1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA

1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA

Finally, we have arrived to the anniversary photoshoot and vow renewal that started it all! To properly set the scene for this post, I am writing as it is raining, sipping my coffee, and burning a Seattle scented candle (seriously, it’s from Bath & Body Works and smells like white caramel cold brew). The ambiance couldn’t be more perfect aside from maybe writing this post while in Seattle itself.

Seattle, WA

For the longest time, Sean and I had talked about taking a trip to the West Coast to explore Seattle and Portland. We took the opportunity to make the trip to celebrate our 1st anniversary. Traditionally, the first anniversary gift is paper, so that is when I decided to gift us with our paper vow books (that’s right, we got our vow books AFTER our wedding). We wrote our original vows in them as well as new vows to read to each other on our anniversary.

The Photographer

Since we were going to be in Seattle, I envisioned hiking around mountains and waterfalls while wearing backpacks for the shoot. I wanted a dark and moody style of photography that really represented the mostly overcast vibes of the area.

I posted on my Facebook feed that I was looking for a photographer in the Seattle area with this particular style and my network came through! A friend suggested that I reach out to Megan Gallagher Photography who had recently relocated to Seattle from Raleigh. Her style was exactly what I had been envisioning, she had experience shooting in the mountains outside of Seattle, and she was already someone who was familiar to me.

photo of couple hiking at Snoqualmie

Since we did not have a car, Megan picked Sean and I up from our AirBnb in Capitol Hill and drove us to the Snoqualmie River area which was an hour outside of the city. Once we had arrived, she pulled the car over close to an area where we could hike the rest of the way to Franklin Falls.

On our walk over to the area with the waterfall, I quickly realized that this location exceeded my vision 100%!

The Franklin Falls area was breathtaking.

photo of couple at Franklin Falls

Pure bliss. How could it not be? These views plus sweater weather is the best!

Of course we couldn’t go to Franklin Falls without getting photos with the waterfall itself.

photo of piggyback couple at Franklin Falls in front of the waterfall

Time for a piggy back ride! Do not attempt this while wearing a dress!

photo of Sean in front of Franklin Falls waterfall
photo of Mollyann in front of Franklin Falls waterfall

We also took this opportunity to get a few individual shots with the waterfall.

close up photo of Mollyann in front of Franklin Falls waterfall

Don’t go chasing waterfalls unless they make you feel like this!

I did my own hair and makeup for this shoot so I definitely don’t look as glam as in some of my other shoots but the look was perfect for the scenery and the casual vibe. Who gets their hair and makeup done professionally to go on a hike in the wilderness? The correct answer = no one.

Once we were finished shooting at Franklin Falls, we started making the trek back to the car but stopped to take some shots on these rocky stairs.

photo of L.L. Bean boots

You may recognize my boots, the classic L.L. Bean Duck Boots. I knew that they would be the perfect boots for the shoot, however, I did not own a pair and they were sold out on L.L. Bean’s website in my size at the time. I ended up buying them used from a seller on Poshmark. And that’s not the first time that I’ve bought shoes that I had been eyeing from Poshmark, my wedding heels also came from there. If there’s a will, there’s a way to find what you are looking for!

Next, we drove over to our next location, Rattlesnake Lake. Do not fear, I am told that there are no rattlesnakes there, but you will find these amazing tree stumps in the water.

photo of couple in tree at Rattlesnake Lake

And this crazy tree!

photo of Sean in tree at Rattlesnake Lake

We changed into our second outfits for Rattlesnake Lake in the car – you gotta do what you gotta do when shooting in nature like this!

I love this outfit on Sean. Sometimes rolling up your sleeves and pant legs are all you need to complete a look. We decided to both go barefoot for the remainder of these shots, however, the ground was very rocky and uncomfortable to walk on barefoot, so we would wear flip flops to move around then throw our flip flops out of the frame for the photo.

photo of couple at Rattlesnake Lake

To this day, Rattlesnake Lake is probably one of the most unique areas that I have ever seen in my life. Thank you Mother Nature for showing us your roots (literally)! I am so happy to have had Megan there to capture this memory. These photos are the best keepsakes and are priceless to us!

close up photo of couple at Rattlesnake Lake

These photos give me all of the feels (especially the feels of my bare feet on the rocks)! Kiddinggg.

photo of couple standing on a tree stump at Rattlesnake Lake

Going out on the tree stumps in the water was magic. Pure magic.

Still feeling the magic, we made our way back onto land and began our vow renewal.

I purchased our vow books from Moglea but unfortunately, they no longer sell them. There are many Etsy sellers that also have cute vow book options though!

After the vow renewal, it was starting to get dark but we had one more surprise in store…

photo of couple popping champagne

Champagne! We bought a mini bottle thinking that it would be easier to transport however, if I had to do it over again, I would have splurged on a big bottle for a more grand POP! You live and you learn.

The success and experience of this shoot is definitely what encouraged us to continue this tradition every year. Let’s just say, it set the bar HIGH! Even looking back at these photos I am in awe of some of the images. It’s hard to not just look at them as art – we were really there! It was real life! It makes me want to visit the West Coast again soon.


photo of Megan Gallagher

Hi Megan! It’s hard not to fall in love with Megan Gallagher Photography. I can’t believe that one individual can be so dang talented. Megan seriously went above and beyond for this shoot. The locations were breathtaking and it was an experience that Sean and I will never forget. She also delivered the album in both web size, ideal for posting on social media/online, and high resolution, ideal for printing.

For more photos from this shoot check out Megan’s blog post, Rattlesnake Lake-Franklin Falls Anniversary Session. Heads up, since this shoot, Megan has relocated to Portland, OR.

Are you inspired to travel, have a vow renewal each year on your anniversary, or to at least book a photoshoot? I hope so. Please, please, please copy our tradition for yourself! It’s exactly why I share these experiences.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out our 2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX and our 3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC.

2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX

2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX

For our 2nd anniversary, Sean and I traveled to Austin, TX and had our photoshoot and vow renewal at our picturesque AirBnb.

I’m working backwards as my previous post was our 3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC. You’ll notice that in the photos in this post, Sean and I look much younger and less beaten down by the doom and gloom of 2020 – just kidding!

Austin, TX

Sean is my biggest love but my next biggest love might be my love for the city of Austin, TX. When just planning our anniversary trip to Austin, I was already falling head over heels for the activities, vibes, and food in Austin. When we arrived for our vacation, those feelings were confirmed. Austin is a badass city! I can see why so many people are moving there everyday.

The Pros

When searching for a photographer, I knew that I was looking for someone who had a vibrant and quirky style for this shoot. I searched Austin photographer hashtags and looked at what photographers wedding vendors had tagged in their photos on Instagram. I actually had to search for a while and then finally came across Bonnie & Lauren. Bonnie was available and was so excited to capture our vow renewal tradition! After Bonnie was secured, I asked her who she recommends for hair and makeup. She suggested Lavish Beauty ATX and Jen was available to glam me up for the shoot. Done and done!

photo in airbnb in austin,tx
All photos by Bonnie Burke

For our trip to Austin, Sean and I booked this awesome AirBnb and we knew that it would also be the perfect location for our shoot! Visiting Austin and need a place to stay? I highly recommend it! We hope that we can stay there again someday.

photo of couple on a bright blue couch
photo of couple on a bright blue couch
photo of couple on a bright blue couch

It had the most photo-worthy furniture which we definitely utilized throughout the shoot!

photo of the couple laughing on the bed

And a bedroom with striped walls that I couldn’t get enough of!

photo of couple on the bed
photo of couple on the bed
photo of couple kissing on the bed

Holding hands and kissing on the bed felt super intimate yet relaxed. If you have an adorable bedroom setup in your home, why not shoot there?

photo of couple outside with coffee

Time for an outfit change (and to actually put on shoes)! When we moved outside to the pool area, we had to grab some lifestyle shots doing one of our favorite things – drinking coffee!

photo of couple standing
close up photo of couple standing

We moved to the other side of the pool for a greenery backdrop and for our first standing photos of the day!

photo of couple in front of greenery in austin tx
headshot of Sean
headshot of Mollyann

Ready for your closeup? Why not grab some individual headshots during a couple’s photoshoot! It always comes in handy to have a recent headshot on hand.

photo of vow renewal in the breezeway

When it came time for our vow renewal, we chose to read our vows in the breezeway. It was a very picturesque and shaded spot!

Handwritten vows are so precious!

photo of reading vows
photo of vow renewal kiss
photo of couple with vow books

Always sealed with a kiss afterwards just like the wedding day.

photo of couple swimming in the pool

After we finished shooting in our two planned outfits, Bonnie, Sean, and I all realized how cool it would be to also shoot in the pool. I mean, it was our favorite part of the Air Bnb and it was the perfect place to escape from that intense Texas heat! Sean and I quickly changed into our bathing suits and got some bonus pool shots!

photo of couple standing on the pool steps
photo of couple in the pool
photo of couple in the pool

I’m so glad that we jumped in and just went for it – these turned out to be some of my favorite shots of the day!

close up photo in the pool
close up photo in the pool
photo of kissing in the pool

I love all of the variety and different outfits in this shoot! It’s like a lot of mini shoots all wrapped into one. We really had a blast and I’m impressed that we managed to pull off three outfits in an hour! If you want to do the same, have all of your outfits planned out and accessories set aside and organized for a quick change. There’s no time to be rifling through your closet when you are paying your photographer by the hour. Plus, it will leave you feeling flustered and that’s not a good look in photos.


Red has always been one of my favorite flattering colors to wear but it is a pretty bold color. I like how the floral print and Sean’s light blue chambray shirt toned it down a bit for these photos.

2019 was really the year that I realized how much happiness the color yellow brings to your life. I felt like the turquoise earrings, yellow midi dress, and the print on Sean’s shirt all felt very “Texas” without wearing cowboy boots and all.


Bonnie seriously blew me away. She is so… rad! She did not hesitate to do whatever it took to get the shot. Whether that was moving furniture or moving around us to get the perfect angle, she did it without hesitation. Also, she delivered some highlight photos the same day as the shoot and delivered the whole album two days later. See, I told you that she is rad!

Photo of Bonnie by Diana Ascarrunz

Bad news, Bonnie & Lauren is no more. But good news, they have both gone solo and Bonnie has launched Bonnie Burke Weddings! She’s seriously the bomb.

Jen with Lavish Beauty ATX made me feel gorgeous! She was very professional and was delightful to talk to while she was dolling me up. Since this shoot, when makeup artists have asked me to show them photos of how I would like my makeup done, I show them photos of Jen’s handiwork on my face. I loved everything about it! I feel like I look like myself, but the best version of myself.

Next up, is our 1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA that started it all!

3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC

3rd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Charlotte, NC

The Tradition

Every year for our anniversary, Sean and I have a tradition where we travel and explore a new city, book a photoshoot, and renew our vows (perhaps this was inspired by our Paris Honeymoon Photoshoot?!). We read our original wedding vows and write new vows every year. It’s a great way to consistently remind each other of the promises that we have made to each other in our marriage. This also ensures that we have updated photos each year!

Charlotte, NC

This year for our 3rd anniversary, we decided to enjoy a staycation in Charlotte, NC. Since we had just moved to CLT and finished unpacking, the thought of packing up a suitcase and traveling again so soon didn’t sound very appealing. Plus this was a great opportunity for us to document this next (and quite unexpected) chapter in our lives. Since we are new to town we are practically exploring the city every day already!

The Pros

I searched for Charlotte photographers on the ‘gram and saw that @kevyndixonphoto was already following me. Her style was exactly what I was looking for! Fortunately she had the date available and it was an easy choice. After booking Kevyn Dixon Photography, I wanted to get a hair and makeup artist who could make me feel my very best and photo ready so Kevyn recommended Cali Stott Artistry. Once Cali and Kevyn were both booked, it was game on!

I had envisioned the photoshoot and vow renewal taking place in an area with a field and water nearby. Since Sean and I are new to the area, Kevyn suggested Clarks Creek Nature Preserve which turned out to be the perfect spot!

photo of couple by the water
photo of couple walking by the water
photo of couple standing by the water

It was a hot, summer day with temperatures over 90 degrees and PLENTY of sunshine!

photo of Mollyann twirling her dress
photo of Mollyann twirling her dress
photo of Mollyann twirling her dress

Even during a couple’s photoshoot, it is important to get some individual shots too! I loved twisting and twirling around in my Anthropologie dress.

photo of Sean walking
photo of Sean walking
photo of Sean walking

Sean’s stroll was definitely photo worthy! Choosing complimentary colors is important for photoshoots, so his heathered olive green J Crew Factory shirt was the perfect choice paired with my white and fuschia embroidered dress. Bonus: He looked very handsome in it!

photo of vow renewal at Clarks Creek Nature Preserve

After we finished shooting by the water, Kevyn scouted out the perfect spot for our vow renewal.

In our vows, we cursed and joked that, “if we can survive 2020, we can survive anything.” Isn’t that the truth?!

photo of couple with hat
photo of couple kissing with hat

Once we finished the actual vow renewal, we got back to shooting some more fun shots. These are some of my favorites!

The hat ended up being an awesome prop! I once heard that if a lady wants to stand out for her fashion, it is not about showing a bunch of skin, just wear a hat that compliments your outfit. It’s legit advice.

photo of Mollyann wearing hat
photo of couple walking
close up photo of couple walking

Consider that tidbit of knowledge your magic hat trick for the day!

couple in prom pose
close up of couple in prom pose
photo of couple facing forward

Prom pose! I always think of these as the photos for your parents and family. Specifically, I’m referring to the photos where both individuals are posed and facing the camera. They are definitely must haves.

photo sitting at Clarks Creek Nature Preserve

Since we did so many standing photos, I wanted to get some seated shots. Kevyn was so kind and got her rain jacket out of her car for me to sit on so that the dewey ground did not ruin my white dress. The great part is that you can’t see that I was sitting on a jacket at all!

photo of couple
photo of couple
photo of couple kissing
photo of Mollyann and Sean

Also one of my favorite shots!

photo of Sean spinning Mollyann
photo of Sean spinning Mollyann
photo of Sean spinning Mollyann

To finish, Sean spun me around for our final shots.


Sean and I are both so delighted with our photos and our experience! Kevyn Dixon Photography was amazing to work with. She made us feel relaxed, posed us with ease, and did an excellent job editing the photos and getting them back to us in a timely manner.

Photo by Tricia Michael Photography

It was so much fun having my hair and makeup done by Cali with Cali Stott Artistry! She was so personable and truly a joy to be around. I was really worried that the heat would mess up my hair and makeup but she did a great job and both stayed put.

Photo by Lindley Battle Photography

These ladies were both professional and true pleasures to work with. If you need a hair and makeup artist or a photographer in the Charlotte area, I would highly recommend both of them! They also both do weddings.

Looking for some more anniversary and vow renewal inspiration? Check out my 1st Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Seattle, WA and my 2nd Anniversary Photoshoot + Vow Renewal in Austin, TX.