RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

Today marks the first day of our eighth year of marriage. Yesterday was the last day of our seventh year of marriage. It’s weird how we count birthdays and anniversaries, isn’t it?

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Nevertheless. We’ve have officially been married for seven years now. I remember when I would scoff at Neil’s remark after I would answer someone’s question about how long we’d been married… I would reply to said person’s question with the number and Neil would chime in “It’s only been ___ years?!” Being the joker that he is, I know he’s just kidding but I would scoff. Every single time. You know how they say a joke is 50% truth? I took it negatively but I know he never meant it as such. You know men.

But the longer we’ve been married, the more truth I am finding in his joke in a positive way! When I look back on all we’ve been through, all we’ve experienced and done, and how we grown and matured I certainly does feel like we’ve been married so much longer than just seven years.

Since we’ve been married: we’ve both graduated college, both have degrees (even though I’m only partially using mine while he’s not using his at all), both have awesome steady paying jobs, have the cutest two pups ever, bought a house, live in the town we’ve always wanted to live in, have great friends, have found a wonderful church home which we both love, and still maintain that we’re each others’ best friends.

But there’s still so much we want to do before we consider ourselves an “old married couple”! Being the big planner that I am, I’m declaring this blog post as our DREAM BIG list for our next seven years of marriage: have children (working on that), adopt a child, pay off our debt (working on that too), build our dream house, travel a lot, and continue to be best friends. That last one will always be on our list.

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+ This morning I woke up early to make deviled eggs for Neil’s work potluck and this afternoon I will make my go-to broccoli dish and homemade potato salad for tonight’s dinner at Neil’s parents’ house.

+ I’ve spent most of today tidying up the house and doing laundry. It’s funny how much I dislike cleaning but how well I tolerate picking up and laundry. I actually enjoy… sometimes.

+ The two hydrangeas that I planted in the backyard around the end of last summer are coming up nicely. I can’t wait for them to grow to the size of the two on the side of the house. I think they have a few more years to go but they should start blooming in a month! I’m ready to fill my house with hydrangea blossoms! I’ll probably plant two more in the backyard soon!

+ We’re switching from AT&T internet to Xfinity in about a week so get ready for CRAZY fast uploads! Everyone expecting a gallery from me, you’ll be getting yours SOON! It’s pretty much the only reason you haven’t received it yet :/

+ Our pups are going on a new diet. I switched their brand to Blue (Buffalo) a couple months ago AND now I’m limiting their intake. I think Aly will be fine with it but Ben, not so much. He’s the reason they’re going on a diet to begin with so I hope I don’t cave under his begging!

+ It’s a beautiful day to be outside, celebrating with friend and family! I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July!


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Yesterday, I blogged about the saving grace of a Rain Check Session and Jamia & Cory’s wedding day was the perfect example of why it’s nice to have one built-in, just in case. The rain check session doesn’t necessarily have to take place at the wedding venue but Jamia & Cory specifically chose the Historic Bell Hill for their wedding because of it’s beautiful environment. There was nowhere else Jamia & Cory would rather have their rain check session, and I completely agree!


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Welcome to another Wedding Wednesday! Today I’d love to introduce current and future brides to what I like to call the Rain Check Session.

Brides, I HIGHLY suggest you ask your photographer if they offer a Rain Check Session… It’s not something I do often – in fact, I’ve been fortunate to only have to do it twice so far in my career – but when you need it, you need it!

A Rain Check Session is a portrait session just for the Bride & Groom at a later date after their wedding. If it rained on your wedding day and in any way messed up the Bride & Groom portrait time then a Rain Check Session is an option.

My first Rain Check Session was for a couple who’s Bride & Groom portrait time was limited due to the ground being to wet. It was a beautiful May Saturday leading up until RIGHT after the ceremony…. and I mean like 10 minutes after the ceremony there came a downpour! It didn’t last long but we were only able to do a few poses for the Bride & Groom’s portraits. Thankfully, we had already done all the wedding party and family portraits and yes, those are important, but not as important in my opinion.


My second Rain Check actually just took place this evening! Jamia & Cory’s early June wedding started off with a steady rain all day that finally stopped an hour before the ceremony started. We only had time to do their first look before the ceremony but had to save the wedding party and family portraits for between the ceremony and the reception. Before the ceremony, I discussed our options with Jamia & Cory and was thrilled when they opted for a Rain Check Session. And it definitely was!


A Rain Check does require the Bride to get back into her gown and, if she so chooses, to get her hair and makeup done again. It’s also the choice of the couple to either rent the Groom’s tux again for the session but if he has a nice suit, that will work just fine. The session does not need to take place at the wedding venue but it definitely can! We can wait for a evening right after your honeymoon, a month later, or even a few months later! We don’t want to wait too long after the wedding… it should be during the same season.

Why should you hire a photographer that includes a Rain Check Session? Because weather isn’t something that any of us have control over and therefore, shouldn’t be something you should worry about. True, other parts of the day cannot be done over and because of that, you should always have a Plan B (a blog post on that is coming soon!). The Rain Check Session is the Plan B for the Bride & Groom portraits!

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It’s been a little over a year since I’ve photographed a wedding at Renee’s Event Center in Paducah, which might have been too long to go without shooting there! But it didn’t take long for me to fall comfortably into the rhythm that Renee’s provides and once I saw the beautiful decorations and met up with the gorgeous bride Erin and her lovely girls, I knew the day was going to be perfect!


Erin chose to have her hair tied into a fishtail braid over to the side and to top the cuteness off, her hair stylist added sprigs of baby’s breathe. It was stunning!


While I was gathering up Erin’s Bridal Details, I asked if she had a necklace and even though her dress didn’t NEED a necklace, she regrettably hadn’t been able to find a necklace she loved enough to pair with her amazing dress. Omar must have known because he gifted her with the most beautiful pearl necklace… and it only enhanced her dress! Erin kept exclaiming, “How did he know???” Haha, I LOVE a good surprise!


Another great surprise was Omar’s gift… I designed a beautiful navy linen covered album from the images I captured at Erin’s boudoir session back in April. He was definitely taken aback and I’m so glad Erin wanted me to photograph him seeing it for the first time!


The first look!!!


Man! It was such a gorgeous day!




It was hot and guests were enjoying cocktail hour and yard games so I was thrilled that Erin & Omar were all for being “adventurous” and crossing the street and walking a bit to a field I found earlier in the day. The light was heavenly!


I’ve seen a lot of cakes in my days but my goodness did I LOVE the look of Erin & Omar’s! How unique! It tasted it even better than it looked too!


Omar and his friends are HUGE Chicago Bears fans. His cupcake groom’s cake was only fitting!


Want to know how awesome Erin & Omar are? If the rest of the day wasn’t evidence enough, their first dance song was Toto’s Africa! Everyone couldn’t help but sing along!


Ceremony Venue | Renee’s Event Center
Reception Venue | Renee’s Event Center
Bridal Gown | Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaids Dresses | Tevolio
Suits | Men’s Wearhouse
Stationary | Wedding Paper Divas and MagnetStreet
Florist | Creations The Florist
Hair Stylist | Anita Love
Caterer | Artisan Kitchen
Cake Artist | Tammy Beggs
DJ | Let’s Celebrate! Professional DJ Services
Videography | Levi Kirby

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