A Photographer Becomes A Bride | A Personal Post

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On the most beautiful Saturday in April, I married my best friend. I sat down my camera & picked up a bride's bouquet. Instead of wearing black & running around behind the scenes, I wore white & the loveliest lace veil.

As someone who is in the wedding industry, I thought I knew a good bit. Wrong. I was wrong. There was so much that I didn't know. For example, how much food it takes to feed 150 people or how many options there are for table linens. And now I know why it takes a bride a few days to respond to emails, we've got a lot of things going on. Meeting with other vendors, working a full-time job, trying to sweat for the dress & make time for your fiance. I understand so much more now.

So, today, I wanted to share with you my experience as a bride & provide a few takeaways that might help a future bride in the process too. Below you will find 10 tips that will hopefully help you in planning your big day!


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TEN TIPS from a Photographer who became a Bride

1. Hire a wedding professional planner and/or coordinator. I get it, you've got Pinterest & you know what you want to do; but trust me a professional will guarantee that your vision will come true. As a photographer, it pains me to see someone asking the bride logistical questions the day of or the mom on her phone trying to find out where the flowers are when her daughter slips on her dress. She's missing that moment! Trust me hiring a professional is worth it, even if it's just for the day of.

2. Make it your own, not a Pinterest board. Goodness, I sound like I hate Pinterest. I promise I do not. I used it as a launch pad. For instance, what colors should I use? Oh this is a beautiful gown, let me save this image for inspiration. Or cute ways to ask my nephews to be 'ring bearers'. Ways we made 04/28/18 our own? We allowed everyone from our bridal party to purchase their own attire. Each tie was different & every dress flattered each girl.

Our families are both big reasons why we are here today & so we wanted to highlight them in a special way. So being the wedding photographer that I am, we took photos from their wedding days & displayed them. I also knew that I wanted to honor my dad who passed away eight years ago in happy ways not sad ones. I wrapped my bouquet with the collar of my dad's shirt so that he'd be there holding my hand every step down the aisle & at the reception shared a dance to the Temptations' "My Girl" with all the dads/daughters in attendance. Little touches that make your wedding day unique to you & no one else.

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3. An Engagement Session is key. I am a photographer for a reason, I prefer to be behind the camera. And when you do get me in front of it, it's like I forget what to do with my hands or to smile naturally. I always encourage my clients to do an engagement session because it allows them to become comfortable in front of the camera before their wedding day. Ya'll, it's so true. My husband, Richard, even said so, too. "I was actually able to enjoy the moment versus focusing on whether I was doing the pose correctly.”

4. No rules, it’s your day. If you want three cakes, have three cakes. If you don't want to toss the bouquet or garter, don't.

Confession: I always thought I wanted to elope or at least have some sort of destination wedding. But, the more I thought about our "perfect" wedding day, the more I wanted to celebrate my marriage to Richard in our city. He grew up in Mobile & I have lived here for 10 years. Mobile is home. So we decided to have a small intimate ceremony with just our immediate families & bridal party a few hours before hosting a large reception at The Pillars of Mobile, Alabama. Again, no set rules my friend.

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5. Be flexible. I am not the most adaptable person, but when things don't go as planned you just have to go with the flow & make it work a different way. Rain might change your ceremony from outside to inside. Hair & makeup may take longer than anticipated. So my best advice: remain calm, trust your photographer who added that buffer of time into your portrait timeline & be okay with taking bridal party portraits after the ceremony.

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6. Eat! I always tell my brides to eat because no one likes a hangry bride & then I turned into one! (*Let this be my formal apology to Elizabeth, Allyson, Cheree & Bryan.). Being the Chick-fil-A addict that I am, I had breakfast catered for my girls & I as we got our hair done that morning. Then for lunch ordered sandwich trays from Publix for us & the groomsmen. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to grab a sandwich before stepping into my dress...not my best moment. By the time the ceremony was over & we were taking pictures, I started to get hangry. Our original plan was to eat before being announced at our reception but we were a little late due to pictures. (Y'all, golden hour was just too pretty to miss; so happy we got those gorgeous portraits in Washington Square. They are some of my favorite from the entire day!) So as soon as we got to our reception venue we were announced, shared our first dance & then went into a private area to eat while our guests enjoyed brunch for dinner as well. Ten minutes of sitting down to eat allowed us a moment to ourselves before interacting with our guests & gave us fuel for all the dancing!

7. Make time for a Mother/Daughter Date. Girls, your sweet momma has probably dreamed of this day since she first held you in her arms. During the week of my wedding, my mom & I checked into the Battlehouse Spa for an afternoon. And it was just what the both of us needed. Time to relax & not worry about running errands. Time to chat & soak up the big life changes that were taking place soon. Because as soon as your bridesmaids roll into town, you hit the ground running. So set aside some time the week of your wedding for your mom, whether that is a spa day or a coffee date.

8. Remember your vendors. I am not saying this because I am one. But now that I've been on the other side of camera, I know how hard they work to make your day the absolute best. Sure tips are appreciated but a simple "thank you so much for everything" can make their day too. I consider myself the luckiest bride because I surrounded myself with my dream team. They truly went above & beyond & am a forever grateful.

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9. Pick your best friends to stand by your side. I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard "well I was in hers, so I have to ask her to be in mine too". No, absolutely not. You should always choose those who have supported you & will continue to throughout your marriage. Sure you were best of friends 10 years ago but did you call her when you knew you went on your last first date?? You need to surround yourself with friends who make you laugh, keep you calm & hold your ballgown when you have to potty! #weddingdayreality LOL

And most importantly...

10. On the day of, your only job is to get married. That’s it. I am a planner to my core & was a little stressed the week of my wedding. I just wanted everything to come together perfectly. And the reality is that months of planning are gone in simply 24 hours. So I knew when I woke up on April 28th that no matter what happened that day my only task was to get down that aisle to Richard. It was a day to soak in every moment & enjoy celebrating our love with all of those closest to us.

I can, in fact, say that it was the best day ever.


Shout out to all the vendors who made my wedding day the best!

Planner | Heather Pfefferkorn, Classic Events – The Pillars of Mobile

Getting Ready & Reception Venue | The Pillars of Mobile

Ceremony Location | Washington Square Park

Photographer | Elizabeth Gelineau - Check out her blog about our wedding!

Second Photographer | Jacob Bennett

Photographer’s Assistant | Allyson DeMouy

Videography | Lifehouse Films - Check out our video sneak peek!

Caterer | Chef Rob Stephens

Florist | Sarah Beth’s Florist

Cakes | Cakes by Judi

Hair Stylist | Mallory Gleason, Root 43 Salon

Makeup Artist | Courtney Matthews

DJ | Jason Skelton, DJs by the Bay

Rental Company | SOHO Events & Rentals

Bride’s Gown | Bella’s Bridal & Formal, Birmingham

Groom’s Suit | Samuelsohn, Oak Hall, Memphis

Jeweler | Lou’s Jewelry

Custom Painting | Melissa Munger

The Mattoxes | Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Spring Wedding

Christy & Tyler Bragg Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Spring Wedding

I know I am not supposed to have my favorites BUT this was my favorite wedding on May 19th, 2018. (Royal wedding, I'm looking at you!) It was a magical day here across the pond in Mobile, Alabama. From the first look on the porch of an antebellum home to the family portraits nestled in between azalea bushes to dancing the night away, oh man it was a wonderful celebration for Christy & Tyler.  

We started the day with their first look which allowed us plenty of time for portraits at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion followed by lots of laughter with their bridal party. It wasn't long before Christy made her way down the aisle to her groom at St. Mary Parish Catholic Church. And then back over to the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion for food & dancing. It was one of the most fun wedding day celebrations that I have been a part of. Congrats to the Mattoxes & thank you for allowing me to capture your first day as husband & wife!


Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding Spring 2018 Christy & Tyler
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding

I loved the soft purple that the bride chose for her maids. Looked fabulous on all of them!

Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Bridesmaids Deborah Michelle Photography
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding

Ah! So much joy! And one of my most favorite moments of the day is finally here.... It’s that moment immediately following the ceremony when the bride & groom look at each other with the biggest smiles of the day. Their eyes lock & they realize that they are married at last & it’s the sweetest moment to capture. So don’t mind me, the crazy photographer chasing after the couple. The result is worth it. Every time.

Christy and Tyler Mobile, Alabama May Wedding St. Mary's Catholic Church
Christy and Tyler Mobile, Alabama May Wedding St. Mary's Catholic Church

Once the I Do's were said & the rings exchanged, it was time to head back to the Bragg-Mitchell for a night of great food & dancing.

Christy and Tyler Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama May Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama Wedding

Garth Brooks' "Calling Baton Rouge" was the perfect song for this Louisiana bride & her maids. 

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Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Deborah Michelle Photography Christy & Tyler Wedding

Congrats again you two!

Here's a look at all who made Christy & Tyler's day of celebration so much fun: 

Photographer's Assistant: Toni Goodie
Ceremony: St. Mary Parish, Mobile AL
Reception Venue: Bragg-Mitchell Mansion
Florist: Kristy Berry
Band: Family Jewels, Veet's Bar
Cake: Pollman's Bake Shops
Hair & Makeup: Beth Glover Wilkerson
Transportation: Royal Limousine, LLC.

Catering: Naomi's Catering

Lauren | Spring Hill College Avenue of Oaks Bridal Portraits

Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits

Did you know that bridal portrait sessions date back to WWII? You see it was rare to have a photographer at your wedding back then, so the bride would go into the photographer's studio a few weeks before her wedding for a portrait in her wedding gown. And those portraits would become family keepsakes adorning the hallway of the bride's home for all to see. *Read more about this tradition over on Southern Weddings!

I have no doubt that Lauren's granddaughters will one day see these portraits of her & gasp at how beautiful of a bride she was. So elegant & timeless in her ballgown dress, yet young & romantic with her hair up & long veil drifting about in the breeze.

Do you ever think of the legacy you will leave behind? The memories that you will create with your family that will be shared with generations to come. The laughter. The joy. My prayer is that the portraits I capture for my brides will remind them of this special season in their lives. And with their hair all grey & laugh lines surrounding their face, they will tell stories to those gathered around her rocking chair of how she once fell in love in the most magical way.

Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits

Lauren is one of my most joyful brides. I absolutely loved spending time with her & her mother at the Avenue of Oaks on Springhill College's campus one Sunday afternoon. Overcast no doubt but made radiant by the bride's smile. I had way too many favorites from this bridal portrait session, so enjoy a few of them!

Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits
Lauren | Avenue of Oaks Springhill College Bridal Portraits

I cannot wait to share Lauren & Justin's wedding day with you soon! Stay tuned!


Bride's Gown & Veil: Bliss Bride Fairhope, Alabama

Venue: Spring Hill College Avenue of Oaks Mobile, Alabama

Hair & Makeup: Mallory Gleason Root 43 Salon

Florals: Trayce Mathis

Ring: Lou's Jewelry

Tracy & Jonathan | Dauphin Island Portraits

Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama

Funny story: this sweet girl right here was once my bride & is now my sister-in-law. I doubt she meant to be a matchmaker at her own wedding but she was. Now I’m excited to watch her become a mommy & welcome a niece into the family.

Tracy & Jonathan’s maternity session took place at one of my favorite Gulf Coast locations, Dauphin Island. From the mighty oaks in Cadillac Square to the seashore near Fort Gaines, this little island creates a magical place for portrait sessions.

Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama
Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama

Congrats to this DMP couple! I cannot wait to cheer you on in this new little adventure of yours!

Tracy & Jonathan Maternity Session Dauphin Island Alabama

Goodie Family | Daphne Alabama Family Portraits

Daphne Alabama Family Photographer

As a photographer it's often hard to find the time for you to get in front of the camera. I am so glad that the rain held off this afternoon for this sweet family session. This awesome girl boss is a wife, a mommy to two & a photographer.

And at every family session I try to be intentional about stealing the parents aside for a couple of images. Because let’s be honest, the last time they got professional pictures taken was probably at their wedding.

The Goodie family portrait time ended in a round of hide & go seek which will probably be how I end all family photos from here on out.

Daphne Alabama Family Photographer
Daphne Alabama Family Photographer
Daphne Alabama Family Photographer Bayfront Park
Daphne Alabama Family Portraits

Toni has worked alongside me this wedding season & it's been so much fun. I love her eagerness to lend a hand & seeing the awesome images that she captures.

Check out this Gulf Coast photographer's work - Toni Goodie Photography

The Walkers | Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Spring Wedding

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard

I believe in marrying your best friend. Someone who laughs with you when you cannot find your cell phone & it's in your hand. Someone who greets you with forehead kisses when you come home from work exhausted. Someone who vows to love you through all the ups & downs.

Marriage is far from easy. You stick two independent (& might I add selfish) people together & you've got a lot of learning ahead of you. He might prefer the towels folded the exact opposite way that you are accustomed to. And you probably discovered that you might not be as neat as you once thought you were. But the beautiful thing about being married to your best friend is that you make a daily decision to love your spouse no matter what. For better or for worse.

Haley & Howard are best friends. They balance out one another & seek out the best in each other. Their generosity & love for others are what bind them together. Haley & Howard exchanged vows on the porch of the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion during one of the most loveliest spring days in Mobile, Alabama. And that my dear does not come often!

I consider myself the luckiest photographer to have had a front row seat in capturing their love story. One of my favorite moments of the day was when Haley looked at me seconds before her first look. Tears filled her eyes & in that moment she realized that a promise that God whispered to her years ago was being answered. She had found her person whom her soul loves. And that is the most special feeling you could ever experience.

I could go on & on about how special it was to be a part of Haley & Howard's wedding day. From the tender kisses shared during their portrait time to her parents reminding me (a newlywed) that communication is key in marriage to being showered by rose petals as they exited as husband & wife. It was the best day for two best friends to be wed!

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding

The Bridal room at the Bragg-Mitchell is one of my favorites. A wall full of windows create the most perfect getting ready portraits.

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard Walker
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard Walker Spring Wedding
Haley & Howard Bragg-Mitchell Wedding Mobile Alabama Spring
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Bridal Party
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Groomsmen

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Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard

Their afternoon reception was simple yet full of fellowship. The couple greeted guests as they enjoyed Frio's popsicles, wedding cake & mini grilled cheeses.

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Haley & Howard Deborah Michelle Photography

Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Walker! What a delight it was to capture your day one!

Here are all of the vendors who made their wedding day the best:

Photography: Deborah Michelle Photography

Photographer's Assistant: Joanna Lee

Venue: Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama

Bride's Dress: Something New Bridal Boutique Mobile, Alabama

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Something New Bridal Boutique Mobile, Alabama

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Francia's

Bride's Ring: Ritani

Caterer: Thrive Catering

Cake: Cakes by Judi

Florist: Sarah Beth's Florist

Invitations: Minted

Rentals: Mobile Popcorn

Hair & Makeup: Ally Taylor

Photo Booth: FlyBy Photo Booth

Haley | Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Bridal Portraits

Haley Bridal Portraits Bragg Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Wedding Photographer

You're engaged. Now what?! My best advice - find another bride who is also in the midst of planning hers too. I found mine & it was such a blessing.

Meet Haley. My friend & fellow spring bride. I met Haley a few years ago & we talked about single life & never thought we'd eventually get married within weeks of one another. But the Lord had other plans. We both found the greatest of guys even when we were a little skeptical that any still even existed. So as soon as she got engaged it was a no brainier that we'd share lists of local vendors & bounce ideas off of one another.

I literally squealed when she asked me to be her wedding photographer & cried happy tears when she booked one of my favorite Mobile venues for her wedding day. So needless to say I was thrilled when she took advantage having her bridal session at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion the month before her big day. Two things: I have no doubt that this Pronovias Princia gown from Something New Bridal Boutique was made just for Haley. It fits her like a glove & took my breath away when she walked out in it. And her veil was perfection. See for yourself....

Haley Bridal Portraits Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama

Brace yourself for this next portrait....

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Bridal Portraits Mobile Alabama Wedding Photographer

AHHHHH!

*Funny story: the Bragg-Mitchell was open for tours the day we took Haley's bridals & a few of the tourists snapped pictures of this Southern Bride while we were setting up this shot. "I felt like a celebrity!" she later mentioned.

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Haley | Full Gallery-101.jpg

Isn't the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion just the sweetest backdrop for this gorgeous Southern bride?!

Haley Bridal Portraits Mobile Alabama Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

P.S. If you think these bridal portraits are stunning just wait until you see her with her groom on her wedding day. Haley literally glows!

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Venue: Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile, Alabama

Bride's Dress: Something New Bridal Boutique Mobile, Alabama

Bride's Ring: Ritani

Florals: Sarah Beth's Florist

Hair & Makeup: Genesis Salon Mobile, Alabama

Expert Veil Tosser: Lori, the bride's sweet momma

New Town Newlywed | A Personal Post

Deborah Michelle Photography Auburn Alabama Alabama Wedding Photographer

Hey Auburn, Hey Auburn, there's a new girl in town...

Never in a million years would I have imagined that this Bama girl would be living in that other town. You see I grew up just south of Tuscaloosa & my t-shirts are crimson & white. But God sure does have a sense of humor because I fell in love with an Auburn boy.

Moving in general is a huge undertaking but moving a small business can be hard. For years you've worked to established yourself in an area & eventually became friends with the wedding professionals that you've worked alongside & now it's like the first day of kindergarten all over again. But if there's one thing I have learned, it's that you have to seek out community. And that's my number one goal as I move into my new town.

Meet my little family. Richard is my HUSBAND. *Goodness I like the sound of that. :) He is the kindest, gentlest soul that I've ever known & often teaches me to live in the moment. He is finishing up his PhD at Auburn University & I am so proud of him. I'll never forget the first conversation we had. I asked him where he lived & when he said Auburn I responded with "Oh I'm sorry!" Ha! Jokes on me because the loveliest village on the plains is now my new home as a newlywed. 

And our family wouldn't be complete without our four legged son, Elliot. He loves any adventure that we bring him along, especially if it ends in an ice cream cone from Sonic.

So far I am blown away by the hospitality shown by this town & have had the best time exploring new places. I have discovered all the coffee shops (of course) & love weekends spent with brunch at The Hound followed by a trip to Kiesel Park with Elliot.


Hey thanks for reading this little personal post & following me along on this exciting new season of life as a newlywed.

If you are a fellow photographer or creative in the Auburn, Opelika, Columbus areas, let's grab coffee ASAP! (And maybe do a head-shot swap so my sweet husband doesn't have to next time. Bless it, he did so well didn't he?!) Seriously, I cannot wait to get to know you & work alongside you.

xoxo,

Debby Cullum

*Mobile, I am still your girl. I will forever travel to your Gulf Coast to capture your wedding days. So don't think I have abandoned you. My car knows I65 South real well.


Our wedding was shot by the wonderful Elizabeth Gelineau - check out our blog here which was also recently featured on Southern Weddings! AHHH!

Collage pictures were shot with an iPhone X.

The Reichs | Citronelle Community Center Alabama Spring Wedding

Reich April Alabama Wedding Citronelle Community Center

Do you like to travel? I have a feeling that that was one of the questions these two asked each other on their first date. And when they both said, yes. Well that's when the real adventure began.

Nestled in quiet North Mobile County is the Citronelle Community Center which provided the gorgeous backdrop for Stephanie & Ryan's spring wedding day. The day began as most do, hair & makeup with the bride & her girls. But one of my favorite parts of the day was when Ryan saw his bride for the first time. *I had a sneak peak because of Stephanie's bridal portraits & I knew he'd be speechless when he laid eyes on her. The ceremony was short & sweet & their bridal party was so much fun. There was much joy & merriment throughout the evening as these two newlyweds were celebrated.

Congrats Stephanie & Ryan! I cannot wait to see what new places & adventures y'all embark on next as husband & wife!


Citronelle Community Center April Wedding
Adventure Wedding Mobile Alabama

As a nod to their love of traveling, Stephanie hand-painted this globe to hold all of their postcards in. How adorable?!

Bride and Mother of the Bride Southern Wedding Mobile Alabama
Bride getting ready Citronelle Community Center

AHHH! My favorite. He couldn't take his eyes off of his bride!

Stephanie and Ryan April Wedding Citronelle Alabama
April Wedding Bridal Party Alabama Weddings Deborah Michelle Photography

Seriously - this bridal party was so much fun to work with!

April Bridal Party Mobile Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

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Just Married April Wedding Citronelle Community Center
Reich Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography Mobile Alabama
Reich Wedding April Mobile Alabama
Just Married Mobile Alabama April Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

Pollman's Wedding Cake Citronelle Community Center April Wedding
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Reception Dancing Citronelle Community Center
Bubble Reception Exit Mobile Alabama Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

Vendors:

Photographer: Deborah Michelle Photography

Second Photographer: Joanna Lee

Venue: Citronelle Community Center - Citronelle, Alabama

Bride's Dress: Bliss Bridal - Fairhope, Alabama

Bridesmaids Dresses - David's Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Randall's Tuxedos - Mobile, Alabama

Cake: Pollman's Bakery - Mobile, Alabama

Caterer: Bruce Holmes

DJ: Southern Aire DJ's

Rings: Blue Nile

Stephanie | Bella Sera Gardens Bridal Portraits

Bella Sera Bridal Session Gulf Coast Weddings

I don't know about you but when I was a little girl, I played dress up all the time. At my grandmother's house I would dig through her craft room for fabric scraps & piece together the fanciest of wedding gowns. And other times I would host slumber parties for my friends & we would sip tea while dolled up in my mother's dresses & high heel shoes. So I think it's only fitting that when it's your turn to be a bride that you play dress up one more time before your big day!

Stephanie was thrilled when she stumbled upon Bella Sera Gardens as the location of her bridal portraits. And so was I. Bella Sera Gardens is one of the Gulf Coast's newest wedding venues & it is gorgeous. I had the hardest time narrowing down my favorites from this session, so enjoy!

Stephanie Bridal Session Spring Wedding

This swinging bed with that afternoon light. Oh. My. Goodness.

Bella Sera Gardens Bridal Session Loxley Alabama
Bella Sera Gardens Bridal Session Gulf Coast Bride Stephanie

Shout out to Stephanie's maid of honor for creating the perfect veil toss! I may have to recruit her for future sessions.

Stephanie Gulf Coast Bride Bella Sera Gardens Bridal Portraits

I am so in love with these black & white portraits. So elegant & timeless.

Bella Sera Gardens Bridal Session Gulf Coast Bride

Dress: Bliss Bridal - Fairhope, Alabama

Venue: Bella Sera Gardens - Loxley, Alabama

The Adams | Watson Farms Mobile Alabama Spring Wedding

Cassie and Logan Mobile Alabama Watson Farms Wedding

Most would say the seventeenth of March is a day full of luck to which I would agree. A few Mobile rains showers changed some of their original plans but provided a cool afternoon for Cassie & Logan's quaint wedding ceremony & reception at Watson Farms. And plus rain is considered good luck on your wedding day anyways, right?!

From the moment I met Cassie, I knew she was a simple yet nurturing soul. She takes care of everyone in her closet circle including her son, Ethan. And on the day of her engagement session, I got to meet her other half, Logan. Together these three make one family & it is the sweetest.

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Watson Farms Mobile Alabama Wedding Spring
Mobile Alabama Barn Wedding Spring 2018 Deborah Michelle Photography
Watson Farm March 2018 Wedding Deborah Michelle Photography

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Mama's Song by Carrie Underwood will favorite be one of my favorites.

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Vendors for the Adams Wedding:

Photographer's Assistant: Sara Grace McClain

Dress: I Do Bridal & Formal

Venue: Watson Farms Mobile, Alabama

Cake: Cakes by Judi

Caterer: Tyner's Catering

Katie & Brandon | Engaged

Katie & Brandon | Full Gallery-181.jpg

Confession of a photographer: I still get butterflies when I arrive to a session. I am either eager to meet new faces or excited to reconnect with old friends. And shooting during this season of life has been so sweet. I, too, am engaged & can connect to my clients in a whole new way & it's the best feeling.

When I showed up to Katie's family property along the Black Warrior River in Akron, Alabama on a Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by smiling faces. Nerves melted away with every laugh the couple shared.

I have known Katie since high school & seeing her with Brandon brought my heart so much joy. Seeing someone connect with their person is why I continuously show up to capture people's love stories butterflies & all. This October I will return to my hometown to capture their fall wedding day & after their engagement session, I cannot wait!

Katie & Brandon | Full Gallery-164.jpg
Katie & Brandon | Full Gallery-171.jpg
Katie & Brandon | Full Gallery-144.jpg

Katie's dad built this pergola for her brother's wedding a few years ago & it's where her sister got married last year. So of course this part of the property had to be included in her portrait session.

Katie and Brandon A Riverside Engagement Session Alabama
Katie & Brandon | Full Gallery-31.jpg

Enjoy this sweet season of engagement you two!

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The Eves | 12.16.17

Mary and Adrian Eves December Wedding Mobile Alabama

"Today I am marrying my best friend!" Those were the words written in the love letters exchanged between Mary & Adrian on their December wedding day. "I don't know how you do it, but it's amazing how much your smile alone can transform a person...and I promise to work as hard as I can to keep the smile upon your face."

Wondering the halls of McGill-Toolen High School one afternoon, Mary overheard someone playing the piano & stepped inside the auditorium to find this handsome young fellow playing. Their love of music drew them together & has continued to grow.

Surrounded by family & friends, these two vowed to never stop fighting for one another & to continuously put each other before themselves. "I'm so excited to start this new chapter in our amazing story - so far I have loved every second of this fairy tale."


Mary and Adrian December Wedding Mobile Alabama
Mary and Adrian December Wedding Mobile Alabama

Their first look was probably one of my all-time favorites. Such genuine excitement to be marrying your best friend. Ah LOVE!

Mary and Adrian December Wedding Mobile Alabama
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Eves Wedding Party Mobile Alabama December
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And of course, Smudge had to be a part of the wedding day too!


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Vendors who made this fairy tale wedding a dream come true:

Bride's & Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Francia's

Florist: Kathy Lovitt

Venue: Corpus Christi Catholic Church Mobile, Alabama

Videographer: Mike O'Sullivan - Check out their awesome video here!

Cake: Pollman's Bake Shop

Catering: Naman's Catering

Rentals: Blue Rents

Haley & Howard | Engaged

Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement

All my life I was told to wait for God's perfect timing. Of course I would roll my eyes & ignore any wisdom from the peanut gallery. I would take things into my own hands because after all I knew what was best. Ha. But you're smart & you know what happens next. Disappointment & frustration resulted when my plans failed.

I never understood it until it happened to me. God's timely is absolutely perfect. Not a moment too soon, not a moment too late. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:7) Sweet girl lean into it. Trust me. You might think "oh I'll just be a bridesmaid, never the bride" but you just hold tight! Haley's story is similar to mine. She thought she was "too busy" to date while working & pursuing her masters degree, but she decided to give it a go.

Haley met Howard for a date. And shortly after that, a second date was planned. Original plans fell through so they decided to grab dinner at the Dumbwaiter Restaurant in Downtown Mobile. Haley described it as the most magical evening & the best date of her life. She knew. He knew. 

And watching these two together, I knew. Haley & Howard are a perfect pair. They compliment one another so well & have such kind, gentle souls. I am delighted to call these two friends & cannot wait to capture their May wedding day!

Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement
Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement
Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement
Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement

Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement
Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement Avenue of Oaks
Haley and Howard Springhill College Mobile Alabama Spring Engagement

The Towerys | 11.11.17

Jordan and Callie November Wedding Ethel, Lousiana

Faithful You have been and faithful You will be
You pledge yourself to me and it's why I sing
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

These words were sung out as an anthem at the beginning of Callie & Jordan's wedding ceremony on November 4th, 2017. The Lake at Oakhill in Ethel, Louisiana provided the most perfect backdrop for this sweet fall wedding.

From the moment I met Callie I knew we'd become friends. We shared a bond that only a few understand. And as we discussed her wedding day, she shared with me one special detail. A few years ago her father passed away & her grandmother had saved some of the roses & dried them. And she was going to have the flower girls drop those precious petals down the aisle. So this daddy's girl would still be walked down the aisle by her sweet dad.

The entire day was an act of worship. From the moment Jordan saw his bride standing in white at their first look to the ceremony performed by the bride's grandfather to the sweet fellowship of family & friends around fire pits at the reception making smores.

This love story was certainly a delight to capture. And I am reminded that I truly have been blessed with the best clients who trust me with their special memories. Enjoy a look back on Callie & Jordan's first day as husband & wife!

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

This. This is one moment of the wedding day that I treasure. Most of the time you’re rushed from hair to makeup & your mind races with all the things that must come together. But this is a time where it’s just you & your momma. You are the bride in white & all of the planning is done. Take a deep breath sweet girl, you are about to see your groom.


Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding First Look
Jordan and Callie November Wedding Day The Lake at Oakhill Louisiana
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Their venue, The Lake at Oakhill, was the most perfect backdrop for their wedding day. I was slightly obsessed with this wall of windows. Keep scrolling for one of my favorite night photographs.


Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding Bridesmaids
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

When you plan your ceremony around golden hour & get that perfect glow for just married portraits. AH! Love, love, LOVE!

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Yall, they had a doughnut cake. Need I say more???

Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding Doughnut Cake
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding
Ethel Louisiana The Lake at Oakhill November Wedding Smores
Jordan and Callie The Lake at Oakhill Ethel Lousiana November Wedding

Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Towery!

Thanks for asking me to capture your love story & be a part of your wedding day.

Shout out to all the awesome vendors who made this day happen!

Venue: The Lake at Oakhill - Ethel, Louisiana

Bride's Dress: Bliss Bridal - Fairhope, Alabama

Wedding Coordinator: Maggie Tenhundfeld with Moss & Lace Weddings & Events

Videographer: Wildfire Cinematography

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse


Can't get over how ridiculously precious Callie & Jordan are?

Have no fear - click here to see their engagement session!

Cassie & Logan | Engaged

Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama

She walked into their home to find a jewelry box covered in the living room. Still in her work clothes & messy bun, he asked her to be his forever.

Often times you read of extravagant proposals but my favorite are those that take place in the simplicity of everyday life. That could be going for a walk together after brunch on a Sunday or sitting at the table in the coffee shop where you had your first date. It's your story & that should be celebrated. 

Cassie & Logan love for one another shows in every touch & every smile. Cassie's son, Ethan, even joined in on their Springhill College engagement session.

Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama
Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama
Cassie and Logan Engagement Session Springhill College Mobile Alabama

Congrats you two! I cannot wait to celebrate yall this weekend!