I can't think of a better post for St. Patrick's Day than this couple (other than an Irish wedding!) because y'all. Erica and Chad know how to party! After a super sweet ceremony officiated by a friend, The Right On Band filled the New Orleans Country Club with an amazing performance that had the crowd dancing all night. This was the biggest, most laid back party and I loved it. Everyone was so comfortable doing their thing, even when the pink afro wigs were handed out at the end of the night, and I think it speaks volumes about Erica and Chad, their families, and the people they choose to surround themselves with. I wasn't one bit surprised by the great vibes last Saturday after getting to know Erica's family--her father and step mother might look familiar if you've been keeping up with me for a while, since I photographed their surprise wedding about a year and a half ago. Hope you enjoy the images from this gorgeous wedding.
Courtnie and Daniel are two of my closest friends. They were some of the first people I met in college, and throughout the more-than-a-decade I've known them, they've been inseparable. They are treasures individually, and together they definitely exceed the sum of their parts. So it's hard to put into words how much of a privilege it was to be invited to be the only person present at their vow renewal this December in Joshua Tree National Park.
They had a big wedding, so for their fifth wedding anniversary they wanted to go it alone. On the appointed day, we explored the national park, made some pictures, and at sunset we found our mark. Witnessing C and D read their vows was one of the most emotional things I've experienced. Witnessing them take a step back to examine their relationship and take time to say those big-picture things that often go unsaid was a reminder that relationships take work. Acknowledging that work and its value is a powerful thing, it turns out.
So before I get too mushy gushy on you, check out some pictures.
Betsy and Richard planned their wedding day with a simple schedule and lots of down time, which meant that I had a chance to play around and get creative! They held their ceremony in the chapel at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, and the reception followed in the BPC fellowship hall. Betsy exudes a combination of creativity and elegance that you just don't often encounter. Together, she and Richard share these smiles that start small and ever-so-gradually grow into those giant-mouth-agape-my-heart-has-wings grins and you didn't even realize it was happening. What a treat!
Sarah and Brandon held their ceremony and reception at Haven in downtown Birmingham, and throughout the day our emotions ran the gamut. From pure calm to holding back tears (and letting them go) to extreme excitement, we saw it all. After their short and sweet ceremony, guests headed to the reception and danced and laughed for the rest of the night!
Mary Lauren and Rick hosted their short and sweet ceremony on the back porch of their family's cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia. With the stunning view of the mountains in the background and a little sweat on all our foreheads (it got hot all of a sudden when it was time for the ceremony!), the two said their vows, kissed to seal the deal, and brought everyone inside for toasts and dinner. The intimate group of friends and family spent the rest of the afternoon laughing on the porch, visiting and having a nice, laid back time.
Jessica and Kyle had an intimate ceremony in the glorious, glowing afternoon light at Ashland Place United Methodist Church. The sanctuary of this church almost feels like you're stepping back in time: it feels small (in the best way) and dark, except for the warm light coming in through the stained glass windows. After the service, the couple welcomes their guests into their new home for a backyard reception. Jessica and Kyle wanted to hang out and chill out during their reception, and that's exactly how things went down. We hung out in the yard, watched the Auburn game in the living room, ate Jessica's Granddaddy's chocolate cake in the kitchen, and chit chatted all evening. It couldn't have been better.
Sally and Brian's wedding day was a dream. This evening outdoors at Vulcan was simple, laid-back, fun, and just plain nice. The bride and groom put together a day that reflected exactly what they wanted: a short and sweet outdoor ceremony where they were wed by one of their good friends, yummy food for dinner, and then a dance party under the stars. This wedding was a perfect example of being unembellished in the best way: Sally and Brian just wanted to hang with their friends and family to celebrate their new marriage.
I'm interrupting my regular schedule of fabulous wedding programming to hop back to a trip my sister and I took last year to the land of the Illyrians, our ancestors: Albania. I can't really put into words what it meant for Ally and I to make the trip. We are half Albanian, and we'd grown up hearing about the place, eating Albanian food on holidays, and sometimes learning words like "pordhë" (fart), and "brekë" (panties). For the purpose of this trip, we dubbed ourselves Alabanians. (Get it? We're from Alabama. You can check out our #alabanians hashtag on Instagram.)
When I photographed Laken and David's engagement session in February, I discovered that they never kiss just once. It seems that for them, only waves of kisses are a possibility--one isn't enough! They did not disappoint on their wedding day, either. Waves of kisses rolled in during their first look, after the ceremony, and throughout the reception. Being that it was an oppressively hot August day, everyone was thankful that the day's events all transpired at the wonderfully air conditioned Park Crest Event Facility. And just wait until you see the decor of this wedding and reception. The bride and Jackie Frontiero of Dana's Floral Design dreamed up a colorful, glamorous setting that will blow you away.
Katherine and Dylan's ceremony, held in the beautiful sanctuary of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Belle Meade, was filled with happy tears and poignant messages. From there, we traveled to Hillwood Country Club for an evening of dinner and dancing. A couple of things struck me about this wedding. Katherine just looks so darn happy in every single photo: she's glowing. Dylan's countenance exudes a beautiful vulnerability that morphs into this look of inspiration. These two are so emotive, and their excitement and happiness held center stage the whole day.