it may have seemed unexpected, even crazy, but she came home from their first date and told her mom, i just spent the evening with the man i’m going to marry. little did she know at the time that his heart raced every bit as much as hers did when she was around and it didn’t take long for them to both know that her prediction was going to come true. shortly after the last day of the calendar was torn away, he put a ring on her finger and asked her to be his.
london and craig, it’s been so sweet as i’ve watched your story unfold and i’m honored that i was able to be a part of your gorgeous wedding on the bay!! much love, my friends!
it unfolded a little differently than usual. with his work schedule and her finishing law school at LSU, there wasn’t much time for a meet and greet in birmingham. so i sat down to coffee with her mom and we chatted through the vision they had for their wedding photography. after an hour or so of talking over the details, i felt like i left with a pretty good sense of who they are individually and as a couple, and i couldn’t wait until we could actually meet face-to-face.
several months passed and life began to slow to a manageable pace so we made plans to sit down as a group at the same coffee house where i’d first met with her mom. and much to my delight, after just a few minutes of talking together, it felt like i was catching up with old friends. we joked, we laughed, and in response to their story of meeting while studying in france, i shared my enthralling story of meeting my husband in homewood, al. i left our coffee date that day knowing that we would all make a great team for what promised to be their exquisite wedding day.
kierstyn and david, i truly loved every minute of shooting your wedding day and spending that time with you, your families, and friends. you make life fun for everyone around you, and i’m thankful to have had the honor of sharing in your beautiful first day of marriage. (oh, and mrs. mosco…we might have taken a headless shot or two throughout the day. am i fired?)
congratulations to the new mr. and mrs. viviano!!
with special thanks…
ceremony venue: st. mark the evangelist catholic church
floral design: dorothy mcdaniel’s flower market
reception venue: renaissance ross bridge golf resort and spa
catering: renaissance ross bridge golf resort and spa
cake artist: CT cakes
entertainment: nationwide coverage
photography: allison lewis photography (with justin poland)
when she mentioned wanting to have a hot air balloon for their engagement session, i’ll be honest…i might have done a herkie in my office (google it if you don’t know what that is…and then giggle when you imagine me doing it). i was in love with the concept and couldn’t wait to shoot with them against the landscape of such a massive and colorful “prop”. and while i was thrilled with the results of that session, i left that evening even more excited about the photographs that i knew would come out of their wedding day. you see, while the hot air balloon was great, rachel and david together are far more fun and amazing…they’re absolutely magnetic.
david looked perfectly dapper in his vest and handcrafted boutonniere, surrounded by his best friends…
but he was hard-pressed to outshine his gorgeous bride. seriously, i could have shot with this beauty and her fabulous sisters and bridesmaids all. day. long.
now i know you’ll be shocked to hear this from me, but rachel and david’s private first look together, while wonderful and beautiful, wasn’t my favorite part of the day. that came a few hours later when they stood before a throng of their family and friends and committed their lives to one another in covenant marriage.
yes, light-hearted laughter abounded…
but as their minister spoke to them from 2 corinthians 12 about gladly spending themselves for one another in their marriage, his words sank deep into fertile soil that was beautifully prepared for the charge.
and then…to celebrate!!
david and rachel, i pray that your wedding day was as much a blessing to you as it was to those who were able to surround you in love and support. much love and many, many years of precious marriage to you!!
with many thanks…
wedding planner: ann marie leveille of trés beau weddings and special events
ceremony and reception venue: alabama 4-H center
bride’s gown: carriage house
floral design: alison funk
catering: jim ‘n nick’s
dessert: steel city pops
photography: allison lewis photography (with trusty sidekick, anna wamsted)
as i watched them interact throughout the day, i couldn’t help but think how different it was. different than the way the movies tell you it should be, different than the way the world tells you it should be. oh yes, they had the sparks…he couldn’t keep his eyes off of her and she turned almost school-girlish in her expressions when she caught him in the act.
but it went so much deeper than that. after sharing with them one of the most important days they’ll ever have together and hearing their hushed whispers when activity swirled around them, i know that he loves her for the beauty that lies far beneath a pretty gown on a pretty girl. and she loves him not because of what he does for her but because but because of how she was created to joyfully serve in their new life together. kyle and kelli, i so appreciate your asking me to join you for your beautiful wedding day…it was an honor for me to take these photographs. much love to you!
(this, men, is how your bride wants you to look at her on your wedding day. it’s clear that he had never seen any woman more beautiful than the one he saw standing before him at this moment…sigh.)
with special thanks…
ceremony and reception venue: southern magnolia
floral design: stephanie’s designs
catering: southern sweets
cake artist: southern sweets
photography: allison lewis photography (with the fabulous justin poland)
question: who knows where wetumpka, al is?
answer: I DO, I DO!!
i’ll be honest, i don’t know that i had ever even heard of wetumpka before brooke asked me about shooting her engagement session there. i wasn’t sure what to expect since you never really know what you’re going to find when you visit small town, USA (much love to small towns by the way…i grew up in a great one), so i was thrilled as i drove into wetumpka and found a darling little two-lane main street with an awesome bridge spanning across a beautiful river. i loved my first trip there and am ecstatic about visiting again on WEDDING DAY!
and you know what? this girl is going to make an incredibly beautiful bride. thank you, brooke and matthew, for asking me to be a part of what i know will be a fabulous wedding this fall. i can’t wait!
i walked into the second-floor room of the weeden house where she and her bridesmaids were dressing. she turned to see me and exclaimed, oh gosh…you’re not nine months pregnant anymore!! laura extended one of the greatest honors i think a photographer can receive in that after working with me for hour after hour as a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding, she chose me to be the photographer for her own wedding a year later. and as if that wasn’t enough of a treat, the fabulous bride whose wedding we met at stole away from her busy double-life as a med student and photographer to join me for the day as my second-shooter.
laura and steven had a gorgeous wedding day with a ceremony in the garden of the weeden house and a reception following in the grand hall of the earlyworks children’s museum in the historic district of downtown huntsville.
laura and steven, thank you so much for choosing me to be a part of your wedding day. everything was just perfect, and i’m so happy i was able to share it all with you!!
with special thanks…
ceremony venue: the weeden house
reception venue: earlyworks’ grand hall
bride’s gown: vera wang
bride’s jewelry and belt: swarovski
makeup artist: made ya blush
wedding planner: lydia drennan
florist: in bloom floral design studio
catering: creative catering
cake artist: creative catering
reception entertainment: music machine
photography: allison lewis photography (with jessica sparks photography)
* looking for photographs of amazing couples and beautiful brides? please come back soon…
today’s post is a deeply personal, letting-you-into-the-inner-workings-of-my-heart type of story.*
it’s happened more than once recently. i’ve sat down at my computer or television to catch up on the latest happenings in our country and have felt a slow sadness creep into my being. with each new account or photo, my heart’s been burdened with what i see or hear of happening around me. bombings in boston and tornados in oklahoma…plainly put, i hurt over the hurt.
but there’s one storyline in particular that leaves me in tears each and every time.
i’ve sat on the couch and gripped the remote as policymakers on both sides of the issue have battled in heated debate…and i’ve sat on the couch and held the hand of more than one woman as she’s battled the decision she did or didn’t make. it’s not a new story; in fact, it’s made its way in and out of the headlines for decades now, but over the past year, its burden has laid more and more heavily on my husband and me. it was clear to us what we didn’t want our response to be – lofty judgment, hate, and condemnation – but it was harder to see through the murky waters of relative ethics to know what path we wanted to take. so we prayed. and if you will, i’d love the opportunity to humbly share how the lord answered our pleas for wisdom and direction…
as believers, if we marvel at the creation of life by the Creator’s hand and in his image (psalm 139:13, genesis 1:27), then is our mere sadness over its early end sufficient to affect change? does a heart heavy or broken over a body taken from the womb in which it’s been fearfully and wonderfully made defend even a single life (psalm 82:3)?
to value life, it’s not enough to simply oppose its taking.
i’ll be honest, that was a big pill for my husband and me to swallow. it’s far easier to have an opinion than it is to have a plan of action, and the majority of our marriage has been marked by inactive silence on this issue. but through countless conversations and much more prayer, our path has become abundantly clear before us…
by god’s grace and for his glory, the lewis family is thrilled to announce that we’re adopting again!!
yep, we’re officially about to have a passel of sweet blessings (and by passel, i mean too many to fit into our already rockin’ swagger wagon). the little ones have spent the past few months excitedly debating boy vs. girl and offering their best suggestions on names (adding the number 2 to existing children’s names got lovingly shot down). we haven’t yet been matched with a birthmother so the details on what this will ultimately look like are fuzzy at best, but we covet your prayers for us and especially the woman that might soon learn of the one growing inside her.
so what does the family portrait have to do with anything? the day is coming soon that a woman will sit down and look at a host of options before her, and we’re asking the lord to put us in communion and fellowship with the one who will see our family and decide that, contrary to what she might have originally planned, we are her Choice.
this is just one idea in a sea of many, many ways to be a part of Life.
i’d love to hear your thoughts on more ways to be involved…
i asked where she thought they might like to shoot their engagement session and she answered without hesitation…vulcan. i knew that’s where he’d proposed but what i didn’t know until we met there earlier this week was the rest of the history behind that location and their relationship.
it had proven to be a difficult time for them – not because one of them loved the other any less or something had gone wrong – but living so far apart was taking its toll. as they walked around vulcan park, he began to let the strain pour out – the distance, the lack of dedicated time together, everything. and what one might expect to be a reaction of defense and frustration was anything but. she looked up at him and asked just one question…what do you need from me? and from that point on, he knew everything was going to be ok.
alicia and jacob, i absolutely adored my time with you during your engagement session and it makes me all the more excited for your wedding this summer. much love to you, my friends!
by the time i drove away from their hotel saturday night, i felt the same sweet familiarity that you would expect from several friends who’ve known each other for ages. yes, we met long before their wedding day when they interviewed me early last year as a potential wedding photographer, and i had the opportunity to shoot their engagement session in the fall. but really, i’m not sure that either of those things has that much to do with it. haley and taylor are just two of those people that are impossible not to love, and every time i’m around them, i find myself wanting to stay with them longer.
and if you don’t believe me on their fabulous-factor, take a look at the photos from their first look at mathews manor (and then, brides and grooms, go ahead and schedule your own first look because seriously, people, this depth of emotion canNOT be captured in any other setting)…
so here’s one of the best stories of the day…
anna and i snuck over to the location where i was planning to do haley and taylor’s first look so we could get our ducks in a row as to where we would each stand to give them the most privacy while still being able to capture all the smiles, laughs, and tears that were sure to come. as we walked around, i looked at the fields surrounding the area i’d chosen and thought, man, that would be a gorgeous place for photos! too bad haley’s in her wedding gown and would never go out there with all the brush and the bugs.
we shot a few portrait shots and then sweet haley walked over and said, al, would it be ok if we went out there in the weeds and took some photos? yep, that’s all it took. she had officially reached dream-bride status…spiders in her dress and all. (although i still prefer to call it tall grass over weeds…makes it more likely i can convince another gal to do the same sometime.)
the only thing more wonderful than knowing and loving haley and taylor is knowing and loving them as husband and wife. what had earlier promised to be a terrible, rainy day ended up being a gorgeous, sunny afternoon…ideal for their outdoor ceremony.
then came one of those gorgeous moments when everything came together so perfectly. they walked away from the alter where they were married to the stone bridge not far away where taylor stopped to once again kiss his new wife.
haley and taylor, i really do just adore the two of you. i pray that i’m able to bless my sweet couples in some small way throughout their wedding day, but in all honesty, you blessed me and anna far beyond what we could have possibly done for you. much love!! (and you’re on your honeymoon, haley…get off of facebook!!)