You guysss! I’m SO EXCITED to introduce our very first GUEST BLOGGER for the Project:Life Photo blog! It’s no secret that I’m TER. RI. BLE. at blogging. Terrible is actually an understatement. It’s embarrassing how bad I am at blogging and marketing my own self! As I sat down over the spring and began brainstorming ways to challenge myself to be better about blogging, I had a light-bulb moment as I realized how many of my very own brides, whose gorgeous faces grace the pages of this very blog, have their very own expertise that could really be helpful to those planning their own weddings currently! Just as each of my clients has believed in us and invested in our business as part of their journey, we’ve decided to do the same and have invited a few of our brides whose expertise are relevant to today’s brides to share some exciting nuggets for us, and I’m so excited to get some of these guest blog posts out there for the world to see!

Our first guest blogger is my sweet October 2014 bride, Brittney Graham!  She and her husband Jonathan are very passionate about clean living and using essential oils in their home. She is going to educate us on some amazing essential oils that can help with different parts of wedding planning, the wedding day and even (*blushes*) the wedding NIGHT! Join me in welcoming Brittney and show her some love in the comments!

Here’s what Brittney has to say…


“If you are reading this, congratulations! You are more than likely in the planning phases of the most magical, romantic, memorable day you will ever experience! There are probably so many thoughts and deadlines rushing through your mind, because you want *DESERVE* the most perfect wedding day! By now I am sure you have envisioned lace and tulle flowing about, gleaming candlelight and shimmering dresses, the touch of your spouse’s lips after you say, “I do,” the aromatic smell of your bouquet, the taste of your perfect meal and dessert, and hearing the laughter and music of such a joyous occasion. Cherish each and every moment of your day! I encourage you to keep a journal or diary of your wedding day. That way you can remember what truly stuck out to you as the most special part of your day.

One way to reconnect with your wedding day is through your sense of smell. The olfactory system is your sense of smell, which is linked to your limbic system, which is in your brain. This part of your brain helps evoke memories and emotions through your sense of smell. Essential oils can help stimulate these same feelings and emotions that you will have on your wedding day. Essential oils are the purest substances on the earth and have been around for longer than we have. They are the life-blood of the plant that are properly extracted and distilled from plants, shrubs, trees, flowers, roots, fruit, rinds, resins, and herbs. Each oil is unique in their own special way and can be used to support nearly every system in your body from your hormones to your immune system. They can offer spiritual support in our prayer life and emotional support as well. I have compiled a good list of oils that would be perfect for planning your big day, the actual wedding day, and of course the honeymoon.

Tranquil roll on combines the perfect trio for a restful, peaceful night’s sleep. Lavender, Cedarwood, and Roman Chamomile are all perfect for helping you rest and shut down your mind after a busy day of last minute prepping. You’ll wake up refreshed and feeling fabulous after running this gem down your spine, on your feet, and across the back of your neck. You’ll sleep like a baby and be ready to walk down the aisle to your better half and dance the night away. It’s a must have for the night before the big day.


Peppermint Vitality and Lemon Vitality essential oils are perfect for waking up. I would recommend diffusing this powerful combination on the morning of your wedding day. It is very refreshing and can literally add an extra pep in your step. You can also add a drop of each in a glass of water for an energizing pick me up. Lemon Vitality would also taste dreamy in a mimosa or sparkling water. If you are a coffee person, add a drop of Peppermint Vitality into your macchiato; it’ll change your life.


Wedding day jitters? No worries, Lavender and Peace and Calming essential oils to the rescue! Lavender is a beautiful scent of floral, clean, fresh, and calm all wrapped up into one. It takes approximately 27 square feet of lavender plants to create one 15 mL bottle of essential oil. Now, that’s a lot of calming! It’s the most versatile and the most popular essential oil in the world.  Peace and Calming essential oil… need I say more? It’s a combination of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy. It’s a gentle, sweet blend that creates a relaxing environment. Stress Away, once again… need I say more? This blend contains the unique combination of lime and vanilla pure, therapeutic essential oils. It’s great worn as a perfume. Simply shake, and apply generously on the back of your neck and your wrists. I like to refer to this oil as “vacation in a bottle.” I would recommend diffusing Lavender and Peace and Calming together or Lavender and Stress Away. You could also rub a couple drops on your wrists, add to an Epsom salt bath, and simply inhale them from the bottle. 



A couple oils that can be worn for emotional support and as a perfume for your wedding day include: Bergamot, Joy, Orange, and Ylang Ylang. All of these are citrus oils or contain citrus oils, which I like to refer to as “happy oils.” Bergamot has a light, sweet citrus aroma that can have calming, yet uplifting properties which makes it a popular, versatile scent. It’s perfect to apply as perfume or to diffuse, and will have you coming back for more with it’s tart yet sweet aroma. Joy has a very sweet, floral scent and invites a sense of togetherness, romance, bliss, and warmth. Its combination of Jasmine, Rose, and Tangerine has all the right hints of citrus and all the right hints of floral jam-packed into one blend. Orange essential oil is cold-pressed from the rind and has a juicy aroma that will have your mind thinking you are in the middle of an orange grove. Orange has a sweet, peaceful aroma that can fill a room with a sense of harmony. Ylang Ylang essential oil is steam distilled straight from the star shaped flowers found on the tropical trees at the Young Living farm in Ecuador.  This oil has a rich, floral scent and invites a sense of romance, which makes it perfect for a wedding day perfume or honeymoon night must have.


Dancing the night away, standing in a beautiful pair of Loboutin’s, and chasing around the ring bearer and flower girl was fun at the time, but you are paying for it the day after. In comes PanAway essential oil and Deep Relief roll on followed by a chorus of angels. PanAway leaves your skin feeling tingly, cool, and refreshing. Deep Relief comes in a convenient pre-diluted roll on that offers a cool, invigorating aroma that’s perfect for post work out. It’s fabulous to take on the honeymoon as well, after a day full of hiking and exploring, zip lining, parasailing, and any other active excursions you decide to do. PanAway and Deep Relief will be your best friends. 


Golden Rod flowering tops are distilled to produce this fragrant oil. This essential oil can help support your circulatory system and has been used traditionally for it’s calming and relaxing aroma. It’s great to use topically mixed with massage oil. Sensation massage oil contains a beautiful blend of very fragrant oils including: Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Jasmine. It helps to inspire feelings of romance and youthfulness and leaves the skin feeling smooth and soft. Pair Golden Rod for him and Ylang Ylang for her and add in the Sensation massage oil and you’ll definitely have fireworks in the honeymoon suite!


I hope your wedding day is all you’ve ever dreamed of and more! Take in every single second and memorize the sights, sounds, and smells.   These products can help you in all kinds of ways, they smell amazing, and they are good for you! You may be wondering where to purchase them or how to go about purchasing them and I’d love to give you more information. Simply click here: and fill out your information and I will contact you! Congratulations on your engagement and best of luck!




About 3 weeks before her wedding, I jaunted down to Anderson, South Carolina to capture Chelsea’s bridal portraits at her parents’ absolutely gorgeous Victorian family home! Even in the middle of renovations, there were a few gorgeous architectural spaces that were beautifully cleared out that made the perfect backdrop for these lovely portraits. Chelsea’s stylish taste of classic mixed with high-fashion led her to this perfectly stunning gown by BERTA. It fit her like a glove, and as soon as it was fastened she radiated the joyful anticipation that only a bride can possess. Her wedding day was magical and we’re so excited to finally be able to share these bridals! Enjoy a few of our favorites of Chelsea’s bridal portraits.



One of my favorite things about being a wedding + lifestyle photographer is getting to be a part of multiple milestones in the life of a family: capturing engagement portraits, documenting the marriage taking place on a wedding day, and then a little ways down the road, the joy of expanding their family as they bring home their first baby! Another one of my favorite things is getting to do all of this for people we love so dearly. Joel and Kayla are clients-turned-friends, whose engagement session and wedding we did in 2013 and 2014, before we were even parents ourselves! As members of the same church, we became involved in the same community group and have so enjoyed doing life with these two over the last few years. They even modeled for me for our nationally-published Christmas Romance styled shoot (cleverly hiding Kayla’s tiny baby-bump behind that gorgeous bouquet).  Their joy was our joy when they told us that they were expecting their first baby, and Kayla and I got pretty excited to force… ahem, encourage… best-friendship on our children when she and Joel found out they were expecting a girl! And I’m not gonna lie, it was nice to know that it was ok to bring Violet with me to their newborn session, even if Violet did insist upon arriving back home that SHE was, in-fact, the real baby 😉 Enjoy some of our favorites of the Bowen’s in-home lifestyle newborn session with their precious new addition Lydia Wren (and for those of you who know them well, yes… Winston makes an appearance in this post).




And for your viewing pleasure… I present to you: Violet, enjoying being the fifth-wheel.