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Engagement Session | Rosemary Beach, FL


A lifestyle engagement session in a picturesque Rosemary Beach home fit this couple’s style perfectly. From slicing fruit to enjoying their coffee over the morning paper, they wanted to show a glimpse of a real-life couple and showcase the everyday things we all have made routine. Cassie and John were so much fun to work with. Their pure love for each other radiated throughout the home and as you can see, through the camera. After you’re finished swooning over the photos captured by Lauren Kinsey, scroll down to read their uber adorable engagement story! We sure are after reliving such a fantastic day.




Brace yourselves, this a good one!

John and I went to the 30A Singer Songwriter’s Festival back in January 2015 and I was positive this would be the weekend he proposed. Well, that weekend came and went with no proposal. Sigh! I was devastated to say the least. Then, to top it all off I came down with a cold that following week.

John and I have this tradition where we watch old movies and eat Chinese takeout. With me being sick it was the perfect weekend to stay inside. John ordered and we both plopped on the couch, takeout in hand. After we finished our dinner John asked me if I wanted my fortune cookie. Now, to get the full picture you need a little background. I have collected fortunes that were special to me for years. So, when John asked me if I wanted my fortune cookie, without hesitation I responded, “of course!” I quickly tore through the packaging and broke open the little treat.

The fortune read, “Will You Marry Me?” I stared at the fortune with a perplexed look. Unbeknownst to me, John had ordered these custom fortune cookies weeks ago. There was a little snafu in the shipping because John received more fortune cookies than he purchased. So while I was sitting there silent and perplexed, John had no clue how the fortune read (good thing it did not say, “Hit the road, Jack!”). After taking a moment, I looked up at John and said, “Well, if there has ever been a sign you need to propose here it is!” I handed him my fortune, watched him read it and give a little chuckle.  Then, he dropped to one knee, took a little box out of his coat pocket and asked, “Cassie Kayla McDonald, will you spend the rest of your life with me?” Smiles, tears, laughter, all emotions came flooding out. I managed to gather myself enough to say, “Yes!!!” and the rest is history.

To this day that is the best fortune cookie I’ve ever opened!



 From Cassie: To say that Shelby and Lauren are a dynamic duo is not giving them the credit they deserve!  John and I wanted our engagement photos to be different.  Shelby and Lauren were courteous enough to take time out of  their busy lives and meet myself and John in person.  This gave us all an opportunity to meet each other and brainstorm.  It wasn’t anything fancy, just good conversation with good people over a cup of freshly brewed java.  We came up with the idea of doing a “lifestyle” session.  The final product? It was perfect.  Actually, it was beyond perfect.  Lauren’s talent with a camera coupled with Shelby’s genius of staging and conceptualizing the perfect shot gave John and I memories of a lifetime.  We cannot thank them enough.  I don’t want to brag, but how can’t I with these photos!! 



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Elderflower Grapefruit Gin Cocktail

A new year calls for a new and refreshing gin cocktail. Lauren, from Lauren Kinsey, and I had so much fun creating this shoot. Not only did we get to chit-chat over arranging pretty things, we also had to do a taste-test, right?!

The lemonade paired with freshly squeezed juice and Gin creates a burst of flavors in your mouth. Plus, the coloring is absolutely stunning  {add a little garnish for an extra dose of pretty} so it is the prefect cocktail to serve your girlfriends at next week’s viewing of the bachelor!

This cocktail is as delicious as it is pretty so we had to share it!


2 oz. St. George Gin

2 oz. Belvoir Elderflower lemonade

2 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

Garnish with a sprig of Rosemary

Photography: Lauren Kinsey
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How to Gracefully Host an Adult-Only Wedding Ceremony


Photographer: Lauren Kinsey

As much as you adore your friend’s and family’s little ones, you want the moment you walk down the aisle to be perfect and peaceful. Of course you don’t want to offend anyone, but knowing how to let your loved ones know can be hard, so we have a couple of tips for making the process easier:

Sensitive wording of informing your guests that your event will be chid-free is the best way to make sure no one’s feelings get hurt. If you opt to have a wedding website, this is a great place to make a note that the affair will be adult-only, instead of your wedding invitations. Hint: address the envelope of the wedding invitations to the adults only {Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith, or Mr. Jack Smith and Mrs. Janice Smith}, instead of the  entire family {Mr. and Mrs. Jack Smith and Family}. It is always better to be upfront about who is invited instead of stating who is not invited.

Most people will completely understand, but some may not. In that case, you need to stick to your choice because if you allow some people to bring their children and not others, that will really hurt people’s feelings.

Things always sound better in person or over-the-phone than through text, so don’t be afraid to call your guests who have children to chat about the decision.

We have selected a few ideas to ensure everyone has a great time:

Host an event-within-an-event

If your venue allows, rent a ballroom or space on-property to host a kid-friendly party! You could go simple with a pizza and puppet party or go all out and have a dance party with a DJ, or something in-between. As long as they are entertained and their parents have a wonderful time, all is well!

Block off a hotel room for the little ones to watch a movie and play during the ceremony

Note: This is a perfect idea if you are getting married at a hotel or within walking distance to a hotel. Some parents will not feel comfortable leaving their kids at a hotel if they are not there too.

Provide a list of babysitters for your guests to choose from

If you are having a local wedding, most of your guests with children will already have a nanny or sitter they trust, but if you are having a destination wedding, make a list of local sitters that are well-know in the area for your guests to choose from. There are many services like that allows you to request background checks on sitters. That way, you can feel secure in who you hire. Also, reach out to the local kids camps. They will be able to recommend counselors who work with kids year-round and have ties to the area, which may make your guests feel more comfortable.

Dedicate a reception table to the kiddos

If children will be attending your reception, add little touches to ensure they stay entertained like a table or corner of the room dedicated to them.

You could have a table with coloring books, jars of crayons, arts and crafts supplies, a candy bar, and/or games such as: I SPY, Yard Games, or MadLibs.

Timing Tip:

Make sure to inform your guests as early as possible in order for them to easily make plans, especially if your guests are traveling. This way, no one is rushing at the last minute to make other arrangements.

Seen some fun ideas for kids at weddings? Please share with us in the comments!

Happy Planning!

SPE Team

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