This weekend was our official kick-off into the fall wedding season, and it was one for the ages. All three of us here at AKP were working within a few square miles of one another, and we kept crossing paths (Tiffany shooting in the park an hour after I left; Jeremy working on the same beach as me, but a few miles down; all three of us arriving at the studio to back up our photos at the same time, and sharing a celebratory glass of wine while we did so!).
All three of our weddings this weekend were stunning, but I am especially partial to the one planned by my gorgeous Signature clients, Caroline and Joiner.
This couple, living in Tuscaloosa but with family ties to the Gulf Coast, chose Pensacola as the host city for the nuptials, which brought in friends and family from far and wide. They started the day getting ready in Caroline’s mother’s beautiful condo at the Portofino Island Resort, overlooking the sparkling aqua waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier in the week, there had been talk of moving or postponing the wedding due to the threat of Hurricane Irma; and while everyone was aware and concerned about the impact the storm was making on the rest of the state, we were also joyful that our little corner of Florida was spared and that Caroline and Joiner’s wedding was able to proceed. This couple truly brought the best of the Emerald Coast into their wedding choices – the Gulf oyster was the theme and it was incorporated in so many chic ways. The bridesmaids’ dresses were an ethereal oyster color. The dance floor was topped with a bespoke, handmade oyster shell chandelier. The white wedding cake perched atop a oyster-shell cake stand. And of course, there were actual oysters as well! I know their guests enjoyed dining on multiple varieties of raw oysters, and they washed them down with Caroline’s signature cocktail (aptly named, “The Pearl”).
Honestly, this wedding was so pretty that I could have worn earplugs and still had a great time. But you know what made it perfect? The people. Caroline and Joiner were both kind and funny and genuinely so very happy to be married. Their families were absolutely lovely, and their friends undoubtedly had an amazing time dancing the night away under the white tent. And as if every detail of the day wasn’t already stellar, there was a surprise fireworks show over the water, casting shimmering light onto the bridal couple as they walked down the dock to their getaway boat (oh – there was also a getaway boat!). A spectacular end to a wonderful day.
SIGNATURE WEDDING COLLECTION // Principal Photographer: Aislinn // Second Shooter: Rachel O.
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
COORDINATION: Megan K. Events // GETTING READY VENUE: Portofino // CEREMONY: Old Christ Church // RECEPTION: Portofino // FLOWERS: Fiore // BAND: Big Bling and the Funk Machine (Atlanta, through Music Garden) // TROLLEY: Beach Bum Trolley // CAKES: Betty Weber // RENTALS: Soho // DRAPING + LINENS: Wedding Walls // OFFICIANT: Tonya Elmore (Enterprise First United Methodist Church) // HAIR: Brooke Miller // MAKEUP: Deshi // WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Romona Keveza // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: Ivory and White (Birmingham) // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS DESIGNER: Jenny Yoo // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: Bella Bridesmaids // GROOM’S SUIT SHOP: Mobley and Sons (Tuscaloosa) // GROOMSMEN’S SUIT SHOPS: Mobley and Sons (Tuscaloosa) // VIDEOGRAPHY: Lance Holloway // CATERING: Portofino // INVITATIONS: Ginger Bender // OYSTER BAR: The Wandering Oyster Bar (Beth and Bill Walton) // SPECIALTY COCKTAILS // DP Distillers (Johnny Culpepper) // PHOTOBOOTH: Epic Photobooth // BOAT: Portofino One // GUITAR: Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South) // VIOLINIST: Grace Kim // OYSTER CHANDELIERS, WELCOME SIGN, CANDELABRAS: Drift by Anne Lomax
I’ve had the pleasure of shooting in the Miramar Beach area for many years and I’ve also had the pleasure of shooting many, many beach house weddings, but I must say that Jenna and Greg’s Miramar Beach wedding was one of the most beautiful and intricate I’ve had the honor of being a part of. As destination weddings go, it was awesome to meet everyone (approximately 40 total) who traveled in to celebrate with the couple. For such a small and intimate wedding, the day certainly packed a punch with the perfectly blue skies for the ceremony, and the great weather sticking around through the night for the celebration on the Solaris Yacht.
Jenna had obviously put so much time, thought and effort into thinking of every detail imaginable, and would settle for nothing less than the very best for their wedding. I was so excited that Jenna decided to have a second dress to wear to the reception, giving us the opportunity to dip into the water a bit for some dramatic photos. They had custom hangers for all Jenna’s bridesmaids to match their custom mint green robes. They also had custom place settings for all the bridal party and custom mason jars for all guests to enjoy “for the night for whatever tastes right.” Did I mention the starfish? There were lots and lots of starfish used as décor for the chairs, the invitations, the wedding cake, and much more.
Everyone had a great time celebrating with the couple, and it’s always fun to be on a yacht with fun people. I’m very grateful to have been entrusted with capturing so many of Jenna’s ideas and hard work brought to life. Congratulations to Jenna and Greg! We wish you all the happiness!
ASSOCIATE WEDDING // Principal Photographer: Jeremy // Second Shooter: Grace
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
COORDINATION: Sunquest Cruises-Solaris (Julie) // GETTING READY VENUE: Beach House // CEREMONY: Gulf Paradise Beach House // RECEPTION: Sunquest Cruises-Solaris Yacht // FLOWERS: Sunquest Cruises-Solaris // CEREMONY MUSIC: Sunquest Cruises-Solaris // DJ: Sunquest Cruises-Solaris // TRANSPORTATION: Sunshine Shuttle // CAKES: Bellarella (Lindsay) // OFFICIANT: Captain Joe Townsend // HAIR: Allison Sardina // WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Justin Alexander / Lillian West // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: White Traditions Bridal (St. Charles, MO) // BRIDAL ACCESSORIES: Etsy // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS DESIGNER: Azazie // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: Azazie // GROOMSSUIT DESIGNER: Tesso Alba // GROOMS SUIT SHOPS: Macy’s // VIDEOGRAPHY: Storylive // CATERING: Sunquest Cruises-Solaris // INVITATIONS: Minted
So let’s be honest – Bridget and Ben are pretty much adorable. I’ve known Bridget for about a year (she works for an event planner here in Pensacola!). She is always smiling, is genuinely excited about her job, and is so, so nice to be around. When she got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Ben (a pilot training in Pensacola), we cheered here at our studio!
When she asked us to photograph her wedding – at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado – we were ecstatic (and a little bit honored!).
Bridget and Ben are planning their Colorado wedding for July, but they popped into our studio for a classic engagement session this week. I offered them a drink when they arrived, and they cemented their role as my favorite couple when they admitted to indulging in mimosas before they arrived (I order my mimosas without the orange juice, so I love a fellow champagner!). We spent some time shooting around our porch and in our garden . . . and then a good, old-fashioned Florida summer thunderstorm rolled through. Bridget and Ben didn’t let that interfere. We grabbed some umbrellas from the studio, marched outside, and kept on going. I truly had a great time photographing this session, and I’m even more excited now to spend a weekend in July with Bridget and Ben in Colorado for their wedding!
CLASSIC ENGAGEMENT SESSION // Photographer: Aislinn
The Hilton at Pensacola Beach is a very popular spot in this area for so many reasons, especially this time of year. Our beaches on the gulf are ridiculously beautiful this time of year with all of the refreshing greens and blues your eyes could possibly stand. Our beaches are also known for the amazing white crystal sand that always feels so wonderful on your feet. These very sands are where Shannan and Stephanie chose to sink their feet as they joined in holy matrimony.
Shannan and Stephanie were joined and surrounded by so many family members and friends. From what I gathered, everyone was from out of town. I think a majority came in all the way from Texas. There was a good chance that rain may take over the beach, and the ceremony would’ve been moved indoors. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, and everything went as planned. We almost got through all of the portraits before the rain began, but luckily everything cleared up for us to go out and capture the couple on the glorious waterfront before the sun went down completely.
Darrin and his team at the Hilton did a fabulous job working with the couple and keeping everything seamless, even with the risky weather factor. Charlie, the DJ for the night, kept everything light and fun at the reception. Congratulations, Shannan and Stephanie! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be part of your beautiful wedding.
ASSOCIATE WEDDING COLLECTION // Principal Photographer: Jeremy // Assistant: Rachel O.
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
GETTING READY VENUE: Hilton Pensacola Beach // CEREMONY: Hilton Pensacola Beach // RECEPTION: Hilton Pensacola Beach // FLOWERS: Fiore // CEREMONY MUSIC: Charlie Roberts // DJ: Charlie Roberts // CAKES: Sweet Creations by Sharon // RENTALS: Lough Tide // OFFICIANT: Rev. Jim Merritt Holy Cross MCC Church // HAIR: Fusion // MAKEUP: Fusion // WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Catherine Deane // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: BHLDN // CATERING: Hilton Pensacola Beach // INVITATIONS: Wedding Paper Divas