new dear adventures

So I told y’all I had exciting news….and big and exciting it is!  As most of y’all know, I travel a lot for shoots and weddings. This past year I’ve spent a lot of time shooting in Nashville and have been reminded how much I miss the state where my homegrown roots were first planted {originally from Memphis}!! This year has been an incredible year of blessings beyond what I ever knew was imaginable, as well as lots of changes, new adventures, personal growth, and possibilities! Recently doors have been opened and in October, I’ll be Nashville bound!! Far from honky tonk…but this music lovin, boot wearin’, sweet tea sippin’ southern girl is getting back to her Tennessee roots with an overly happy and hopeful heart!

Almost ten years ago, I was originally Nashville bound, but decided to take a short detour that brought me to Florida. Little did I know my short detour would end up being a decade! Now that doors and new opportunities have opened, it’s time! With Nashville soon to be my day to day stomping ground and where my clothes are tucked in dresser drawers…you’ll still always find my bags packed and shooting along the emerald beaches of 30A or wherever weddings take me {with cheap, direct Southwest flights…I’m going to be flying in A-lister style in no time}!

This year I’ve learned how essential balance and making time for what’s important truly is…accompanied with a desire to live a wholehearted life. Chasing after a wholehearted life in hopes of balancing life and business…all with no burnouts…is no task for the weary and faint at heart! Dreaming of such things will only carry you so far…soon, change and action is required. So change, action and doing it is!! Emily, who has been shooting with me for the last 2 years, will be holding down the fort here in Florida….so now Dear Wesleyann is based not just in Florida, but also Tennessee! Emily is now taking over the portrait side of the business here in Florida {family, newborn, maternity, etc}. With shooting nonstop over the last 2.5 years, as much of a blessing it’s all been, being so busy has kept me from fully being able to devote my heart and time to where my passion truly is…weddings, creative shoots, and most importantly, the littlest and dearest ones in my life. Moving to Nashville not only puts me close to my family, my closest friends, opens up new opportunities, allows for easier travel {if you’ve traveled to the Panhandle, you know I’m not even joking}, but it’s also allowing me to devote more time to those little loves and to life.

The Florida Panhandle and dear friendships made here will always hold my heart and be a piece of home, but I’m excited for new adventures in Nashville! And I’m not going to lie….I look forward to being back often {as in…almost every weekend…often} and truly appreciating and falling in love with the white sand, green waters, and sunshine…because when you live here…time is rarely made to enjoy those things and easily taken for granted.

It’s far too early in the day, or any day for that matter, to raise a glass of Tennessee Moonshine…but here’s to an exciting new journey!

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Molly Liles Kennedy -

Yay! Welcome back!

Sara Bosserman Yates -

FANTASTIC NEWS!!! So excited for you!

Kelly McWilliams -

Congrats! Warmest wishes for the purest happiness for you there!

Gail Williams Steed -

Wishing you and your family the very best !!!!!!!!!

sweet sightings

It’s been an exciting last few weeks of big sweet sightings!  Seeing my couples featured is always exciting, but when they end up in your first national print publication…..it’s something you are sure to show your mom and dad {seriously…this is magnet and refrigerator worthy!}  When you submit a wedding and get word a year and a half early that they are in love and want to publish it…that’s a long time to sit on pins and needles…but I didn’t mind one bit!  Every needle and pin was wonderfully worth each day of waiting to see Jenny and ChrisCarillon Wedding in Destination I Do Magazine that hit stands August 19th!!

With all the excitement of Destination I Do, when an email from Pottery Barn popped up in my inbox, I almost immediately sent it to trash assuming it was my daily Pottery Barn email.  On the contrary.  Not only was it not an email of PB goods or sales….but an email asking to feature my work {insert jaw dropping here}.  For a girl who dreams of adorning everything within the walls of her home with all things Pottery Barn….this was big.  Big enough to make my heart race with excitement!  And to call my mom….again…with more featured news! So big, that it wasn’t just one feature….but so far TWO…with another one coming soon!  Be sure to take a peek at  Blaire and Bill’s Alys Beach wedding as well as Lindsay and Stephen’s Alys Beach engagement session!

Not only did Destination I Do hit stands last month, but Emily and Charlie’s Rosemary Beach wedding landed in the beautiful pages of Weddings Illustrated!!

And just when I thought my heart might not be able to handle any more excitement….I landed my second Fearless Photographers award!   Thank you to Destination I Do, Weddings Illustrated & Pottery Barn…the outpouring of such beautiful features and love is, as always, accompanied by an outpouring of incredible gratitude!

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If I told you this is all the exciting news you’ll read on this blog today….my mouth would have to be washed with soap for telling a fib.  Hang tight….cause there’s far bigger and exciting news about to arrive later TODAY!!

 

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rustic roots

We anxiously await for that time of year to roll around when we can say goodbye to spring fever and say hello to summer lovin’ and easy livin’.  Watermelon seed spitting, the smell of hot asphalt after an afternoon shower with a hint of freshly cut grass, windows down accompanied by playlists blaring, cut off jean shorts, tank tops, aviators, bare feet, and long summer days.  Those things just never get old {however, the heat & humidity…that gets old. fast.}

For some…summertime goes a bit deeper. into the woods. and down the river. and consists of canoes, canteens, cabins and campfires.  I don’t know about y’all, but most of my childhood summers were spent away at camp.  Not quite your Wet Hot American Summer, Heavyweights, or even Earnest Goes to Camp experiences. But rather…my days began with trumpets sounding at the crack of dawn and rolling out of a bunk bed, meals in the mess hall, horse back riding, wood whittling, hiking, archery, canoes, kumbayas, and s’mores.  Next week, I venture out into the wild to channel my childhood camping excursions for 3 days of hiking and camping in Colorado.  I’m not quite sure where this continued shock from so many keeps coming from when I bring this up…but I’ll have y’all know, despite what you may all think, I have no problem roughing it in the wilderness.  This woman is prepared and fully stocked with all the essentials. A tent, sleeping bag, backpack, flashlights, lighters, batteries, bluetooth speakers, a polaroid camera, and Cards Against Humanity.  Don’t doubt for one second that there won’t be campfire dance parties going down. I’m so committed to this….that I even caved and purchased a pair of chacos {which mind you, I sore on all things good and fashionable, that I would never cave on such unfortunate looking footwear. Kate Spade would disown me if she knew.} Ugly shoes aside,  I fully expect to return home as a more enlightened, self actualizing, and empowered little lady!  Myself and two other gals are clearly ready y’all. Have no fear. We will survive.  However….just incase, I’ll be sure to tweet the campsite coordinates just to be safe should no one hear from us after 3 days!!

While some have to go away to summer camp or travel to have such experiences, Lindsey had most of it right in her backyard!!!  Showing up for Lindsey and Justin’s wedding on their family farm and vineyard with ponds, docks, row boats, horses, and stables was like a childhood dream.  Who am I kidding…it’s a dream no matter how old you are.The day was perfect and perfectly fit for these two.  With the family barn completely transformed with candle light, hanging lanterns, draping, and a custom barrel bar….rustic roots met elegant charm at it’s finest and was immersed in meaningful family heirlooms.  The night was only complete with hay stacks, a bonfire, s’mores, and being serenaded in a bridal party rendition of Call Me Maybe.

 

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sweet signtings

It’s Monday and it’s officially summer y’all. And after an entire weekend off for the first time since February {I wish that was just a joke}, I’m ready to take hold of this week with smiles, sunshine, and serious productivity.  If I’m going to start this week off right, it’s got to be done with a new post full of gratitude and exciting sweet sightings!  Many of these are {as in common dear wesleyann fashion} long over due!  From print publications, blog features, and even making a photo of the day, all the love has fueled my heart with immense thankfulness!!!  A huge {x10000} thank you to Kentucky Bride Magazine, 30A Street Style E-Zine, Weddings Illustrated Magazine, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Wedding Chicks, Bridal Guide, Every Last Detail, Wedding Row Waterside, and Way Out Wedding for putting a smile on this girl’s face and heart, as well as these sweet couples!!

With the next two months finally slowing down…there are many more submissions being sent out and new weddings about to hit the stands along with a few exciting {big} blogs!!!  Stay tuned…

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pass to bubbles

Most have found themselves in this situation before.  Your boarding pass reads B52 and you instantly know you’re bound to the back of the line. You bored your Southwest flight with bags in tow, scanning the seats praying there, just by chance, might be a window seat open {or should you have bad knees from one too many snowboarding mishaps like me….you hope through divine intervention that an aisle seat is open.}  But with a B52 pass…your chances of being stuck between an open mouth snorer and an arm rest hogger who wants to talk about their cat for 2 hours in the back by the bathrooms is the best luck you’ll most likely have.  Because let’s just be honest…if it wasn’t for bad luck, you’d have no luck at all.  And God forbid you get stuck sitting next to a creeper!!  However, somehow you must have prayed extra hard the night before…because in the middle of the plane are two open seats next to a girl with a sweet smile.  PRAYERS ANSWERED.

A year ago, I found myself in this situation.  After settling in my seat, Angelina and I soon found ourselves chatting away our 2 hour flight. As we departed the plane, she mentioned her best friend had recently got engaged.  So I smiled and handed her my business card….never expecting to hear anything.

A few months later a sweet inquiry popped up in my inbox from a bubbly girl named Megan who heard about me from her best friend…who just so happened to sit next to me on a plane!  Who would’ve ever thought that that one day on a Vegas bound flight, sitting next to a girl named Angelina, would eventually bring us to today!!  That boarding pass was a straight pass to bubbles.  Today Megan and Blake tie the knot and I honestly feel like I’m about to walk out the door to capture a sweet friend’s wedding!!!  After a first failed frigid January attempt at a bridal session, April brought better luck as Megan, her mom, close friend Bonnie and I tromped around Alys Beach!  Megan’s beauty radiated and her smile accompanied by her infectious laughter has had me anxiously awaiting this day…her wedding day!!

After double tapping all of Megan, Angelina and Bonnie’s instagram images this morning…I’m wishing I was popping bottles of bubbly on the beach with these girls from the start of the day!!  Because clearly we’re now all friends…it’s just what happens when you’re instagram followers!  Alas….it’s now almost go time.  And I’ve been ready!!!!  And thank goodness, because I’ve been anxiously awaiting to post these images since the second the shutter released!!!

At 5:30PM CST, these two officially became MR. & MRS HARRIS…so at 5:31PM….it’s now ok to post these!!!

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Beaufort Bride -

These are BEAUTIFUL!

Megan Harris -

OMG just got to read this… im soooo in love with these images and you! you are amazing!!!

Resa Lankford Evans -

Well you made me cry again! This was absolutely like a fairytale looking at these pictures. They are so beautiful. You definitely had the wedding you always dreamed of Megan and I am so thrilled that I got to be a part of it!

Betty Smith -

Beautiful pictures.