Updated: Jun 2, 2019
On May 4th I had the pleasure of photographing Brittany and Clint's beautiful wedding at Contigo Ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas.
I met this couple in 2018 during a holiday card mini session. They were so pleased with their photos that they asked me to be their wedding photographer. At the time I had never photographed a wedding and was a little hesitant to accept. But this amazing couple said I had to start somewhere and they trusted me enough to let their wedding be my first. About two weeks before their wedding, though, I ended up photograph in my first wedding in Cranfills Gap, Texas. It was an intimate, laid back, morning ceremony with a short reception afterwards. This small wedding taught me a few things and helped me feel more prepared for a larger scale event at Contigo Ranch. I am so thankful to both of these couples who trusted me enough to allow me to capture their precious days that they'll remember all of their lives!
Getting Ready for the Big Day
My day started at 10 am when I left my house in San Antonio to drive out to Fredericksburg (with my sister aka assistant for the day). All week long the weather reports called for rain this day (so I brought my clear umbrella and rain gear) but the sun was shining bright with almost no clouds in the sky. Yay for no rain but man was it bright! After saying hi to the bride we familiarized ourselves with the grounds and looked for open shade areas for photo opportunities.
Then it was time to get started photographing the day. I started with the details as the bride and her bridesmaids finished getting hair and makeup done. This couple has an adorable little girl and she had
Then it was time to start photographing the day! I started with the details as the Bride and her bridesmaids finished getting their hair and makeup done. This couple has an adorable little girl and her shoes matched her mom's wedding shoes: pink sparkly flats from Kate Spade (the girl's were Keds). I took so many pictures of those tiny pink shoes. Brittany and Clint are also Aggies so we included their class rings in the photos as well.
Tip for Bride & Grooms: Remember to buy nice hangers for your wedding dress, suit, and bridesmaid dresses for photos, if these are photos you'll want. Your wedding photographer will almost always take a photo of the wedding dress before you put it on, so that hanger is most important. You can buy nice wooden ones or go online and find customized ones with your name, the word bride, etc. for that special touch.
Once all the details are photographed, it was time to take photos of the bridal party getting ready. I waited until everyone had their hair and makeup finished before taking pictures, but before everyone was dressed. The only exception was the bride, Brittany bought cute robes for her bridal party which makes those Before Photos look really lovely. The getting ready photos are slightly different when there are children involved, too. Not many brides give their daughter a bath in full hair and makeup. I was able to capture a moment where the bride, her mom, and grandma were helping dry and soothe a tearful baby.
I took a little too long with the bride and bridesmaids (but with a cute little girl and so many beautiful women and dresses and photo ops, can you really blame me?) so I didn't have as much time with the groom before the ceremony began. But I grabbed a few shots of the guys putting on their finishing touches and finishing their beers before driving up to the ceremony site.
Cotingo Ranch has this amazing ceremony location on the top of a hill. The view is breathtaking. With a backdrop like this you don't need any decorations.
After the ceremony, we spent a few minutes taking family photos and some photos with the bridal party. Then we moved on to the bride and groom's portraits. We didn't have to venture too far from the ceremony site because it'd be hard to find a better backdrop than that view. There was also a patch of wild flowers behind the site that we were able to take advantage of before we finished. It was still early in the day, the sun was really bright, and mosquitoes were starting to swarm, so we only spent 20 minutes or so taking portraits before heading back down to the reception.
Tip: Make a list of family photos you want and give it to your photographer ahead of time. Not only does this ensure you don't miss photos with anyone, but this portion of the photos will go by quickly and smoothly.
Note: If you use this venue for your wedding, you can have shuttles take your guests to and from the ceremony site because parking on the hill is very limited.
The reception took place in the barn below the hill. There are a lot of things about this venue that make it a great spot for a reception, both from a bride and photographer's perspective. The inside walls are white and there's a lot of windows so it offers a lot of light for your photographer. In fact, one wall is entirely glass doors that retract to the ceiling. Having these doors open creates a wonderful breeze and easy transition from the dining area to the dance floor. The patio is also covered so you can dance even if it starts to rain. Another aspect that makes this an ideal location is all the different areas your guests can roam during the reception. From the waterfall to the fire pit, your guests can find the area that best suits them during the evening. I loved capturing candid moments of kids exploring the grounds and the men enjoying cigars.
The evening started with the first dances inside the barn. After dinner was served, the fathers and mothers gave toasts, followed by the best man and bridesmaids. Once the cake was cut, the party began. I enjoy being a fly-on-the-wall kind of photographer and there's no better place to do this than at a wedding reception. There's nothing better than capturing a moment when people are laughing, hugging, looking lovingly at their spouse. There were a few times when someone noticed me taking candids, but I was more than happy to take posed photos of them, too.
Have you ever been to an Aggie wedding? This was my first. The photo of people huddled in a large circle is the guests/Aggie alumni singing the Aggie War Hymn (if I'm correct). Another photo you may be wondering about is the one where the groom is serenading his bride. The song was Purple Rain by Prince. Or maybe you're wondering why there's a photo of the Bride being thrown in the air. There's also a photo of two baby monitor's; those belong to the Bride & Groom's daughter and her cousin. Then the night ended with a sparkler send-off. My first time photographing with sparklers. I'm looking forward to another opportunity to take these photos with future brides and grooms.
It was an eventful wedding and I am so glad I was invited to photograph it.
I'm accepting bookings for 2019 and 2020 so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to hire me for your wedding!