A friend of mine mentioned how fun it would be to come up with wedding superlatives, a "best of" weddings blog post. I worked on this and hoped it would be done the last day of 2012, but the second day of 2013 is good, too:) This year I photographed 32 weddings, 2 of which were shot as a second shooter and 30 of which I was the main photographer. I included all of them because I feel a personal connection to every wedding I shoot (and because I LOVE second shooting:). When I had my first baby I remembering wondering if this incredible experience ever got old for the doctor since she sees it everyday. In some ways weddings are similar: incredibly significant days that I see most weekends. Yet without fail I cry at every wedding. I super love this job, and am really attached to every wedding in one way or another. Without further ado I present the awards..
I photographed this wedding in Knoxville, Tennessee with one of my closest friends Carrie Jo Pinckard of Texture Photo. I was a second shooter and could not have loved it more. The bride, Meggie, is GORGEOUS and her groom, Stayko, reminded me of European royalty. Her facial expressions just exuded so much joy- which is my favorite thing to photograph.
Bryce and Kelsey exchanged gifts before the ceremony, and Bryce's gift was especially sweet. He gave her a special vase and note that explained how he would always keep this vase full of flowers for his lovely bride. I have asked Kelsey multiple times since her wedding day if that vase was full, and every time it is. Good job, Bryce! Now what I really want is a picture of them in old age with that vase and flowers:)
Rachel + Marshall have dated since high school and wanted to be married for a LONG time... so their excitement walking down the aisle was unbeatable. Plus their personality even as a couple is full of energy and laughing and life. This shot was taken with an intentional amount of motion blur to show the movement and excitement... they were jumping up and down! Best day ever would be an understatement:)
Rebecca + Ben had such special family that surrounded them on their wedding day, and it was so clearly evident when Rebecca's dad got up to make a speech. He had a microphone, but I soon realized that he wasn't giving a speech but a song. Everyone cried, and it was maybe the most special Father-Daughter moment I've seen (and he included both his daughters in his song!). Such a lovely wedding!
Brandon + Sarah's wedding was full of beauty and style, with an amazing mountain venue. Sarah's bridal style was MY FAVORITE. The bird cage veil, turquoise necklace, Anthropologie flats... ahhh I LOVE IT! Thanks to Alyssa Alig for having me second shoot this beautiful wedding.
Brooke + Ryan's perfectly planned wedding in the North Georgia mountains was a dream day, and every time I looked at pictures of Brooke I kept thinking that she looks just like a Disney princess!! Brooke's dress, hair, and big brown eyes were the perfect combination for every Disney beauty. So Ryan and Brooke are my modern day storybook couple:)
Alan + Lauren are awesome in every way. They are fun and deep and sincere all at the same time. They decided to pray together before the ceremony but not see each other, hence the blindfold moment in the bridal room. I was the only one in there with them, and I really did start to make ugly cry sniffle noises. I was there to document the time, but I could hear them praying and the incredible words and love expressed in them just got to me! Best pre-ceremony blindfold moment for sure.
Elisa + Nathan's wedding was the first wedding I ever got published on Style Me Pretty's Georgia blog, so this wedding will always be special to me. What stands out most was all the hard work both Elisa and Nathan did to make their day possible. Elisa made the flower arrangements, Nathan built the dance floor, friends had helped and made benches out of pallets for ceremony seating, and every detail was beautiful. I also love that the ceremony took place on the lawn of a historic library- such a great and unexpected venue! Love this couple.
Carolyn + Owen are good times just waiting to happen. I should have known that their reception would be uber fun just from spending time with them as a couple. A group of guys got down on the dance floor for an Animal House moment, and soon after the limbo stick came out for some serious fun. On a side note but just as important, their wedding food goes down in my personal black book of BEST evers. Many times there is too much happening for me to eat, but I did manage to go to the pasta bar at this wedding and am a better person for it. I even tried getting the sauce recipe from the chef who was making it because I was that in love. Best pasta ever.
Ben + Madalene might be the best all-around photogenic couple I've met. They can be fun and crazy or model-like and everything in between. It's so hard to get that subtle smile that doesn't look stiff or angry, but these two made it look easy. They are such a great all-around couple, too so it makes sense they can rock any picture. I also wanted to mention the video Ben made for Madalene to watch on an iPad before the ceremony. He is a videographer so he made a video saying how much he loves her and so many other sweet words that I can't remember now because all of us were looking for tissues three seconds into it. Reason #800 this couple is really special.
Sonny + Morgan got married at Berry College and had an elegant reception at Ford Hall (which looks like a castle from the Harry Potter movies). Their first dance was so fun to watch and this shot tells how incredibly cute together they are. Sonny and Morgan definitely had ear to ear grins the entire day and made my job a real joy.
Ben + Anna are one of those couples that you can just tell everyone adores- and I could quickly see why after watching them interact with each other. Anna's happy smiles and Ben watching her with love- how could you not love them!?!
I thought about Erin + Mitch's wedding for awhile, and so many different things popped in my head: how Mitch is just hilarious (he used to be a comedian!!), how incredibly in shape they are and how it inspires me to run (they both ran in races the day of their wedding!) , how I loved learning about them as a couple (they are both travelers and had a travel theme in their wedding with guests writing on postcards from all over the world), and I could go on and on (Mitch's awesome running shoes he wore at the reception to break it down in!). And it just comes down to this- they are extremely likable people!! They are the definition of easy to like and as I was working on this post I actually ran into Erin at a coffee shop and was reminded again that they win for being the most likable couple:)
Brianna + Mike had this kiss moment on top of a hill on a golf course right as the sky looked like it was about to open up on us and I just loved the result! It made sense that their kiss was epic because they just seemed like one of the most into each other couple I photographed. Mike looked at Brianna the whole day with so much adoration- that is what you want ladies!
Adam + Katelyn's wedding at Perimeter church included an impromptu dance party before Katelyn walked down the aisle, which I think should become a pre-ceremony ritual for every bride! Katelyn's dad gets bonus points for joining in on the party too:) Adam + Katelyn are real quality people, and I have loved keeping up with them since the wedding and admire them as a couple!
Brayden + Ana had a wedding with so many lovely details that it's hard to narrow it down to just one particular thing- but I think their ceremony stands out the most. In light of the incredible Georgia heat, they planned the ceremony to include an indoor part to keep guests cool and a shorter outdoor ending for the releasing of doves and first kiss. I loved how they thought about taking care of their guests in the extreme heat, and the doves coming out the basket was so beautiful. And as the minister pronounced Ana + Brayden husband and wife there was a huge thundering in the sky that gave everyone chill bumps! It was such a great day and even though it heavily stormed just an hour before, the outdoor part of the ceremony couldn't have been more beautiful.
Adam + Katie met in Chemistry class at the University of Georgia, so they incorporated their story and their love for science into their wedding which I thought was so adorable and unique. Katie even got Erlenmeyer flasks as vases to hold the flowers in the centerpieces and test tubes full of candy for the guests! I tell people about this wedding in hopes that others will focus on their story as a couple and find unique ways to personalize their wedding- so fun!
Chase + Victoria's wedding definitely stands out as the most teary-eyed event of my year! The whole story is deep and personal and beautiful (read about it here). A few sentences wouldn't do it justice but I had to say the wedding was emotional even for me and I came home in some ways a different person. Love.
Scott + Emily had an elegant wedding in every way, so you might be surprised to see a police officer handcuff them when they were leaving the reception! It was so funny and unexpected to see Andy Griffith's Mayberry squad car (a perfect Ford Galaxie) pull up and escort this lovely couple away. You guys definitely win for the most original departure!
Rachael + Brent's wedding had so many personal details... my favorite had to be the table numbers and conversation cards for the guests. Each table had a number that was significant to them individually and as a couple (special dates, number of keys on their favorite instrument, when they got engaged, etc). They had questions typed up for guests as conversations starters during the dinner hour, too which I LOVE. How many times have you been in a situation where you didn't know the people you were sitting with and conversation fell flat? I thought this was a great idea- you guys are just that kind of couple:)
Justin and Kathryn's wedding was INCREDIBLE and she did SO much of the beautiful work that I think she should do some wedding planning and styling (on the side to being a talented wedding photographer herself!). But I think this picture of the wedding party might be one of my all time favorites... I must have told Justin and Kathryn to kiss and the 2 flowergirls thought I meant them too, so we got this shot! I just love it.
AJ + Jamie's day was the most Pinterest-able wedding I've been to (I think I just made that word up:). AJ has a whole National Geographic magazine collection and cut out images to make table centerpieces about his love for Jamie (and used stamps to explain the image!). STOP it. Amazing. Among other favorite thoughtful details were the different china plates used at the wedding party table with special significance (i.e. a September plate for the month of their wedding, a plate with a matadore and bull representing their honeymoon in Spain, etc). This wedding just oozed style and personal details and above all a whole lot of love.
Hank + Kristin's DJ did a really fun newlywed game during the reception that was so entertaining for everyone to watch! I have actually never seen this done at a reception before so I loved it. And of course photographing the couple's reactions to each other made for some happy pictures. I think I might actually plan my own little not so newly wed game with my husband for our 9th anniversary coming up!
Alex + Erin are so incredibly laid-back and carefree that I felt like their wedding was just hanging out with friends! Wedding days tend to rank higher on the stress scale but this couple made it seem like just another day to have fun and enjoy each other. We frolicked around downtown Atlanta and laughed a lot. I also love that they had their own style totally authentic to them- with fedora hats, converse shoes, and Erin having her dress cut off at the bottom! And the wedding venue (The Artmore Hotel in midtown Atlanta) is beautiful- highly recommend!
I am not a cupcake person so that is how HIGHLY rated these cupcakes were from Ethan + Kimberly's gorgeous outdoor wedding. There were SO many flavors (french toast, s'mores, key lime, birthday cake... the list goes on) that it took the whole cupcake trend to a whole new level. Ethan + Kimberly are lovely in so many ways and deserve their own superlative for that- and pretty soon I will be shooting a "day after" session of them so more to come on this great couple!
There is something so classic about a bridal portrait in front of a beautiful window, something that I think generations later will still consider beautiful and timeless. Emily's dress was gorgeous and this portrait just shows the laces and veil in classic way. Julian + Emily's wedding was Macon perfection and I am so happy for them as a couple. And on a side note this wedding party had the most medical professionals/doctors than any other single event I have ever attended!
Justin + Lindsey's wedding venue (High Point Farms) seriously had me squealing with excitement at every turn. The barns, the stone cottage where the groomsmen got ready, the quilts and colorful metal chairs, the vines and gardens... oh my! I felt like I was in Ireland with green fields and a gorgeous mountain backdrop; it could not have been more beautiful. You guys did an awesome job creating a beautiful day!
Caitlin really reminded me of a royal bride (as if I've ever met one before!) But really- doesn't she look like Kate Middleton? Caitlin + Nic's wedding was classy and beautiful- and I especially love the yellow heels the bridesmaids gracefully wore! I also have to mention the sparkler picture we took afterwards- Caitlin's bridesmaids win the most talented sparkler writer award! No photoshop here- just awesome sparkler talent.
With the talent of Molly McKinley at Chancey Charm, Ginny Rae + Brad Turner's wedding would make even Martha Stewart pull out her iphone and instagram it! Crystal chandeliers hanging from the pecan trees where the ceremony took place, hand-dyed burlap with chevron patterns sewn on, ombre flower arrangements, southern style food with plenty of starches for the southern soul, I could seriously go on and on. This wedding was incredible, and one of my favorite touches was the wedding albums of the parents of the bride and groom left out on handmade pallet tables for guests to look at during the reception. Southern and classy- love it!
Wedding #30 was Jimmy + Anna's- and they really knew how to have a fun wedding. I had to feature the bouquet Anna's mom made for her because I am in LOVE with it. If I was planning a wedding this is what I would want! Also I loved Jimmy and Anna's first kiss as husband and wife- it was such a great moment and total embrace... happiness all around.
Patrick + Elizabeth are the real deal totally in love model couple that need to get paid to star on covers of bridal magazines. My favorite story was something I read on Facebook where a friend's daughter saw these pictures and asked if that was THE REAL barbie- no joke. I can't wait for you guys to have children- they will be gorgeous!
and now the last wedding of 2012- our friends Taylor + Page Perault. Taylor is SO funny and has such a wild personality, so I was totally surprised by how he mixed things up with their wedding pictures and rocked the romantic look. Page is a photographer herself so we also played around with her Holga camera to get some double exposure shots, but I couldn't help but posting this kissing shot. They were so totally into each other the whole day, looked at each other with mutual affection and adoration, and had to be the most romantic couple of 2012.
And that's a wrap for my 2012 Wedding Superlatives! Oh wait, one more... I think every year I should give one Best Grandparent Photo, and this year it was a no brainer from Ginny Rae + Brad's wedding photo booth. This is awesome. And the image below it the Grandparent Honorable Mention from Bryce + Kelsey wedding. True confession- grandparent pictures are my favorites:) Thanks to all these couples and amazing second shooters like Kathryn, Steven, Alyssa, Christina, Carrie Jo, and Jess for making this year the best yet!
May your 2013 be filled with lots of love and laughter and great pictures:)