I walked myself down the aisle...

... and it was @*$#ing awesome. 

Heads up... this personal post has a little tiny bit of profanity and is a bit sassy.
The opinions I share about traditions here are solely mine and I definitely respect any bride's decision to find and follow the traditions that are meaningful to her. 


It's been more than three months since our fabulous wedding day and we're about to take off on our honeymoon (finally)! 

If there was one wedding planning decision that I was firm in from the beginning (even before we lived together and wedding planning was in the scope of reality) was the ceremony processional. I knew exactly how that was going to play out and I was very sure about it! 

I wanted to honor my grandparents because all four of them played a huge role in raising me and they still are a massive part of my life daily. I knew I wanted our grandparents to have their shining moment walking down the aisle and they did. They were followed by our parents, Kyle's brother and my cousin who represented my brother who passed away in 2010. Because we had no bridesmaids and groomsmen, our families made up the entirety of our processional! 

At nearly every wedding I photograph, the bride is walked down the aisle by her father or her parents. I love photographing those moments and for my brides, they are really special. 

Admittedly, I struggle with keeping my own personal wedding preferences to myself but that's one moment where my brain feels so torn and I'm glad that I have to be silent!  I'm absolutely thrilled for my bride and just so moved at how sweet that moment is for her. She usually looks up at her dad with admiration and love while they move down the aisle together. Then typically the officiant asks who gives this woman to be married to this man... her parents reply... 

AND IN MY HEAD I SCREAM. SHE DOES!!!!! SHHHHEEEEEEE DOOOOOESSSSSS. HER! 

Can we take time to consider eliminating that line from ceremony scripts???

But I digress. 

My parents are amazing. I love them to pieces. I danced (badly) with my step-dad at the reception. I spent the entire morning with my mom. My decision to walk myself down the aisle wasn't really even about them. It was about Kyle and I entering into this marriage together which is why he walked down the aisle right before me instead of entering from the side. We both walked in solo and walked out together. 

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I thought I would be really nervous and shaking as I walked in by myself but I actually felt like a badass bitch. It's a very emotionally charged and adrenaline pumping moment. You're fully aware that you're about to take walk that you will only do once. That's one of the moments that I wish I could go back and relive. It helped that we waked down the aisle to the queen of feisty feminism, Cyndi Lauper, and my getting ready playlist was comprised mostly of Miley's Bangerz album. 

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As a proud and loud feminist, I have a big problem with the idea of someone "giving me away" to my husband. By walking myself down the aisle I made a silent but powerful statement that this was my decision and my decision only. It was empowering, it was a bit different, it was meaningful for us. 

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I did go a bit traditional and choose to wear a veil and keep my face covered during the entirety of the ceremony. For me, this represented a little bit of a comfort barrier between me and the rest of the 200 people staring at me + it looks freaking awesome. 

I'm not sure if any of our guests were surprised by my decisions because it's pretty true to me. If you've considered walking yourself down the aisle, of course I highly recommend it. I'm a huge believer in finding the traditions that mean something to you and not just following antiquated rules because society says so. 

I would love to hear what traditions you chose to honor and which ones you ditched in the comments! Leave me a note! I love hearing from you. xoxo 

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Images from our wedding by Melania Marta Photography

Cortney + Lonnie | MARRIED

BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLISTIC, VINTAGE AUTOMOTIVE INSPIRED WINTER WEDDING 

Cortney and Lonnie were married on Saturday amidst a ridiculous cold-front moving into the North East. It was the coldest Veteran's Day on record in our part of Pennsylvania and honestly, I am so impressed with their entire wedding party and their kind families! Not one person complained about the temperatures even though we did all of their portraiture outside on Cortney's family farm. One of my favorite moments of the day was Cort's reaction when I showed her a photo on the back of my camera. She squealed and said so joyfully, "OH MY GOSH, WE LOOK LIKE FANCY PEOPLE." Yes, brides and grooms. You are your best selves on your wedding day! Fancy and beautiful and dapper and stunning. Enjoy some of my favorites from Cortney and Lonnie's November wedding day. 

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: Savannah Smith Photography | DJ & VIDEOGRAPHY: Penguin Productions | HAIR: Ashley Eberly and Kylie Shoff | MAKEUP: Cortney Johnson