RACHAEL HOUSER » photography for couples & families

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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As a wedding photographer, I would love to be able to write a whole long blog post about my and Neil’s wedding seven years ago, complete with dozens and dozens of images from our day. However, the style of photography that was used during our wedding was more posed and not editorial. The trend/style of today that focuses on the relationship between the bride and groom and all the amazing details that the wedding consisted of (my style) was not the style seven years ago when Neil and I got married. Therefore, I’ll be sharing more of the day’s story and not so many images.

It was the best day of my life! The night before, my best friend (also my maid of honor) Megan stayed the night with me at my parents/ house while Neil and his best friend Bryan (who is now married to Megan) stayed at Neil’s parents’ house. Bright and early, Megan, my mom, and myself met my other bridesmaids and mother-in-law-to-be at the hair salon. I have no idea what time the boys started their day but they started the day off playing a short round of golf at a local golf club, followed by lunch (I imagine) and basketball at Nei’s parents’ house before showering and heading to the church.

After hair, we stopped by the reception venue to check on things and then left for a luncheon at my mom’s friends house. We made it to the church in time to check on the ceremony decor and do our makeup before it was time to get dressed and do portraits. In my neck of the woods, there wasn’t such a thing as a “first look” seven years ago so we did the whole bride and her bridesmaids, bride and her family, groom and his groomsmen, and groom and his family routine right before guests started showing up for the ceremony.

My girls and I got ready in my church’s nursery. Which is hilarious to think about now because I advise my brides to NOT get ready in the church nursery. For obvious reasons you can see below… lol The boys did the more common thing and got ready in an adult sunday school classroom.


See Neil icing his finger in the image above? While playing basketball, he somehow managed to jam the only important finger on the wedding day: the ring finger on his left hand. HOW?!? I will never know. Luck, I guess :/ The swelling didn’t go down in time for the ceremony so I wasn’t able to actually put the ring on his finger but he was able to squeeze it on himself without causing TOO much pain.

I absolutely love this image of me and my parents and even though some might think it’s cheesy, I have most brides parents do this during portraits. It’s just too dang cute!


Finally, it was time to tie the knot! We had a string quartet and a soloist accompanied by the string quartet, pianist, and drummer (aka my brother) as music during the ceremony. A mutual friend of mine and Neil’s has a beautiful voice so he sang for us, a high school best friend read Corinthians (duh), and one of my favorite past pastors said a prayer.

We’re married!!!


I don’t know from where but we had an old car and driver from the ceremony to the reception. Which was the best!


The image below is one of my favorites from the whole day! All of Neil’s cousins who traveled HOURS for our wedding. Love them! Whoever took this picture, THANK YOU!


The best picture of us from our wedding day. Totally us. He makes me laugh – always has, always will.


Ceremony Venue | Lone Oak United Methodist Church
Reception Venue | Rolling Hills Country Club, Club House
Stationary | Lake Printers
Wedding Dress | Private Label by G, Anne’s Bridals
Suits | Anne’s Bridals
Floral & Decor | The Green Door
Wedding Coordinator | Cindy Hart
Caterer | Little Edibles
Photography | Bill Palmer
Cakes | Marsha Herzog

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This lovely little momma and her boys are anxiously waiting the arrival of Baby Luke! I work with Katie at the hospital so I’ve been watching her baby bump slowly grow for months now… she seriously is the cutest pregnant lady ever! At 39 weeks, she’s about to pop but we still managed to grab some shots of her adorable family of 3 and 1/2 :)


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