendors.

Over the holidays many people get engaged. The excitement of the moment has finally started to settle down and you’ve even started jotting down your ideas for your dream wedding. I’m sure you’ve probably already started your Pinterest board for wedding ideas. You may have even started selecting your wedding vendors.

Selecting your wedding vendors is on of the most important aspects of planning your wedding. You want to choose vendors whose work you love, and individuals that you trust as well as enjoy working with.  Obviously when it comes to your photographer that is another thing to think about. After all you’ll be spending a big portion of your day with him or her. So choosing someone you connect with is key. That doesn’t mean that selecting the caterer, the baker, and florist isn’t just as important.

The key to selecting any vendor is communication, be clear as to what your vision is and what you want to achieve with the relationship with the individual or company that you hire. In person meetings will let you get a feel for the individual and how they interact with you and your fiancee. At the very least a phone conversation that allows you to ask questions and get a feel of what to expect. Trust your instincts if your not comfortable or feel that something isn’t just right keep searching.

Hiring someone who’s new to the wedding industry? This can mean a cost savings as they are just getting started, and just because they don’t have the experience of someone who’s been in it for 10 or 20 years doesn’t mean that they can’t do a good job. Remember everyone starts somewhere. The more experienced the vendor the less likely that things will go wrong because chances are they have already went through a lot of the things that can go wrong and know what to do to work around the situation and get through it.

For instance a photographer just getting into doing weddings may not have back up equipment, chances are they can’t afford it so they may only come with one camera and a couple of lenses. Where as someone who’s been around will more then likely have more then one camera, as well as multiple lenses, flashes, and batteries etc to insure that if something stops working that they have a back up to cover with.

Working with a wedding planner has its advantages as well, since many times they can guide you towards vendors that they have worked with in the past and are familiar with their work.

Selecting wedding vendors  is probably the most confusing aspect of the whole wedding planning process. After all more then likely this is the first wedding you have ever planned so your not sure where to start. I hope this information was helpful and that your planning is as stress free as it can possibly be.

I have also linked to some really awesome wedding vendors that would be happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have.

A great way to check out or locate and speak to a bunch of vendors at the same time is attending a Bridal show in your area. They are usually held late fall or right after the first of the year. January and February are the prime months for most bridal shows.

MAM Candy -wedding favors- hand rolled and dipped chocolate bonbons that are incredible wonderful

Vaughn House of Flowers-flowers- does amazing work

Swans Landing-Catering and Floral , Decorations- full service catering right down to the decorations

Maple Hill Manor BB-Honeymoon and Wedding Venue-quaint historical old home surrounded by alpaca farm

All the Way Plumb BB-honeymoon or guest accommodations-located in Hodgenville, Ky. Owners Mike and Kay Smith are a delightful couple who you absolutely love.

Sugar Fashion Cakes-Wedding cakes and cupcakes-they are awesome

Gordon Thomas-Singer, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, and the Bluegrass Opera House, as well as many weddings, and guest singer at Churches throughout the state.




Congratulations you’re engaged | How to plan the perfect wedding

She said yes

She said yes


Congratulations you’re engaged…what now?

Where do you begin, what do you need to do first, hopefully this will help get your started.

So he planned out the romantic Christmas proposal, the family was all gathered for dinner. He even asked your dad’s permission, picked out the perfect ring, and now you’re getting married. You’ve probably thought about this day all your life, or maybe you thought it would never happen. So now that you have the ring where do you go from here? First things first of course, let your family and friends know personally before you blast it all over social media. After all your cousin, favorite Aunt, sister, and big brother would much rather hear the good news from you then through a social media post. Once you have shared your great news with your closest family and friends, then of course, show off that ring and announce to the world your getting married. Then, if your ring is a little too loose or to tight take it in and have it sized, and while your at it add it to your homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Now where to begin in the planning stages, if you haven’t discussed it already sit down and pick a date or at least a general idea of when you want to get married. Trust me your friends will all want to know, along with the story of how he proposed. It’s just natural because they are as excited as you are that your getting married. Once you have at least a general time frame, now is the time to sit down with all those involved with your big day and set up a budget. Without a budget, things can soon become over whelming and you may find that the must have things get pushed to the side when the funds start getting tight. Some couples find it helpful to setup a separate savings or checking account just for wedding related purchases. This makes it easier to keep track of where the money is going as well as what has been purchased already. It also works great for helping you stay on track with your budget.

A good wedding planner or organizer to helps to keep things in line; check out pinterest for some printable planners with timelines ready to be added to a three ring binder. This will let you stay organized as well as keep track of important papers and contracts.  You can get pocket folders to keep contracts, etc. all together. It’s also a great way to keep color swatches, and items clipped from bridal magazines together. Many planners have a location to keep up with your budget expenses as well. If your more into digital management there are plenty of apps available, as well as online locations to keep up with things as well.

Online Wedding Calendar

Once you have your budget and a  general date in mind, now is a great time to start looking for your perfect venue, especially if your planning on one of the more popular months for weddings. Many of your popular venues book sometimes a year in advance, so don’t get discouraged if your heart is set on a certain location check for off season availability especially if your not set on a specific date.

When searching for a venue keep in mind your guest list and the approximate number of guests attending.

Once the venue has been chosen and the date set, it’s time to start thinking about your other vendors for your big day. If your venue includes catering, then that is one more task checked off your to do list. If not, now is the time to start thinking about catering. Whether your choose to do an afternoon wedding with refreshments and finger foods or an elaborate sit down meal, it all depends on your budget as well as your style.

Research your catering options to find what fits your budget and also fits with who you are as a couple.

Some catering companies have options that include your cake, if your catering package doesn’t include the cake then plan on checking out your options for your wedding cake. There are many awesome bakers in the area who do awesome work as well as private individuals who do custom cake orders. Sugar Fashion Cakes is just one of my favorites. Their are many more out there, ask around for recommendations. Schedule a consultation for your own private taste testing to decide on your favorite. After all you want your cake to taste as good as it looks.

Since I’m a photographer it wouldn’t be right not mentioning booking your photographer. Many photographers offer complimentary engagement photos with their packages. However, you can also have just engagement photos done with a photographer as well, it’s a great way to do a trial run to see if you mess well with them and their style. After all, on your wedding day you will be spending a lot of time with your photographer. In fact, some photographers will allow you to apply what you paid for your engagement session towards your wedding package. Not all professionals do this, some consider the engagement session as complimentary. So be sure to ask upfront when you book.

Although this doesn’t cover everything that you need to do, I hope it helps you get pointed in the right direction.

Once again, Congratulations on your engagement and happy planning….

Will be posting more about planning and selecting vendors in an upcoming post.

Be sure and stop by our website to check out our work. Click Here

Visit Melanie’s profile on Pinterest.


#engaged #shesaidyes #weddingplanning


Wedding Planning Timeline

Recently engaged, planning your wedding, after all you have probably though about this day since you were a little girl. The day comes and everything goes by so fast your barely remember what your ate or if you ate during the reception. That’s were we come in, we offer full coverage of your wedding day, and work to capture the details, the emotion, the beauty of your day. After all when the day is done, your flowers have wilted, the cake is now crumbs, and your guest have all gone home the one thing that will be around for years to come is your photographs. We will provide you with a sample timeline for your wedding, tips on your engagement photos, and ideas on how to insure your day runs smoothly.

Check out what we have to offer.


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