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.
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.
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.
I can't think of a better way to cap my rush of fall weddings than with Ashley and Mark's French Quarter wedding. These two live in Houston, and when we met for their engagement session a few months ago, we became fast friends. I knew it was meant to be when A&M spent no less than fifteen minutes during our session debating a topic near to my heart: Prince or Michael Jackson? (I'm an MJ like Ashley.)
Ashley and I began the day at her mom's incredible home in Gentilly Terrace, eventually meeting up with Mark during their wedding ceremony at Chateau LeMoyne. Their wedding day was relaxed and sweet, with plenty of quiet downtime early in the day, followed by a courtyard ceremony that had everyone bathed in golden afternoon light.
Since it was so hot (on the 29th of October!!), A&M had decided to cut the length of their second line. But the police escort led us the full length of the parade--sixteen blocks, I believe! I think everyone ended up glad that we unknowingly signed up for a long second line. I know I did! We were all ready to jump in the pool once we arrived back at Chateau LeMoyne, but we resisted and partied the night away in the courtyard. Congratulations, y'all!
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.
Kelsey and Brian's wedding at Sonnet House, just outside of Birmingham, was full of such pure joy! Their friends and family were so amazingly sweet, animated, genuinely happy, and full of life. Watching as the crowd transitioned from the first dance and into the house so the couple could cut the cake, to moving and chattering throughout the night, I couldn't help but notice that the space was alive with folks totally living in the moment.
Megan and Mike's Naches wedding at American Homestead was just a dream. Megan grew up in Yakima, Washington, while Mike hails from Alabama. (He and I worked at The Crimson White, The University of Alabama's student-run newspaper, together back in college—roll tide!) Guests from Washington, Alabama, and elsewhere celebrated together in Mike's second home-away-from-home. What a night!