On an absolutely perfect sunny day in February (this winter has been unusually warm here in Alabama), Ann and Daniel were married at American Village, a historical colonial venue outside of Birmingham, surrounded by friends and family. To incorporate Ann’s Louisiana heritage, the reception included Cajun food (maybe my favorite genre in all the world), Louisiana music, lanterns and Spanish moss…I was in heaven. The light throughout the whole day was my very best friend. I couldn’t stop looking at these images after the wedding, Ann is so stunningly gorgeous (and as you’ll recall from their engagement photos she looks a lot like Anne Hathaway), and the image above is one of my favorite bridal portraits ever. Oh, and the wedding colors? Aqua and Crimson (my business colors!). I could not be more happy about the opportunity to shoot this wedding and the chance to work with Alene Gamel of I Do, I Do!, Carol Riley of Lillie’s Flowers, Happy Catering (the food was unbelievable, really!) and to have my fun friend Heather Durham along to assist! Enjoy the photos below and most of all best wishes to the very happy sweetest couple ever who are STILL honeymooning through this week! (Jealous!)
What I love most about Meghan and Allen’s wedding day was the chance to relive my own marriage blessing. In October 2009, a few months after my husband’s best friend, Matt, had fake married us and the State of California had legally married us, we had planned a blessing and party in Birmingham for our friends and family. The blessing took place in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, the same place Meghan and Allen exchanged vows, and this was my first time photographing a wedding here. We were married in the little chapel that connects to the unbelievable sanctuary, and I still remember (in part due to the photos) walking down the wall of main sanctuary hand in hand with Garrett, following the priest to the chapel.
Meghan and Allen met in high school (the same high school my husband went to, actually, he and Meghan are the same year; we had actually run into each other while Meghan and Allen were eating with some friends of ours but didn’t connect it all until Meghan came into my office), and continued their love at Alabama (which seems right to me). Their wedding day was relaxed, as I’m sure their love feels after all these years. The weather was unseasonably warm for February (but Alabama hasn’t had normal weather all year) and the rain held off until we were finished with the photos which was perfect, it sounded beautiful beating down on the roof of the church.
The night continued at Matt Jones Gallery (which you’ll recognize from Katherine and Frank’s wedding and you long time followers from Meagan and David’s!), with flashing lights and a feel good band (including some Miley Cyrus for the young female vocalist on stage), and The Wobble (I need someone to teach me the wobble, by the way). I love receptions that make me sing along and dance and frown when the night is over. Congratulations to Meghan and Allen and thank you to everyone that had a part in their day.
Event planner and coordinator: Mariee Ami
Gown: Ivory & White
Catering: Iz Catering
Band: Lucky Town
Cake: Meghan’s Aunt (WHAT?!)
Flowers: Suzanne Graves
Hair and Makeup: Celine Russell
Car: Vintage Auto Car
Katherine and Frank’s wedding day was the first time I’d met them. I knew a bit from the questionnaire I have couples fill out and I’d chatted with Katherine on the phone, but the day definitely unraveled as such a surprise for me once she arrived. No one tells you how intense and sultry their eyebrows are or how their fiance has Matthew McConaughey’s Southern charm AND his dimples. I knew that The Advent would be gorgeous, I’d heard tale, but that doesn’t mean I was prepared. Oh, and then there was the dancing.
The event took place on December 30th, and since the Christmas decorations would still be in the church, the couple opted not to fight the colors in the church. The bridesmaids wore long navy dresses and carried white lily bouquets with red berries and evergreen accents. Katherine wore red satin shoes. Katherine’s mother wore red and Frank’s wore a deep teal-green. The smell of the pine garlands in the sanctuary hit me right away when I walked in, in the most delightful way. I really loved it, the deep reds and greens and navy feel so rich.
As soon as Katherine and Frank started their first dance, Morgan and I knew the dancefloor would stay full all night, it seems like this wedding was the marriage of two preternaturally gifted dancing empires. Katherine swears they never took a lesson. I’m obsessed with the way her dress swooshed around with her all night.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, every now and then I saw a bit of Helena Bonham Carter in Katherine.
Planner- Mariee Ami
Caterer- Savoie Caterering
Cake- Magic Muffin
Flowers- Carole Sullivan of Lagniappe Designs Inc
Transportation- Coast Classic Cars
Band- The Undergrounders
Ceremony Location- Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, AL
Reception Venue- Matt Jones Gallery, Downtown Birmingham, AL
Once again my reputation as a celebrity look-a-like finder has preceded me. When I showed up for Jennifer’s makeup appointment at the MAC counter almost immediately she admitted to seeing my various posts about my obsession with comparing my brides to celebrities and wanted to know who I thought she looked like. No pressure or anything. I saw a little bit of Jennifer Love Hewitt right away but Jennifer wrinkled her nose. Morgan later claimed to see Joy Williams of The Civil Wars (which I can see a little bit, too, and which Jennifer was much happier with). Flipping through a magazine later I realized that the closest match to me is Nicole Ritchie. The whole idea of celebrity look-a-likes is admittedly silly, of course there are people that will look similar to you in the world and those of us obsessed with fame hope it’s someone famous. Maybe my lack of a suitable celebrity look-a-like is what feeds my constant quest. The MAC makeup artist actually reminded me quite a bit of Sarah Chalke (you’d know her from scrubs), I spent weeks trying to figure out that one of the bridesmaid’s look-a-likes was Sheryl Crow (granted largely in part to her wavy long hair), and Richard (the Groom) is a dead ringer for Drew Lachey from 98˚in some photos.
Of course, as always, the important part is that Jennifer and Richard, two real people in Birmingham, found each other, fell in love. They chose to marry in a gorgeous church in downtown Birmingham and the celebration continued into the night with a reception in the castle-like Gabrella Manor. The rich colors of the stained glass in the church with the red floor and dark wood along with the long black bridesmaid dresses, deep fall colors in the flowers and the lanterns and old books for reception decor created a mysterious romance for the evening, I love all of the jeweltone accents that come through in the details.
It was so great to see how excited both Richard and Jennifer were to be getting married, that was the main reason for the day, and their hearts were so big for one another and for God. The best part of the job is witnessing couples in love first hand. I’m glad these two gorgeous folks found each other.
Cake Cover Photography by Iain Bagwell; Flowers cover by Kate Headley
A few months ago I got a very exciting email, and until I got home from a North Carolina Christmas last week to two copies of the 2012 Southern Living WEDDINGS issue in print I really couldn’t be sure it was really happening. Being published is every photographer’s dream, and Southern Living is a publication that has been a part of most any Southern girl’s life as long as they can remember. Being selected for their annual Weddings issue is so huge for me, really and truly.
The wedding itself was so deserving of being published, Morgan and I were standing with mouths agape when we walked into the backyard of Clay’s parents’ house to find “Southern wedding” come to life. We had no idea how absolutely magical, (seriously) the wedding would be. We’re talking a wedding day brunch at an old mill with the best Southern breakfast foods you can imagine and a bluegrass band, a magnolia for the bride’s hair, sweet tea, a vintage get-away car, little girls in frilly dresses playing in a hammock, a big backyard tent reception in a field behind the bride’s parents’ gorgeous plantation home. Sweeter than tea.
Starting today (assuming you’ll read this after I post at nearly midnight), January 6th, the issue hits newsstands. I can’t wait for you to get your own copy, there is so much to love inside! The issue is overflowing with eye-candy with 25 real weddings in the issue. It’s so amazing to see my work in the same magazine as photographers I’ve long admired like A Bryan Photo, Kate Headley, and Our Labor of Love! This issue is undeniablylovely, this is no fluffy book of ads disguised as a magazine, it is full of clean layouts with gorgeous content and ideas from real brides. I will direct you to page 62 first, but you’ll surely pore over the rest of the pages so not to miss any of the beautiful inspiration inside!
Thank you to Bob Vardaman for his hand in making this event so magical, and of course to Clay and Bryan (for being in love and so amazing and kind), and their families for their unbelievable hospitality, (Mrs. Fuller is the epitome of a Southern lady and we could not have felt more welcome in Selma)! I’ll be posting some of my favorites from the weekend in the next few days, sorry to keep you waiting so long but hopefully the magazine is a sweet surprise!
A big thank you to Paden Reich from Southern Living for her part in making this issue a reality as well and to Morgan Trinker for assisting me on Clay and Bryan’s wedding day! And, Kinora Films for making the most beautiful film of their day that kept everyone who saw it in tears (I haven’t met one person who has seen it with a dry eye).
Love, (because I’m feeling it so much right now!),
Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Cake: Dreamcakes Bakery
Gown: Ma Cherie
Day of Coordinator: Proper Measures
Pastries: MIX Bakery
Stationary: 2be Squared Designs
Hair: Molly Barksdale (Morgan Ashley Salon)
My second day of blogging in 2012 is a bit delayed but once you see the post you’ll see why. There were too many details and too much gorgeousness to limit this wedding to just a few images.
Jessica loves DIY details and that’s one of the things that led her planner, Beverly Andrews of Engaging Celebrations, to recommend me (and I couldn’t be more thrilled). If you follow my blog and facebook page you know that I’ve got a celebrity look-a-like obsession, once I get the idea that someone looks a bit like a celebrity I can’t get it out of my head. That being said, after thinking about Eva Mendes for Jessica (which I definitely still see in certain shots), I think Amanda Peet is an even better fit. An episode of Seinfeld helped me figure it out.
I could say so much about this wedding, there were so many things to get excited about, the handcrafted invitations (Casey’s mom is an amazing scrapbooker), the Christmas decorations in the church, Jessica’s sparkly shoes, Jessica’s custom Heidi Elnora gown, the adorable ring bearer and flower girl, and the way Casey and Jessica grin when they get near each other. I really do love love so much and this wedding was all about it.
Heidi made a sash with elements from Jessica’s dress and her mother’s for her sister to wear for the wedding, a surprise that Jessica didn’t know about until the wedding day.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Watts!
Florist: The Pink Pear
Wedding Dress: Heidi Elnora
Reception Dress: Heidi Elnora remake of her Mom’s dress
Makeup: Stephanie Kelly
Planner: Engaging Celebrations
Cakes: Sonshine Cakes
Location: Auburn First Baptist Church
Lighting and Draping: Design Productions
Transportation: Memories in Motion Classics
2011 was incredible. I moved to Birmingham December 27th, 2008 (I remember most especially since it was the day Garrett and I got engaged), and at that point I had only assisted with a handful of weddings and shot one on my own for friends. It’s been 3 years and I couldn’t imagine I’d be where I am now! Last year I shot eight weddings of my own. This year I shot 28. It’s been a busy busy busy year but the future is bright and I am so looking forward to all that 2012 has in store.
Here are all of the couples I had the privilege of photographing this year to see you into the new year! I haven’t blogged all of these yet, but that’s what resolutions are for right? Fingers crossed for a January blogging bonanza.
Whitney & Hunter :: 2-14-11 :: I Do with a View at Vulcan, Birmingham, AL
Tammy and Albert :: 2-14-11 :: Vulcan Park, Birmingham AL
Allison and Jonathan :: 3-19-11 :: Mobile, Alabama
Mary Kay and Alan :: 4-9-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Liz and Scott :: 4-16-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Clay and Bryan :: 4-30-11:: Selma, AL
Mary Page and R.G. :: 5-21-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Kelsey and Greg :: 5-28-11 :: Florence, SC
Cassi and Matt :: 6-4-11 :: Atlanta, GA
Emily and James :: 6-5-11 :: Greenville, NC
Dana and Korey :: 6-11-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Kristen and Brad :: 6-18-11 :: Montgomery, AL
Ashley and Patrick :: 6-25-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Katie and Patrick :: 7-9-11 :: Lake Martin, AL
Katie and Paul :: 7-16-11 : Monroeville, AL
Meagan and Andrew :: 7-23-11 :: Selma, AL
Jennifer and Roy :: 7-30-11 :: Tuscaloosa, AL
Jean and Rob :: 8-6-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Rachel and Duran :: 9-1-11 :: New Orleans, LA
Jiayin and Blake :: 9-3-11 :: Laguna Beach, CA
Anne Trabue and Austin :: 10-1-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Gillian and Wes :: 10-08-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Skye and Alex :: 10-15-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Molly and Jonathan :: 10-22-11 :: Savannah, GA
My and Nathan :: 11-11-11 :: Chapel Hill, NC
Jennifer and Richard :: 11-19-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Tomo and Phil :: 11-20-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Jessica and Casey :: 12-17-11 :: Auburn, AL
Katherine and Frank :: 12-30-11 :: Birmingham, AL
Putting this post together is making me realize how lucky I was this year, honestly each of these couples has warmed my heart with their personalities, love for each other, kindness, graciousness, and gorgeousness. Since I like statistics (not of the actual mathematical variety), this year I shot 14 weddings in Birmingham, 21 in the state of Alabama, but marital bliss also took me to Atlanta, Savannah, Chapel Hill (Go Tarheels!), Laguna Beach (hooray for best friends with fiances from CA), and Orlando to assist my friend Camille.
I moved into an office space in Homewood in March/April and love love love it. Many hours were lost to trying to scrape carpet glue off the floor and plastering the cinderblock walls by hand (am I insane?). In my personal life my husband and I took our belated honeymoon to Europe (Paris, London, and Oxford), and when I do post pics don’t judge me, I was trying to be an actual tourist and as a result my photos are lackluster, I suppose that means I need to go back to document an elopement (seriously, I will do my best to talk you into it and just make you pay for my stay there).
This year I had the privelege of working with Birmingham wedding planners Neillie Butler (Gather/Mariee Ami), Kerri Kelley, Beverly Andrews (Engaging Celebrations), Proper Measures, and next year I’ll be working with Alene Gamel (I do, I do!) and Meagan Cease (M. Elizabeth Events) as well. Morgan Trinker, a name any blog stalker of mine has seen countless times, assisted me with 19 of the weddings above, [unbelievable!] and I’ll be so sad next year when we only get to work together a few times since Birmingham and the rest of the world have all discovered her for their own. I owe her so much, she is an awesome friend and has helped me through a major office renovation and my inbox during our “Euro Trip” (that’s for Garrett, somehow he loves that movie). Other notable sidekicks were my darling husband, Garrett, Joanna Ballentine (fabulous person all around and kick-A hairstylist, soon to be neighbor, amazing photographer, and beautiful lady), Andi Rice (his main gigs are photographing for music venues and I’m so jealous), Stacy Ellis (my best friend since 1st grade who made a repeat appearance as my second shooter for Molly and Jonathan’s wedding- she second shot my very first wedding as well!), Rebecca Mill from Raleigh, NC, Carol Ly from California (who is probably about to blow up and if so I hope she invites me to some CA parties), and Brittany Arias, a college student who is already amazing who will be interning for me a bit in January. Nancy McColl, Rob (of Jean and Rob fame) interned with me from June-September (when she left to cross the pond) and she’s pretty much one of my favorite people ever. I also want to thank Emily Kicklighter, for giving me a job in 2009 when I was unemployed and freaking out a few months before our wedding and for being an amazing friend ever since.
I feel like I just wrote an award acceptance speech, but something about the end of the year really makes me mushy. 2011 killed it. 2012 has a lot to live up to (especially given the Mayan predictions). Let’s go out with a bang.
11-11-11 was amazing. My, a friend of mine from college, got married to Nathan, a Duke post-grad who was willing to get married on UNC’s campus. My has got to be one of the most gorgeous girls I’ve ever met, who always has flawless makeup (I had her put a little blush on my cheeks right before we left for the ceremony, and one of these days I swear I’m getting my hair and makeup done with the bride). The night before I went to the rehearsal dinner where My insisted that I was there to have a good time and eat lots of delicious Vietnamese food, and I ended the night around a fire outside of the host’s house (I need a fire pit desperately).
I love the chance to go home to North Carolina for weddings, (where my parents and sister are and the land of my birth), and this was my first opportunity to shoot in Chapel Hill (though hopefully not the last). It was pretty amazing to be back during the fall, campus is gorgeous anyway but especially when the leaves change (and you might remember Jenny and Blake’s engagement session there from last Fall), and I was so excited to start the day by walking from the Carolina Inn to Franklin Street to Aveda where My’s hair appointment was. The wedding ceremony itself took place at The Old Well, where we knew as a public space we might have to fight other like-minded couples or nostalgic alums, but ultimately we lucked out. After the guests walked over to The Carolina Inn, an amazing and gorgeous hotel that snuggles up to campus, where we enjoyed a cocktail hour, seated dinner, and then BOOM dancing.
An added bonus to the evening (well, whole day really), was that Rebecca Mills of The Indie Image (a fellow North Carolinian and amazing photographer I met on my first second shooting gig back in 2007) was able to shoot it with me! She’s actually in town this week (she has relatives in Birmingham, how lucky am I?) so you might see some photos of her soon on the blog if the weather clears up. I am so thankful she came along, her images from the day are ridiculous!
Enough chit chat.
Molly and Jonathan were planning on getting married in Birmingham when they booked me initially. When Molly called to see if I’d still be up for shooting if it meant traveling to Savannah I was even more excited if possible. [You might remember the two of them from their engagement session where we fortuitously stumbled upon horses (and Molly and Jonathan’s seersucker adorableness that made my Southern heart sing).] I also happened to luck out on bringing along my very first second shooter ever, who doubles as my best friend since 1st grade, Stacy to help out. There were so many wonderful things about this weekend, the hotel room was unbelievable (the whole event took place at The Mansion on Forsyth Park and Molly was sweet enough to book us a room there, I highly recommend it), Molly was gorgeous, their first dance song was played off of my iphone… It was pretty spectacular. I’ve definitely come to call Molly and Jonathan friends throughout the wedding process and it was such a joyful thing to be a part of their day. I love how excited they were to finally be getting married. Heart = singing again.
Vendors :: Venue: Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia :: Event Coordinator :: Genina Ramirez with Tricia Huddas & Co :: Ceremony Music :: New Arts Ensembles Stationery :: Night Owl Paper Goods (one of my faves!) :: Flowers :: A to Zinnias :: Videography :: Stephen Withers :: Hair and Makeup :: Salon Twenty Ten :: Cake:: Kerry O’Connor :: Photography :: Spindle Photography