Annie and Jack live in Brooklyn, and opted to get married at Annie’s parents’ home on Mobile Bay. The setting was equal parts Southern oak, sunset beach and totally magical. These two couldn’t stop smiling, and as I was editing I realized that I have never seen so many group hugs at a wedding before! Their tribe clearly loves to love, and this wedding day reminded me how contagious that is.
Peyton and Bruno are so stinkin' cute together, and I couldn't be more happy about that because I'm Peyton's cousin! It's always an extra joy to photograph the wedding of someone you love. They were married in the cute chapel at Tannehill State Park, and invited their families and closest friends to join the occasion. After the ceremony, Peyton and Bruno's crew meandered down to the road to the schoolhouse and ate a delicious home-cooked dinner (Bruno made Brazilian beef stroganoff!) and an evening of good conversation. Congratulations, love birds!
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!
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.
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!
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.
From the day I met Annie and Grant, I knew their wedding would be a special one for me. These two are part of my tribe, those folks who just get you without even trying, and vice versa. Plus, come on. They're so cute together. Reserved or rowdy (and they are both), these two are a clear match. Their wedding ceremony at Aldridge Gardens was heartfelt, funny, and joyful. At the reception friends, family, young, old, seriously everyone, danced their butts off for hours. This day was equal parts sweet, delicate, raucous, and just plain excitable. I feel so fortunate to have shared the experience. Congratulations!!!
Lisa and Paulo live near Boston, but flew down to Alabama to get married where Lisa grew up. The ceremony and reception were both held at Wills Creek Vineyard & Winery in Attalla, where the muscadines were ready to harvest. The smell of ripe muscadines hugged the bride and groom throughout the ceremony, and let me tell you. It was divine.