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This October couples session was sooo much fun with McKenzie + Ian! The first location was a cozy, cuddly in-home photoshoot at their house. The second location was at Tiffany Castle, which was perfect for their classic, spooky October photoshoot!

My packages include multiple locations as long as time allows. I love finding versatile spots to help my couples feel comfortable in front of my camera! Whatever location you have in mind, I’m totally down to try anything that helps us capture your unique love story!

You don’t need to wait til the weather is warm to have your couples shoot! In-home shoots are gaining popularity and for good reason. Exhibit A: these pics of McKenzie + Ian!!!

Cozy, In-home Photoshoot

I looooove doing in-home photoshoots because it’s capturing such a real part of their lives! This is the home Mckenzie + Ian live in together and the couch they cuddle on every day. Plus doing an in-home shoot means that your photos definitely won’t look like anyone else’s. This captures them in an authentic way, especially with how goofy these two are together! 

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Five Tips For Your In-Home Photoshoot

1. Include Your Pets

The BEST part of doing in-home photoshoots is 110% hanging out with furry friends. They’re a part of the family, so why shouldn’t they be included? Photos with your pets will forever be a beautiful way to remember them. As a cat mom myself (shoutout to Mozzie!) I loved having these two cuties jump in a few pics. And their adorable dog, Rosie, was such a sweetheart.

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2. Find Good Lighting

Good lighting is KEY to having a beautiful photoshoot. Of course I’m trained and experienced in all kinds of lighting, but glowy, gorgeous lighting is absolutely the way to this photographer’s heart.

We can find good lighting in your house by shooting near windows, like these amazinggggg windows in McKenzie + Ian’s sunroom. 

Another tip is to consider the time of day and the direction your windows face. If your windows face west, then right before sunset will help us get the dreamiest pics of you two.

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3. Be Yourself!

A lot of people get nervous in front of the camera, and that’s okay! If you want to loosen up, let’s kick off our shoot by making a drink. For example, if the two of you love mojitos, I can start photographing you two making drinks together. This movement not only creates ADORABLE candids, but doing something helps you relax a little.

To keep your mind off of the shoot, or to get unique photos, you guys can keep doing things while I take photos. Make cookies together or cook a special family recipe. Don’t try to be perfect – show up as yourself and that will be more than enough!

Try dancing in the kitchen, cuddling on the couch, kissing and hugging your partner. I’ll certainly help direct you, these are just some tips to get super authentic photos!

4. Wardrobe 

Some people love dressing up for their photoshoots while some people dread it! My number one tip will always be to find something you’re comfortable + confident in.

If you’re unsure what to wear for an in-home photoshoot, I suggest something a little more casual. I’m assuming that you guys don’t wear formal outfits to hang out at your house together, right??

I love how McKenzie + Ian had colorful, patterned socks on for their in-home shoot. And then because it was quick and easy, McKenzie threw on a cardigan for a little versatility!

When we do an in-home photoshoot, you can totally wear your slippers. Like I said, just wear whatever makes you comfortable!!

They switched into their more formal, spooky outfits for our pictures over at Tiffany Castle. Just like how their jeans matched the in-home vibe, these all-black fits were gorgeous for a spooky shoot!

5. Go Outside 

It’s not a classic October photoshoot without some pumpkins on the porch, right?? I love how these turned out. It’s a great reminder of the details of their engagement season.

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The second location was Tiffany Castle, a beautiful Kansas City castle built in 1909! Someone actually lives here but McKenzie and Ian got permission to use their house as a backdrop. 

The spooky vibes were amazing with their dark clothes. And the red shoes McKenzie chose were adorable!

I love how we got to celebrate McKenzie + Ian’s engagement with a photoshoot that showed off so much of their personalities and their lives together. The October theme and in-home setting really tells their love story in such a unique way!!

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Photoshoots always make for the perfect date night but here are some other really great fall date ideas.

For more fall photo session inspiration check out Sofi + Robert at Shawnee Mission Park and Chelsea + Thao at James A Reed.

Five Tips For Your In-Home Photoshoot

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I had the bestttt time photographing Courtney + Mitchell Martinez’s June wedding at Stony Point Hall!! This day was the epitome of finding the silver lining even when it rains. These two + their loved ones were great at rolling with the punches as their day went on.

Courtney wore a trash bag to get from the bridal suite to the venue, we popped champagne, and ended the night with a rainbow. It might not have been the day they imagined but it was perfect!

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Their original date was pushed back because of COVID, so this wedding reception was on the one year anniversary of their small backyard wedding. They finallyyyy got to throw the big party they had always dreamt of!! 

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Stony Point Hall

Courtney + Mitchell got married at Stony Point Hall, a gorgeous wedding venue in Baldwin City, Kansas. With 14 acres of rustic land filled with beautiful green trees, various flowers, and rolling hills, this venue is to die for. It’s the perfect romantic getaway, especially since you’ll have the whole property to yourself!

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Even though the venue is basically a rustic barn, Courtney + Mitchell told me they’re not really a “country vibe” type of couple. They were drawn to the beautiful land and the great staff at Stony Point Hall. And I’ve gotta agree that it was the perfect venue for their big party!!

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Getting Ready in the Rain

Since Courtney + Mitchell weren’t able to get the wedding party pictures they wanted last year at their micro wedding, we made sure to have a blast capturing them getting ready!

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One of Courtney’s favorite parts of the day was getting all dressed and ready just to have it pour. Her bridesmaids had to put her in a trash bag so her dress wouldn’t get messed up! It was hilarious and definitely memorable. Courtney looked like a cute pink burrito!

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We found a small overhang to grab some wedding party photos. I know Courtney + Mitchell were both sooo ready to celebrate with the people closest to them!

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Kansas City Wedding Reception

I can honestly say that Courtney + Mitchell’s wedding reception was soooo much fun. They had the super unique idea of playing trivia with all their family + friends!! They had a music round, a miscellaneous round, and a third round of questions about themselves! 

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When I asked about their fave part of the day, they both said they loved seeing their friends + family for the first time in forever. They also said that playing trivia was such a blast!

The newlyweds were so happy to be surrounded by all their favorite people. As they mingled with their guests, it was so obvious that they were just thrilled to be there.

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After tacos + trivia, everyone hit the dance floor. 

They also had a super cute photo area for all their guests to jump into. This is something I always recommend to my Kansas City couples – a photobooth or photo backdrop is a great way to provide entertainment for your guests AND to capture everyone who came!

During the reception, we grabbed a big group photo. I looove this idea! It helps us ensure everyone at your wedding is captured. It doesn’t need to be a big formal thing, because that could easily get crazyyyy. We can make it fun, like Courtney + Mitchell did here!!

Couples Portraits

With a cute umbrella, Mitchell helped his blushing bride across the grounds where we grabbed some pics under a gazebo. Kissing + dancing in the rain is always iconic and these two made it even more romantic!

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Both of them told me that their favorite images from the whole day are the ones we captured with this surprise rainbow! It was honestly so cool to have this little reminder that despite the COVID delay and then the rain, everything turned out perfectly

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Wedding Advice for Kansas City Couples

What is some advice you’d share with a future couple that is planning their wedding day?
Research every vendor. Do not be afraid to ask questions to make sure the service you want is what you are going to get. Also, book Natalie, you will not regret it.

What was your biggest concern/pain point throughout wedding planning?
Covid-19 pandemic. We couldn’t wait any longer so we had a small backyard wedding. But we were so grateful to celebrate at a later date with everyone else!

What was most important to you when looking for a Kansas City wedding photographer?
Quality of images and staying true to what the day actually looked like. Also, we wanted someone to click with, Natalie was a no-brainer for us!

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Courtney + Mitchell were such a joy to work with. I was so thankful to be a part of their wedding at Stony Point Hall. I loved how their priority was getting photos that genuinely looked exactly like their day. They helped me remember that no pandemic, no weather, NOTHING can stop you from making the most out of your day. After the storm, there’s always a rainbow. 🙂 Congrats again to the Martinez’s!

If you’re still worried about rain on your wedding day check out my blog post here on how to prepare for rain! Or for another example of a beautiful rainy ceremony check out Kala + Cooper’s wedding at Bliss Plaza.

Kansas City Wedding at Stony Point Hall | June 2021

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Every bride deserves to be celebrated in way that is unique to them. Here are my tips for 5 ways to level up your bridal brunch.

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Choose a Theme or Color Pallette 

This is the first step since everything else like food, florals, and decor are based off of that! Ultimately the goal here is to find something that mimics the bride’s taste, since her opinion matters the most!

Some common bridal shower themes:

  • Love is sweet
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Disney
  • PJ party
  • Tea party
  • Beachy/Nautical theme
  • The final fiesta

If you don’t have a theme in mind, pick a fun color palette and go from there! Not every bridal shower needs a theme, but a central idea/color is a great way to level up your bridal brunch.

For this bridal brunch styled shoot, we stuck with bright, vibrant colors like dark green, varying shades of pink, and gold. This created a super feminine and bold vibe for the decor!

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What to wear?

Along with the colors and theme, decide what the dress code of the bridal shower will be! As the host/planner of the bridal shower, you set the tone here. Most likely, your guests will be wondering what to wear!

Will everyone dress up? Is this a casual yet cute event? Should guests all wear a certain color? If it’s going to be outside, make sure everyone knows so they can plan for the weather. 

Bottom line: only the bride wears white!

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Unique Snacks

Every party needs some snacks! To make it memorable for the bride, find something personalized and unique. You can never go wrong with cookies & cupcakes, especially when they’re from Kat’s Confections

For Kansas City bridal showers, look into Go Go Candy Co! This is Kansas City’s one and only candy truck. This made our styled shoot sooo unique, fun, and YUMMY.

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Cute Bridal Shower Decor

Decorating your bridal shower venue ensures that it’s photo-ready and super personalized for the bride! Being intentional with the glassware, signage, florals, and other decor really helps set a fun vibe and draw attention to the theme or color palette. 

Centerpieces are an easy and gorgeous way to level up the area. These flowers are from The Little Clover and I’m obsesseddd with how they turned out. 

While you’re planning the bridal shower decor, keep the bride’s chair in mind. This is where she’ll sit to open gifts. Decorate it BIG like with a balloon arch to really make her feel like a queen! This is more than a chair, it’s a throne. 

Balloon arch courtesy of Dolli’s Design’s 

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Bridal Shower Games

During the bridal brunch, your guests will be mingling and eating and chatting with the bride about her upcoming wedding. It’s always fun to gather people with a bridal-themed game!

Keep these short and completely personalized to your guest of honor. The questions can be about the bride, her relationship with her partner, or about the partner! It’s always fun for everyone to learn more about them. 

Playing bridal shower games is the perfect way to break the ice, get everyone laughing, and make the bride feel special. 

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Kansas City Wedding Vendor Credit

Allllll the credit to these amazing Kansas City wedding vendors for their help at this styled shoot!

Venue: The Firehouse

Planner: Cake & Champagne Event Planning

Photographer: Natalie Nichole Photography (hey, that’s me!)

Videography: Isbell Creative

Rentals: Supply Event Rentals

Balloon Decor: Dolli’s Design’s 

Florals: The Little Clover

Candy Truck: Go Go Candy Co

Cookies + Cupcakes: Kat’s Confections

Hair + Makeup: Lumiere Aesthetics Center

Inspo: Planning the Perfect Bridal Shower

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5 Ways to Level Up Your Bridal Brunch

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Kansas City is one of the prettiest places in the fall. The crisp wind paired with the warm sun makes outside activities so much more enjoyable. The leaves stay bright fall colors for weeks (my favorite to photograph!) and everyone is soaking up time with their loved ones before the busyness of the holiday season. If you’re a fan of fall, you’ll love these Seven Kansas City Fall Date Ideas. From First Fridays to fruit-picking, we’ve covered it all! Grab your significant other for some quality time. Let’s make some memories!

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Louisburg Cider Mill

Is anyone surprised this is first on my list of date ideas? With a 10-acre corn maze and a 10-acre pumpkin patch, this is one of Kansas City’s favorite fall date activities. 

The drive down south to Louisburg Cider Mill is beautiful, and the journey is beyond worth it! Their corn maze is always a unique theme, and the cider donuts are *chefs kiss.* Look into their upcoming events to find a day with local vendors, live music, hay wagon rides, and farm animals. 

Kansas City Apple + Pumpkin Picking

Kansas City, Kansas

Cider Hill Family Orchard offers tons of delish apple treats to enjoy before you head out into the orchard to pick apples! There are other activities too: pumpkin picking, hayrides, fishing, and lots of photo opportunities. Bonus: leashed dogs are allowed!

Platte City, Missouri

Open Saturdays and Sundays, Alldredge Orchards is the perfect pumpkin picking place! They have a hayride, barnyard, and lots of goodies in their rustic barn store. Don’t worry, your leashed dog is allowed here too!

First Fridays

Downtown is always fun on Friday nights but the Crossroads are the place to be for you + your boo on First Fridays. Grab an adult Capri sun from Mean Mule, stop in Parlor for some live music, and peruse through dozens of art galleries. There are always booths to shop unique, local trinkets, and don’t forget about the food trucks!

First Fridays is a classic Kansas City date night! This Fall, the dates are September 3, October 1, and November 5th. Mark your calendars!

Farmers Market in the River Market

If you’ve been in Kansas City for any length of time, chances are you’ve been to the River Market! Every Saturday dozens of vendors gather to showcase their fresh fruits & veggies, homemade bread, specialty salsa, & beautiful bouquets of flowers. 

This is a fun Kansas City date if you’re a fan of supporting local businesses and shopping small! After shopping, grab lunch at The Opera House Coffee & Emporium, or take the free street car downtown.

Plaza Art Fair

There’s nothing more “Kansas City” than the plaza! The 2021 Plaza Art Fair is held September 24-26th and if you haven’t been before, this is your shot. This year is the 90th anniversary of the art fair! With live music, food stands, art exhibits, and different activities, you and your date won’t be bored.

Spend the afternoon shopping, trying drinks, & supporting small businesses. Pick up dinner from a food stand and eat it while you enjoy a live band. Grab ice cream from Ice Cream BAE in the Made in KC Marketplace to end your evening on a sweet note! This is a Kansas City fall date that you’ll remember for years. 

Kansas City Fall Photo Shoot

Everyone knows Kansas City is beautiful in the fall. The trees stay yellow and orange for weeks and the weather is perfect. It’s definitely my favorite time for a couples photoshoot!

A photo session is such a cute way to top off your date. I can meet you at any of the places listed above to capture the sweet memories of your fall date! Or do you have another location in mind? Let’s chat about it and make alllll your Kansas City fall date dreams come true.

Follow along on Instagram where I’ll soon release my dates for mini-sessions! These are totally a fan-favorite so I don’t want you to miss them. 

These Kansas City fall date ideas are perfect to spend some time with your boo, check out some photo inspo from last season here and here.

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Seven Kansas City Fall Date Ideas

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This colorful day celebrating Kala + Cooper was amazing. I know a lot of couples might be nervous about planning an outdoor wedding in Kansas City, because our weather can be a little unpredictable! But Kala + Cooper proved that with the right venue, a few umbrellas, and a whole lotta love, nothing can stop a wedding that’s meant to be. This blog post will feature all my favorite parts of their outdoor wedding at Bliss Plaza.

As a Kansas City wedding photographer, I LOVE when my couples know how to party! These two planned a day that honestly felt so unique to them.

From the bright color palette, to the fun socks, all the way to Kala killing it on the dance floor… These two were clearly sooooo happy to get married. They’re head over heels for each other, and we had a wonderful time celebrating that!

Pre-Ceremony Celebrations

Everyone got ready on-site at The Bliss Plaza Event Venue. Their bridal suite was perfect for pre-wedding drinks + dancing! Kala and her girls rocked their Harry Potter themed shirts. 

Cooper grabbed a drink with his guys. They were such a fun group!

Kala told me that the moment this felt real, the moment it really kicked in, was reading the letter that Cooper wrote her. She said this was one of, if not THE, best part of her day. 

Something unique I looooved was the first look Kala did with her grandmas. This was such a special moment and I hope she cherishes these pictures forever.

Their Wedding Outfits

Kala was absolutely glowing in her Morilee/Wedding Expressions by Geri dress! My favorite part is this detail on her bodice.

The coolest part about Kala’s wedding OOTD was her shoes. She decorated them herself! Seriously so impressive. 

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The bridesmaids were gushing over her – It’s so fun to do a first look with your girls! Their dresses were so fun and really helped elevate the colorful theme of the day. All the girls looked bomb, and their dresses were from Azazie.

Cooper KNOWS that his bride is stunning. These two crack me up.

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I love a navy blue suit, and Cooper was killing it in his. All the guys’ outfits were Calvin Klein at Men’s Wearhouse. Their pink ties matched the ceremony decor and coordinated with the girls’ dresses. These colors just make me so happy!!

And we can’t forget about the socks. Super cute, boys!

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Kansas City Outdoor Ceremony

I love outdoor ceremonies because the lighting is natural and the scenery is beautiful. 

The Hamiltons got married at The Bliss Plaza Event Venue, with a beautiful landscape surrounding their outdoor ceremony space. Guests were able to keep dry under this cute gazebo!

Kala + Cooper wrote their own vows. It always impresses me so much when couples do this!! I love hearing what you love about your favorite person. The Hamiltons did a beautiful job of speaking from their hearts. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. 

Despite the rain, everyone was so happy to see these two finally tie the knot.

But nobody was happier than Kala + Cooper!

Bliss Plaza Event Venue,
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Indoor Wedding Reception

Kala + Cooper told me the best part of their day was having all their favorite people in one place. As I looked around their reception, I could tell their favorite people were over-the-moon happy for the beautiful couple!!

The Bliss Plaza was the perfect space for their indoor wedding reception in Kansas City. It’s a blank slate with the ideal balance of rustic and elegance! The neutral aesthetic makes it easy to customize, especially with the bright colors that Kala + Cooper picked.

I loved this H that all their guests signed. This is a unique way to display all the support from their family + friends!

The cupcake bar was an easy and DELICIOUS way to feed a crowd, plus the colors matched their theme perfectly! All their food was done by Katie’s Catering

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As Disney fans, their first dance song choice was obvious. Can You Feel The Love Tonight was the perfect pick, and honestly, yeah, I could feel the love! These two practically have heart eye emojis when they look at each other!

When I asked Kala to describe how they felt on their wedding day, she said, “Pure bliss. The whole day felt perfect and wonderful.”

These two are both vets, so now they’re BOTH Dr. Hamilton!!

I asked them…. What’s some advice you’d share with someone who’s planning their wedding day?
“Weddings are stressful, expensive, and time-consuming to plan. Lean on the people who ask to help, and lean on each other through the process. Enjoy the process and the day, it goes so quick!”

For more advice from real couples check out this blog post: Advice from Real Brides

Congrats BIG TIME to Dr. + Dr. Hamilton!! 

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To plan your own outdoor wedding at Bliss Plaza check out these amazing vendors!

KC Wedding Vendor Credit:

Kala + Cooper’s Outdoor Wedding at Bliss Plaza – Kansas City, Missouri