New Orleans Wedding at Race & Religious : Emilie + John

From the Bride: "Our wedding weekend was a roller coaster, full of surprises, twists and turns and ended fantastically. Both of us and our families come from Boston, MA, but decided to have a destination wedding in one of our favorite cities, New Orleans, where the bride attended business school at Tulane. All 150 of our guests were traveling from the Northeast area, and the majority had never been to New Orleans before! We received news of Hurricane Nate's impending arrival on Friday, which almost forced us to cancel the entire wedding, but somehow we woke up on our wedding day to clear blue skies and the perfect day for our wedding! Race and Religious was magical and everything we dreamed of for our wedding. We planned a menu with our caterer to give our guests a taste of the best of New Orleans, including an oyster bar, a Creole themed cheese and charcuterie station, and other classic NOLA dishes for our cocktail style dinner party. Our guests attitudes were amazing and everyone was ready to party and celebrate the passing of the Hurricane. We were so glad to be able to show our guests the celebratory attitude of the city. The threat of the hurricane made us realize that all that mattered was having our friends and family with us to celebrate our love and joy - but being able to actually get married in the place we dreamed of with our vendors who executed flawlessly was just the cherry on top of a perfect weekend."

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Venue: Race & Religious

Caterer: Palate Catering

Band: Groovy 7

Flowers: Poppy & Mint

Rentals: Yur Event

Lighting: Luminous Events

Hair + MUA: Flawless Bride

Alcohol: Brady's

Wedding Gown: Alexandra Grecco

Tux: Bonobos

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN

Hair Piece: Twigs & Honey

Bridal Shop: Ceremony Bridal

4 Reasons Every Bride Should Do a Bridal Session

From the second I finished editing Kira's Bridal Session at the gorgeous Race and Religious venue in New Orleans, Louisiana, I've been convinced that I need to book a bridal session! Here are four reasons from the photographer + recent bride herself on why a bridal session is SO. WORTH. IT.

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1. Test it out - Worried about how everything will fit, flow, and feel on your wedding day?! I was too. Booking a bridal session with your photographer is the perfect time to test everything out and get comfortable, making you feel much more confident for your wedding day. If you're like me, I only got to put my wedding dress on a few times before the wedding day and it was only briefly. So, I was extremely nervous how everything would look and work. This is the perfect time to have your hair and makeup trial, to make sure everything will look exactly the way you like it! Another perfect example is from Kira's session here: She put on her wedding shoes and as we were walking around she noticed the lace on the bottom of her dress was snagging and getting caught because of the sparkly rhinestones on her shoes. This gave her the time to make the desired (more comfortable) changes for getting new shoes prior to her big day. 

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2. Get Comfortable - The comfort level of being in your dress is important, but also feeling comfortable with YOUR photographer is suuuuper important! Doing a bridal session before the wedding allows your photographer to get a feel for your personality, which poses work best for you for the prettiest photos, and you get to be in a relaxed, no-stress zone learning how to react & move in front of the camera while gaining a relationship with me! 

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3. Location - Getting married indoors, at dark, in a church, or not at the exact place you always dreamed of as a child? While I absolutely adore every single photo from my own wedding last April taken by my incredibly talented photographer, Erich McVey, I have since then found myself wishing I did a bridal session for this simple fact: having photographs of myself in my wedding gown in a wider range of backdrops. When will you ever wear your dress again besides your wedding day? Most likely, never. SO, why not set up a bridal session in a few of your favorite locations so that you have a wide variety of photos to choose from to look at or print out to show your kids one day?! Think: near the water along the beach, under the live oaks draping with Spanish Moss, at sunset among golden light, or at your favorite venue (like this gorgeous one at R&R) that may not have worked out for your actual wedding day. That way, it's a win-win situation! 

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4. Get creative - While your wedding day is bound to be one of the best and most exciting days of your life, trust me when I say, you will not have all the time in the world to take artful photographs. The actual wedding day flashes by in the blink of an eye, and on top of that you may be full of nerves, stress, or not to mention, tears, on this most wildly emotional day. Bridal portrait sessions are meant for having fun and exploring your imaginative side! Have your maid of honor or best friend join you to tell jokes, make you laugh, and tell you when your pose is feeling stiff. Your photographer will be inspired as well with all of the time, freedom, and new locations. The fun part about it is you get to choose whatever props you want in these photos! Whether it be your grandfather's antique car, your pup, a vintage parasol, or even a colorful velvet backdrop - you get to choose anything you want for these photos! Wear your mother or grandmother's dress for a few photos and surprise them with prints at the wedding. Go crazy. This is the one time where it can be all about YOU!

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Book with Lacey for your next bridal session! It can be before OR after your wedding day! 

Dress: Martina Liana

Venue: Race and Religious

Hair: Hair by KP

MUA: Makeup by Meggan

Jewelry: Heidi Hull Designs

Veil: Bel Aire Bridal

Florals: The Plant Gallery

Shoes: Badgley Mishka

 

Marie + Chris Elopement

Marie + Chris traveled all the way from Nevada to elope in their favorite city - New Orleans, Louisiana. Bringing only their two best friends along with them, (and the bride's amazing red-bottom Christian Louboutin's OF COURSE), we all hopped in a fancy limousine and headed across the river to the beautiful Algiers Courthouse. After the couple said "I do", we explored around the French Quarter for more photos and ended the day in the best way we knew how -- ordering delicious beignets at the iconic Cafe Du Monde for the bride & groom's slice of cake! The day was so simple, all about the love between these two, and it couldn't have been more perfect for them. If you know me, you know I LOVE a sweet & simple elopement!

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Niki's 30th Birthday with The Southern Atelier

I was honored when Fashion Blogger and Stylist, Sarah of The Southern Atelier, approached me for a feature celebrating her gorgeous friend, Niki, for her big 30th birthday. Sarah is so talented and does everything with a sense of style and grace. She has been known in the Birmingham, and now Fairhope, community for styling the most stunning photoshoots and helping to define an artistic individuality that focuses on a modern Southern style. We started with her husband and pup outside my studio so we could get some fun shots of them together. The rest of the shoot was filled with all things cake, champagne, confetti, glitter, and a modern fashionable play on the most popular + fun children's birthday party -cake smash- theme! Be sure to schedule your next birthday, shower, or fashionable styled shoot with us at Lacey's new studio in downtown Fairhope, AL! We photograph everything from engagements, to baby showers, birthdays, newborns, anniversaries, fashion editorials, seniors, and more! The possibilities are endless!!

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Her courage was her crown and she wore it like a Queen.
— Atticus
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Stylist: Sarah Levey, The Southern Atelier

Hair + MUA: Kristen Johnston, Vanity Hair Studio 

Jewelry: Zundel's Jewelry 

Cake: Ellen Jay Sweets 

Models: Niki & Keith Coker

Clothing contributors: La Robe Boutique

Set Design: Leslie Bradley

Leigh Ann + Jonathan | Engaged

Some rainy-filled days changed up our original plan, leading us to this beautiful Mississippi harbor instead. And we're so happy it did! That's the beautiful thing about life, it twists and turns and sometimes you end up in unexpected places meeting wonderful new people and discovering things you could have never imagined if you tried. Leigh Ann & Jonathan's togetherness reminded me of the waters surrounding them. Calm, serene, and free. They moved together, as the wind moves the sea, finding stillness in between. We cannot wait to be a part of their wedding celebration later this year!

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Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
— Rumi

Stephens Family Lifestyle Session

When Lauren contacted me about wanting to set up a lifestyle family session as soon as her second baby was born, I was over the moon as I love intimate at-home settings. It is an honor when a family lets you in to their personal lives and home to create beautiful images. The icing on the cake is when there's a 7 day old newborn involved! Baby James slept like a champ the entire time as his big sister was still getting used to figuring out how to hold him. With Dad being a Pilot in the U.S. Navy, we got creative with his helmet, which the baby fit right inside like a puzzle! To finish up the session, we went on a little walk to watch the St. Charles trolley pass by while trying to re-create one of Lauren & Adam's wedding photos with their now family of 4. Does it get much sweeter than this??! Thanks again to the Stephens' family for allowing me into a snippet of your lives to capture these timeless moments!

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Macy + Ryan

With all of these hurricanes as of lately, the rain has had it's way of rearranging our busy October schedule of engagement sessions, weddings, and everything in between. Of course, when we finally found a day that would work for Macy + Ryan, it was grey and gloomy. I'm a glass half full kind of girl, so the positive spin to this was having the park all to ourselves and the low, white clouds acting as a natural diffuser for beautiful soft light! We had so much fun with these two capturing their love and fluid sweet moments together among the draping Spanish moss at City Park and in then in the French Quarter. Don't they just make the cutest couple?! So excited for their wedding next year! 

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Run Wild, Hustle & Shine

We recently had the pleasure of working with a group of fitness girls on their trip to New Orleans for a conference and it was too much fun! Their motto is that empowered women, empower women. The goal these coaches strive for is to inspire other women while gaining confidence and a love for a healthy lifestyle. They definitely had me craving a nice big, healthy salad and bowl of fruit after their photo session! We love having a variety of clients. Hire us for your next girls weekend trip, family session, or big milestone! Cheers to the weekend, ya'll!

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Kat + Chris | New Orleans Wedding

These two were such a delight to work with! Kat and Chris contacted me all the way from Brooklyn, New York asking me to be their wedding photographer for their New Orleans destination wedding and I was thrilled. We love working with both in town and out of town brides, and we are always excited to meet a couple who loves the heart and soul of New Orleans as much as we do! Kat and Chris started out their wedding day at the beautiful Melrose Mansion to get ready, complete with a clean room for their first look and a serene pool which made a perfect spot for bridal party and family photos! They hopped on over to Maison Montegut for a quintessential French Quarter ceremony. There in the greenery filled courtyard, they read aloud their own personal vows to each other. It was a perfect, romance-filled moment in this classic hidden gem on Royal Street. Finally, these two danced the night away starting with a second line leading them along with their closest family and friends on the walk to their reception at the stunning Old Ursuline Convent. They even had their own choreographed first dance to 'I Found You' by the Alabama Shakes. Congratulations again to these happy newlyweds! What a day! 

Wedding Planner | Ruby & Pearl

Hair + MUA | Blush & Bashful

Decor | Luminous Events

Baby Luke

It's amazing how life can change all in one day. We had the joy of getting to meet sweet Baby Luke and all his adorableness at the hospital less than 24 hours of his arrival here on earth. This session, in particular, totally melted my heart with his Mama, Sarah, being one of my dear friends and artist colleague at Auburn University. Hearing her speak to her brand new baby for the first few times in his life was incredible to watch. It's like she had known him all along, so confident and sure of his nature. This fresh 48 session had my heart fluttering and was surely one I won't forget. Thank you Sarah and Matt for letting me be a part of this exciting time for your family! We can't wait to see those little chubby cheeks this summer for an at home session ON FILM!! These are the moments that define dreams.

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Crystal + Erik | Engaged

"I want to love you wildly. I don't want words, but inarticulate cries, meaningless, from the bottom of my most primitive being, that flow from my belly like honey. A piercing joy, that leaves me empty, conquered, silenced." -Anïs Nin

Curtis Family under the Sweeping Oaks

We had the pleasure of meeting the tiniest little bundle of giggles and her parents. Naomi would light up and couldn't stop from laughing every time her dad would lift her up in the air. His arms may have gotten slightly tired from all the playing but it was worth every single snicker. The dynamics of new family sessions make me so happy. It's a gentle kind of love while parents are teaching the ways to their children, and learning from their little ones in return. I love it all!

Katelyn + Neil | New Orleans Engagement

Simple and madly in love. That's All. 

Congratulations to Katelyn and Neil!

Anna + Pierre | New Orleans Elopement

Elopements come with a special tone. They are so very intimate and warm. Just the two of them and the love they share between. This is one of the many reasons I adore being able to be a part of such an endearing day. Anna and Pierre's destination elopement in New Orleans was so uniquely them. They tied a special knotted rope to seal their bond, they kissed under the big sweeping lover's oak tree, and they danced in the street. Congratulations to two kind souls!

Janet + Bryan || Audubon Park Engagement

Janet is calm and kind hearted, which shows itself easily in her body language. Bryan compliments her well by adding some playfulness to their alliance. While getting stung by a caterpillar hanging out on my camera bag wasn't a great way to start their session, I was in good hands with these two soon-to-be doctors. Congratulations to Janet and Bryan!

Lindsey + Mike || Race & Religious Wedding

Lindsey and Mike know how to throw one amazing wedding party. After meeting them during their engagement session, I knew the wedding was going to be spectacular. And then to find out they would be having Brooke Casey (my personal favorite) as their wedding coordinator, I knew it would be a dream come true kind of day. What I didn't know, was how much love and excitement their family and friends would bring to top off the icing on the cake. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were equally one of a kind friends. I could tell by the moment I walked into the bride's suite as each bridesmaid was so attentive to helping Lindsey in whatever she needed. And not to mention, her glass of champagne was never close to empty! From their first look all the way to the second line parade, there wasn't a moment that went by lacking a heartfelt expression. Congratulations again to these two newlyweds! 

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Ami + Darshan || Baton Rouge Indian Wedding

These two light up when they are near each other, which is why I expected nothing short of pure elation on their two-day wedding extravaganza in Baton Rouge. What I didn't realize, was how welcoming and happy their families would be and how much that joy would rub off on everyone who was in their presence. I have been drawn to the unique, rich cultural traditions that each Indian wedding includes since I photographed my first one. Without going into huge detail about every single thing I love about this wedding, I will just mention the dancing. Oh, the dancing! The women, the men, the children! Everyone dances together, spinning their brightly colored dresses, singing, laughing, twirling and I can't get enough. You become a part of it behind the camera too, intertwined between circles of dancing capturing these fleetingly compelling moments. It was truly a celebration of something beautiful. We wish you a wonderful life together, Ami & Darshan!

 

 

Baby Samantha

After getting to know Virginia + Mike during their maternity session, I couldn't wait to meet their baby girl who would soon be entering a house full of love. A mere five days old, Samantha is already an adorable little bundle of cuteness. She was happiest outside in the warm sunshine. Something about seeing, holding a brand new little human gives me all types of feelings. How tiny those hands and ears and feet are. It's remarkable, really. Her life on earth has just begun and she will grow and learn and stretch and cry and laugh just like all of us. They have loved her before they met her and that is nothing short of beautiful. Congratulations to the newest little family!

Erin + Anthony || New Orleans Anniversary

Olivia + Dillan || Wedding

When I first met Olivia, Dillan, and their sweet pup they were as calm and loving as ever. We got to know each other for their engagement, wedding shower, and then really celebrated on their gorgeous wedding day at Race & Religious. The day lacked nothing, but instead involved everything to do with full-hearted emotions and moments of pure joy. One of my favorite recollections of their evening was Olivia's grandfather joining her for an unplanned shake down on the dance floor. Dillan held her all day long with a seemingly 'never letting go' touch.  They celebrated among strung lights and glittering palm trees.  She glanced into his eyes with a gaze of newness, of a loving admiration for her now husband and he looked back delightedly at his brand-new wife. Congrats to the newlywed lovebirds!

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Venue // Race & Religious

Donuts // District Donuts

Florals // Beth's Flowers

Dress// Bustles & Bows