Celia and James

Celia and James had an absolutely beautiful wedding in Decatur last week. We had tons of time with them to take photos, and Celia had scouted out the best routes to walk from place to place to make sure we would pass by her favorite magnolia tree from when she was a girl and the idyllic columned houses with beautiful gardens.

I loved her dad escorting her from the hotel to the church for her first look, the bridesmaids in short black dresses they felt beautiful wearing, the stunning purple bouquet and lavender details, and the way James would kiss Celia’s forehead and she would relax into his arms.

In the service, the pastor read a message from Celia describing her relationship with James as a daily experience of grace and of her hope for that in their marriage. . .it was wonderful reminder as we walk into the busyness of wedding season. Welcome to their wedding day. . .

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Ali & Derek

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Ali & Derek’s wedding was our last wedding of 2013, and it was a perfect way to end the year – the elegance of the Old Decatur Courthouse, the fun of a night stroll to the Brick Store; the simple perfection of Ali’s details of blues, oranges, and lots of candlelight; the goofiness and sincerity with which they approached the day, and the certainty we were the right people to be documenting their day.

Jennifer & Chuck

When we first moved to Birmingham, Laura and Roan were one of the very first couples to trust us with their wedding. They have become wonderful friends, and when Laura’s brother, Chuck, got engaged, we were so excited to be asked to photograph he and Jennifer’s wedding as well. Jennifer planned a stylishly simple pink and navy wedding at a beautiful old plantation home, the Hazelhurst House, just south of Atlanta in McDonough, Georgia. We were almost thwarted in her plan for an outdoor wedding by a summer thunderstorm, but the rain cleared up just 15 minutes after the wedding was originally supposed to start, giving us a few extra minutes for photos in the beautiful light and cooling everything off for the guests. Chuck has to be one of the happiest grooms we have ever photographed. He and Jennifer truly transform each other when they are together and it was a wondeful thing to capture in photographs.

Verena & Josh

When Verena asked if we were available for a Friday wedding in July, I thought, “of course!”. It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized it was our 10 year wedding anniversary! But we do really love shooting weddings and Verena (and her bridesmaids and many of her guests) are good friends of ours, so we decided it would be a fun way to celebrate. Sure enough, it was a wonderful day and I don’t think I’ve ever seen Arianna have so much fun taking pictures.

Verena and Josh are tango ninjas, hence the amazing dancing pictures and Verena’s short dress for the reception. Josh was also super-involved in planning: he had the suits custom-made (kblazia.com), cut the groomsmen’s flowers himself, and he even made the five-tier wedding cake. The wedding and reception were at Callanwolde Arts Center in Atlanta, a very beautiful venue.

Ashley & Curt

The picture above is Ashley’s favorite picture from the day (and I might have to add, one of my favorite pictures ever!!). Here’s what she had to say about it: “My favorite picture is the one in the wild flowers because I had no idea that was even there until we arrived that weekend, it was suppose to rain so I never thought we would get a picture in it, you both were so fun and spontaneous after the family pictures to drive us over there in the golf cart and caputre us so in love right after we said I DO. It is incredible!”

If I had to describe my personal favorite aesthetic, it would be old, crumbling buildings. So there was no doubt in my mind that the Ruins at Barnsley Resort was going to be amazing. One of my favorite things about the day was how excited Ashley was that I was so excited about the pictures we were taking:)

The bottom line, though, is that I could have taken great pictures of Ashley and Curt anywhere that day. Curt was so excited and visibly in love with Ashley – there were so many tender touches, moments, and great kisses that translated into amazing pictures. My very favorite moment was Curt’s reaction when he saw Ashley walking out toward him. I was focuses on his face as he said “Wow” – definitely a good way to react to your bride!!

A couple of other thoughts – the reason I LOVE outdoor weddings, in addition to having great light, is that I have the freedom to move around and get great close-ups during the ceremony. I won’t ever walk in front of guests and block their view, but I can be a little more flexible about where I position myself.

How many picture do I take on a wedding day? A lot, but the bride and groom usually end up with somewhere between 800 and 1200 pictures once they are edited and culled. Unless of course, it’s a day like this with a crazy-party and then there are a few hundred more dance pictures!!

Weddings are always full of surprises. . .I have seen a limbo stick come out a time or two, but I’ve never seen someone get as low as Curt did – that was impressive!

And my personal favorite picture might be the garter toss. I remember waiting for the toss, watching the groomsman with his mouth open as if he would catch it with his teeth. . .then the garter shot dead straight at his face and nearly did hit him dead in the mouth – absolutely cracked me up!

Here’s the link for Barnsley – http://www.barnsleyresort.com/ – it’s about 2 1/2 hours from Birmingham, but it’s totally amazing both for a wedding and vacation – Arianna and I went back for Labor Day this fall.