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I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

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Open Post

The Organized Bride Series Do you want to share a First Look with your groom ahead of your ceremony? I pose this question to every bride who does a consultation with me. It’s one of the most important questions to know the answer to up front because this one decision affects so much on your […]

April 22, 2020

The Organized Bride Series

Do you want to share a First Look with your groom ahead of your ceremony? I pose this question to every bride who does a consultation with me. It’s one of the most important questions to know the answer to up front because this one decision affects so much on your wedding day. First, let me start by saying this: there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to answering this question. The answer, however, does have an impact on your wedding day timeline and your wedding day photographs. This is why it’s important to think about whether or not you’re open to a First Look before you embark on planning too many details.

If you saw the title of this post and thought, “First Look, no way,” I totally understand your feelings, but I also encourage you to read on! This post is for all brides, those who choose to share a First Look with their groom, as well as those who choose to save the grand reveal for the aisle!

 

It All Comes Down to Sunlight

While I regularly use artificial lighting during certain parts of a wedding day, I consider myself a natural light photographer. My wedding and portrait style is defined by natural light, which means the bulk of the images I take on a wedding day utilize daylight. If it rains, or there is another need to take photos inside, it is something I can definitely do, but it’s not the style of shooting that feels most natural.

My brides come to me for timeless and natural looking images that capture the joy of their wedding day. The minute I’m setting up lighting for a portrait, things have to be a bit more controlled. Understanding this difference is hugely important!

Because my work has a brighter style and that is what I consistently deliver to my clients, it’s important for them to know what time the sun will set on their wedding day. Without the sunlight, I cannot create natural light images. Does that mean I can’t work on a cloudy day? Not at all! Even when it’s cloudy we can utilize the sunlight – it will just be softened by the clouds, which can be a good thing depending on where we’re shooting and the time of day we’re there.

It does mean that if you’re getting married at 6pm and sunset is at 5pm that you will not have natural light portraits with your groom if you don’t share a First Look. Yikes! That sounds harsh, but it’s just the nature of natural light.

I love a dramatic nighttime portrait, but those types of shots are not the bulk of what I create for my clients. I consider them icing on the cake shots!

What if You Don’t Want to Share A First Look?

What if you don’t want to share a First Look? That’s totally fine! Just know that deciding not to share a First Look might mean you should reconsider your ceremony time. This is why it’s important to know your feelings about a First Look and the sunset time before setting that ceremony time and mailing invitations!

If you’re booking a venue that requires you to set your ceremony time up front, then definitely decide whether or not you are going to share a First Look and the consider the style of photography you prefer before locking in that venue for a specific time. It will save you some frustration when you get further along into planning.

Let Your Priorities Be Your Guide

What happens if you already locked in your ceremony time and you don’t want to share a First Look, plus your ceremony will end after sunset? This is when you have to carefully examine your priorities, including your groom in the discussion.

The decision of whether or not to share a First Look is one you need to make together. If you’re not both on the same page, it won’t be the magical moment you’ve heard other brides talk about.

In the end, knowing what’s most important to you – having natural light portraits and going straight to the reception versus saving the reveal for the aisle and having a cocktail hour for guests while you have portraits taken. Again, there is no right or wrong answer!

Sometimes I have couples who are on the fence about whether or not to share a First Look and that’s ok too! Over the years, I’ve found it’s helpful to look at two different versions of a wedding day timeline – one with a First Look included and one without. Seeing how the day flows differently based on that one factor usually makes it easier to pinpoint those priorities. When you know what’s most important to you, you will be able to make decisions with confidence.

How Does this Affect Photography

Thinking about whether or not you want to share a First Look with your groom before you begin your search for a photographer will actually help you in finding the right photographer to work with!

Each photographer has their own unique style and approach to wedding days. If you’re loving a photographer’s work who mostly shows natural light portraits in their portfolio, then that means you’re drawn to a natural light style and you need to consult the sunset and know if you’re going to share a First Look before nailing down that ceremony time.

If you’re loving a darker and more dramatic style of photography, or one that relies heavily on artificial light, then the sunset time might not be as important of a factor. Setting up a consultation with a photographer whose work you love is a great way to find out more about their style and approach to wedding days.

If You Are Sharing a First Look

You’ve decided to share a First Look and you feel great about it! Yay! Keep in mind this means the majority of your portraits will be taken pre-ceremony, meaning you’ll have to start taking photos more in advance of the ceremony time than if you were not sharing a First Look.

Most brides I know don’t want to get up at the crack of dawn on their wedding day. If you have a large bridal party, you’ll need more time for hair and makeup. This is where a later ceremony time is helpful. Since almost all your portraits will be taken ahead of you walking down the aisle, you can push your ceremony closer to sunset, leaving just enough daylight afterwards for a few “Just Married” portraits and any family shots that weren’t able to be taken ahead of the ceremony.

Benefits of Sharing a First Look

There are so many benefits to sharing a First Look, but the biggest one is that you have the bulk of the portraits taken before the ceremony and you’ll have more bride and groom portraits in your final gallery! If you have multiple locations involved in your wedding day, a First Look will let us incorporate more than one of them into your portraits. It also means that once the ceremony is over, you’re free to greet family and friends who have come to celebrate with you! If we’re able to take almost all portraits pre-ceremony, then that usually means any post ceremony portraits are going to take 20 minutes or less time to take, giving you more time at your reception.

Another benefit is that you get to experience your wedding day with your groom at your side! Without a First Look, you don’t get to see your groom until the ceremony and then as soon as the ceremony is over we have to jump into portraits. It leaves little time for sharing a private moment with each other. If this is something that is important to you, then sharing a First Look will give you that time to catch your breath, spend a few minutes with your husband-to-be, and soak in the joy of your day!

Finally, a First Look ensures that we can maximize time for portraits. Since we don’t have to worry about keeping the two of you from seeing one another, we have the freedom to efficiently work through portrait time, while also getting you more portrait variety. Once you’ve shared your First Look, we can easily transition between bride and groom, bridal party and family portraits without having to coordinate who is where and at what time.

What About that Old Saying???

What about that old saying: “It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding?” We’ve all heard that phrase since we were little. But do we know where that phrase and tradition originated from? I know that I didn’t until I embarked on this journey as a wedding photographer.

It turns out that the tradition of the bride not seeing the groom before the ceremony and being hidden behind a veil dates back to the era of arranged marriages. The bride’s family and the groom’s family would agree their children would marry, but the bride would be hidden from the groom until the ceremony so that the groom couldn’t back out if he didn’t fancy how she looked. So it was sort of an insurance plan on the marriage happening, rather than a sweet, sentimental tradition.

The roots of the tradition don’t mean you can’t still value the traditional route. That aisle moment is special too! Again, deciding whether or not to share a First Look is a personal preference for each couple. However, if you’re hanging on to the “tradition” just because you think it’s bad luck to share a First Look, you might want to consider the big picture of your wedding day before making the decision to forego the First Look option.

The Aisle Moment

The majority of my couples choose to incorporate a First Look into their wedding day, but I’ve also worked with several couples over the years who wanted to save the reveal for the aisle. I love photographing First Looks and I love photographing the groom’s reaction when the bride comes down the aisle. I often see grooms getting choked up when their bride comes down the aisle even when they’ve shared a First Look. No matter what time a groom sees his bride for the first time, the aisle moment is a special one.

View more posts in The Organized Bride Series here!

 

Category:

Should You Share a First Look

2020

Open Post

The Organized Bride Series If you read my last post in this series on wedding venues in the Mobile Bay area, you can skip this intro for the list of 13 Coastal Alabama Wedding Venues. If you are just now joining us, I recommend reading the intro below for my tips on beginning your wedding […]

April 16, 2020

The Organized Bride Series

If you read my last post in this series on wedding venues in the Mobile Bay area, you can skip this intro for the list of 13 Coastal Alabama Wedding Venues. If you are just now joining us, I recommend reading the intro below for my tips on beginning your wedding venue search!

 

For most brides, wedding day planning begins with the search for a venue. I always say, you don’t have a date until you have a venue and that truly is the case. Maybe you’re one of those brides who already has a particular venue in mind. Alternatively, you may be one of those brides who has no clue of where to begin because you haven’t had your wedding day planned on Pinterest for the last five years. Maybe you’re somewhere in between those two extremes. No matter what mindset you’re beginning from, know that the venue is typically where you want to begin with planning.

 

If you’re working with a wedding planner, they will have recommendations for you based on your overall vision for your day. If you’re not working with a planner and don’t have a particular venue in mind, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed over starting the venue search. I want you to know that is totally okay and one hundred percent normal!

 

To start your search for a venue, I recommend that you first think about what you picture in your mind when you envision your wedding day. If you haven’t taken some time to write out this vision, I highly recommend that you do so now. It will be so helpful! Grab a journal and jot down notes of what is important to you. These notes can be simple bullet points, or detailed paragraphs. There is no right or wrong approach!

 

Brainstorm Your Vision

If you’re struggling with writing out the vision for your day, ask yourselves questions like this to get started:

 

  • Do I want an inside or outside wedding and reception?
  • Do I envision an afternoon or evening ceremony?
  • Is my general style traditional, modern, carefree, bohemian, rustic, or a mix of styles?
  • Is seasonality important to me – spring, summer, fall, winter?
  • Do I want an all-in one venue, or will I be having the ceremony at a church and only need a reception venue?
  • Is the venue having getting ready space important?
  • Do I want to minimize travel between locations?

 

If you envision a canopy of oak trees and an outdoor ceremony, you’re not likely to choose a ballroom style venue. If you picture everything being indoors with plenty of space for a plated dinner, then you’re not likely to choose a historic home style venue. Knowing some basic priorities at the beginning will save you from overdoing it on venue tours. It will also help you be more decisive by seeing how things you like fit with certain venues and not with others.

 

13 COASTAL ALABAMA WEDDING VENUES

To help you with your search for an Alabama wedding venue near the coast, I’ve put together a list of venues in our area. This is by no means a comprehensible list of every venue in Baldwin County, but these are all venues I’ve worked at over the past few years. If you’re searching for a wedding venue in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope, Point Clear, Orange Beach, or Gulf Shores, then this post is for you! If you’re searching for a Mobile, Alabama wedding venue, be sure to check out last week’s post for 15 wedding venues in Mobile.

 

THE GRAND HOTEL – POINT CLEAR, AL

Known well beyond tiny Point Clear, Alabama for its Southern elegance and hospitality, the Grand Hotel is just as special as it sounds. This historic hotel is beloved by locals and vacationers alike. It’s part of many family traditions and has long been a popular place for weddings. When I’m at this venue during peak seasons, there are often two or three other weddings going on the same day! The beauty of this place is that they can accommodate several different ceremony and reception setups depending on what you envision. Some brides prefer a reception in one of the large ballrooms, while others enjoy the more casual vibe of an outdoor reception on Julep Point. I don’t think I could choose a favorite between the two because both are such beautiful options! The Grand Hotel property is so picturesque, with many options for portrait backgrounds!

 

THE VENUE – FAIRHOPE, AL

Nestled in the heart of downtown Fairhope is The Venue. I absolutely love venues that have a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces and the perfect mix of the two is exactly what you’ll find at this venue. If there isn’t a threat of rain, the open-air courtyard offers a view of the star-filled night sky, but it’s a beautiful space even when covered with a tent. Brides need not fear rain when choosing this venue because the tent can be set up so that guests don’t get wet going between the inside rooms and the tent. The patio is large enough to accommodate some seating for guests in addition to a big dance floor, but there is ample space for guests and the food buffet inside as well. The Venue is in walking distance of a few churches and just a short drive from several others located in Fairhope.

 

LITTLE POINT CLEAR – POINT CLEAR, AL

Little Point Clear is one of the sweetest spots in Fairhope, Alabama! If you’re looking for an all-in-one venue, this one is another great option! The design of this space is so perfectly coastal. Since this venue offers guest suites, it’s also an ideal getting ready location. My favorite detail at this venue is the adorable turquoise and white van! It’s seriously the cutest thing ever and I love incorporating it into portraits. Located near several churches in both Fairhope and Point Clear, Little Point Clear is also a wonderful reception venue, with space for celebrating both indoors and out. During the winter, pulling up a seat by one of the fire pits outside is a treat for your guests and creates a cozy atmosphere that everyone is sure to love!

 

HERON POINTE – ORANGE BEACH, AL

If you’re looking for an Orange Beach, Alabama venue with lots of Southern charm, then you should definitely check out Heron Pointe at The Wharf. There’s no need for a separate getting ready location because this venue has ample space upstairs for the bride and her bridesmaids. When you’re at this venue, you almost feel like you’re at someone’s home because it just feels so welcoming. The large outdoor patio and deck offer plenty of space for guests to mingle and dance. I love the large oak trees that perfectly frame the front of this building. They create a beautiful background for an outdoor ceremony!

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BELLA SERA GARDENS – LOXLEY, AL

Bella Sera Gardens is one of those venues that makes you ask where you are. Because it seems unreal that this place is actually in south Alabama. As you enter the driveway, you feel like you’re arriving at a villa in the Italian countryside. I adore gardening and this place is definitely ideal for a bride who wants an outdoor wedding with access to an indoor reception space. This is a great all-in-one venue because there is space for both the bride and groom to get ready on property. Timing your vows with the late afternoon light makes for a dreamy ceremony!

 

IZENSTONE – SPANISH FORT, AL

It’s always fun to shoot at a venue for the first time and I loved my first wedding at Izenstone in Spanish Fort! This beautiful property is family-owned and has quickly become a popular location for weddings. With ample space inside for dinner and dancing, your guest list doesn’t have to be limited. I particularly love the bride’s room, as there was ample space for getting ready photos and access to natural light. Golden Hour portraits on this property just might be some of my all-time favorites, but since the barn is located in a valley, the golden light disappears a bit sooner than the actual sunset. Keep this in mind if it’s your goal to get some dreamy bride and groom portraits!

 

OAK HOLLOW FARM – FAIRHOPE, AL

Oak Hollow Farm is beloved by the brides who choose this place for their wedding day. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to photograph the wedding for a bride who is related to the family who owns the farm. It was then that I learned the event space was created in memory of her late father by his siblings. I just love knowing the story behind a family-run venue and the family that owns Oak Hollow Farm is just the sweetest! One of the most recognizable features of the farm is the tunnel of trees. Most brides choose to have their ceremony under this beautiful canopy and it looks best when timed just right with late afternoon light! Just keep in mind whether or not you’re choosing to share a First Look when selecting your ceremony time!

This large oak tree that was struck by lightening several years ago is another iconic spot on the property!

 

HISTORIC MALBIS NURSERY – MALBIS, AL

I call the Historic Malbis Nursery a hidden treasure because so many people don’t even know it exists. This historic wedding venue is nestled in a historic neighborhood and is ideal for smaller weddings. The bride’s room upstairs makes it a great all-in-one venue, meaning you can spend your whole day from getting dressed to your grand exit on site. I love the canopy of shade provided by the trees that line the horseshoe driveway. They make such a gorgeous portrait background!

 

COASTAL ARTS CENTER – ORANGE BEACH, AL

The Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach Alabama overlooks Wolf Bay and is just a short drive from several churches. I absolutely love the diversity of backgrounds available at this location. There are a variety of portrait backgrounds to choose from between the water, mature trees and the arts center itself. I’ve also photographed portrait sessions at this location and it truly is a gem. If you have a large reception and need extra dancing space, there is room for a tent on the property.

 

THE VERANDA – GULF SHORES, AL

If a small beachside wedding is what’s in your dreams, then the Veranda at Gulf Shores is definitely one you should check out. The house is a rental property, but was designed with weddings in mind. There are plenty of windows for ample natural light, a beautiful porch and private beach access, making this a great all-in-one venue. For brides looking for a destination wedding option they can call home for a week, this is definitely an ideal option!

 

THE FAIRHOPE INN – FAIRHOPE, AL

The Fairhope Inn is a local favorite in Fairhope and this quaint inn is the perfect setting for a wedding. I recently photographed an editorial shoot at this venue and my mind went in overdrive thinking about how gorgeous a ceremony would be in this quiet little courtyard! I’ve photographed a reception here before, but never a ceremony. This inn is also an amazing restaurant! If you know me, you know I’m a foodie. Whether you’re interested in this place for your wedding or not, you should definitely check this place out for dinner. It recently underwent a renovation and is even more charming than it was before!

 

EASTERN SHORE ART CENTER – FAIRHOPE, AL

Located in downtown Fairhope, the Eastern Shore Art Center is within minutes of several churches and is a unique environment for a wedding reception. Guests can enjoy art and dinner at the same time! The main room has plenty of space for a dance floor and smaller rooms of the museum are ideal for seating and food stations. I always say that logistics are key on a wedding day. Traveling great distances between venues opens up the possibility of travel delays. If you want to keep things right in downtown Fairhope, this venue might be for you!

 

BELFOREST POINTE – DAPHNE, AL

I have not yet had the privilege of photographing a wedding at Belforest Pointe, but I’m looking forward to my first one there this year! This venue is located on beautiful farmland in Daphne, Alabama. The team behind Belforest Pointe are not new to the wedding industry. In fact, the Beebe family have run and operated Gulf Coast Events and Rentals for years. Belforest Pointe is their new adventure and they’ve been a wonderful addition to the lineup of wedding venues in Baldwin County. The photos below were not taken at the property, but all rentals for this wedding were provided by Gulf Coast Events and Rentals.

 

Category:

Coastal Alabama Wedding Venues

2020

Open Post

The Organized Bride Series For most brides, wedding day planning begins with the search for a venue. I always say, you don’t have a date until you have a venue and that truly is the case. Maybe you’re one of those brides who already has a particular venue in mind. Alternatively, you may be one […]

April 3, 2020

The Organized Bride Series

For most brides, wedding day planning begins with the search for a venue. I always say, you don’t have a date until you have a venue and that truly is the case. Maybe you’re one of those brides who already has a particular venue in mind. Alternatively, you may be one of those brides who has no clue of where to begin because you haven’t had your wedding day planned on Pinterest for the last five years. Maybe you’re somewhere in between those two extremes. No matter what mindset you’re beginning from, know that the venue is typically where you want to begin with planning.

 

If you’re working with a wedding planner, they will have recommendations for you based on your overall vision for your day. If you’re not working with a planner and don’t have a particular venue in mind, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed over starting the venue search. I want you to know that is totally okay and one hundred percent normal!

 

To start your search for a venue, I recommend that you first think about what you picture in your mind when you envision your wedding day. If you haven’t taken some time to write out this vision, I highly recommend that you do so now. It will be so helpful! Grab a journal and jot down notes of what is important to you. These notes can be simple bullet points, or detailed paragraphs. There is no right or wrong approach!

 

Brainstorm Your Vision

If you’re struggling with writing out the vision for your day, ask yourselves questions like this to get started:

 

  • Do I want an inside or outside wedding and reception?
  • Do I envision an afternoon or evening ceremony?
  • Is my general style traditional, modern, carefree, bohemian, rustic, or a mix of styles?
  • Is seasonality important to me – spring, summer, fall, winter?
  • Do I want an all-in one venue, or will I be having the ceremony at a church and only need a reception venue?
  • Is the venue having getting ready space important?
  • Do I want to minimize travel between locations?

 

If you envision a canopy of oak trees and an outdoor ceremony, you’re not likely to choose a ballroom style venue. If you picture everything being indoors with plenty of space for a plated dinner, then you’re not likely to choose a historic home style venue. Knowing some basic priorities at the beginning will save you from overdoing it on venue tours. It will also help you be more decisive by seeing how things you like fit with certain venues and not with others.

 

15 Mobile Alabama Wedding Venues

To help you with your search for a Mobile, Alabama wedding venue, I’ve put together a list of venues in our area. This is by no means a comprehensible list of every venue in Mobile, but these are all venues I’ve worked at over the past few years. If you’re searching for a wedding venue in Baldwin County Alabama, stay tuned for next week’s post where I’ll take a look at venues in Daphne, Spanish Fort, Fairhope, Point Clear, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores!

 

THE BRAGG – MITCHELL MANSION

It doesn’t get more classically Southern that The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion! This historic Mobile, Alabama wedding venue is a longtime favorite in our area. I never ever tire of photographing weddings under the gorgeous oak trees that line the driveway! This place is literally a photographer’s dream with ample access to natural light in the getting ready room and plenty of shade outside for portraits throughout the entire day. The Bragg-Mitchell is a short drive from several churches and is centrally located without being in the hustle and bustle of downtown. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, this venue is a great all-in-one option, meaning you can use it for getting ready photos, formal portraits, ceremony and reception.

 

THE PILLARS

The Pillars of Mobile is another beautifully restored historic wedding venue. It’s proximity to downtown means it’s a short drive from several churches, but it’s also a great all-in-one venue. It has a spacious bride’s room for getting ready and a man-cave where guys can hang out. I am absolutely obsessed with the vintage tile floor at this venue and there are plenty of windows for abundant natural lighting! The Pillars is located within walking distance of an oak-tree lined public park that is another great option for portraits.

 

THE BATTLE HOUSE HOTEL

I adore a ballroom reception! Maybe it’s because my earliest wedding memory is of my aunt’s wedding and all I can picture is everyone dancing on a huge dance floor! Ballrooms are great for larger receptions and can also be “flipped” between the ceremony and reception for smaller weddings. Flipping a space simply means that the configuration of tables and chairs is changed between the ceremony and reception. Typically, if you’re flipping the room after the ceremony, you’ll have a cocktail hour in a separate space so that guests can mingle and enjoy drinks while the venue staff work their magic. The Crystal Ballroom at The Battle House Hotel makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It is my personal favorite, but the hotel has several ballroom options available.

 

THE RENAISSANCE RIVERVIEW HOTEL

The Renaissance Riverview Hotel is another great ballroom venue! It’s large ballroom can accommodate a seated dinner for a large guest list while still having ample space for the dance floor. Like the Battle House Hotel, the Renaissance Riverview is located in the heart of downtown and has multiple ballroom options. The great thing about a hotel wedding venue is that you typically will also rent rooms for getting ready there. This makes it so convenient for you, your bridal party and any guests who have traveled from out of town to celebrate with you. While hotels don’t always have ample space for outdoor portraits, those that are located in downtown Mobile are typically within walking distance of parks that are full of trees!

 

THE HISTORY MUSEUM OF MOBILE

If you want a downtown reception venue that has ballroom-like qualities, but isn’t a traditional ballroom, then you should definitely check out The History Museum of Mobile. I absolutely love shooting at this venue. The checkerboard floor makes for a perfect dance floor without having to rent one! Another bonus of this venue is the option for portraits, both inside and outside during the day. The grand staircase is a favorite among my brides, but I also LOVE the courtyard area for First Looks and portraits. It’s got so much versatility! Another bonus is that this venue is located very close to hotels and churches downtown. The space has some character, while also being a neutral palette, meaning you can make it your own.

 

THE EZELL HOUSE

Another old-Mobile favorite wedding venue is The Ezell House. Located just a couple blocks from the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, this is a popular choice for brides who want a venue with a mix of indoor and outdoor options. The Ezell House also has getting ready space for both the bride and the groom. Getting ready space is a huge bonus for wedding venues because it means you don’t have to incorporate a hotel into your wedding day rentals unless you just want to be in closer proximity to your venue for the entire wedding weekend. The Ezell House is popular for wedding receptions, but it’s also a lovely outdoor ceremony venue. The courtyard provides a buffer from street noise and is perfect for an intimate-sized ceremony. I also love that this venue is within walking distance of Cathedral Square, another great portrait location!

 

THE MOBILE CARNIVAL MUSEUM

If you love Mardi Gras and want to incorporate something truly Mobile into your wedding day, then The Mobile Carnival Museum may be the reception venue for you! I’ve never photographed a ceremony here, but it is very popular for receptions and rehearsal dinners. If you’re wanting to incorporate a second line into your wedding day, this venue is within walking distance of a few different churches in downtown Mobile. The tradition of a second line is one of my favorites and it’s extra fun when that second line is leading you to the Mobile Carnival Museum. It’s like a mini Mardi Gras moment in the middle of a wedding! One feature of this venue is the float that is inside the museum. The float turns into the stage for your band, which is something that out-of-town guests are sure to love and find memorable!

 

KALIOKA STABLES

Kalioka Stables is the perfect all-in-one venue for the bride who loves a more rustic setting. The scenery on this property makes it hard to believe you’re only 20 minutes from downtown Mobile. I love Golden Hour sunset portraits at this venue! The light always seems extra dreamy here! All of my weddings at Kalioka Stables have been outdoors, but the barn could accommodate a ceremony if desired. I especially love taking a few bride and groom portraits inside the barn because it’s also a magical portrait spot! If you’re a fan of wide open spaces, you’re going to love this beautiful property.

 

CROWN HALL

One of Mobile’s newest wedding venues is Crown Hall. This building was once abandoned and in disrepair, but Bay Gourmet Catering breathed new life into it! I absolutely LOVE the vibe of this venue! It feels modern, but timeless at the same time. If you’re looking for a big, open space, but don’t want the formality of a traditional ballroom, this venue could be for you. Although I was only here for a wedding reception, I know that brides who choose this as an all-in-one venue will love the bride’s room for getting ready. One of my favorite features about shooting in this space is the polished floors. The reflection adds so much dimension to those first dance shots! I also love the garage door that opens up for the bride and groom grand exit!

 

FORT CONDE INN

Fort Conde Inn is another wedding venue with tons of Southern charm located in the heart of downtown Mobile. It’s a great all-in-one option, or a good reception only space. This venue is more outdoor focused, so keep that in mind when it comes to planning. If dancing under cafe lights with the Mobile skyline in the background is your idea of a dream setting, then this venue is for you! I love that the inn can accommodate the bridal party for getting ready. This means that you can celebrate your whole day in one place without having to worry about transportation between venues. There are also several great portrait backgrounds in and around the inn!

 

THE STEEPLE

The Steeple is an old church that’s been converted into an event space. The large stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling give the space character. The wood detailing and colorful windows are so beautiful that this space truly doesn’t need much to make it shine for wedding day. I love that it’s a big open space with plenty of room for seating and a large dance floor. There is also a large built-in stage, meaning you don’t have to rent one separately for your band or DJ. My sister chose this beautiful space for her wedding reception this summer!

 

GULFQUEST

The GulfQuest Maritime Museum sits right on the waterfront in downtown Mobile. If you want an indoor reception with views, this is the place to get both. This venue is great for a mid-sized guest list and is close to many churches and hotels. It’s also located right next to Cooper-Riverside Park, a good portrait location. My favorite feature of this venue is access to the rooftop for bride and groom portraits. If you choose this venue for your day, make sure to time arriving at your reception with the sunset so that you can take advantage of that dreamy rooftop setting!

 

ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER

The Alabama Contemporary Arts Center has two separate spaces to offer brides. The upstairs room is ideal for smaller sized weddings. This room has two walls of windows, meaning lots of natural light and views of downtown and Cathedral Square. The larger space that’s on the first floor is a blank canvas for brides to make their own. Adding draping and uplighting absolutely transforms this space, which is great for weddings with a larger guest list. There is plenty of space in this area for food, dinner tables and a huge dance floor. When I shoot at this venue I particularly love taking the bride and groom out on the balcony upstairs for some portraits featuring the Mobile skyline!

 

 SPRING HILL COLLEGE – BYRNE HALL + STEWARTFIELD

If you’re getting married on campus at Spring Hill College, or any church in the Spring Hill area, Byrne Hall is a great open floor-plan venue. As a Spring Hill alum, I am sentimentally attached to this space because I remember when it was a library! Seriously, I cannot shoot in this space and not think of studying! There is plenty of space for seating and a good sized dance floor. I love this venue combined with St. Joseph’s Chapel for the wedding ceremony. It makes it possible to spend the whole wedding day on campus, meaning there aren’t a lot of transportation logistics. Stewartfield House is another reception venue on campus at Spring Hill, but I also love it for getting ready pictures!

 

THE LOCALE

The Locale is just a short drive from downtown Mobile and has a hidden treasure behind it’s large indoor reception space. The small, “secret garden” is a dream location during Golden Hour. The inside of this venue is a blank canvas for each bride to make her own. Draping can divide the large space into separate sections for ceremony and reception. Additionally, there are rooms for both the bride and groom to use for getting ready, making this a true all-in-one venue.

 

 

Category:

Mobile Alabama Wedding Venues

2020

Open Post

Inspiration for Brides-to-Be Last summer, I had the opportunity to work with Katherine Taylor of Jubilee Flowers on an editorial shoot for Mobile Bay Magazine. I knew I loved Katherine’s style when it comes to floral design, having worked with her on real wedding days. When we wrapped the editorial shoot, she and I both […]

February 7, 2020

Inspiration for Brides-to-Be

Last summer, I had the opportunity to work with Katherine Taylor of Jubilee Flowers on an editorial shoot for Mobile Bay Magazine. I knew I loved Katherine’s style when it comes to floral design, having worked with her on real wedding days. When we wrapped the editorial shoot, she and I both lamented that we didn’t have more time to continue shooting the floral elements of the shoot. I have long had an obsession with flowers and gardening. Katherine picked up on this pretty quickly as I squealed with delight upon seeing the beautiful blooms she’d gathered for the magazine shoot.

If only we could spend a whole shoot dedicated to photographing floral designs, I thought to myself. A few months later, that’s exactly what we did! I have wanted to do a floral focused shoot like this one for so long. I’m so thankful to Katherine for helping me make it happen!

Katherine designed two bouquets and three urn arrangements for this shoot. We worked non-stop for the entire day and I still wanted to keep shooting when our studio rental time was up! I’m thinking that means that I’m just going to have to make creative shoots like this one a recurring priority throughout the year!

Key Floral Elements: Sweet peas, narcissus, tulips, ranunculus, hellebores

Key Floral Elements: Garden roses, luxor primavera hydrangea, anemones, tulips, Japanese ranunculus, hellebores, mint, blackberries, camellias

Key Floral Elements: Garden roses, anemones, tulips, Japanese ranunculus, hellebores, mint, blackberries, lilac vine

Key Floral Elements: Garden roses, anemones, Japanese ranunculus, mint, ginestra, delphiniums

 

Meet Katherine

After the shoot, I sat down with Katherine to chat a bit more about her background in floral design, her love of colorful flowers, and her commitment to environmentally friendly design practices. Enjoy the highlights of our conversation, as well as some of my favorite photographs from our shoot!

How long have you been in the wedding industry and when did you get started in floral design?

 

I have been doing wedding flowers full time for 14 years. I got my start working with my mother, who started Jubilee Flowers in 1996. Before I moved to Fairhope, I would fly down from Asheville, NC to be part of her team when she had really big events. Ten years later, when my husband and I moved to Fairhope, I jumped in to work on all her weddings and events. She has taught me so much about the ins and outs of floral design.

What is your favorite bloom to incorporate into your designs?

 

That’s easy…roses! I adore roses and all their lovely ruffly petals. Roses are such an old-fashioned flower, and so romantic. I love the way they get even more beautiful as they open and age. I also love ranunculus for the very same reason, but my all-time favorite flower is the poppy!

Key Floral Elements: Garden roses, ferns, blackberries, tulips

You clearly love colorful designs, what do you love about working with color?

 

Although neutrals definitely have their place in my work, I absolutely love colors and prefer them over neutrals. I am an artist and have a Bachelor of Arts degree. Painting was my favorite medium and I was a painter for 25 years before I became a floral designer. I have always been drawn to colorful flowers due to their ability to express so many different emotions. When it comes to neutrals, I have discovered that combining deeper shades and working with textures helps to add depth to a neutral palette.

Why did you decide to stop using floral foam in your designs?

 

I decided to start working without floral foam (also known as Oasis) when I learned that it is all plastic and toxic to the environment. It never breaks down and just dissolves into millions of tiny pieces. Eventually, it ends up in either our oceans or our landfills. All of this is only adding to the horrific plastic crisis our planet is facing. It hurst my heart knowing that all of the beauty I can create for my clients could hurt the environment. As a wedding florist there is much I can do to lessen my environmental impact. I practice this philosophy in my personal life and it only makes sense to do the same with my business.

What are you seeing 2020 brides choosing for their bouquets?

 

Most of my 2020 brides have actually been asking for brighter colors, which is a change from what has been popular for so many years! Of course, I am all for it!!!

Visit Katherine online here!

Thank you to my friend Alexis Williams for taking some behind the scenes photos of me and Katherine working together and to Katherine’s assistant, Emily, who was a huge help for the whole day.

Special thanks to my friend Wendy, owner of Wendy Wilson Photography, for letting us use her beautiful studio!

VENDOR DETAILS

Ribbons | Silk & Willow

Styling Cloths | Silk & Willow and Honey Silks Co.

Styling Board | Heirloom Bindery

Candles | Yummie Candles

Votives | Accent Decor

Background Board | Erickson Surfaces

Vintage Props | We Raided our prop closets!

Category:

Jubilee Flowers

2020

Open Post

The Organized Bride Series I begin every wedding day by photographing bridal details. After I arrive and greet everyone, this is the first thing I ask for. The time dedicated to bridal details is my warm up time. It’s when I’m figuring out what the light is like in the getting ready room. It’s when […]

April 17, 2019

The Organized Bride Series

Two wedding bands and diamond engagement ring on wedding invitation.

I begin every wedding day by photographing bridal details. After I arrive and greet everyone, this is the first thing I ask for. The time dedicated to bridal details is my warm up time. It’s when I’m figuring out what the light is like in the getting ready room. It’s when I’m getting a sense for how things are flowing that day. Is everything running on schedule, or do I sense that there is any stress? This “detail” time may seem insignificant, but it is SO valuable to how I approach the whole rest of the day! Beginning the wedding day without photographing the bridal details would feel like starting a tennis match without warming up. Focusing on the inanimate objects helps me to focus on what lies ahead.

But what am I photographing during this time that’s labeled “Bridal Details” on the timeline? I consider “Bridal Details” to be any small element that the bride will either wear, or carry with her as part of her wedding day. This typically includes the wedding gown, veil/hairpiece, shoes, jewelry, garter, wedding bands, engagement ring, and bouquet, as well as the bride’s something borrowed and/or something blue if it’s not covered by one of those other items. Additional items that I love to photograph along with these details are the invitation suite, wedding program, the bride’s perfume bottle, and custom ring boxes! These additional items help to fully capture the feeling of your wedding day. They also help to tell the story of your day in your wedding album!

The Benefit of Adding Extra Elements

I love when my brides bring extra elements for me to incorporate into their bridal detail photos. This helps make the detail shots even more personal and editorial. Vintage trays, ring boxes, and ring dishes are all wonderful additions. I also love when I have a few extra stems of greenery to work with. Some florists will leave these when they deliver the bouquets. Silk ribbons are a fabulous addition to bridal detail photos. They help connect all the smaller elements to the colors of the wedding. One spool is really all you need!

One tip for extra elements is to make sure they’re relatively small. Larger items will pull attention away from your small details, so select items that will compliment, not distract from your bridal details. If you gather a few items, your photographer can select what will work best for styling the detail shots.

Vintage tray filled with a boutonniere, perfume bottle, ring box, rings and handwritten letter.Blue monogrammed Mrs. Box ring box with vintage gold ring.Maison Louis Marie No 04 perfume bottle

Preparing the Bridal Details

Gather your bridal details together before wedding day. Most items besides the wedding gown and veil will fit into a tote bag or small box. Having everything grouped together (with tags removed from jewelry!) will save a lot of time. It takes quite a bit of time to style and photograph the bridal details. If you have to search for the items when the photographer arrives, you’ll eat into the time for photographing those special items.

Wedding invitation with pearl necklace and wedding rings sitting on top of it. Grey and white wedding invitation suite with white boutonniere and gold shoes.Blue suede shoes

Groom Details

Grooms can have special details too! Groom details typically include: the boutonniere, cuff links (if they are personal or custom), the tie, a watch and sometimes the shoes. If the bride and groom are getting ready at the same location, I will photograph all the details at the same time.

Brackish bowtie in wood box with gold wedding band on the lidMen's watch with letter addressed to my groom and white and blue thistle boutonniereBrown leather shoes and colorful socks with beer theme and pink bowtie Brown leather shoes with blue tie, silver tie clip and blue vow book in flatlay style

The Bridal Details Checklist

Dress + Veil: Sometimes I photograph the dress first and sometimes I do it last. It depends on the getting ready room and if I need to move things in order to get the dress shot. It usually takes me longer to find a great spot to hang the dress than it does to actually photograph it! Wedding day tip: Steam the dress the night before, but don’t stress about a few wrinkles. They rarely show on camera.
White wedding dress and blue wedding shoes in the bridal suite at The Pillars of MobileWhite wedding dress hanging from an iron chandelier in a white chapelWhite wedding dress hanging on gold mirror at The Battle House Hotel
Shoes: I usually pair these with the dress photo and with your smaller details. I love seeing the different choices of footwear on wedding days. I am a girl who loves shoes!
Blue wedding shoes, white bouquet and lace veil sitting on a vintage blue velvet chairLace Toms wedding shoesWhite Badgley Mischka bridal shoes with blush pink ribbon
All Three Rings: I love to photograph the wedding bands and the engagement ring together. The detail that I am most often missing on wedding day is the bride’s wedding band. Keep all three rings (your wedding band + his wedding band + your engagement ring) in the bridal suite with your other details. Your Maid-of-Honor can always be in charge of getting your wedding band to the Best Man when we arrive at the ceremony location.
Set of gold wedding bands and diamond engagement ringSet of gold wedding bands stacked on top of wedding invitation with blue text
Invitations & Programs: The invitation suite sets the tone for your wedding day and usually incorporates your wedding colors. I love styling a flatlay using several of the smaller details. The invitations are a great base element for those types of photos. I especially love photographing the wedding rings on the invitation!
Ivory and black wedding invitation suite with calligraphy
Vow Books: If you’re writing your own vows, there’s a good chance you’ve purchased vow books for your wedding day. These definitely belong in your bridal details box if you’re using them! The groom’s vow book can be delivered to him along with the bride’s wedding band before the ceremony. Just make sure you’ve written those vows down the night before the wedding!
Florals: The bride’s bouquet is something I always photograph, but having additional florals like the groom’s boutonnière, or a flower crown are a wonderful addition to bridal detail photos. If your boutonnières won’t be at the same location where the bride is getting ready, ask your florist if you can have a few extra loose floral, or greenery stems for detail photos!
Extras: Silk ribbons, ring boxes, antique trays and other special heirlooms can really add another personal element to your detail photos. I sometimes bring neutral ribbons with me to add into shots, but I love, love, love personal elements like a monogrammed ring box or a vintage tray.
This is what it looks like to photograph bridal details! Thank you to my friend and some-time second photographer, Debby, for taking this behind-the-scenes photo!
I love sharing tips for getting organized with all things wedding day! If you’re a bride-to-be and enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments!

 

Category:

Bridal Details Checklist

The Organized Bride

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

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I'm Elizabeth Gelineau, a photographer, dreamer, and accidental entrepreneur. Based in my hometown of Mobile, Ala., I photograph portraits, weddings and events on both sides of Mobile Bay. Grab a cup of coffee (or other beverage of your choice) and enjoy browsing around. I'm so glad you stopped by!

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