Crystal and Hector’s Engagement Session

Today we bring you Hector and Crystal’s engagement session. Crystal was the winner of this fall’s Instagram giveaway for an engagement session. This sweet couple- and their two pups- recently moved to Memphis.  Since they are newcomers to the city, and haven’t had much time to establish “special places,” we agreed upon the lovely Brooks Museum as a backdrop. (For more about “special places,” click here to see an engagement session with significant settings).

Hector and Crystal were such a joy to meet, we couldn’t have been happier that she entered the giveaway! Not only are they the nicest duo you’ll meet, they were a dream to photograph. We like to create moments- set the stage for a couple to be themselves- rather than force posing. They responded beautifully to direction, relaxed into each other, and trusted us. As a result, Hector and Crystal’s grandchildren will look at these pictures and say things like, “She still smiles at him just like this,” and “He still holds her like that when no one’s looking!” It’s important to help people still be themselves in the face of a big, scary lens, which is why we take client interaction and comfort so seriously. Let us share an insight into building that sense of meaningfulness.

Setting the Stage

When we’re planning a couple’s engagement session, we always like to ask if there are meaningful places they’d like to incorporate. If they don’t have requests, we move on to the next logical question: are you city people or do you prefer the country? This helps us decide whether to use architecture, or landscape to set the scene. Regardless of their decision, we usually choose a neutral backdrop- through color and/ or focus- so that attention is centered on the couple and their story.

Dress for Success

Believe it or not, even helping clients prepare their wardrobe builds on that foundation of comfort. First, we advise that the couple think about where they want to display their images, and consider the color scheme of that room. Choose a classic color from that room, and build your palette on it- this way, your framed moments will slip harmoniously into your home. Next, and more importantly, we encourage people to select clothes that will give their hands something to do. For instance, women shine with a flowy skirt to twirl; men benefit by having pockets. Hair is also an easy way to give nervous hands a task. (This engagement session exemplifies the use of all three). She can run her fingers through it, he can brush a strand lovingly behind her ear-not only do we have a tender moment, but we also avoid the dreaded “Ricky Bobby syndrome.”

Regardless of place or clothing, we truly do our best to cultivate rapport with our couples, and put them at ease. We believe in preserving these moments for future generations, therefore the interaction we capture must be a truthful reflection of our clients. Hector and Crystal did an amazing job trusting our guidance, and we will be forever grateful they let us into their journey for a moment! Thank you, and HUGE congratulations, Hector and Crystal!



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The Wedding Chapel at Mallard’s Croft

Welcome to our venue tour of the idyllic wedding chapel at Mallard’s Croft. The next best thing to an outdoor wedding, is an outdoor wedding with climate control, no bugs, and no fear of inclement weather! Mallard’s Croft provides all of the above in their brand new venue. Nestled in the Mississippi countryside, you would never know that you are a convenient drive to Memphis. Join us for one of our signature blog tours of this thoughtfully crafted haven.


Our explorations will mimic a bride’s wedding day path. For example, the top-most room- almost like a princess tower- is “My Girl’s Room.”


Next, we introduce you to the bridal party’s room. Not only does this lovely room have mirrors and outlet plugs galore (absolute necessities for bridesmaids), but there is a bird’s eye view of the chapel.


From the moment guests enter, they’re treated the glow of natural light in every corner. Whether they’re enjoying the ceremony, partaking of cocktails in the alcove, or mingling in the hall- there isn’t a bad seat in the house.


Please take a moment to appreciate the staircase. We know this feature will render iconic bridal portraits, or a breath-taking entrance into your wedding. (For more about creating those stunning bridal portraits, click here) Also, we love that the windows are salvaged, and will continue being loved for generations.


Truthfully, this is one of the most awe-inspiring spaces we’ve ever seen. Practically speaking, even if you can’t prioritize floral design in your budget- the natural beauty will speak for itself and provide a breath-taking backdrop.


The alternative space below is the same dimensions as its counterpart above. Again, natural beauty cloaks every view.


We hope you enjoyed your tour, and will go meet the lovely folks in person.

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Carly and Cameron’s White Christmas Wedding

Today, we’re taking you through a Christmas wedding. From the Victorian mansion’s holiday splendor, to the unique reception features, we thoroughly love Carly and Cameron’s wedding!

Many personal details are thoughtfully infused into their big day! The Woodruff-Fontaine House was a natural wedding venue choice for these history-loving, Memphians. Carly’s art deco wedding dress mirrors the Victorian home’s past. Likewise, they paid homage to their city through a dessert bar featuring Memphis’s most popular sweets. Scroll below to explore more of their carefully planned, Christmas wedding details. (Click here to Carly and Cameron’s downtown Memphis engagement session)

Engraved wedding bands like Cameron’s melt our hearts.

Engraved wedding bands

Carly’s lovely flowers reflect her “White Christmas” aesthetic.

Wedding details winter bridal bouquet perfume

Again, this wedding dress is the dreamy stuff of Gatsby and Downton Abbey!

Wedding details vintage inspired wedding dressart deco inspired wedding dress

The groom’s look is classic, and elegant. In the second image, you will notice a style which deviates from our usual airy romance. We like to provide a more moody, masculine vibe in select groom’s portraits. (Grooms, we have more resources for you about tying tricky ties, groomsmen, lists, and… things you wish you’d known!)

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Of course, the lovely Carly. From her modified heirloom necklace, to her blue suede shoes, she’s the epitome of a timeless bride.

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Below, Carly is sharing a sweet moment with one of her adorable nieces.

bride with flower girl

The Woodruff-Fontaine’s three story staircase is made for moments like this!!

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Even though the couple had casual expectations about their First Look, the moment was surprisingly emotional. We love a groom who sheds a tear! (For a real groom’s personal thoughts on First Look, read here)

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One of the best aspects of this venue is its many opportunities for bride and groom portraits! (Click here to see other bride and groom portraits at this venue)

bride and groom portrait at Woodruff Fontaine House Memphis

bride and groom portraits

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The perfect tree for a Christmas wedding!

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A mimosa bar, and coffee/ hot chocolate bar were provided just outside the ceremony space.

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The flower girls were eager to walk their aunt down the aisle.

flower girl looking out windowflower girls being cute

Wedding ceremonies at the mansion take place either on the lawn, or in the lovely carriage house. Take note of all the smiling faces, and not a phone in sight! Give yourself, and your guests the gift of an unplugged ceremony. You’ve hired a professional photographer, let them do the work!

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Mr. and Mrs. White!

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We love the winter blues of the bridal party, and the sweet simplicity for the flower girls.

bride with flower girls floral crown

How inspiring is this Christmas wedding detail?! Reflecting both the Victorian, and seasonal aspects of the day- an illustrated edition of the Christmas Carol as a guest book. Point of interest: the museum has a signed, first edition of the novel and a chair that belonged to Charles Dickens!

christmas carol wedding guest book

This “very Memphis” dessert bar features local favorites: 17 Berkshire, Muddy’s, Frost Bake Shop, and Westside BBQ’s barbecue cake.

Christmas wedding dessert barwedding sugar cookies

Finally, we think every reception needs a live artist! Carly and Cameron’s now have bespoke art for future generations, and guests were mesmerized by the process.

live artist wedding reception

We were deeply inspired by this Christmas wedding, and hope you are as well! Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. White- and may all your Christmases be “White.”

wedding ring details

bride and groom portrait Woodruff Fontaine House Memphis

To take a tour of the Woodruff-Fontaine House, click here. If you want more Christmas wedding inspiration, check out my own wedding here (neutral winter shades, candlelight galore, and a Rivini gown that my 23-year-old couldn’t live without!). You can also see our “Blue Christmas” styled shoot that was internationally published here.

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Miranda Marie Bridal Boutique

Welcome to another of our resource posts in which we offer professional tips, and explore local vendors. Today, we’re paying a visit to Miranda Marie Bridal– the most charming boutique in the city! Nestled in the historic district of Olive Branch, you are convenient to Memphis, yet enjoy the quaint charm of this Southern gem. The tone is set before you even open the door. Miranda is the warmest of hostesses, and will make you feel like beloved royalty! Her goal is to provide the couture salon experience to every bride- whether or not she is making a couture investment. She shared stories of how she has traveled to other cities for the bridal gown experience, and watched her friends receive lesser treatment because their budget priorities lie elsewhere. Miranda wanted to change this problem, and has done so with her gorgeous, intimate shop!

The boutique’s decor reflects the owner’s mission: an elegant, bridal atmosphere in a loving, relaxed environment. That “something blue” seating is for brides to bring close loved ones along for the milestone. Clients enjoy two hours of having the store all to themselves! Appointments demonstrate another stand-out trait of the experience- most boutiques offer one hour slots.


Gowns are thoughtfully selected and curated each season. Some of her designers include: Kenneth Winston, Moonlight Bridal, and Ashley and Justin. Our favorite aspect of their lines is that their designers are exclusive to the boutique, and will not be shown in other shops within a certain radius of Miranda’s. Her brides can rest assured that they will not see their gown at anyone else’s wedding!


Here is a peek at the spacious dressing room, and showing area where the magic happens.


Even the bathroom is a beautiful treat!


A Summary of Why You’ll Love Miranda Marie Bridal:

  • A luxury couture experience regardless of your price tag.
  • 2 hour appointments.
  • Exclusive designers
  • Miranda’s heartfelt love for the brides who enter her shop.
  • Bonus: The quaint Olive Branch square will make a perfect ladies’ day of antiquing, pampering, and specialty restaurants and coffee shops.

We hope you’ve fallen in love with Miranda Marie Bridal as much as we have! Explore our visits to two other Memphis bridal experiences, at The Barefoot Bride, and Maggie Louise. If you’re still trying to decide which kind of dresses you want to try on, check out our guide to selecting the right wedding dress for your venue (skip to the bullet points at the end if you’re in a hurry).

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The Carousel Pavilion: A Unique, Inspiring Wedding Venue in Memphis

One of the most unique wedding venues we’ve seen in Memphis, is the gorgeous Carousel Pavilion. Whether you’re a child at heart, love Victorian influences, or simply need a space full of amenities, the Carousel Pavilion rises to the occasion.
Aside from its obvious beauty, our favorite feature of this venue is its versatility. There are lovely, sliding doors which create multiple ceremony options. There are on site suites for the bridal party, and groom. We love that the groom’s suite has direct access to outdoors. Guests have multiple places to mingle- not least of which is the carousel, itself. 

         Let’s take a quick visual tour:

Guests enjoy a beautiful view from the ballroom. The ballroom is a large and versatile space which accommodates 400 seated, and 500 cocktail-style. Additionally, the up-lighting is can be customized to coordinate with your event. 

Next, is a delightful area adjacent to the ballroom. This space is lovely for a smaller ceremony, or cocktails. The sliding doors lend great options for this room. 
Below is the glorious bridal suite. The natural light, size, and neutrality are a dream! (See here to learn about the things you should look for in a bridal suite).
Now, on to the beauty! Call us silly, but our favorite thing about the carousel is is gorgeous color palette! Just think how many wedding colors you can find to coordinate with your venue. The detail and craftsmanship are awe-inspiring, and will make a lovely backdrop.


  • Maximum occupancy? 400 seated, 500 reception-style. 
  • Available parking? 111 secured within fencing, 434 monitored by armed security. 
  • Can we use the carousel? 2 consecutive hours of use are included. Additional time is available. 
  • What are the limits on decorations? No taping, nailing, stapling, etc. 
  • Can I hire my own caterer? Yes. 


  • Carousel rides during 2 hours of your choice. Additional time is available.
  • Coat check
  • Tables and chairs (300 fruit wood, 200 metal)
  • Portable stage
  • Kitchen
  • Projector and screen
  • Customizable lighting
  • Wireless mic
  • Secured parking
Persuasion-Photography-Memphis-Carousel-Wedding-VenueWe hope you enjoyed your “tour” of the Carousel Pavilion. If you’d like to see more of our venue visits, click to read: Annesdale Mansion, The Woodruff-Fontaine House, The Dixon, Tuscan Ridge, The Stratton House
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Memphis Venue With Southern Charm: The Stratton House

If you’re craving a little Southern comfort in your wedding, you’ll love The Stratton House! This Collierville wedding venue is nestled close enough to Memphis for convenience, yet removed enough for peace. Overflowing with the Old South’s grace, this historic home is now an intimate bed and breakfast. Character abounds in every corner here! There are plenty of nooks and crannies for beautiful bridal portraits, and elegant first looks. The historic interior is perfect for parties up to 50; the rear garden accommodates up to 200 (unfortunately, the weather was too poor on my visit to capture its beauty). If you want a wedding venue that feels like a Hallmark movie- you have to visit this hidden gem!


The spacious bride’s rooms are pictured below.

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The upstairs windows are perfect for those “must-have” bridal portraits!

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The music room is a popular location for cocktails.

Collierville Historic Wedding Venue

The bed and breakfast’s guest rooms are a convenient, romantic wedding night getaway! Imagine soaking in a fireside bath, then falling into a luxurious bed.

Collierville Historic Wedding VenueMemphis-Wedding-Venue-Stratton-House

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little tour. If you’ve enjoyed seeing this wedding venue, explore our visits to these other Victorian venues: Annesdale Mansion, and The Woodruff-Fontaine House.

If you’ve already chosen your venue, and are searching for the perfect dress, check out our guide to finding the right gown for your venue. Here are posts about our favorite bridal boutiques who can help you as well (Miranda Marie, Maggie Louise, Barefoot Bride)


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A Tour of The Balinese Ballroom in Memphis

Welcome another of our Memphis wedding venue tours! This week, we’re exploring the Balinese Ballroom near downtown Memphis. What we love most about the Balinese, is that there is something for every taste. The downstairs ballroom is a romantic, airy space. Upstairs, another ballroom features industrial brick and pipes which speaks to the building’s history. Both of these spaces are filled with natural light. Finally, the intimate High Point ballroom is another industrial space which reminds one of a speakeasy. Each of the three ballrooms boasts a gorgeous bar, and plenty of original architecture. Without further delay, enjoy this virtual tour of Memphis wedding venue.

Memphis Wedding Venue Balinese Ballroom

The Downstairs Ballroom

The downstairs ballroom is a classic, elegant facility that accommodates 250 with cocktail-style arrangements, and 170 in seated-style with a dance floor. 

Memphis Wedding Venue Balinese BallroomMemphis Wedding Venue Balinese BallroomMemphis Wedding Venue Balinese Ballroom

Just imagine how glorious bridal portraits would look in this corner! 

Memphis Wedding Venue Balinese Ballroom

An art deco inspired bar is directly to the side of the downstairs ballroom.

Memphis Wedding Venue Balinese Ballroom

The Upstairs Ballroom

Like its downstairs counterpart, this space accommodates 250 with cocktail-style arrangements, and 170 in seated-style with a dance floor

Memphis Wedding Venue Balinese BallroomMemphis Wedding Venue Balinese BallroomMemphis Wedding Venue Balinese Ballroom

The High Point Ballroom

Finally, the High Point  can accommodate up to 200 guests cocktail style and up to 120 seated with a dance floor.

Memphis Wedding Venue Balinese Ballroom

If we had to chose one favorite aspect of the Balinese, it would have to be the decadent romance of the downstairs ballroom. The chandeliers, natural light, and draping appeal to our classically bridal sensibilities!

We hope you enjoyed touring this Memphis wedding venue with us! If you’d like more tours from the comfort of home, be sure to check out our visits to the following: 

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A “Very Memphis” Engagement Session

This sweet couple’s downtown Memphis engagement session is quintessentially “Memphis.” From the very beginning, it was clear that Carly and Cameron love life in their downtown home, and wanted to include meaningful places in their memories. We discussed their favorite haunts, like Tom Lee Park, and locations with special significance. The end result is a “very Memphis” engagement session.

Like any self-respecting Memphian, the first stop was the “M” bridge. We began their at sunrise, overlooking the Mississippi with the city skyline as our backdrop. Locals and tourists alike love Tom Lee Park.


Next, we moved closer to their downtown home in one of the historic buildings. The Orpheum is in the background of many of their pictures because they enjoy seeing shows together.

Downtown Memphis engagement session.
Downtown Memphis engagement session

Of course, one cannot think of downtown Memphis without the trolley. During our time together, it glided by on its morning rounds- making quaint opportunities for pictures.


Downtown Memphis Engagement Session

Finally, we meandered the pedestrian district of South Main. Morning light spilled over the building tops, breakfast scents tempted at every corner- making this a truly idyllic finale.

Downtown Memphis Engagement SessionDowntown Memphis Engagement SessionDowntown Memphis Engagement SessionDowntown Memphis Engagement Session

After touring the city and completing my first downtown session, I’m more excited than ever for their upcoming wedding at one of my favorite historic venues, The Woodruff-Fontaine!

*Update! Click here to see their gorgeous, “White Christmas” wedding.

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Tuscan Ridge Wedding Venue

We are so excited that a beautiful, new venue is coming to town! Tuscan Ridge is refreshingly different, bringing much-needed, European charm to our corner of the world. The villa is nestled amid 200 acres of rolling pastures, and boasts breathtaking sunset views. Keep scrolling to take a mini-tour of Tuscan Ridge. First, here is a quick list of reasons to love this escape: 

Reasons to love Tuscan Ridge

  • Valet parking included
  • A plethora of ceremony site options (some included below)
  • Honeymoon suite included
  • Groom’s room is detached from the main building, so there’s little worry about seeing the bride before First Look.
  • The site is yours for sixteen hours. Glorious breathing room in your schedule! 
  • The bride’s suite!! (See below)
As you can see, the architecture is blissfully unique in the Memphis wedding market. If you crave a destination wedding, but want more of your loved ones to be present, Tuscan Ridge is a fantastic way to have your (wedding) cake and eat it too! 

The gorgeous floor tiles, wood, carved ceilings, and chandeliers are all imported from Italy. Tuscan Ridge was a private residence before becoming a venue; apparently the owner was from Italy and wanted a piece of home.

Here is the delectable bride’s suite! The warm walls, and abundance of natural light make this room a photographer’s dream for swoon-worthy bridal portraits (for tips on how to achieve the best bridal/ getting ready moments, check here). Not to worry, discreet shades can be drawn for privacy. In addition to its beauty, Tuscan Ridge has one of the most functional bride rooms I’ve ever seen (hooks, outlets, mirrors, and racks galore). 

Not only are there many options for ceremony, but there are plenty of cocktail spaces too. Here are a few:

Imagine how perfect this courtyard would be for a First Look! As a matter of interest, the groom’s room and honeymoon suite belong to the doors on the right. 

We hope you decide to visit this venue and see its elegance for yourself! Welcome to Memphis, Tuscan Ridge! We love you already. 

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Wedding Invitations with Basic Invite


Wedding planning is special, but it can also be quite stressful. We’ve heard time and again that deciding on, and inviting guests is one of the top stressors. There are no general, one-size-fits-all answers to help with this; each family must draw their own conclusions. However, two ways you can facilitate this process are: discerning your wedding priorities, and investing in a fun, hassle-free way to set the tone for your wedding.

In order to help you, we put on our bridal detective shoes, and went through the full experience at Basic Invite. Here is what we loved:

Free address collection and addressed envelopes!

As a bride who self-addressed each invitation, I can’t tell you how valuable this is! Once you input your addresses, the envelopes arrive on your doorstep with the addresses already beautifully inscribed… for free!

Unique products

While browsing the site, we couldn’t help but fall in love with a wedding invitation unlike any other we’ve encountered – seal and send invitations. The old-fashioned concept behind these invitations resonates with our sentimental hearts! The R.S.V.P. card, directions, invitation- everything- magically fit in one attractive, compact invitation.

Total customization

There are so many color options- down to small variations in hue- with Basic Invite. Even the envelopes come in 40 different colors! Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. Your wedding colors are sure to be represented in their vast selection! Futhermore, when you browse items, the website will show you all the coordinating options that will compliment your choice- from envelope bands to unique favors such as personalized coasters.

Free, matching wedding websites

We love how Basic Invite helps you create such a cohesive first impression for your guests! They offer free wedding websites that you can customize to match your invitations! Your paper suite, and website are the first impressions your guests will have of your wedding, and Basic Invite provides all the tools you need for a cohesive, accurate expression of your wedding.

Our thoughts

We ordered a range of products to see exactly how their products rate in person- they did not disappoint! The paper is beautifully weighted, high quality, and their colors are true-to-life. One item we simply had to see in person was their sailing themed save the dates. If you didn’t already know, Persuasion Photography is partially named for Jane Austen’s “Persuasion,” which involves many coastal and nautical themes. We simply had to find indulge in our nerdier side, and play with the idea of what the characters’ wedding would look like in modern day, and we thoroughly believe their celebration would involve nautical homage and sailing into the sunset. Their sailing themed save the date fits our visions perfectly! (To see more of this romantic, seaside cliff session that we featured on the card, click here).

In conclusion, we loved the whole experience that Basic Invite has to offer, and feel that they are a great tool for a well-curated, fun, stress free vendor to add to your wedding team.

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delighted to make your acquaintance

Helo, my name is Katie. I have a love for old-fashioned romance.


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