BIRTHDAY, Say what???? | Personal

Oh HEY, it’s my BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!

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So, I will apologize first for sucking at staying updated with blogs. Wedding season is CRAZY. This month alone is JAM packed with fun: 5 weddings, many sessions, bachelorette weekend madness, and 3 weeks plus some days from MY WEDDING DAY. EEEKKKKKK!!!

For my birthday I ALWAYS love to celebrate with y’all and spread the joy. This year I will be doing some awesome giveaways, but you have to share and follow the rules to enter…..are you ready for these?

1. A FREE mini session PERFECT for the holiday season.

2. 50% off Bridal session

3. The BIG one here, $500 off any wedding package for a 2017 or 2018 bride

How to enter to win these giveaways: COMMENT on this blog, tell me a little something something about you, and/or your family or spouse to be. SHARE on Facebook. SHARE image of snappy birthday on instagram and TAG me @crystalreyns AND #crystalsbdaygiveaway

Good luck you guys, now I’m off to hunt down a sugar free cupcake for my PAPA’s 82nd birthday today. Yes we have the same birthday and it is kinda awesome 🙂 🙂

Sawyer is ONE | Personal | Dog Cake Smash | Crystal Reyns Photography

I know y’all see me post quite a few cake smashes through out the year. Y’all know I LOVE them. And I LOVE my fur babies…. so for our little guy Sawyer we HAD to do a cake smash.

He had his first studio session the day after we got him, he was 8 weeks new, and what seems to be so tiny compared to now. Back then he was calm, sleepy, and not the most coordinated. We began a hashtag to follow his grow and it was so fun to watch over the past year. #watchsawyergrow

NOW being the bit ONE, he is SSSSSOOOOOO energetic, which is a huge change from having lazy pugs. He is a morning dog and doesn’t let us sleep in, he listens pretty well, he loves to chase ANYTHING that will move, including all his fur brothers, a ball is his best friend, and he still loves to cuddle he just doesn’t know his size.

So March 24th 2016, happiest of birthday to our biggest baby Mister Sawyer Duke!!!!

Here is the many faces of Sawyer:

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And this DOG cake 🙂 It is made from bananas, peanut butter, flour and eggs. The icing the greek yogurt chips melted……easy peeeeezzzzyyy and they LOVED it!

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And he was afraid of it…..I guess he thought he would get in trouble LOL

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Where have I been in 2016 | Personal | Catch up| Crystal Reyns Photography

I haven’t blogged in so long…….YIKES…. I apologize guys!!!!

A few have asked where have I been…

Well I took a nice break during what we call our ‘slow season.’

From January to now, we have been cracking down on our wedding planning and we have gotten a lot done, which a blog will be coming on the ins and outs of wedding planning and how NOT to let it get the best of you. I have said YES TO THE DRESS over at my favorite bridal shop, Urban Set bride and couldn’t be more proud to be an urban set bride!!!

We had a fun snowed in weekend with the blizzard, which I would normally venture out into and want to shoot kids, families, baby bumps…..but for once I wanted to be at home cuddled up and just watching the snow and able to take it in without ‘working.’

Traveling, y’all know I love to travel. We spent a nice weekend away at a wonder bed and breakfast in the mountains. I’ll tell y’all what, I think EVERYONE should put that on your bucket list if you haven’t. I know I want to do it again already.

I decided to take a day position at a wonderful company, and I am loving…. BUT that isn’t slowing down the wedding season or sessions, as my weekends are still for photography and some for living 🙂  I will gladly say that the 2016 WEDDING SEASON IS FULLY BOOKED as well, and we have already started BOOKING for 2017!!

Like most families we have been dealing with quite a bit of winter sickness and that didn’t leave me out this year. From a little cold to now bronchitis right before the beginning of my season. Thankfully I have an amazing doctor that wants to nip it in the bud as much as I do…..shout out to Stacy at Va family practice….thanks girl!!!

And last but not least….we decided to add another one to our family….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

MEET Kevin…..(as in kevin bacon):

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And lets not leave out mister Sawyer, as he will be turning a YEAR this month…..which means a special shoot just for this big boy. And look at the size difference from him to kevin……and yes he did try to eat him…..but NO PIGS were harmed!!!!

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2015 year end review | Crystal Reyns Photography

It has been one AMAZING year. Full of weddings, maternity, family sessions, THREE styled shoots, and lots of beyond amazing clients!!!

A year I became a bride to be as well, and I love my brides and vendors helping me out on planning my own wedding!

Thank you all for allowing me to capture your life and supporting my small business!!!

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Urban Set Bride | Feature Friday Series | Richmond, Va

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For my first feature friday series I knew exactly who I wanted to feature. And these lovely ladies said yes!!!

Urban Set Bride is AH-mazing brides!! Seriously if you haven’t visited just a bridal boutique, please reach out to Urban Set. This little bridal shop was my ONLY choice as a bride myself. I knew I loved the feeling of comfort, home, and I felt like family when I left. And true story, they even made my childhood best friend want to be a bride, when she was planning to elope…..that makes a huge statement to me alone!! So…..yes I am proud to say I am an Urban Set Bride myself and my experience was beyond amazing for trying on dresses and feeling like bride. And it was SUPER FUN!!!

What sets you apart from other bridal stores: ” We only allow one appointment at a time, and every client deserves that experience no matter what their budget is. We offer a different selection, without being too overwhelming. We pay attention to trends, but still has classic gowns. The bride will come in and meet the owners instead of a worker on commission (David’s Bridal). We wanted to offer one appointment at a time to have a family feel. Our brides come in as strangers and leave as family. We offer plus size, small budget. Other bridal shops focus on high budget, typically white, and folks that have deep pockets. We are a no pressure salon, suggest the bride to look at other shops before deciding on a gown.”

“Your wedding is an awesome day and you should enjoy being a bride. We want to remove a stigma of ‘other’ women that want to feel awesome. ”

How is it being a mother daughter team: “Can’t imagine working with another person. It has its ups and downs. It is a whole another level of trust, and forces us to communicate and trust each other. We definitely lean on each other as it is consuming on time and life. Brother and Dad helps out as well. Allows us dedication to working with a family members. And gives that 100% family business”

How was it to leave corporate world: “I was doing wedding planning part time and working in property management. I knew since college I wanted to own my own business, but didn’t know what for. As working part time in wedding planning I knew that bridal shop was best fit. I wanted to set apart from the David’s bridal to a big end shop, as I wanted to fit ALL women. And there is no going back. No one can be my boss again. ”

What is you typical bride: “open minded brides.”

How do you connect with other vendors: “I love networking, rising tide, tuesdays together.”

How did you pick your location in Richmond: “We didn’t want to be where competitors are. Definitely wanted a cozy feel. We  love the neighborhood and how it is changing. People are changing churchhill. It is a place that is easy to park. We didn’t want or need the drive by traffic and do not prefer ‘walk in’ traffic. Its a comfortable feeling. We  couldn’t achieve that in short pump or in cary town.  We are surrounded by amazing restaurants that we can suggest to their brides after their appointments.”

What can we look for from Urban Set Bride in the next year: “We are expanding the shop and bringing in an in house seamstress. We will have an in-house florist, Amanda Burnette. And will have office space for Wood Grain and Lace. Inventory is expanding, more plus size more casual options. Would like to add a menswear that are LGBT for women’s suits as well.”

Who are your favorite designers: Maggie Sottero, voted best fit, trendy and classic, great detail. not super expensive. under 2900. Oldest designer: Ellis Bridal, 104 years in business.

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Thank you so MUCH Urban Set Bride for allowing me to come in and spend some time with y’all, it was a true pleasure.

365 days from today | Personal

365 days……one year from today……it’s GO TIME!!

Man oh man, in one year from today I will be a bride and starting a new chapter in my life. I couldn’t be more happy, but the stress set in a little this morning when I saw the date. I know a lot of magazines and blogs say it takes year to plan a wedding. My wonderful fiancé calmed me down this morning by saying we already have a lot planned, which we do.

My philosophy on planning our dream wedding was to not let the wedding be more than it is, one day, and about us. And that is still what we intend to do. The planning thus far has been fun. I went to look at wedding dresses on my 30th birthday, and Urban Set Bride was and is my only option for my wedding dress. Their love for vintage and lace fits my personality so much, plus the owners are pretty bad ass.

During my birthday week I had all of my bridesmaid in town and they were off work, so all of us girls were able to go to my wedding venue……AND they LOVED it. It is quite a walk to the ceremony site, but it is so going to be worth it our woodsy whimsical unplugged ceremony. 🙂 And the same day we picked ‘the’ bridesmaid dresses, my ladies are going to be stunning in those Kanali K dresses.

Other vendors we have set for wedding: florist (faithful flowers), coordinator, Officiant, caterer…….so now after typing that, seriously why am I stressing??? Maybe its the actual stress of wanting everything to be perfect. That happens for every bride right? I know I have some pretty AMAZING brides as quite a few check on me with planning and I am so thankful for that!!!! You ladies ROCK!!!

Past brides are there any things I should be doing now one year out?

Turning 30 | Personal

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Last week was my 30th birthday……holy crap 30!!!! I’m still wondering how I got here so fast. I still feel like I’m 26 and a new home owner and building a small business. THIRTY, that is just still CRAZY to me.

For this birthday I wanted to take some time just for me. I have spent the last couple of years being a work aholic, working a full time job and then working almost every single weekend still building this amazing business with some AWESOME clients. From 29 to 30 I have learned to slow down, appreciate the smaller things, and knowing I missed out on a lot by pouring myself into my work. Life only happens once…….that was something my Papa told me over and over again. This past year I listened and focused on enjoying more of what I love. In taking more time to enjoy life, I found myself more passionate in my work, more creative, and most of all incredibly happy.

This last year has been so rewarding to say the least. I have found my person to share my life with that completely gets me and all my weirdness, and totally adores me for exactly who I am. We are in the middle of planning our wedding for 2016, and that is another adventure in itself. We are raising a puppy named Sawyer which offers all sorts of challenges and rewards, a clue in challenges is that he loves name brand shoes…….I decided to live a more positive life and remove a lot of negative in the early parts of turning 29, and that has made such a difference in my life. I ventured into doing styled shoots and I will say doing these is beyond amazing, it allows me to be creative and work with some awesome awesome vendors without becoming burned out. Being published on Burnett’s Boards was a goal I had for myself this year that I didn’t think I would achieve, and my very first styled shoot was published just 10 days before my birthday…..such an honor!!!

So how do you celebrate your 30th when you have everything you have ever wanted in life??

I chose to plan my second styled shoot two days before my birthday, then take a few days off, my childhood best friend and little sister came with me to check out some wedding dresses at Urban Set bride. My little sister actually flew in from SC to surprise me at the bridal shop, and it was the best surprise. And you know you picked a great matron of honor, Joni, when she shows up to the fitting with a full cooler, ice, and extra cups. A few days after my birthday while my little sister was still in town, it just so happened that ALL my bridesmaids were off work and in one location….ssssoooo we ventured over to the wedding venue and I was able to show them the location, and then go try on bridesmaids dresses which turned into everyone in a wedding gown…..it was the BEST!!!

With me having a great birthday week already….I was ready for a surprise adventure day this past Saturday. My sweets and my childhood best friend, Joni, had planned a surprise birthday party with some of our closest friends. I am beyond grateful in life to have friends, family, and my loved one that put everything into making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

We proposed to our wedding party i Crystal Reyns Photography i Personal

Now that all of our wedding party has said YES, I wanted to share how we proposed to our wedding party.  We decided to make one of our date nights a craft night for the friends we love most and whom we want to share our special day with.

Me being me, I love surprises, and I love everything pink and gold….so I made my wonderful ladies goodie boxes with their favorite liquor, a gold sparkly ‘P’, sparkly finger nail polish, a wedding day scented candle, and custom card for each person with a special note.

The ‘groomsmen’ boxes were silver and black with special touches for each individual, I didn’t make these ones as you will tell because there is no pink involved. Each one of these boxes contained a card that stated “Shit just got real.” These were our favorite wedding party proposal cards, and they were ordered without hesitation.

We are so excited to share our day with Joni, Sammi, Stacy, Aj, Whitney, Jess, Brycen, and Ryan. Feel free to follow our planning of the big day on instagram #reynstophillips

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