Part One • Kaylinn + Jeff • Castroville, Texas

Hellooooo! Kaylinn here. 🙂 It’s been a while since I wrote a “personal” post. Sorry about that, friends. It’s been a busy year! If you ‘re a long-time blog reader, you’ll remember that I got engaged last year (Remember my engagement announcement last year? Random note: I spent an hour getting the writing on that coffee mug to look semi-perfect. It was strangely difficult to write on a rounded object.) Ok, so back to my point… If you remember the engagement announcement, you may also remember that I promised to share all of the juicy details of my wedding planning here on the blog. I was gonna keep you all in the loop about my DIY projects, my save-the-date cards, the vendors I chose… I had good intentions, you guys. I swear I did.

Truth? Planning a wedding in 6 months was NO joke. After being a wedding photographer for the past decade, I figured I had a pretty good idea of how much time it took to plan a wedding. Um, no. (My goodness, there were soooo many time-consuming details! To our brides that are currently in the thick of wedding planning, I feel you. I FEEEEEL YOU.) Before I knew it, my wedding was right around the corner and my engagement photos were the only thing I’d shared with you guys (still in love with those photos, BTW. Jenn rocked that session.)  Staying on top of wedding planning AND running our photography business left little time to share my wedding goodness (I’m proud to say that I didn’t fall behind with getting photos back to any of our couples during my crazy wedding-planning months. Holla!) I am still down to share my wedding details, if you guys are still down to hear them. 🙂 I’m just gonna go with the “Better late than never” philosophy. Is that cool? Ok, cool. 🙂

So, fast forward to today. I’ve been Mrs. Mayes for several months (still getting used to the name change!), and I’m finally ready to make good on my year-old promise. For starters, I want to share my favorite wedding photos (and why I love them). I have about a kazillion favorites (my photogs, The Nichols, were amazing) but these are the ones that really stand out (and are in frames all over our house). There are too many photos to put into just one post, so I’m breaking this up into 2 parts. Annnnd part one begins NOW……

#1 and #2 – Getting ready shots of me and my niece (Annie).
Meet Annie. She’s ten and is of my four nieces (the other girls in the background are my nieces Haleigh and Charleigh). Annie was our flower girl and was extra emotional about the fact that I was getting married (she and I have been super close since she was born). Before my wedding day, she pulled me aside and said (in her ten-year-old voice) “I want you to know that I am happy for you and I do like Jeff. But I am also really sad about this whole wedding thing.” 🙂 While she was watching me get dressed, she began to shed happy tears (left), so she came and held my hands (right) while Jenn worked on my dress bustle (which explains the random hand on my tush). She made it through the rest of the day without crying. I, on the other hand, did not. 🙂


#3 – “OMG This is it!”
That’s Jenn. You know her as our lead photographer for BTL. She’s not only my business partner, she’s my “person” and best friend. She was the obvious choice as my maid of honor (side note: She was the best MOH of all time. She brought me water while Jeff and I were taking photos, helped me get my big ol’ poofy dress into the car, double-checked my makeup after I cried during our ceremony, and lots of other maid-of-honor-y things). Without Jenn, Jeff and I never would’ve met. She was the one that gave me the extra push I needed to “put myself out there” and just go for it. I’d just finished getting ready and was about to go see Jeff for the first time… but before I headed out, Jenn and I had a little “OMG this is actually it” moment.


#4 – “Here I go!
This one makes me laugh… I’m clearly excited but also super nervous. On my way to see Jeff for our “first look.” There’s Jenn again, being the best MOH of all time. At this point, I was still worried about getting dirt on the bottom trim of my dress. That lasted about 10 whole minutes.

#5 – Hidden Meaning
A wedding is all about the details, am I right? It might surprise you to know that this is my favorite photo from my first look with Jeff (no heads and all). I eventually plan to blow it up to an almost life-size canvas gallery wrap… I love it that much. There is so much meaning in this photo. The obvious: This is our first look. Jeff is seeing me for the first time on our wedding day. This shot was completely candid, not posed at all. It’s 100% real and I love it for that reason. The not-so-obvious: The 2 rings that you see on my hand had extra special significance. My grandparents’ 60-year old wedding bands were my “something old.” Their relationship was a total inspiration to me growing up. Nothing but love, you guys. They grew old together (and they were the cutest little old couple you’ve ever seen).  They each passed away shortly before our wedding (my Grandma wanted so badly to see my get married and I wanted so badly for her to be there, but she missed our wedding by just 3 months). Annnnd now I’m close to crying, y’all. Moving on. 🙂

#6 – Just Because
I don’t know why, but I love this picture. Love love love it.


#7 – Seven years later…
Jenn got married back in 2009, and I was also her maid of honor. Seven years later, we recreated a photo that we’d taken at her wedding. Because we are dorks. And we love each other. 🙂 It’s always strange for us to be on the other side of the camera, but I think we did alright. (Also, can we talk about the fact that Jenn’s kiss is super cutesy and I look like I’m about to eat her face? Not sure what happened back in 2009 there but my husband assures me that my kissing game is on point now.)
Left photo: Sarah Q Photography


#8 – My girls <3
Meet my bridal party. 🙂 Jeff and I are a little older than… errr, um… the “average” bride and groom, so we have lots of nieces and nephews that we wanted to include in our big day. Our bridal party was made up of our 2 best friends (Jenn and Travis) and our 6 nieces and nephews. The kids were beside themselves with excitement when we asked them to stand in our wedding. Kenna (the shortest bridesmaid on the right) assured me that being my bridesmaid was her “highlight of the year.” We wouldn’t have had it any other way. 🙂 I spent hours upon hours searching for mis-matched bridesmaid dresses that complimented each other and didn’t cause any one person to stand out too much. Again with the time-consuming wedding details! But so worth it in the end.


#9 – Our nieces and nephews
And here they all are, all 6 of our nieces and nephews, ages 8-17. Getting ALL of these guys to smile in one photo is no easy task… which proves how excited they were to be a part of our day. Pretty good looking group, don’t ya think?


#10 – OMG I’m a bride
The photo on the left is my absolute favorite bridal portrait from my wedding day. It’s all of my planning, wrapped into one photo: The bolero that I had custom-made on Etsy (twice so that it would fit just right), the hours I spent finding the perfect hair style (I wanted traditional and rockabilly all rolled into one), the 15th Etsy necklace I bought (I wanted options! It had to be just right, you guys!), the bouquet that I dreamed up (LOVE succulents so much, who’s with me?), and the dress I fell in love with the second I put it on (It was the 80th dress… YES 80th dress I tried on. Because, you know.. I’m not picky or anything.) At the end of the day, this photo makes me feel beautiful. And isn’t that what being a bride is all about?
(Shout out to my florist, Erin (from Eden’s Echo). She took my vision for my wedding flowers and brought it to life. LOVE her!)


Going through the wedding photography process as a bride was so fun for me. We’ve been capturing our couples’ wedding day moments for 10 years, and I was BEYOND excited to see my own moments captured. Stay tuned for part two of this post… including the portraits of Jeff and I together, our ceremony, and our reception. There’s lots more goodness left!


All photos by: The Nichols


Bend the Light Photography specializes in wedding photography and engagement portrait photography in San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas. San Antonio Wedding Photographer.

The End