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Everything you need to know about planning a Staunton Wedding, and all the vendors that can make your dream day happen.

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wedding portraits of couple exchanging vows at their home in harrisonburg virginia

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Emily and Heston hosted their closest friends and family for their wedding at their own property in the Harrisonburg VA area. They painstakingly cared for the landscaping, finalized the layout of their new garage for the reception, and made sure the property was wedding photography ready. Their hard work paid off! They pulled off their sweet and simple wedding ceremony with the help of lots of friends and family.

An intimate reception, with canine guests!

If you recall from their engagement session, they had promised their dogs would be in attendance. They were the highlight of the reception! They even snuck out on the dance floor for first dance, and had a seat at the head table for toasts. As an owner of four rescues myself, I was loving the way they roamed about the reception and made themselves at home.

Emily and Heston’s property is nestled in Rockingham county near Bridgewater. They have gorgeous mountain views, and an incredible front and back porch to watch the sunsets from. During the dinner break, we had a few horses on the neighboring property come close by to check out the commotion. They grazed on, unbothered by the reception music. On the way out of their property later, I had to pull over and snap a photo of the incredible sunset! We got so lucky with weather, location, and logistics all day. It was one of those flawless weddings that reminds me why I do this!

What I love about small weddings

I love weddings like this. Most photographers may cringe a little at the idea of a backyard wedding in the country, DIY details, or being one of few–if not the only–professional vendors hired for the day. Personally, I love it. With seven years’ experience, I put a lot of thought and effort into my clients’ experience with me. I know I’m not the cheapest option around or even close to it. Couples who book me are sure they want a great wedding photographer.

An investment in wedding photography is an investment in heirlooms, longevity of memories, and lasting documentation of a once-in-a-lifetime event. When a client on a modest budget books me over a low-budget photographer, I know just how much they value photography. That’s a lot of trust! I appreciate their trust and serve them just like I do my 250-person banquet weddings. After all, these memories and details are even MORE sentimental. They’re happening right in the couple’s first home together. Years down the line, I know they’re going to resurface these photographs to tell family stories, reminisce on their first home, and relive that wedding day. I’m going to do everything I can to appreciate their trust in me, and make sure every detail is crystal clear.

Trust me with your wedding photography

Does that experience sound like what you need? Ready for me to document your wedding day? You can inquire right here.

Harrisonburg Wedding Photography Gallery

Hair and Makeup by: The Studio in Harrisonburg, Va

Couple poses for engagement photos in pollinator garden at blandy experimental farm in front royal virginia

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When Carla and Glenn mentioned going somewhere with classic Virginia mountain views, field, or blooms for their engagement session, I had just the place in mind. Blandy Experimental Farm is a free, expansive, and gorgeous place for engagement photos! We caught the end of the summer season, with the pollinator garden still full of color. The location was a perfect reflection of what they love, and exactly what they’d opt for on a weekend off.

A candid-heavy, relaxed engagement session

These two, like most couples, had some reservations and nerves about dressing up and being posed for their engagement photos. Most people only hire a professional photographer a couple times in their life–senior portraits, graduation, engagement and wedding, family milestones. But we treated it like a date night, and just look at the results! Blandy farm was a place they were familiar with, and we spent the first part of the photo shoot just walking around and getting more familiar with one another. It took a dozen frames or so, but we figured out what worked best for them, and the rest of the session was a synch!

Love, laughter, pollinators, deer, and Virginia landscapes!

This session has everything. First of all, they’re adorable. Carla cannot stop laughing at Glenn! I mean, I get why. But they are too cute. And we had lots of precious animal guests along our session. First bunnies and pollinators in the garden. Then, turtles, birds, and even a deer friend that didn’t seem at all bothered by our presence! I had to include them in the engagement photos, of course. They were all part of the process, and it’s fitting they make the final gallery.

Ready for your own engagement photos?

Maybe you landed here looking for a photographer, or maybe you’re just looking for outfit or location inspiration. Either way, I hope you love the photos and get something out of this! If you’re searching for a wedding and engagement photographer, I’m here to help! Here are some helpful links.

Learn more about Photography by Jo’s wedding photography experience.

View reviews for Photography by Jo.

Groom in modern black fitted velvet suit jacket opens a bottle of champagne for his new wife during modern virginia wedding styled shoot in downtown Staunton, Virginia

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Just steps away from the historic downtown Staunton Virginia courthouse, we assembled a modern wedding editorial photoshoot. The creative portrait session celebrated the grand opening of Virginia Creative Collective, a new photography studio and event space. Showcasing the elegant mantels, plentiful light, and striking features of the grand hall, we chose bold black and white modern attire with touches of gold and mauve to bring life to the monochromatic style. Bold rental choices such as modern glassware and ghost chairs by Argent Events brought the historic space to life for our first wedding editorial!

The newest wedding venue in historic downtown Staunton Virginia

I have had the pleasure of cleaning, painting, and restoring the old Echols building on Barristers Row with some good friends and a lot of community support! Although small, we intend to host small rehearsal dinners, offer bridal suite space to prepare for your wedding day, and hold intimate wedding ceremonies and micro weddings. Rent the studio for events.

Inspiration for the Modern Virginia Wedding style

The color palate was inspired by the building itself. Boasting white walls and original, black, iron fireplace inserts with decadent carvings, black and white was the obvious choice! We selected silk off whites with bold black textured elements throughout our décor. The florals provided by Ket with One Last Avocado florals were simple but stunning blooms. Most stood on their own in bud vases strewn across the dining table. The table was set with mauve silk napkins lightly tied with thin black velvet. The placements featured modern glassware and plates with crisp lines, and black silverware to echo the contrast.

Staunton Wedding Editorial Vendors

Of course, I must thank the special vendors who made this day possible! We had the best team! Not only was the work amazing, it was a joy to be in the same room, laughing and working together.

Venue: Virginia Creative Collective, Staunton Studio and Event Space

Photographer: Jo Mahaney, Staunton Wedding Photographer

Planner: Atlas and Ember Events, Charlottesville Micro Wedding Planner

Florist: Keturah of One Last Avocado, locally sourced wedding florals

Event Rentals: Argent Events, Waynesboro boutique event rentals

Models: Tevin and Alexis

Makeup: Libby Makeup Co

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As a wedding photographer, I have always been a huge fan of simplistic decor and neutral tones, while using abundant florals to add in pops of color. I have compiled here some of my favorite examples of florals incorporated into wedding decor, signage, cake toppers, arches, and sweetheart tables. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for your own wedding! Make sure you have your florist save a couple additional stems for your photographer. We can use them to enhance your detail images and add texture to the layflats.

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A lot of photographers equate photos to your memories. The reality is that you’ll remember your wedding day regardless of how your photos turn out. Although, your photos might show you a different side of your wedding you didn’t get to see, or help keep those memories crisp and clear. But that’s not the top reason why my husband and I felt that photography was the best investment in our wedding.

 

Our photos are shareable.

 

We had some close relatives who couldn’t make it, some good friends who had to decline, and many people that we simply couldn’t afford to invite – every couple will likely have someone important missing from their wedding day. Photos are shareable in so many ways. Facebook, email, a CD in the mail, thank you cards, prints, slideshow… we have endless ways to share our wedding day with those who couldn’t make it, and reminisce with those who celebrated with us! For Christmas this year, we printed tons of individual wedding photos and handed them out to the family and friends who were in the photos, so everyone has copies of the big day! And at any point, we can print them out again and again.

 

Our photos are indestructible.

 

Each photographer is different, but our wedding photos are stored in a gallery that is guaranteed to last 10 years, which we can access via a link. Plus, we’ve downloaded them, stored them on cloud storage as well as an external hard drive, and we have many of them in print, in albums, or hanging on our walls! There are many ways to ensure we never lose our photos, which are so important to us! Nothing else from our wedding day – besides our marriage + family – is going to last forever. Dresses stain and dim, flowers are recycled, leftover cakes gets thrown out. My photos are forever.

 

Our photos are versatile.

 

There are so many ways to use wedding photos after your wedding! You can create a custom thank-you card for your guests, or use them in your holiday cards that year. You can store them in an album, a digital frame, or memory box. You can frame prints, print canvases, or hang metal prints on your walls. You can create endless photo products, like an ornament for your first Christmas together or a cute new phone case with your married name. There are no limits to how you use your wedding photos.

 

Our photos are timeless.

 

Wedding photos will continue to tell your love story to friends + family long after your time. Your album will be a way to share with your daughter about how true love feels. Your 50th anniversary slideshow will show your friends that you’ve always been totally and ridiculously in love. Your legacy of an unbreakable partnership starts with your wedding day, and your photos are your evidence.

 

That’s why I love wedding photography so much! I want to leave a client with a long-lasting token of their wedding day. I want to be the one to take images that authentically capture a couple’s story – a story like no other! I want to give each couple a way to share their wedding day with those who couldn’t make it. I want those people to be touched by the warmth of the day just by looking at the photos. I want to help each couple preserve their memories and share their story, forever.

 

Thank you for reading! I love talking to couples who value wedding photography as much as I do. Interested in talking more about wedding photography and working with me? Learn more at https://www.photographybyjo.net/weddings/ , leave a comment on this blog, or contact me through my website, and I’ll be in touch really soon!

 

Warm regards,

 

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