Kristina + Jeff’s wedding was the last wedding of our busy fall season! (Side note: How is it almost winter already?  This year has FLOWN.) Something you should know straight out of the gate about these guys… Jeff is HILARIOUS! About a year ago, when we first met up with these two for coffee, Jeff had us cracking up the ENTIRE time. My guess is that the other people in the cafe may have given us funny looks because we were having way too much fun. :) We kept having to remind ourselves to stop laughing and “get back to business…” because, man! Jeff is such a fun and light-hearted guy. Kristina’s sweet, gentle personality compliments him perfectly and we were so excited to capture their big day (keep an eye out for their “first look” photos… our favorite of all time!)

Their wedding ceremony and reception were both held at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort here in San Antonio (we love it there!) The Hyatt Hill Country has so many beautiful options for ceremony and reception locations (the resort is HUGE and there are adorable little nooks all over the place!) Kristina + Jeff chose to have their wedding ceremony at Windmill Plaza and their reception on the Independence Lawn (two of our personal favorites!) With the help of the fab team at Wolf Weddings, they did an incredible job planning their day. In the days leading up to the wedding, Kristina was nervous about the weather because the chances of rain were looming in the forecast. We tried to assure her that everything would work out (we know from experience that the 10-day forecasts change constantly!) In the end, the weather gods smiled on us and we had the gorgeous fall weather that Texas is known for. :)

We’ve been excited for this wedding for over a year, and I can’t believe it has come and gone already!! It was just as wonderful as we envisioned that it would be. Kristina + Jeff just got back from their honeymoon in Maui (jealous!) and we are thrilled to share these beautiful memories from their wedding day! Enjoy!

-Jenn & Kaylinn

PS – A huge THANK YOU to the Wolf Weddings team. They were involved in every part of the day, making sure things went smoothly, making sure every single detail was gorgeous, and making sure that Kristina + Jeff didn’t have to worry about a thing!

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I can’t share these images without saying that Kristina + Jeff’s first look was the HIGHLIGHT of our fall wedding season. Jeff was so nervous before he saw Kristina (he was working hard to stay calm in the shot above!) When he finally got to see his bride, his reaction was priceless. They laughed, cried, and shared memories that they will have forever. I want to cry every time I look at these photos! After he saw his oh-so-gorgeous bride, Jeff was calm, cool, and relaxed. Oh, AND we got tons of amazing images before the ceremony even began (Double win!) For more info about doing a first look at your wedding, visit this link.

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weddings-at-hyatt-hill-country-resort-san-antonio-tx-independence-lawn_0291a(Above) the moment when Kristina saw the Independence Lawn reception set up for the first time. Love this!

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Kristina + Jeff, you guys are so much fun and your wedding was amazing! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it! :-)

See more weddings at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas here:


Wedding Coordinator: Wolf Weddings, San Antonio TX
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Hyatt Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX
Wedding Reception: Hyatt Hill Country Resort, San Antonio TX
Bride’s Hair/Makeup: My Makeup Movement
Bride’s Dress: Romona Keveza
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale, Bella Bridesmaids
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein
Wedding Band: Royal Dukes Band 
Floral: Illusions Rentals

Bend the Light Photography specializes in wedding photography and engagement portrait photography in San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas. San Antonio Wedding Photographer.

Brides! Let’s talk about the very first hours of your wedding day… the moments when you’ll be getting dressed, getting excited, and getting ready to GET MARRIED! As the Studio Manager here at BTL, it’s my job to make sure your wedding day photos are as bee-yoo-tee-ful as they can possibly be… from the “getting ready” moments to the final send off. Today’s post is all about how to rock your getting ready photos.

Side Note: Most of you know that Jeff and I just tied the knot earlier this year. While planning my wedding, I didn’t give much thought to the “getting ready” portion of our day. It was easy to overlook because I was focussed on choosing the colors for my bridesmaid dresses, the reception music, finding the perfect statement necklace, annnnd the list went on. As it turned out, the time I spent getting ready was one of my favorite portions of the day (and produced some of my favorite wedding images… see some of those photos here).
So let’s get started, shall we?



san-antonio-wedding-photography-tips-1This is THE most important thing you can do to ensure beautiful getting ready images. Natural light is KEY! A room with several windows makes for beautiful, flattering, well-lit photos. If you are having your hair and makeup done in your room, your beauty team will love this too! Lots of natural light will allow your makeup artist to perfectly match your foundation with your skin tone.

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Remember, your room will be full! …Your hair/makeup team, photographer, bridesmaids, flower girl, mom (and pretty much any female family member that loves you) will be there! Choose a space with plenty of seating and floor space so that everyone will feel cozy and relaxed.

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san-antonio-wedding-photography-tips-3We want you to look gorgeous in your getting ready photos, and the same goes for your lovely ladies. Your bridesmaids, flower girl, and (of course) your mama should be “camera ready” when we arrive. This way, they’ll be fully dressed in the photos and will have time to help you get into your dress, put on your veil, and help with any last-minute details.
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san-antonio-wedding-photography-tips-4With so many details and people to focus on, this one is more challenging than it sounds.  We suggest designating one or two bridesmaids ahead of time to be in charge of keeping your room clean and “photo ready.” Ask them to throw away trash, hang extra clothes, hide suitcases under beds, etc. If all else fails, we will do a quick clean up job when we arrive (we ARE a full-service photography team, after all!) but keeping things as organized as possible before we arrive will allow us more time to photograph you, your bridesmaids, and all of the getting-ready-loveliness of your day.


san-antonio-wedding-photography-tips-5Have your “getting ready details” ready — Your dress, shoes, jewelry, garter, and any heirlooms you would like us to photograph (For the guys: cufflinks, boutonnier, shoes, and tie). Be sure to remove any price tags or packaging from these items so they are ready to grab and go. We recommend asking your bridesmaids to take your dress out of the bag and place it on your wedding day hanger prior to our arrival. This will also give you an opportunity to steam out any last minute wrinkles. As soon as we arrive, we will photograph all of your special details which will allow you to continue to get ready with no delay!
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san-antonio-wedding-photography-tips-6Ask your florist to deliver your personal flowers to your rooms (Bouquets to the girls and boutonnieres to the guys). These should be delivered before the photography begins. When we arrive, we will photograph the guys pinning their boutonnieres and we will remind the ladies to blot the base of their bouquets after removing them from their vases. This way, your bouquets will be nice and dry before we begin the pre-ceremony photos (wet spots on bridesmaid dresses are not a good look!)

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The prep photos of your groom and his groomsmen aren’t nearly as involved, we still have a few suggestions for the guys! Their room should also be well-lit, spacious, and clean. The groomsmen should be fully dressed when we arrive, and the groom should be mostly dressed with the exception of his jacket, boutonniere, shoes, and tie. Another quick tip for the guys — empty your pockets! Cell phones, keys, and wallets make for unflattering, bulging pockets in photos.
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The getting ready shots are about the details, sure. But really, they’re about the candid moments and the emotion of the day. Relax, enjoy yourself, and try to pretend we aren’t there… We’ll take care of the rest! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Allow yourself to FEEL the excitement and anticipation. We are going to capture it all so that you can relive those moments again and again.
best-wedding-photographer-in-san-antonio-texas_0179 best-wedding-photographer-in-san-antonio-texas_0180Have more questions about your getting ready photos (or anything else?) Call me, email me, send me a message on Facebook…whatever! I’m here to help (Helloooo! My whole job is to make sure your photos rock!)

BTW, check out more of our Tips for Clients (there’s lots of helpful info that will take your wedding photos to the next level — good stuff!)

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for daily wedding photography tips and advice!

-Kaylinn :)
(aka, Studio Manager)

After working with our oh-so-awesome brides/grooms for 10 years, I finally became a bride myself! I. Am. Married! I actually became Mrs. Mayes earlier this year… but we’ve been so busy shooting our #BTLweddings, I fell behind on sharing my OWN wedding with you guys. Last month, I shared Ten of my favorite photos from my wedding, and now it’s time for part two! Choosing just ten favorites was impossible (hence the need for two blog posts). In the spirit of full disclosure, you should probably know that this post actually has more than 10 images… buuuut I used ten images in the first post, so I’m sticking with the same title. :) (BTW, if you missed part one, see it here.)

I mentioned that we’ve been shooting weddings for ten years now. I thought I had a pretty good idea of which wedding images would be my favorite. I knew I’d love the portraits of Jeff and I together… the photos of our wedding party… the shots of our first dance (and I DO love all of those images!) But the images that I love love LOVE are the ones I couldn’t have planned for. The “in between” moments that were exclusive to our wedding (Jeff hugging his dad in the middle of the ceremony aisle before the ceremony began, the funny faces we made when we were first announced as husband and wife, etc.) I’ve included those images and several more below. I hope you love them as much as I do.


PS – Follow along with more stories like this on Instagram.
All photos by The Nichols.

#1  – The heart of Castroville
Jeff and I got married in Castroville, Texas… A small town just west of San Antonio. Jeff is a country boy, through and through. He loves fishing, hunting, BBQ, college football (Gig em!), and anything else that small-town America has to offer. I, on the other hand, am a city girl. I was born and raised in the heart of San Antonio. I like air conditioning, HGTV, and I feel most comfortable when I’m within 10 minutes of a Chick-Fil-A and a Target. Even though I’m a city girl, Castroville has always had a special place in my heart.  When I fell in love with a country boy, a small town wedding just felt right. I remember driving out to Castroville with my family as a teenager and thinking “I wanna get married in this town.” This “saloon” is in the heart of Castroville and is an iconic building that everyone in the town knows and loves. I plan to eventually turn this photo into a large canvas gallery wrap somewhere in our house. And someday, I hope to go back to this building with our kids and recreate this photo as a family. :)


#1  – Our Little White Chapel
If you’ve ever driven through Castroville on Highway 90, you’ve probably noticed the little white chapel on your way out of town. That little chapel is First Baptist Church of Castroville. I was never the girl to plan her wedding way before she met the guy, but for some reason, I’ve always wanted to get married in a little while chapel. Having a church wedding was important to us, and this little church was exactly what I’d always wanted. :)


#3  – Our Memory Table
Weddings are funny. They’re super happy days because most of your friends and family are there… but they’re also sad because they usually can’t ALL be there. Jeff and I wanted to pay tribute to our family members that have passed away. The sign in the middle read “We know you’d be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away.” Jeff’s family members were on the right (his grandparents and Uncle). My family members were on the left (my grandparents and Aunt). We were especially sad about my Grandmother not being able to make it to our wedding (pictured on the left in red). She passed away just three months before our wedding day. She wanted to see Jeff and I get married SO badly… I was the last of her grandchildren to tie the knot, and ours ended up being the only wedding that she missed.


#3  – Jeff’s Dad giving him “away”
This photo is especially meaningful and is framed in our house. Jeff and his dad are best friends. They can talk on the phone for HOURS (I thought my mom and I were bad) They laugh at the same jokes and seem to agree on most everything (except football. They can debate Aggie football All. Day. Long.) Jeff and I waited until we were older to get married. Jeff’s choice to finally settle down was kiiiiind of a big deal. On one hand, his parents were excited (they’ve been begging him for grandchildren for years!) On the other hand, getting married was a huge change. It was an emotional day. When Jeff entered the ceremony, his dad gave him the biggest/longest hug. I am soooo glad that this moment was captured. It was one of the sweetest moments of our day.

best-wedding-photographer-in-san-antonio-texas-tx_0087#4  – For the first time, Mr. and Mrs. MAYES!
This photo is one of my top five favorites. When Jeff saw this photo for the first time, his immediate response was “This photo COMPLETELY captures us as a couple!” He’s right. I’m the outgoing, sometimes loud, big personality. And Jeff is the calm/reserved one, looking at me like “yep, that’s my over-the-top wife!” Hahahaha! When Brandon, our officiant, pronounced us as husband and wife for the first time, THESE was our reactions. So true to form. Ha! Makes me smile every time. :-D

#5  – Right after the ceremony
I love this moment. We had just exited the church and our flower girl and ring bearer (our niece and nephew) were helping to carry my train. This moment is so perfect, it almost looks like it was posed. But nope. It’s 100% exactly what happened, and that’s why I love it so. :) How funny is it that each “couple” is in almost exactly the same pose?


#6  – Right after the ceremony, part 2
These are 2 of my FAVORITE images from the entire day. MaKenna is my 11-year-old niece and was one of my bridesmaids (I explained how we chose our wedding party in part one.) She was the first person to predict that Jeff and I would get married, and she made me promise to tell her FIRST after we got engaged. I kept my promise (side note: Now she insists on being the first one to know when Jeff and I are pregnant. Ha!) She was more excited about our wedding that anyone. She was the last bridesmaid to exit the ceremony, and she immediately ran into my arms to congratulate us. I was SO excited to see that our photog captured this moment.


#7  – Mr. and Mrs!
This is one of my favorite images of Jeff and I together. I love the rustic background and the casual-but-kinda-classic pose. Jeff is about an inch shorter than I am (he purposely wore boots and I purposely wore flats to help “boost” him up to my height for our wedding. Ha!) This image makes me look shorter than he is, which I kinda like because that never happens. :)

#8  – Mr. and Mrs!
Our photographers (The Nichols) found this arbor-walkway, and I’m so glad they did! How fun is this background? I love the image on the left because, for some reason, I’ve always loved the classic image where the bride/groom are perfectly posed, smiling at the camera. For me, it’s the image that makes me feel like we are actually MARRIED. My parents and grandparents both have a similar photo, and it was important to me to have one of my own.

#9  – Party time!
When I began to suspect that Jeff was going to propose, I began searching for little-known reception venues in Castroville. One night, I stumbled upon The Fiorella Event Center through another couples’ wedding website. I’d never heard of it before (it’s so little-known that they don’t even have a website). After some clever Google searching, I was able to find a handful of photos. I fell in love with the exposed brick and historic look of the building (turns out, the building has been around since the 1800’s… helloooooo character!) My mom and I secretly toured the venue before Jeff had officially asked me to marry him (minor detail). As soon as he proposed, I confessed that both venues had already been picked out. He wasn’t surprised. Ha! Like a good fiance, he went along with everything I’d chosen. :)


#10  – The Toasts (and the rap too)
Recognize that girl on the right? That’s Jenn. AKA my business partner (our lead photographer), my best friend, and my MOH. Turns out, Jenn is a pretty good rapper. She surprised Jeff and I with her own version of the Fresh Prince rap, and this image was captured at the very end of her “performance,” right before she dropped the mic. Ok, she didn’t REALLY drop it. But she should have. It was that good, y’all. The rap was one of the HIGHLIGHTS of our day, and we got it all on video. :) I plan to share the full rap here in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned!

best-wedding-photographer-in-san-antonio-texas-tx_0094#11  – The dancing!
Ooooh, the dancing! It was the part that my nieces looked forward to the most. Every time I saw them, they wanted to “practice” their dancing… so we did. :) We had several impromptu “dance parties” in the living room to get ready for the big day. Here we all are, showing off what we had practiced! We rocked it, if I don’t say so myself.

#12  – The exit!
This is one of my favorite photos from the day. We are surrounded by our friends and family and it shows just how HAPPY we really were!
There you have it! My favorite images from our wedding (and why I love them!) If you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there and letting me share my day with you. We can’t wait to share in YOUR day and take beautiful images that you will be just as excited about!! :-D

I met up with Sarah and Jon-Ross at her “favorite spot in Texas!” Sarah runs along the Guadalupe River to clear her head and find some quiet, so it was the perfect place for their engagement photos. I had so much fun strolling with them on the bank of the river and standing in the middle of the street! Here are my favorites from their session.
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new braunfels tx engagement photographer san antonio engagement photography_0020.jpgBend the Light Photography specializes in wedding photography and engagement portrait photography in San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas. San Antonio Wedding Photographer.


Our day after Thanksgiving family tradition is skipping all the shopping craziness for a slow, fun morning picking out our Christmas tree. It is my favorite Christmas event and gets me in the mood for the rest of the season. I love looking back at photos from each year to see how our family has grown and changed. Here is a little peek into our day.
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