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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.

Wedding Vendor Guide

Staunton Virginia

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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

Collage of highlight images from elopement photography clients in downtown staunton virginia. Young couple is walking through downtown staunton, smiling, wearing blue suit and white sundress for their late summer elopement.

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I met James and Danielle about half way through their elopement on the Augusta County Courthouse steps. During my morning coffee run, I noticed a cute couple getting married just outside our photography studio in downtown Staunton, without a photographer! Danielle’s mom was there snapping a few images on her phone. But I certainly couldn’t let their wedding go on undocumented! So, I spontaneously photographed their Augusta County Courthouse Elopement. I rarely get to provide elopement photography. Maybe a couple times a year! So, this experience was really thrilling for me.

Meanwhile, my business partner Amanda watched from the studio doorway as I ran to my car, grabbed my camera, frantically found an empty memory card, and began taking photos. I got there just a minute before they sealed the deal with a kiss! As the ceremony concluded, I introduced myself and asked if they’d like some wedding portraits in downtown. Danielle was giggling so much, and the whole interaction had already made my morning!

The story behind their elopement

We only spent about ten minutes together in total. But as we took a short walk around Staunton for some portrait locations, we got to know Danielle and James a little better. They met many years ago, while their families were missionaries in Africa! What are the chances?! These two were in elementary school together, I believe PreK or Kindergarten. James’ family is British, while Danielle is from around here in Virginia. It’s pure serendipity that they ended up in the same location at the same time! Now, of course they didn’t fall in love in elementary school. The two reconnected when James reached out to an alumni group, looking for some former classmates. They met up, started talking, and realized they are so compatible!

Now, they weren’t always planning a mid-week, 10 AM elopement. James’ father was flying in from England to marry James and Danielle at their *real* wedding that weekend. However, non-citizens cannot officiate weddings in the United States. On a whim, they decided to elope a few days prior to save them the headache of having two officiants for their wedding celebration. Given the upcoming full wedding, they didn’t feel the need for arranging an elopement photographer for their short, weekday ceremony. But I’m so happy I stumbled upon them! The spontaneous nature of everything was so meant to be, and the joy was evident in their portraits. Elopement photography may be my new favorite service!

Spontaneous Augusta County Courthouse Elopement Photography from a downtown Staunton VA wedding goes viral on Instagram.

Okay, okay. We’re not talking millions of views. But tens of thousands in a few minutes is huge to me!! Amanda documented their story and behind the scenes of us working together. Afterwards, I created a reel showing the whole interaction unfolding, and the resulting images! Their elopement photos are so gorgeous, and quickly becoming some of my favorite to feature. See their elopement story on Instagram here.

And finally, the photos from their downtown Staunton elopement!

Now that you know the story, enjoy these joy-filled, unplanned newlywed portraits in downtown Staunton!

wedding detail flat lay showcasing a modern, black and white invitation suit in the sunlight with golden carnations and a champagne class nearby.

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My approach to wedding photography is to be an incredible partner to your wedding day and vendor team. This includes helping you prepare a stress free timeline (along with your planner and team!), and resources to help you prepare for your wedding day. Gathering your details ahead of time is one easy thing you can do to streamline the first part of the day. Plus, you don’t have to do it yourself! You can designate a wedding party member to gather these things for you. I’m a huge fan of delegating anything you can!

Close up in a pink engagement ring sitting on an off white vow book next to a detailed wedding stationery suite.

What’s included in wedding details?

Wedding details covers a lot! There’s a few categories. I’ll take detail photographs and pullbacks of your full ceremony space, reception space, cocktail hour, and any other décor you’ve meticulously selected and designed. This means I’ll have to coordinate with the planning team, florist, catering, etc to ensure that the time I allot to photograph these details align well with the time they will be delivering and completing setup. But don’t you worry about that–I’ll handle those details!

Stationery details & wedding flat lays

Wedding flat lays with your full invitation suite take the longest. I love to include some personal florals, jewelry and rings, and other styling items like ribbon, ring boxes, hand written notes, wax seals, or anything important to you. I begin the day by styling flat lays. This way, your wedding party gets used to the sound of my shutter while I’m photographing wedding details nearby. They relax, and forget I’m there. This makes for great candid photographs later on!

Collage of various wedding stationery items, ribbon, ring boxes, and other wedding details.

For great wedding stationery details, make sure to save multiple copies of your full invitation suite. Order some additional stems from your florist to be included in the detail photographs. And, let me know what colors you’re using! I’ll bring coordinating items to style your wedding details.

Stationery covers a large range of items. You can also include menus, save the dates, place card or escort cards that coordinate, hand written letters, gifts, handkerchiefs, mementos from prior dates, and more! Get creative with the details you set aside. The more I have to work with, the more variety I can create for you! These images make great additions and transitional spreads for your wedding album designs.

Collage of fresh floral blooms and wedding stationery

Personal wedding attire

Wedding attire details are a must-have! I love thinking about the longevity of these detail photographs. We’re creating a record of trends and wedding fashion for future generations. And of course, the personal elements and individual style choices tell so much about your story as a couple! I know I loved looking through my family’s wedding albums as a kid. I hope my clients’ children will experience that same joy!

Details of your wedding attire include those classic images of your dress hanging up. Lots of brides choose a custom hanger, or maybe get their new last name painted! I’ll borrow your shoes, jewelry, bouquet, and veil for these images as well. I typically photograph these just after the flat lays, while I still have most of these items handy.

Black bow tie and red carnation boutonniere displayed in a groom's wedding details flat lay

Don’t forget the men’s details too!

I love a good groom’s flat lay! I typically don’t include the men’s details in with the full flat lay. Their accessories tend to be dark and bold, which don’t always photograph well with stationery suites. When I first start working with a groom, I’ll ask for his accessories. I’m looking for anything besides the suit, basically! Gather his shoes, bowtie or tie, cufflinks, his boutonnière, cologne, watch, and anything else sentimental. I’ll create an individual arrangement that aligns with the style of the wedding, but highlights his personal details.

Wedding details checklist

This is a lot to remember! I’m here to make it less stressful. There’s a mental checklist in my head that’s almost second nature at this point. Even if you don’t have your details ready for me, I’ll know what to ask for and can gather them up quickly. To make the most of our time together on your wedding day, I suggest gathering everything ahead of time. I’m providing my mental checklist below!


  • Dress
  • Veil
  • Bouquet
  • Earrings
  • Necklace
  • Hair clips and pins
  • ALL rings in one place
  • Shoes
  • Perfume
  • Any outfit changes
  • Pins, brooches, and family heirlooms
  • Garter
  • Full invitation suite (preferably two)
  • Save-the-date
  • Loose stems
  • Any accessories like ribbon or ring boxes
  • Tie/Bow tie
  • Pocket square
  • Cufflinks
  • Watch
  • Boutonniere
  • Couples’ gifts
  • Hand written notes
  • Vow books
  • Reception stationery: menus, place cards, etc
  • Any other sentimental accessories

Logistics considerations

Have all of your details gathered beforehand and a wedding party member in charge of knowing where they are. Keep all the rings (both of your bands and engagement rings as well) in one place. This is typically with the bride.

The florist should deliver personals (bouquets and boutonnieres) as well as loose stems before the photography time begins.

I will work with the planner to make sure there’s time allotted to photograph ceremony and reception details after they are completely set up, but before guests enter the spaces.

Reach out if you have any questions!

Downtown staunton runaway bride styled shoot snapshot taken on New Street, showcasing bridal crossing a crosswalk in the middle of historic downtown with a long veil flowing behind her.

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It’s not often we get to just play in the wedding industry. It’s high paced, lots of weekend work, and the creative shoots are a much needed break to fuel our client work! This runaway bride inspired downtown Staunton bridal photoshoot was a small part of a larger editorial at Virginia Creative Collective. We worked with Atlas and Ember events to coordinate a second look. This portion of the bridal photoshoot incorporated a short playful dress, floral umbrella from One Last Avcocado floral design, a cathedral length pearl veil, leather jacket and…. pizza! Everyone needs pizza at the end of their wedding day.

Playful, punky bridal vibes

Breanna from Atlas and Ember spearheaded the styling for the runaway bride look. We opted for a short dress and leather jacket to bring a punk edge to the look. The cathedral style veil was a nice contrast! And, the pearl-studded look brought an extra trend into the mix. Most of the attire items were already owned by the studio and sourced secondhand from wedding sales. While we love to partner with bridal shops, we know this session would get things a little dusty and dirty. The veil dragged the historic brick of downtown Staunton, snagging some of the tulle layers. Ultimately, that added to the overall look!

Utilizing Staunton’s New Street and Courthouse Steps

If you don’t know us well, our studio is located right across from the Augusta County courthouse. We occasionally see courthouse weddings from our window. It was fitting to end the mini styled bridal photoshoot there on the steps of the courthouse. Breanna got to showcase her just-in-time wedding planner skills by delivering Shenandoah Pizza, a local favorite, to conclude the shoot.

Downtown Staunton Runaway Bridal Photoshoot Vendors

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

Model: Lexi Have

Makeup: Libby Makeup Co

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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Time has flown, and these cuties are just two weeks away from celebrating three months of marriage! It feels like just a few weeks ago that we were meeting up for their engagement session at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University. Alora and Frankie’s wedding day was my first of 2017, and it really set the bar high! This tulle-loving bride has the most detailed, personalized wedding decor I’ve seen to-date.


Their wedding was truly a joining of families. Not only did Alora become a wife, but she became a step-mother to Frankie’s son Dink (or “bonus mom” as her charm bracelet says). The love and support the bride and groom’s families showed each other that day really made an impression on me. Some wedding mornings have an undertone of stress and family tension, but this one was different. This was a celebration from start to finish.


Mountain Ridge Venue was a picture perfect wedding location. The tulle-strung ceremony backdrop, hearth with burning fire, and warm “LOVE” signage over the bar complimented Alora’s style perfectly, and really minimized the amount of decorating that the couple had to do. She and Frankie covered the reception area in pictures that told their story – from family outings and finishing trips, to the engagement photos and first Christmas. They put their personal touch on just about everything.


Having Dink in the wedding was such a blessing. It’s amazing that the couple got to share this day with their son. His spunk definitely added some character to these wedding photos. Take a look at that first kiss – hilarious!


I am just so happy for this family! Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Tayman. I was so thrilled to be a part of this day for you. I always feel honored to be chosen to photograph such a special day, but this wedding reminded me how far I’ve come. I remember stealing my mom’s camera to take pictures of the Grace Christian Varsity Girls Basketball Team when Alora and her bridesmaid Jul were playing. I followed my interest to high school yearbook team, and now I get to photograph some amazing weddings. Feeling blessed today!


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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,