Ali + Chase // Waterfall Engagement Session

This past year I’ve made an effort to focus on what I love most. Lately, this has translated to staying outside, soaking up the sun, hikes, and waterfalls. There’s something about the thunderous roar of water that’s exhilarating and calming all at once. And Tennessee waterfalls? They’re a whole different type of incredible. Fall Creek Falls has been my happy place for about a year. So when I met with Ali + Chase and we began planning their engagement session, I was pretty excited they were up for the adventure.

These two are incredible. Ali and Chase have the types of personalities where they seem instantly at ease. Ten minutes into the session, we were walking and laughing like we’d known one another for years. And the best part? It translates to photos. I can’t wait to photograph their intimate Weeden House wedding in November. <3

I love everything about this next photo. These two are too cute! 

I have the honor of getting the most INCREDIBLE, adventurous, fun couples. These two changed into formal wear and climbed over rocks for this next set. #GOALS

Their color combination choices are ON POINT. I seriously cannot get enough.

Sometimes when I’m editing I talk to myself. After hearing a loud gasp, my husband would run into the room to find I was just excited about a particular photo. You guys, I couldn’t keep it in. WATERFALL SESSIONS ARE MY FAVORITE!

To finish off the session, these two waded through the chilly water for a few epic final photos.

We also found a rock shaped like Alabama!

A Year In Review – 2016 Engagement Session Favorites

I’ve been meaning to do a 2016 review post for a while. I’d sit down at my computer, coffee in hand, Facebook tab closed (no distractions am I right??), ready to take on the world. But as I clicked through the folders of images, my “To Post” list kept getting larger and larger. You guys, 2016 was pretty awesome. I had the pleasure of photographing weddings and engagement sessions in St. Augustine, Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville, California, and all over Alabama. My couples became ADVENTUROUS. We scaled mountains, hiked waterfalls, and pushed the limits for some incredible photos.

IT WAS SO HARD TO CHOOSE.

Because of this, I’m splitting my review post into 2 parts – engagements and weddings. Here are some of my favorite engagement photos from the last year. 2017, you have some big shoes to fill.

 

Dara + Brodie // George’s 217 Wedding

Dara and Brodie’s George’s 217 wedding was one for the books. From the massive Kardashian-esque floral wall at the church, to the gorgeously decorated reception rooms—their day was glamorous, elegant, and brimming with incredible details. After photographing their waterfall engagement session last October, I KNEW their wedding would be amazing. 🙂

I love this incredible bouquet created by Lola’s. It smelled incredible and had SO many gorgeous textures!

OH. THESE. SHOES!!! Details are some of my favorite photos of the day and I am a lover of gorgeous shoes. These Badgley Mishka pumps gave Dara her “something blue” and had the most glamorous jeweled backs. <3 Yes please.

You cannot go wrong with monogrammed flannel shirts! This was such a fun added touch and I loved how it mixed classic with cozy for the perfect bridesmaid gifts. <3

This is the same veil that Dara’s mother wore on her wedding day. (Something borrowed?!)

Aren’t these bridesmaid dresses gorgeous? I love the light-flowy fabric and the deep burgundy Dara chose!

The ceremony was held at Valley Grove Baptist Church.

Isn’t that floral wall AMAZING? Lola’s seriously outdid themselves!

One of the things I love most about Dara is her ability to radiate joy.

This. Right here. The expression on her face as she walked towards Brodie says everything about their love for one another.

After the exchanging of the rings, Dara + Brodie were surrounded by family for a moment of prayer.

I will always say yes to sunset portraits on a gorgeous vintage trolley!

Dara—STOP. <3 Seriously, this girl is stunning!!!

George’s 217 is quickly becoming one of my favorite wedding venues. I can’t get enough of the vintage tiled ceiling or those gorgeous crystal chandeliers! The reception room was beautifully adorned with long rectangular tables, elegant garland centerpieces, and a stunning monogram projection.

Dara and her father shared a sweet dance that turned into an epic dance-off!

Matt Carroll and the Browncoats were AMAZING! Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of wedding bands play, but these guys blew me away. They were fun, talented, had an amazing range of music, and kept guests happy and dancing through the night! 🙂

I’m going to go ahead and say it—confetti cannon exits are my FAVORITE!!

 

Ceremony Venue: Valley Grove Baptist Church
Reception Venue: George’s 217
Wedding Planner: Terri of  Kiss the Bride
Florist: Lola’s Gifts and Flowers
Catering: George’s 217
Cakes: Beth Ledbetter
Hair Stylist: Donna Dupree
Makeup Artist: Laren Lindholm
Photographer: Moonbelle Photography
Videographer: Awaken Films
Transportation/Trolley: Tuscumbia Depot Museum
Ceremony Music: Kendal Martin, Amy Brooker and Mitch Eubank
Reception Band: Matt Carroll and the Browncoats

So You’re Engaged…

My husband and I had a long engagement (646 days, to be exact).

Trust me when I say I KNOW what you’re going through. Amidst the Instagram #ringselfies (Guilty), intense Pinterest board-making, and excited phone calls—-you’ve just chosen to spend the rest of your life with another person. It’s exhilarating and impossibly scary all at once.

I’ve always been a very Type A personality. I feel at home with lists and timelines, and although the idea of throwing a beautiful soiree for our closest friends and family was exciting, it also came with a lot of variables. I’ve been a wedding photographer since 2009, and with years of photographing gorgeous weddings, it quickly became a case of TOO MUCH INSPIRATION. Between my own experience in the wedding industry and the birth of Pinterest, I spent the first few months of our engagement hunched in front of my computer planning my very own art deco/rustic/glam/gold/bohemian/destination wedding. Do you see the issue here? There were so many beautiful ideas, it was overwhelming (making it difficult to find MY style).

Over the next few months, I’ll be imparting some of my best tips for surviving  planning your engagement. You can look forward to several DIY adventures, how I chose my venue, reception tips, and honeymoon planning. Until then, here are a few things I learned:

new-orleans-french-quarter-destination-wedding-photographer

1. Start a Pinterest board. Ok—I know this may sound completely contrary to my previous advice, but stay with me. Start your Pinterest board, pin-away, then LOOK. Are you seeing pins with the same color scheme over and over? Out of all the ceremonies you’ve looked at, is there something about that dreamy botanical-inspired wedding that just blew you away? What really helped me (along with my AMAZING planner Erica), was looking for that repetition. Eventually, that’s what helped me choose my overall style. Once you find a style you like, you can take the time to curate your boards.

Here are some boards to get you started.

2. Hire a wedding planner/coordinator. Please, please, please do this. I’ll go deeper on this topic in a future blog post, but planners make SUCH a difference for your big day. From vendor connections and styling to a wedding day warrior that will flat out get things done for you—this step eliminates SO much stress.

3. You are not an expert at everything. And that’s okay. Social media leads us to believe that we are all calligraphy/watercolor/seamstress/diy mavens but guys, THIS IS YOUR ENGAGEMENT. It’s the time to be present and enjoy this stage in your lives. If you’re awesome at something—by all means. But otherwise, save yourself the stress, time, and money and invest in the people that do these things for a living.

Stay tuned!

Abby + Corey // Stone Bridge Farms Wedding

Abby and Corey began their Stone Bridge Farms wedding with joy. A clear sky overlooked the crisp December day, and a crooning Sinatra could be heard through the guest cottage door. I entered the bridal suite and was met with warm hugs and hellos. That entrance summed up their entire day—it was full of love, and laughter, and warmth that embraced every guest in attendance. It was a day of joy.

1 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 2 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 3 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer Abby and Corey began their love story writing to one another. The idea was simple and romantic, hundreds of handwritten notes mailed back and forth through the years. So naturally, when Abby told me she still had ALL of their letters and had brought some for me to photograph, I was THRILLED!!

4 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 5 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 6 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer There’s nothing like starting the day with a sweet text from your soon-to-be husband AND coffee. 🙂

7 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 8 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 9 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 10 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 11 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 12 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 13 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 14 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 15 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 16 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 17 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 18 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 19 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 20 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 21 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 22 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 23 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 24 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 25 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 26 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 27 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 28 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 29 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 30 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 31 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 32 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 33 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 34 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer Since it was almost New Year’s Eve, Abby wanted to incorporate a fun, holiday photo with CONFETTI. #yesplease

35 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 36 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer This girl is seriously STUNNING.

37 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 38 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 39 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 40 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 41 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 42 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 43 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 44 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 45 Stone Bridge Farms wedding photographer 46 Cullman Al wedding photographer 47 Cullman Al wedding photographer 48 Cullman Al wedding photographer To make the day even sweeter, Abby chose to share a first look with her father. I loved seeing his happy face as he saw Abby for the first time!

49 Cullman Al wedding photographer This ceremony setup was pure #WEDDINGGOALS! It was a perfect winter theme with draping, lights, and a romantic aisle FULL of candles!

50 Cullman Al wedding photographer 51 Cullman Al wedding photographer 52 Cullman Al wedding photographer 53 Cullman Al wedding photographer 54 Cullman Al wedding photographer 55 Cullman Al wedding photographer This wedding incorporated the guests in such a special way. Once the ceremony began, family and friends left their seats to pray with Abby + Corey. It was a unique and powerful moment.

56 Cullman Al wedding photographer 57 Cullman Al wedding photographer 58 Cullman Al wedding photographer 59 Cullman Al wedding photographer 60 Cullman Al wedding photographer 61 Cullman Al wedding photographer 62 Cullman Al wedding photographer 63 Cullman Al wedding photographer 64 Cullman Al wedding photographer 65 Cullman Al wedding photographer 66 Cullman Al wedding photographer 67 Cullman Al wedding photographer 68 Cullman Al wedding photographer This art deco wedding cake was GORGEOUS!

69 Cullman Al wedding photographer 70 Cullman Al wedding photographer 71 Cullman Al wedding photographer 72 Cullman Al wedding photographer 73 Cullman Al wedding photographer 74 Cullman Al wedding photographer 75 Cullman Al wedding photographer 76 Cullman Al wedding photographer 77 Cullman Al wedding photographer 78 Cullman Al wedding photographer 79 Cullman Al wedding photographer 80 Cullman Al wedding photographer 81 Cullman Al wedding photographer 82 Cullman Al wedding photographer 83 Cullman Al wedding photographer And of course, after the sparkler exit, we got to play outside for some fun night photos. My FAVORITE!

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Venue + Florals: Stone Bridge Farms
Photographer: Moonbelle Photography
Videographer: Madison Cain Johnson
Groom’s Cake: Cobalt Confections
Bride’s Cake: Joshlynne Villano
Hair/Makeup: Hali Rhea Gurley
DJ: Nerdy Boy Productions