5 things I'm thankful for...

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought it fitting to do a little blog post about what I'm thankful for in my life.

1. My Husband - I have no idea where I would be without him. And while there are days where we don't get along exactly well, we know that we are in this together. We are both growing and stretching with each passing year. The journey has been fun so far and I'm excited to what God has in store for us, our family, and our marriage.

2. My sweet baby girl - who knew you could love someone so much that you just met? That sweet little face and soft skin. A true blessing. And this coming from someone who was scared to have babies, now I can't imagine not having her.

3. My Family and In-laws - the whole time I was pregnant I would have these aniexty attacks about how I would take care of this sweet little baby and then I would remind myself that I have a wonderful support system. A family filled with helping hands and loving arms. A family who jumps at the chance to provide care and comfort. 

4. My house - It keeps me warm and safe. While it may not a be mansion, it is something that Chadd and I have created a home in. And after a couple more years, we will own it free and clear. This is a huge accomplishment for us, and something we have been dreaming of for years.

5. My business and my clients - while most of you are reading this right now, I want you to know that my business would obviously not run without you. Without you wanting to capture your life in photographs, I would have a business that didn't work. So because of you, Megan Smart Photography has been a success for the past 4 years. You guys have seen me though the bad photographs, the bad marketing, the lulls in blog posts and good the in-between. I'm grateful for all you have done for me and I will continue to work just as hard to provide you with beautiful images that help you document your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Duties of the Mother of the Groom - Wedding Wednesday!

When it comes to weddings, most people automatically refer to the bride and most often times, her mother. Weddings do focus around the bride and groom, but it easy to say that the mother of the bride plays a very important role. Her involvement starts from the engagement up until the end of the wedding night. Although, there are those other family members that can also play a major role in a wedding and one of them is the mother of the groom. There are couples who plan their own weddings, but in most families the bride’s mother plays an important part. But there are things that the groom’s mother can do to help with the wedding planning as well.


Rehearsal Dinner

Traditionally, the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. This a great opportunity for the groom’s family to feel more involved in the whole event. The rehearsal dinner sets the tone for the rest of the wedding weekend, so hosting a dinner for the bride and groom the night before their wedding can be a very significant factor in the overall wedding day. The rehearsal dinner can be as casual as an intimate backyard setting or a mini wedding in a fancy restaurant. It’s all about the gathering of immediate family to help start the weekend off great.


Wedding Dress Shopping

Now, again the bride’s mother probably has a big part in what the bride wears for her big day. It is a great idea to involve the groom’s mother in the wedding dress process. To ease the pressure of different opinions, maybe have the groom’s mother come to a fitting after the initial purchase. This is a chance for her to bond with her future daughter in law and just enjoy seeing her in dress that she will wear when she marries her son.


Hosting a Shower

A lot of the time the bride will have someone volunteer to host a shower. Hosting a wedding shower can be an opportunity for the mother of the groom to get involved.  “Couples Showers” are becoming more common. It allows the groom to participate and involve his friends and family in pre wedding festivities.  Having the mother of the groom host a couples shower is a great way to host not only for her future daughter in law, but for her son as well.


Incorporating Family Traditions/Heirlooms

A really nice way to bring in both sides of the family is to incorporate something special from the groom’s side of the family. Ideally, both sides would be represented, so this can be an opportunity for both families to be creative. Have photos of parents and grandparents displayed at the wedding. Or maybe have a special heirloom incorporated somehow.



A lot of brides will hire coordinators and event crew for setting up a wedding, but there are those who accept the help from family and friends. Sometimes brides will even set up special work days to work on wedding decorations. This is a great time for the groom’s mother to pitch decorative ideas for the wedding. This is a time for the mother of the groom and bride to bond and get to know each other better. In the end, the decorations are for her son’s wedding as well and the mother of the groom can have a special feeling knowing she helped make her son and future daughter in law’s wedding look beautiful.

Being There for Her Son

Most importantly, the main duty the mother of the groom has at a wedding is being there for her son’s big day. Though the groom has his buddies and his dad there to give him the pep talks, his mother is there to calm him and wipe away his nervous tears. As hard as it may be for a father to give away his daughter, it can be just as emotional for a mother to see her son gain a new woman in his life. The mother of the groom has many duties during her son’s wedding, but supporting him as he takes an important step in his life is the greatest of all.

So despite the traditions and common roles in weddings, the mother of the groom plays a very vital part in a wedding. Without the groom a wedding wouldn’t even be taking place, so we can’t forget to honor both parents in special ways. A wedding is about two families becoming one.

30 lessons learned before my 30th Birthday

Today is my birthday. The big 3-0.  A milestone birthday. Today I have left my twenties behind and you know what, I'm totally ok with that. In my twenties, I was insecure, unsure about my future, and had a horrible body image. But now as I enter my thirties, I feel strong and in control of my life and future. 

I have learned some lessons in the past 30 years that has made me who I am, in this very moment. A girl with dreams and goals. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Make Decisions - nobody likes an indecisive person. Just decide. And go for it.

2. Learn to trust - people can do incredible things, if given the chance.

3. Take photos of your loved ones - this a biggie! I lost both Grandmas this year, and my husband lost one. And now we cherish the images we have of them and we wish we had more.

4. Sometimes a job, is just that….a job - you work to live, not live to work. Companies and business can run without you. It's ok to take time off.

5. Debt is a bad thing - there is no such thing as good debt. Remember, the borrower is a slave to the lender.

6. Strive for excellence in the little things - the little things alway add up to big things

7. Get up and get dressed - yes, there is a time for staying in PJs all day, but most of time you need to get dressed.

8. Don't tailgate old people - remember that's somebody's grandma or grandpa.

9. Don't pass up a bathroom - totally learned this lesson more than once.

10. Keep fingernails nice and pretty - you never know when someone might be watching your hands.

11. Stay consistent - consistency is one of the main things you need to accomplish a goal. Even if the consistency is small.

12. Worrying solves nothing - let it go to God, and go to sleep.

13. Speaking of sleep - don't be lazy, but rest is important.

14. Listen more than you talk - easier said than done.

15. Don't buy a brand new car - stick with used.

16. Don't buy a trailer and expect to be a mansion.

17. What you listen to, feeds your brain. Choose wisely.

18. Out-do, outwork, outshine

19. There is nothing that compares to the satisfaction of hard work, even when it's not recognized.

20. Take the 10 minutes to plan, it will save 30 minutes in headaches.

21. When hard times come, you will find out who your friends are, keep those people close.

22. Stay among the living - don't get caught up in the past because it's not going anywhere

23. Think before you speak - a hard lesson to learn, and I'm still learning this one

24. Practice - it really does make perfect. 

25. Try to memorize at least your mom or dad's cell phone number, you never know when it might come in handy

26. Junk Food - it will catch up to you. And yes, that means even you.

27. Take time for yourself - even it's 10 minutes. Alone time is just as important as company.

28. Have fun but work hard. 

29. When your money works harder and makes more money that you do, you know you've got it made.

30. And LASTLY- try to roll with punches and let go of control. People who don't care about the small stuff, live longer and are usually happier people.


Caitlin and Justin's One Year Anniversary Photo Shoot - Texas Hill Country

All wedding anniversaries are special, but making it through that first year seems like the most exciting. Some people say the first year is the hardest. Whether that rings true for some, it is still a milestone for a newly married couple. Nowadays there are new and fun ways to celebrate a couple’s first wedding anniversary. This couple decided to have a photo session to see how far they have come since their wedding day.

I met Caitlin and Justin when they asked me to take their engagement pictures. Then almost exactly a year later, I was photographing their beautiful wedding and now their anniversary session.  They are such a fun couple to shoot. They are always making jokes with each other and laughing, but of course this makes for beautiful results.

We were a little concerned about the weather the day before and even the morning of the shoot. After some stormy weather and high winds, the sun came out just in time to shoot a quick session. The weather turned out great in the end.

Anniversary shoots are becoming more popular with couples. They are a wonderful way to capture the joy and excitement of making it through that first year. Caitlin and Justin opted for a small sign with their anniversary date on it, but some other ideas can include having a sweet picnic scene where the couple cuts their top tier cake or even putting on wedding day attire. All in all, the important thing is having fun with it and showing the joy of being married.

The best part is that anniversary sessions can be done for any amount of years. It would be a sweet idea for couples who have been married 10, 25, or even 50 years to celebrate with an anniversary session. Also, bringing in kids and grandkids would be a great addition for these anniversary sessions.

Happy anniversary to Caitlin and Justin and here’s to many more. I look forward to seeing where your journey takes you. Hopefully I’ll be around to photograph it all.

Don’t forget that the last day order cards is November 9th, so contact me if you are interested in ordering holiday cards for 2015.

Nia's 5th Birthday Photo Shoot - Themed Birthday Photo Shoot - Texas Hill Country

What better way to celebrate your fifth birthday than to play dress up with your mommy? Nia just turned five years old recently and she went all out for this one. She got a taste of the glam life with her make-up vanity and all of the prettiest dresses you can imagine. There is nothing sweeter than seeing a little girl trying on her mom’s high heels.

Nia’s mom, Gladys, really wanted to give her a birthday to remember and that she did. We dedicated a day for Nia to be herself completely. We had so much fun watching her play with her make-up and trying on all of her favorite outfits. It was a little girl’s dream.

Ruffles, cupcakes and glitter were everywhere and it was nothing short of magical. She was definitely a little princess for her birthday. Her mom even got in on the fun showing her how to style her make up and giving her some future beauty tips. This was such a fun shoot and I really enjoyed the whole experience.

Themed photo shoots are a great way to celebrate a little one's birthday. It’s especially fun when there are so many cute props to play with. Interested in a birthday session for your little one or even for yourself? Feel free to contact me to find out more.