Can I get a show of hands from everyone who thinks that this year has gone by “lightning rod” fast? I honestly cannot believe that it is nearly June. I truly thought that this year would crawl by at a snail’s pace and here we are… nearly hitting the “two months away from the big day” mark. It seems like the closer that I get to our wedding day, the faster things move. There are so many fun activities coming up within the next few months, and I am just sitting here antsily waiting and trying to be patient – not really my strong suit.
John and I actually just finished one of our many pre-wedding activities, and I have to admit that I was dreading this particular one with a vengeance. You probably have already figured it out from the title of this post but… wait for it… We got our engagement photos done! Now I know, that having photos taken doesn’t seem like much of a thing to dread, but I have never really liked having my photo taken. I don’t really know why. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I can sometimes be my worst critic, and I suppose I was nervous that I wouldn’t like what I saw. It’s funny how that happens right? How the world spells out its definition of beauty, and we start struggling to see it in ourselves? Even when there are a million little things that define what actually makes us beautiful – we find ways to look past them – to all of the flaws.
We decided to have our photos taken in Madison, Indiana: a quiet little town that I have been going to every year since I was just a wee little thing. My family has made a tradition of going to Madison every year in the fall to the Chautauqua Art Festival. It is this amazing little festival that really just feeds the soul. You can find hand-painted oil paintings, hand-poured soaps and candles, and millions of other priceless little treasures that you could search the world for and you would never find the same-alike. It is one of my favorite things to do, not just because of all of the art and knick-knacks, but also because of all of the beautiful architecture and southern charm.
I think God was smiling down on us because the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky on the day that we scheduled our photos. Madison is on the bank of the Ohio River, and the balmy breeze swept up the bank like a cool hug. I was so completely nervous, that John and I decided to drive up to Madison a couple of hours early to hit up the Thomas Family Winery. John doesn’t drink, but y’all… your girl needed a glass of vino. Just enough to buzz me so I wouldn’t be such a nervous little nelly, because when I get nervous I get awkward. Nobody, I mean nobody, wants to have awkward, forced engagement photos. That was the best decision in the universe because the Thomas Family Winery was just about the most inviting, calming place that a person can be. The woman who owns it had me down to a tee – it was nearly scary. She knew exactly what kind of wine I would like just by talking to me for a few minutes. Before I knew it, I was sitting out on the quaintest little pebble courtyard with my lovey, the balmy breeze, a smooth glass of white, and a plate of cheese and delicate meats – my worries and anxiety slowly melting away in the summer sunshine.
We ended up taking all of our photos at a historic building in Madison called the Lanier Mansion. I have walked the grounds of that building for years, always amazed at how beautiful it is. It still is, even after all of these years. A bright, historical gem, nestled on the bank of the River in-between a row of wafting willows. I knew the moment that we pulled up that we had chosen the right spot. I think our photographer did too. Our photographer was Louisville-based, Natalie Kathryn, and Y’ALL. She has a GIFT. From the first moment that we stepped out of our car, she made John and I feel so at ease. She had us laughing so hard, and genuinely smiling the entire time. I honestly think that part of the reason why our photos turned out so good. We were actually having a great time! So now I will try my best to choose only my favorites out of the HUNDREDS of amazing photos that Natalie took. It will be a struggle because they all make me want to practically swoon. This coming from the girl who doesn’t like her picture taken…
Those are honestly just a few of our favorites from our engagement session in Madison, and Y’all, let me just say that I am SO. VERY. THANKFUL. that Natalie Kathryn is taking our wedding photos. That girl is a wizard with a wide lens, and she took two very nervous people and captured our very best selves. I just know we will be looking back at these beautiful memories for years to come.
I will post Natalie’s website below for all of my Louisville peeps. She is definitely worth the hire – for all of your photog. needs. That girl is pure magic, pixie dust, and raw talent!
Well, my stomach is starting to rumble, and that is my cue that my blogging time has come to an end for the day. Stay safe my lovelies, and always remember, “You is strong. You is kind. You is important.” And you are beautiful – through EVERY lens.