Austin Same Sex Wedding at Modern Wedding Venue Prospect House

Cody & Brandon met at an outdoor summer music series beloved by all Austinites called Blues on the Green. And as they say… the rest is history. The couple’s Austin same sex wedding at modern wedding venue Prospect House was total spring wedding perfection! Event planning by Platinum Wedding and Events made the day run smoothly and beautifully. The grooms helped each other get dressed, topping of their suits with colorful handkerchiefs, matching rainbow socks and succulent boutonnieres. As guests arrived by shuttle, they were greeted by a delicious Antonelli’s Cheese Shop platter… yum!

On the most beautiful spring day, each groom was walked down the aisle by both of their parents. The modern white frame with hill country views served as the simple ceremony backdrop. When the guys first met, they also bonded over the fact they both loved the Sofia Coppola Blanc de Blancs Mini champagne cans. So obviously, that had to be featured for guests at the reception!

As music lovers, the couple made sure to pick a super fun band for the reception, The Nightowls. Cody & Brandon danced to the classily romantic “At Last” by Etta James for their first dance. The band kept the dance floor packed all night, with the exception of a quick mini-donut exchange courtesy of the adorable hot pink Little Lucy’s mini-donuts trailer. The last dance “Shout” played by the band had everyone in a dance party frenzy. What an incredible wedding! Huge congratulations Cody & Brandon!

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AUSTIN WEDDING VENDORS :: Ceremony  & Reception Venue:: Prospect House // Wedding Coordination :: Platinum Wedding & Events // Florals :: Petals Ink Floral // Officiant :: Derek Bennett // Catering :: Matt’s El Rancho // Cheese Display:: Antonelli’s Chees Shop //DESERTS :: Little Lucy’s Donuts // Band :: The Nightowls // Rentals: Monarch Event Rentals // Transportation: Uptown Valet & Transportation // Austin Wedding Photographers :: CORY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Surprise Austin Proposal Photography

It was so much fun to be a part of this surprise proposal! I arrived early to the house where Colton planned to propose to Allie. I sat crouched down, anxiously hiding behind a second floor balcony column before their arrival to the house so I could be in a prime position to capture the proposal. Usually I just try to blend in with the public or pretend to be a tourist photographer in these types of public situations, so this was a fun-but-nerve-wracking little challenge to truly HIDE! The fountain of the pool was loud and obscured the sound of my shutter, so Allie didn’t even hear me, even after I started to take photos. As Colton dropped to one knee, I couldn’t help but root for him (C’mon, say YES!). And with an immaculate pool and Colorado River as a backdrop, I can’t imagine a more perfectly romantic location to get engaged. Congratulations you two lovebirds, and thanks for letting me document your surprise Austin proposal!

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Rain Lily Austin Farm Wedding :: Ashley & David

The bride, Ashley, describes her dream wedding day as a “cocktail party festival on a farm”. Taking place on Halloween weekend, and planned by Events Boutique, this fall Austin farm wedding was a stunner. Ashley got ready with her girls in the property’s house, and teared up several times as the emotions began to build. After her hair and make-up by Kiss N Make-Up was perfected, she slipped into her cap sleeve, beaded & lace wedding dress (complete with something blue undies). Her first look with David was definitely a tear jerker, but the happiness and hugs prevailed. We wandered the farm property for some joyful and romantic couple’s photos before guests began to arrive. One especially hilarious moment, seen below, was when the tequila donkey’s arrived. As they were being loaded off the trailer for their wedding appearance, we heard “HEEEEEE HAWWWWWWWWW!” so loud that we all just spontaneously died laughing. Such perfect smiles!!! The donkeys later wandered around the reception wearing sombreros and Mexican blankets while passing out shot glass necklaces and shots.

After photos, the ceremony began in front of the giant circular floral ceremony arch designed to perfection by Zinnia & Co, with the farm itself serving as the backdrop while the sun began to set. The bridesmaids all picked green dresses of their own choosing, which created a flattering array of complimentary hues to the lush greenery surrounding them. The stylishly eclectic florals paired with green vintage wine goblets created a stunning visual combo, while twinkle lights criss crossed above the couple while they dined al fresco on long dark-wood farm bench tables. In a hilarious turn of events, the couple was toasted from guests who climbed up into a children’s tree house from above. Ha! Huge congratulations to Ashley & Dave, and thank you for allowing me the honor of documenting your wedding day!

PS – And I’m not the only one that LOVES this wedding. Be sure to check out the 7 Centerpieces blog feature on this wedding as well!

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AUSTIN WEDDING VENDORS :: Ceremony  & Reception Venue:: Rain Lily Farm // Wedding Coordination :: Events Boutique // Florals :: Zinnia & Co.  // Make-up :: Kiss N Make-Up // Catering :: El Locavore Catering // CAKE & DESERTS :: Blue Note Bakery // Tequila Donkeys: Ralph Fisher’s Photo Animals // Rentals: Premiere Event Rentals // Austin Wedding Photographers :: CORY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Park and Austin Skyline Engagement Session

I’ve been looking forward to Erin and Tom’s upcoming Cinco De Mayo wedding since getting to know them at their Austin Skyline Engagement Session at Butler Park and the Long Center! Dressed in bright and bold colors, with a Mexican party hat ready for their adorable puppy, I could tell instantly that this would be a fun couple! In just a small walk, we were able to get 3 different incredible views of the downtown Austin skyline, including one of my favorite reflections in the windows of the Long Center. We lucked out with the most beautiful moody orange sky for some sunset silhouettes to end the session with a bang! I am eagerly awaiting your wedding day, Erin & Tom!

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What’s In My Camera Bag?

Let me go ahead and start by saying THIS IS NOT A GEAR POST. I am a firm believer that the quality of your images is a result of the skill and experience of the photographer, not how much money they spent on the latest gear and gadgets. So instead, I’m here to talk about what’s in camera my bag… that is not gear! Based on the contents of my purse, my husband loves to joke that I am the most prepared person that he knows. And that preparedness also trickles down to my camera bag on the wedding day, to make the day better for myself and my clients. Thankfully the Think Tank Retrospective 30 is a somewhat large bag to hold all of my wedding day essentials. Plus I have my hard case wheelie Porter Case Trolley with Camera/Laptop Dividers as well. This case is so dang handy, because it also can easily turn into a dolly on wheels for carrying larger loads. So let’s start diving in, shall we?

what is in a wedding photographer's camera bag?

Blotting Papers: These are for both myself and the bride. If you start to get a little dewey and feel the sweat kicking in, I’ve got some blotting papers in my bag to help you tackle the shine! I prefer the kind with powder on one side to help mattifying, but the oil-absorbing ones work great too.

Sunscreen: Being a photographer in Texas means I have to wear sunscreen every time I leave the house. Naked Zinc Sunscreen by Naked Bee is great because it’s a natural zinc based product with UVA & UVB protection, not one of those crazy chemical filled versions. The zinc in this formula works to create a physical layer of protection over your skin, rather than being absorbed like other, chemical-based sunscreens. I love that it is fragance free (your clients really don’t want to smell you) and absorbs well. The small 3 oz size fits perfectly in a side pocket of my bag!

Bug Spray: As a nursing mom, I’m ultra careful about what I put on my skin and in my body these days. Hyalogic Bug Armour from Hyalogic perfectly fits the bill, with non-chemical ingredients like citronella, eucalyptus & lemongrass oils. This version dries pretty quickly, so I don’t have to worry about getting oily residue on my gear. And it works, so I will continue to use it beyond nursing as well! (Because this does have a stronger smell, I do wait to spray myself on an “as needed” basis.)

Benadryl Stick: I’ve lost count of how many fire ant piles I’ve stepped in over the years while shooting. A little dab of this cream on the bite makes it stop itching, and allows me to get back to concentrating on my photography. The tube is shown here, but I actually prefer the roll-on stick.

Hair bands & Bobby Pins: Again, these are for both myself and the bride. Although your hair shouldn’t start to fall, occasionally an unwanted wisp will escape here and there. I pretty much have come to realize that most of the time it’s just too dang hot here in Texas to shoot with my hair down, and my hair ends up in a bun anyway.

Safety Pins: I had to learn this one the hard way! My black wedding pants were a little too tight post-baby and wouldn’t you know it… I popped a button at a wedding! Thankfully, the ladies at Pearl Events were prepared and hooked me up. But I learned my lesson and carry my own now, just in case.

Kind Bars: Kind bars have always been a favorite photographer fuel, and I always have at least one ready for eating in my camera bag. I am most recently addicted to the Chocolate Mint flavor – it’s like a healthier version of the Thin Mint girl scout cookie, and keeps me full until dinner time. :) And the truth is, at particularly hectic weddings, sometimes it can be 10pm before we get to eat. In those cases, I have 2 Kind bars for dinner and call it done.

Chapstick: I have my own lip balms for marketing collateral, and it is *the best*. I am a major lip balm snob, and I have ordered from many different companies over the years. These are hands down my favorites because of how smoothly they glide on, how moisturizing they are, and of course the yummy flavors (Vanilla Tangerine is kind of like a Push-Up pop, the Tropical is like a Pina Colada, and the Peppermint is like a candy cane on steroids!) One of my past brides actually ordered these for her guests’ wedding welcome bags, because she loved them so much too!

Ear plugs: To get those awesome dance floor shots, I’m often running back and forth in front of the band and DJ speakers during the wedding reception. Ear plugs help to dampen the decibels so I’m able to get awesome photos without damaging my eardrums.

Ibuprofen: Have you ever held 2 professional photographer’s cameras at the same time, loaded down with 2 flashes and 2 giant lenses? I swear it can be over 50 extra pounds on my shoulders, body & feet that I carry around all day. Not to mention all my back up gear and all the other stuff listed above. I’ve learned to go ahead and take 2 ibuprofen on my dinner break to make load-out hurt a little less. (Hot tip: One secret I’ve learned over the years is to bring a 2nd pair of shoes. Half way through the wedding, I change shoes and it’s a huge help in preventing sore feet at the end of the night)

Extra contacts: Just in case one falls out! These are the things I obsess about late at night before a wedding when I can’t fall asleep!

Clear Umbrellas: If there is even the slightest hint of rain in the forecast, you can bet I’ll also be packing our two clear umbrellas for our couple.

Sweat-Proof Water Bottle: The Hydraflask is my favorite closed-top water bottle of all time because it is sweat and leak proof, and goes directly into my camera bag side by side with my gear.

Personalized Yeti: This beverage container company hails from my hometown of Austin, TX, so I always love showing my support for them! I chose to get mine personalized through (you don’t have to be a guy to order from them, but I do agree that these would make awesome bridal party gifts). At the end of a 10+ hour weddings, it is waiting in my car filled to the brim with icy coconut water for hydration for the drive  home. I can usually drink the whole 30 oz in about 15 minutes, and after the innumerable 100 degree days in Texas, it’s unbelievable that this thing can still keep your ice cubes solid!

(Source notes: You can get pretty much everything on Amazon these days. I do occasionally like to use smaller specialty sites for more organic/natural products and shopping. Natural Healthy Concepts is a vitamin and supplement website with a blog that features articles by a certified nutritionist on the most important topics in the natural health industry, such as essential oils, blessed thistle, turmeric root, collagen and chyawanpraph.)

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