Joy Marie Photography | Destination Wedding Photographers » Photography by Joy Marie

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  • Joy Marie Smallwood is a celebrity & destination wedding photographer who splits her time between Los Angeles, California and Nashville, Tennessee. Turning life’s moments into works of art is second nature to Joy Marie. Whether it’s a bashful glance or a passionate embrace, a time of reverence or a heartfelt celebration, Joy Marie captures the beauty that is inherent in everything she photographs. Working with only twenty clients each year, Joy Marie maintains a boutique approach to her work, allowing her to build trusted, collaborative relationships with her clients. With a natural ability to blend fine art, photojournalism and fashion, Joy Marie is a distinct, award-winning photographer whose work has been published in People, US Weekly, Hello!, and several other bridal & lifestyle publications worldwide. When not shooting, Joy Marie enjoys traveling & spending time with her husband, David, and their three sons Elon, Jaden & Micah.

When I met Christina and James I knew instantly that they were going to be fun to photograph. Super smart (they met while interviewing for Neurosurgery residency programs at Georgetown!l) , but so witty, funny, and laid back — their “first look” photo says it all. They never took this whole wedding planning process too seriously!  Christina stayed calm, cool and collected the day of her wedding and she looked absolutely stunning while taking it all in with the love of her life and her incredible family and friends from all over the world.  Their love was easy to capture — it’s clear their connection is SO strong and SO special!

001JOY_FAVORITES_CJ Christina and James _ Beautiful CoupleThey were married in the backyard of a one of their closest family friends’ home — also the site of where her grandparents held their 50th anniversary party.  They wanted an informal, backyard style wedding, and had one of friends perform the wedding vows and other talented friends provide acapella music and beat boxing…yes and it was amazing!  Their family friends generously planted thousands of flower bulbs in their wedding color scheme, whitewashed their beautiful farm style home, and redesigned their home to make it just perfect for their wedding.  Their wedding planner designed a wedding that was informal, whimsical, lighthearted, and integrated into the beauty of the home and gardens that Christina and her family truly loved.  It’s full of burlap and lace details that are just so…pretty.  Just a peek of all the beautiful details…

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051JOY_FAVORITES_CJ 057JOY_FAVORITES_CJ Wedding Ceremony SingersTo fit the rustic nature of the grounds, they chose wooden farmhouse benches and chairs for the wedding ceremony, wanting simple baby’s breath for decor and letting the surrounding beauty set the tone for the ceremony.

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Sushi and cocktails at a weddingFor the reception, Christina and James chose a sugarplum fair tent in order to let guests enjoy the sunset, the stars as they came out and the twinkling lights on the pond behind the reception area. I loved the little, fun carnival type details and informality the Photo Booth, fire pit, outdoor chaise lounges along the pond, humorous advice cards, a scrapbook station, a Hawaiian shave ice truck, dozens of Hawaiian Haupia cakes, a dessert buffet.  With one of the best bands I’ve heard, the entire crowd was dancing into the night!

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This one was truly FUN to be a part of and I am so happy for this amazing couple!

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I had the complete and total honor of shooting Kelly + Adam’s wedding at California Club a short while back and there are so many details and personal touches I wanted to share with you.  After getting to know both amazing families and hearing about a horrific accident that almost took Kelly’s Dad’s life, this was a wedding that shook me to my core.  This year has really reminded me…life is so precious! Weddings are all about family — family is what is truly important — and this wedding was no exception.  Adams’ identical twin brother was deployed just days before the wedding, so you’ll see how he “took part” in the ceremony and reception through Skype and also “appeared” in formal photos with a life-sized cardboard cut out.  So hard not to have your close family present but this group had such a positive spirit and found away to keep him close.

Kelly and Adam wanted a formal, classic and elegant reception and they sure got it!  It was warm and inviting and the guests had an incredible time! Kelly’s adorable Mom made her fabulous banana walnut blueberry bread for EACH guest. They were packaged so beautifully and placed on the table.  Kelly’s Lazaro dress was stunning…straight out of the pages of Vogue.   Note the old Cadillac, which Adam’s parents also got married in and was restored by his Dad!  All of the personal touches made this wedding SO personal and SO incredibly special.  Here’s a look back on some of my favorite shots and a peek at the details.

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Pour over all the beautiful details here!

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036JOY_FAVORITES_KA 043JOY_FAVORITES_KA 041JOY_FAVORITES_KA 0479KELLY_ADAMThe reception was SO, SO classy! From the gold chavari chairs to the dramatic ballroom of California club — it was pure style and class.  All the details were exactly how Kelly wanted them (and the ice sculptures that Adam really wanted!)

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0571KELLY_ADAM Luxury Wedding Details 0209KELLY_ADAM 052JOY_FAVORITES_KA 057JOY_FAVORITES_KA 068JOY_FAVORITES_KA 067JOY_FAVORITES_KA 062JOY_FAVORITES_KA 064JOY_FAVORITES_KA 061JOY_FAVORITES_KASuch a celebration of love and family for Kelly and Adam!

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After a very sad and emotional weekend, I’m headed back to LA from spending time in Washington this weekend celebrating the life of my cousin, Mari. Mari Lynn McKinstry Lazur passed away on August 28, 2014 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. After seven surgeries, three chemotherapy agents and two clinical trials, her fight ended. She passed away peacefully in the arms of her beloved husband Nathan with her mother close by.

She was 31.

Mari was charismatic and lived in the moment. She had been a star athlete and personal trainer who would push herself and those around her to be their best. She loved laughing in the sunshine and the smell of the ocean. Four months ago she married the love of her life in her dream wedding in St. John. Along with her mother, Nathan took care of her until the very end. These two share a love that many won’t find in their entire lifetime. Here’s their wedding slideshow.

RIP my beautiful cousin…I know you are dancing in heaven with your dad!

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You might remember earlier this summer, I was able to share a quick sneak peek of Claude and Peter’s fabulous wedding in the Turks and Caicos at Donna Karan’s Estate in the Parrot Cay Resort.  That was just a taste.  Finally I am back with so much more of this truly stunning couple and loads of details of their Boho chic, romantic wedding that turned into the party of a lifetime. Whenever I work with Mindy Weiss, there are always exquisite details to share — from the hanging chandeliers on the beach to the beautiful flower halos, the impeccable styling of the bridesmaids and groomsmen (who were all gorgeous…AND spoke french!), the custom designed arbor where they exchanged their sweet vows, the long table set against an infinity pool overlooking the majestic water — it was all so incredibly beautiful.  The natural, blush tones with touches of gold played homage to the beauty of the island and made it ethereal or as Claude described it…“surreal.”

But perhaps the most magical about this wedding was  to see how insanely in love these two Claude and Peter were and and how meaningful it was for them to be surrounded by their amazing friends and family. From their welcome party, to paddle boarding with friends, the wedding day events and the day after beach party and bbq…Claude and Peter treated their guests to an awesome destination wedding experience.  Here’s a peak at some of my favorite…

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Claude is a fashion blogger (founder of Conscience Coupable.com), so of course her styling…perfection! So fun photographing her closet in their villa, rows of Louboutin’s, bags and clutches, accessories, and so much jewelry!

018_Claude and Peter_Turks and Caicos Wedding _036_Claude and Peter_Turks and Caicos Wedding1I loved her Monique Lhuillier dress! It was the perfect combination of sexy, beachy elegance with a little sass…just like Claude!  Her bridesmaids dresses were all different and mostly BCBG. Perfection!

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The ceremony took place on the sandy white beaches of Parrot Cay Resort. The guests chairs were draped beautifully with a variety of light fabrics…loved all the texture!

Details at Turks and Caicos wedding

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Such a beautiful ceremony, so many tears!

142TURKS_CAICOS_WEDDING_JOYMARIE 152TURKS_CAICOS_WEDDING_JOYMARIE 167TURKS_CAICOS_WEDDING_JOYMARIE 176TURKS_CAICOS_WEDDING_JOYMARIE 156_Claude and Peter_Turks and Caicos Wedding4 212TURKS_CAICOS_WEDDING_JOYMARIEThis gorgeous french speaking bridal party was SO much fun!

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The reception was planned to perfection but this celebration was so much more than gorgeous details, this group came to party!!

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Thanks to all the amazing vendors, especially Mindy Weiss’ team, who made created another magical destination wedding!

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I want to thank the awesome team at Junebug Weddings for including an image from Maiko & Arthur’s Ayana Resort Bali Destination Wedding as part of their Best of the Best Destination Wedding Contest in the honorable mention category. I must admit that Ayana is one of the most beautiful resorts in the world, and an absolute dream location for a destination wedding! I can’t wait to shoot another wedding there, or anywhere in that part of Asia!

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