Friday, April 17, 2009

A Complimentary Bride

Wedding: Gardendale First Baptist Church, Gardendale, AL
Reception: The Club, Birmingham, AL

Preface: I assisted with a bridal portrait shoot on a sunny, yet, VERY CHILLY day in February at Botanical Gardens in Birmingham. (The put your long-johns on, get your toboggan, gloves, and down-coat and try not to shiver too much because you'll get blurry pictures kind of day). Meanwhile, the B, in her sleeveless gown, was all smiles and chill bumps. The B's parents and younger sister were in tow to help with her gown and cathedral length veil during the shoot.

This particular shoot was a blast. This girl loved to have her picture taken! The B hammed it up for us and never once complained about the cold. (I secretly think she'd watched a few episodes of some modeling shoots just before the appointment or maybe had been practicing her Vogue moves in front of her mirror!) This is in stark contrast to the typical bride who simply stands there and allows us to twist and contort her body to get the right shot. Sadly, not every B is a natural. : )

Not to mention, she had beautiful, dark auburn hair, piercing blue eyes, and fair skin. B's: Do yourself a favor. Don't go to the tanning bed for color for your wedding, especially with those natural features! Fake bakes are so '90's!

Anyway, it's kind of nice to meet the B and B's family prior to the wedding. Come wedding day, you feel like old friends. Such was the case with this particular wedding.

When I entered the B's dressing room to get the usual "getting ready" pictures, the B tells me she is SO excited I'm there. Her energy level is contagious; I knew I was in for a fun day! She proceeds to tell me the "nightmare" she had the night before. I expected her to say she dreamt that it rained on her wedding day, or she feared her G wouldn't show up, or the like. Instead, her nightmare was that I was sick and was unable to photograph her wedding. Instead, Jim brought random photographer to take my place and she was devastated. What a sweet compliment! She's now topped my "world's greatest B list"! : )

-the unofficial bride

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Here goes...

While sharing stories and laughing during Emily's birthday dinner the other night, Amy jokingly mentioned I could write a book (or something to that effect) about weddings being that I'm a "professional wedding guest" by way of my position as a wedding photographer. Needless to say, I've attended my share of weddings - about 130 and counting. (I can hear my ex-boyfriend grudgingly questioning why anyone would, for whatever reason, voluntarily attend ONE wedding, much less 130! A shared opinion by many of my male friends). Nonetheless, I won't admit to having seen it all, but I have seen A LOT!

Also, the fact that I'm a thirty-three year old female yet to be married...well, I've paid attention and have made lots of UNOFFICIAL notes and comments and formed UNOFFICIAL opinions and thoughts over the years about the weddings I've attended. All of this with the expectation to use for "personal reference" in hopes of walking down the aisle myself one day...(Anyone know of any single fellas? Anyone?)...or to happily share the little bit of wedding wisdom I've gained with any soon-to-be bride. Anyway...

My "note-taking" all began with the first wedding I photographed in March of 2005 and continues today. I've created a sort of personal UNOFFICIAL running list of likes and dislikes of wedding and reception venues, bridal party gown styles and colors, flower bouquets and decor choices, bridal cake designs and tastes, to current wedding trends, etc.

Sidenote: I do have a strictly personal, unsolicited wedding vendor "favorites" list. Some are vendors I've worked closely with and respect their professionalism and work (Jim, of course you're included in this group); some I may not have personally worked with but am simply an admirer. I might be nice enough to share...with a select day... : )

Also, I've made consideration to the "unknowns" that almost never fail to occur at any given wedding at about any given time; even to the most well-planned, well-organized (OCD, as my friends like to call it) bride. In other words, the "I-should-have-broughts", "didn't-think-about-thats", and "I-needs". I plan to note such things later in this blog. Maybe I'll think of some cute way to identify these items. Maybe highlight them or put some blinking nonsense next to them. Or, maybe just a simple list of must-have items I've learned through experience.

I'm sure I'm leaving off so much more but it will eventually make its way into this blog in some form or fashion. As for the rest, I plan to include some exceptionally sweet moments I observe, some really funny ones, some "oh my gosh, that didn't just happen" ones (those usually happen at weddings/receptions that serve something other than tea and punch!), some very creative weddings, as well as, some very poorly planned instances in which my favorite phrase those working close by hear often "I wouldn't have (insert choice of wedding faux pas here)...but, it's NOT my wedding".

Thus, the idea behind the "unofficial" bride blog.

At the end of the day, I have hopes for this blog to mostly be entertaining, slightly informative for the soon-to-be married folks, somewhat nostalgic for the old married folks, and we shall see what direction it may take from here.

Happy reading!

-the unofficial bride

(Disclaimer: All information expressed in this blog is purely of the writer's opinion)

PS, I'm open to suggestions, comments, feedback, etc. so leave me a message!