Lauren & JP wed in Austin, Texas!

I am sometimes honored to photograph the weddings of my friends.  Sometimes it’s one or the other that I know.  And many times it’s both the bride and groom that I know and I have to say it’s a lot of fun to do so!  This was true of Lauren and JP.  I knew JP first, from a zillion years ago.  And actually only met Lauren upon their engagement.  But we were fast friends and by the time their wedding came around, I felt like I’d known her for years!  When JP told me about Lauren before I met & while discussing their upcoming wedding.  He said “I just want to make her happy.  She’s so great, Ashley.  I’m really marrying up.”  I laughed at this because JP is a really funny guy and cracks jokes all the time.  But he was dead serious.  And it left me with a lump in my throat that honestly, never really went away.

Ain’t love grand?

Smash

The wedding took place at Tarrytown Methodist Church and the reception was at The Austin Club

Esa and Mark’s Laguna Gloria Wedding

In the span of my career as a wedding photographer (which is 15 years) I had the task of capturing many of my friends’ wedding days.  These weddings have been shot in a variety of ways.  Once I was the maid of honor/photographer.  This took place at the Silver Bells Chapel in Las Vegas, so it wasn’t a big deal to wear both hats.  I’ve also been a bridesmaids and had members of my photo team cover the wedding.  Sometimes it’s just me and a handful of our close friends.  Sometimes it’s a collective of friend/photographers covering the wedding.  But more often than not, it’s me and and my team, doing our thing.  I treat my friends’ weddings like any other client.  I consider it an honor to be asked to participate in anyone’s wedding day.  Whether they are clients or friends, I bring the same level of professionalism.  It isn’t until after the wedding, when I’m editing and really looking that the images that I could get emotional.  Usually.
That was not the case when I shot Esa and Mark’s wedding.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I got choked up when she put on her dress.  I got choked up when I watched Mark see Esa for the first time.  And during the ceremony….well lets just say thank goodness for auto-focus.  I was crying all over my camera.  Another friend who was a guest, came to say hello after the ceremony.  I literally tried to pull the old “my allergies are wrecking me” card.  He didn’t buy it.  Oh I cannot imagine why.  With my puffy eyes, nose – face in general. I was a visual snotty, emotional,  blubbering disaster.  But, you know, in a good way.  I even cried during the toasts!!  I was such a happy, crying mess.  Such is life, eh?

Esa and her sisters have been friends of mine for a very long time.  I feel like they are extensions of my family.  I have often felt like another sister to them.  The special thing about these ladies, beyond their general sweet natures, collective beauty, and fun spirit is their closeness.  They would prefer to be with each other than anyone else.  Themselves and of course, now Mark.

Congratulations again Esa and Mark.  I love you both!  And no I am totally NOT tearing up while I write this too. I’m not!  Stop looking at me!

Sniff,

Smash

Last but certainly not least, the amazing vendors making this wedding possible:

Ashley Garmon Photographers

Lizze Belle Event Planning, Aimee Villa lizzebelleplans@gmail.com

Westbank Flower Market

Illios Lightning

Marquee Events

Primize

Coco Paloma Cakes

Make up – Mandy Morrison and Ashley Van Dusen

Hair – Jean Barton

Dress Hanger – Heirloom

Glamour at The Hotel St. Cecilia

We recently photographed this oh-so-elegant wedding at The Hotel St. Cecilia.  I’ve some lovely photos to share with you as well as information about the wedding from the event planner, Samantha of Pearl Events Austin and the bride…

From Pearl Events Austin:

I knew Kendall + Todd’s wedding would be one to talk about the first time I met with Kendall and she knew exactly what she wanted down tiniest details! Kendall had already secured the eminent, chic yet comfy Hotel St. Cecilia off South Congress that set the tone for the rest of the planning process.

Kendall and Todd wanted to provide a laid back atmosphere for their guests, starting with a quaint ceremony behind one of the bungalows at Hotel St. Cecilia. Kendall’s precious niece was ushered down the aisle by Kendall’s brand new fun-loving puppy that sure spread the joy by wandering off the aisle into the crowd. The ceremony was short and sweet, and then everyone was ready to celebrate!

The reception was infused with a vintage-glam meets modern, twist. We brought the indoors out by placing a vintage lounge on the front lawn, implemented custom throwback lighting above the circular bar, had chandeliers hanging from trees throughout, played a silent film featuring Todd’s grandfather in the lounge, homemade rice pudding for the groom, and an acoustic band that had everyone on the dance floor by the end of the night!

There were food stations placed along the dimly lit path down to the pool featuring Kendall and Todd’s favorites.  Chic yet naturalistic centerpieces designed by Merveille, were placed throughout the reception as well as hanging baskets of Baby’s Breath that added a comfy feel to the chic atmosphere.

From the bride:

I think everyone is a little bias toward their own wedding like saying their kid is the cutest.  However, I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and go ahead and say it, we LOVED our wedding and it was everything we hoped for and more!  Living in Austin, we are privileged to be around so much creativity and uniqueness.  Although I grew up in San Antonio, Austin has now become home and is the spot that fits us best.  There are so many locations to choose from, however, Hotel Saint Cecilia holds a special place in our hearts.  We love all things Liz Lambert, and have spent many evenings sipping Romeo Void cocktails under the oaks or in the turquois clad lounge.  All her properties have that “IT” factor in their own different ways.  The combination of nature meets eclectic chic with a mix of music is my best effort at describing HSC in a nut shell.  That is Austin and that is US!  I am a bit of a fashionista and the dress was an important element to the feel of the wedding.  I read Vanity Fair and Vogue cover to cover every month and had seen the dress that was meant to be mine in a Lanvin ad.  After a little tracking I had it shipped from Barneys New York.  It has a bit of an Asian obi feel to it which was ideal in merging into our garden theme.  We wanted a little Texas a little zen, elegant not fussy, serene yet fun!  Our band, The Shiny Ribs, helped bring in the Texas rock-a-billy twist.  The lead singer, Kevin Russell, is amazing and his rendition of Gin and Juice at the end of the night was a hilarious hit!  We worked with some amazing vendors that helped enhance HSC unique features.  Word of Mouth did and excellent job of mastering everything from pork banh mi to lobster rolls.   Illios lighting brought our fantasy to light and made it magical by illuminating the large oak in the center of the property.  The girls with Merveille Events captured the feel with the hanging floral baskets, orchid boutiques, and pops of peonies mixed with succulents.  We brought a lot of the indoor furniture outdoors to give a more laid back vibe.  All of this was beautifully captured by photographer, Ashley Garmon.

Classic wedding in San Antonio

I love this sweet classic wedding we shot in the bride’s hometown of San Antonio.  The ceremony was held at Alamo Heights Presbyterian Church and the reception at The Argyle Club.

We actually shot it last Spring.  It’s funny that sometimes life moves so fast and when we are in high wedding season, the images come in and go out very quickly.  I was revisiting this wedding today when I was looking back at our 2012 weddings, and I found myself thinking “Oh, I really like that picture!”  And the weird thing is, that I TOOK that picture.  But when you are shooting thousands of images and there are deadlines, you just keep moving forward.  I do, anyway.  Perhaps I will try and sit more with my images in the future.  I am trying to take less weddings, so this might actually be able to happen.

Anyway, that’s what I am doing today.  Thinking about slowing down to enjoy this all a little bit more….

We’ll see,

Smash