In 2016, only 2% of the 250,000 local wedding professionals listed on TheKnot.com received this distinguished accolade. The winners represent the best of the best of wedding professionals based on real reviews from real couples. This is a major honor and I am so humbled to be a part of this group!
What makes it so amazing this year is that 2015 was a major year of transition for me and my business. I traveled north to Pittsburgh to shoot 9 weddings in 3 months. This was probably the most challenging time of my life. I was juggling driving 500+ miles ONE WAY for each wedding with being a mom to my 6 month old baby and my 2 yr old toddler, editing, blogging, and delivering each wedding in a timely fashion, and also shooting newborns and families (with Bump and Bonnet) – all while sleeping on family members’ couches, in their spare bedrooms, and in hotel rooms. My mother would travel with me to help and babysit so that the kids could be with their mommy – and a few times I even made the trip by myself and had to go days and days without seeing my babies. Josh (my husband) traveled with us for a few trips to second shoot the weddings with me – but he also held down the fort at home while working as an RN at our local hospital.
I finished the year with 4 weddings here in Nashville in the fall, they were all amazingly perfect – and I was so happy to come home at the end of each reception!! Don’t get me wrong – I love to travel – and I will be shooting destination weddings and more weddings in Pittsburgh… but the majority of my weddings will be here in middle Tennessee. 🙂
Here are some of my AMAZING 2015 couples who were so kind as to write down and submit their feelings about hiring me as their wedding photographer. I can’t thank them enough for being such beautiful people and allowing me to enter their lives and capture the one day that they will never forget.
“Melanie and her husband Josh were absolutely amazing!!! We originally found Melanie through the Pittsburgh Weddings magazine. When my husband and I met with Melanie in person we knew right away we wanted Melanie to take our engagement and wedding photos. Melanie made our engagement session fun and carefree. My husband and I had never had professional photos and we had a great time with Melanie. She captured exactly what we wanted and we had the perfect sunset at the vineyard. When it came time to plan our wedding timeline, Melanie was very patient with us. On the day of our wedding Melanie arrived on time and took beautiful pictures of my bridal party and myself getting ready at the hotel. During the wedding ceremony at the church Melanie was not intrusive at all and blended in. From walking down the aisle to taking family photos at the church, Melanie got it all. Melanie had a wonderful idea of stopping by a field to take some wedding party photos and they came out awesome. It did rain a little on our wedding day but that didn’t stop Melanie and Josh from taking absolutely gorgeous photos. One thing that I did really appreciate about Melanie is how creative she is and can make use of any scenery whether it’s rain or shine! At the reception I received many compliments from my guests on how impressed they were with my photographer. I could hardly wait to see my wedding photos! When Melanie posted them online they were truly breath taking. In addition to getting a flash drive which comes in a beautifully designed box, Melanie sent us some additional pictures and a thank you note, which not all vendors do. My advice for anyone looking for a wedding photographer, choose Melanie Grady Photography you won’t regret it. Melanie and her husband Josh will capture the most beautiful images and when you look back on your photos you will feel like you are reliving your wedding day.” – Jennifer + Greg
“I met Melanie just briefly in a coffee shop in Nashville. My fiancée and I were planning a wedding from out of town (Denver—way out of town!) and incorporating a move, new job, and new home into the wedding plans. We wanted to find someone who had a lot of experience, wouldn´t need any direction, and really saw things in a unique and beautiful way. Melanie got right down to business and put us to ease. Given our schedule before the wedding, we were able to hammer things out over the phone and through e-mail. When things got really down to crunch time, she was flexible and offered helpful solutions. When the day came and things were absolutely crazy, she rolled with the unexpected, captured some incredible moments, and surprised us at the end with capturing moments we had no idea had happened. That ability to respond to the crazy even after planning so much was really important, as it kept everything together and stress-free. I would highly recommend Melanie if for no other reason than this ability to stay positive, calm, flexible, and happy. And then you see the shots that she captures, and you would highly recommend her for the photographs she takes—but on a whole other level. We had clouds, rain, sun, humidity, darkness, shaded areas in the church, low-light areas on the side of the church, indoor lighting, stage lighting, outdoor hotel lighting in the dark—she captured everything! We had cooperative wedding party members, late wedding party members, and ask-y wedding party members. She worked through them all seamlessly and left everyone—including me ☺ – -feeling happy and calm. This is professionalism. And then you will see the final, edited images and cry all over again. She knows just the moment to capture, and what I appreciated more than anything were the small moments that she shot. I didn´t know about all of these details from the wedding, much less photography until much after the wedding day was over. I appreciate someone who is totally organized, on time, stern, yet totally creative, free, adaptable, and positive. You need these things on a large day with lots of moving pieces. You need someone who can beautifully capture all of those moving pieces. Melanie was so wonderful for all of this.” – Shannon + David
“I found a few of Melanie’s images in a Pittsburgh Weddings magazine feature, and upon looking her up, was really impressed by her ability to capture the emotions and people involved in the wedding day (in my opinion, the most important aspect!). Melanie delivered exactly this for us; she and Josh perfectly captured our day, and our images are absolutely beautiful. From my first email, Melanie was very responsive throughout the entire planning process, and before the wedding she took the time to sit down with us and walk through every minute of the day. It was very important to us that we attended our cocktail hour, so Melanie created a minute-by-minute schedule to ensure we finished our portraits in time to join our friends and family. We really enjoyed working with Melanie and are so very happy with our images!” – Diana + Luke
“Melanie was an absolute pleasure to work with!! Her personality and attention to detail was impeccable!! It was so nice to not worry the day of the wedding just from meeting Melanie at our engagement session and from texts and talking on the phone i had 100% confidence she would capture every memory we wanted. And I couldn’t believe it when k saw the pictures that she by far exceeded my expectations!! our photos are absolutely beautiful!! Everyone I have shown is in complete amazement of just how perfectly she captured moments. I have already shared her info with many people, so you brides out there better book her quick! 😉 Thanks again Melanie for being so fantastic, and capturing all the beautiful moments of our wedding that we will cherish forever <333″ – Samantha + Jake
“My husband and I are so happy that we found Melanie to shoot our wedding!! From the first time I met Melanie I could tell she was the perfect choice for us; she seemed very flexible and genuinely excited about photographing the wedding. I was very impressed with how she presented her work and services and her images were absolutely gorgeous! In fact, when my dad and I left our meeting with her he looked at me and said, ‘Well I think that’s it. You can just cancel any other meetings you had scheduled and we’ll get a check ready. I don’t think we’re going to find anyone nearly as good.’ My husband just loved her and our images from our engagement shoot were so much more than what we could’ve hoped for! Leading up to the wedding, Melanie kept in touch with us throughout our year of planning with sweet little notes which we enjoyed very much! During the days before the wedding, Melanie was very patient with me and encouraging as I struggled to figure out what I wanted and put the finishing touches on everything. On our wedding day, Melanie and Lizzy (her assistant for the day) were absolutely amazing! My husband and the guys loved working with Lizzy and Melanie was awesome with me and the girls! She helped keep me grounded a few times and was so flexible with all the last minute changes and things I forgot to do. She was even really quick to help me and double as a coordinator when one of my other vendors dropped the ball! I have heard time and again from my family and guests how much they were impressed by Melanie and how many wonderful shots she was getting during the wedding! I haven’t gotten all my pictures back yet, but she posted a few a couple days after the wedding as a sneak-peek and they are absolutely stunning!! I really can’t say enough about Melanie! I am really lucky to have been able to hire her, she is a first-rate photographer and an all around classy and amazing woman to work with! I can’t imagine not recommending her to everyone!!” – Christie + Josh
“After looking at Melanie’s photographs online, it was obvious that we needed her to do our wedding – every picture was so perfect and well put together. We were so lucky to be able to get her to agree to be our photographer for both our engagement photo session and our wedding day. Before our pictures came out, we were already happy with our decision to book Melanie since she made both of these sessions smooth and comfortable. We do not get photographed often, but we felt like professionals with Melanie, as she let us just be ourselves during our engagement session. On the morning of our wedding, it was great for us (the guys) to have Melanie’s husband Josh with us, as it gave us a chance to relax and get photographed without having it be on a crunched time table. Finally, at the wedding ceremony and reception, both Melanie and Josh were able to capture so many moments without ever getting in the way or trying to corral the situation – something that was important for my wife and me. Lastly, now that we have the photographs from the wedding, we are ECSTATIC that we purchased the “We Want It All” package, as the pictures are amazing and we want to keep these beautiful captured moments with us forever. In summary, we could not be any happier with our decision to go with Melanie Grady Photography for our wedding and would not have changed a single thing if we were to do it again.” – Nick (Nick + Kelly)
“Melanie Grady, and her husband Josh, were the very best you could ever imagine in photographers! They were supportive and present in the months and weeks leading up to the wedding. They thought ahead and planned for the scenarios we could not foresee (too intense sunlight, possible rain, etc). Melanie made me and my husband, two very self-conscious individuals, feel comfortable in front of a camera. She captured every emotion of our wedding – the joy, the happiness, the excitement. She perfectly blended the serious and the fun in our engagement and wedding photos. With our family members, she was directive while being kind and respectful. At our reception, she and Josh blended in with the crowd, while somehow managing to get the most amazing candid shots. Melanie Grady is THE only photographer you want for your wedding. She is incredible.” – Kelly (Nick + Kelly)
“Melanie’s work is absolutely amazing and I would highly recommend booking her – she was probably my favorite vendor I worked with! We did both our engagement and wedding photos with her and she makes both of those so easy. Melanie and her husband were awesome to work with on the day of the wedding – they are such awesome people to be around for the day and the pictures turned out better than I even imagined. She is so talented, we could not be happier!” – Megan + David
“Amazing!! Melanie is truly amazing at what she does and just an overall great person. She did such a great job at capturing every special moment of our wedding day. We will forever be greatful for her and her talent! I would recommend her to anyone!!” – Angie + Drew
“When you start to look for photographers it can become a bit overwhelming with price, style, location etc. My friend recommended Melaine Grady to me. She took the time to meet with my husband and I and got to know us personally and our style. We completed our engagement session with her prior to our wedding to capture some save the date pictures. She made sure we not only had enough shots to choose from but, I couldn’t decide because they were all so beautiful and detailed. As time went on and planning began to get stressful she helped me along the way to make sure I would capture all the moments I wanted at my wedding, she was supportive and understanding. She even sent us a small thank you gift prior to our wedding. She sent us popcorn and the movie the Wedding Singer. She attached a small note saying here’s to taking a break from planning and have a relaxing date night! The day of my wedding she made it easy for me to capture all my moments as they went by so fast. Thank you Melanie for helping me to relive my fairy tale wedding everytime I look at my photos! I will be looking forward to having more photo sessions with you in the future!” – LeAnn + David
“Melanie and her husband, Josh, were a fortunate find. From the first time I met Melanie, it was obvious that she was flexible and very open-minded. My husband and I are not comfortable with being in the spotlight, and both Josh and Melanie respected that while doing an amazing job capturing our wedding. They blended in when necessary and stood out when appropriate. During the entire process, Melanie was helpful, even going so far as to offer her copy of the traditional bridal polka if needed. She offered assistance in setting up the timeline for the day and selecting photo locations. She made me feel at ease during what could have been a very stressful day. My husband and I could not have been happier with our decision. We can’t say enough good things about Melanie and the service that she and her husband provided.” – Katie + Ryan
“We booked Melanie pretty far in advance (about 15-16 months). She traveled to meet my parents at their home, since I planned our wedding long-distance, and they absolutely loved her approach and work. We ended up booking with her and she was so accommodating to us. We corresponded mainly by phone and e-mail leading up to the wedding, and by e-mail after the wedding to get all our products from our package (album design and print choices and edits). I definitely gave her a challenge on our wedding day…since my family is pretty crazy and I was a giant ball of nerves about the overall timing of the day, but she and her second shooter were calm and cool and were able to make everything work out. It was also extra sunny that day (which apparently is not ok for photographers, haha), and they were able to take beautiful shots outside for us that we felt were absolutely gorgeous and perfect. They got all the important shots that we wanted and we easily felt that we could “re-live” our wedding day through all the pictures. Melanie was so easy to work with through e-mail after the wedding day and was very helpful in the follow up processes. Everything went so smoothly, even with all my obnoxious questions and my changing my mind. She uses products and vendors that do top work and have the top quality and they are all carried out extremely efficiently. With regard to price, we do feel that we paid a whole lot of money for all services and products, but we also feel that as cliche as it is, ‘you get what you pay for’. We did get top quality service and work, and that is what we paid for. We are so happy with all the products and services that we received. I would certainly recommend her to any bride or groom.” – Kaylyn + Bryce
THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, SO MUCH to every single client of mine for taking a little time to tell me how you feel about my services and letting the world know how I touched your life in a positive way. I love you all so much, and my Best of Weddings Award 2016 goes out to you. Cheers!!
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