Virginia Ruth Photography: Emotion. Captured.

We always love promoting the talented wedding vendors that we’re blessed to have work with our publication, and right now, we’re hoping that you all will give them some extra love. It’s tough ALL over. There isn’t a person who hasn’t been affected by this pandemic somehow. We hear a lot about eating out curbside-fashion to support your local eateries (and we love that!), and about getting gift certificates to support your local retailers (love that too!) … but what about some of those businesses that fall outside both those categories? What if you yourself are unemployed now and/or budget crunched and can’t spend a lot of money right now? We get that completely! So we’re creating something you CAN do, that’s FREE — SHARE. Just read about entrepreneurs in Wyoming, learn something new, and share it with your network of contacts on your social media pages. It’s free, it’s easy, and it still supports Wyoming businesses. Who knows? One of your contacts may discover someone new, and THAT could turn into future business for this entrepreneur that you shared! All because you hit “share.” Super easy. Spread the love. <3 — Kati Hime, editor

To Contact Virginia Ruth Photography…

Email: hello@virginiaruthphotography.com

Phone: 307.463.0150

Social Media: You know it! Follow her on IG @virginiaruthphoto and follow this link to her Facebook page <3 : https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaRuthPhotography/

Website: https://www.virginiaruthphotography.com/

all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography

Hey Hey! 

So excited to be part of Wyoming Weddings and Lifestyle Magazine and figured it’s about time I introduced myself! I am the founder of Virginia Ruth Photography. Wyoming has been my home for almost 5 years now and it’s become a part of who I am! I moved from the midwest in 2015 and decided to dive into photography full-time! I am SO thankful for the community of vendors across the state and for each one of my incredible clients! Each referral, review, share on social media, hug, or notes of encouragement go so much farther than you realize. Thank you all for your support and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography

Can you really live in Wyoming and not love all things outdoors?! I’m ALWAYS game for an adventure and adrenaline rush. Adventure sets my soul on fire. I absolutely love having one of the most gorgeous mountain ranges in my backyard. Fight me — the Tetons are better than Yellowstone National Park any day of the week! 

One of my favorite titles is “world’s coolest aunt” to 2 nephews and 8 nieces. Nerfgun wars, walks, wilderness adventures, drawing with chalk, and all the little hugs in between make “Aunt Ginny” the best title in the world. I love a cup of good coffee, fuzzy blankets, sitting by a fire, and movie nights with loved ones. I’m constantly watching The Office, Parks and Rec, Friends, Frasier, or How I Met Your Mother. A deep, real, genuine conversation with a trusted friend is one of my absolute favorite things.

all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography

I love getting to capture some of the most genuine emotions and moments of life. The laughs that can’t be faked, a genuine smile, and the little moments you won’t ever get back with the ones you love the most. These are the people who made you who you are. These are the memories you don’t want to miss. I promise to be there to document those moments. 

Photography has been a huge part of my life and also a way to connect with people! Its a love my Dad shared with me and we’ve been able to enjoy together. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from SO many other creatives and am always encouraged to keep pushing boundaries and become better and better at my craft. This plus being able to connect with my clients in some of the most beautiful places on earth is what makes this job so special!

all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography

We believe that having a strong connection with your vendors is so important. They have such a big part in your day, you should be convinced that they are the best fit for you! Your wedding is unique and shouldn’t be treated like a cookie-cutter wedding. In order to better serve you, we would love to talk about your specific needs and how we can meet those needs!  We can’t wait to talk to you about your big day and the things that will make it unique. 

Let’s think outside the box and explore off the beaten path! Adventure awaits!

all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography
all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography

Fun Fact:

The first wedding I ever shot: 

I owned my DSLR for about a week and a half when this phone call came… I had about 2 hours notice to shoot my first wedding! The only experience I had so far was shooting ONE maternity session! So thankful for them trusting me from the very beginning and thankful for how far it’s all come!

____

My passion for seeing the raw and genuine of life carries through photography. My desire is to truly connect with people and what’s important to you! Your wedding is different than everyone else’s. Let’s get to know each other better!

all images copyright Virginia Ruth Photography

Planning a Wedding in the Midst of Covid-19

image by Virginia Ruth Photography

By Monica Chen-Furman, Sacred Rim Event Planning, Pinedale

Images by Virginia Ruth Photography, Rock Springs

You have been dreaming all your life about your wedding. The man of your dreams has proposed, you said “Yes,” and now the wedding planning has begun. No one planned for a pandemic to sweep across our world. But on March 15, 2020, the CDC recommend that all weddings in the United States be canceled for 8 weeks (learn more at cdc.gov.) Now what?

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Before making any big decisions, contact your wedding planner. If you don’t have one, it may be a good time to find one in your area who can help you navigate through the changes. If a wedding planner is not an option, contact your venue and vendors. These experts are going to be able to provide you with the necessary steps that will be best for your wedding.

WEDDING DATE

What you need to do now is determined by your wedding date. If
your the big day is scheduled from now until mid-May, then choosing another day will be your first step. If your wedding is later in the summer, then no changes are necessary at this time. However, because the future is unclear, making a plan B is a good idea. Make sure to talk to your event planner, venue, and vendors to help you as you make these changes. You are strong, you will get through this, and at the end of the day, you get to marry your best friend! So hold your family and friends close and keep an open line of communicate with your wedding team (event planner, venue, vendors). You have so many people that are going to make sure your wedding day is all that you dreamed.

image by Virginia Ruth Photography

INFORM YOUR GUESTS

Make sure to communicate to your guests any changes that occur. If you have a wedding website, this is a great place post any changes so your guests can stay up to date. You can even include trendy “change of date” insert cards with your invitations.

SELF-CARE

Having to change your wedding day, or even having to face the possibility can be very hard. Give yourself some time to feel sad, angry, frustrated… Do something that brings you joy (with social distance in mind of course). Limit the amount of time that you watch the news and get plenty of rest.

REMEMBER…

You are strong, you will get through this, and at the end of the day, you get to marry your best friend! So hold your family and friends close and keep an open line of communicate with your wedding team (event planner, venue, vendors). You have so many people that are going to make sure your wedding day is all that you dreamed.

WYOMING WEDDING: Katherina & Brandon, Pinedale from Moose Heart Photography

Thank you to Julieta of Moose Heart Photography of Pinedale for sharing this beautiful, emotion-packed Christmas wedding with us! I am in love with the creative images captured at the beautiful Sublette County Public Library … Visit Julieta at mooseheartphotography.com , and read on for a look at what inspires Julieta in both this wedding and her career …

I really enjoy what I do for a living. I love being surrounded by love… The love of the newlyweds. The love of their families. The love of their friends. The love in the details. The love and care that I have when I’m working.

Each time I capture a complete wedding, from the bride getting ready to the final moments of the reception, it is, for me, an experience hard to describe. I really miss the adrenaline that you have when you are a wedding photographer. All the time I am thanking God for allowing me to be part of the couple’s life for a day. My emotions are on the surface. {In Katherina & Brandon’s wedding}, I got goose bumps when Chris, the father of the bride, who is also the pastor that married them said, “You can kiss for the first time with my permission, your beautiful wife.”

When the bride’s mom, Martha, was praying, she included me in the prayer — that was something I won’t forget. We did a special session at the Sublette County Public Library. Brandon is a school teacher and Katherina teaches piano, so we thought the library was the perfect place for their session. I hope that you like my selection of photos, and that you live the wedding day through them. — Julieta, Moose Heart Photography

Engagement: Paige & Aleric by Virginia Ruth Photography

Veterans Day was celebrated this week, and I thought this was a fabulous time to share this beautiful engagement shoot by Virginia Ruth Photography. (Make sure you click that link to check out more of Ginny’s beautiful work!) <3

Thank you Aleric for your service, and Paige for your sacrifices as well on behalf of our family here in Laramie. <3

The Reception Experience — WOW Your Guests!

By Sabrina Spears, Wedding/Events Planner & Designer

Sabrina Spears Events – sabrinaspearsevents.net

307.333.4676

Ever attended a wedding and were completely bored out of your mind (not to mention the food was horrible?!) I’m certain the thought, “When are they going to cut the cake so we can leave?!” crossed your mind. The reality is the blissful newlyweds probably didn’t share the same sentiment as you did — they had an amazing time!

The experience a bride & groom have during their wedding is very different from their guests. I often remind my couples that while the marriage and ceremony is all about them, the reception should be designed with the guest’s experience in mind.

Here are a few ways you can transform your wedding reception into an experience….

Sight…

What’s the first thing that catches the eyes of your guests as they enter the room:  is it the welcome sign, seating chart or the lush floral designs, menu cards, cloth napkins on each table? Every bride wants their guests to say that her wedding was the most beautiful one they have ever been to. Having a well-decorated reception space will make your guest feel valued. There is one area that is often forgotten:  the bathrooms. Adding a small vase of flowers and an air freshener can easily transform that space — but you don’t have to stop there! Add a care basket filled with some essentials like mouthwash and floss (especially if you plan and serving brisket!), hand lotion, etc. Your guests will feel special!

Taste… 

I have seen couples skimp on the quality food for their reception because it’s just not a priority for them. Well, I’m here shouting from the mountain top that it is and should be.  

This isn’t the time for the “I found someone cheaper” move. You don’t want your guests leaving your wedding early because the only thing on their minds is, “How do we get to the nearest fast food joint?!” Good food makes people happy. Great food makes people dance. Consider including a late night s’mores bar or nacho bar in your catering, especially if you plan on partying all night long. All that fun can leave you and your guests craving a late night snack. And — let’s not forget about cake! Include a gluten free option for guests with dietary restrictions; this gesture will be greatly appreciated.

Sound…

Whether you opt for a DJ, band or the audio hookup at your space, music is an easy way to get your guests out of their seats. Schedule all your special dances, like first dance, mother/son, during dinner service. This will keep your guests entertained while they eat.

Keep the toasts and speeches to a minimum. Your second cousin Bill’s son doesn’t need to make a speech, neither does every person in the wedding party. Remember it’s not open mic night.

Guest Experience…

Your wedding is probably the biggest party you will ever throw. When I think party, I think fun. Instead of party favors, give your guests the memories of a great time. Make your event interactive! Two words: Corn. Hole. Although I haven’t mastered the art of the game, that hasn’t stopped me from loving it. The inclusion of games at wedding receptions has taken on a life of its own over the years.

Some other fun ideas to make your reception interactive include hiring a caricature artist, a slow motion photo booth, poker station and — my absolute favorite — an adult bounce house. 

The Cliff Notes …

Imagine that you’re a guest at your own wedding and it’s the wedding day:  now take a walk in your guests’ shoes!

Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria & Bakery — Fantastic Food, Tunes & Catering in Laramie

Laramie’s Alibi Wood Fire Pizzaria & Bakery has been open & cranking out delicious food & live music events while undergoing an impressive renovation this year. Laramigoes have been heading to “the Alibi” for years for food, libation & frivolity — and we were thrilled to feature their catering in our Cheyenne & Laramie bridal expos in 2019! If you’ve got an event coming up, wedding or otherwise, give them a buzz at 307.745.9738, find them on Facebook, or visit their website. OR! Even better yet, when you’re in Laramie go grab a bite for yourself and see what the buzz is about — head to 404 S. 4th Street and save us a slice …

p.s. Congrats to the Alibi on being a 2019 local’s choice winner from The Laramie Boomerang!

New & Awesome Wood Oven
New Pastry Oven & Deck Oven (above & below)
The perfect place for a little r&r and something delicious (above & below)
Margherita Pizza … I think they mean Mmmmmargherita … <3
The Great White has garlic olive oil, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, feta, goat cheese & Parmesan … Dude. For real.

Habits for a Healthy Relationship – by Alyssa McElwain, PhD Univ. WY

Alyssa McElwain, PhD, CFLE, Asst. Professor Dept of Family & Consumer Sciences, UWyo

Are you ready for what happens after the rings and reception? As you look forward to a lifelong commitment, it’s easy to feel a mixture of excitement and nerves.  You have probably heard the odds about divorce and you’ve probably heard that relationships take work. Love isn’t always enough to sustain a marriage.

What do people do in healthy, long-lasting relationships? To answer that, I have to share the knowledge and wisdom of my go-to guru on healthy relationships & marriage. Dr. John Gottman is a therapist and researcher who has studied couple relationships for decades. This man can actually predict divorce. He doesn’t have a crystal ball; he has identified the destructive habits that cause marital demise. Most importantly, he figured out the key habits people engage in on a regular basis to do work in their relationship. These habits are effective–we have decades of research to prove it. The great thing is these habits are things you can do right now, on a daily basis, to help your relationship thrive over the years.

So, what’s the secret? Put simply, couples in happy long-lasting relationships are best friends and treat each other accordingly. That foundation of friendship means that partners know about each other’s current lives. Here’s the key with this one: the person you marry will change. Perhaps in small ways, but maybe in major ways. For instance, if you become parents together, that role will change your worlds in big ways. It’s important to keep yourself updated on your partner’s life of which you share a large part. Dr. Gottman calls this concept “Love Maps.” He stresses the importance of knowing your partner’s inner world by having regular conversations about their life. What is their favorite way to spend their time? What is their biggest fear? What personal improvements are they trying to make? What’s going on with their friendships? Answers to these questions give you a mental picture of your partner’s world. We’ve all probably heard a person regretfully say, “we just grew apart,” or, “I just don’t know who they are anymore, they’re not the person I married.” Keeping up-to-date on your “Love Map” is just one way to prevent that from happening and keep a strong foundation of friendship.

Best friends listen to one another and deal with conflict in a generally respectful way. Part of listening to one another involves including your partner in big decisions. Dr. Gottman found that partners (men especially) who accept influence from their partner have greater satisfaction in their relationships. Accepting influence means including your partner in major decisions, valuing their opinion, and listening to their ideas. Want to buy a new car? Thinking about applying for a new job in another town? Talk about the decision with your partner.

Now, on to that sticky subject of conflict — in any discussion about healthy relationships, it’s bound to get some attention. Did you know that happy couples fight as much as unhappy couples? Yes, you read that right. Research shows that it’s not how much you fight, it’s how you fight that counts. Contempt, criticism, and explosive anger will all eat away at that foundation of friendship. Unfortunately, our biology works against us when we face conflict. When you become angry or emotionally aroused, your brain is actually flooded with chemicals that render you useless in solving problems and seeing your partner’s point of view. It’s easier said than done, but the best thing to do when you’re emotional or angry is to take a break and come back to the conversation when you are both calm and have a clear mind.

Happy, long-lasting couples don’t just deal with conflict when it arises, they do so much more to express appreciation and affection. John Gottman found that stable, happy couples had a ratio of five positive interactions to every one negative interaction. That is, these couples still argue, say snarky things, or snap at one another. But, they also share inside jokes, hug, laugh, listen, and compliment each other more than they fight. It’s like filling up your love bank account with positive experiences so that when you take a withdrawal, you’ll be okay.

Like many things in life, you get out of marriage what you put into it. The hard work that goes into a lasting marriage pays off. Satisfied couples are happier, mentally and physically better off, and (especially men) are likely to live longer. Happy couples also make better parents. Notice that the key word in those statements is happy. Unhappy couples don’t fare so well. It’s not simply being married that is beneficial–it’s being in a satisfied, emotionally connected relationship. So, as you look forward to a lifetime together, keep in mind these habits for a healthy, happy relationship.

Recommended Resources:

Check out the Gottman Institute and their “Card Deck” app

“The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman

For new parents: “And Baby Makes Three” by John Gottman

About Alyssa McElwain …

Alyssa McElwain, PhD, CFLE is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Dr. McElwain received her M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy from Purdue University in 2008, and her Ph.D in Human Development & Family Studies from Auburn University in 2015. Her approach to teaching her classes at UW includes active student participation & discussion, including role playing activities and critical case analyses. “Step into one of my classes and you will clearly see that teaching is my passion,” Dr. McElwain writes. “I strive to provide an engaging educational environment where students actively participate in their learning. My belief is that learning can and should be fun. I also believe the best learning occurs when people work hard and practice using the information they are learning.” To learn more about Dr. McElwain’s professional & personal pursuits, visit her website, https://alyssamcelwain.weebly.com/

Wedding Spotlight: Rachel & Dyllon by Ardent Photography

Congrats to Rachel & Dyllon on their beautiful Casper wedding that was held June 10, 2018. Thank you to Ardent Photography’s Rick & Stephanie for sharing this wedding full of special details … I’m in love with that backdrop to their ceremony, the musical tie and the bouquet …

Luxe Events

Why Luxe?

Image by Cassandra Vagher Creative Photography

You have a love story.  You found the love of your life, the person you want to spend a lifetime with.  And now you are planning a wedding!   You get one day to celebrate the love you and your fiance share, and it has to be amazing! 

There are a million questions to ask and just as many decisions that have to be made to make one day the perfect day.  Where do you even start?  How do you know which vendors to trust?  How can you find exactly what you want?  The list goes on and on.  That is where LUXE comes in.  

You need a planning company that fully understands your story and can create an event that is completely personalized to your lives; who you are as individuals and couples. You deserve a company that makes every effort to create an event experience that embraces what you both enjoy and wish to share with your guests.

At LUXE, we do all of this and more. We become true friends with our clients and we fall in love with our clients’ love stories.  We become emotionally invested in not only our client’s event but also our clients’ lives. Our clients aren’t just people we plan events for; they are people we care about. It is that relationship that paves the way for truly wonderful, personalized events that are a mirror of our clients as people and their hopes for the future.

It’s a wedding ~ do-overs aren’t an option . . .

Image by Rhema Faith Photography
Image by Rhema Faith Photography
Image by Molly Margaret Photography