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.
Sarah and Brandon didn't want a cookie cutter engagement session: they were looking for a location that reflected their shared history, and for photos that would capture them in an unscripted way. My kind of engagement session. I especially wanted to share this session because several people have mentioned to me that this engagement session is "so Sarah and Brandon." The couple agree. So, what is it that makes this set of photos seem to reflect this particular couple so well?
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.
This handcrafted beauty is defined by the imported Japanese linen cloth spine with printed front and back cover and a linen slipcase. These one-of-a-kind heirloom books are bound by hand using old-world techniques to ensure they will last generations. These books can hold from 100-300 pages, and covers may be designed as pictured or with no text.
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.