elizabeth gelineau



Mobile bay area wedding photographer

Rachel + William | Married


June 23, 2021

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A St. Ignatius Catholic Church Wedding

The sanctuary was filled with the smell of incense as William and his groomsmen processed down the aisle along with the priests who were officiating the Nuptial Mass. The thick cloud of smoke slowly rising toward the ceiling immediately reminded me of my childhood, as our pastor at the parish I grew up in always used incense at the high Mass on Sunday mornings. When the doors opened for the bride’s grand entrance, I turned to take a photo of William seeing his bride for the first time and it looked as if Rachel had quite literally taken his breath away.

As Rachel came down the aisle, I could see her sweet smile from underneath the blusher on her veil. Even though the church was full of their family and friends, it seemed that they only saw each other. I always love capturing ceremony moments – the fleeting nature of them is what got me hooked on wedding photography in the first place. They truly are the heart of the wedding day!

A Tropical Forecast

I always play extra close attention to the weather forecast during a wedding week. Having a backup plan ready for portraits just in case you need it is definitely a must around here. It rains a lot in Mobile, especially in the summer. When I saw a tropical system was headed our way the week of Rachel and William’s wedding, I knew it was time to think about backup location plans for portraits. The chance of rain was 80 percent. Yikes!

Knowing how our Gulf Coast weather can change on a dime, I said extra prayers it wouldn’t be a wash out. I was thankful that both the ceremony and reception would be indoors, but I knew that indoor portraits were likely not what Rachel was envisioning for her wedding day. I was prepared to take photos indoors all day if needed. My team and I toted extra lighting equipment and rain gear with us to each location just in case. I seriously felt like I should have purchased a rolling cart to contain all of our stuff! My thought was that if we were prepared we might not have to use all the rain gear.

While it did rain on Saturday, it did so at all the right times. Each time we were taking a break from portraits to transition from one set of photos to another, it rained. It rained before the ceremony and stopped just in time for all post ceremony portraits to be taken in natural light, outside of the beautiful St. Ignatius Catholic Church. When we slipped out of the reception for Golden Hour portraits, we discovered a rainbow had appeared! I still can’t get over that it was there at the exact time we chose to go outside for sunset photos!

An Evening Reception at the Riverview Plaza Hotel

After a beautiful nuptial Mass at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, everyone headed downtown for an evening reception at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel. I love a ballroom reception in the summer! Everyone stays nice and cool all evening long. When Rachel and William took the dance floor for their first dance, I knew we were going to be in for some photogenic moments and we were! I also loved that during the first half of the reception Rachel and William, along with several of their young friends, were gliding across the dance floor showcasing old-school dancing moves while Frank Sinatra music played over the speakers. This is not something you see often!

At the end of the night, everyone lined up outside for a grand sparkler exit! As the newly Mr. and Mrs. Charnock drove away, I smiled at what a wonderful day this was – rain and all! If it hadn’t been for the clouds and periodic showers, we might have a had a much hotter day. Without the rain, we most definitely wouldn’t have had a rainbow be part of sunset photos. Rain might stress out many a bride on their wedding day, but not Rachel. She was so calm and laid back the entire day, even when the wind got crazy and we thought it was going to pull her veil out of her head (bridesmaids to the rescue!).

Rachel and William, thank you for letting me and my team share in the joy of this day with you and your families! May God bless you with many years of happiness together!

I love these two black and white photos taken by my second photographer, Alexis, shortly before the ceremony. The bride’s room at St. Ignatius is such a pretty space and also lovely for some extra bridal portraits!

I also love this photo that my assistant, Regina, took just before Rachel walked down the aisle!


Photography by Elizabeth Gelineau

Second Photographer | Alexis Williams

Photographer Assistants | Regina Gomez-Guillen and Lauren Hodges

Planning | Tori Oetken – Bella Victoria Events

Florist | Belle Bouquet

Cake | Flour Girls Bakery

Ceremony | St. Ignatius Catholic Church

Catering + Reception | Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel

Makeup Artist | Jessica Chavez Price

Hair Stylist | Angela O’Brien

Band | Black Jacket

Bride’s Gown + Bridesmaid Dresses | I Do Bridal and Formal

Calligrapher | Kathy Navia

  1. Karen Charnock says:

    What a fabulous weekend! Enjoyed sharing this special time with family and friends.

    Rachel and William are blessed to have the love and support from all.

    May God bless and keep you all the days of your lives.

  2. Louise Rose Rita Frederick Flood says:

    Absolutely amidst blessed day. Family & friends praying all week for a beautiful day for the couple. The sunshine at the right moments witness to their future life together trusting in the Lord. May the future be as breathtaking as this day was. God bless you with fortitude & His Joy.
    I was there , in your paternal grandparents, Gerry & Donald ‘Wayne’ Wagnon I, place,
    Love, Great Aunt Louise Frederick Flood

  3. […] first met Natalie at her sister’s wedding last year! I remember thinking at Rachel and William’s wedding reception that if Natalie and Joseph ever got married they’d be a fun couple to […]

  4. […] we returned to the Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile for dinner and dancing. I remembered from Natalie’s sister’s wedding in 2021 that she and Joseph love to dance. I also hoped they’d break into the band’s set at […]

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