I've been keeping journals since I was in the 3rd grade and I'm so glad to share some of my most intimate life moments with you here!  Here, you'll find inspirational stories of clients, my journey as a wife and first-time mother and other adventures I have that makes my world go 'round. So please, sit back, grab some coffee ( or my personal favorite, a good ol' fashioned Arnold Palmer!) and enjoy exploring my latest work! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

welcome to my



Life Behind My Lens, Military Love, TeamHarris, Wedding

August 27, 2014


For the past month or so, one of the questions I’ve been trying to answer is:

“Who are your bridesmaids going to be?”

Ok, can I be brutally honest here?? I was TOTALLY not expecting this to be a difficult question for me to answer.

Alexandria Virginia Wedding photographer Sachel Samone

There were three no-brainers: my sisters Tiesha and MyKayla and my best friend Tammy. These three are monumental in my life and the day just isn’t going to happen without them. Period point blank. Beyond that…yea, I was feeling a tad bit conflicted.

I didn’t exactly grow up dreaming about my wedding, but around the time Ethan and I first started dating in 2009, I began to seriously think about who my bridesmaids were going to be because….well…I guess that’s just what we girls do in our 20s. As I began to think about it, it was a pretty simple decision. It was going to be the girls I was closest to and that was it.

But this isn’t 2009. It’s 2014. And some things have changed.

Over the years, I’ve grown apart from some women. Others I’ve met since moving away from home and have become super close to. My life and who I am as a woman has drastically changed since then and now that I actually am getting married, I’m putting a lot more thought into who I want up there with me.

So how do you decide who is going to stand beside you on one of the most important days of your life? Well, my list isn’t completely finalized, but here are a few things I’ve been keeping in mind while selecting bridesmaids:

4. No Sachel..you don’t have to return the favor. 

I have been asked to be in a few weddings and while I enjoyed each experience, I think this must be said: Just because you asked me, does not mean I’m going to ask you.

There. I said it.

As females, it’s in our very nature to not want to hurt anyone’s feelings and anyone who is close to me will tell you I’ve become EXTRA emotional over the years and I absolutely hate hurting people’s feelings. But you know what?  This is my wedding. Not a birthday dinner invitation that I must reciprocate. Your bridesmaids should be women that play a significant role in your life NOW. Don’t feel pressured to ask your old roommate you haven’t spoken to since her wedding 5 years ago. Now is not the time to be returning favors. If the only reason you’re asking her to be a bridesmaid is because she asked you, you’re doing it for the wrong reason and it may cause trouble later. Just save yourself the headache.


3. Make sure they add to your day. Not subtract. 

Ok, ladies…let’s be real. We all have that ONE friend who seems to attract drama. Seriously, no matter where she goes, an issue always arises. Yea….as much as you love her, she may not be the best fit.  Planning a wedding is an adventure; one that you want to enjoy. The last thing you want at your bridal showers, bachelorette party and ESPECIALLY on your wedding day is unnecessary drama. As brides, we’re going to have a lot on our plates as it is and we need women around that can add peace to us…not stress. So if you have that one friend who you know just can’t act right, it’s ok to love her.

Just love her from over there ——————————————————————————————————–>

Alexandria Virginia Wedding photographer Sachel Samone

Which brings me to the next thing I’ve had to keep in mind.

2. Set honest expectations. 

How involved do you want your girls to be? For me, it’s pretty important that my girls are a part of this entire process. While I can’t expect them all to make EVERYTHING because some live out of state, I do expect for them to do more than just show up the day of the wedding.

Bridesmaids by every definition, are the few women I can count on to be there no matter what to help me plan and execute certain activities. So while it may not be a dealbreaker, I do take into account their schedules and how busy they may be. Selecting a girlfriend who is constantly working 70 hours a week and barely has enough time to breathe will not only stretch her extremely thin, but it will set me up for disappointment and if I can help it, that is one emotion I do not want to feel throughout this process.

If you have your heart set on someone and they have a crazy schedule, talk to them a head of time about it. It may not be the ideal situation, but where there is a will, there is most certainly a way.

Fredericksburg Wedding Photographer

1. And lastly, make sure you’re sure. 

I know that once I ask these women to be my bridesmaids, I can’t take it back. So take your time. Part of the reason why it’s been so difficult is because I want to make sure I make the right decision. I love everyone I interact with, but these bridesmaids are the cream of the crop. They are women I’m going to be trusting some of my most precious moments with and are going to be in just about every single wedding image I take. I don’t want to look back at my album 15 years from now and hate the fact that one of them is in our pictures or associate one with a bad memory.  I’ve really been praying for guidance on this and while I do want them to know as soon as possible, I’m not one to be rushed. Besides…it’s not like we have a date anyway, so…what’s the rush?

However, once you DO make up your mind, be sure to let them know ASAP. You want to give them enough time to plan accordingly and besides…the last thing you want is someone assuming they are going to be a bridesmaid when they’re not.

Alexandria Virginia Wedding photographer Sachel Samone

Choosing bridesmaids isn’t always easy. You want to make sure you find the perfect mix of personalities, attitudes and availability. It may take you a little time, but so what? This is your day. Don’t allow anyone to rush you into a decision or pressure you into making a decision you’re not ready to make. TAKE. YOUR. TIME.

The point of the day is that you’re getting married. PERIOD.

Don’t worry about trying to please everyone. I’m reminded everyday that trying to please everyone during this process will do nothing but stress me out and NO ONE wants  a stressed out bride. Regardless of what their role is in your wedding, your friends are going to be thrilled for you and simply be honored to share the moment with you.

So relax. Take a deep breath.

Eventually, it’ll all work itself out.

Happy Choosing!!

Alexandria Virginia Wedding photographer Sachel Samone