I met Jenna and Shalin over a year ago, when this Houston couple dropped by our studio to chat about the possibility of me photographing their Pensacola wedding. Honestly, I meet a lot of people, but this couple really stood out. I remember thinking that not only did I want to photograph their wedding, but I wanted to be Jenna’s friend! She has a warmth and enthusiasm about her that truly lights up a room, and her friendliness makes you feel like you are genuinely the most important person to her at that moment – and it feels REAL because she MEANS it.
Fast forward to the weekend before last at one of my favorite venues (Pensacola Country Club weddings are seriously my favorite). We arrived and went immediately to the suite where Jenna and her bridesmaids were preparing, and were greeted with applause and squeals of delight as soon as we opened the door. (A girl could get used to that, by the way!) The day continued with the same excitement and beauty. The rainy and gloomy weather cleared up just in time for the outdoor ceremony under the giant live oak on the 18th hole, overlooking the blue waters of Pensacola Bay. The sun peeked through the clouds just as the ceremony began, casting a symbolic and actual golden glow around the proceedings. I love ceremonies full of tears, as well as those rife with laughter – Jenna and Shalin’s had both. The overwhelming feeling they conveyed was true and intense joy to marry, and this was clearly echoed by their families (many of whom were visiting Florida from Shalin’s native India just to witness the wedding)!
After a swoon-worthy bride and groom portrait session, the reception kicked off with a bang. The dance floor was full all night long with a mixture of American and Indian music for this multicultural wedding, and I’m pretty sure I had a grin on my face the entire night. Thank you so much, Jenna and Shalin, for trusting me to document your day. It was absolutely my pleasure!
Principal Photographer: Aislinn // Second Shooter: Rachel W. // Assistant: Matisse
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
COORDINATION: Sara Gillianne // GETTING READY VENUE: Pensacola Country Club // CEREMONY: Pensacola Country Club // RECEPTION: Pensacola Country Club // FLOWERS: Ellen Beauchamp // BAND: Heart to Heart // TRANSPORTATION: Dreamcatcher Shuttle // CAKES: Betty Weber // OFFICIANT: Kevin Tilman // HAIR: Colleen Williams with Moonflower Salon // MAKEUP: Sydney Kressin with Moonflower Salon // WEDDING GOWN: Essense of Australia // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: Weddings by Debbie (Houston) // BRIDAL ACCESSORIES: Badgley Mischka // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: Bella Bridesmaids // VIDEOGRAPHY: Storylive Productions // CATERING: Pensacola Country Club // INVITATIONS: Lolalouie Paperie
So, obviously, we talk about downtown Pensacola a lot on this blog (because it’s awesome). It isn’t huge, so many of our downtown Pensacola weddings showcase the same locations. Shana and Brad’s wedding was especially fun because it felt different than most weddings I photograph. Their venues were more unusual, their vibe and aesthetic was a little funkier, and I loved every second of it.
From the first moment I stepped into the salon where Shana and her bridesmaids were preparing, I knew I was in for a treat. Time for truth – usually, when clients are getting ready inside of a salon, I die a little inside because most salons (no matter how cool and beautifully they are designed), aren’t set up with photography in mind. Window light is normally nonexistent, and there are naturally tons of distractions in the space, which can make it challenging to make gorgeous photos of the bride. Cobalt Studio definitely broke this rule. This funky little salon doesn’t even have a sign, is word-of-mouth only, and is tucked unobtrusively into a vintage shopping strip right downtown (seriously, our studio is maybe half a mile away and I didn’t know it existed). It’s full of vintage mid-century pieces, collectibles, and live plants everywhere. It was the perfect start.
From the salon, we moved to the Museum of Commerce, which is a uniquely-Pensacola indoor museum, built to look like a Pensacola city street from 100 years ago. There’s a cable car, working stop light, and antique store facades lining each wall. Shana and Brad set up tables for their guests under the market lights, and were married against a backdrop of a vintage newspaper printing company. It was the perfect amount of humor and personality for this couple, who were truly lovely (and incredibly and obviously in love). Congrats!
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHER: Aislinn // SECOND SHOOTER: Rachel W.
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
COORDINATION: Deona Hooker // GETTING READY VENUE: Cobalt and the Pensacola Grand Hotel // CEREMONY: Museum of Commerce // RECEPTION: Museum of Commerce // FLOWERS: Anna Mohrbacher // CEREMONY MUSIC: A DJ Connection // DJ: A DJ Connection // CAKES: Betty Weber // RENTALS: Culinary Production // OFFICIANT: Jason Leger // HAIR: Cobalt // MAKEUP: Lauren Mitchell // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: David’s Bridal // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: David’s Bridal // VIDEOGRAPHY: Ryan Cunningham // CATERING: Culinary Production // INVITATIONS: Retrocrix (Crixtina)
I am by nature a nurturer and there is little more in life that I enjoy more than taking care of people in one form or another, so it’s no surprise that one of my primary “love languages” is acts of service. What is sometimes surprising is meeting someone like Kara who is so much the same way, even on her wedding day when really, it should be her receiving the attention.
When my second shooter and I walked into the room where Kara and her bridesmaids were getting ready, we were immediately surprised with gifts of our favorite candy and the most adorable, handcrafted Starbuck’s cups containing gift cards for each of us with personal “thank you for being my photographer” notes attached. And you might think that was the highlight of our day (because coffee and chocolate!!), but it wasn’t. In fact, it was just the very tip of the iceberg of what was an incredible day for two wonderful people, full of so many amazing moments and details.
From discovering a sweet, handwritten message on the bottom of her wedding shoes from her husband to be and seeing each of their guests names individually written on their glasses for the night, to Kara walking down the aisle to The Princess Bride theme and the wedding party making their entrance in fun Halloween masks – at every turn there was a moment or detail that brought on happy tears and laughter. Wedding days are often huge events with so much attention showered on the couple, but Kara and Daniel went out of their way to take care of each other, their guests, and vendors. Truly, it was such a special day and such a joy to be a part of.
Kara and Daniel, thank you so much for trusting us with these memories! Cheers to your beautiful “mawwage.”
ASSOCIATE COLLECTION // Principal Photographer: Tiffany // Second Shooter: Rachel W.
PROFESSIONALS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN:
CEREMONY: Palafox Wharf // RECEPTION: Palafox Wharf // FLOWERS: Flowerama // DJ: Tom Schwarz // CAKES: Nouveau Pastries & Catering – Paulette Martin // OFFICIANT: Matthew Cotton // HAIR: Hannah Snyder // WEDDING GOWN DESIGNER: Stella York // WEDDING GOWN BRIDAL SHOP: The Bridal Loft // BRIDAL ACCESSORIES: The Bridal Loft // BRIDESMAIDS DRESS SHOP: David’s Bridal // GROOMSMEN’S SUIT SHOPS: Men’s Wearhouse // CATERING: Nouveau Pastries & Catering – Paulette Martin // INVITATIONS: Minted
Remember last week when I write about our Classic Sessions (if you don’t remember, then check out Anna and Bobby’s post HERE!). Well, sometimes our clients want to shoot the session somewhere different, and that’s exactly what Kate and Taylor decided. This gorgeous couple lives on 30A, and they wanted their engagement session to represent one of their favorite places – Grayton Beach State Park. We spent an absolutely lovely afternoon exploring this very special park. There were tall coastal grasses, glowing with sunlight (and blooming for the only time all year with an explosion of golden flowers). We strolled down a nature trail, weaving through a tunnel made of tree roots, lush with undergrowth. As the sun started to slip below the horizon, the beach was the prettiest shades of blues and blushes and creams. Kate and Taylor splashed in the surf and canoodled at the foot of the sand dunes, under the sea oats waving in the tall breeze. In all, a perfect afternoon.
But you know what was even better than the scenery at the 30A engagement session? Kate and Taylor. They were fun, willing to do anything I suggested (including sitting amidst stickers and sandspurs), and had a great sense of humor. Kate is lovely and graceful, and Taylor laughed at all my jokes and made plenty of his own. All in all, I left this session SO EXCITED about their wedding later this year!
ENGAGEMENT SESSION // Principal Photographer: Aislinn