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Love Everlasting- Robbie & Juliann’s Stonewall Golf Club wedding

It was June of 2005 when Robbie and Juliann found themselves walking the campus of Radford University- it was freshman orientation, you see. There they were, each with their respective families, both probably a bit nervous to be so out of their element, embarking on a new adventure. Well, Robbie may have been nervous, but Juliann’s meticulous planning and organizational skills left her no doubt that this was exactly where she was supposed to be. But I digress…

As they strolled the gorgeous campus, taking in the open quads and classic brick buildings, suddenly their parents saw each other and hint of recognition dawned on them. Juliann & Robbie’s parents were old friends, yet somehow their children had never met. Introductions were made, embarrassed smiles were exchanged, and something special was sparked in that moment. And seven years later, Robbie and Juliann found themselves together with their families again, but this time on the veranda of a golf club, pledging to love and protect as long as they both shall live.

Robbie & Juliann, I am so incredibly thankful that you place your trust in me to document your wedding day. Watching you together was FUN- you two are such a team and complement each other in so many ways, picking up where the other leaves off and bettering each other as individuals. Thank you, a hundred times over, for the absolute joy of photographing your love! I hope California and Cancun are treating you well!

We began in Gainesville…

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Stonewall Golf Club Virginia wedding- Abby Grace Photography

Robbie & Juliann opted to do a First Look and I was SO glad they did! Robbie’s reaction was so sweet, and it left us plenty of relaxed time for portraits. The schedule ended up getting a little crunched later on so because we already did their portraits before the ceremony, we didn’t have to worry about losing out on any of these!

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I love it when my grooms do things like this without any sort of prompt :).

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Favorite.

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You guys are ridiculously good-looking. Juliann- you’re an absolute beauty!

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I don’t normally include family photos in the blog post, but I wanted to illustrate just how much I love doing family formals outside!

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Fun bridal party for the win!

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The Persnickety Cakes cupcake flavor choices were coffee and coconut. SO DELICIOUS!

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Details:
Bridal gown- Maggie Sottero, purchase at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York
Bride’s shoes- DSW
Bridesmaid dresses- Alfred Sung
Ceremony/reception venue- Stonewall Golf Club
Florals- Heaven on Earth
Cupcakes- Persnickety Cakes

Happy Thursday!

Eileen Horner - October 4, 2012 - 3:46 pm

Wow! Great pictures.

Brittany Claud - October 4, 2012 - 3:15 pm

I love how simple yet elegant this wedding is!! And I’m lovin’ that last sparkler shot!!!

jamie - October 4, 2012 - 2:01 pm

what a great way to end the night and your picture captured it perfectly! another beautiful wedding Abby!

Rici - October 4, 2012 - 1:46 pm

Ver beautiful bride! I love her dress!! yay for open backs! so elegant! I loved your posing in the bridesmaids+bride pictures!! Very nice! ~ Saluti.

Alicia Lacey - October 4, 2012 - 1:44 pm

The one at the sweethearts tables with the ampersand in the middle? I die… amazing eye, Abby!

Jean - October 4, 2012 - 10:33 am

Beautiful photos of a gorgeous couple. Looks like a fun wedding . Great job on capturing all the details!

molly - October 4, 2012 - 10:30 am

ABBY! Wow! I love this so much!! Everything is so well shot and framed and posed and that last image? FRAMER!

Sarah - October 4, 2012 - 10:27 am

These are gorgeous Abby! I LOVE the last one.
Congrats to the lovely newlyweds! :)

Rebekah Hoyt - October 4, 2012 - 10:17 am

WOW Abby these are gorgeous!! Congratulations Robbie!! So happy for you!

Dani - October 4, 2012 - 9:43 am

I love all of these so much!! I think my favorite though is in the portraits where he is picking her up and kissing her. So gorge. I love the colors too!! The dress color makes the flowers pop so nicely! And her dress! Amazing!!

Wendy {Weswen Design} - October 4, 2012 - 9:42 am

I adore the shots by the lake. Beautiful light. Great pictures as always! These couples are SO lucky to have you!

Lauren @ Every Last Detail - October 4, 2012 - 9:35 am

Gorgeous shots Abby!!!!

Lessons Learned: staying on track

I KNOW I’m not the only person in the world who gets distracted during the day, but I think those of us working from home probably get the worst of it. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times a day I’ve found myself on Twitter, Facebook, B&H, etc. doing nothing in particular, just wasting away minutes of the day. It happens the most when I’m in the middle of a task I don’t particularly want to be doing, like a tedious PhotoShop edit or calculating mileage. But these things have to get done whether I like it or not, and I’ve found a couple of things that have helped me out tremendously:

  • Tea! Having a hot cup of tea next to me is almost a surefire way to make any task more enjoyable. No idea why, but it does! Having that tea in a cute Anthropologie mug is an added bonus:)
  • Taking regular, scheduled breaks. Having a dog is really helpful with this- I take Lily out at 9, 12, and 3, so if for some reason I’m chained to my desk with editing or answering emails, I know I HAVE to get up at least once every three hours to walk the puppy. I try to break it up even more than that by refreshing my cup of tea or grabbing a glass of water- just getting UP from my desk helps shake me awake if my eyes are starting to glaze over.
  • Tracking my progress. I found a really fun pad of “to-do” lists at PaperSource and every morning (well, most mornings) I write down whatever I want to accomplish that day. Sometimes it’s a two-bullet list, other times it’s the entire page. But creating a NEW list every morning keeps me feeling sane- I used to do the “three pages of cramped writing” lists, adding whenever something else occurred to me that I hadn’t done yet, but I found myself getting incredibly overwhelmed by that sort of thing. Break it down into day-by-day lists allows me to see how well I’ve done daily at staying on-task- I love being able to cross off everything on the list and tuck it away in my “completed” pile (yes, I keep them).
  • Beginning with the end in mind. I know that every day when Matt gets home, it’s time for me to step away from the computer and close the door to my office. So in the event that I’m working on something I haven’t been looking forward to, I know that the day will END at 5:30. I don’t know about you guys, but when I start on a project with no end in sight, particularly one I’m not jazzed about, I tend to get discouraged. This also relates to my timetable to starting and finishing a wedding- my first few weddings I ever shot took me SIX WEEKS to edit. Six long weeks of working every night and every weekend. Mind you, this was while I was still working at a desk job, but still. It seemed never-ending. These days I’m much quicker- if I stay on task and work efficiently, I can finish in 3-4 days. Knowing that I have ONE week to complete wedding edits keeping me moving and prevents me from getting behind.

So how about y’all? What are your best practices for keeping yourself moving along?

Abby Grace Photography

Happy Wednesday!

Rici - October 4, 2012 - 1:50 pm

I love the writing a new list each day! That´s exactly my problem, the overwhelming lists… I also have an alarm clock I sometimes set, so in case I got lost on pinterest I´m reminded to go back on track… ~ Saluti.

Carlyn Kachurek - October 3, 2012 - 8:51 pm

such great tips!! Social media is totally the death of all my productivity, so I find that if I don’t even have a web browser open whatsoever, I can just keep plowing through LR and not switch over to Safari where a quick little Facebook check somehow turns into 10 minutes later and all focus is lost. And why is it that a hot coffee or tea totally helps?! But it does.

Susan - October 3, 2012 - 11:17 am

I AM SO BAD AT THIS! I get distracted every 5 minutes at work. Someone told me that if you just rest your EYES it helps so much. So every 15 minutes you need to look away and give your eyes a break from the screen for 30-60 seconds. Your mind doesn’t get a break, but you’re eyes will stop going cross-eyed :)

ashley barnett - October 3, 2012 - 10:23 am

This is SO ME. I am the queen of distractions. Oddly though, I find that I work better in spurts, so if I sit myself down and power through something for 30 mins, I allow myself a 10min break. Then I power through another 30 mins, another 10 min break. It works for me…oh and coffee, coffee works for me too. :)

Jean - October 3, 2012 - 10:22 am

Good advice. If only I could do that with quilting!

Rebekah Hoyt - October 3, 2012 - 9:37 am

Amen! I love all this! I HAVE to have my cup of tea too. I wish I had a dog for the reasons you just shared! The BEST thing that helps me is that I don’t listen to music through an internet browser (like pandora) because if I go to change a song or playlist, immediately I am back on Safari and tempted to check facebook or email. Instead, I only listen to music in Spotify or iTunes on my computer so I can change music without having to open my browser! This helps me a lot so I can stay off the browser and stay on task! :)

Standards of grace

Some days I wake up and I just, plain and simple, don’t want to blog. But I do, because I made a public declaration on my blog last year that I would post five days a week. And the natural human condition causes us to want to appear consistent, to practice what we preach. Every couple of months I’ll skip a day, but I always feel guilty about it, like I’ve broken my word and I’ve let someone down. It’s absurd, really- no one’s going to come after me if I fail to post riveting new information. And yet it sort of feels like I’m playing hooky, like I’m disappointing someone.

This morning was one of those days. I’ve been sitting at my computer for nearly two hours now, starting new sentences with the intention of writing some hard-hitting blog post about the meaning of life, only to get frustrated and press the delete key until my canvas is once again blank. Staring wildly around my office, desperate for inspiration so that I can write SOMETHING for today’s blog. I keep a list of blogging ideas in my desk for this very reason, but nothing on that list really appealed to me today. Maybe it’s the rain drumming on my window, or the fact that I woke with the same crick in my spine that’s been bothering me since Saturday. But today? Today, I’m in a funk. And that’s ok.

I know I’m not the only one who feels the pressure to always be on, always be smiling, and always be my peppy, cheerful self. And most days I fall into it incredibly naturally- I love looking toward the days and weeks to come with bright, hopeful eyes. But sometimes, just sometimes, I want to retreat. To burrow back under the safety of my duvet, turn off my iPhone, and hide out with a good book until my husband gets home. And then I feel guilty about wanting to retreat, guilty about taking this life for granted, for failing to appreciate just how incredibly blessed I am. But Emily Ley’s wall art says it best and gets me every single time I’m down and out: “I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.”

I’m human. We all are. This means I’m going to fall short, I’m going to mess up, and I’m going to have those occasional off days. And it’s ok :). As long as I pick myself back up again and remind myself that those failures DON’T define me. I am more than the number of comments on any individual blog post, I am more than my blog stats, and if I miss a day of blogging and it throws off my average number of hits that week? It’s not the end of the world, not the end of MY world. I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

Happy Tuesday, friends

Rici - October 4, 2012 - 1:58 pm

Thank you for being honest!! we all have these days and I love your reference to that quote! wonderful I have to put it up somewhere. ~ Saluti.

Molly - October 3, 2012 - 9:16 am

Love this post, Abby. You are so inspiring.

Lane Baldwin - October 2, 2012 - 11:13 pm

Love this. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like this sometimes.

Anna D - October 2, 2012 - 11:35 am

Your blog entry could always be… “Today my friends… Today I am having an Abby Day. Because we all need a mental break” :) I used to take “mental health days” at my last job (still do now but they are now called Wine and Grey’s Anatomy Days LOL). Seriously though, its your blog and if you do not want to write on that day you shouldn’t feel guilty. You could just post a photo of one thing that is going on in your life at that moment with no text and leave it to the interpretation of your readers (although if that is not your style that is cool, just a thought). Go enjoy an Abby Day!

Rebekah Hoyt - October 2, 2012 - 9:57 am

Thank you for this! Something I need to constantly remind myself! This Sunday at church, Mark preached on God’s design for the Sabbath – I felt really convicted that I always feel like I need to EARN my time off instead of just enjoying it because time to rest and time away from work is a gift, and it is part of God’s design. I don’t give myself enough credit and being self-employed (and proud of what you do!) makes it even harder to set boundaries. We need to extend grace to ourselves just like we extend it toward other people. You are wonderful! Thanks again for opening up and sharing this :)

Wendy {Weswen Design} - October 2, 2012 - 9:32 am

I adore the saying and her print and it’s SO true! To make it in our busy lives, you have to glide through with a sense of grace and comfort, not perfection. Otherwise, we’d all be crazy!

Hannah Rancourt - October 2, 2012 - 9:30 am

I LOVE this! I also love that photo of you and your hubby!

Alexandra {Heart Love Weddings} - October 2, 2012 - 9:29 am

AMEN! Amazing reminder, Abby!

Monday Mash-Up

IT’S OCTOBER! When I think “October,” I think pumpkins, football games, mustard-colored clothing, roasted pumpkin seeds, corn mazes and apple cider. Also, this year I’m esPECIALLY excited for fall because I think I’m *finally* started to understand fall fashion! Target has this amazing selection of colored skinny jeans and, after overcoming my aversion to skinny jeans, I bought three different pairs in red, purple and pink. And because this year’s fall fashion involves throwing colors together that I never would have thought could match (purple and yellow? who woulda thunk?) I can wear whatever colors together that I want and no one can judge me!

As always, lessons learned/things that transpired over the weekend:

  • Target now carries pale pink skinny jeans. And they’re only $23!! You’re welcome. My next trip back will involve acquiring the mustard ones. Yesss!
  • Lily had a few bouts of “time to upchuck EVERYTHING” last week. It was super fun [sarcasm]. It was especially fun when we couldn’t feed her (due to her nausea) so she scavenged around on the floor for anything she could find- fibers, dust, etc.And then she threw all of that up too. AWESOME.
  • I tried shooting a roll on my Contax during Robbie & Juliann’s ceremony this past weekend, but it was SO LOUD that I could only get a few frames off before I had to stop. Then I shot the rest of the ceremony with my mk3 set to “silent” shutter mode. So that sort of balances things out, right?
  • Robbie & Juliann’s DJ played Gangham Style, so for the second weekend in a row I was trying to photograph + dance, all while laughing hysterically. I’m not sure how well those shots will come out…
  • We had lunch at Jimmy John’s yesterday- it was my first time there. All I have to say about it is that I will never be satisfied with Subway ever again.
  • There’s nothing more hysterical than your six-year-old niece telling you her favorite song is “Careless Whisper.”
  • I’m getting better at this whole “cooking” thing! Last week I made a total of three meals for Matt and I. The most difficult part for me is getting my stuff together enough to get to the grocery store and shop for the entire week’s ingredients. Once I get that taken care of though, it’s smooth sailing. Last week I made fresh stir fry, tacos, and potato latkes. Sooo good!

And here’s a preview from Robbie & Juliann’s wedding! I’m so so so excited to share these on Thursday- y’all are going to drool over their portraits!

Stonewall Golf Club wedding- Abby Grace Photography

Happy Monday!

Sydni Jackson - October 2, 2012 - 5:26 pm

I have been avoiding skinny jeans because the first time I saw them I thought they looked stupid, and could just imagine everyone looking back in ten/twenty years and being like “what were we thinking??” So I tried to avoid that until I also recently starting understanding fall fashion. And when I look around I always feel like I am the only person wearing non-skinnies. Ugh, I think it’s finally time to give in.

Heather - October 1, 2012 - 11:14 pm

JIMMY JOHNS. FYI you can buy their “day old bread” for 50 cents. It’s not really a day old and it’s still amazing. Even by itself.

Brittany Claud - October 1, 2012 - 1:05 pm

Old Navy also has an awesome selection on colored skinny jeans right now! I got skinnies in mustard and kelly green and I LOVE them!! And I seriously cannot wait to see the rest of this wedding!!

Sarah Goodwin - October 1, 2012 - 11:17 am

As much as I love the colored skinny jean look, I just can’t pull it off well! Dang it. But I can pull off a Jimmy John’s sub, so I’ll take instead :) Love the sneak peek!!! And you’re totally going to have to break it down Gangham style for me next weekend…

Rici - October 1, 2012 - 10:26 am

I have a huge aversion to skinny jeans. right now it´s so hard to find cool other ones… thinking of overcoming my aversion as well… but not sure yet. Post a pic of your new skinny. ;) Have a great week!!

Megan Guernsey - October 1, 2012 - 10:11 am

I am SO glad you have finally experienced Jimmy John’s! It really is amazing. Thanks for the skinny jeans tip, I will definitely be visiting Target now. Can’t wait to see the rest of this wedding!

Hannah Rancourt - October 1, 2012 - 10:00 am

Ohmygosh! Jimmy John’s is AMAZING!!!! MY favorites are the #12 Beach Club and the #9 Italian Night Club!!!! The bread is far superior to Subway! I can’t believe you’ve never been there before.

I can’t wait to see more of those wedding shots, she is such a gorgeous bride!

Dani - October 1, 2012 - 9:56 am

Ahh so much to say!! First, I’m going to target today and totally going to attempt to get over my fear of skinny jeans – and DSW because I deserve a new pair of boots. Done and done. Second, I so wish they had played gangam style at my wedding this past weekend!! Third, the silent shutter totally makes up for the loud one. And lastly – I felt the same way when I went to Jimmy Johns. I think it is their bread. Or the fact that by the time I fill up my drink and grab my chips, my sandwich is there waiting for me. Freaky fast.

A pretty preview

On Wednesday evening I had the absolute joy of working with Rachel of Floral & Blooms to shoot some of her gorgeous bouquets for her new website! These blooms were GORGEOUS. I shot most of the session on film so we’ll have to wait until I get my scans back to see the entire session, but here’s a digital preview to hold you over!

Floral & Blooms shoot- Abby Grace Photography

Happy Friday!

Rici - October 1, 2012 - 10:27 am

Super gorg pic+dress+floral awesomeness! can´t wait! ~ Saluti.

Rebekah Hoyt - October 1, 2012 - 8:40 am

OMG I LOVE THIS!!!

Debbie Munoz - September 30, 2012 - 6:54 am

Beautiful! I can’t wait to see more from these two creative and talented ladies, Rachel the Florist and Abby the Photographer.

Annamarie - September 29, 2012 - 2:35 am

LOVE this abby!! So beautiful! I can’t wait to see the rest! :)

Brittany Claud - September 28, 2012 - 11:59 pm

Ah!! Cannot wait to see the rest on film! I LOVE seeing your new film work!

Hannah Abrams - September 28, 2012 - 10:46 pm

looks AMAZING! Rachel is a superstar!

Lee bornstein - September 28, 2012 - 3:56 pm

GEORGOUS flowers

Lee bornstein - September 28, 2012 - 3:55 pm

GEORGOUS flowers…can’t wait for more

Terri - September 28, 2012 - 3:46 pm

Wow! I can’t wait to see the rest! Abby and racheal, your work is phenomenal!

Jean - September 28, 2012 - 3:28 pm

Beautiful. Looking forward to seeing more!

Dani - September 28, 2012 - 11:24 am

Gorgeous shot!! Her dress is so awesome! Can’t wait to see more!

Rachel Ziegler - September 28, 2012 - 9:51 am

AH!! I love it!!!

Lauren - September 28, 2012 - 9:27 am

YAY!!! :) You go Rachel

Mia Bjerring - September 28, 2012 - 9:14 am

Gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the rest! Have a fabulous weekend! :)

Anna K. - September 28, 2012 - 9:03 am

So pretty!!!