Kentucky Wedding Venue: Historic Shelby Manor at Arcadia Farms

Kentucky Wedding Venue: Historic Shelby Manor at Arcadia Farms

Kentucky has such a diverse collection of beautiful wedding venues and we were so happy to have the opportunity to check out the Historic Shelby Manor at Arcadia Farms in Stanford, KY, near Danville.  This charming historic venue is also a bed and breakfast and sits on a working farm. 

Michele & Joe | Snowy Christmas Elopement at Maker's Mark | Keith & Melissa Photography

Michele & Joe  |  Snowy Christmas Elopement at Maker's Mark  |  Keith & Melissa Photography

Michele & Joe were surrounded by their parents and closest friends & family this past Saturday in Loretto, KY at the beautiful Maker's Mark Distillery when they said their vows.  It was a quiet, unassuming affair but it was exactly perfect for them.  Michele and Joe are a sweet, fun couple that love to laugh and enjoy life. 

Abby & Evan | Winchester, KY Wedding | Keith & Melissa Photography


When a husband and wife make God the center of their lives and their marriage, wonderful things can happen. Abby planned a beautiful wedding day that took place on a foggy November morning where it was made clear to us that following Jesus will be their main priority.  Abby and Evan are such a sweet, loving couple that has so much fun together.  They laugh together all the time and what marriage doesn't need laughter?

Florals:  The Craft Nook, Winchester, KY

Dress:  Wedding Wonderland

Be sure to check out Abby and Evan's engagement session here!  


They had their sweet first look in the church foyer.

They had their sweet first look in the church foyer.

Abby's bracelet...something blue.

Abby's bracelet...something blue.

Abby was Makenna's bridesmaid just a few short months ago!

Abby was Makenna's bridesmaid just a few short months ago!

Abby, you were such a beautiful bride!

Abby, you were such a beautiful bride!

Love that laugh!

Love that laugh!

Evan's sweet sister caught the bouquet!

Evan's sweet sister caught the bouquet!


Katie & Miguel | The Thoroughbred Center Wedding | Keith & Melissa Photography


Katie & Miguel's wedding day was so lovely, despite the persistent rain.  They are such a sweet couple and we have really enjoyed working with them.  They were married at Berea Christian Church and then went to The Thoroughbred Center for their lively fiesta-style reception.  It was a multicultural event filled with color, music, lights and love. We especially enjoyed the Mexican catering spread!  The Thoroughbred Center was the perfect place for portraits on a rainy day with their big covered porches.  We love how the photos turned out and hope that you enjoy seeing them!

Ceremony Venue:  Berea Christian Church, Lexington, KY

Reception Venue:  The Thoroughbred Center, Lexington, KY

Decorator, Reception Design:  Fiore Bianco Event Planner

Cake:  Sweet Creations

Catering:  El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant

Florals:  Global Rose

DJ:  DJ Flow

Hair:  Twisted Masters Hair Studio, Jennifer Fensler

Dress:  JJ's House

Groom's Attire:  Dillards

Tres leches wedding cake?  Yum!

Tres leches wedding cake?  Yum!

Things got pretty exciting! haha

Things got pretty exciting! haha


Alison & Shane | Cardome Center Barn Wedding | Keith & Melissa Photography


Alison & Shane's rustic wedding in Georgetown, KY was such a special day.  We loved being there to be a small part of the day and capture their memories.  It was especially unique in that they included Alison's son, Mark, in so many aspects of their day.  He was there for the first look, was the ring bearer on his "tractor" (he did awesome), took part in the ceremony, and shared the first dance.  Alison is such a sweet mom and Shane will be a great dad to Mark.  Congratulations to all three of you!

Venue:  Cardome Center Barn

Florist:  Blooms n Blossoms

Cake:  Desserts by Rebecca

DJ:  James Dean Rocks

The BBQ buffet at this wedding was amazing!

The BBQ buffet at this wedding was amazing!

The bride grew these cute little pumpkins!  We loved them!

The bride grew these cute little pumpkins!  We loved them!

Why Hire a Professional Wedding Photographer?

Kentucky wedding photographers

"Why should I spend all that money on a wedding photographer when my friend/aunt/cousin has a good camera?"  We've all heard that question being asked before and maybe it's even you that has said it aloud.  We are fully aware that hiring a high quality, experienced wedding photographer will take up a certain percentage of your wedding budget.  It's not easy to spend money on something that you won't actually experience until the day of the wedding.  However, there are some good reasons that you should!

Lexington, KY wedding photographers

You're spending too much money on everything else to skimp on photography.  When you sit down to budget for your wedding, we recommend dividing it up by percentages.  Decide in advance how much you have available to spend on your dress, venue, florals, makeup & hair, DJ, catering, decor, cake, and yes, photography!  Determine what really matters to you and you can't live without or what does not go up high on the priority list and go from there.   Do you want to have an open bar at the reception or a high quality photography team?   Sometimes sacrifices must be made; but, do you really want to sacrifice the one thing that is left after the wedding day?

At the end of the day, basically all you have left are your wedding photos to remember a pivotal moment in your life.  All of the beautiful things you spent money on such as the flowers, cake and dress will be gone by the end of the day or at minimum, stored away.  The only way to truly capture the details and keep them at arms length forever is through photos. 

Sweet moment of the bride with her brother at the Cardome Center in Georgetown.

Sweet moment of the bride with her brother at the Cardome Center in Georgetown.

An experienced wedding photographer knows how to capture the day no matter what the circumstances.  We do realize that some people DO have friends and family that are solid in the operation of camera equipment.  However, most might have a decent camera but no other lighting equipment.  If you're getting married in a dark church or your reception is very dark (as most are!), it's probably going to be pretty tricky for an inexperienced photographer to create really high quality photos. 

Wedding photographers who have shot several weddings know how to anticipate moments.  If you've only been to a handful of weddings, it's really difficult to know even the basic timeline of all the many small moments.  Moments such as the soft smile as mother of the bride buttons the bride's gown, the tears in the father's eyes when he sees his daughter for the first time, the embarrassed laugh of the groom when his best man's speech includes anecdotes from the past.  There are so many more and of course, always surprises.  Once you've been to dozens of weddings, it's so much easier to anticipate those moments and have the camera ready.  Those candid shots are some of the most precious. 

Winchester, KY wedding photographers

Wedding photographers know how to beautifully capture all of the tiny details that you've taken so long to plan and purchase.  We know that your personality shines through in your details.  Brides that have a vintage wedding band or the groom that chooses to wear a bow tie or the letters that you've written to each other or the antique handkerchief that was your grandmother's...those are important details that show who you are individually and as a couple.  Whether you've spent a lot of money on it or it just has sentimental value, it needs to be preserved through your images. 

You will feel just as comfortable with your photographer as you would a friend by the wedding day. If you're concerned that you'll feel weird posing for your photographer because you're "awkward", you can rest easy!  By the time we shoot your wedding, we have usually met in person, corresponded numerous times via email, text or phone, and spent a couple of hours together for your engagement session.  We haven't had a client yet that we didn't love by the time it was wedding day!  If you think you'll feel awkward in front of the camera, that's fine with us!  It's our job to make you feel comfortable and to capture the raw, real love between you and your fiance and even your family.  Photos for us are about preserving a moment in time in a way that will bring a smile to your face for years to come. 

Lawrenceburg, KY wedding photographers

Our intention is never to make anyone feel bad or guilty about any choices they make for their wedding day.  We know that the bottom line is, it's YOUR day and it's about what makes YOU happy.  If you would like to know more, feel free to contact us via our Contact page!  We can't wait to hear about what you envision for your special day!

Louisville, KY wedding photographers
Shelbyville, KY wedding photographers
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My Favorite Wedding Trends for 2016

Every new year brings about change in the wedding industry.  Often brides want to combine traditional with trendy when they're planning their special day.  While I'm going to discuss some of the projected trends in the industry, I still believe that the best thing is to create a day that showcases YOU and your fiance and not simply be a copy of someone else.  So, take what you like and pass on the trends that clash with your personality and tastes.

Textured Cakes

I love this trend!  It's simple yet elegant and understated.  It works for rustic weddings and more formal affairs.  Sweet Lilu's in Versailles, KY creates lovely textured cakes with delicious buttercream icing.  If you're in the area, check them out for your wedding cake and catering!

Cake by  Sweet Lilu's

Cake by Sweet Lilu's


I mean, c'mon.  Who doesn't love doughnuts?  They're a cute, unexpected way to sweeten your day and treat your guests.  Why not serve them up on a dessert buffet or even in place of an actual wedding cake if you're going for a more casual atmosphere.  One of our Ashland, KY weddings served doughnuts from Dave's Bakery in Flatwoods, KY and they were a hit!

Ashland, KY Wedding Photographer

Social Media

So many brides are on already utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Periscope and more.  This year is bound to see more of that.  A fun idea for our brides is to keep a blog of your wedding planning experience and then at the end share your photos on your blog.  It's a great way to keep a record of your ideas, finds, thoughts and feelings. 

Check out KM Russell Photography on these social media sites:




What is your favorite social media outlet?  What are we missing out on?  Comment and let us know!

Lexington Wedding Photography

Ballerina Buns

Simple but can't be beat.  They're cute, elegant and timeless.  You'll never look back on your photos and say, "What was I thinking?"  Unless of course you just don't like yourself in a ballerina bun.  But if you it! ;)

Cascading Bouquets

While the trend in recent years has been on tighter bouquets, one of my preferred vendors has informed me that she's excited that cascading bouquets are coming back "in".  Also, more greenery (such as eucalyptus) with a looser, natural look will be hitting the bridal aisles this year and I love it!  Give me all the flowers!

Bouquet by  Bel Air Florist and Gifts , Versailles, KY

Bouquet by Bel Air Florist and Gifts, Versailles, KY

Okay, so what are your favorite trends?  Maybe you don't care what the trends are and you're going to do your thing no matter who likes it!  That's cool!  Tell me about it!  Your wedding day is your chance to shine and you should feel like a princess!  Happy Wedding Planning!  :)



Emma & Corey: Lexington Engagement Session

Emma & Corey met me out at the Pisgah Presbyterian Church on Pisgah Pike in Versailles in the fall for their engagement session.  It was a little chilly but we had beautiful light and the Kentucky countryside is always picturesque, especially when there are horses around!  One of the things I love most about Central Kentucky (and Kentucky in general) is the variety of landscape we have.  Rolling hills, farms, lakes, creeks, historical sites, waterfalls, flowers, trees...all beautiful backdrops for photos! 

Emma and Corey are looking forward to their wedding in March and we are looking forward to capturing their special day! 

KM Russell Photography Engagement
KM Russell Photography Engagement
KM Russell Photography Pisgah Presbyterian Church
KM Russell Photography Wedding Photographer
KM Russell Photography Engagement Photographer
KM Russell Photography Lexington KY Photographer
KM Russell Photography Lexington Ky Photographer

Smith-Gardner Wedding


It was a privilege to capture the lovely Christmas wedding of Rewa and Desmond at Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, KY.  Rewa and Desmond are a sweet couple that are excited to join their families and begin life as newlyweds.  The bride wore a simple, elegant dress and carried a gorgeous bouquet of deep red flowers created by Cheryl Conner.  She glowed as she walked down the aisle first with her father and then was met in the middle by her son.  The couple enjoyed a short reception in the fellowship hall of the church before making their way downtown to the Hilton for a second reception.  They graciously allowed us to capture some photos across the street at Triangle Park before entering the gorgeous reception hall.  The wedding day was filled with love and light and we are so thankful to have been a part of it!

Make-up was provided and applied by the Dillards make-up counter.

The venue for the ceremony, Shiloh Baptist Church, in Lexington, was a beautiful setting.


They performed a sand ceremony to represent the blending of the two families.


A gorgeous deep red bouquet combined with the glow of Christmas lights made it magical.

What a stunning bride you were, Rewa!


The ballroom at the Hilton, downtown Lexington, was a perfect reception site.  Everything was beautiful and the staff were so friendly and efficient.


Mrs. Cheryl Conner made the delicious and lovely cakes in many different flavors.


Sweet dances with the mother of the groom and groom and the father of the bride and bride.


The streets of downtown Lexington always make an amazing backdrop!


Bride and groom photos at the fountains in Triangle Park are some of our favorites!