Shelby | History Museum of Mobile Bridal Portraits

Shelby Mobile Alabama Bridal Portraits Deborah Michelle Photography History Museum of Mobile

A dream come true is what this Mobile bridal portrait session was. For years, Shelby has dreamed of a portrait on the grand marble staircase at the History Museum of Mobile in downtown Mobile, Alabama. Now you might be thinking, that’s an odd request…until you see it.

Shelby just received her education degree from Springhill College with a focus in history, so this session combined all of her worlds. And to top it off, All A Bloom made a stunning bouquet centered around the bride’s favorite flower - a sunflower.

Oh & her dress! Ya’ll, it’s what every Southern girl dreams of. Shelby, I had so much fun playing “dress up” with you before your June wedding day.

Shelby Mobile Alabama Bridal Portraits Deborah Michelle Photography

In case you were not aware, the History Museum has the cutest little courtyard that we just had to take advantage of. Hello white walls with greenery growing up it for days! #photographersdream

Mobile Alabama Bridal Portraits Deborah Michelle Photography
Mobile Alabama Bridal Portraits Deborah Michelle Photography

As we were about to make our transition to a new location, a small rain shower came out of nowhere. #soMobile We pulled together resources & umbrellas & made a move across town. Huge thanks to the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion for having one of the best covered porches in Mobile, Alabama. Eventually the rain stopped & we got a few more lovely bridal portraits along the oak drive.

Shelby Mobile Alabama Bridal Portraits Deborah Michelle Photography
Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Mobile Alabama Bridal Portraits Deborah Michelle Photography

Vendors for Shelby’s Bridal Portrait Session

Venues: History Museum of Mobile & Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal

Hair & Makeup: Taylor Ladnier at Salon Whairhouse

Florlist: All A Bloom

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

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


*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.

Haley | Full Gallery-53.jpg
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!

Haley | Full Gallery-143.jpg

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

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

Ariel | Bridals

Ariel Bridal Portraits Bellingrath Gardens Mobile Alabama

Bridal portrait sessions are some of my favorites, hands down. But they are so hard to keep to myself sometimes. I won't forget the day Ariel stepped out in her wedding gown. It took my breath away. I had not seen anything like it before. The fit & flair style (yes, I watch way to much Say Yes to the Dress) paired with her simple veil & long red curls were every photographer's dream!

Now that Ariel is Mrs. Smiley I can finally share a few of my favorites from her day of dress up. *Plus I am sharing a few tips on how to prepare for your very own bridal session...just keep reading.

Ariel Bridal Portraits Bellingrath Gardens Mobile Alabama

Goodness, this bride is goregous!

Ariel | Bridals-83.jpg

It's like Ariel stepped into a magical secret garden for these shots. Ah so in LOVE!

Ariel | Bridals-74.jpg

And now can we just discuss the back of her dress from I Do Bridal & Formal? It is stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Ariel Bridal Portraits Bellingrath Gardens Mobile Alabama
Ariel Bridal Portrait Session Bellingrath Gardens Mobile, Alabama

...and if these are her bridals just wait until you see the photos from her wedding day! She knocked that one out of the park, too! Stay tuned :)

Just a few friendly tips from your photographer if you are planning to book a bridal session during the fall in Mobile, Alabama:

  1. Bring a portable fan. It doesn't matter if it's the end of September, it will still be a thousand degrees outside. That mixed with 10 layers of me, you'll want a fan.
  2. Stay hydrated & bring a little something to eat beforehand. You will fit into your dress, I promise. Plus I don't need you passing out on me.
  3. Bring your sweet momma (or best friend). Having an extra set of hands is soooo helpful. They will be there to help you laugh, to wipe away the sweat, to fluff out your train, to hold your veil...and the list goes on.
  4. But most of all remember to have fun! This is your time to play dress up before the big day. Schedule a trial run with hair & makeup. Walk around in your shoes. Your only job is to relax & smile because the next time you put on your dress will be your wedding day that you've only dreamed about.

Bride's Dress: I Do Bridal & Formal Mobile, Alabama

Bridal Portrait Location: Bellingrath Gardens & Home Theodore, Alabama

Ring: Hayes Jewelers

Florals: Sharon Summerlin with Costco

Catherine | Bridals

Catherine Bridal Portraits The Pillars of Mobile Alabama

I believe in ice cream after exercising. After all isn't life just about finding the right balance?

So many times we as women chase after this perfect image created from unrealistic expectations. And we all strive for what we don't have. Curly hair versus straight hair. Brunette or blonde.

Let me stop you right there. You are beautiful. Your curves are stunning. Your wrinkles show that you laugh with abandon. Your smile lights up the room. You, my friend, are lovely just the way you are. Emily Ley put it perfectly, "I will hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection." Amen sister. I will confess I am preaching to the choir here, but can we strive towards this? Let's start today.

Now that I've gotten that little pep talk out of the way - let's celebrate this beautiful bride, Catherine.

I would describe Catherine as a Southern Cinderella. Her fiance proposed to her at Disney World & for her wedding day she desired to be a princess. Finding the perfect venue for her bridals wasn't hard. Somewhere elegant & classic where this bride could twirl around in her gown. (*Hint: you don't want to miss the last photo of this blog post!)

Catherine | Bridals -21.jpg
Catherine | Bridals -53.jpg

One of my all time favorite bridal portraits!

Catherine Bridal Portraits The Pillars of Mobile Alabama

Bridal Portrait Venue: The Pillars of Mobile

Bride's Dress: Justin Alexander, Bliss Bridal

Kayla | Bridals

Kayla Bridals Swift Cole Historic Home Alabama Gulf Coast Weddings

I was talking to a friend earlier this week about how my first year of business I basically did everything I could to keep afloat. And this second year I have really tried to find my voice, my tribe & serve them the best I can. I can honestly say that Kayla is one of those precious finds. We have laughed & laughed together. From dreaming about the choir in busting out in "Hey Ya" during her wedding ceremony to sending gifs back & forth via text, she gets me.

Kayla trusted me when it came to picking a spot for her bridals. So being the hopeless romantic Southern gal that I am, I decided upon one of my favorite best kept secrets in Baldwin County - the Swift-Cole Historic Home in Bon Secour, Alabama. *We just so happened to pick out the most humid day known to man to adorn a wedding gown & walk around. Between the sticky Gulf Coast humidity, gnats & sweat, she rocked it.

This girl put in countless hours at the gym with her personal trainer, Rita, & it shows. Hello tiny waist & curves!! Nothing like feeling your absolute best for your wedding day. You get it girl! You are absolutely stunning! 

Kayla Bridals Swift Cole Historic Home Alabama Gulf Coast Bride

Tracy | Bridals

Tracy is a Southern bride through & through. She is as sweet as that smile on her face. But don't let that distract you from the fact that she is a triathlete. That's right - when she's not all dressed in white she can be found hitting the pavement in her running shoes or on her road bike. You go girl!

The dress she found at I Do Bridal & Formal in Mobile was absolute perfection. Lace graced her collarbone, revealing a sweetheart neckline while the rest of her dress hugged every curve before flaring out at the bottom.

I loved playing dress up with Tracy & her maid of honor a few weeks before her wedding day for this lovely session. Give me a gorgeous Southern bride in lace & an avenue of old oak trees & I am in heaven! Enjoy a view of my favorites from her Springhill bridal session.

Oooooh girl.

Bride's Dress - I Do Bridal & Formal Mobile, Alabama

Florist - Belle Bouquet Saraland, Alabama

Ring - Gold Art

Olivia | Bridals

"So this is love, so this is what makes life divine." - Cinderella

Olivia reminded me of a Disney princess with her elegance & stunning gown. She married her prince charming on March 25th, so now I can share these images - aaahh finally!

I'm just in love with this Japanese Magnolia. Aren't you?! Thank you spring for your sweet buds.

*Special thanks to the The University of Alabama Arboretum for the most lovely background to compliment this bridal session.

Hair & Makeup: Joanna at Phenix Salon Suites - Tuscaloosa, AL

Holly | Bridals

Bridal sessions - it's a love/hate relationship. They are normally taken a month out from the wedding date & are kept secret until then. And that's just not fair. Not one bit. 

Holly's session was breathtaking. We decided upon using their wedding venue, Mobile Botanical Gardens, as the backdrop & it was perfect. 

The Timeless Bride redesigned Holly's mother's dress from the eighties. Isn't that incredible?!

Congrats Mrs. Nelson! More from their wedding day coming soon!

Venue: Mobile Botanical Gardens | Hair & Makeup: Salon Thirty One | Dress: The Timeless Bride