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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 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!

 

┬áSPRING 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

A Downtown Mobile Spring Wedding The best getting ready places for a wedding day are those with lots of windows! Natural light streaming in from floor to ceiling windows is my favorite. The room where Resi and her bridesmaids spent the morning of her wedding day was such a dream! I had been to the […]

March 11, 2020

A Downtown Mobile Spring Wedding

The best getting ready places for a wedding day are those with lots of windows! Natural light streaming in from floor to ceiling windows is my favorite. The room where Resi and her bridesmaids spent the morning of her wedding day was such a dream! I had been to the Malaga Inn in downtown Mobile, Alabama once before, but had never seen this particular room. Between having ample window light, gorgeous marble accents, and being close to great portrait locations, I was in heaven!

When I walked into the getting ready room, Resi and her bridesmaids had already hung the dress. This is typically something that I do upon arrival, but when I saw how high the ceilings were, I was thankful that they had asked the Inn’s maintenance staff to bring a ladder to their room. I told Resi I was proud of her for selecting a spot to hang the dress that was in good light! I was super impressed that Resi thought about getting a ladder to the room in advance. There is no way we would have been able to hang the gown in that particular spot without it! I just love when my brides get excited about their detail shots as I do!

After Resi shared a First Look with her bridesmaids, one of them asked if she thought Jacob would cry when he saw her. Resi said she wasn’t sure, but I’m pretty sure I saw some tears sneak into the corners of his eyes when he did finally see his bride. I always love a bride and groom First Look because it just immediately relaxes everyone. Once a bride is in her dress, she knows she’s only minutes from seeing her best friend. It takes away some of the nerves and pressure of the day. It’s also nice to get to spend the majority of the day with your full bridal party instead of just half of it.

Getting Variety in Your Portraits

Since Resi and Jacob did see each other ahead of the ceremony, we were able to get bride and groom portraits at several different locations. If you’re a bride who wants a variety of backgrounds in your final gallery, a First Look is definitely the way to go because it means we have more freedom to move around and use more than one of your venues in your portraits. For this day, we started out at Malaga Inn before walking across the street to Spanish Plaza for additional portraits. I love this little spot in downtown Mobile. It’s centrally located and rarely crowded.

Next, we headed to their ceremony location, Dauphin Way United Methodist Church. This church had so many beautiful spots for portraits! It had me wishing I could shoot an engagement session there. Finally, we squeezed in a few roof-top portraits at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center where the reception was held. I love the terrace at this venue. Even though we were only out there for a few minutes, it was worth it to capture a bit of the downtown skyline.

Resi and Jacob, thank you so much for having me be part of your wedding day! It was such a joy to capture these moments for you and your families! Cheers to the newly Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald!

I’m OBSESSED with this spot! I didn’t want to leave it behind because the light from that window was perfection!

The grandfather of one of Resi’s bridesmaids was their chauffeur at the end of the night.

His vintage car was definitely one of my favorite details of the day!

VENDORS

Second Photographer | Toni Goodie

Photographer’s Assistant | Alexis Williams

Getting Ready Venue | Malaga Inn – Mobile, Alabama

Ceremony | Dauphin Way United Methodist Church

Reception | Alabama Contemporary Art Center

Florist | Belle Bouquet

Cake | Kathryn Cartee

Catering | Creative Catering

Hair Stylist | March Hare Salon

Makeup Artist | Wonderstruck Studios

Band | Fuego Show Band

Rentals | Mobile Popcorn

Bride’s Gown | Mimi’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses | I Do Bridal, Morilee

Groom + Groomsmen Attire | Men’s Wearhouse

Programs + Invitations | Paper Jubilee

 

 

 

Category:

Resi + Jacob | Married

2020

Open Post

A Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Wedding Bailey and Tony had perfect weather for their engagement session! At the end of that shoot Bailey said, “I just hope it’s like this on our wedding day!” Well, their day arrived and not only was I excited to shoot at one of my favorite Mobile, Alabama wedding venues, I was […]

March 4, 2020

A Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Wedding

Bailey and Tony had perfect weather for their engagement session! At the end of that shoot Bailey said, “I just hope it’s like this on our wedding day!” Well, their day arrived and not only was I excited to shoot at one of my favorite Mobile, Alabama wedding venues, I was also excited because the weather was indeed perfect. Bailey got her wedding wish! On top of the perfect weather, the azaleas were beginning to bloom at The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion! It was a spring wedding dream!

This day was full of so many sweet moments! There’s no way I could pick just one favorite. Bailey’s first look with her dad had everyone in tears, her grandmother seeing her for the first time in her dress had us all reaching for the tissues again, and a musical tribute from friends was a highlight of the reception. Bailey’s dad said that he knew Tony was special from the first time he met him. He could tell his daughter had found her soul mate, even though she was still a teenager at the time. I love high school sweetheart love stories, don’t you?! As Bailey’s dad shared in his toast, it’s a rare thing to find “the one” at such a young age and that in itself is something to be treasured and celebrated!

Bailey and Tony did not see each other before the ceremony. I love that he was so excited to see her that he turned around to get the first glimpse of his beautiful bride the minute the doors were opened! It was such a sweet moment!

Timing the Ceremony with Sunset

When couples choose to not share a First Look, I always recommend checking the sunset time for your wedding date. It’s so important to leave enough daylight after the ceremony for natural light portraits! Bailey and Tony perfectly timed their ceremony to give us ample time for portraits afterwards. If you’re trying to figure out what time to set your own ceremony, Google the sunset time for your date and location. Then, allot a minimum of two hours between the end of your ceremony and sunset.

Many people think an hour of light is enough time, but many things can eat away time. Keep in mind whether or not your location is heavily shaded, how many portraits you’ll be taking with bridal party and family afterwards, as well as the chances of your ceremony running longer than planned. All of these factors can affect how much daylight you’ll need! Additionally, if it’s a heavily overcast day, the light will fade earlier than the official sunset time.

Bailey and Tony, thank you for being such a dream to work with! It was such a joy to capture these moments for you!

I love mother-daughter moments on wedding days! This one is going down as one of my all-time favorites!

This daddy-daughter First Look had everyone in tears!

I love this moment between Bailey, her daddy and her younger sister!

The moment Bailey’s grandmother saw her in her gown had us all reaching for tissues yet again! Definitely one of my favorite moments of the day!

My favorite portrait of the day! Thank you to my assistant, Alexis, for an amazing veil toss!

I just can’t get enough of the light in this spot during Golden Hour!

 

VENDORS

Second Photographer | Evan Davis

Photographer’s Assistant | Alexis Williams

Coordinator | Ginny McElhaney-Simmons

Venue | Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

Catering | Naman’s Catering

Florist | James Overstreet, Flowers by James

Cake | Publix

Hair Stylist | Sara, Studio 36

Makeup Artist | Sara, Studio 36

DJ | Aaron Ludlam, DJs by the Bay

Rentals | Mobile Popcorn

Bride’s Gown | Simply Elegant

Bridesmaid Dresses | David’s Bridal

Groom + Groomsmen Attire | Men’s Wearhouse

Invitations | Designed by the Bride, Bailey Parrish

Ceremony Musician | Hailey Thornton

 

 

 

Category:

Bailey + Tony | Married

2020

Open Post

A Mobile, Alabama Bridal Portrait Bridal portrait sessions are such a beautiful Southern tradition. I love that they give the bride the opportunity to wear the dress ahead of wedding day. You spend all that time searching for the perfect one. Why not wear it as much as possible, right?! I also love that bridal […]

February 18, 2020

A Mobile, Alabama Bridal Portrait

Bridal portrait sessions are such a beautiful Southern tradition. I love that they give the bride the opportunity to wear the dress ahead of wedding day. You spend all that time searching for the perfect one. Why not wear it as much as possible, right?! I also love that bridal sessions let me spend time getting to know my brides even better ahead of wedding day. Normally, I’ve already worked with them and their groom on their engagement session. But, in Annie’s case, this was her first time in front of my camera.

Annie was living and working in Texas ahead of her wedding day. Christopher was stationed in Oklahoma. His military schedule, combined with her work schedule, added to a busy schedule of events leading up to their December wedding, meant that it was tricky scheduling sessions. Ultimately, it worked out that we did the bridal session before their engagement session and I have to say that reversing the typical order was pretty fun!

I love when I have the opportunity to photograph bridal sessions on private property. It’s especially helpful when that same location will be part of the wedding day. Annie’s childhood home was perfect place for this portrait session. It adds an extra layer of sentiment to the portraits, which I love. I also love that this home has a lot of natural light. The house is framed around a courtyard, and the floor to ceiling windows provided us with a lot of soft natural light for these portraits.

After spending part of the session inside, we headed to the front lawn for some outdoor portraits during Golden Hour. This is the time of day when the sun is getting close to setting, which means the light is softer and slightly diffused from the tree line. I LOVE shooting during this time of day! Capturing the “Golden Hour Glow” in portraits gets me so excited every single time! Enjoy this look at some of my favorites from Annie’s session!

One of my favorite portraits from the session!

Click here to see Annie and Christopher’s wedding post!

Category:

Annie | Bridal Portraits

2020

Open Post

A Corpus Christi Catholic Church Wedding What do we do if it rains? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from brides. I answered it yet again this afternoon when I met with a bride-to-be and her mom. We are no strangers to rain here in Mobile. That’s just our Gulf […]

January 22, 2020

A Corpus Christi Catholic Church Wedding

What do we do if it rains? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I hear from brides. I answered it yet again this afternoon when I met with a bride-to-be and her mom. We are no strangers to rain here in Mobile. That’s just our Gulf Coast climate for ya! I find myself wondering what it must be like to photograph weddings somewhere like Arizona. I’m sure they don’t get the rain question nearly as much as I do! Haha!

So, what do we do if it rains? My answer is that it depends on how much rain we get. If it’s an all-out storm, then it’s highly likely we’ll be doing most pictures indoors. This means it’s a HUGE bonus if your wedding venue has a lot of windows! It really rained on us last Saturday at Catherine and Thomas’ wedding and I was so thankful for the ample windows in the community center at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. If you have to deal with rain, having access to a deep porch, or floor to ceiling windows, is definitely a best case scenario!

I first met Catherine and Thomas at her sister’s wedding last year. I absolutely love when I have the opportunity to work with the same family on multiple weddings! The second time around there is such a familiarity with everyone. Working with this sweet family was seriously a dream both times! After planning two weddings less than 12 months apart, I think Catherine’s parents definitely deserve a vacation. As a sister of a bride-to-be, I know what’s going into planning just one wedding. I can’t imagine planning two at the same time!

Some of my favorite memories of this day include Catherine getting ready with her mom and sister – these three are just the sweetest! I also loved when Thomas surprised everyone by dipping Catherine when it was time for ‘the kiss’ at the end of the ceremony! Then I was nearly in tears as I watched Thomas dancing with Catherine’s grandmother at the reception. The song that was playing had been her grandparents’ song. Catherine’s mom told me her daddy would always stop anything he was doing to dance with her mom when the song came on the radio. It was one of the sweetest moments and I just can’t help but think that Catherine’s grandfather was smiling down on that moment!

Congratulations Catherine and Thomas! Thank you for letting me share in the joy of this day!

The bride having a Starbucks coffee ahead of portrait time totally reminded me of my sister!

I LOVE this flower girl portrait taken by my second photographer, Alexis! It totally captured this young lady’s enthusiasm for the role!

It was such a treat seeing Elizabeth and Dalton! It’s hard to believe their first anniversary is just around the corner!

VENDORS

Second Photographer & Assistant | Alexis Williams

Venue | Corpus Christi Catholic Church & Banquet Hall

Catering | Tyner’s Catering

Florist | All A Bloom

Cake | Cakes by Judi

DJ | Russell Combs DJ

Bride’s Gown | Bliss Bridal

Bridesmaid Dress | Azazie

Groom & Groomsman | The Black Tux

Category:

Catherine + Thomas | Married

2020

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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