One Location on Your Wedding Day

One location for your wedding dayOne Location for a Wedding

On a wedding day, having your festivities at one location instead of three can go a long way to alleviate your stress, allow for more images of your wedding day, and allow for your guests to enjoy your wedding day more.  Now, you’re probably wondering how the number of locations you have to go to on your wedding day can affect all this but it can and here’s how.

One Location Alleviates Stress

One location on a wedding day alleviates stress by minimizing your travel time and the amount of logistics that go into planning for multiple locations.  Imagine running late on your wedding day and then finding yourself stuck in traffic on top of that as you rush to get to your ceremony location from your wedding day.

One Location Means More Pictures

Imagine getting ready at a hotel with a first look.  You are getting lots of beautiful photos only to stop, hop in a car and ride through traffic for thirty minutes to the ceremony.  That is thirty minutes of time you could be getting more photos with you, your groom, and best friends.  From there you have a beautiful ceremony but then have to hop back into traffic for another thirty minutes to head to your reception location.  That is a total of an hour of lost time in portraits, not to mention stress, and a disruption to you being able to just savor the day rather than feeling rushed.  Now, I know a lot of our brides biggest fears is getting ready at their ceremony location where the getting ready space is, shall we say, less than ideal.  We will tackle that in a bit.

Your Guests Experience

Have you ever been a bridesmaid or guest at a wedding where you have to run all over the place.  It’s not fun, especially if its in a large metro city with horrible parking.  On the flip side, imagine having your wedding in one location where your guests can savor your day, enjoy a cocktail, and not run all over the city.  They will thank you for the kind consideration later.

Fear of Ugly Locations

One of the biggest reasons we see brides end up driving all over the city is because of the fear of ugly getting ready locations.  As someone who is a huge Chip and Jojo fan, I totally understand the desire for beautiful spaces but imagine having a photographer who could find the beauty in any location and at the same time save you hundreds of dollars by avoiding the extra hotel fees and transportation fees.  It sounds like a win-win to me.

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Irish Wedding at Avondale

Irish wedding in birminghamIrish Wedding at Avondale

When Marie first contacted us about her wedding at Avondale Brewing, she wanted to make sure it was fun and family centric.  With most of her side of the family coming across the pond from Ireland, this was the perfect relaxed setting for their wedding day.

Marie and Jared opted for a first look in front of the large elephant mural at the back of the brewery due to its significance and connection to Marie’s mother who had passed away.  It was filled with whoops of joy from their family who may have snuck out on the back stairwell to catch a peek.

A Receiving Line Irish Style

After some romantic portraits, it was time for a different version of the receiving line.  Jared and Marie wanted their guests to feel welcomed and connected to each other so as they came in to be seated for the ceremony they hugged them and introduced her family to his.  Before long everyone was laughing and chatting as if they had been life long friends.

“I Do” at Sunset

As Marie walked down the aisle to Jared, the sun set through the windows with the richest hues of oranges and blues . . . what more could a War Eagle fan ask for.  Framed on either side with paintings of Alabama and Ireland, they said I do and then spent the rest of the evening, like any good Irish wedding with dancing, toasting, and laughter.

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Stylish Fall Engagement | Mountain Laurel

stylish fall engagement session cocktail dress mountain laurelStylish Fall Engagement

It was a beautiful fall day. The air was cold, crisp, and the light was absolutely perfect.  Shannon and Kyle met us at one of our favorite portrait locations in Mountain Laurel. The leaves were showing off their fall colors with deep rich reds, yellows, and browns which always leaves me feeling like I walked onto the set of the Gilmore Girls.  Shannon stepped out of her car wearing a stunning black dress and a pair of Louboutin shoes, which for this shoe loving girl, made me do a happy dance!

College Rivalry

Shannon attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) while Kyle went to the University of Auburn in Alabama. Although, they attended college in different states they would both eventually ended up meeting one another through work. Both work in publications for local neighborhoods and are fellow entrepreneurs who met while Shannon was working in another state. They finally started to date and eventually knew they were the perfect match for each other. Kyle asked Shannon’s dad for his permission and she moved to Alabama to be with him in early March.

We can honestly say, Shannon and Kyle are one of the cutest and sweetest couples we have worked with this year. Their authentic genuine love for one another can truly be seen throughout their photographs and the time we spent with them.  We can’t wait for their wedding in March at Aldridge Gardens.

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Bringing Pets to Your Engagement Session

Including pets in your engagement sessionBringing Pets to Your Engagement Session

Our pets grow to be a part of our families. Our dog , Maverick, has been with us for 12 years and is considered our third child. To want to include them in your engagement session is only natural. We want to celebrate the relationship between the couple and their pets. Sometimes, though, pets can be a huge distraction during the session if some important steps are not taken. Here are some of our top tips for including your fur-babies in your portrait sessions.

Let Your Photographer Know

Some photographers have a very strict no pet policy. This means they will not take pictures of couples with pets under any circumstances. To see if yours does, make sure to ask or read your contract. Other photographers (like us) love including pictures with pets but only if they are disclosed before the session. This ensures the photographer brings the proper equipment and supplies. 

Accessories for Your Pets

We never thought of this before, but we just had a shoot with a beautiful couple and their two awesome dogs. They were beautifully coordinated and even their dogs leashes matched their outfits. This little touch made their session even more special and didn’t distract with garish mismatched colors.

Bring a Wrangler

Pets usually don’t stay for the whole session. We have found that pets last for about 20 minutes before they start to get bored. During this time, a pet wrangler can be invaluable. They will help to ensure the pets stay put and keep them distracted during the session. At the end of it, you can hand off your pets to the wrangler to take them home. 

Bring Treats

This is another benefit to disclosing pets before the session. We can find out what is your pets favorite treats and bring some along. This helps to ensure your pets have something to look forward to for being good at the session. In addition, treats allow the photographer to build a relationship with the pets so they can respond better, in turn providing you better photographs.

With just some practical steps, bringing your pets to a photo session can be a great experience and add a lot of personality to your photographs. To see how you can incorporate your pets into your wedding read this Blog Post and subscribe to our newsletter. Including pets in your engagement sessionIncluding pets in your engagement sessionIncluding pets in your engagement session

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I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updated content and sign up for our Facebook page for special live content. If you’re a bride who wants more tips for a stress free day or you’re a photographer who wants to give a great client experience, subscribe to our YouTube channel for band new videos each week. 

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Thanksgiving Recipes | From Our Family to Yours

Family recipes for thanksgivingThanksgiving Recipes for the Holidays

I feel like we blinked and the holiday season is upon us.  This is my favorite time of year but I am still left asking myself how we are already a week away from Thanksgiving and there is SNOW on the ground . . crazy right.  As foodies, J and I love this time of year.  We get to try out new holiday recipes and of course bring out our old favorites as well.  In our house it has become a tradition to make a pumpkin roll, something my mother-in-law passed down to me and buttery yeast rolls from our time living in the midwest.  But this year, we have a few new favorites including a whiskey sour recipe from my friend Claire.

Whiskey Sour

In our house we love a good whiskey drink, either neat or mixed in as a classic cocktail

2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounces lemon juice
Egg white
Shake without ice vigorously for about 12-15 seconds. Add ice and shake again. Strain well into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with drops of bitters and use a toothpick to swirl them into a design.  While this drink is delicious  . . . we would be remiss without leaving you with something delicious to make to go along side it.

Football Dip

This is the proverbial guilty pleasure for the football game on Thanksgiving Day.  Just don’t tell your guests what’s in it because . . calories don’t count during the holidays . . am I right!

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup grated swiss cheese

.5 cup of ritz crackers

.5 cup of mayo

8 slices of cooked bacon

Mix softened cream cheese, swiss cheese, and mayo well.  Place in an 8×8 pan. Top with crumbled bacon and crackers.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve with frito or tortilla chips.  I would recommend if you have a large party, make extra.

Thanksgiving Roll Recipe

Lastly no Thanksgiving or holiday meal is complete without a good homemade roll . . and according to J . . they are for making sandwiches as leftovers.  For real, that man could make a sandwich out of anything, probably even a flip flop.

1 cup of very warm water

2 packages active dry yeast

.5 cup of melted butter

.5 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

4 -5 cups flour

Additional melted butter

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl.  Let stand until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.  Stir in butter, sugar, eggs, and salt.  Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is too stiff to mix (some flour may not be needed).  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 4 days.  To bake, grease a 9×13 pan.  Turn the chilled dough onto a lightly floured board.  Divide dough into 24 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into smooth round ball:  place balls in even rows in the prepared pan.  Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about an hour.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.  Brush with melted butter and break apart to serve.

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