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!

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Life Behind My Lens, TeamHarris, Wedding Wednesdays

August 20, 2014


It wasn’t hard. It wasn’t stressful. It was the first store I made an appointment at and then…a couple of hours later I said Yes to the Dress.

sachel and ethan proposal

As a newly engaged woman, one of the first things I began to think about was what kind of dress I was going to wear. Was it going to be strapless or v-neck? Was it going to be filled with lace or be satin? What kind of silhouette was it going to have? There were literally hundreds of questions that immediately swarmed my brain!! So what did I do? Well, I did what any self-respecting woman in the digital age would do:

I went to Pinterest.

Now I’ll admit: I’ve never been big on Pinterest. Partially because I didn’t really understand it. But once I got the hang of it??? OH. MY. GOSH.  I think I had 45 dresses pinned in 30 minutes all ranging from A-line to trumpet. Once I realized that I hadn’t really narrowed it down, I remembered the bridal salon that everyone told me about. I went online, browsed the website and set my appointment to visit Maya Couture for Saturday, August 16.

Not soon after, I received en email from Misty, the general manager, congratulating me on my engagement. She eventually said “OH I KNOW YOU!! Your engagement pictures are SOOOO pretty! I’m so excited to work with you!!” She asked me if I had an idea of what kind of dress I wanted and armed with my Pinterest pins, I said yes and sent a few pictures with confidence.


Fast forward a few weeks.

I got to the appointment 30 minutes early. Yea, I was that excited. As soon as I walked in, I became overwhelmed. There were SOOOOOO MANY PRETTY DRESSES. SO MUCH SPARKLE!! HOW THE HECK WAS I GOING TO PICK ONE?!

When I saw Misty, I immediately went over and gave her hug. I guess she could tell I was little nervous because she said “calm down, we’re going to have fun.” I went to the back and slipped into my first dress. I came out, looked in the mirror and immediately flashed a Cheshire-cat smile. I’m a woman who loves dresses and pretty skirts, but it’s something about seeing yourself in a wedding dress that just makes you pause. I tried on 15 dresses and eventually, after trying on every dress…TWICE, I narrowed it down to 4. As I was trying them on, Misty asked me one simple question that quickly ended it all.

“If for some crazy reason, you just had the budget and bought all of the dresses and you had 5 minutes before your ceremony, which dress would you pick?”

Without even thinking, I pointed.

“That one.”

Talking to your friends and listening to other brides’ experiences will have you thinking you have to visit a gazillion bridal shops before saying yes to the dress.

But honestly?

That’s simply not true.

Since starting this whole planning process with E, my brain has been all over the place. We’re discussing venues, colors, the wedding party and everything in between. But when it came to my wedding dress, I realized ,as soon as I said yes, that I knew what I wanted all along. It was secretly highlighted in the pictures I pinned, the emails Misty and I shared leading up to the appointment and in the dresses that were pulled at my appointment.

Whether we want to admit it or not, on a subconscious level, a bride to be knows exactly what she’ll look like walking down the aisle to her almost-husband. I think the reason why so many brides feel the need to go to every single bridal salon in their local area (and maybe even an out of town salon), is because they doubt themselves. We expect the dress shopping process to be incredibly difficult, so we make it difficult, ultimately forcing ourselves to be afraid to say yes to the dress we immediately fell in love with because…”it’s only the first store.” “Nothing should be THAT easy, right?”


The truth is…no matter where you go, there are going to be pretty dresses.

I’m by NO means an expert when it comes to dress shopping, but if you’re newly engaged, there are a few things I’ve learned and tips I’d like to share that may help make your dress shopping experience just as fun:


No seriously. Say it out loud. Say it to yourself. Say it to your family. Say it to the bridal consultants. Setting your budget helps you and that one family member, who can’t help but to play bridal consultant for the day and go pull tons of wedding dresses, stay within your boundaries. If you have a little wiggle room, then by all means wiggle away…but don’t forget to alterations (yea, I forgot to take that into account). The last thing you want to do is stress out about how you’re going to pay for your dream dress.

5. You do NOT have time.

I didn’t realize what all went into ordering a dress. MY GOODNESS!! While there are times some may be lucky and able to buy their dress off the rack, most people (myself included), can’t. Yes, it’s important to just enjoy the moment and soak in the amazing feeling of being engaged, but don’t get too caught up. Time flies when you’re having fun, which is why it’s good to start early. Can you imagine my face when I was told it may take up to 6 months for my dress to come in and ANOTHER 6 weeks for alterations? Seven and half months?!? Seriously?!? If you’re like me and starting in the later months, starting as early as you can will save you from a headache later. Take into account the holiday seasons. A lot of businesses may have limited hours and we all know how slow the mail can run around that time. Get the decision out of the way and give yourself time to focus on other important aspects of the wedding. After all, the last thing you want to do is wait ’til the last minute to begin that process and risk not wearing the dress you’ve dreamt about. I mean…c’mon…this IS your wedding dress we’re talking about.


By no fault of their own, my family was a bit late to the appointment. At first I was a little upset about it because let’s be honest: we all envision our parents there with us when we try on our first dress. But, in the end, I was glad things worked out the way they did. Sometimes, it’s good to go by yourself. With multiple family members, come multiple personalities, style preferences and opinions, which sometimes makes it really hard to hear yourself think. When you’re by yourself, you are able to relax. You know what YOU like, how YOU feel in a dress and you are free to make your decision without the feeling that you need everyone’s approval. Remember, this experience is about YOU. YOU have to wear the dress. Everyone’s opinion may be voiced, but at the end of the day, yours is the only one that matters.

3. You MAY NOT CRY. 

And you know what? That’s ok. There is no one right response to finding your dress. As soon as I tried on my wedding dress, I knew. I just…KNEW. I couldn’t put it into words…I just…KNEW. I literally didn’t want to try on anything else. Looking in the mirror, I said “this is the dress I will marry Ethan in.” There were no waterworks. I didn’t cry a river. Instead…an immediate peace came over me. If you don’t cry…do not feel bad. You just found your dress!! Relish in that feeling and don’t let the fact that your didn’t cry overshadow that moment. You may not cry, but how beautiful you feel in the dress is all that matters.


If you have to be reassured the dress looks great on you or that the dress is beautiful, listen honey…it is NOT the one. Seriously…go ahead and take it off, put it back on the hangar and quickly hand it to the consultant to hang back on the racks. I don’t care how pretty it is or how sparkly it is, if you can’t see yourself getting married in it, MOVE. ON.  By settling for a dress just because everyone else loves it, you are robbing not only yourself of wearing the dress meant for you, you’re possibly robbing another woman of the chance to wear the dress meant for her!! Listen…no one knows you better than you. You know what style you feel most beautiful in and what style you’re looking for. Don’t let anyone deter you from that. Trust yourself. You got this.

and lastly…



I heard the gasps through the computer screen. “JUST A DRESS?!??!” Yes. It’s just a dress. I’m sure you’re going to look absolutely breathtaking on your wedding day, but remember…YOU ARE NOT MARRYING THE DRESS. The dress will not keep you warm at night, it will not be there to wipe your tears after you’ve had a tough day and it will not help you with the kids. When you feel yourself getting stressed during the dress shopping process, take a step back and remember the big picture. I’m getting married because I love Ethan. I love him so much and I know that his presence in my life as my husband is directly tied to my purpose and destiny. I literally cannot live out the purpose of my life without Him because God put us together. I’m not marrying him so I can wear a dress! I can do that anytime!! The dress is important, but it’s not everything.

Shopping for your wedding dress is an amazing experience. Discovering your perfect dress?? There is absolutely NOTHING like it. I can’t wait to slip into that dress on our wedding day and walk down the aisle.


Want to see a pic?

Sorry…just like Ethan, you’re just gonna have to wait. 🙂


Maya Couture on Main Norfolk Sachel Samone Photography


Before I end, Misty (the manager and the sweet pretty girl on my right), lost her mother suddenly the day after I said yes to the dress. Misty, I want you to know that I’m truly praying for you and your family right now. I can’t imagine the pain you’re feeling, but I know that God will never give you more than you can bear. Trust in Him my dear. He, along with the rest of our community has your back. May God bring you and your family comfort, peace and understanding.




  1. Misty says:

    Thank you <3

  2. Terry Reid says:

    Congratulations Princess Sachel on “Yes” to the dress :-). You are beautiful & I can’t wait to witness Prince Ethan’s face as I & The God In Me, present you! And, Misty, what can I say: God put us in your presence on last Saturday for a time such as this. We stand with you as believers in the Faith that Jesus Christ will comfort you & your family during this time of loss. I speak to you from experience because I loss my Mother 6 yrs ago suddenly. But, the peace & understanding that God gave to me supercede every emotion that I felt. He gave me “Joy” unspeakable “Joy” just like Nehemiah 8:10 says: “The Joy of The Lord is Your Strength”!!! Think on all the “Joy” your Mom gave & their lies your Strength!!! Praying for you & your Family’s Strength!!! Blessings of the Lord be upon each of you…….
    Terry (Mother of the Bride)