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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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Staunton Virginia

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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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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 , 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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Every bride-to-be knows there is an endless sea of wedding inspiration and ideas everywhere you turn online. Pinterest in particular sets the bar for elaborate DIY crafts and wildly expensive floral sculptures impossibly high. With wedding vendors spanning dramatically different styles and so many wedding details to think about, it’s hard to know what’s even realistically possible for your own wedding day. You just start pinning away, hoping that all the pretty pictures of cork boutonnieres and donut walls and flower crowns somehow fit together with your wedding theme.


But then, you do a little more research, and you figure out that your favorite flower isn’t in bloom around your wedding date, or your project isn’t within your budget, or that perfect wedding vendor is already booked up. Your real wedding starts looking less like your inspiration board, and your excitement starts to sink a little.


From a bride and vendor, I just want to give you permission to completely let go of that Pinterest board. Stop imitating, and start creating! You know where all of those pins originally came from? A bride or wedding planner or photographer at someone’s REAL WEDDING had a cool idea that captured the couple’s personality + essence of their wedding day in a little detail of their wedding. I know you feel great emotional attachment to your wedding board. I know it’s hard to make all of these details a reality. But I also know that you are a creative and innovative bride who can work from an inspiration board to create more original ideas when you run into hiccups along the way.


Perhaps your tables don’t have space for the centerpieces you so badly wanted. But you could hang a mobile of pictures of you and your finance over the tables instead. Or forego them altogether and focus on another detail, like favors. You can do whatever you want! You can do this. For every “no” you encounter in your wedding plans – and there will be “No”s – you will think of a better alternative. After all, it’s your wedding day. So whatever you plan will be perfect, so long as you’re married in the end. It’s becoming a cliche for me, as I say it all the time now. But that’s what I’ve gathered from working in weddings. We spend so much time planning and emphasize so much on avoiding wedding day mishaps, but as long as you say “I do” and have spent this time of engagement preparing for a marriage as well the wedding day, then that’s something wonderful to celebrate!


The “Pinterest Effect” can really impact the relationship between brides and photographers too. I would love to see your board of shots you want to take at your wedding. BUT. Whatever photographer you hired, you chose because you trust them with your wedding day, you love their style, and you have faith in their ability to deliver. All the pictures you’re pinning have other couples and were taken by other photographers – so you’re never truly going to recreate those images, and since weddings can be unpredictable, you don’t know if you’ll have the circumstances to try those shots on that day (weather, running behind, etc). Instead, share your vision for your wedding photos with your photographer (share your board, too!), and trust them to create beautiful images that are going to be BETTER than your Pinterest board, because they’re going to showcase who YOU are!


So. What is one thing that you are going to incorporate into your wedding day that really shows off your personality, your relationship, or your family/tradition? I’d love to hear how you’re breaking the mold at your wedding!


Happy planning!

– Jo


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Some photographers also offer videography services, but more often than not brides are booking their photographer and videographer separately. The photographer and videographer have the same goal on your wedding day – to serve you and preserve your wedding memories – and accomplish that goal with different skills and mediums. But ultimately, they need to work as a team.

Hiring your team.

A good interview question when you’re seeking out these professionals is to ask if they are used to working with a photographer/videographer, and ask what their approach is to working with the other vendor. If the person seems annoyed about working with others, talks about frustrations, or doesn’t have a team approach, then you probably shouldn’t hire them. That’s an indicator that the person is thinking more about themselves and their business than they are about serving you and helping you accomplish your goals. Those two vendors are going to be by your side all day on one of the most important days of your life – so, you want support, you want a team approach, and you want someone who is going to show some flexibility with your other vendors.

Preparing for your wedding.

Once you’ve hired your photographer and videographer, contact them both and let them know who they’ll be working with. When I book a client, I want to know first who their planner or venue coordinator is, and second who the videographer is. Every videographer has a different approach, and I want to make sure I go into wedding day knowing not only how I want the day to flow on my end, but scheduling in enough time for the videographer to also accomplish his goals. If I stand in the way of the videographer doing his job, then I have done a disservice to the bride and may not only have an unhappy client but might also have really damaged memories of that person’s wedding, which is impossible to make up for. That wedding day preparation starts with knowing who I am working with, how to contact them, and what they need from me in order to be successful.

Planning the timeline.

In general, your timeline won’t change too much. You want to give a little more padding – 5 or 10 minutes here and there. But most of the time, the photographer will continue shooting while the videographer is working with the couple, and the videographer will continue working while the photographer is working with the couple. I think back to a wedding this summer where I worked with Daysy – a fantastic videographer (and photographer, too) out of the Frederick area. Some of my favorite portraits of the bride and groom are from Daysy directing the couple for video purposes, while I stood off to the side and shot. She was brilliant with them, and working with her really enhanced my work.

In summary, you can hire your “media team” from different businesses. Just make sure that they’re team players and you introduce them to each other (which can be as easy as copying them both on an email). Work with both of them – and your planner if you have one – to craft your ideal timeline that gives them both the time they need to serve you. If you’re still not sure what they need, just ask them!


Just getting started planning? You need my wedding day timeline templates, built for all seasons and kinds of ceremonies! These are tried and true guidelines for having a stress free wedding day schedule, while still capturing all your must-have photos. I’ve used these to coordinate dozens and dozens of weddings, and rarely need to make a tweak. 

The Perfect Wedding Day Timeline Templates


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