Meagan and John were married at the incredible First United Methodist Church in Birmingham. The round stained glass windows highlight the warm wood tones in the sanctuary, which made this service a treat to photograph. The couple shared communion with their guests, and this struck me as similar to a receiving line but with much deeper meaning. I loved it. Afterwards, we traveled to Avondale Brewing for the reception. Congratulations, y'all!
Okay, I've got to tell y'all the story of Ashley and Alex. They live in San Fransisco. Ashley called me up months before the wedding and said that Alex had proposed nearly a year prior with an "amazing surprise proposal," and that they just hadn't gotten around to actually planning the thing yet because, well... sometimes life gets in the way. So Ashley decided to plan a surprise elopement during their trip to New Orleans in May. She'd reveal the secret on the plane to NOLA. We kept things hush-hush.
Fast forward to the end of March. Ashley tells me that everything's still a surprise. A couple weeks later, she emails. "The cat's out of the bag": Alex had started planning another elopement in SF, so she had to be let in on the secret.
Like, you can't make up a better story than that. Two people each planning their elopement. Real life FTW.
A&A got ready together at an AirBNB in Central City on Sunday morning, then rode the St. Charles line streetcar to the Quarter. We walked to Jackson Square for an intimate ceremony with just a few friends in attendance, then had champagne and beignets at Cafe Du Monde. A short, sweet, simple thing that was definitely one of my favorites to date. "Small but perfect," as Ashley put it.
Also, happy Pride, everyone!! 🌈
Meghan and Nick's ceremony at St. Martin de Tours Church in St. Martinsville, Louisiana, stunned me. The church itself is incredible, and seeing Meghan and Nick together during the ceremony and throughout the day was beyond heartwarming. They beam. They glow. Sometimes literally, just like in the picture above! For the reception, we made our way across the street to Maison de Tours for dinner, dancing, and cake.
Koby and Kristen's Shelby County Courthouse wedding in Columbiana pushed the envelope of "courthouse wedding." The Shelby County Courthouse has a cute little gazebo out back, and Kristen planned every little detail of this intimate wedding. The couple arrived at the courthouse with enough time to fill out their paperwork, then had a super sweet ceremony at the gazebo (with several employees watching from the windows and commenting on how this was the prettiest wedding they'd seen there!). Afterwards, Kristen and Koby filed their marriage license and cheered as they exited the front door. Dinner followed at Seasons 52.
I am always so thankful when small parties like this invite me to capture their wedding day. Big, boisterous affairs are so fun, and intimate weddings are exciting in very different ways. There's usually a softer, quieter energy and that shows through in the photographs. Kristen and Koby's wedding was soft, quiet, and so, so sweet.
Jordan and Chris were married during a magical ceremony in the woods at Aldridge Gardens. The day began calmly with comfortable chatter, and by the end of the night that milieu hadn't changed much. The couple, their family, and their guests seemed dedicated to visiting and getting personal. Sweet moments abounded. This charming, laid-back wedding was sweet as can be!
If you haven't guessed it yet, Callie and Mike's wedding was seriously fun. They are quite the pair, and Callie's incredible dress and red lipstick (plus her contagious smile), set the mood of the day straightaway. The ceremony was held at Independent Presbyterian Church in downtown Birmingham. The stained glass and somber atmosphere of the church gave this wedding day its serious side, which unfurled into a slew of bright colors as soon as you walked in to the reception at BridgeStreet Gallery and Loft. Guests broke it down on the dance floor, the bride shotgunned a beer with the groom and groomsmen (Good People Pale Ales... a serious shotgun experience, y'all), and the whole evening ended in a swirl of colors and sparklers.
Lindsay and Brad were married in the gorgeous Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi at Camp McDowell in Nauvoo, Alabama. The couple spent all day at camp, from breakfast and checking on the roasting pig in the morning to the dance party that lasted late into the night. Despite the rain, Lindsay's and Brad's infectious grins kept spirits and energies high all day.
The lightly overcast sky in New Orleans on Sarah and Mike's wedding day lent the light a smooth, luminous quality that doesn't always happen with cloudy skies. Leading up to the ceremony, we all wondered if it would actually rain! It did rain (only a little and at just the right time), but that certainly didn't put a damper on the party happening inside Tomas Bistro. Mike opened a bottle of Champagne with a sword (you'll see), and the newlyweds were oft-spotted looking into each other's eyes and kissing in the middle of the dance floor. (You'll see that too :)
Sometimes when people find out I'm a wedding photographer, they'll make a remark similar to "Oh, I bet that gets old--weddings are all the same." And you know what? They are all the same. Two people (who are in love) planned an event to bring (their favorite) people together (for one day) to celebrate their (passionate) love and the joining of their lives (forever). In that way, yep. Weddings are pretty much all the same. But that sameness is exactly what makes every. wedding. so. different. Every love looks and acts differently. Each couple chooses to celebrate in their own way. No group of guests expresses themselves like another.
A wedding day is one of the most emotional, high-energy, and thought-out days of a bride or groom's life. Living in the midst of that energy and potential never gets old. Searching for the similarities and differences among people, couples, weddings, events, etc etc etc (the list is endless for me), keeps it new. I am always navigating, forever seeking that piece of a moment that will last forever and show: this is us.
When you're looking through my very favorite wedding images from last year, I hope you see the similarities and the vast differences among these couples. I hope you feel their anxious energy, laugh and cry with them, allow their joy to propel you, and imagine yourself in their shoes.
There are so many emotions I'd like to express to the couples who have let me into their lives to experience their intimate moments. The best way I know how is to simply say "thank you," and let the photographs below show you.
When they planned their January wedding at the Sonnet House, I'm pretty sure Shanti and Kelley didn't anticipate the weather feeling like a perfect Alabama spring day. But, to our good fortune, James Spann sent the sun and gave us 75 glorious degrees. And the weather couldn't have better reflected the cheery delight that shined from the couple's faces all day long. From a laid-back morning of preparation to their outdoor ceremony and reception, to the lavender toss exit, Kelley and Shanti's energy was infectious and the whole wedding was full of giggle boxes and smiling faces.