My Wedding Journey : 394 Days To Go • Central Missouri Based Destination Wedding Photographer

Well as you already have heard, I’m getting married and I truly couldn’t be more excited! Along the way I want to share with you my wedding journey and the real life fun of planning your own day, even as a wedding vendor!

So how did I plan so many key elements of my wedding in the first two weeks? Well it was more simple than you would think! Matt and I have been dating for almost 8 years, yes 8  years, so we have been discussing our engagement and ideal wedding plans for a few months now. Not only did I want to have a solid plan lined up when we actually did get engaged, but I wanted to avoid planning during wedding photography season as much as possible so I can focus on my sweet couples in 2015!

Let’s jump into the date. We picked June 2016 because not only could we enjoy the beautiful weather of the Keys (we’ll get to the location in a moment) but all of our family could be there with kids out of school. We also didn’t want the date to be too close to any specific birthday or big holiday, simply because we want to celebrate it all on it’s own! So back to the location! I’d like to think that Matt and I are a fun and laid back couple, so we wanted a wedding location that represented that. As a destination wedding photographer, I love the feel of that destination experience and have always known that’s the way I wanted my wedding planned out. We both love the Keys in Florida and thought that a wedding on the beach couldn’t be stressful, right?! Right. Well fingers crossed that pans out!

Next we discussed the venue. I searched for weeks to narrow venues down to the Keylargo Lighthouse! We were mainly focused on finding an “all inclusive” type venue where we could stay, enjoy the week, and focus on the celebration more than the formalities. And the Keylargo Lighthouse had it all!

We’ll be getting married on a beautiful beach looking out over the ocean surrounded by our closest family and friends! The reception will be under stringed lights with more dancing than we can hope for! Lucky for us, this beautiful location rarely sees a full day of rain, so we can truly relax about our outdoor event!

Next up, we chose our photographer! I’ve had so many friends ask “how in the world are you going to choose your photographer?!” and at first, it seemed like a daunting task. But thanks to the amazing community of wedding photographers, I searched around, asked for recommendations, and wah la, we found Matt at Diamond Eyes Photography out of Atlanta Georgia!

Our main focus when finding a photographer, was finding someone who could absolutely blow us away with capturing moments! We love our family and friends and want our wedding to be a big celebration, so we need a photographer who can capture just that. And since we were planning a destination wedding, the location of the photographer didn’t matter as much. Plus I personally think that Matt’s work is going to be absolutely amazing in a beach/ocean setting, we are beyond excited to see our photos and the wedding’s still a year away!

Finally, we went dress shopping! This was a part of the planning process that I was truly thrilled for! I headed up to Kansas city with my Mom, future Mother-in-law, and my sweet sister for the day. Our first stop was Altar Bridal in Leawood KS! I did a little research before booking our appointments to see which designers each bridal shop carried. Since I was looking for a romantic and more beach like wedding dress, Altar Bridal and the Sarah Seven line of dresses seemed like the best fit!

Although I can’t tell you much more about my dress since my wonderful Fiance reads my blog, I’ll just say that it’s stunning! Sara, my dress consultant was a dream to work with and helped me style my look from head to toe!  And although I didn’t have that crying moment you see on TV I truly can’t imagine myself wearing anything else on the day I say I Do!

So there’s the start to our wedding planning! There are so many wonderful vendors that I personally know who will be helping out with my day and I can’t wait to share more soon! My biggest piece of advice thus far is take the planning process one step at a time. Make sure you truly represent you and your fiance’s personality in the planning decisions you make and simply just ENJOY IT!

© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2015 | Destination Wedding Photographer | Columbia, Kansas city, St. Louis and Destinations World Wide

Happily Ever After : Karl and Lori • Columbia Missouri Wedding Photographer

There’s truly something beautiful about love, especially when it stands the test of time.

Lori and Karl kick off the start to our exciting new adventure, the Happily Ever After Project, celebrating marriage, love, and the strength of a beautiful relationship. I can’t stress enough how much I adore getting to know the personalities and stories behind each couple I photograph. Not only does this help me photograph their wedding day in it’s most truest form, but I simply love love, and it really does make me tear up when I see someone find their other half in this big crazy world!

So enough of what I have to say, feel free to check out Karl and Lori’s beautiful video below and the kick off to one amazing project and many more wonderful stories of love and happiness to come!

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Here are a few more beautiful images from their sweet Happily Ever After session! If you think you know a sweet couple who might be perfect for this project, please nominate them by emailing, we can’t wait to hear their story!

© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2015 | Columbia Missouri Wedding Photographer | Columbia, Kansas city, St. Louis and Destinations World Wide

We’re Engaged!!! • Central Missouri Based Destination Wedding Photographer

Well if you haven’t already heard the big news, I’M ENGAGED!!!! My wonderful fiance, wow that’s exciting to say, popped the question on a quiet walk with our dog Floyd last week! After I said YES a million times over, he surprised me with a special dinner at our spot, Murry’s, and all of our parents in attendance. It was truly the perfect engagement and I’m SO excited to join in the planning process with so many of my Brides-to-be! Here’s a little video we put together right after the proposal, we couldn’t just instagram this momentous event!

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So now the big question, how will I ever plan my own wedding in the midst of wedding season! Well I actually have no intention of planning much from the next wedding in May all the way through October! No, I’m not crazy or possess planning superpowers, I’ve just had a bit of time to plan before the engagement. Matt and I have been together for almost 8 years, so to say I knew it was coming was an understatement. We’ve been chatting about wedding ideas for the last 6 months which made the planning process simple as in we just have to reserve our venue/vendors!

Throughout this entire process I plan on sharing all the fun of wedding planning as we do this together! Next week I’ll be posting how I booked my venue, photographer, and found my DRESS, yes the dress, within the first week of being engaged. So stay tuned and big hugs to all the other brides-t0-be, couldn’t be more excited we are doing this together!

© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2015 | Destination Wedding Photographer | Columbia, Kansas city, St. Louis and Destinations World Wide

Mallory and Vann : A Blue Bell Farm Wedding • Columbia Missouri Wedding Photography

Mallory and Vann’s Blue Bell Farm wedding was the most beautiful day! Not only was this day a special one because of the amazing celebration, but Mallory, the bride, is my future sister-in-law! So I most certainly was excited to photograph her day and all the loved ones I knew who were there to celebrate this important time!

The day began at Mount Nebo Cottage, a beautiful place along the Katy Trail that Mallory and her girls stayed the night before the wedding! Vann and the guys decided to head out to Blue Bell Farm and get ready at the venue itself. Not only did Mallory look beautiful, but she was so happy that this day had finally arrived. Mallory and her Dad had a first look which of course brought on the tears. Then it was off to Blue Bell Farm for Mallory and Vann’s first look!

The ceremony was held inside the barn at Blue Bell Farm, a gorgeous new venue here in Central Missouri! Through tears and smiles, Mallory and Vann said I Do and the celebrating began! Since Mallory is so sweet, she wanted me to celebrate with her family and we brought on Ashley Turner to photograph the reception. She did a wonderful job and captured so many beautiful moments below from the start of the reception on!

Congratulations once again Mallory and Vann, we absolutely loved being a part of your day!


And a big thank you to the wonderful vendors below :

Wedding Venue : Blue Bell Farm

Bridal Prep : Mont Nebo Cottage

Rentals : A-1 Rentals

Planner : AnnaBelle Events

Video : Peace Frame Productions

Second Photographer : Ashley Turner

Catering : Smokin’ Chicks BBQ

Cake : Tartelette Bakery

© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2015 | Destination Wedding Photographer | Columbia, Kansas city, St. Louis and Destinations World Wide