2018 In Review: The Bad, The Worst, The Great

2018 in Review: The Bad, The Worst, The Great | Local and Destination Wedding Photographer Rebecca Beatty

2018 has had so much going on that it’s hard to wrap my head around it as I sit here on my couch, with my butt-head of a dog beside me and we prepared for this ball to drop. But I just kept thinking about all that happened this year and how draining, exciting, and new it was.

So I figured, why not express (vent) about this year and all it’s changes. Starting off with the bad.

In June, I had a real life nightmare that happen and that was both my hard drive and my external hard drive crashed and locked up. I was in the process of copying all my RAW files over, sessions, etc to a new hard drive when Mother Nature and my computer disagreed and everything shut off. But of course there had to be a little bit of smoke coming out from the hard drive.

Of Course it did.

To some it may seem like just a hard drive.

It’s not.

All my raw images, all my sessions, my weddings, everything was on these hard drives. My entire work, my reputation, EVERYTHING. Was on there. So I panicked. And if you know me then you know that I think the most horrible things first before I actually know the end result for anything.

Or maybe something that was almost as equally bad as the hard drive crash of 2018, was when my camera stopped working during a session.

Not only did that leave me panicking, but it also left my bank account crying.

A lot of people that aren’t doing photography professionally, that are just doing it on the side or as a hobby, they don’t understand the stress that having your only equipment break and having to skip on a bill here or there to fix it.

Well you have your other job—-

Let me stop that thought for you real quick. You see, I don’t have another job. I don’t have any other income that I bring in to support myself or my family. So when I say that both my hard drives crashing and now my camera breaking, I hit a low point of just wanting to give up.

But those weren’t the worst to happen this year. As most of you know my mother relies on me to help take care of her. And this year some things happened and we needed help. Unfortunately we got answers that none of us wanted to know or hear. Right after that, my Uncle (who has always worked since he was a young kid) got very ill too and it flipped his world upside down.

I remember when the Doctor was speaking that my mind drifted off and I was driving down a road that was full of speed bumps and then half way through this road was a tall, brick wall.

Obviously I couldn’t drive through it, I couldn’t reverse out. So what was I to do?

And that’s how I felt about what the Doctors were saying about my mom and my uncle, that we had hit this road block with a few options to go through it.

For a little bit, I didn’t want to work anymore. I didn’t want to edit, I didn’t want to shoot. My passion disappeared because to me, making sure my family was better became number one, and my work because number two. I lost that healthy balance between keeping both stable and both at number one.

But out of all the bad, there was a ton of positives too.

I finally got to start traveling for my business. In May I got to go to Alabama! I got a rent-a-car and drove the full nine hour trip there and back by myself (which let me just say real quick, that journey from the top of Alabama to the bottom was the longest, literally a straight road of trees with a few cities here and there lol)

But also I got to go to the beach for the first time! I had this amazing Summer vacation with some of my closest friends and even got to be a part of a special proposal.

Not only there, but I was able to travel to Mexico and witness two people who love each other more than any tie the knot. I was able to ride on a yacht for the first time (and may never happen again lol).

And that’s not all of it. I got to meet some amazing clients this year, I accomplished my goal of shooting at least 22 weddings this year. I gave some of my friends confidence again with a boudoir session.

I got to meet a bunch of my photography friends that keep my grounded and understand the pain and struggles I go through.

But most of all this year was the true meaning of growing and reflecting. I’ve learned a lot about photography, my friends, loving myself and loving others.

There’s going to be days that I feel like a failure and that’s okay. There’s going to be days when I mess up, and that’s okay. I could wake up tomorrow and think why am I even doing this, and guess what, that’s okay too.

But there’s something that keeps me going. And if you feel like that too just know that I have faith in you and know you can accomplish it. And just know…

2018 in Review: My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Bouquets

2018 in Review: My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Bouquets | Local and Destination Wedding Photographer Rebecca Beatty

If you know me, then you will know when I shoot weddings the one thing I love the most (other than the couple) are the details! I love the dress, the shoes, the rings, and of course the flowers.

This is my second to last blog post about My Review for 2018 and I didn’t want to forget the florist who worked amazingly hard on these bouquets! And each one like the previous posts are my favorites because they are the most memorable to me!

Now I’m not the one with a green thumb or all knowing knowledge of flowers, so what I’m actually going to do is link the Florist business so you can personally reach out to them. I may leave a sentence or two about how beautiful I think the flowers look but overall if you want to contact them just click the gold link :)

Starting off the TOP 6 Favorite Wedding Bouquets is actually from the McDaniel’s wedding (which their blog is in the works! ) Stems Flowers created this stunning Christmas themed bouquet and I don’t know if I love the vibrant red flowers or the greenery more!

Now number five is different. The professional in this case was he bride! Alicia was actually the creative genius behind not only her bouquet but her bridesmaids too! One of my favorite bouquets because she made them and they turned out so pretty!

Another favorite from this year that is coming in at number four is from The Blair wedding! Jessica’s bouquet for her November wedding was created by Zachary Brady Designs who is a mastermind when it comes to her flowers! No matter what wedding of event he’s booked for, you’re in for a treat with his designs!

The picture above is the third favorite bouquet of all of 2018! Loper’s Florist in Lebanon,KY created Kelly’s stunning Easter/Garden theme bouquets and the brightly lit colors, the greenery, and the little flowers ready to bloom was so captivating!

We’re getting close to the end! But I don’t have the maker of this bouquet! *hides behind keyboard* Number two on my list is this stunning, classic, and unique bouquet from Madison’s wedding! The green that peeks out from the cream and white was beautiful but the pins and pearls were so eye catching! I have seen a brooch bouquet before but I have never seen one like this before!

And number one on my list is a bouquet from Martha’s Vineyard that Mandy had at her October wedding! I love colors and don’t get me wrong. But this bouquet had a couple of different things that I looooved! Like the Roses, hanging greenery, and little flowers that had pops of color.

But that is it! 6 of my Top Favorite Wedding Bouquets from 2018!! From pops of color to traditional bouquets, these bouquets have stood out the most to me!

2018 in Review: My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Dresses

2018 in Review: My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Dresses | Local and Destination Wedding Photographer Rebecca Beatty

Wedding Venues… check

Wedding Rings…. check

Next on the List of 2018 in Review, are the dresses!! Yes ladies that’s right! I am going to be talking about my 6 favorite dresses from 2018!!

As we all know dresses are the one item that ties the entire day together. And don’t get me wrong guys, you and your tuxedos or suits always look amazing, but 90% of the time, every guest is wanting to know what dress the bride is going to wear!

Now all the wedding dresses from 2018 were gorgeous. I can’t lie about that. Each dress fit the bride beautifully but these 6 were so beautiful that they literally stay in my mind!

Starting off this review is Kelly’s beautiful lace, trumphet dress from her wedding back in March! If you want a tradtional and romantic dress than you can’t go wrong with this Essense of Australia gown. The the lace detailing on the sleeves and the v-neckline are just a few details to love about this dress! that she got at Rebecca’s Wedding Boutique in Louisville!

Next on this list is this gorgeous a-line dress from June Bridals!! This dress was actually the dress that Alicia wore during her wedding to Emily! I loved this one so much because it was so simple but the back! The crossing pearls gave the dress a more feminine touch!

Plus coming from Alicia herself, she was a bit nervous to buy the dress (because it’s from an online store) but the price she paid for this gown was too good to pass up! And I’m glad she didn’t because it was stunning on her!

Just like the venues, this dress has stayed in the back of my mind! This fourth dress is actually from an October wedding (which those blogs will be posted soon! <3) at Maplewood Estate & Barn!

Now unfortunately Wedding Wonderland where Mandy got this dress is closed, so there isn’t a link I can give. However, the delicate lace design over top of the beige/champagne fabric was a STATEMENT! Mandy wore this dress like a boss and looked like a queen in it! It fit to her body perfectly even when she was breaking it down on the dance floor!

Now these next three I have been battling within myself trying to figure out which one was my all time favorite! And I finally decided that number 3 was Hannah’s dress from her October wedding! Hannah ordered her dress from Azazie.com and this website has actually been circulating for a bit the last few months! It’s an online store for brides where you actually can pay a small fee and have the dress (or dresses) shipped to you before you buy it!

Think about it ladies. Why spend hours in a store trying on dresses, when you can pay up to $15 per dress try it on in your own home and then send it back if you don’t like it?

My second favorite wedding dress of 2018 was Ashlee’s! At her wedding, she wore this BEAUTIFUL Morilee Milly Wedding Dress and it was to DIE FOR! Yes it was heavy, but the dress was so AHHH!

I know that’s not a logical way to put it but I have no words for this dress! The deep v in the back, the stunning horse hair edging, it was a dress that is unforgettable! Which is why it’s on this list!!

And last but not least is Erica’s TWO wedding dresses.

If you don’t know Erica + Eric recently had their wedding at The Louisville Palace Theater! But before they could have their wedding they ran into an issues with Erica’s dress.

Now ladies, we all have this vision of what our perfect wedding dress looks like. Down to the fabric, down to the shape, every detail, we know. Well Erica’s dream dress was not made correctly. So a few days before her wedding -which is suppose to be a stress free day- Erica had to start the wedding dress search all over again.

Luckily though at David’s Bridal, Erica found a dress that she said was perfect for her dream look. And it really was. She looked like the perfect Bride from a Tim Burton movie.

I know I said 2 and showed two different images in the post, the other dress was Erica’s reception dress! With a dash of va-va-voom and all the perfect details, Erica looked like she stepped out of a 1920’s speak easy and out on to her reception’s dance floor!

Having a last minute dress to save the day plus a beautiful and dreamy reception dress is why they are some of my favorites from the year!

And that’s it! Those are my favorite 2018 wedding gowns! Between the lace, the satin, the extra beading, or even the save the day kind of dress; they’re each beautiful in their own way!

What kind of dress do you have picked out for 2019? Was there one on this list you just loved? Leave a comment below! <3


2018 in Review: My Top 5 Favorite Wedding Rings

2018 in Review: My Top 5 Favorite Wedding Rings | Local and Destination Wedding Photographer Rebecca Beatty

I am loving so much of 2018 that I want to go out on a positive note rather than a negative! That’s why I created this 5 part series of 2018 in Review! I wanted to share some of the things I loved the most of this year and where I have already talked about the venues (which you can find here) I wanna talk about the bling bling.

The only different between this blog (and the others coming) is I won’t be going into a lot of detail about each ring. I can tell you the shape of the stone, some details but nothing like a venue.

So instead, I wanted to pick out my 5 favorite rings (which was so hard to choose from) and just show off how beautiful each one is!

Starting off the list is this gorgeous interlocking ring from Virginia + Mark’s wedding! (Their blog will be up soon! Promise!! ) The gold band of Mark’s and Virginia’s butterfly like interlock engagement ring and wedding band were so pretty!

#4 is the gold bands, the round diamond ring, and bright blue engagement ring from Trudy + Samuel’s big wedding day! Plus I love the engravings on the inside!

Gold bands seem to be so popular this year!! But I had to add in this bridal set from Madison + William’s wedding because these were actually his parents wedding rings! So with that they stood out to me!

Now this one and the next one was so hard to decide between, but my 2nd favorite wedding ring set of 2018 was from Katherine + Jeff’s wedding. I love colors and unique stiles, so when I saw the rings my mind was blew! So many beautiful stones and jewels that just fit Katherine to a ‘T’.

And last but not least is my number 1 favorite wedding ring from 2018 and that’s from Heaven + John’s wedding! I am in love with this diamond shape! Pear shape diamonds are my favorite and this one just screams at me!

So that is all for my favorite rings of 2018! I know there wasn’t a lot of talking behind this post, but that’s fine because I wanted everyone to just enjoy how beautiful each of these rings are! And maybe ladies, if there’s one you love, use it as a hint! ;)

Happy Holidays everyone! <3


2018 in Review: My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Venues

2018 in Review: My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Venues | Local and Destination Wedding Photographer Rebecca Beatty

Because today is the last day of 2018! I wanted to do something that I wish I did last year but never sat down and looked through my sessions and weddings, and it just because a faint memory!

So today! I am posting 5 post about A Review for 2018! I wanted to go over favorite venues, my favorite rings, dresses, flowers, and then an overall reflection of 2018!

So let’s start this litter series off with My Top 5 Favorite Wedding Venues!!

Starting out at number 6 is The Berry Hill Mansion. I shot at this beautiful house in May of 2018 during Katherine + Jeff’s wedding which you can check out here!

Located in Frankfort, KY, this mansion has every option imaginable. From having a complete outdoor wedding and reception, to even hosting everything inside.

And lets not forget the architecture of this building! The beige stones was so refreshing to see because most older buildings are red bricks. Another reason that sold me was the balcony.

I. LOVE. BALCONIES! Tell me Katherine + Jeff don’t look like they own the place!

But overall, The Berry Hill Mansion made my list because the house itself is gorgeous, but also because of the many different options The Berry Hill Mansion offers for bridal clients!

Staying local to Marion County, The next place on my list is The Marion Barn! The picture below was taking during a fall night during Sarah + Trevor’s fall wedding!

If you know about Lebanon then you know that we have the famous Maker’s Mark Distillery but not a lot of options when it comes to finding a wedding venue locally.

So luckily the Daughtery’s opened up the Marion Barn! This place offers a Getting Ready Guest house (which you can see more of over on Kelly + Jeremy’s wedding), as well as outdoor or indoor ceremony options!

This was one of my favorite venues of 2018 just because there’s a lot that you can do with the barn! And with the small touches of chandeliers and back patio, this charming southern venue is perfect for any couple!

If you didn’t know, this year I was able to travel for my first destination wedding! Azul Sensatori by Karisma Hotels in Mexico was definitely going to make this list!

I was blessed to visit this location when I shot Monica + Hamilton’s destination wedding! This hotel was beyond GORGEOUS! I literally am trying to find all the right words to talk about how perfect it is!

I loved how friendly the entire environment was and how amazing the staff was with communication!

I won’t lie, my biggest fear about visiting an out of country venue was going to be the issue of communicating but this resort was perfection!

Azul Sensatori gives you so many options for wedding day (are you seeing a theme that I like my clients to have options lol) at this hotel, they create a day just for you that feels luxurious. Whether you’re exchanging vows on the beach or on the rooftop overlooking the water, this place will make your big day your dream day!

Are you still reading? Great! That means we’re on Wedding Venue #3 and that’s Maplewood Estate & Barn!! Now I am still working on posting my September-December Blogs so this picture is from Mandy + Nick’s wedding in October!

This was my first time shooting at this venue and I can not lie when I say it’s to die for!! Even with the on and off rain that we was experiencing, that didn’t stop the wedding!

Located in Millersburg, KY, this southern plantation style venue offers different ceremony options and you guess right! Just like the other venues, this one has MULTIPLE outdoor and indoor options!

From having an outdoor ceremony with church pews or an indoor barn ceremony, either way these owners make sure that your day runs smoothly no matter what the weather decides!

My 2nd favorite venue from 2018 is the Palace Theater in Louisville, KY!

I’ve never been to a concert, never been to a play here, so when Erica + Eric contact me about their wedding being here, I was game and so excited!

The Louisville Palace has some of the most amazing Spanish Baroque-style architecture that is so fascinating and dreamy! Not only was the main lobby, stage, and bar area of the Palace amazing, Mindy (the amazing woman who kept in touch with vendors) she even let us go up to the The Marquee Lounge!

The lounge is located on the second floor of the Louisville Palace where you can bypass the line with our private venue entrance and even play a little bit of pool before the show or wedding!

If you are looking for a venue that is little more sophisticated feeling, I definitely recommend this Palace!

And now it’s time for my number 1 favorite venue of 2018!


Number 1 favorite venue of 2018 is Elkin’s Grove!! This venue may look familiar as I shot both Lolita + Jason’s as well as Sarah + Cody’s weddings here!

I have worked with Miranda and have beautful venue close to 3 times now (but that number will be going up in 2019!) When you reserve the Elkins Grove barn, you’re not just getting the barn but you’re also getting the Cottage where you and your fiancé both can get ready!

And let’s not forget that your fee also includes the use of their tables ,chairs, linens, decoration and so much more! And of course, their outdoor ceremony spot is so perfect and peaceful!

Not sold yet? Well what if I told you, that if you’re wanting that perfect horse and carriage entrance for your wedding, you can rent that for your big day!

You definitely won’t be disappointed if you book a wedding here!

So that’s it! That’s My Top 6 Favorite Wedding Venues of 2018!! From rustic venues, to a more goth venue, I tried to pick locations that could be perfect for any bride! If you are interested in booking them feel free to click the links and contact the venues!

If 2018 was this amazing, who knows how crazy fun 2019 will be!


Bardstown Kentucky Senior Session at Bernheim Forest & Arboretum | Abbey Tarrence

Abbey Tarrence’s Senior Session in Bardstown, Kentucky at Bernheim Forest & Arboretum | Senior Photographer Rebecca Beatty

If you know anything about me, then you know that I love DOGS. Small dogs, big dogs, dogs drooling, dogs barking, plain and simple I. LOVE. DOGS.

So when Abbey and her mother mentioned that they were going to bring along their loveable pitbull terrier, I was over the moon excited.

And let me just explain, this dog knew who his best friend was. He literally would not leave Abbey’s side and if he did, he wasn’t too far away.

Besides from her four legged best friend being a part of the shoot, Abbey also brought her father’s guitar. To make me cry during the shoot, she told me how it was her father’s and she recently got a tattoo dedicated to him, so what better to do then combined the tattoo with the guitar in a beautiful red dress.

Go ahead say, she looks like a famous musician ;)

Lebanon Kentucky Senior Session at Downtown Bradfordsville | Sammi Jo

Sammi Jo’s Senior Session in Lebanon, Kentucky at Downtown Bradfordsville | Senior Photographer Rebecca Beatty

This may for sure be one of my favorite fall senior sessions in all of my senior sessions! Sammi’s outfits for one was perfect for her! Down to the jewelry she picked out! And the weather! Even perfect!

That’s not common here in Kentucky. It’s even freezing cold and raining, or super hot and possibly raining.

But back to Sammi! I literally loved how I could easily direct her into finding the perfect poses to go along with the backdrops that we found in Downtown Bradfordsville.

Not to mention, she was brave enough to get in some creek water that was no where near warm!! But I am so glad she did cause the last part of these session was where all the beautiful golden light came through the trees and made this session even better!

Bardstown Kentucky Senior Session at Downtown Bardstown | Harlee Settles

Harlee Settles’ Senior Session in Bardstown, Kentucky at Downtown Bardstown | Senior Photographer Rebecca Beatty

Downtown Bardstown is one of my most popular location spots for senior and sweetheart sessions! And for Harlee we tried to mix some urban spots with a little bit of rustic! I mean how could we not!

Plus to make this session even better she brought along her Australian Shepherd and I fell in love! Let’s not mention how beautiful Harlee is! I mean from each outfit change, to each different location, she was rocking this senior session!

I can’t explain enough how fun this session was -even though we almost got bit by a miniature horse- especially towards the end of the session where we shot at one of my favorite places on the side of the road! It kind of looks like a desert, don’t you think?

Lebanon Kentucky Sweetheart Session at Fagan Branch | Sarah + Joey

Sarah + Joey’s Sweetheart Session in Lebanon, Kentucky at Fagan Branch | Engagement Photographer Rebecca Beatty

As much as I love to travel sometimes there’s obstacles in your way that makes you stop and realize it’s not about you getting to travel but making sure that your clients are happy!

Sarah + Joey here were actually wanting to take me with them to Jamaica where they were going to tie the knot, but due to some restrictions at the resort, I wasn’t going to be able to go! But hey! Atleast I can say this sweetheart session was a BLAST!

These two gave off so many vibes! Including Johnny and June vibes! Plus Joey can actually play the guitar and was evening singing to Sarah!

Oh my heart!!!

But what I love the most about these two is how they only had eyes for each other. There was multiple times during these shoot where we was laughing because t hey would be so lost in each other that they didn’t hear me talking lol.

Check out how much fun and love there was at this session! <3

Springfield Kentucky Senior Session at Downtown Springfield | Gretchen Walston

Gretchen Walston’s Senior Session in Springfield, Kentucky at Downtown Springfield | Senior Photographer Rebecca Beatty

This fall has been FULL of some amazing seniors including Gretchen!! This young lady came in with a style all her own and even her tiny pup was dressed for success!

Shooting in Downtown Springfield, it’s just like Bardstown! No matter how many times I shoot there, there’s always new spots that I never found before!

Bridges, fields, and some perfect fall light, this session was Epic! Check out just how amazing it was below!