Shipman Photography, NWA Wedding, Sassafras Springs Vineyard, Bride and Groom Portraits

Sassafras Springs Vineyard Wedding – Emily & Derrick

I’ve said it before, and I’ll shout it from the rooftops every chance I get – the most important aspect of a wedding is the couple and their love. I knew from the moment I met Emily that her and Derrick’s Sassafras Springs Vineyard wedding would be exactly the embodiment of this motto. Emily was so excited about the idea of marrying her best friend that it felt as if nothing could actually go wrong.

With her favorite girls by her side (side note, it’s the first time I’ve met with mom, grandma, and bridesmaids during a consult but it was the BEST time of getting to see their excitement for her), there was nothing they couldn’t overcome and accomplish. Derrick was able to facetime in with us from his base in Hawaii. Even with thousands of miles separating them it was clear that whatever was important to Emily was good with him.



With the dream of finally closing the literal distance between them becoming a reality, the air in the prep rooms was one of anticipation and joy. There was no rushing around, no worrying about the most minor details – just happy smiles and relaxation.

Wedding Prep


It was so special that Emily chose to recreate an important photo to her with both her mother and her grandma. The sonic cup may not mean much to any random onlooker, but getting to give them these special photos to look back on makes me love my job that much more.

With the help of Amanda Tannehill Weddings coordinating, our schedule allowed us time to relax our way through each step of the process rather than being rushed from one thing to the next. We took our time getting Emily some gorgeous bridals, were able to get independent shots of Derrick, had a first look with dad and with Derrick, had a private vow reading, got beautiful pre-ceremony portraits, did bridal party photos, AND got most of our family photos taken care of – all while still ensuring that our bride and groom were hidden away before guests were arriving. This kind of efficiency and ease are what you get when you hire not only a professional photographer, but a stellar wedding planner as well.



My favorite part about Emily and Derrick’s ceremony, was how clear it was that they just wanted to be together. Tears filled their eyes as Emily walked down the aisle, proof that a first look doesn’t take anything away from that aisle moment. Even Emily’s veil falling out mid-ring placement didn’t faze them one bit.



After finishing up a few more family photos, we were able to roll straight into more portraits. Those first-look feels are so different than those just-married feels and I am so glad we were able to capitalize on both moments with photos. After a quick entrance into the reception so that the guests could get to eating some delicious Marketplace Grill – we ran back out for more portraits at sunset. Sassafras Springs Vineyard offers so many great portrait sceneries and I am so glad we were able to utilize them during different times of the day as well.



As the sun was just finishing setting, we ran back into the reception for cake, toasts, dancing, and a party that never stopped!



I asked Emily if she and Derrick would share anything about their beautiful day and here’s what she had to say:

I’m so grateful to you for having captured those precious moment that we always look back on! I can’t tell you how many times we pull out the wedding album that you sent us along with the journal to write back and forth to each other in! Looking back at our wedding it was full of so much joy, blessings, and amazing people that helped make it happen! Because of Derrick being military we had to get a wedding together before his next mission, and it was definitely an adventure! But an adventure that was made so much easier because of the amazing people who worked with us and helped make this day unforgettable! Morgan I cannot put into words how much of a blessing you and your husband were for us when planning this wedding! You helped us get so many ideas and made us feel so comfortable when it came to our photos! Not only are you so skilled and our photos came out amazing, but I think back to how kind and gracious you are! Any photos we wanted, you made sure it happened and it such a organized fashion! You are so supportive of us, encouraging and cheering us on the whole time! Not just during the wedding but before and after as well with kind words, check-in’s, and prayers! Our other venders as well were incredible! Sassafras’s was so helpful from decorations to just making sure we had everything we needed! Our talented hair and makeup artist’s Veronica Lopez and Sarah Williams made all of us look and feel so beautiful!! NWA Florist overdid themself when it came to our flowers! I mean they added more flowers the day before the wedding because we made the last minute decision to add more and it was beautiful! Everyone who was apart of this day made it truly the best day of our lives. I am forever grateful for the moments that were captured, the memories that were made, and everyone who helped us celebrate our love for one another!

It is true an honor to be there for our clients, to get to capture these once in a lifetime moments for them, and know that they are in great hands from start to finish because the NWA wedding vendors are top-notch. I am always excited about a Sassafras Springs Vineyard wedding, but with this crew alongside me it was an extra special day:

Ceremony/Reception – Sassafras Springs Vineyard
Wedding Coordinator – Amanda Tannehill Weddings
Florist – NWA Florist
Bakery – Cakes by Robbin
DJ/Sound – DJ Derrick
Dress Shop – David’s Bridal
Dress Designer – Galina Signature
Tux/Suit – Men’s Wearhouse
Tux/Suit Designer – Pronto Uomo
Caterer – Marketplace Grill