Category Archives: Austin Wedding Photographer

Colorful Modern Cinco De Mayo Wedding at South Congress Hotel Austin

Erin & Tom are incredibly near and dear to my heart! I had the pleasure of getting to know them over the year leading up to their big day while photographing their engagement & bridal sessions. So by the time their wedding weekend arrived on Cinco De Mayo, we were old friends! I feel like when you have a holiday wedding, you really have to embrace it and blow the roof off! Their Cinco De Mayo wedding was literally everything you could hope for (and more!). Complete with colorful floral centerpieces by Bouquets of Austin, a neon wall sign declaring “The Cliffords, Est. 2018”, giant paper flowers, custom papel picado with their names strung along the ceiling, specialty margarita bars, taco hats, sombreros & flower headbands… you name it and this wedding had it! There was no detail unturned, and Pearl Events made sure the entire day was exquisitely decorated and planned!

We started off the day with the lovely bridesmaids in their matching on-theme embroidered shirts, while Lipservice XO got all the ladies looking fabulous in the gorgeous South Congress Hotel suite overlooking the outdoor pool! The girls then changed into their gorgeous mint off the shoulder bridesmaid dresses from Show Me Your Mumu. Erin’s mom got her changed into her stunning dress (can you believe the back and side details?!), then Erin’s dad was treated to an emotional first look with his daughter.

The ceremony took place outside in the courtyard, with a modern circular ceremony arch for the backdrop. Placed at each chair were a rainbow of colorful maracas with a tag reading “Shake On The Kiss”. As the couple exited their wedding ceremony, everyone shook their maracas in celebratory glee! Then guests enjoyed an al fresco cocktail hour by the pool, with T & C initials floating on the top of the aqua blue water, while we took couple’s photos around the exquisitely modern hotel. Matchmaker Band got everyone on the dance floor, and Pearl Events passed out fun themed dance floor props for everyone. The light up wands were a huge hit, and made for some fun and dance shots! The cakes were also in theme, and truly exceptional. The 2nd cake of their dog George in a sombrero was so perfect & literally looked exactly like him!!!

I’d also like to give a special shout out to awesome mother of the bride Debbie (for being one of the coolest moms ever!) and Austin wedding planner Jen Seals with Pearl Events (for always designing and planning exceptional wedding days for her couples!). Thank you to Erin & Tom for allowing me the honor of documenting your colorful Cinco De Mayo wedding at South Congress Hotel!

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Austin Wedding Vendors :: Ceremony  & Reception Venue:: South Congress Hotel // Wedding Coordination :: Pearl Events // Flowers :: Bouquets of Austin // Paper Flowers :: Kitsch Event Styling // Hair & Make-up :: Lip Service XO // Wedding Dress :: Martina Liana // Bridesmaid Dresses :: Show Me Your Mumu // Catering :: South Congress Hotel // CAKE & DESERTS :: SWEET TREETS BAKERY // Ceremony Strings :: Terra Vista Strings // Band :: Matchmaker // Lighting :: Ilios // Invitations & Signage :: The Inviting Pear // Austin Wedding Photographer :: CORY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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Vintage Villas Wedding on Lake Austin :: Victoria & Nate

First of all, huge thanks to Victoria & Nate for allowing me the honor of photographing your Vintage Villas wedding! This gorgeous couple met on the dating app Bumble, so the groom threw a nod to the app via his bumble bee tie and the groomsmen bee socks. I love how many of today’s couples are meeting online! Once Victoria put on her Stone Cold Fox wedding dress, there was no doubt that she was exactly that!

On big occasions such as weddings, it’s only natural to want to be surrounded by a circle of your closest family members. Unfortunately Nate’s father passed, and had left a hole in his heart on big days such as this. Knowing this, Victoria tirelessly searched for an old copy of his dad’s signature from old receipts. Once she found it, she had his signature turned into a custom pin, which she then gifted Nate on the wedding day. Nate was clearly beside himself and couldn’t help but cry. (Yes, I cried too, but I kept it together enough so that I could keep my viewfinder focused!) The signature pen was truly one of the most thoughtful gifts that I’ve seen given on a wedding day.

Nate’s sister acted as officiant with a hilarious “Officiating for Dummies” binder in hand, with the gorgeous Lake Travis views of Vintage Villas in the background. The couple even changed their wedding date so that she could officiate, as she found out she was pregnant and expecting a baby right before the prior date. So the adorable baby came to the wedding at just a few months old!

Instead of the typical three layer wedding cake, the couple choose an alternative dessert – a yummy bundt cake topped with “Mr <3 Mrs”, plus a table full of different flavored mini bundts. The DJ kept this crazy crowd on the dance floor all night long – they even extended the night past the original end time to have more time to dance! Check out the awesome photo of the groom doing the worm!!!

A sparkler exit acted as the wedding finale, as the couple strutted from their reception into married life! Check out this feature on Austin Wedding Day for more photos!

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AUSTIN WEDDING VENDORS :: Ceremony and Reception Venue & Catering: Vintage Villas // Planner: Thirty Day Dash // Wedding Dress :: Stone Cold Fox // Hair & Makeup: Lola Beauty // Florals: Copper & Birch // Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes // DJ: Toast Entertainment // Austin Wedding Photography: Cory Ryan Photography
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Rain Lily Austin Farm Wedding Photographers :: 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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Austin Wedding Photographer Essentials :: What’s In My 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… and what I would consider wedding photographer essentials!

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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Brazos Hall Wedding On Deck in Downtown Austin TX

Molly & Ben’s colorful and modern rooftop wedding took place in the heart of downtown Austin at Brazos Hall. This Brazos Hall wedding was planned to perfection by the fabulous Pearl Events, and was as fun and effervescent as the couple themselves! The bride and groom got ready separately with their family and wedding parties in nearby lofts, then met up for a first look on the downtown streets below. I love the expression on both of their faces when they get to see each other for the first time – pure joy! After tying the knot on the outdoor deck overlooking downtown, the couple had a group cheers with their loved ones before getting the reception started! Bouquets of Austin nailed the gorgeous decor with bright and bold blooms hanging from the ceiling in geometric gold containers. Suspended florals always make stunning wedding decor! Paired with pops of gold sequined tablecloths and a gold cake by Sweet Treets with gold twinkle light backdrop by Ilios, the interior of Brazos Hall was decked to the nines. Love and Happiness band kicked off the high energy party, and even got the bride and groom onstage for a little dance performance before their sparkler exit! Huge congratulations Molly & Ben!

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AUSTIN WEDDING VENDORS :: Ceremony  & Reception Venue:: Brazos Hall // Wedding Coordination :: Pearl Events // Florals :: Bouquets of Austin // Make-up :: Lip Service // Catering :: PINK AVOCADO // CAKE & DESERTS :: SWEET TREETS BAKERY // Lighting :: Ilios  // Band :: Love & Happiness // Austin Wedding Photographers :: CORY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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  • Taz - What a lovely set of photos. The emotions are captured so beautifully in these photos!