Best Wedding Barn Venue in the Southeast 2017

I’ve attended more than my fair share of weddings throughout the southeast over the years. Sadly, only as a guest most often and a few bridesmaid situations but never as the bride.  These events were in locales that varied from beaches, to ornate historic churches, to mountainside retreats, and other various locations.  My favorite recent wedding was down in a little town in Laurel Hill FL over in the Florida PanHandle called  “The Barn at Water Oaks“. Unlucky for me, my phone was at 7% to start for the morning so I didn’t take any photos that day.  The 400 guest barn wedding venue is only 1 hour away from the popular Destin, FL beach destination and 10 minutes away from the relaxing Lake town of Florala, AL. I can imagine this would keep most guests happy to consider this a vacation wedding!!

I have selected this venue as the “Best Wedding Venue of the Southeast for 2017“.  They have earned it and I hope they continue to add on and provide 5 star service to their guests!!

top rated barn wedding venue southeast
The Barn Wedding Venue at Water Oaks in Florida – Copyright Stephanie Rhodes Photography

Let’s talk about what perks this place has: Unlike other wedding barns in the Southeast this location allows up to 400 guests to be in the indoor/reception area with either air conditioning or heat.  I’m sure if you are familiar with “barn” type venues having the ability to climate control is of substantial importance. If it decides to rain on your wedding day, they’ve got you “covered” without Continue reading

Getting Married while on Horse a Current Wedding Trend of 2012

Today’s wedding break out of the traditiona.  Need some ideas on current fashion, check out some fashion blogs on the net. When you decide to get married while on horseback you need to think of a couple of things first:

(Photo below by James Hazelwood of Kate Taylor riding her horse. Read more about her life at lucysquest.blogspot.com)

wedding bride horse riding trend of 2012
A memorable entrance by the bride to her wedding while on horse is a new trend for 2012.
  • Is their a stable on the property of your venue?
  • Does your venue even allow horses on the property?
  • What color/breed of horse do you want?
  • How experienced are you as a rider? Do you need some lessons to get comfortable again?
  • Make sure your dress is properly seated so it is no stepped on or pooped on.
  • Make sure you practice your entrance and exit in full dress before the actual wedding.  Practice allows you to think of things you might never have imagined if you had not done it.
  • Ride the horse at least once that you will be using on your wedding day so you are familiar with each other.
  • Find a photographer that is gifted at shooting horses and you should be fine for the wedding.

Suggestions for the logistics of the horse wedding. I would suggest just the bride come in on the horse, dismount, then get married while standing. This prevents numerous variables from happening including kicking of the wedding guests in the face, the awkward moment while the horse is pooping during the ceremony, and that moment when the horse decides to eat something it should not.

Now if you need some stylish equastrian clothes for sale for your reception gear, then hop to it. Who says you need to wear a trraditional white dress in the reception.  Have some fun with it.

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Wedding albums that capture the best of your wedding

We all want great wedding photography during our big day but how you showcase these gorgeous photos afterward can be challenging.  You can always go the dirt cheap and simple route.  Places like VistaPrint and Walmart let  you create a cheap album for very little.  But, I’m guessing you want something that has a little more  flair.  I was wondering around today and ran into these guys over in the UK that do desginer wedding albums (“Photo Productions” is the name).  They have three different styles to choose from to fit any style of wedding:

wedding albums
Wedding Albums that capture the essence of your wedding

After uploading your photos our expert graphic designers get to work. Customise as much or as little as you want when ordering and they’ll knit your images into a stunning visual photo book. They do the hard work and it’s all included in the price. Continue reading

One of my favorite Destin, FL wedding photographers – Sheena Ratliff

Sheena Ratliff from Lens Flare Photos has amazed me with her talent and photography.  I’ve seen her grow over the years into an inspiring Destin, FL wedding photographer.  She has an eye for capturing the unfiltered emotion of a moment, the silly laugh, the tender moment, & the true relationship of a couple.  Talent bundled with passion creates a photography that can transform any of its subjects into art.

Destin wedding photography
Bride sticks her tongue out at groom - Destin wedding photography

I added a video from her site highlighting one of the military wedding photo shoots she did below.  You need to understand that in this area we have a large number of Air Force personnel by being located close to the world’s largest Air Force base (Eglin Air Force Base).  She has a gift of working with military couples and understanding the kind of struggles they will face with yearly deployments and long distance relationships.  If you are looking for a photographer in the Ft. Walton Beach, Destin, Navarre, Pensacola, FL area I would highly recommend her work.

She also displays her clients work using this cool video software called animoto.  It allows her to easily upload a set of pictures, choose a song, a let the software do the rest to create a stunning presentation of her work.  What other tools do wedding photographers use to help show a client their portfolio?  What are your personal favorites?

Justin and Nicole…. – Click here to watch the video at vimeo.

If you have time feel free to browse the different videos posted on her blog.  I’m sure they will make you smile and appreciate even the simple things in life.