A Watercolor Inspired Vintage Styled Shoot | Wedding Wednesday

I know it’s Tuesday, but I’m so excited to finally share these photos that I just couldn’t wait any longer! This was my first time organizing a styled shoot, and it was quite the learning experience. I’ll share some tips from what I learned another day, but one of the most important things for the success of this afternoon was the wonderful team of vendors I had! I couldn’t have done any of this without them! I’ll share vendor credits at the end🙂

Putting together a styled shoot is something I’ve been wanting to do since I first launched this business, but I’ve always been too scared. I would see the ones that other photographers that I look up to have put together, and I would think to myself “There’s no way mine will ever be that pretty.” Self-doubt can be such a dream killer. After some encouragement from my sweet husband, I finally decided to take the leap this past winter. I started planning everything…and then ended up with an upper respiratory infection that I just couldn’t kick, so I had to cancel.

This worked out in my favor though, because it gave me more time to curate the vision of this shoot, and to find a wonderful team to work with to create it. I started thinking back to my own wedding, and wondered what I might do differently today if we had to do it over again. One of the big things was that I wanted to include more of our faith through the wedding. This was something we struggled with being able to include in new and creative ways, and I wanted to include some ideas in this shoot. I also thought about the fact that we had a typical “barn wedding”- complete with burlap and mason jars. Now, this is totally ok if it’s something you love! I just wanted brides to see that you can still get married in a beautiful barn without having to include those elements. So we got a little creative, and after some thought, we decided on a gorgeous watercolor theme!

I had such a great time exploring the grounds of The Vintage Inn, and getting to know Tracy, the wedding coordinator on site. Amanda, my new friend and wedding coordinator did an amazing job of helping to style everything, and prevented me from doing anything too crazy at 32 weeks pregnant🙂 I can’t wait to do this again soon!

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That bouquet! Michelle you’re amazing!

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One of the ways we included the Lord creatively in this shoot was through a God’s Knot. Seth and I tied one of these during our own ceremony in lieu of a unity candle. The knot is based on Ecclesiastes 4:12- “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” I made the one for this shoot, but you can also buy one and learn more about it here.

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Aren’t these two the cutest!? I loved how go with the flow Kathryn and Nate were- especially since it got cold fast!

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Kathryn you’re gorgeous!

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We also got creative by including a foot washing ceremony🙂 I’ve always loved seeing these included in ceremonies and the symbolism of having a humble, servant heart towards your spouse.

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Vendor Credits:

Venue | The Vintager Inn

Calligraphy & Stationary | Capital Calligraphy

Florals | One Sweet Day In May

Props and Rentals | Paisley & Jade

Cake | Sorby Sweets

Event Planner | Southern Charm Events & Planning

Dress | Tiffany’s Bridal

37 Weeks | Bumpdate

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Well, life got in the way and we fell WAY behind on these bump dates. It’s crazy how much things have changed since last time! We’re only about 3 weeks away from meeting our little guy!

How Far Along:
37 weeks

Size of baby:

A winter melon (a what?)

Total Weight Gain:
About 30 pounds

Stretch Marks:
I thought I was in the clear, then I woke up one morning and BAM there they were. And to make matters worse, they have now broken out in tiny red bumps that itch like crazy, so I’ve been slathering my belly in coconut oil before bed every night. Has anyone else experienced this? No one warned me about this craziness.

Maternity Clothes:
I haven’t worn real pants in over a week, mostly because of the itchy belly problem. The full paneling on my maternity jeans makes the itching worse, so I’ve just been wearing leggings and various tunics. Saturday I had to go and get a few short sleeve items to get me through the next few weeks since the weather is getting warmer around here🙂 Luckily I caught them on sale!

Wedding Rings:

Still on!

Movement:

Baby boy is super active! It’s so crazy to see his hand/foot move across my belly!

Sleep:
Kind of so-so. Some nights I sleep all night long, others I’m up every 30mins to an hour.

What I miss:

Still bacon and pepperoni. Bending over like a normal person. Not running into things with my belly.

Food Cravings:
Sweets. All of the sweets. Sonic milkshakes have been my thing lately.

Food Aversions:
Nothing really too intense, but fishy odors and rotten foods bother me more than usual.

Symptoms:
Well, what we thought was Sciatica turned out to be underlying muscle issues, so I was in physical therapy for awhile. Some of that is still bothering. Also, Braxton Hicks. Turns out as of last week I’m also 4cm dilated, and 90% effaced, which is kind of cool🙂 Hoping we get to meet this sweet boy sooner rather than later.

What I did/got for baby:

We have gotten SO MUCH. Our baby shower was amazing; I’ll be blogging about that soon. We pretty much have everything we need except for a few small things. Our hospital bags are also packed and ready to go!

What I’m looking forward to:

I have a doctor’s appointment Thursday morning to see if I’ve progressed any more. I’m kind of hoping there will be some news, because honestly, I’m ready to have this baby!

Best Moment of the Week:

One of my students came running in on May 1st and said, “MISS STACEY! IT’S MAY! YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY!!” I love these guys🙂

Prayer Requests:

Prayers for a quick and easy delivery of a healthy baby. And that Seth won’t be far away at school or work when I go into labor🙂

Kenny & Krystin | Maternity

It always amazes me how the people in our lives tend to change with each new season. Krystin and I went to high school together and were on the yearbook staff together my sophomore and junior year before she graduated. Since then, we’ve talked on and off, but then we recently reconnected when we BOTH found out we were expecting around the same time! Shortly after we shared our announcement, Krystin messaged me and let me know she and Kenny would be making an announcement of their own in just a few short weeks!

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and this sweet couple found out they are also expecting a sweet baby BOY! We spent some time at Deep Run Park on a recent chilly afternoon to capture this exciting time in their lives. Enjoy some of my favorites from their mini maternity session to welcome baby Kellan James into their family!

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24 Weeks | Bumpdate

2015-02-01_0001How crazy is it that baby B is already half-way done? This whole experience is going by WAY faster than I ever could have anticipated! Here’s a little update:

How Far Along:
24 weeks

Size of baby:

An ear of corn🙂

Total Weight Gain:
Still at about 10 pounds.

Stretch Marks:
Still none. Praying that doesn’t change!

Maternity Clothes:
Last weekend I finally had to give in to the fact that the hairband through the button hole just wasn’t working anymore- not to mention getting extremely uncomfortable. So, Seth and I headed out to the mall so I could invest in some maternity jeans. BEST. DECISION. EVER. They are so comfy! I also picked up a maternity sweatshirt, and ordered a few pieces from a sale on ZuLily.

Wedding Rings:

Still on!

Movement:

Seth was finally able to feel baby Isaac move! He said he felt it very lightly, but I’m glad he could finally feel something🙂 Our sweet guy is definitely going to be a little fireball based on how often he likes to flip around.

Sleep:
Pretty terrible right now. I am tired ALL the time, and it’s next to impossible to find a comfortable sleep position at night.

What I miss:

Still bacon and pepperoni.

Food Cravings:
Still steaks. And chocolate covered fruit. Really, chocolate covered anything.

Food Aversions:
Still anything with a strong smell.

Symptoms:
Sciatica! It’s been terrible. A frequent bathroom trips🙂

What I did/got for baby:

We’re all signed up for Bradley birth classes that start this week- SO excited! And Seth has been reading to my belly, which is pretty much the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

What I’m looking forward to:

I have a doctor’s appointment Wednesday, so I’m looking forward to making sure everything is still going well. We’re also getting closer to the baby shower, and I’m so excited!!

Best Moment of the Week:

Seth feeling baby kicks🙂

Prayer Requests:

Thank you all SO much for your prayers! We finally have a plan for once Isaac makes his entrance into the world, which is a huge relief. I would so appreciate your prayers that this pain would go away, and that I could get a good night’s sleep🙂

Julie and Zach | A Backyard Anniversary Session

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It’s been an entire year since I’ve seen these gorgeous faces. A YEAR! If you frequent the blog, you’ve seen Julie and Zach lots of times. These two are my favorite to go to when I have a need to take some adorable photos, but I lost that luxury when they got married and Zach got stationed in Colorado. These two have such a chemistry between them that it makes even a short session such an easy process.

They came to visit for the holidays and had just recently celebrated their FIRST(!) anniversary, so Julie and I schemed to fit in a short session before they headed back home. Seth and I went to visit them at Zach’s parents’ house so the boys could do some target shooting together, so Julie took that time to steal Zach away for a few moments before the sun went down. What these two accomplished in 20 minutes in the frigid cold makes me wish I looked that good in front of a camera🙂

After this, we enjoyed some well deserved hot cocoa and said our sad “see you later’s.” It stinks having your best friend live 24 hours away! I miss you two already! Can’t wait to see you again in the Spring!

Enjoy some of my favorites from their session!

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You guys…please stop being so cute. I can’t handle it!

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21 Weeks | Bumpdate

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Well, it’s been awhile since our last update! The bump has grown so much and it’s finally starting to feel real that there’s a baby in there🙂 Read on to see some of the excitement we’ve been experiencing since the last update!

How Far Along:
21 weeks, 2 days

Size of baby:

A carrot! We’ve come so far size wise🙂

Total Weight Gain:
A little over 10 pounds.

Stretch Marks:
Still none. Praying that doesn’t change!

Maternity Clothes:
I’ve been getting creative here, because I don’t want to spend a lot on a whole new wardrobe. I acquired a bunch of things from some friends, and I’ve picked up a few pieces myself here and there. I’ve been wearing my normal jeans with a hairband looped through the button hole and around the button, with long shirts. Here’s to hoping that lasts awhile longer! ZuLily actually has a really great sale on Pink Blush clothes right now, so I may see if I can score a few things off there as well.

Wedding Rings:

Still fitting!

Gender:
It’s a boy!! Isaac, to be specific🙂 I’m a little worried about knowing what to do as a boy mama down the road, but I’m excited to see what this adventure brings🙂

Movement:
Little guy is super active in the mid afternoon and at night. I can feel his kicks and jabs and they’re getting stronger, but not quite strong enough for daddy and the outside world to see.

Sleep:
I have more energy than I did in the first trimester, but I also have terrible insomnia. I’m up for bathroom trips a few times a night, and I’m waking up every 30 minutes to an hour. It’s a little frustrating. I’m also having a terrible time of getting comfortable at night.

What I miss:

Still bacon (although I’ve had nitrate free here and there). And still pepperoni.

Food Cravings:
Steak. Big steaks. Seth says this means this baby is 100% boy and 100% his offspring🙂

Food Aversions:
Anything with strong smells. Fish, Mexican, etc. Seth’s mom got him some beef jerky for Christmas and I had to leave the room every time he opened the bag.

Symptoms:
Smell sensitivity. Exhaustion. Round ligament pain and just general body soreness. But on the bright side, the nausea is mostly gone!

What I did/got for baby:

We’ve been blessed with so many things for this sweet baby boy! Seth’s mom got us a crib and mattress, and my dad and stepmother got us a stroller, car seat, and diaper bag for Christmas. A friend of ours has a little boy who just turned one, so she gave us all of his baby clothes (so many)! Then we went to a secondhand kid’s store over the weekend and picked up a few low priced cloth diapers. This sweet baby is already so well taken care of!

We also finished up two registries over the weekend- Amazon and Baby’s ‘R’ Us. I’ve also been journaling for baby. More on that later.

What I’m looking forward to:

Being able to share these baby kicks with Seth and the rest of our family. Beginning to make the guest list for the baby shower that my sweet friend Lauren is throwing for us!

Best Moment of the Week:

Scoring 4 used cloth diapers for $35. If you’re a cloth user, you know that doesn’t even cover the cost of two brand new ones. These were in perfect condition and pristine clean! I also really enjoyed making the registries with Seth. We had fun scanning cool baby gadgets🙂

Prayer Requests:

Still praying about to do with work after baby comes. We would also appreciate prayers as we try to find a house that we can buy with one income. I personally could use prayers for better sleep🙂

Love Stories Contest | Be A Model

It’s that time of year y’all! This is when we start getting a hardcore case of the snuggles, that warm fuzzy feeling starts to grow inside, and we fall a little bit more in love with the special people in our lives. I am SO excited to announce this amazing giveaway to celebrate this season!

I’ve been working on putting together a little styled shoot for the winter season, and it’s going to be amazing! The shoot will be held at The Vintager Inn, and will be styled by myself and Amanda of Southern Charm Weddings and Events! We’ll be having a rustic winter wedding theme! When I started thinking about who would be the best model for the shoot, I realized I didn’t want to just find a pretty face for the day- I want a REAL couple to receive some gorgeous photos in a beautiful setting! With that in mind, I am pleased to announce Stacey Dinch Photography’s first:

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Here’s how to enter:

– Email a recent photo of you and your sweetheart, along with your unique Love Story to stacey@staceydinch.com (the more details the better!)

– Please also include your dress size in the email so that we know what size we will need if you win!

– Once reviewed, your photo and story will be posted to SDP’s Facebook page for viewing by the public. Be sure to share your photo with family and friends- they will be able to vote for your photo as soon as it’s posted! The couple with the most votes by December 10th will win! Winner will be announced by December 12th.

The Fine Print:

– Couple must be married or engaged at the time of shoot

– Couple must be able to be in New Kent, VA and available the afternoon of December 20th

– Couple must be willing to sign a model release as photos will be submitted for possible publication

I can’t wait to read your story!

The Little Things | Personal

I haven’t written a “Little Things” post in awhile! Today was supposed to be a bumpdate, but night fell before we had a chance to snap a photo for this week, so that will be coming tomorrow instead. Phew! These early sundowns are killer. I feel like I rarely get anything done past 5:30pm now. Anyone else struggling?

I thought maybe I could serve a little pick me up by sharing some of the things I’ve been loving lately!

Reading:

Leaving Time

We all know I’m a HUGE fan of Jodi Picoult, and this book isn’t changing that. My book club chose to read Leaving Time this month, and I certainly was NOT complaining. I’m about halfway through and loving it! If you’re looking for a good book to curl up with on this chilly winter evenings, this one has my vote.

Listening To:

Yes, I am one of those people who start listening to Christmas music wayyyyy before the “official” start of the season. I can’t help it! It’s such a joyful time of year🙂 This is one of my new favorite Christmas songs!

Eating:

When I was struggling with nausea at the beginning of this pregnancy (which, thankfully, is starting to subside), I got hooked on these popsicles. The strawberry and black cherry are my absolute favorites!

Drinking:

Best. Hot Chocolate. Ever!

I found this at Fresh Market! They has pumpkin spice flavored ones as well, but I wasn’t really sure how that would taste in chocolate form, so I stuck with peppermint. It’s delicious! I love that it’s all natural and that there aren’t a lot of unnecessary ingredients- y’all know how I am about that. Also, I’m a sucker for cute packaging, and who can resist hot chocolate mix in a milk bottle?

Wearing:

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I got these fleece lined maternity legging from Destination Maternity a few weeks ago, and I have practically been living in them. They are the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn, and they are soooo warm! Now that I’ve reached the point where my jeans are getting a little snug, these things are life savers!

What are some of your favorite things right now?

11 Weeks | Bumpdate

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Well, this bumpdate is a little late in the week, but we’re 11 weeks now! So exciting! So, fun fact: I had no idea my belly would pop so early. I thought it wouldn’t be noticeable for another month or two, but it’s definitely starting to be noticeable that there’s a baby in there, not just a few extra helpings of bread.

I’m really excited to be doing these updates weekly, for a number of reasons actually. First, Seth gets to practice his shooting skills. Second, I’m forced to be in front of the camera, which is something I really am terrible at. And third, we get to keep our families that are spread out all over the US in the loop! So, here are some fun facts for this week:

How Far Along:
11 weeks, 3 days

Size of baby:

A fig? I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually SEEN a fig so I have no clue how big that is. I’ve also seen brussels sprout as a comparison.

Total Weight Gain:
That’s a great question. I’m prettttty sure our bathroom scale is broken, because it says I’ve LOST weight, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

Stretch Marks:
Not yet. Hopefully it stays that way!

Maternity Clothes:
I’ve bought a long sleeve shirt and a sweater dress from Target, and have been living in leggings. My pant all still fit, the leggings are just more comfy. As far as shirts, it’s not so that my belly has grown a lot, but more that…eh hem…”other” parts of me have grown causing more than a few of my shirts to get a little tighter.

Wedding Rings:

No problems yet. Here’s hoping I don’t swell too much🙂

Gender:
I won’t lie, I really want a baby girl. But based on Seth’s family history, odds are this sweetpea is a boy, which scares me a little bit. We shall see.

Movement:
None yet.

Sleep:
Up a few times a night for bathroom trips, and I’ve been really restless lately. I’ve also been SO TIRED ALL THE TIME. Like, I’ve been in bed before 8:30pm on more than one occasion.

What I miss:

Bacon. And pepperoni. And goat cheese. And cold deli meat.

Food Cravings:
It’s not a strong craving, but I’ve been thinking about strawberries a lot lately.

Food Aversions:
None yet.

Symptoms:
I had a LOT of nausea in the first few weeks, but that seems to be subsiding now. I’m super sensitive to smells (even more so than I was before), resulting in me gagging over the smallest of smelly things. Also, tired. All. the. time.

What I did/got for baby:

I haven’t bought anything yet, but I’ve been doing a lot of researching on cloth diapers, glass baby bottles instead of plastic, and breastfeeding/pumping. I read a lot.

What I’m looking forward to: 

We have an appointment on the 19th for our next ultrasound, and we get to hear baby’s heartbeat this time! We also get to see our actual doctor instead of the nurse practitioner which makes me happy🙂

Best Moment of the Week:

We dressed the baby bump up for Halloween for a creative way to share the news with my students. It was fun to see them try to figure out “Why does Miss Stacey have a pumpkin on her belly?”

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Prayer Requests:

We’re still trying to figure out what the plan will be as far as staying at my day job once baby arrives. Prayers for direction and clarity in that area would be wonderful, as well as for peace from the stress that subject has us feeling.

A Little Something… | Personal

Well friends, Seth and I have some news…

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I did NOT think I would be writing this post so early on in our marriage. I’ve always had this tremendous fear that we would struggle when we finally decided to start a family due to my constant struggle with my Colitis. I’ve been told by a lot of people that it was an irrational fear, but with the extreme weight loss and malnutrition I experience during bad flare ups, it was a real possibility.

Back in June we started talking about our future plans, and made the decision to put the timeline of kids completely in God’s hands, and have the faith that when this was supposed to happen, it would happen. In July, I took two positive home pregnancy tests. When we went to the doctor to confirm, they informed us they had been false positives, possibly the result of the a chemical pregnancy.

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I of course immediately thought this was a bad sign, and that it was the beginning of the struggle. Oh how wrong I was. The weekend before I left for the Pursuit 31 conference in September, I took another test. It was positive. So I took another. Same result. Seth happened to be out fishing that night, and there I was, with these two positive tests. I’ll be honest y’all- I ugly cried like I have never ugly cried before- and it was not out of excitement. I was TERRIFIED. I was so prepared to have to fight for a family, that I was completely unprepared when the opportunity presented itself again. We went to the doctor for a blood test confirmation the next day, and found out that we are, in fact, having a baby🙂

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I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. That everything is perfect. It’s not. But then, when is it ever? We see these perfect photos on Pinterest, Instagrams of perfectly happy parents-to-be, and Facebook statuses that ooze with giddyness at the thought of a new baby- and we start to wonder if something is wrong with us. And then I realize we do the same thing. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that social media is a highlight reel of life, and I don’t discount any of that. I love seeing happy moments and I love sharing my own, but its easy to get lost in the comparison.

Don’t get me wrong- WE ARE SO EXCITED! But we are also so scared, so nervous. And it’s totally okay to feel that way. However, we also know that God is faithful, so faithful. We know that all the things we worry about will work out in his time. We just have to be patience, and learn to let go. That is sometimes the hardest part.

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The easiest part is that I get to do it all with this sweet guy:

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Side note here- it is REALLY hard to be a photographer in cases like this because you want so badly to take photos like this yourself. So, sometimes you just have to set your camera up and get a good friend to take photos who doesn’t mind a little direction. Alexis, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help on these! Thank you for your patience with me explaining how to do things you probably already know how to do. Seth and I really appreciate you giving us some of your time to get these photos taken🙂

SO. Now we get in to the information in sure you guys a dying to know!

1. How long have you known? We found out for sure we were pregnant about a week after our anniversary, so late September. It’s been really hard to keep this to ourselves🙂

2. Due date? May 25th, 2015. If Baby Blizzard cooks any later, I might be sharing a birthday🙂

3. How far along are you? 10 weeks.

4. Will you find out the gender? Uhm, YES! I don’t do well with surprises, and I’m a planner. I want to know as soon as we can!

5. How are you feeling? Pretty terrible honestly. I am nauseous and exhausted ALL the time. But I’ve adjusted and just take lots of naps on the weekends. Snacking often throughout the day seems to be helping to curb the nausea. I’m also open to any suggestions.

6. Are you going to blog about your pregnancy? Yes. I am so excited to do this! I’m planning on weekly “bumpdates.”

7. Are you still going to shoot weddings? YES! Definitely. I will book weddings up through the middle of April, then I will resume booking/shooting in September. I’m also going to be starting to offer family sessions again because, quite frankly, I’ve missed them.

Feel free to ask more questions- I’ll answer as fast as I can!

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