Spring Bridal Shower | Stylized Photoshoot

It’s been a long, long winter filled with lots of white. When that weather hit 40 degrees for the first time in months, I was ready to put on my short sleeves and call it spring. I personally am ready for some color in my life, and this shoot fulfilled that need! Working with some amazing vendors, we created a colorful, happy and joyful bridal shower styled shoot. You try to not be happy when surrounded by balloons, confetti and delicious food, including the BEST bundt cakes I’ve ever tasted and the freshest appetizers. Check out some inspiration below for your upcoming bridal shower! Keep scrolling to the very bottom for a few behind-the-scenes photos!

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography // Stationery, Rentals, Florals and Design: Jane Rae Events // Hair and Makeup: Platinum Imagination // Outfits: Primp Boutique // Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes // Balloons: Queen City Balloon Bar // Appetizers: Chef Jeni // Venue: Open Space // Models: Tessa, Jade & Logan


Some behind-the-scenes!

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It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Newly Engaged? Book These Vendors First!

Newly Engaged? Book These Vendors First!

The memory of your engagement is still dancing in your head, and your staring at the beautiful, sparkly new ring on your finger. Take a second to bask in the happiness! Congrats!!

Your next tasks may seem overwhelming, so here are some tips about what vendors you should book first! Keep a few dates in mind as your start to look at your top choices, as you may need to be flexible with your date to get exactly what you want. Keep in mind that a lot of wedding vendors books up early, sometimes over a year in advance!

Best Places to Propose in Sioux Falls

Best Places to Propose in Sioux Falls

If you’re looking to start 2019 by changing your status from dating to engaged, you’ve probably started to look for places in or around Sioux Falls to get engaged. If you’re stuck, no worries! Here is a list of 10 amazing places to propose in Sioux Falls to help you out!

Timing Tips for Your Big Day

When you’re planning a wedding day timeline, the best advice is let your vendors help you build your timeline, and add an extra 10 minutes to every task.  Sometimes the simplest things can take an extra 10 minutes and then all of a sudden, the whole morning is thrown off.  I have seen “getting the bride in her dress” take almost 40 minutes because of a button malfunction.  It’s a smart idea to add in an extra ten minutes here and there so that you have some wiggle room to work with!  This way, if one part of the day gets thrown off by 20 minutes, I can help you compensate that time in other areas.  There are so many different things to think about when you’re planning a wedding day.

I help all of my brides by building a timeline for the day, but if you are doing it on your own I want to help you! I realize that every single wedding day is different and so not all of these tips will apply to every wedding day schedule.  Something else to consider is that not EVERYTHING will go as planned, and I promise you, that is completely normal!! 

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS!

If you want to remember all the small details you had the day of your wedding, make sure you provide them for me to shoot! I will typically ask for your flowers, shoes, jewelry, invitation suite, perfume, and BOTH rings. Yes, both rings I said! You will be wearing your rings for photos and I will need them for details so make sure you keep the groom’s ring the morning of, we will make sure we hand them over to the best man before the ceremony. If there is anything else you have that is special to you the day of, let me capture it! A grandmother’s ring, a piece of your mother’s wedding dress in yours, a pin with special meaning. All of these things make your wedding unique and I want to capture it all for you! Having the details at the ready will make these photos go much faster!

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BOUQUETS AND BOUTS

You will need your Bouquet & Bouts for your First Look! Have the flowers delivered to the room where the bride is getting ready, and if you want your groom to have is boutonniere for the first look, make sure you have someone who can bring it to him AND pin it on him before. If you don’t want the boutonniere for the First Look, have them delivered with the rest of your flowers and make sure there is someone assigned to pin them onto the groomsmen and groom before the rest of the photos!

**Don’t want bouts at all? You don’t have to! This is your wedding day and if you want big bouts, little bouts, no bouts that is all ok!

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HAIR & MAKE-UP

Make sure you communicate with your HMUA (Hair and Makeup Artist) about exactly how many people will be needing their hair and makeup done the morning of, and what time you need to be ready for photos. This will help them plan their morning to make sure everyone is ready and if they will need to bring in extra help or not. Your bridesmaids will have a bit of extra time after you to finish getting ready, so make your hair and makeup a priority! I also stress making sure you get a firm yes or no from bridesmaids and the moms about getting hair and makeup done, so that the HMUA doesn’t need to try to squeeze and extra person in.

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GROOMSMEN PREP

Make sure all the guys arrive on time to a specified location, and bring their suits and all the extras; socks, shoes, cufflinks, pocket squares and anything else they have been given to wear that day. Encourage them to try on their suits as soon as they get them, so that there is time to fix any issues that may arise with sizing or missing items. Myself or my second shooter will typically take detail photos of the groom’s items and then some mock photos of him putting on his tie, jacket, shoes and opening any letters or gifts he receives that morning. If there is time and the guys are feeling up to it, we may take some photos of them hanging out the morning of as well!

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GETTING IN THE DRESS

You get to decide who should be there when you put on your dress. When that time comes, I will ask you to get mostly into your dress (enough to be modest), and then I will place you in a well-lit area, typically by a window for you to get buttoned, zipped or corseted into your dress. You can have your maid of honor, personal attendant, parent or anyone you want help you with this. If you want to do a reveal with your bridesmaids after you’ve got the dress on, I can help create that moment too!

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TRAVEL TIME

Be sure to think about the travel time and TRAFFIC to and from your getting ready location and your venue! When I help you build a timeline, I account for travel time and will usually add that right into the schedule. Make sure you think about how you will travel around the day of, who will be driving or if you want to rent a bus to hop around with your whole wedding party!

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LUNCH

Make sure you schedule time between your getting ready breakfast and mimosas and your awesome reception dinner to eat something for lunch and drink water! I will typically wrap up photos an hour before the ceremony, giving you time to relax, touch of makeup and hair if needed and sit down, eat and drink some water! Most couples typically have a light lunch of sandwiches or salads, but you can make your lunch whatever you want. I’ve had couples order in pizza and pre-order meals from Applebee’s and have someone pick them up, just try to not get anything too messy! I do recommend trying to keep it light enough to fill you up, but heavy enough to help with any drinking you may be doing after the ceremony is over. Don’t worry, I won’t take photos of you eating unless you ask me to.

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RECEIVING LINE, USHER OUT OR NONE OF THE ABOVE?

After your ceremony you have the choice of doing a receiving line, in which you stand at the back of the ceremony location and greet each person as they leave. This will typically take about 30-40 minutes depending on your guest count and if they like Midwestern small talk ;). You may also choose to usher your guests out. With this option, you will walk out of the church at the end of the ceremony and then circle back to the front and greet each person as they leave their seat. This will typically take 20-30 minutes, again depending on your guest count. If neither of these sound appealing, or if you just don’t like small talk, you aren’t required to do either! It is your day, so you can do what you wish. If you choose to not do a receiving line or usher out at the end of the ceremony, try to plan some time to visit as many tables as possible at the reception. It will be hard to catch everyone, but this will still make your guests feel welcomed and give them a chance to congratulate you.

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ARRIVING TO YOUR RECEPTION

The ceremony is over; the party has already started! Now it’s time to get to your reception. Talk with your DJ about how you want to enter your reception and if you want to do anything fancy! Plan to have your party bus drop you off 20 minutes before you need to make you entrance. That will give you time to use the bathroom, get anything off the bus you need to and have your bridal party get lined up. This sounds easy enough, but when you’re hyped and ready to party it will take some time to get everything organized!

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DINNER, TOASTS AND DANCING

The time it will take to serve your meal will heavily depend on the amount of guests you have and if you are doing seated or buffet. Seated will almost always take longer than buffet, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately rule it out! Go with the option you feel will be better for you and the experience you want to create. Before the day, make sure you talk with your venue staff, coordinator, and/or DJ and decide who will be dismissing tables for buffet. This will cut down on confusion the day of. If you choose to have a host & hostess dismiss tables, make sure they are aware of that the day of, and have them talk to the venue staff for tips about how to best keep the line moving and getting people fed. Typically you should not need longer than an hour and a half for dinner, and remember you can start your speeches and toasts while people are still eating! You will be the first table served, so the first ones done. Use this time to socialize with guests, take in the moment and get those toasts done. The more time you leave for people to wait for the next event to begin, the more likely you are to have people start to leave early. Keep them on their toes and in the moment! Again, talk to your DJ about your reception timeline and what you are wanting for events and how quickly things should happen. The part of the night will need to be a little flexible based on what’s happening and what the mood of the room is.

TAKE A MOMENT

Try to stop yourself a few times during the day and take a moment to soak it in. You’ve heard it a thousand times already; the day goes by so fast. You’ll be getting into your dress one moment and cutting your cake the next. The day is about capturing moment, being with the people you love and celebrating, but it’s also about you and your soon-to-be spouse and uniting into marriage. Take a second, stand back and look around and breathe. It’s a glorious day, so enjoy it!

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It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Rainy Wedding = Ruined Wedding? Not So Fast!

 One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive during wedding season is “Soooo, what do you do if it RAINS?!”.  I want to reassure you that even if it rains, you will still have beautiful portraits and BRIGHT colors in your images! Overcast skies mean vibrant colors!  I know that rain isn’t ideal, and no bride would wish for rain on their big day, but if it happens, it happens..... and it’s going to be JUST fine!!  Some of our best weddings have been on rainy wedding days! I have literally been stuck in the rain, under a tree, with an entire bridal party.

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

See the image above! We all had a good laugh about it and carried on with the party. Here are a few things to remember

1. 10 minutes or a porch! All I need to create natural light portraits on a rainy wedding day is a covered area, which we can find in nearly any town or area. I also only need 10 minutes of no rain to knock out some great photos for you. The photos below were taken on a very rainy day, but there was a break in the clouds so we took advantage of it!

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

2. Let me worry about the pictures. You have enough to think about. If there is a chance of rain, I’ll be sure to do some extra scouting to find a covered location or two, for us to use for you first look, romantic portraits and bridal party portraits. I found this great greenhouse at a rainy wedding, and the owners were amazing and let us take cover there for some photos!

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

3.  Take it one step at a time.  Don’t think about your entire day and what will happen if it rains. That will only overwhelm you! Definitely have a rain plan for your venue, but then let your vendors do the work of handling the rest of the day if rain is in the forecast. I will stand out in the rain while you are protected to get the shot if I have to, and I have!

Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
Sioux Falls Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

First Look: Why It's Worth It & Expectations

First Look: Why It's Worth It & Expectations

I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again, and so I only share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally ok if couples choose not to share a first look!  It’s just my preference to do one for many reasons.... Keep reading to find out more of the benefits of sharing your first look privately!

How To Make Your Wedding Morning Picture Perfect

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn Wedding

It’s the morning of your wedding! Hopefully all of the little details are taken care of and you’re relaxing with your best friends while your hair is being done. If certain items haven’t been checked off of the to-do list, it’s time to hand them over to someone else. I know it’s hard to hand over the decorating duties and all of the last minute things that need to be done, but it really is important to relax the morning of your wedding. The rest of the day is going to be fast-paced and filled with a lot of emotions! Take advantage of this down time!  There are a few things to consider about the “getting ready” portion of the day.  Do you want to share a “first look” with your dad or any other person who plays a huge role in your life? Will you and your groom be exchanging gifts during this time? If so, who would you like to deliver them? 

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Sioux Falls Wedding Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Are there certain women in your life who would appreciate seeing you get into your gown? Some brides want very few people around for this moment. Other brides love having aunts and grandmas present! It’s totally up to you!  A few other things to consider.... as you get ready to put your dress on, refrain from putting any jewelry on.  I love shooting all of those final steps once you’re in your gown!  Speaking of the gown, if your gown is on a plastic hanger, try to make a note to bring a ‘fancy’ hanger along for picture sake. If you forget, no big deal! Are you wearing flats? Grab your favorite pair of heels from your closet or ones that match your colors! They will be great for photos and no one will know you went with a comfy option instead! Keep reading along for more “getting ready” tips to help you prepare!

The Window Effect
By having just a  simple window in the bridal prep area, I am able to create beautiful portraits with soft light.  I prefer natural light so the more windows, the better! 

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Blue Haven Barn | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Rings, Shoes, Jewels...

The whole 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.  One suggestion I have is, if you decide to go with flats or sandals that you don’t want photographed, grab a pair of your favorite heels from your closet or ones that match your colors and bring those! No one will never know you didn’t spend the whole day in those heels!  I ask brides to gather any details they have before I arrive so that I can walk in, say hello, give you a big hug and then begin with all the goodies!  (Please assure your mom that I will take GREAT care of the dress, I promise!) 

Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Blue Haven Barn | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | What to Bring To Wedding Photos

Day of Reminders!

Bethany Melvin Photography | South Dakota Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photography

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!  If we are doing getting ready shots of your guy, make sure he knows to only put on his pants and shirt and leave the rest out (cuff links, watch, tie, shoes, socks, pocket square) for me, or my second shooter!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

Hang The Dress

Buy a nice hanger for your dress! It doesn't have to be personalized or expensive, even a nice wooden one looks better than a plastic one. I will take your dress for a few dress shots somewhere near where you are getting ready. No worries, I will make sure it doesn't get dirty or seen by the groom!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Orpheum Wedding
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer

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 jewerly.  This REALLY makes for beautiful, consistent album spreads!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Area Humane Society
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography | Blue Haven Barn

Keep all 3 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!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Rochester, MN Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer

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

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn Wedding
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn Wedding
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer

Tell Your Groom We'll Be Taking Photos!

Sometimes the Bride forgets to let the groom know we will be there taking photos of him putting on his final details and taking photos of his stuff too! Typically my 2nd shooter will go to wherever he is getting ready and get a few shots of him getting ready. If you only have me as the shooter, if your groom is getting ready close by I can typically get some shots of him as well!

Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Wedding Photography
Bethany Melvin Photography | Twin Cities Wedding Photographer
Bethany Melvin Photography | Sioux Falls Hilton Garden Inn
Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

I hope this helps you when it comes time to start planning all your details and starting your day off on the right foot! Look for more blogs soon about timelines, inspiration and more!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Prepping For Your Engagement Session!

Sioux Falls Area Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

It's always a little intimidating to have your picture taken...even if it's just a photo on your phone taken by a friend. This may be the first time you've had professional photos taken since your senior photos! We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving. That's what I'm here for, to ease your nerves, make you look amazing and get to know you! You'll have the chance to get to know me as well, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. 

This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I'll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day, because of the great practice you had during your engagement session, and that's how it should be!

Sioux Falls Area Wedding Photography | Bethany Melvin Photography

It's always a little intimidating to have your picture taken...even if it's just a photo on your phone taken by a friend. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving. That's what I'm here for, to ease your nerves, make you look amazing and get to know you! You'll have the chance to get to know me as well, experience how I shoot and how I handle posing and lighting. 

This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows. I'll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact, what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way. What I will learn about you during your engagement session is invaluable! You will feel like such a pro on your big day, because of the great practice you had during your engagement session, and that's how it should be!

Twin Cities Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

When should I schedule my e-shoot? Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress. I shoot engagements on weekday evenings or some weekends, normally from 5-7pm depending on the light and time of the year. In the winter months,  3-5 pm is the normal time frame for an e-shoot!

Twin Cities Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

Where should we go? As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, we will need to start brainstorming location ideas. I LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way! If you can't think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, I can help you decide on a location. As long as the light is great, I can make any location look awesome! I shoot at farms, campuses, downtown alleys and even laundry mats! I'm serious! Do not shy away from crazy ideas; the more creative, the better! 
 

Sioux Falls Area Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

I realize that preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming, so here are some tips that will make the e-shoot prep a little more manageable! 

  • Don't try to MATCH...try to pick outfits and accessories that coordinate instead!
  • Don't be afraid to be BOLD! Accessorize and make your outfits your own. Scarves, bold necklaces and fun shoes are always welcomed! I don't recommend hats, unless for just a few photos!
  • Most patterns are actually OK...however, graphics are not favorable for portraits. If you're wearing a pattern, make sure it's not overwhelming and distracting.
  • If you're worried about your hair and makeup, make an appointment to primp beforehand! This is always a nice addition and makes you feel even more confident. 
  • Empty your pockets! Literally! You don't want to have key chains, phones or anything else in your pockets (This is for the guys especially!)
  • Most often, couples like to have one casual, every day outfit and then one outfit that is dressier. This will give your shoot two totally different looks. I recommend beginning with the dressy outfit first depending on our location.
Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography
  • Make sure you're comfortable in what you're wearing. And ladies, if the top is super low cut, that will limit the amount of angles I can shoot from, so keep that in mind as well.
  • Make this a date night type of event. I don't recommend bringing friends or family with you. Let this be like a date night for just you two! Having others there can be distracting and take you out of the moment.
  • Feel free to bring your dog! If you would like to bring your dog with you for a few photos, I would more than happily oblige.
Twin Cities Wedding Photography | Bethany Melvin Photography
  • Clean the ring! I love to shoot a few ring shots while you change outfits. The cleaner the better!
  • Relax. I'm going to help you along the way and it's going to be a blast! Enjoy this time together, and make a fun time out of it. Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate another check mark done off the list of things to do!

I hope that this has helped ease your mind and bit and if you have any questions please let me know. I'd be happy to answer anything! 

Sioux Falls Wedding Photographer | Bethany Melvin Photography

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

Wedding Stationery from Basic Invite!

Wedding Stationery from Basic Invite!


You can say a lot with your Save the Dates and wedding invitations! The best part about your invites is you can make them exactly what you want them to be. A simple card all the way up to a multi-facted invite fit for a classic and fairy-tale wedding. That's where Basic Invite comes in; they are a website that let's you be totally in charge with what your invites will look like. It's super simple and a ton of different combinations you can make!

Finding My Name | The Process of Change

Introducing Bethany Melvin Photography


If you've been with me for awhile, you may have noticed quite a few changes going on with my business! Changing your business name when you are about 7 years in is quite a process and never one to be taken lightly. So why the change? 

It wasn't an easy decision to change my name, but B. Photography was a name I chose when I first opened my business at 18 years old. No one would ever pronounce my last name correctly and I had 2 B's in my name so I just made it simple for people to remember! I started working and sweating it out to make a name for myself as B. Photography. Thanks to all the faith and trust my friends, family and clients had in me I rose to a position that I was happy with. But there is always that passion in me to go further and make things more meaningful. 

I wanted a name that meant something to me. That when I heard it day in and day out that it would hold some special place in my heart. This is when I decided it was time to make a change. 

Thanks to being a member of the The Rising Tide Society, I connected with the wonderful businesses of Honey Side Up Creative and Home Sweet Hyatt. These ladies are the magicians behind the beautiful logo and website that you see before you. Kelsey and Britt helped with every single thing we could think of to create a brand that was truly my personality and style. 

"But Bethany, your last name isn't Melvin??"
So you may be wondering where the Melvin comes in. It was really right in front of me for so long, I'm surprised I didn't think of it sooner. I was listing all these potential names and nothing stuck, nothing felt special. Until I wrote down Bethany Melvin.  Melvin is my paternal grandfather, but he's so much more than that. He taught me by example the importance of giving, being gracious and being kind-hearted. All things I strive for in my business. When I saw it written down in front of me, it just made me stop and go...yes. That's it. That's the path I've been searching for!

I wanted every part of my name and logo to be meaningful as well.  The gemstones also meaningful for my business. When my grandfather went to more formal affairs when I was young, I always remember him wearing a bolo tie with a turquoise stone in the middle. With this being such a close tie to my grandfather, choose a tealish mint gemstone to represent my business was an easy choice. The gold represents my old brand and my personality and love of gold and the two intertwined in the accent icon you'll see around my page and on business cards and such are the representation how close our relationship truly is. 

So while B. Photography was the name that built my business, Bethany Melvin is the new foundation in which stand on today. It's stronger, prettier (thanks Kels & Britt), and I'm more ready than ever to take my dreams to the next level.

Won't you come along on the adventure? 

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

7 Reasons to Have a First Look

7 Reasons to Have a First Look

First off, I'd like to say that there is no right decision, do not feel pressured in anyway to change what you want to do for your wedding. It is your day and you should have it your way. Everyone is different and I strongly believe that weddings should reflect the character and personality of the bride and groom, even down to how they lay out the day.

8 Secrets to Make Your Wedding Photographer Love You

8 Secrets to Make Your Wedding Photographer Love You

I wanted to create this list so that you can be ready to celebrate each and every moment of your wedding day. I want to make sure that the dream that you have of your perfect day is clear to me so that I can create an amazing memory for you. I hope that you will like these tips of some things you can do that will make your wedding photographer be giddy, heart-eye emoji in love with you, which will result in the best photos possible.

ENDED: Free Engagement Session Contest!

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CONTEST HAS ENDED! Congrats to Jayme!

Thank you so much to all the entires I got as a response to my posting! Below are the amazing engagement stories that were shared with me and I hope I am able to capture the rest of the love story for them!

Kyera N.:

He spent 4 months going around to everyone that means the world to us asking permission or letting them know how and when he would do it. The week before he had his mom take me to get our nails done (which we do pretty often so nothing strange there!) It was a brisk day in march and he said we had a couple of errands to run for his mom which he said was looking for a place to take pictures of our family that would be coming into town that next week! I was a little resistant because it was so cold but somehow he convinced me to throw some jeans on and a couple sweatshirts and go out! We looked at the Yankton trails and he said he really wanted to go look at the falls so we did that too. He insisted that we go up the hill past the falls... the next thing I know he is showing me a video of my dog barking on our patio and I'm asking him why he let her bark so much! wink emoticon he said keep watching and I'm sure glad I did! (See video above) I turned around and everyone was right there with us the whole time! We all came back to our place and grilled burgers and brats and talked about wedding ideas! I am so excited I'm engaged to my best friend who just happens to be the love of my life! We are so blessed to have such amazing and supportive friends and families!

See the video here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rpOr_ysbk-Y

Alejandra V.: 

On a Sunday in July of 2014 my fiance ask me to marry him it was the day I said I do. From them on my heart couldn't stop but to say yes...we went to the movies n also had a daughter in April of 2014. I then on realized that it take two people to become one...I was in love at the age of 19 and knew from there that my whole life I've been lookin' was right there from the start...when my fiance asked me to marry him on that day it was nothing but a happy moment of joy and tears. He surpised me with a big red ruby ring and on that ring he wrote babe i love uu...this day I would never forget but to remember the day of feeling so amazed.

Jayme W.:

On Friday, July 3rd my boyfriend (at the time) and I were going to

take two of our out of town friends to see the Palisades State Park. We were posing for a picture when he reached down and pulled a lifesize replica of my engagement ring (that he made himself out of wood) out of a book bag. I was so confused as to what was going on when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! My friends were also there and got the entire thing on video. Afterwards, we went back to my house in Brandon where all my best friends were waiting to help us celebrate a night out in Sioux Falls. It was a night I will never forget!

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Morgan D.:

Just a normal day in December. my fiancé asked if we wanted to go eat some where that evening, so we did. I picked Famous Dave's, what's more romantic than barbecue ha!! Then he asked if I wanted to go walk around falls park and check out the Christmas lights around the park, I've never seen them before! We started on our walk in falls park, just a normal walk, I wasn't thinking anything of it. Until he walked me up to a dressed up light post that had a ornament on it. The ornament read "Morgan, you leave me breathless! Our love is strong, together we are complete! I will always stand by your side! But.. Right now I am behind you, turn around! I turn around and there he is on his knee asking to marry him! Of course I said yes!!!!And he had a photographer come and catch the whole thing!! It was the most perfect proposal I could of Ever dreamed of! But the night wasn't done yet! We finished walking around the falls, we sat on a bench and talked. Shortly after we sat down he had what he called his "bro service" (some of our friends) come and serve us champagne and gave me flowers!! We sat under the stars and lights and cherished the moment!!! It was the best night I could of ever asked for!!!!

Michaela W.: My fiancé started working at my uncles motorcycle shop in 2011. My dad would go down there for lunch and tell Derrick that he had a daughter he could date (jokingly? Maybe, maybe not!). The very first time I laid eyes on the handsome man who lays next to me sleeping right now, I felt like a lightning bolt shot through my body; what i could only explain as love at first sight. Fast forward ohh almost two years later, October 2013, we were laying in bed the day before my beauty school graduation. Derrick asked if I was nervous for the next day, I told him I was because I am such a baby. He wrapped his arms around me tightly and told me that I was his baby and that he loved me. He pulled out the ring and slide it on my finger. No, it wasn't movie perfect but in my world it was perfect. We are best friends. That's the best part, we have so much in common and yet so much differences. We fit each other perfectly. Marriage isn't about a perfect engagement or a big expensive ring (or wedding!), but the love that you have for one another. I wouldn't change that night for the world. <3

Cassandra P.:

3 years ago I was lost, I turned to online dating. I can't remember the site that my lover and I meet on, but we started dating in January, by February 10th he bought me flowers with a little note one them asking me to be his girlfriend. I also found out that I was pregnant with my ex's kid. My new man was great and stuck with me and supported me through everything. Helping me raise my little man smile emoticon on February 10th of 2014 he asked me to marry him,and of course I said yes. We where going to get married in May 22 2015, sadly we had some financial issues that we could not have the wedding I wanted. Maybe next summer, I'll finally take on Skadsen as my last name.

Rebecca S.:

My fiancé, Jake, and I were at his cabin for the weekend with his family. On Saturday we spent the day fishing and Jake patiently worked with me on holding a fish. Around 5:30 that evening we started getting ready for our dinner reservation with his family. He told me we were going to dinner because his sister really wanted to. I got ready like normal, except I put on a dress because his little sister was excited and wanted to dress up. Jake and I were ready early, so he asked if I wanted to fish while we waited. As soon as we got out on the dock he handed me a pole and I dropped my line in the water. Little did I know, this was just a distraction so he could pull the ring out of his tackle box and get down on one knee. Almost immediately after I dropped my line in, I caught a fish! I was so excited but this was not a part of his plan. He quickly got up, put the ring away, and took the fish off the hook. He threw it i

n right away and I was thinking, "Why didn't you let me hold it?" As I turned around to ask him, he took my breath away... he was down on one knee, holding a beautiful ring and smiling up at me. He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him! I couldn't believe how lucky I was and I said YES! To my surprise, my parents showed up at the restaurant to join us for dinner. Jake, had already asked their permission, got their blessing, and arranged for them to share this special moment with us! We were so blessed to have our parents with us! I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and the boy who stole my heart!

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Megan S.:

Our engagement was wonderful. My fiancé and I have been together since freshmen year of high school, almost 6 years. It was my boyfriend's (at the time) birthday. We spent the day going out for breakfast, playing mini golf and ended it with dinner downtown. He then told me he wanted to walk around for a while since it was such a beautiful night. He took me down by the river while the sun was starting to set. He told me that all he wanted for his birthday was to spend the rest of his life with me! Then, he got down on one knee. It was perfect. He also had my best friend hiding around the corner capturing the moment. And might I add, the ring is gorgeous too!

Katrina K.:

My fiancé and I have been together for almost 3 years. We have frequently talked about getting married so I had a hunch that we would get engaged soon. I was a little worried about how he would propose because he isn't the greatest planner;) I always figure out his plans before they happen because it's hard for him to keep a secret. However, he definitely pulled this one off! He was gone for a week on a family vacation and I stayed behind to work. The night he got back, I was very excited to see him! I didn't have power in my apartment from a thunderstorm so I couldn't make a big welcome back supper-- but he already had that covered. He picked up Panera mac and cheese (our favorite) on his way into Sioux Falls and then picked me up for a picnic. (On a side note, he had some help from a friend in ordering the food because he was running late). He had planned to go to Falls Park, but I said I wanted to show him Tut Hill Park. I put a wrinkle in his plans (like usual), but he went with it! We ate our picnic at Tut Hill in a gazebo surrounded by a flower garden. After we ate, he pulled out this Winnie the Pooh book. I loved Winnie the Pooh when I was little and I am going to be an Elementary teacher so I have been obsessed with kids books recently. He told me to read the book...or listen to it I guess I should say. It was a recordable book. He recorded himself reading the book, and after each page he read, he added little sayings about us. We listened to the whole book together and laughed about his little tidbits. After I listened to the last page, I looked up at him and he was on one knee with the ring box in his hand and asked me to marry him. I was in total shock and started tearing up. I was asking him so many questions about how he planned it that I almost forgot to say YES! It was perfect for us. I found out that he had been planning this for four months without me knowing, had gone all the way to the twin cities to buy a ring but then found a better one in Sioux Falls that they had to order and he had to drive all the way back to the cities to return the first one, AND he drove over 2 hours to my house before he left for his family vacation to ask for my parents' permission in person. I couldn't have asked for a better man to marry! And I have to reconsider his planning abilities ;)

Rhonda S.:

On a random April morning my fiance asked me to go on an airplane ride with him since one of his friends on the fire dept. with him is a pilot. As

we were flying over a few of his family's fields he pointed things out to me as we went. At one point he told me to look over to my right. As i did, I saw "Will You Marry Me" written in the field with a disc! I should mention he is VERY afraid of heights, so as soon as I said yes and shed a few tears, he was more than ready to be on solid ground! I along with many others were so impressed with how well we could read it from the plane and he didn't even need to use the tractor's GPS to get the lines so straight!!! Sure makes me wonder how many others had flew over the field and seen the proposal!

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Oceaan Nicole F.:

He took me to my favorite place, which is the park my grandpa used to take me to before he passed away. He pushed me on the swings for a minute then we went over by the picnic tables and he sat next to me and told me how much he loved me and all that after that he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him <3 <3 <3

Amy C.:

Had texted my fiancé on my break at work that morning telling him how my fibro was at a all time high of pain and work wasn't helping , the stress of working the floor by myself ,co-workers not showing for their shift and ect....he showed up after he was off work proposed in front of everyone on his knee with a red rose!! I was surprised and ecstatic!! Said yes of course and that last couple hrs where the best!! He loves me so much !! Can't wait to be his wife!!! Waited 46 yrs to be one and proud I'll be his!!!

Samantha I.:

On our 6th anniversary my fiancé now wanted to take me out for dinner! He asked my mom to take both out kids! On the night of dinner he seemed off, and nervous, but I didn't think any thing off it! When it came time to leave my mom ended up flaking on us frown emoticon so we took the kids to a Mexican restaurant, a three week old and a 4 yr old! Josh and I were a bit upset that we couldn't enjoy a dinner by ourselfs! But we had good company wink emoticon! And the pitcher of margaritas did me good! After supper we went to the movie store and got a movie(which we never watched) on our way home our kids fell asleep smile emoticon! I went to the room and was well a bit tipsy to say the least, and josh was no where to be found! I went down stairs and there was a brown box in the middle of the floor that Said open me! Out came a balloon and In the box was a dozen roses, and a bottle of my fav champagne! I was so busy looking at the stuff in the box that I didn't read the balloon which read will you marry me! I trueness around and he was on one knee of course I said yes! The he asked for a dance! It was totally unexpected and I was deff surprised! Love him, and no matter what happened that day he was still determined to ask me that night! (Mom felt bad after)!

ORIGINAL POST:

WIN A FREE ENGAGEMENT SESSION! Over the weekend I hit the 3K mark on my Facebook page so I thought I would do a little giveaway to say thank you for your support!

TO WIN: comment below with your engagement story and you will be entered to win! Contest will be live through Sunday, July 12th :)

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

A Few Of My Favorite Things

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It's Monday. That is not one of my favorite things, so for my blog post today I'm going to think of the things that make me happy to get me through the day.

- Photography (of course)

- Pancakes

- Empty grocery stores

- Starbucks or Scooters!

- Ever-changing hair styles

- Oversized, comfy sweatshirts

- Animals

- Organizing

- Rearranging rooms

- Pizza. Specifically Jake's Pizza in Willmar, MN...oh my do I miss that pizza

- Pens that write smoothly

- Swimming. I'm pretty sure I was a mermaid in a previous life

- Jammin' on my guitar. She's a blue Indiana Scout and her name is Norah

- Car jams

- Photog Meetups with other local photographers

- Panera Mac&Cheese

- Stella Rosa Rosso wine

- S'mores from Crawford's in Sioux Falls.

- Shakes from Kroll's diner in Fargo

- Twinkle lights

- Christmas 

- Hershey's kisses

- Traveling to new places

- Movies. Specifically one’s from the 90’s that not many people know of.


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com

The Informed Client: Copyright Release vs. Print Release

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If someone asked me what is the number one question that I get as a photographer, it would be this:

"Can I get/Do you give/How do I get the copyrights to all images?"

My answer to this question is always that I do not give copyrights, but I do give a print release to purchased digital files that allows you to print up to an 8x10 photo. Now, each photographer will have a different anwer to the question based on how they have decided they are going to run their business -- that is totally a personal choice on the part of the photographer.

That being said, I think the photog-language can sometimes be confusing so I am here to help!  So here are the differences between the two releases and why a print release is the mindful choice.

COPYRIGHT RELEASE

  • This document releases the copyright from the photographer to the client.  At the moment of transfer the copyright no longer belongs to the Photographer, he/she no longer owns the photograph.

  • In cases where copyright has been handed over, the Photographer can technically never use the photographs without the permission of the client.

Photographers: 

  This means you cannot use the photo for marketing purposes, portfolio purposes or any other means without getting permission.

Clients:    Chances are you are wanting the photo release so that you have the ability to add to your own photo album, place on social media etc. This can be acheived with a print release and still gives the photographer the right to build their portfolio and include your photos in part of their budding collection.

PRINT RELEASE

  • This document gives the client the ability to print photos for personal use, within the clauses of the release.

  • In cases where a print release is given, the Photographer retains ownership of the photos and has the rights to use for market, portfolio or other.

  • Allows photos to be used by both parties.

Photographers: 

  Giving a print release has many benefits.

- Client cannot edit the photograph at all (any edits good or bad will be connected with your name)

- Photograph cannot be used for monetary gain by client (commercial or other)

- The photograph still belongs to you, but your client is still getting what they want.

Clients:

   Why does this benefit you also?

- Unlimited printing of your photo session*.

- Posting of files on your social media.

- Digital file to keep forever.

*Check your photographer's release policy. Most established photographers will only release digital files up to a specific size. This is done to ensure that you get the best, highest quality images that are large scale. Usually consumer-available labs have a capability to print large format, but they spend little to no time reviewing their product, or checking that the output is the best it can be for that image. 

I hope this has helped clear up any confusion on the difference between a Print Release vs. Copyright Release! :)

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at hello@bethanymelvin.com or visit bethanymelvin.com