Christmas Card Photos

Patrick and I had not taken “professional” photos together since
our wedding/engagement.  Nor had we done
a legit Christmas card since the year we got married, which was when we used one
of our wedding photos in the card & wished our friends a very “Merried”
For some reason, to us, fancy Christmas cards just seemed
like something you did when you had this big family with lots of smiling kids
filling up the space in the photo. Last year (when we took a year off from the
Christmas card game) we ended up receiving so many beautiful cards from family
& friends, many which didn’t even have kids.  We strung up all of the pretty cards on a
banner so we could see those special friend’s & family’s faces all season

Being a style blogger who takes photos on the regular, it
felt almost ridiculous not to jump on the family photo holiday card bandwagon.
Plus it gave me a ggrrreeeeeaaaattt excuse to get Patrick in
front of the camera and have some updated photos for us to frame around the

We teamed up with Maddy Fanning, a fab-u-lous up &
coming HTX photographer, and shot these photos about an hour north of Houston at
William Goodrich Jones State Park. 

Patrick and I got all dressed up and drove to the park, somewhat
nervous because we had not done anything like this together since our engagement

Maddy put us right at ease and gave us great direction on
what to do how to pose etc. Patrick & I brought a wrapped present as a “prop”
& weren’t exactly sure what to do with it. 
So why not throw it up in the air?

It’s safe to say we pretty much laughed the whole time. 😛

And the prom pose …
that was our idea. Maddy just went with it like a pro. (Naturally, these particular
ones (as funny/cute as they may be) did not end on the card.)

I  was so excited to
have this stage in our marriage/relationship captured.  Because when we look back at our engagement
photos, I feel like we’re looking at children! We were 23/24 when we took them
and we’re now 27/28 (okay I’m actually 26 … but I turn 27 in TWO weeks … who’s
Since we’ve been married, Patrick and I have moved halfway
across the country, started 5 new jobs (if you count both of us), adopted
another golden retriever, celebrated countless special occasions, hiked a
mountain (or two) and have been each other’s “rock” during the hard times.

I love having these special photos of us to
give each other a reminder, when we look at them, how wonderful our love is! I’m
sorry if this is overly cheesy but I’m just that type of person who loves to
have photos all around reminding me of wonderful memories & special things
that I am oh-so grateful for.

Patrick Kerley, I am oh so grateful for you!! (are you reading this right now? Lol!)
If so, hi!! 😛 

Now I can’t get too knee-deep into this post without talking
about fashion for moment. (or two)
We’ve all seen the Christmas card photos where the husband
and wife are in front of the pine trees wearing plaid, right? If they are realllly
into Pinterest then they probably have some sort of fair isle sweater or
battery powered string light included. 
Not that that’s bad, it’s totally adorable. We almost did something like
this ourselves to be honest.
But when Rent the Runway approached me with an opportunity
to work together on a style feature, I couldn’t resist the idea of holiday
photos in the woods, with us decked out in our fancy finery. 
Shop My Look:

I chose this pretty bow-backed Kate Spade number. I’ve always loved Kate Spade’s classic structured dresses & I had way too much fun dressing up in this one!
{I also wore it to my company’s holiday party the Friday before we shot these.  Two wears out of one rental dress sounds like a good ratio to me!} 
This was my first time to use Rent the Runway, and you guys, I’m obsessed!
It was SO incredibly easy! I still can’t get over it.  For one, Rent the Runway always sends you two sizes – that way your dress is guaranteed to fit.  The package arrived right when I needed it & included easy instructions on how to pack everything up & ship it all back.  In reality, even if I had paid the $500 price tag for this dress, I can’t think of another occasion I would be able to wear it again anytime soon. Especially after sending a photo of myself in it off to all of our relatives & friends. 

Going forward, I’m thinking anytime I have a big/special event planned (where I know a lot of photos will be taken) I shall  be renting the runway for sure! The rental prices aren’t so bad either.  Ranging from $20-$800 (hello Oscar dress) there is something beautiful for each & every budget.

A few of my favs:

Patrick opted for black denim, a dress shirt & a
tie.  He almost always shops for himself,
but every once in a while I’ll surprise him with something out of the blue. I
love getting him clothes from Bonobos! It’s like … a more updated/laid back
J.Crew … if that makes sense? But if I could buy him every.single.shirt from
this place, I would! 

Shop His Look: 

So now that you’ve seen all of the “outtakes” from our photo
session, here is what we ultimately ended up choosing for our Christmas cards.
We ordered our cards with Minted this year.  The turnaround was less than a week and they
come in such lovely thick paper too! I literally just dropped these in the mail
this morning, so hopefully they all make it to their destinations in time for

If you’re a bit last minute, like myself, there’s always the option of sending
out Happy New Year’s cards as opposed to Christmas cards. Minted has a few New Year’s cards designs too
that absolutely adorable! You can use the code “WINTER15” to get 15% off too! 
Did you all send holiday cards this year too? If so, did you
do anything fun or different to make them unique? It’s always fun to see the
individual twists each of our friends & families put on their holiday cards
each year.  When the season ends, I
usually put them in a little box, tucked away to stumble upon years down the
road.  I have a hard time throwing things
like that away! 😉
As always, thanks for stopping by the blog!
photos by maddy fanning