It’s not always sunny in the south…but it’s still beautiful for weddings! Ryan and Laura’s beautiful Huntsville, AL wedding was held at the stunning Burritt on the Mountain! A location I’d never heard of, but won’t ever forget! I love these two love birds, and getting to capture their Engagement in Huntsville’s Big Spring Park earlier this Spring made me ever so excited for their big day!
Fog. A weather element I’d never considered beautiful or anything other than a nuisance whilst driving at night. Not this day. High atop the the mountain hovering over Huntsville, AL is a remarkable museum and Wedding Venue… Burritt on the Mountain. And on a dreary, rainy Saturday the first of July 2013 we ascended the mountain…met with a downpour as we arrived to shoot the wedding of Laura and Ryan. It wasn’t looking good. Especially since they loved and wanted beautiful outdoors images…and outdoor ceremony.
I walked into the Bridal suite, and was met with the happiest, most laid back bride I’d ever seen. A little DIY and whole lot of a Southern Belle, Laura eyed a $200 necklace she’d seen in a Bridal salon…but couldn’t bring herself to buy something she was certain she could make…and make better. So, she bought the pearls, and a brooch and $25 later she had the most stunning Bridal Necklace I’ve ever seen on a Bride! But it didn’t end there…
A die hard Alabama Football Alum and fan she wanted houndstooth shoes…she coudln’t find any… therefore she stenciled her plain white pumps! Houndstooth Bridal Shoes check! ROLL TIDE! Then she really wowed me when I was photographing her dress and exclaimed how much I adore the hangers with the name “written” in wire. Yes…she made hers AND all 3 of the bridesmaid’s hangers too! I told her she should go into business!
Her new mother-in-love made her veil using lace from Laura’s mother’s wedding gown for her something old, and it couldn’t have been a more special moment when her mom helped her put it in! “Momma” Becky definitely gets this year’s “Most teary Mom” award 😉
We started to shoot her Bridals and the rain had slowed to a mist. The mountain was now blanketed in a quiet, slow rolling fog. Where once you could see for miles, you barely saw a few hundred feet. The effects of which were about to blow me away.
We battled showers off and on throughout their pre-ceremony portraits, and had to hold their First Look out on one of the gorgeous covered porches at the reception hall. iBut It never dampened their spirits. In fact I’m honored to say that even in the most damp and wet weddings I’ve ever shot these two loves had the most intimate and breathtaking First Look images I’ve ever born witness to…and I’ve shot some KILLER First Looks!
When asked 45 minutes prior to the ceremony if she wanted to move it inside, she held her ground. She, and I, somehow knew it wouldn’t rain for their ceremony. Ceremony time loomed, we watched the radar like it was a Football game, the rain slacked then stopped, and groomsmen and family quickly gathered towels and began drying chairs. It was time.
Not a drop fell during the ceremony, but that AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL Fog kept rolling right on through. Some photographers spend hours photoshopping in the haze that I was blessed to have naturally fill their whole wedding.
After the ceremony guests headed inside and we grabbed the final few images of the bridal party and then the Bride and Groom at their ceremony site. What happened next was a prayer answered…in the most unexpectedly stunning way. We’d all been praying for sun to just “break through” thrughout the day, but it never did. Then as Laura and Ryan, and I, thought we were finished with their portraits and making our way to the reception…it didn’t burst through….it lit up the fog and seemed to burn a hole through it just enough to light up the new Mr. and Mrs. Graves! Laura threw her bouquet into the air in a “VICTORY” stance and shouted “WE’RE MARRIED” at the top of her lungs…with that I knew THAT was the image of the day. The LAST “formal” bride and groom image none of us could’ve anticipated was a “bonus”…a splendidly unexpected answer to a prayer, bonus and summed up the day perfectly.
We popped of an image of the whole Bridal Party just as the sun’s 5 minute peek-a-boo was ending, and then the good times began. The groom’s brother serenaded the new husband and wife with a song he’d written, and the dancing began. Alabama knows how to party ya’ll! “Sweet Home Alabama” was played, as is tradition, and shouts of “Roll Tide Roll” were ad-libbed in concordance with said tradition. The couple made their final getaway through a tunnel of sparklers, and with one final wave they marched off into the now orange lit fog from the lights around the grounds. Fog to begin, and Fog to the end. We’ll never look at Fog the same way again!
Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Graves for welcoming me into your lives to capture your new beginning! Much love and wishes for a life time of beautiful memories!
Thanks to Bruce Roy of Belle Fleur for the marvelous Florals, Cake, and Catering, as well as Allure Bridals for the Bride’s stunning gown, David’s Bridal for the bridesmaids gowns, Burch and Hatfield for the fella’s attire, and DJ Ted Moon.