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.
Looking through these images from Christi and Peter's wedding, I am struck by how simply, wonderfully, absolutely happy they look when they're together. That's something that I noticed during their wedding weekend, too—they seem to be on the same level, ready to take on the day together. It's like the patches on their second line umbrellas that say, "Together or not at all." And if they're together, they're gonna be smiling.
Christi and Peter live in San Fransisco traveled to New Orleans to have an intimate destination wedding. They hosted 21 of their friends and family on a chartered St. Charles line streetcar for their ceremony, then the Kinfolk Jazz Band led the crew to dinner at Restaurant R'evolution. I think you'll see from the images that follow that Christi and Peter created a day that spoke to their souls in all the right ways.
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.
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.
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!