3 Must Do Things On Your Wedding Day

When thinking of 3 of the most overlooked details that are a must for your big day, these popped into mind. They may seem really silly when reading these now but when the hustle of the big day approaches, you'll understand. So keep these must do wedding tips in mind...

1. Eat, eat, eat

First and most important- don't forget to eat. And now you're thinking, "Alyssa, come on, that's silly". It's so easy to overlook and forget to do but I've seen it more times than any. The last thing you want to do is run out of energy half way through the day. Take a few moments, chow down and refuel. 

Lyssa Ann Portraits

2. Quality time

Next to eating, take a few moments after the ceremony or during the reception to sneak away from the crowd with your husband. The day goes by so quickly and one way to soak it all in and slow things down a bit is to escape... just for 5-10 minutes that is. You won't regret having a few moments to yourself to enjoy your biggest day.


3. Slow down

When walking down the aisle, slow down! Take time to look around at your guests, enjoy their smiles and love. Soak it all in at that moment. And plus, it makes for great photos! 


I hope these 3 little must do tips help you when preparing for your big day! It seems as though all these tips revolve around keeping yourself refueled and not forgetting to take a moment to take it all in. After all, it is a pretty important day!

Hugs, Alyssa

To Do A First Look Or Not?

Hey beautiful friends!! A few months ago, I started a quick weekly chat over on my Instagram stories every Wednesday. I wanted a way to help brides more but I also wanted to connect and offer my tips for planning a wedding. With many years of shooting/experiencing weddings, I've seen what works and what doesn't work so much. I decided that blogging about each of the Wednesday chats would be great for those who may have missed the previous chats or to look back for reference.

A few weeks ago, we chatted about first looks. For those who don't know what a "first look" is, it is a special moment before the ceremony, that the bride and groom see each other. Though it may not be traditional to some, the trend is growing. So let's dive into the goodies!


To do a first look or not?

There is no right or wrong answer here. It's all based on your personal preference and what the bride/groom decide to go for. I wanted to jot some pros of each side to help you further your decisions for your big day. 

The biggest deciding factorDo you want to share your first look moment with just yourselves or with you guests?


Doing A First Look

If you decided to have that intimate moment with just yourself and your groom, this is for you. Speaking from a photographer AND personal experience, I always recommend a first look and here's why:


Personally, (though our wedding was a bit untraditional) I loved doing a first look when I got married. It was a special and intimate moment with just the two of you. You're able to get out those "freshly-married-nerves" and just relax. It also makes for some great photo moments. Some grooms are able to relax more, be in the moment- showing more emotions that wouldn't have been if standing in front of 100-300 guests.


One of the biggest perks to doing a first look, is the ability to get the majority of your photos done BEFORE the ceremony happens. This frees up a huge chunk of time after the ceremony (that keeps your guests waiting) and allows you to actually enjoy bits of your cocktail hour! 


Seeing Each Other At The Alter

There's nothing wrong with waiting until the alter. In fact, my past brides were split 50/50 with this decision. It's the more traditional way of seeing each other and some brides love the thought of walking down the aisle seeing their groom first. So here's some perks of this route:


Maybe you have a really close family and friend relationship and you want to experience that first look with them. Raw, genuine emotions that can be shared with everyone else!


The church doors open, everyone stops and stares... and everything is perfect in this moment. Your groom is at the end of the aisle and your life is about to change. I feel this is every ladies fantasy when she dreams about her big day. If it's yours, go with it! This is still an incredible moment that you could experience with your groom AND guests!

I hope this helped you decide what route to go. Again, there's not right or wrong decision- it's just what fits you both. Want an extra way to make your day special? What about doing a first look with your dad? Or your mom? Or your bridal party? Remember, it makes for some great photos and is extra special! 

Thanks for reading more on this chat! Are you married? Let me know below what you and your husband did at your wedding! I'd love to read your experience and recommendation!

Hugs, Alyssa



Logo Design- Wood With A Past

I've been gradually working on more design work. This logo product I'm very excited to share with you all. Allen, owner of Wood With A Past reached out to me a few weeks back to create a new logo design for his company.

Wood With A Past specializes in custom reclaimed wood products. Allen is renovating and transforming a new storefront in downtown Millersburg to create an ultimate showroom for his work. You can find more information regarding his new opening here

When Allen and I began talking, he expressed his work to be timeless, rustic and all reclaimed. After scoping out his beautiful website, I knew we could come up with something great. 

Wood With A Past Website

Below are some example inspiration pieces that helped direct us in the right way. We wanted the logo to have a simplistic, industrial feel. 

All Above Images Via Pinterest

I decided to take saw blades into consideration. With his company name "Wood With A Past", I wanted to highlight the timing and past of the reclaimed wood. Flowing the arrow from the saw blades was a great touch symbolizing the history of the resurrected wood. Allen was so great to work with and knew the direction he wanted his company to head. After a few back and forth emails, we nailed his logo to a timeless, symbolic logo. 

Wood With A Past Logo

I'm so thrilled with how this design finished out. I'm even more thrilled to see it hanging on his front store soon. Here's his final branding board.


Allen, thanks again for keeping me on my toes and allowing me to dip further more into design and branding work. I'm very excited to see where your company grows. 


Vendor Spotlight:: Lavender Bridal Salon


Lavender Bridal Salon, Dover Ohio

Meet The Artist

Title: Laurel Stokey; Managing Partner 

Salon Email: lstokey@gmail.com 

Salon Address: 218 W 3rd Street, Dover OH 44622 

Website: www.lavenderbridalsalon.com 

Instagram- @lavenderbridal

Facebook: Lavender Bridal 

Lavender Bridal Gowns Stylized with Lyssa Ann Portraits

A Note From Alyssa

The first time I set foot into the Lavender Bridal Salon, I was in bridal heaven. Gorgeous gowns trimmed each rack and sparkles of beautiful, timeless gowns filled my eyes. Laurel was so sweet to direct me in the perfect gown for the style and vision of the stylized shoots. For each model that came to try on, she had the perfect fit and style that would compliment their body types. What I loved about the gowns as well is though these are designer gowns that feel and look expensive, their price tags were the opposite. Super affordable for any budget and look. You won't be disappointed.

A Interview With Laurel

What does your shop specialize in?

Lavenders focus is providing brides with gowns,grooms tuxedos,bridesmaids gowns, mother of the couple gowns, flower girls. We also specialize in boutique one on one styling for proms and homecomings. 

How'd you get your niche'?

Figuring out what we wanted Lavenders to be really didn't come easy, when we opened our doors we wanted to try to be everything to everyone, and in time figuring out what we wanted our business to be was to not only deliver a beautiful product but with a memory that would last a lifetime. One thing still holds true to what we founded our business on, treating people the way you'd want to be treated. 

How many years have you been in business?

This year I am proud to say we will be in business for 11 years. 

How do you describe your style or ideal bride? 

I would say my style for Lavenders is a calming and super relaxed atmosphere, buying your wedding dress is a one in a lifetime purchase and, I believe that the experience of doing so is just as important. That's why we came up with a unique way of meeting with our brides. We sit down one on one and get to know them, their love story, and all the details of the wedding before we even start to shop for gowns.  I think that sets the tone for the appointment, then the bride feels very comfortable with the stylist the way you would be with a friend, or even a mother in some cases. The stylist really wants to fill your need in finding a gown but making sure you are cared for and your needs are met at the same time. 
As far as the ideal bride we certainly recolonize that there are different styles of brides, but we can of course serve all brides to meet there needs. My ideal bride would be someone I can call a friend at the end of our appointment, someone who is open minded in her wedding day style. 

What sets your shop apart from the others?

The experience again at Lavenders sets us apart from other shops, when you come into Lavenders you will be greeted with a friendly smile or even a familiar face. We like to get to know our clients and help them from beginning to end. We are truly a small business when you choose your gown at Lavenders we are always here to work with you, you may even send me a text on a Sunday at 10pm and you get me a real person, who is willing to go above and beyond to help you! That says something these days when were used to corporatations  some times bigger isn't always better! 

Whats your favorite designer and why?

I would say we have a great mix awesome designers but my favorite today would have to be Stella York, the quality and the fit of these gowns is really unbeatable for the cost of the dress. These gowns will retail around $1,300.00 which is really incredible for the product that you are getting. We offer custom options with these gowns that ensure a perfect fit. Just beautiful dresses that our on trend and very savvy for any bride. 

Whats the best way to get ahold of you to schedule an appointment?

The best way to get ahold of us is to call our shop at 330-602-0333 and talk with a stylist to set up an appointment, or you can visit us online to get in touch with us anytime by sending a request.  

Industrial Craftsman:: Studio Farmhouse Table

Industrial-Farmhouse Studio Table

I wanted to share with y'all the new studio table I purchased from Industrial Craftsman, a local industrial and handmade furniture retailer right here in Amish Country. I went into Cordell and Lindsay's store looking for a specific piece that would accent the rustic and romantic feel for the studio. Their rustic Carlisle Table was the perfect fit.

I was blown away by the craftsmanship in this table. It was exactly what I had been envisioning and wanting for my space. It features self-leveling legs (like what?!), farmhouse-industrial style and just all around beautiful handy work.

I love accenting this rustic table with my set of 8 ghost chairs that add a modern twist. I'm so thrilled to have this table in the studio space but also so very excited for my family to sit around it one day sharing stories and great meals. This table is sure to be a family heirloom.

Thank you guys once again!