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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!

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

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Open Post

A Downtown Mobile Alabama Wedding I usually ask my brides about their bridal party at our first meeting. It’s helpful to know how many bridesmaids and groomsmen will be part of the day early on. Most of my weddings have an average of six to eight attendants. So when Kelly told me they were having […]

March 13, 2019

A Downtown Mobile Alabama Wedding

I usually ask my brides about their bridal party at our first meeting. It’s helpful to know how many bridesmaids and groomsmen will be part of the day early on. Most of my weddings have an average of six to eight attendants. So when Kelly told me they were having 17 bridesmaids and 22 groomsmen in their bridal party, I nearly fell off of my chair. In fact, I was so surprised at the number that I’m pretty sure I laughed as I replied, “Girl, are you crazy?!” Kelly, being the sweet person she is went on to explain just why they were having so many friends be part of their day. I immediately understood and assured her we would put together a timeline that would accommodate that many people.

After this weekend, I can say without a doubt that I one hundred percent understand why Kelly and Philip wanted all these ladies and gentlemen standing beside them as they became husband and wife. I knew beforehand that one of my past brides was part of this bridal party, so I knew I was going to be working with a good group of people. But, yes, this is the largest bridal party I have EVER worked with on a wedding day!

When you add the flower girls and ring bearers into the mix, it was a total of 49 people. And you know what? They were some of the BEST people I have ever worked with on a wedding day! I got to meet many of them at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. As they took turns toasting Kelly and Philip that night, it was clear to me that they truly have deep friendships with this whole group. It was evident that their friends have love and admiration for them, both as a couple, and as individual people. Talk about a special bride and groom!

Like the bridal party, this blog post is massive! I kept trying to narrow it down more and more, but oh my goodness I have too many favorites. I considered breaking it up into two parts, but I’m not a fan of “to be continued” moments so I decided to write the post in two segments. Scroll down read the rest of the story from this day!

This one is a new favorite! I loved that Kelly’s two sisters were perfectly framing this scene of her mom zipping up the wedding gown.

Kelly’s father gave her mother this ring the day she was born. The morning of the wedding, Kelly’s parents passed that ring on to her. It served as her something old and something blue. I love this moment of her mom placing the ring on her finger!

These three sisters are the sweetest!!!

When Father Shields joked during the wedding Mass that it was “a shame they had such a hard time finding people to be part of their wedding,” the congregation couldn’t help but chuckle! When I say this bridal party was amazing, I mean it! We couldn’t have gotten all these portraits done within the timeframe allotted without their help!

Kelly made a pair of earrings for each of her bridesmaids. How sweet is that?! I don’t know where she found the time between being in residency and planning her wedding! She is one talented lady for sure!

A Reception With a Surprise!

A few weeks before Kelly and Philip’s wedding, I met up with Kelly’s mom for a walkthrough of the reception location. That’s when Kelly’s mom told me there was going to be a surprise fireworks show in the middle of the reception. Fireworks?! Seriously?! I could barely contain my excitement. I was anticipating that big moment the whole day.

Only a few people knew about the surprise beforehand, so when the band asked everyone to make their way down to the water, there was a buzz among the crowd. I’m pretty sure I held my breath for the entire fireworks show because getting shots of something like that is kind of hard to practice beforehand! With each click of the camera I thought of my dad’s advice to remember to drag my shutter to catch the trail of the fireworks sparkling in the sky. It is definitely one of my all-time favorite wedding day moments!

Kelly and Philip, I can’t thank you and your sweet families enough for having me be part of your wedding weekend! It was such a JOY to capture these moments for you! Congratulations!

Y’all, Kelly’s grandmother is the sweetest lady! When I met her at the rehearsal dinner, she quickly told me that she already knew who I was and then gave me a hug. I believe she said that Kelly is one of her 22 grandchildren and that she also has 11 great-grandchildren (or at least close to those numbers)! At 86 years young she was on the dance floor almost the entire night! Life goals, y’all. Life goals!

Three of my brides in one photo and it just happened by accident! I just love these ladies and am honored they each chose me to be their wedding photographer!

Seriously, the fireworks show was AMAZING!!!

Then they finished the night off with Taco Bell and tequila shots!

VENDORS

Second Photographer | Jacob Bennett

Third Photographer | Megan Garofalo

Photographer’s Assistant | Shelby Guidry

Planning | Jacquie Burkett, Chic Weddings by Jacqueline

Ceremony | The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception – Mobile, Ala.

Reception | Private Residence

Florals | Carl Clark, Southern Veranda

Additional Reception Florals | LeNae Denson, Cleveland the Florist

Catering | Bay Gourmet

Cakes | Cakes by Judi

Lighting | Willow Bridge

Rentals | Port City Rentals

Band | Michel Jons Band

Makeup Artist | James Edward

Hair Artist | Adelaide McAleer

Bride’s Gown | Something New

Bridesmaid Dresses | Bella Bridesmaids

Invitations | Reaves Engraving

 

 

Category:

Kelly + Philip | Married

2019

Open Post

Bicentennial Park Bay Minette Alabama Wedding It’s always special when a bride is escorted down the aisle by her father. It’s even more special (and emotional!) when she is also walked down the aisle by her son. Add to that a little white chapel, the most adorable flower girl and ring bearers, and the fact […]

March 6, 2019

Bicentennial Park Bay Minette Alabama Wedding

It’s always special when a bride is escorted down the aisle by her father. It’s even more special (and emotional!) when she is also walked down the aisle by her son. Add to that a little white chapel, the most adorable flower girl and ring bearers, and the fact that the children of the bride and the groom served as the bridal party…it just doesn’t get any sweeter than that. Talk about the perfect way to kick off the spring wedding season!

Aimee is also a photographer and she had a clear vision for her wedding day. I knew it would be beautiful and it was everything I imagined! Bicentennial Park is such a lovely spot for a wedding. When I pulled into the drive, I could immediately see why Aimee chose the chapel for her ceremony. The park is a photographer’s dream!

A few days before the wedding, Aimee sent me a note saying that they had found the perfect vintage car to be their transportation for the wedding day. The car was originally made for the producer of the film Casablanca. And, get this, the producer of the film and Humphrey Bogart road in this very car to the Academy Awards in 1941! I am obsessed with old Hollywood films, so I of course squealed when I read that message. Jonathan knows the car’s current owner, who also volunteered to be their chauffeur for the day. Being able to incorporate this beauty into bride and groom portrait time was such a treat!

The reception was nearly over when I noticed the sunshine beginning to stream through the trees. The golden light caught the Spanish moss and made it glimmer. The reflection on the pond at Live Oak Landing made the scene look like a watercolor painting. This is the light that every photographer wants for her wedding day. This is the light that makes my heart skip a beat and makes me squeal with delight. We had already taken a lot of portraits throughout the day, but there’s no way I wasn’t going to ask Aimee if she wanted to take just a few more.

Thankfully, Aimee took one look at the golden light and she was game for some bonus portrait time. Such. A. Dream. I have a lot of favorites from this day, but you definitely want to scroll all the way through this post to see the magical portraits we took during golden hour. You can’t plan moments like this. They just happen. And when they do, you thank God for the gift of making it all possible. Congratulations Aimee and Jonathan!

Jonathan’s dad, who is a preacher, officiated the ceremony. During the vows, the light started streaming through the stained-glass windows, creating an ethereal glow around the couple. It was stunning!

At the reception, Jonathan asked everyone to gather for a toast. I cannot do justice to his eloquent words by paraphrasing what he said. But I can tell you there was not a dry eye to be found. Thankfully, Jonathan’s sister filmed the whole thing on her phone!

VENDORS

Ceremony | Bicentennial Park – Bay Minette, Ala.

Reception | Live Oak Landing

Caterer | Smokin’ Gringos

Florist | Rose Bud Flowers

Cake Artist | Victoria Gaston, Underground Custom Cakes

Hair Stylist | Vanna Uptgraft

Makeup Artist | Teddy Michaels

DJ | Eddie Burns

Bride’s Gown | Cassandra Grace

Category:

Aimee + Jonathan | Married

2019

Open Post

An Outdoor Spring Wedding I love being a photographer in the Deep South. Our mild weather means that we don’t really have an off season. Sure, some months are busier than others, but there’s not a true off season. Some years my wedding season begins in January or February, but March is usually when things […]

February 27, 2019

An Outdoor Spring Wedding

I love being a photographer in the Deep South. Our mild weather means that we don’t really have an off season. Sure, some months are busier than others, but there’s not a true off season. Some years my wedding season begins in January or February, but March is usually when things really start to get busy. My 2019 wedding season begins this Saturday and thinking of all the March weddings I’ll be sharing with y’all in the next few weeks has me thinking back on Charley and Ethan’s beautiful outdoor wedding from last March!

This week I spent some time creating a new album website for my clients that will help them with the decisions on cover color, material and personalization. As I was putting that together, I came across these photos I took of Charley and Ethan’s wedding album. I absolutely love a leather album. They just feel so luxurious and they look so timeless! I’ve got to admit that it was so very hard to part with this beautiful book. I’m always wishing that I could have a sample album of every album that I order for my clients. While that’s not feasible, it is possible for me to document the finished design with some flatlay photos.

Speaking of sample albums, after using the same sample album for over two years, I finally decided to order a new one. Why did it take me so long to order an updated sample album? One, I adore all my clients and am attached to all their weddings. Two, I’m still in love with the sample album that I’ve been taking along to consults for the past couple of years. After much debate, I finally decided to order not one, but two samples – one in leather and one in linen. These new samples will feature some new album options that I’m super excited to offer to my 2019 couples!

I am counting down the days until my new sample albums arrive in the mail. The wait seems to take forever, even though it’s only a few weeks. That’s probably how my brides feel as they wait for their finished albums to arrive. There’s nothing like opening that box and flipping through the pages for the first time. Wouldn’t it be fun if I could deliver albums to my brides at an album reveal party?! That sure would be a fun girl’s night!

I hope you enjoy this look at Charley and Ethan’s wedding album! This day was full of sweet moments, happy tears and deliciously golden light.

One of the sweetest daddy-daughter first looks I’ve ever photographed!

Family portraits are such an important part of the wedding day! Yes, it’s tempting to make the list crazy long, but this portion of the day will be less stressful if you limit the combinations to parents, siblings and grandparents of the bride and groom. Your family portraits are your legacy portraits. They’ll likely be framed and displayed in your home (and your parents’ homes) for years. Planning the list in advance is the key to making sure this portion of the day runs smoothly and doesn’t eat into your bride and groom portrait time.

An all black and white spread just makes me so happy! This is one of my favorite spreads in this album. Maybe it’s because I first learned photography on a film camera, using Ilford black and white film. To me, black and white images are so nostalgic and timeless.

Album Design by Andrea with Align Album Design

Category:

Charley + Ethan | Album Love

Weddings

Open Post

Setting the Tone for Your Wedding Day You’ve set the date. You booked the church and reception venue. Your besties are all set to be part of your bridal party. You start to think about sending Save the Dates. That’s when you find yourself visiting a stationery shop and looking at wedding invitations. Chances are […]

February 20, 2019

Setting the Tone for Your Wedding Day

You’ve set the date. You booked the church and reception venue. Your besties are all set to be part of your bridal party. You start to think about sending Save the Dates. That’s when you find yourself visiting a stationery shop and looking at wedding invitations. Chances are that if you’ve wandered into one of these shops on a whim, you just might get a little overwhelmed. Since I’m not married, I’ve never had the experience of shopping for wedding invitations, but I know just how many options I considered just for my business stationery box! Who knew there were so many decisions one can make within just one purchase?!

Thankfully, my friend and fellow business owner, Lindsey Stiegler, is an expert on all things stationery! She helped guide me to the perfect selection. It felt like Christmas morning the day I received my stationery box. Every time I pull out a card to send a thank you note, or to welcome a new bride to the Elizabeth Gelineau Photography family, I smile at how perfect the stationery I’m writing on matches me and my personality. The same should be true for your wedding invitations because they truly set the tone for your special day.

I’ve recently been spending a lot of time at Lindsey’s cheerful midtown shop, Soiree Signatures, photographing several of her wedding stationery suites for her online shop. Every time I think I’ve picked a favorite, she brings out another that I love even more! During one of our shoots, I asked Lindsey for her best advice on selecting, ordering and sending out those special invitations. I learned so much about paper just from photographing all these beautiful pieces! Check out all the tips I learned from Lindsey in this post!

Allow Plenty of Time for Printing

I would estimate that the majority of the weddings I photograph have a guest list of roughly 150 to 200 people. If you’re mailing that many invitations, you’re going to need allow for plenty of turnaround time in order to receive your order and mail those invitations to your guests. Lindsey advises ordering your invitations and stationery at least three months ahead of when you want to send them out. Allowing more time is necessary if there will be some assembly required upon arrival. Also, keep in mind that turnaround times can vary depending on which printer your invitations are ordered from. Lindsey says that planning ahead and giving yourself enough lead time on invitations will give you the freedom to order the right invitation stationery and not just the one that will arrive on time.

Save the Dates

Many of my clients choose to use some of their favorite portraits from their engagement session on their Save the Dates, but some prefer a traditional card that will match their wedding stationery. Lindsey recommends sending out Save the Dates so that they will reach your guests six to eight months ahead of wedding day. If you’re planning a local wedding, six months is plenty of time. But for those couples who are having a destination wedding, or a large number of out-of-town guests, you’ll want to lean towards that eight months mark or longer. Ready to order your Save the Dates, but not ready to order your wedding invitations? That’s ok! Lindsey advises selecting a color palette and some basic design elements that can carry across all pieces related to your wedding.

Printing Styles

When you order your wedding invitations, you’ll find yourself choosing a printing style. There are four main styles of printing: Digital, Letterpress, Thermography and Engraving. Before my first shoot at Soiree Signatures, Lindsey taught me about these different styles. Budget is largely a factor in selecting your preferred style and the size of your guest list often determines your budget. Lindsey told me to think of digital printing as flat printing. There are no indentions/raised areas with this type of printing. It is also the most economical option.

Letterpress printing totally has my heart, which is why I ordered letterpress cards in my stationery box. It’s a classic choice and one that is sure to stand the test of time. Letterpress means the words are pressed into the paper, giving a nice texture to the invitation. Letterpress printing also has the additional option of adding gold, silver or rose gold foil.

Engraving also lends texture to the invitation, but it is nearly the reverse of letterpress. With engraving, a custom metal plate is made and the text is pressed into the invitation from the back of the paper, creating a texture that is raised on the front side of the invitation. Engraving is considered the finest of the printing methods. It is also a timeless selection. Fun fact, if you have your invitations engraved, Lindsey lets you keep the plate that was used for printing!

Thermography is similar to engraving and a style of printing that many refer to as “raised” printing. Unlike engraving, thermography does not use a metal plate, meaning it’s more economical if you like the raised look. Thermography does have its limits regarding color and paper types though, so keep this in mind when choosing your printing style.

Letterpress, Thermography and Engraving orders will typically take longer to produce than Digital printing orders. Lindsey recommends keeping this in mind when planning your timeline for ordering and receiving invitations.

What About Calligraphy?

I have always been obsessed with calligraphy! It is one thing I’ve always wanted to learn to do, but I don’t think I have the patience for it. You know those calligraphy videos on Instagram? I could watch those all day long. Why are they so mesmerizing?! When I receive an invitation in the mail that has calligraphy on the envelope, it always feels just a bit extra special. If you’re planning to add calligraphy to your wedding invitation order, you definitely don’t want to wait until the last minute!

The reason calligraphy is so special is because it is handwritten! With traditional pen and ink calligraphy, an actual person is sitting at their desk carefully addressing each and every envelope. Just imagine how much time that takes for an average size wedding with roughly 100 invitations! For this reason, calligraphy services are typically priced per envelope. If you’re looking for the elegance of calligraphy script, but don’t have the budget for traditional calligraphy, ask out options for digital calligraphy.

Calligraphy is not just for invitations! Personalize your wedding with day-of pieces, such as place cards, table numbers and menus. Ask your calligrapher about additional paper details that can add that extra special touch! I personally love a place card! Each time I’m at a wedding that has them, I save mine as a wedding memento.

Fun Extras

There are so many fun things to see inside Lindsey’s shop on Florida Street in Mobile, Alabama. I love popping in when I’m in search of a quick gift (because everyone can use stationery!), or when I find I’ve run low on my thank you note stash.

Once inside Soiree Signatures, you know this is the place to come if you’re planning a party! In addition to all the beautiful papers, they also carry a variety of personalized party items that can be customized to coordinate with any wedding invitation suite. Who doesn’t love a wedding day koozie?! I have collected several from all the weddings I’ve photographed! Other custom items include stickers (for sealing wedding invitations), wax seals and stamps, just to name a few!

Assembly Time & Postage

When my cousin got married a few years ago, a lot of us ladies in the family gathered at her house to assemble her wedding invitations. We had quite an organized team and completed the task in a few hours. In total, it took about eight of us to complete the process in a reasonable time. It was so fun to spend that time together and chat about how excited we were for wedding day. If you have a team that’s organized and can get things done, you’re probably planning to assemble your invitations yourself and that’s awesome!

But, if you’re even just a little pressed for time and don’t have a posse of ladies that can teamwork the whole assembly process, then you may want to consider adding that service to your invitation order. At Soiree Signatures, their White Glove Service gives you the luxury of picking up those invitations and taking them straight to the post office! If you’re a bride who is getting married during a season of life where you’re graduating from college, starting a new job, undertaking a move to another state, or you just have an insanely busy schedule, ask your stationer about assembly services. Trust me, you’ll be thankful you have that extra time!

Don’t Forget Thank You Notes!

You’re receiving gifts at showers. Wedding gifts are arriving on your doorstep daily. You need to write thank you notes before it gets overwhelming. It will get overwhelming if you procrastinate on this all-important task. Get yourself exited about penning those thank you notes, by ordering stationery that coordinates with your wedding invitations. I am personally a fan of a stationery box. In fact, I ordered one for myself! The reason I love the stationery box is because you have the option of customizing four different sets of note cards all within one box.

For brides, this would give you the option to have some cards with your new married name monogram, some with your maiden monogram and some with your future husband’s monogram. If you’re writing thank you notes as you receive gifts, then you may be sending several out before you’re married. A stationery box will give you the flexibility to have some cards to use for pre-wedding and some to use for post wedding. Since your future husband’s name will not change, he will be able to use his set of cards both before and after the wedding.

Writing thank you notes is a task that many brides dread. If you’ve procrastinated on writing those thank you notes, don’t despair. I encourage you to go out and buy yourself some pretty stationery and get writing! Thank you notes are always appreciated by those who receive them and the more personal you can make the note, the better.

Lindsey says that the most important thing to remember when beginning the invitation selection process is that stationers are able to work with all types of budgets. If you know your budget at the outset, that will help your stationer guide you to the right printing style, paper type and design elements.

I love that being in the wedding industry has taught me so much about so many different things. I enjoy being able to pass along that knowledge to all the brides-to-be out there. If you found this post helpful, drop me a note in the comments!

 

Category:

Invitations | Wedding Inspiration

Weddings

Open Post

Creating the Wedding Album I was once talking to someone about being a wedding photographer and the person I was speaking with said: “You’re a wedding photographer, huh? What do you do the other six days of the week?” To say I was almost speechless is an understatement. Yes, most of a wedding photographer’s visible […]

February 6, 2019

Creating the Wedding Album

I was once talking to someone about being a wedding photographer and the person I was speaking with said: “You’re a wedding photographer, huh? What do you do the other six days of the week?” To say I was almost speechless is an understatement. Yes, most of a wedding photographer’s visible work happens on Saturdays, but there is so much that goes on behind the scenes before, during and after that day. Trust me, we definitely have enough work to fill the rest of the week. I think my fellow photographers would agree that during busy wedding season, we rarely have enough hours in the day to get all the work done that we want to do!

Since I’m a photographer who loves to be prepared, the work for a wedding day begins months in advance. Once my brides have completed a thorough questionnaire, I work on the photography timeline for their day. Sometimes this involves contacting the wedding planner, or videographer for input. Other times it involves meeting with the bride and groom to go through everything one last time before the big day. Two days prior to the wedding I begin charging batteries (for my cameras and flashes) and prepping memory cards. Yes, it takes two days just to charge everything! The night before the wedding, I pack all of my equipment and a non-perishable lunch (because it’s usually six hours or more between breakfast and dinner on wedding days!). I also review the timeline and family portrait list.

After the big day, the work continues. I sort through all the photos taken at the wedding, edit photos for the blog, write the blog post and prepare the rest of the photos for editing. When the editing process is complete, I upload the photos to an online gallery and deliver to my clients. Once my couples have their gallery, I can finally begin working on their wedding album! Yay! I send a selection of favorite images to my album designer and she creates the most beautiful layouts from my photographs. One of my favorite things about the album process is seeing that initial design. My other favorite part is receiving the finished album in the mail! It’s like Christmas morning every single time!

Spring wedding season is just around the corner! As I prepare for all the weddings that are coming up on my calendar, I find myself thinking back to last spring. I love photographing my clients’ albums before delivery when I have time to do so. Today I’m sharing Katie & Patrick’s beautiful heirloom wedding album with you! Katie selected a light grey linen and silver embossing for the cover. I thought it turned out so lovely!

When I look at a wedding album, I see the fruits of many months of work. I see brides and grooms who have become friends. It’s a bittersweet moment because the delivery of the album means my work on the wedding is complete. I imagine that’s how teachers must feel at the end of a school year, or when their students graduate.

I tell my clients that their wedding album tells the story of their day so that they can relive all the wonderful moments. Truthfully, it does the same thing for me, reminding me why I love what I do so much.

I’m still obsessed with this First Look spot!

It was an unexpected find that turned out to be perfect for this sweet moment!

There was a high chance of rain the day of this wedding. Katie ordered enough bubble umbrellas for her entire bridal party just in case we needed them. As it turned out, it only rained lightly for a few minutes, but we still took that opportunity to take some bride and groom portraits with the umbrellas.

I love that we were able to take portraits in two different locations.

It added such nice variety to their portraits!

I loved how Katie & Patrick’s album turned out so much that I ordered a miniature version to be one of my samples!

This six inch square album is also perfect for gifting to parents after wedding day!

Album Designer | Andrea, Align Album Design

Category:

Katie + Patrick | Album Love

Weddings

Welcome! I'm Elizabeth.

Read More

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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