Meghan Marie Studio - Fight Night

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Meghan Marie Studio - Fight Night

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I needed to walk the walk.

For anyone who’s worked with me, befriended me, or made the mistake of asking me what I do for a living, you know that I’m not only in the business of photography, but also of marriage. I’m a huge supporter of those taking that step, and have seen enough and heard enough to make me realize that marriage isn’t remotely close to being easy, and it’s not supposed to be. With the divorce rate being between 40 and 50% (according to a 2018 study), I instantly became motivated to avoid being a part of that statistic when Tom popped the question back in 2013. I then became fascinated in the relationship and marriage tools available to help make that goal a reality.

...But then we had [kids].

Isn’t that always how it is? You have goals and dreams, but then along came “insert obstacle here". It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in, there’s always something. And most of the time you don’t realize that so much time has passed until it hits you like a brick wall. Which is exactly what happened to me. I realized I dropped the ball when someone asked “what’s the last marriage conference you went to?”

Uhm…

It’d been awhile. I’m talking the required Pre Cana class our church made us go to was the last time Tom and I attended anything. For so long I was talking the talk, but forgot about walking the walk. Sure enough, the next day after having that harsh realization, I get an email regarding a marriage seminar in Tipp City.

God is funny, am I right? That timing…

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So Tom and I signed up for the Fight Night marriage seminar with Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot at Ginghamsburg Church (Tipp City Campus). This is a great seminar to sign up for no matter what anniversary you’re celebrating (or maybe you don’t have one yet!), but is especially great for those who are on the fence about attending these types of things. Fight Night is great if you want to connect with other couples, but also allows you to sit in the back and blend into your surroundings. Going to classes, seminars, or counseling has this false negative stigma about it, which makes people feel they shouldn’t attend unless it’s a last resort. Even though the world is coming around to breaking this stigma, old habits die hard. SO, if you’re wanting to work on your relationship, but want to do so without much attention, this seminar allows for that.

PLUS IT HAD A CONEY DOG BAR.

So if your spouse is giving you some resistance (or maybe it’s you!) know that you’ll get fed and be able to sit, relax, and focus (BECAUSE THERE WAS BABYSITTING TOO). The admission was only $25 a couple, which, if you include the food and babysitting, makes attending Fight Night to be a more productive and cheaper option than your a typical date night. Heck. Yes.

Tom and I also walked out with some great tips and were able to address some frustrations of ours thanks to some quick tools Drs. Les and Leslie provided the evening of (who else uses a conflict card!?), as well as some different tools to look into later.

I really hope my personal experience has inspired or motivated you to give marriage seminars a chance. If so, be sure to check out your local church or community events board (or you can click here to see when the next Fight Night will be!). OR if there’s a class or group you are too scared to try yourself, leave it in the comments! I’d love to be the guinea pig, try it out, and let you know the scoop!


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Meghan Marie Studio - Zach & Jody Gray

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Meghan Marie Studio - Zach & Jody Gray

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I “fan girl-ed” hard.

And when I say “fan girl-ed,” I mean I got weirdly giggly, a bit sweaty, and forgot all things socially appropriate (like how close is TOO CLOSE to stand next to someone). But I couldn’t help it. When I attended Zach and Jody Gray’s camera workshop in 2017, I met the same Zach and Jody Gray who were voted Nashville’s Top Wedding Photographer in 2009, who have been published in magazines like People and Southern Weddings, and who have inspired me since I picked up a camera in 2013. They’re kind of like photography celebrities (click here if you don’t believe me).

Working with these two allowed me to really hone in on what’s most important with Meghan Marie Studio and to better serve the lovely couples I’m blessed to work with. I also got to actively shoot alongside Zach, have him and Jody critique my work and web presence, and cuddle up next to their little babes (they have four! Can you say, “POWER COUPLE,”?). Because of their expertise and the resources I’ve picked up from their workshop, I feel I can better meet the needs of my couple’s on their wedding day, as well as produce incredible images for them to look back on for years to come. If you’d like me to do the same for you, click here! And enjoy some of the work The Gray’s and I were able to create!

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Meghan Marie Studio - Wedding Tip of the Day

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Meghan Marie Studio - Wedding Tip of the Day

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Wedding Tip of the Day!

The whole wedding day begins with the DETAILS!  This is one of my favorite parts of the wedding day because it allows me to prepare and get my creative side warmed up for the rest of the day! I photograph a bride’s details in a way that matches and showcases the style of the entire wedding day.  So, in some ways, the details set the stage for the look of the whole wedding and I love having ample time to stylize and shoot everything from the dress to the jewelry to grandma’s handkerchief!  To the right you’ll find a list of the most common details that I shoot.  I ask brides to gather any details they have before I arrive so that I can walk in, say hello, give you a huge hug and then begin with all the goodies!  (Please ensure your mom that I will take GREAT care of the dress, I promise!)

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GATHER THE GOODS

If possible, collect all of your details before I arrive so that I can begin quickly and have more time for some “getting ready” shots of you and your girls! 

EXTRA ELEMENTS

Sometimes, depending on the theme and “look” of the wedding day, there may be some extra elements that you could include when you gather your details.  For example, if you’re having a country themed wedding, you could include a piece of burlap or lace.  If you’re  having a rustic themed wedding that includes some wooden elements, maybe save a small piece of wood for me to use when I’m shooting your rings and jewelry.  This REALLY makes for beautiful, consistent album spreads!

KEEP ALL THREE RINGS

The most common detail missing when I arrive are the rings! Moms, officiants and planners will tell you to hand over your wedding band to the best man before the day begins. However, it’s actually better to hand it over during the bridal party portraits so that I can shoot some great ring shots in the AM!  If you forget, no worries, I can always shoot the ring shot at the reception  if there is extra time!

BRING THE BOUQUET

Don’t forget the Bouquet! Have the bouquets and bouts delivered to the bride before the first look so that she can have her bouquet in her portraits. No worries, if it’s hot, we’ll be sure to keep it in water as much as possible before the ceremony!

Everyone’s wedding day and details are unique to them, so use these tips as a guideline. I’d love to chat with you about any questions you have over the details you’re considering to have captured and make you feel the most at ease! Just click the button below!

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Meghan Marie Studio - Damian & Bailey

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Meghan Marie Studio - Damian & Bailey

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Dude. Snow sucks.

Don’t get me wrong, I can admire it from inside my stove-heated home while drinking a hot cup of coffee, but if I have to go out into it (recreation or not), I might be a little whiney. SO, when Bailey and Damian mentioned a snow engagement session, a teeny-tiny chill ran down my spine. HOWEVER, as soon as we set foot out at Stillwater Prairie Reserve, the snow-covered pines and the sparkled fields made me do a 180 and fall in love with snow Lorelai-Gilmore-style.

The two brought me to the exact spot where Damian popped the question, all while reminiscing the thoughts going through each others heads at the time. “I had no idea!” exclaimed Bailey. “I stumbled on the chalk-drawn proposal on the riverbank and said to my brother ‘OMG. Someone’s being proposed to! Let’s get out of here!’ only to find Damian down on one knee behind me.” I even got to meet their newest addition, Nadia, the most gorgeous little girl you’d ever meet. If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself!



Photography: Meghan Marie Studio

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Meghan Marie Studio - What's your Love Language?

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Meghan Marie Studio - What's your Love Language?

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Do you know Gary?

If you don’t, you should. I don’t care if you married or not, but anyone and everyone in a relationship (platonic ones, too!) should get to know Gary Chapman and have him involved in their affairs in one way or another. Why? Because Dr Gary Chapman is a husband of 45 years, degree holder in anthropology, public speaker, and best-selling, award-winning author who specializes in marriage. Basically, this guy had ups and downs with his own marriage, (because, come on, we’re all human) and found incredible ways to make life easier on himself and his wife and wants to share his findings. He’s best known around the world and in my household as the guy who wrote “The Five Love Languages.”

If any of my past couples are reading this, you better have your copy close by, or have shared it with a friend. You know how much I love this book! Dr. Chapman basically broke down ways that we all give and receive love into five, easy to comprehend “languages”. His book is one of the quickest reads (fifteen minutes for seven days) and incredibly relatable, making it one of the self-help books that actually doesn’t feel like homework to read.

Reading this book before entering my marriage with Tom opened both of our eyes to bettering our relationship, but also to learning more about ourselves (I’m a real b**** if the dishes aren’t done. Yes, I’m an Acts of Service lady). If you have the smallest inclination to reach for this book, DO IT by clicking here. Or, if you’re a bit busy, just take the quiz. The same way that you study for a test in school, you should do the same for your marriage. Marriage is the biggest test of our relationship and a test most of us don’t want to take again. Do your homework and make it count!

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Meghan Marie Studio - December Styled Shoot

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Meghan Marie Studio - December Styled Shoot

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I’m going to be real with you.

I’ve never photographed or arranged a styled session. I KNOW. However, I finally was able to connect with some incredible wedding vendors from the Midwest to not only work each other for the first time, but to have the freedom to be creative with what we do. For those that are thinking… Uh, what the {bleep} is a styled session? I’ll tell you. Basically take the wedding of your dreams and make it real life… without a budget. It’s a great way to support community over competition with other professionals and enjoy another facet of fun that our jobs provide!

Alex of Perry Rose Media and I joined forces to plan this extremely unique wedding-themed styled portrait session, and also confirmed that this girl knows her stuff. Her passion for working with local designers and professionals and educating the public is truly inspiring and made it a no-brainer to collaborate with her. Together, our goal was to create a melodramatic, yet mystical scene with pops of color and light. This was a HUGE challenge for myself (Light and airy style girl, right here!), but it was incredibly rewarding.

Since I’m all about the light, of course I had to grab some bright images of this setup. How gorgeous!?

Now onto some drama…..


Model: Sierra Dyer

Gown: Hyacinth

Earrings: KataBanko Couture

Studio: Something Old Dayton

Photography: Meghan Marie Studio

Design & Styling : Perry Rose Media

Hair & Make-Up: Shaterra Jenkins Beauty Studio

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Meghan Marie Studio - Why a blog?

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Noticed how weird Facebook and Instagram are getting?

Social media is getting more complicated by the minute to keep small businesses and self starters, like myself, from being successful without paying. That’s why, if you follow business pages on Facebook or IG, that you haven’t seen them on your feed in awhile. INSTEAD, the big guys show you ads and info on people who’ve paid them the big bucks. UHM. I can’t be shelling out hundreds to thousands of dollars a month on ads. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH KIDS EAT!? Too much!

Because social media is getting more complicated by the day with rules and mandatory advertising, I figured it was time to help all of you following Meghan Marie Studio avoid missing out on the gorgeous images, relatable stories, and much needed help you are interested in! Browse to learn more about myself, the value photography and marriage, or to gather wedding inspiration. Be sure to stay in the loop (without say from big, bad Facebook and IG) by subscribing to my email list. You email addresses will SOLELY be used for notifying you on blog content and promotions. Basically, what you’d be signing up for. Click HERE to subscribe and give a big thumbs down to social media’s dumb algorithms.

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