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!)
I can’t get over how gorgeous Ann is. I’m sure Daniel, her fiance, thought I was hitting on her throughout this session but I could not get over her eyes and how ridiculously gorgeous that lip color is on her, her eyes just pop and the rosy cheeks! Also, I love that every now and then she looks so so much like Anne Hathaway, who also has that perfect pale skin. I’m so glad we had a chance to do a short session at their venue, American Village, a few weeks ago. I am beyond excited to go back in just a few short weeks to watch these two get hitched! Ann and Daniel’s love is so palpable, and I love how much Daniel’s personality came out once he was playfully picking Ann up and tickling her, these moments when I can get a groom on board with what we’re doing are the best!
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.
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)
The day before Leigh and Taylor’s engagement session I had a bridal session at Alabama Theater (which of course I can’t share until the bride, Stephanie, gets married in January but oh how I want to!), and it just so happened I left my amazing sale price nine west boots that make me feel like horseback riding betty draper there by mistake. I was a little worried they wouldn’t be there the next day, but I also very much wanted to figure out a way to get Leigh and Taylor in for a few minutes for a quick photo since one of their favorite activities to do together is watch movies and the Alabama Theater is perfect vintage charm when it comes to old red movie seats. I called in the morning and the man in the office said I could come look for my boots and take a few quick photos, adding in that they closed at 4. When we got there at 2:30 the door was locked but I called and there was one person still there, they’d closed early since it was the day before Thanksgiving, and even though I’m pretty sure the man hated me I was so grateful he let us in. The theater was pitch black, however, so I had Leigh hold a little flashlight to help me focus in the dark. We got about 2 minutes total inside and the rest of the day was spent roaming the less traveled parking lots and rooftops of downtown Birmingham, and I’m in love with the results. I am also pretty crazy about how much in love with the session Leigh was, she had so much fun which makes my job so much easier! And I love Taylor’s willingness to do whatever we asked. They are such a warm, loving couple. Here’s to a decade of dating!
When Jennifer and her mother came in to meet with me about potentially photographing her wedding, I somehow worked into the conversation
“Do people ever tell you that you look like Amy Adams?”
Of course they do. As you saw in their teaser, Morgan and I couldn’t help but photograph her ring on top of an iphone displaying an image of Amy Adams. Jennifer told me that she worked at anthropologie briefly (as did I, kindred spirits lured in by gorgeous, expensive clothes), and that she was told quite frequently that she looked like Amy Adams and once she jokingly claimed she was and that this was just a side job so that she could be a normal person. Her mom added in that Roy looks like Ryan Reynolds, and showed me a photo which did indeed bear an incredible likeness to Ryan Reynolds, a fact I forgot until the wedding day, when we went in to meet the guys, and Morgan whispered to me. So while we were beyond amused that we could pretend that we’d shot Amy Adams and Ryan Reynold’s wedding, and that people would double take when they flipped through our portfolio.
But, I don’t want to reduce Jennifer and Roy down to their celebrity look-a-likes, because their love has nothing to do with celebrity drama and gossip. It was easy to forget about my obsession with the thought of meeting celebrities that makes the comparisons so appealing to me (I have an app on my iphone for figuring out what celebrity I most closely resemble on any given day and get excited about famous restaurant owners making an appearance at my table); Jennifer and Roy were all about each other on their wedding day, and seeing their first look solidified that feeling for me. They light up around each other, and photographing them I took the approach mostly of watching them, because the way they looked at each other and interacted was so real and lovely.
Their reception was held at Jennifer’s aunt’s home and we were stunned by all of the details in and around the house, with a gorgeous front and back porch, purple toile fabric and deep purple vases for the bridesmaid’s bouquets, and all of the personal family photos and artifacts throughout. Once the dancing started we quickly jumped in as well, and the DJ took us back to our glory days with songs like “Yeah” by Usher, some N’Sync and Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears… It was incredible.
I love how these night images (above) of this little boy remind me of a Marc Jacobs ad.
Congratulations to Jennifer and Roy, I feel so grateful to have met them both and I’m so excited for their new life together! I’m also excited about how drop dead gorgeous they are, but mostly I’m just excited to see another amazing couple in love. Thank you to Morgan for being part of the dream team and to all of the vendors (and family members!) that made this day so lovely and fun.
Before their Friday night rehearsal dinner, I had met Katie a few times and I met Paul for their engagement session, but listening to their friends and family’s toasts made me feel like I was getting to know them on a whole new level. May not Paul though, since after his groomsmen’s toasts I am even less sure of anything except that Paul’s whole family really is Canadian. And that one of his friends plays Magic the Gathering. But either way I was overwhelmed with the love that this group of people had for each other and for Paul and Katie. It seemed like getting the two of them together was a group effort, and I love how perfectly it seems to have worked out. Katie absolutely glows when she’s around Paul, and I can tell he’s all about her as well. And yes, I cried.
Katie and Paul had an earlier ceremony on Saturday and were headed off early on Sunday for Hawaii, so they hired a band for an afterparty after the rehearsal dinner. The band, 2nd Coming, was awesome, and it definitely felt like I was shooting the reception a night early, which was really fun. Two of the guests included Emily and Matt, a couple I’d had the chance to shoot as an assistant for their engagement session a few years back, and it was so nice to run into them again.
I love that the photo of the alarm clock from our hotel room just before we left makes this post feel like Groundhog Day, because in a lot of ways it did feel like a repeat wedding day. It was an early morning for everyone, and Katie admitted that she’d hardly slept. Being there for their first look was incredible. The main objective of the day was to get to the part where Katie and Paul would be declared husband and wife (I know it always is, or should be, but everything else that day was just extra, you could just tell).
I love that Paul’s checking his watch here.
Despite a few rainy patches throughout the reception everything was Southern splendor, The Woodlands, a plantation home about 15 minutes outside of Monroeville was the perfect setting. The house was gorgeous, the food was delicious, everything was green and lovely, and I think the rain just made it feel even more wonderfully surreal.
Real Southern Sweet Tea with Peaches (there was a card to let any non-Southerners know), and Mint Julep Sweet Tea.
Congratulations to Katie and Paul, I had an amazing time and I feel so grateful to have been part of such a beautiful weekend! I know you’ve got many years of happiness ahead!
I feel like given the chance I would talk about Allison and Jonathan for hours. Even though I had yet to meet either of them until the day of the wedding, I have rarely felt so attached to a couple immediately. It might have something to do with the mass number of phone and email conversations Allison and I shared the months leading up to her wedding day, a joke we shared throughout the day when someone mentioned Allison’s tendency to be completely on top of things. Even so, Allison didn’t have a bridezilla bone in her body, and the whole day she seemed to care the most about making sure everyone else was calm and comfortable. We all joked that this was no different from any other day to ward off any potential criers, and I probably ended up with the least dry eyes of anyone throughout the day.
After spending the morning with Allison at the salon and in the hotel suite the girls stayed in at the Battle House Hotel, I was really excited to meet Jonathan when the time came to follow Claire, Allison’s matron of honor, to deliver his present from Allison. I already knew we had Alabama football in common, Allison and I had swapped California stories about the National Championship in 2009 and our unfortunate mishaps in the great state (my husband’s license was expired when we were attempting to get married in San Francisco and Jonathan’s wallet was stolen at the Championship making travel back home a bit more difficult). It was easy to see how Jonathan ended up with 13 groomsmen (so many that they couldn’t all fit on the altar) once I met him; he is so lovable and kind and I am ecstatic that he and Allison are now husband and wife!
For fear of a never-ending story about their day, I’ll let the photos do the rest. Congratulations, Allison & Jonathan!
An enormous thank you goes out to Morgan Trinker, who came along to assist me and rocked every aspect of the wedding day (I might just have to do a separate blogpost showing how many different ways Morgan and I photographed Allison’s shoes). I’d love to thank everyone else involved in the wedding as well, I’ve certainly fallen in love with Mobile and the group of people that made this wedding a reality. The florist added a monogram to Allison’s bouquet as a surprise, the Cathedral allowed me to move around as much as I wanted during the ceremony (I was stunned), the coordinator at the Bragg Mitchell Mansion was unbelievably nice and helpful, the band (Cool Rays) played pretty much non-stop all night and didn’t freak out when two of the guests came up to sing Strokin’. And there were Krispy Kreme donuts at the end of the night. It really couldn’t get any better.
I’m so glad to finally be sharing some more wedding posts with you! Ann & Whit have previously been featured on the blog for their engagement photos, and while I was pretty in love with their session it was amazing to see Ann transformed into a bride. I’ve been kind of obsessed with thinking about what celebrities my clients look like, and Ann could definitely be Grace Kelly. It really was an honor to be a part of their day, they are both such gracious and caring people and I am so happy for them!
Congratulations, Ann & Whit!