Rissell + Chris Allen | Love At First Sight

Raise your hand if you've ever been sitting there watching a sappy rom-com and been like okay, come on now y'all there is no way this kind of love story happens in real life? Yeah, we've all been there. Today, I'm bringing you one of those, too good to be true, happily ever after love stories. Rissell is from the Dominican Republic and came to Raleigh to visit her nephew. She didn't speak very much English but while she was here she met a handsome stranger at a restaurant who asked for her number. Yep, you guessed it. That handsome stranger is now her husband, Chris. 

Rissell said that they swapped text messaged and he asked her on a date. He took her to a holiday party and introduced her to lots of friends and family.

Meanwhile, keep in mind she still didn't know very much English. She says, "he was very patient and tried to teach me English and he learned a little Spanish to speak with me." (I promise I'm not crying.. you're crying!) How stinking sweet is that! 

In the short time I spent with Rissell and Chris I could tell how much they love each other and how much fun they have together. They have been married almost 7 years and still act like newlyweds, totally and completely in love. So of course, I had to ask them what their tips for newlyweds would be. Chris had some absolutely wonderful advice, "Remember the feeling of when you first met and how you were drawn together. Keep those feelings fresh everyday!" Rissell recommended, "Just have fun with your husband, learn the art of compromise, and never give up on each other." Friends and family also gave them wonderful advice. Never go to sleep mad at one another and always remember to put God first in your marriage. You can tell they do these things in their relationship.

Also, just for fun, I asked their favorite date restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory, Fujisan Japanese Steak House, and Los Tres Magueyes Mexican Restaurant topped their list (I will definetely be trying to two local places soon, they look absolutely delicious!) 

Rissell and Chris, I had a wonderful time with you both and I'm wishing you all the happiness in the world! 

 

To see the full album go to lacymatusek.shootproof.com/gallery/RissellandChris

Holly

Even though it was absolutely freezing, I had so much fun photographing Holly and her family at Lafayette Village in Raleigh this weekend. There were so many laughs and snuggles to keep warm!

Can we just take a second to appreciate how perfect and festive their outfits are!? I'm absolutely in love.

There were kisses to be had by all and a couple tickle fights as well..

I am so glad we braved the cold and got the chance to capture these moments. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have possibly found a more loving and fun family!

Zach + Jessica

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the ability to fly to Georgia for a weekend to do an engagement session with an old friend.

I'm thankful that Zach found someone to love him at his goofiest. Jessica and Zach are the perfect combination of sweet and goofy and we had a blast together.

I'm thankful we had the opportunity to go to downtown Senoia, Georgia (where The Walking Dead and various other TV shows and movies have been filmed) for their engagement photos.

I am thankful for this gorgeous alley and Michael Escobar for teaching me to think outside the box and that it's always okay (and encouraged) to have a little fun. 

I'm thankful for Fall weather and Zach's taste in diamonds (isn't Jessica's ring gorgeous!?)

I'm thankful that my job lets me be surrounded by love and laughter. 

I'm thankful for Zach and Jessica's natural chemistry that made my job so easy.

Most importantly, I'm thankful that these two found each other and that we get to celebrate their love and marriage in March! 

Click Here to see their full album!

Should You Do a First Look? The Pros and Cons

One of the biggest parts of planning your wedding now is going on Pinterest, looking up all the gorgeous wedding ideas, and seeing what's best for you and your wedding. A current trend is doing a first look before the wedding but a lot of brides are having a hard time deciding whether or not it is right for them. 

As a photographer, I see the benefits of doing a first look. Intimate photos of the couple during the first look and a portrait session before the ceremony. It also allows you to do family and bridal party photos before the ceremony so the couple has the chance to enjoy their reception rather than being whisked away to take photos. 

However, personally, tradition is a huge part of a wedding. If you are more of a traditional couple, and want the groom to see the bride for the first time walking down the aisle, don't go with the trends.

You always have more of a compromise in the option to do an "around the corner" where the bride and groom can exchange letters or gifts, hold each other's hands, and talk to calm their nerves before the ceremony. 

In the end, do what is best for you and makes sense for you as a couple. Your wedding day is all about you, your relationship, and what best represents your love for one another!