Dispatch reporter’s business wins national award

Published 10:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2023

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A member of the Dispatch’s staff earned an award for her private company this week. In addition to writing for the paper, reporter Crystal Vandegrift is known as a top wedding photographer through her business Crystal Image Photography. Now she’s been recognized for it on a national level, selected as a 2022 winner of The Knot’s “Best of Weddings Vendor” award.

The awards honor the top wedding vendors across America, reviewed by real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot, a wedding planning website. In this competition, only 5% of more than 100,000 local wedding professionals listed on The Knot received this award.

“I am both honored and blessed to have been awarded as a Best of Weddings vendor by The Knot,” Vandegrift said. “Receiving this award means that our couples trust us not only to capture their wedding day but understand that choosing a wedding photographer is not just about finding someone who captures great images but also having someone that is with them throughout their entire wedding day that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. Wedding photography is more than just creating beautiful images, it’s about building relationships and I have gained some lifelong friendships over the years in business.”

This marks the 15th year Vandegrift has won the award. As a professional wedding photographer, Vandegrift will mark her 28th year in business in 2023.

To determine the winners, the knot analyzed its millions of user reviews across various vendor categories — including venues, musicians, florists, photographers, caterers and more — to find the highest-rated vendors of the year. These winners represent the best of the best wedding professionals that engaged couples should consider booking for their own unique weddings.