As a Dallas documentary wedding photographer, I love it when the party is lit! This Dallas wedding was a blast because these people really know how to party!! I mean, if the parents are handing tequila shots to the wedding party and newlywed couple as they’re being announced into the reception, you KNOW it’s going to be a good party!

It was also one of the most emotional weddings I’ve ever had the privilege of photographing. You see… Karley is my niece and I’ve known her since birth. Literally. I’ve bought lemonade from her front yard stands, helped her bury a few dead cats in her pet cemetery, probably watched a few hundred softball games she played in (she was a pretty awesome shortstop), witnessed her navigate through teenage life, and then flourish as a young adult.

documentary dallas wedding photographer

More recently, I got to see her fall in love and marry the man of her dreams—Hayden.

Dallas Documentary Wedding Photographer

On Karley and Hayden’s wedding day, the girls started out their day getting ready in a fabulous cabin just south of the Oklahoma state line while the guys played hacky sack in front of Hayden’s childhood home. However, this far north is not where they originally planned to get married. They had originally intended to marry somewhere halfway between Muenster and Jourdanton—their Texas hometowns. But when the search for a venue that would accommodate 600 guests fell short (I already warned you about that party!), they ended up in Muenster at the Heritage Event Center because it would hold that many people times—oh five or more. The place was HUGE!

bridesmaids drinking mimosas on couch prior to wedding ceremony

In a world after Covid, this was no small event! In fact, it’s probably the second-largest wedding I’ve ever photographed, but certainly the largest wedding post-Covid. Most of my weddings in the last few years have been less than 125 people tops, so this was a nice change of pace.

I am just a big baby and I get emotional and cry at most weddings I photograph because I really LOVE my job, but this one really had me. When Karley had a first look with her dad, I could hardly hold myself together to continue taking pictures. I mean I was on the verge of having to issue a full refund here, people. It was a super sweet moment.

bride's first look with dad on wedding day overlooking the red river, documentary dallas wedding photographer

Karley and Hayden’s day was picture perfect! And did I mention the reception was lit?! This was the first time I’d ever seen a bride do the splits… on the dance floor… in her wedding gown! (Subliminal challenge issued.) The dance floor was packed from the time the DJ announced “open dance” until the time he called for “last dance.” The party atmosphere was incredible and turned up to about a 12 on a scale of one to ten. It was incredibly easy for this Dallas documentary wedding photographer to do her job!

bride doing the splits in her wedding gown on the dance floor on her dallas wedding day

These are the kinds of weddings I live for! Weddings that cover all the details, have the dance floor rumbling all night long, liquor bottles are passed around (who needs shot glasses?), and the smiles and good times never end… not even after the lights come on. Check out some of my favorite images from Karley and Hayden’s Dallas wedding (I just can’t post them all) to see what I mean. I am SURE you’ll agree this was a damn good wedding, especially for a Dallas photojournalistic wedding photographer! Then be sure to watch the slideshow at the end!

If you’d like to see all the images from this Dallas wedding, please enjoy this video. For the best quality, be sure to change the video player settings to 1080 HD. 

This is the incredible vendor team that Karley and Hayden assembled for their wonderful wedding day:

Ceremony Site: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Muenster, TX
Reception Venue: Heritage Park Event Center, Muenster, TX
Photographer: Ata-Girl Photography, LLC
2nd Shooter: Fred Jimenez
Videography & Drone: Forever Videos by Deeann
Officiants: Father Ken & Father Joe
Bridal Boutique: Bridal Boutique Lewisville
Menswear: Lora’s Flowers & Tuxedos
Hair: Rachel Mercer and The Tease Hair Studio
Makeup: Makeup by Leah Hess
Floral: Sylvia’s Creations
Stationery: Canva (Mom)
Sign Maker: Taylor & Co. Woodworking
Caterer: Tic Block
Bartender: Chad Henscheid
Cake: For Heaven’s Cake
Cupcakes: Brentley Bakes
Cookies: Amber Forrest
Grazing Table: Amber Longust
Rentals (tables, bar, linens, chairs): A1 Rentals
Furniture: Rent My Dust
Decor: Michelle Orsak
Ceremony Musician: Jonathan Toni
DJ: Acoustic Event Productions
Lodging: The Lodge at Red River Breaks

Let’s “hangout!” I wanna hear about your love story!

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About Ata-Girl

I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.

I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!

You can always call or text, but if you really want to get to know me, schedule a meetup!

I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journeys and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to get your hands on 20 FREE interactive wedding planning tools that every couple needs, please take a moment to access them here.

I am a published author (purchase my book here), a podcast host (listen here) (watch here) and a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.

When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.