RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families


Happy Wednesday! Today I’m introducing a new weekly blog series all about planning your best possible wedding! Having planned my own wedding (and having learned the hard way) and being in the wedding business for 3+ years now, I figure I know a thing or two ;) There’s isn’t a ton of information out there about weddings in the Western Kentucky area so I’m here to educate!

I’ll be touching on topics such as:

– the engagement session
– venues
– the “getting ready” location
– the wedding day timeline

and much MUCH more! So stay tuned if you’re in the process of planning your wedding or know someone who is! Have a question and would like to see a Wedding Wednesday post on the topic? Leave a comment here or shoot me an email (rachael.houser@gmail.com) with “Wedding Wednesday” in the subject! I can’t wait to get started next week with The Complimentary Engagement Session!

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Want to hear my awkward moment from this past week? It was definitely when I hopped in my car at the end of Muriel’s 2 hour senior session in Carbondale Illinois the other night to head home. I checked the rearview mirror to reverse my SUV and I smiled. I smiled for many reasons – the beautiful spring day we just had, the beautiful spring night we were about to have, the delicious date night dinner my husband and I were able to have together once I returned to town, Easter Sunday, my Lord lives!, the awesome session I’d just finished, and the amazing young woman I had just photographed.

All of that made me smile in that moment as I checked the mirror but what followed made me laugh… Through my smile I caught a glimpse of my teeth. My teeth that had lipgloss on them. The lipgloss that I applied to my lips right before I met up with Muriel two hours previous. Yes, I had lipgloss smudged on my front teeth the entire session! And no one, not Muriel, her father, or her sister, said anything about it! Haha!!! I immediately called Neil to tell him about it… He laughed and said it sounded like something I would do! I swear, I’m usually much more professional.. Oy.

That should tell you a couple things about Muriel already: she’s incredibly sweet and polite and is great about getting past physical appearances right away! The lovely Muriel is one talented lady to boot! Dance team member and very active in her church, she plans on studying physiology and becoming a Physician’s Assistant one day. I am so excited for her and her bright future! And even though it was a tad embarrassing that I had lipgloss on my teeth the whole time, I sincerely hope I get to see her again!


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Jeannie -

Aw, these are so sweet and beautiful! Very nicely done!


Project 2 is not just a project of 2014 because we started it in 2012 when we bought our first house. Yup! Project 2 is all about house projects! More specifically, house projects that have to do with preparing for our future child. NO, this is not a pregnancy announcement. You can bet this photographer is going to be a little more creative than that when the time comes ;) But it’s no surprise that we’re heading into a season of infertility treatments so… yea.

These are HOPEFULLY in chronological order… obviously, things could change but this is the plan:

1) Hardwood floors in the living room, dining room, and hallway – this is technically more for my dogs to have before spring/summer starts because of fleas (YUCK but seriously, they were CRAZY bad this past summer… poor Benny) but it’s also important to me to have them for when we start having kids. Do you KNOW how nasty carpets are?! Never mind that though, ours is/was amazingly disgusting I CAN’T EVEN. I don’t want my babies on that mess.

2) Breakfast nook – necessary because I’d like to have just a small area to clean up after meals that’s over tile, as opposed to at our dining table that will be over the new hardwood. Also, there’s this open space over there in our kitchen. Yea.

3) Closet in nursery and office – when we renovated our master bedroom closet we actually expanded into the closet in the nursery. And baby will need a closet. So we’ll have to fix that. Don’t worry, floor plans will be included ;)

4) Replace the windows on the side and back of the house – our house was built in 1968 and the windows in the front of the are recently new but we’re still losing a ton of energy through the original windows. One of those windows is in the nursery.

5) Re caulk the hall bathroom tub – when we did the bathroom renovation this time last year we were at that point where we just wanted to get back into our house, so we hurried along the only thing standing in our way: caulking the bath tub. Needless to say, a year later, it looks like utter crap and probably won’t hold up to a splashing 9 month old. Nope.

6) And of course, decorating the nursery – but that won’t come until we actually find out what we’re having.

Even though we indeed have a ton more projects I’d like to do to this house, the above are just for baby and are things we’d like to complete in 2014 :)

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Family is extremely important to Neil and myself. It’s why we live where we live; it’s why I do what I do. I get to capture the beginning and the continuing of families. So when Neil’s cousin gets engaged and doesn’t hesitate as to whom she hires as her wedding photographer, it means the world to me!

Neil and I also related to Whitney, Neil’s cousin, and her fiancé Adam in more than the family sense… they too were high school sweethearts! Hanging out with them this past Saturday and seeing them together just made my heart smile. There is something so comfortable about high school sweethearts. They’ve gone through so much together, grown so much together, and not only have found themselves but have relearned how to love the new persons they’ve become. It’s a beautiful thing!


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It was an absolutely beautiful early April day in Downtown Paducah… we’d just had our first real spring shower a few days before and the trees had just started to bloom and the temperature outside was nearing 65 degrees. It couldn’t have been better!

Sometimes I say the “getting ready” time is my favorite to photograph, more often than not you’ll hear me say that it’s the bride & groom portraits, or the bridal details. But Catherine & Jon’s day was different. I was beyond happy photographing every single second of their day because at any given moment, I could look at Jon and all I would see is Jon gazing adoringly at his bride. It was the simplest, sweetest thing – hard to even put into words. No exaggeration. The smile on his face and the love in his eyes were permanent fixtures that day.

Even a week later, when I picked them up from the airport after their honeymoon (that’s another story for another day haha) (You can just call me photographer/taxi-for-hire!) that same loving smile and adoring gaze was on Jon’s face. Catherine & Jon have truly found their soul mates.


Catherine provided her florist with an image she found on Pinterest of her ideal bridal bouquet and they NAILED it! So beautiful!!


I love it when a bride wants to do a first look with her dad…. such a sweet moment!


Jon’s daughter was in awe of her soon-to-be step mom…. love it!


These two are my favorite!


Both Catherine & Jon are hunters so it was only fitting!


Jon’s groom’s cake was simply the best! A hunting’ dog fetching a duck. Awesome work!


Ceremony Venue | Broadway United Methodist Church
Reception Venue | Walker Hall Event Center
Bridal Gown | David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal
Suits | Men’s Wearhouse
Florist | NV Florist
Hair Stylist | Salon Elite
Makeup Artist | Cassandra Walker
Caterer | Walker Hall
Cake Artist | Blue Pinky Bakery
DJ | Josh Fowler

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Shayna P. -

Ahhh – gorgeous! You are such a great photographer, Rachael!!