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Heather + Franklin // An Art Deco-Inspired Charlottesville Wedding

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They say that the invitation completely sets the tone for an event, so when I opened the one that Heather and Franklin sent me for their wedding, I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped. Or maybe squealed. Either way, it was dramatic. ;) If I had to judge anything about their wedding based on the gold-scalloped envelope lining or the gorgeous pale pink, dark grey, and gold color palette alone, I imagined it would be a Gatsby-worthy kind of party. And ohhh, how very right I was!

I already knew Heather and Franklin had crazy good style from the Mad Men-inspired engagement session we did in Los Angeles last year, and I’ve gotten to know them from other weddings I’ve shot in their group of friends. But the best part about spending the weekend with them in Charlottesville, Virginia for their wedding was witnessing their story being pieced together by the emotional speeches, funny stories told by friends and family, and the vows they spoke to each other. I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version: these two have known each other since they were kids and their families have always been extremely close, but they didn’t start dating until Heather was in college. They’ve been inseparable for the past 10 or so years, and this wedding had been in the making for a long time. There were plenty of happy tears to prove it.

One of my favorite moments was during Franklin’s mother’s speech, when she talked about Franklin and Heather’s group of friends, many of whom are originally from Charlottesville and went to school together, and now live in Los Angeles working in the film and television industry in one way or another. She said they were so remarkable because most kids only *dream* of going to Hollywood, and they actually made it happen. Together. Yes, I had chills and may or may not have been shedding a tear or two behind the camera. :)

Anyway, I’ll spare you any more of my gushing and get on with the photos. But first, I have to give a HUGE shout out to Meredith Sledge, who is based in Virginia and so graciously agreed to second shoot for me. She was amazing! And we loved working with coordinator-extraordinaire Dickie Morris of Just a Little Ditty, who made sure the day ran smoothly (even with a ceremony rain delay!) and every detail came together perfectly. It was also great to meet and work alongside local cinematographers Shaking Hands Productions all day!

Oh, and before we get to the wedding, I just have to share a few portraits we did of Heather and Franklin before their rehearsal dinner. Yes, their rehearsal dinner. They are just that stylish! :)

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Huge thanks to Lora Kelley for her incredible hair and makeup skills!

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So is Heather pretty much a supermodel or what?

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Castle Hill Cider was an absolutely stunning venue to shoot at. Such a perfect rustic yet modern space for a wedding like this!

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The tears! Can’t even handle it!

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The cocktail hour was so much fun! They served oysters out of a huge rowboat and had a step-and-repeat red carpet photo booth as a nod to their careers. Despite the drizzly weather, I think Jay Gatsby would’ve approved. ;)

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And now, for one of my favorite aspects of the whole day: the DECOR! It was incredible to see Heather’s Southern-rustic-meets-Hollywood-glam vision come to life. From the custom table runners created by her friend Caroline Hurley (whose work has recently been featured on the likes of Design*Sponge and DesignLoveFest) to the table “numbers” based on their favorite TV shows (which coincidentally were most of my favorites too, from Breaking Bad to Friday Night Lights to 30 Rock), every detail was so well thought-out and executed. LOVED all the rustic wood with the gold and sparkles and peachy-pink florals. Perfection!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. California knows how to party. :)

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I couldn’t let the reception end without getting a photo with all of my past couples from this group of friends. From left to right: Lane and Susan (whose Salt Lake City wedding started it all), Clay and Mary (whose wedding I shot at the Smog Shoppe in L.A. last year), and of course me and Franklin and Heather. I posted this one on my Facebook page and talked about how ridiculously happy it made me, and how honored I am to have been trusted time and again with these wonderful weddings across the country. It’s the best feeling to see familiar faces when I shoot weddings. Love these guys!

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Congratulations Heather and Franklin! It was such a joy to capture your incredible weekend!

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Lorraine - Wow. Not a detail left undone, and that venue!! Great couple, and beautifully captured. One of your best, M!

It’s true, Lane and Susan are kind of celebrities in my mind because they were the wedding that came up when I googled Utah-unique-wedding-photographer-vintage, and found you. I remember wondering, “How I could possibly be tearing up looking at the wedding of complete strang- OMG A WOOLY MAMMOTH SHE IS HIRED.” And that was kind of that. :)

Melanie Harris - BRAVO!

Kayla F - What an absolutey exquisite affair! Not only was their wedding just uber beautiful, but the images are perfect! Such a wonderful mix of journalistic and editorial. Just a lovely post!

Kayla F - What an absolutely exquisite affair! Not only was their wedding just uber beautiful, but the images are perfect! Such a wonderful mix of journalistic and editorial. Just a lovely post!

katie - Woman – you kill me! These are so gorgeous and so perfect. Heather and Franklin are movie star beautiful as was everything about their wedding. Nice call on Charlottesville. I really should visit that place more often. Next family session should totally be up there. ;)

Kelly Cummings - So jealous of everything about this wedding! That venue is just divine, and obviously I fully approve of all of the art deco details. Love all of the natural light, the cakes, and that gorgeous dress! Awesome job as always!

Carrie Joy + Tanner // A Birthday Session

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This session right here pretty much sums up the beauty of the internet. For all its annoyances and frustrations (helloooo, Facebook procrastination!), it has enabled me to connect with people I might not have ever met otherwise. Carrie Joy is one of those people. She’s a photographer who lives in the Atlanta area, but we began emailing back and forth and following each other’s work awhile back. She second shot Laura and Bryant’s Pine Mountain wedding with me (where we gorged on amazing food and flipped out over how charming that town is) and has since visited me in Birmingham a couple of times. (Last time I introduced her to the magic of Amelié over a bottle of white wine, and since we both love all things French, needless to say, it was a hit.)

So when she emailed to say that she and her husband Tanner wanted to plan a trip to Birmingham for her birthday last month, and that she wanted me to do some photos of the two of them to celebrate (and for her to use for her soon-to-be-revealed rebranding), I was all over it. She told me her new colors were going to be turquoise, mustard yellow, and watermelon red and asked for input for locations, and the first place that popped into my mind was my very favorite local lunch spot, O’Carr’s. (My friend Kelly and I eat lunch there together seriously once a week. And we don’t need menus because they know we’re getting the chicken salad and fruit plate every single time. haha.) Anyway, the colors of their chairs are exactly what CJ had in mind, and when I sent her photos to see what she thought, she LOVED it because it also reminded her of a hole-in-the-wall French café. We had a killing-two-birds-with-one-stone situation on our hands. :) So we met there for lunch (where we were also treated to a slice of their famous hot chocolate cheesecake as a thanks for bringing in out-of-towners… gah, I LOVE the South), and as the crowd cleared out, we seized the opportunity for a few photos. We then spent the rest of the afternoon hitting up a couple of my other favorite Bham spots, Pepper Place and Steel City Pops, and ended up at the botanical gardens as the sun was beginning to set. It was perfect!

These two are ridiculously cute together, and I hope you enjoy this peek into our day! I love my friends, and I love my city!

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elle Danielle - Love the picture of them at O’Carr’s!