Last November, we photographed Michael and Juliana's super stylish black and gold wedding on the river on a PERFECT fall day! Their after-dark wedding was one of the most touching and unique ceremonies we have ever been blessed to witness.Read More
Columbus MS wedding photography
Two wonderful families celebrate Bethany & Tyler's wedding day in Columbus, MS in true Southern style.Read More
Enjoy these lovely images of a sweet summer wedding at The Magnolias, an antebellum home in Aberdeen, MS.Read More
Jon & I were over the moon when Kathleen & Cody asked us to begin their engagement session in both the baseball AND football stadiums at MSU. They fell in love as students here, and the campus of Mississippi State University is full of sweet memories for them. They even had their first kiss on the Kiss Cam during a game! Since their wedding is just around the corner, here's a peek at their amazing session. :)
I want to tell you a little more about Kathleen & Cody now - they love to laugh. I love to hear engaged couples laughing and having a good time, and these two just enjoy each other so much. They are truly kind, caring people, devoted to their faith and to each other. When we first met, we bonded over photography & outdoor fun. (I'm a little jealous over their last zip line adventure!) Plus, they love old barns too (more about that in a minute!)
While we were at the Winery, we watched some storm clouds forming to the northeast, so Jon and I pulled out some off-camera lighting for a little something different. I love available light photography, but I LOVE a dramatic sky!
Finally, Cody mentioned that his friends in town had a beautiful old barn behind their house (another reason I love Starkville - the old houses!) So we set off to do a quick session at the barn. Can you believe these two agreed to climb up into the barn loft (dodging all kinds of dust and spiders) for this last photo?
Kathleen & Cody, your engagement session was so much fun for us! Thank you for letting us take "just ONE more picture!" :) It was an honor to photograph your MSU love story. We can't wait to photograph your wedding in just a few short weeks!
Jon & Amaris
Mallory & R.J. are Mississippi sweethearts through and through, and their wedding celebration reflected their love of their home and their families. They chose the Northpointe Red Barn in Jackson, Mississippi as their wedding venue, and Jon & I fell in love with it at first sight. Even the antique door handles and keyholes were shaped like hearts!
Every wedding venue should have at least one really tall window to showcase the dress.
R.J.'s beloved mother was remembered in many ways throughout the day. I especially loved how R.J. wore his mom's photograph close to his heart. What a perfect way to include the memory of a loved one!
This little one was very excited to see Mallory put on her beautiful dress.
Mallory was a lovely, lovely bride - she just glowed all day long. She put so much thought and effort into every detail of her wedding day, including her creative cotton boll bouquet.
I loved how the lace edging on her veil was echoed on the back of her dress.
Mallory's daddy was speechless when he saw his little girl for the first time in her wedding dress.
I always, always love the moment when the groom sees his bride for the first time on their wedding day.
Jon and I had such a wonderful time watching Mallory & R.J. celebrate their love for each other with their families and friends. We felt so honored and blessed to capture these memories for them. Mallory & R.J., we pray that your life together will always be filled with love and laughter, just like your wedding day.
- Jon & Amaris
Confession: we absolutely LOVE these two precious people, so I am going to be embarrassingly, unapologetically over the top with this blog post. We've known Anna's sweet family for years, and we have been blessed by their friendship in more ways than we can count. When Anna & Daniel told us WHERE and WHEN they were getting married, we were over the moon. A mountain wedding? In October, our favorite month? With two of the sweetest, kindest people we've ever been blessed to meet?? I'm not sure if I have enough words to describe how excited and happy we felt to be a part of their special day. So I'll just post lots and lots of photos instead. :)
Anna and Daniel love hiking, camping, and all kinds of outdoor adventure, and they have spent many happy days in Mentone, Alabama with their family and friends. Anna grew up traveling to Mentone with her family, and when she was a little girl, she told her daddy she wanted to get married at this little church, Sallie Howard Memorial Chapel. This little chapel was built by Colonel Milford Howard as a memorial to his wife, Sallie. As you can see, the stone church is built around a huge natural boulder. It's a living, working church, and if you visit Mentone or Fort Payne, you can stop by and spend time in prayer in this quiet, pretty place. The doors are never locked.
Now, I want to show you a little bit of the quirky, tiny town of Mentone, and the beauty of DeSoto State Park. You. Must. Go.
And when you visit Mentone, you must eat at the Wildflower Cafe. You must eat here, and you must try their Fresh Tomato Pie. You will thank me for it.
Guess where Daniel proposed? Right here at DeSoto Falls.
Here's what a sunset looks like from a cabin on the Brow of Lookout Mountain near Mentone.
The weekend of October 26, 2013 was chilly, clear, and very colorful in Mentone. The trees blessed Anna & Daniel with a glorious, fiery rainbow of gold and scarlet and every shade in between. The smell of smoke from wood fires lingered in the air, carried by a gentle mountain breeze. Anna & Daniel kicked off their wedding weekend with a delicious rehearsal supper at DeSoto State Park. The stone pavilion was warmed by crackling fireplaces, a few extra heaters, and lots of love.
On the wedding morning, bright mountain light shone through the windows of the lovely lodge on the Brow where Anna & her family & friends prepared for the ceremony. As they dressed, they enjoyed a gorgeous view of the valley and all its rich autumn colors. The house was full of laughter and anticipation of the joy of the day.
Little Mr. Zooey James' precious wedding shoes had to be featured with his beloved auntie's.
I thought Anna looked like a movie star in her veil.
Anna & Daniel chose to have their First Look in the woods, on the Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail in DeSoto State Park. Golden leaves fell, along with a few joyful tears.
Meet the Davidson + Brown Wedding Party! We had so much fun taking these photos!
And then everyone went to the little stone chapel in the woods, and there was a beautiful wedding, just like Anna had always dreamed.
The little ring bearer couldn't resist a peek inside...
Daniel, your joy at seeing your bride walking down the aisle gave all of us so much joy.
And the two became one.
Anna & Daniel gathered their loved ones for portraits, and then everyone headed to Brow Park for one of the most sweet, joyful, colorful wedding receptions Mentone has ever seen.
BEST. WEDDING. ACCESSORY. EVER. HORSES!!! A gorgeous draft horse carried Anna & Daniel in an antique carriage, up the winding road under a shimmering canopy of leaves. As family and friends gathered, the late afternoon sun shone warm and golden on the ridge overlooking the valley.
The horse got a lot of attention. I am pretty sure he thought the bouquets were for him!
The wedding party led the way to the reception as the newlyweds followed in their carriage. They were welcomed by a lively, joyful crowd of family and friends, and a gaily decorated outdoor reception on top of the mountain ridge.
At the reception, Anna & Daniel had a surprise for their guests and family. They gave special vows and gifts to one another... On an ancient stone ledge overlooking the valley, Anna gave Daniel a song, and he gave her a precious cup made by his own hands.
I miss this cake. I really do. It will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
Gentle breezes rustled the leaves as these two had their first dance. (Side note: Daniel and his family love to dance. LOVE to dance. Just another reason they are awesome.)
Brow Park was transformed into a charming celebration of Anna & Daniel's fun, adventurous personalities. Every where you looked, there was something warm, colorful, and creative to see.
Their guests enjoyed buffet tables loaded down with a warm, delicious supper of family favorites, rides in the carriage, and gazing at the incredible view of the sunset over the valley.
Little Zooey James, caught napping.
They also had a really fun photo booth wall!
Daniel had a trick up his sleeve (literally) when it came time to toss the garter...
There was quite a lot of enthusiasm among the single ladies over that bouquet!
As the sun cast its last rays upon the Brow, Daniel & Anna slipped away for a few quiet moments together.
And there was more dancing... until the sun had slipped away and the stars were coming out, one by one.
Daniel & Anna slipped away in their carriage as the last light faded from the sky.
But the fun wasn't over yet....
Day Three: The Waterfall Session! One cool thing about destination weddings... if the Bride & Groom are staying at the wedding location, they can choose to have a "Day After" portrait session. It's a really fun, laid back way to capture sweet moments together in your wedding clothing, especially if your wedding is someplace as lovely as DeSoto State Park in the fall! Anna & Daniel really wanted portraits of themselves as the waterfall, so we met them there the next morning. And then this happened. :)
Anna & Daniel, being part of your wedding celebration was a high point of our photography career to date. Seeing the love shining through you two (and your families) blessed us in so many ways. We carried home these photographs and so many, many warm memories of your kindness & hospitality. We will cherish your wedding for the rest of our lives. As Jon put it the evening of your reception, "We could quit photography now & die happy." God bless you both! Make lots more memories in Mentone!
- Jon & Amaris
Before there was a wedding, there was a dress. Before Meryl and Brinton ever met, long before their love story began, this dress was waiting for the day when Meryl would say, "I do." This beautiful, delicate wedding gown has been worn by three generations of brides in Meryl's family! When Meryl told us the story of her gown, her face just lit up. And I've got to admit, even though I get really, REALLY excited about every wedding Jon & I shoot, the story of this dress made my heart dance a little bit. I believe beloved heirlooms are much more than symbolic - I believe they carry the hopes, the stories, and the strength of families. I knew that this dress summed up Meryl's heart for her wedding - that the precious gifts of family, love, tradition, simplicity, and beauty come together in one lovely day. I also realized Brinton was a lucky, lucky guy. :)
And here's the gorgeous bride, wearing her beautiful dress.
Here's a peek at Meryl and Brinton's First Look. I think Brinton was pretty nervous before he saw his beautiful bride, but once he saw her, he couldn't stop grinning. I think all his wedding-day jitters just instantly disappeared! He couldn't take his eyes off Meryl. <3
The day turned a little rainy just before the wedding, but it stopped just long enough for us to step out into the courtyard.
The stained glass windows of Main Street Presbyterian Church are breathtaking.
Jon caught Meryl and her dad peeking into the sanctuary just before they entered. So sweet!
Brinton couldn't wait to see her...
And now it's time for the reception at Meryl's parents' farm out on the prairie. I will forever be grateful that the sun chased the rain clouds away, because this reception was AMAZING. And Jon & I were in on a big secret about the end of the reception... but first, there were friends and family arriving from all over... there was amazing food.... there was laughter and music and dancing.
Meryl can DANCE.
I'm pretty sure she learned it from her daddy. :)
And here they are, making their sparkler exit. Meryl & Brinton thought that was the end of the night, but it wasn't... not yet... Their families had something extra special planned.
Moments after this picture above was taken, Meryl & Brinton turned around, and a dozens of lanterns, like slow moving stars, were lifting into the sky. What a sweet and loving tribute to the new Mr. and Mrs. Fisackerly. It was perfect. So now Meryl's dress has more lovely stories to tell.
Meryl & Brinton, your wedding day blessed us more than we can tell. Our hearts were filled with joy to witness yours. God bless you always!
- Jon & Amaris
Shadowlawn is a lovely, historic antebellum home, constructed circa 1848, and beautifully restored in 2001. The gracious lady of Shadowlawn, Mrs. Burnette Avakian, is also the amazingly talented owner of A Bride Idea Wedding and Event Planners. The bride, Elizabeth, is her lovely (and also amazingly talented) daughter, and they, together with an entire crew of gifted people, create lovely, lovely wedding experiences for their clients.
So we knew this wedding was going to be AMAZING. And it was, down to the last pink detail!
Liz and Adam had us laughing and smiling all day long, from the first moments of the day, to the big finale of their sparkler exit.
Here's a sweet moment during their First Look.
Liz was a gorgeous bride.
The tiny ringbearer stole everyone's hearts.
The grounds of Shadowlawn were transformed into a garden of roses.
I loved Liz's idea for this pose!
Oh my goodness, this First Dance made me cry and smile at the same time.
Liz and Adam, your wedding was such a beautiful celebration of love, hope, dreams, faith, and family, and everything that is sweet and good. We will never forget your amazing day.
Jon & Amaris
Magical. Delicate as a snowflake, but strong and timeless as the notes of a bagpipe skirling through the December sky. (Can you tell that Whitney and Scott's wedding inspired the poet in me?) :) I've said it before - we get to work with the coolest couples. From the first moment we met these two, we knew that their wedding day was going to be something very, very special. Here are some of our favorite moments from the day. Whitney, Scott, we love you guys! <3
Whitney gettin' made up. And yes, that clock reads 8 AM.
The stained glass windows at the Chapel of Memories are breathtaking. What a venue!
Sweet moments from their First Look.
Whitney spent months planning the details of her wedding. Isn't her bouquet AMAZING?
Whitney and her lovely attendants. This was such an elegant color scheme for a December wedding.
Hee hee hee - I love it when the bride and her attendants get silly.
Scott and his dudes having fun.
The piper played a haunting melody as the ceremony began.
This guy was awesome.
I LOVE LOVE LOVED these shoes. Very excellent choice, Mrs. Branch.
The beautiful bride...
Check out these cowbells! What a wonderful idea for a wedding at the Chapel of Memories!
Whitney and Scott's cozy, happy reception was at the Verandah in Starkville. I love this place.
Whitney painted the cake topper! :)
And just one more, of a little wedding guest all worn out. Whitney and Scott, we will cherish the memories of your wedding day! Thank you for inviting us to share in your joy.
- Jon & Amaris
Looking at wedding pictures makes me happy. The past few days I've been revisiting our galleries and reliving all the beautiful, joy-filled moments Jon & I have been blessed to share. Today, I want to invite you to share in the classic loveliness of Jessica & Ryan's October 2012 wedding.
Jessica & Ryan celebrated their wedding at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Starkville, Mississippi, where they live. Jon & I were blown away by the simple, reverent beauty of this sanctuary.
Jessica's wedding band belonged to her grandmother, and her bouquet incorporated precious keepsakes as well.
Jessica was a beautiful, elegant bride. Her dress shimmered in the light. I could have photographed her all day!
Ryan's attendants were an absolute hoot to work with. I love it when the wedding party cuts up!
Jessica chose some very special people to be her attendants. I loved how she included her brother. There's no reason guys can't be included and honored by the bride as one of her attendants.
Jessica & Ryan chose to have their First Look in the sanctuary... so sweet and lovely. Ryan's a man of few words, but his eyes said it all.
Sweet flower girls & ring bearers led the way into the sanctuary. Family and friends looked on as Jessica & Ryan said their vows in the holy hush of the chapel.
And then it was time to celebrate!
Jessica & Ryan's getaway car has the distinction of being the most highly decorated and, um, "accessorized" that I have yet to see at any wedding. :)
Here are the happy bride and groom before they discovered they had a stowaway in the back seat!
The newlyweds finally escaped, their car trailing ribbons & cans all along Starkville's shady streets.
Jessica & Ryan, I hope you enjoyed reliving these wonderful moments as much as I did! Your wedding was so romantic, and so simply beautiful. We were blessed & honored to be a part of your special day.
One of our most favorite wedding venues in Columbus is the beautiful, historic antebellum home and bed & breakfast, Shadowlawn. Jon & I were so excited that Amanda & Ben chose to have their elegant, intimate wedding here.
Amanda and her little girl made the sweetest pair, and they were both so beautiful in their wedding attire.
Shadowlawn is the perfect setting for an elegant, intimate wedding. The home of Mrs. Burnette Avakian and her family, it has been lovingly restored and decorated. Mrs. Burnette transforms every wedding into a storybook wedding!
Amanda & Ben had a sweet ceremony in the parlor, surrounded by their loving families. I loved that they took Communion together. To me, that's a wonderful part of any wedding ceremony.
This photograph sums up one of the many reasons I love being a wedding photographer. This little one and her grandfather met each other for the very first time on her mother's wedding day. God is good.
Here's the handsome groom. Ben was kind and funny and at ease in front of the camera (which is not usually the case for most grooms we photograph! He wasn't nervous at all!)
Brand-new cousins, brand-new friends!
Amanda & Ben's wedding day ended in laughter and joy. We enjoyed witnessing two families become united in mutual love, as well as Ben & Amanda pledging their love for one another. This wedding reminded me that love truly is a gift from God.
Lee and Derick's ceremony near West Point, MS was one of the prettiest, sweetest little fall weddings we have seen yet. From the very moment you approached the wedding site you knew you were in for something special. I especially fell in love with the bright-eyed, four-legged greeter who came over to say hi as we drove by. I think she may have been wondering if this wreath was edible. :)
Bright orange pumpkins and autumn foliage led friends and family down a gravel path through the woods and fields to a little rustic cabin by a lake.
Jon & I had so much fun shooting details. As usual, we fought over who got the best ring shot. Which do you like better? :)
I loved the combination of burlap and bright green on the front doors! "D" and "L" for Derick and Lee.... awwwww.....
The little cabin swirled with family and guests. Lee was surrounded by so much love.
Lee and her precious momma share such beautiful smiles.
A Wish Tree waited by the front steps for guests to fill with prayers and hopes for the Bride and Groom. I especially loved that one guest wrote "JOY!" That sums it all up!
Now I'm about to get real - it was all I could do not to sneak a taste of this icing! Such a sweet, beautiful cake!
Ladies, show your boots!
Here comes the bride!
Here come the brand-new husband and wife, pure joy shining in their smiles.
It was a pretty chilly day, so Lee slipped on Derick's jacket for a few minutes. I fell in love with that look and Lee let me take a few portraits with it on. :)
Beautiful, happy bride.
Now THIS is my kind of wedding party photograph - when the wedding party starts cutting up!
And now for a look at the little people... LOVE.
... and a special portrait of this handsome young man and his dad.
Lee and Derick chose to have a simple, intimate ceremony early in the day, but when the sun began to go down, the little cabin began to fill up and overflow with friends from all over. It was an amazing evening! And even a little out-of-season thunder shower didn't do a bit to dampen anyone's spirits!
Here comes the rain...
Tradition says rain on the wedding day is good luck for the bride and groom!
The little cabin filled with happy guests and the sound of laughter as the rain pattered on the roof.
I could do an entire separate blog post on the FOOD alone. Lee and Derick, your wedding supper was AMAZING.
Peeking through a window on the porch...
And the dancing began...
Peeking through a wreath at Lee's dance with her daddy...
And one more beautiful image before we leave the story of Lee and Derick's ceremony. Lee and Derick, it was a privilege and a blessing for us to witness your sweet wedding. We pray that your life together will be filled with as much love, laughter, warmth, friendship, and JOY as your lovely wedding day - and even if a little rain DOES fall, remember - it just brings everybody closer together. :)
Jon & Amaris
It's Labor Day. Summer's unofficially over. We've survived two weeks of school already, the leaves on our lake are already starting to blush, and Facebook and Twitter are filling up with "Go Dawgs!" and "Roll Tide!" The change of seasons has made us realize it's been a LONG time since we updated our blog. *sigh* No, we're really not faithful bloggers, shame on us! We worked with some wonderful couples and families this summer...
Here's Lindsey and David. I think life will always be a joyous adventure for these two! When we met them for their engagement session, they were both students at the Columbus Air Force Base. We had so much fun with them during their shoot, I don't think we stopped laughing the whole time (except maybe during the shade breaks, when Jon and David talked flying.)
And here's Jessica and Ryan - we can't wait for their wedding in October. Their session was scheduled for what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer, but they both had the most sweet, positive attitudes. That shouldn't be a surprise, since they both have deeply caring hearts. In addition to their day jobs, Jessica and Ryan foster puppies in need of forever homes. Because of their selflessness, many homeless pups in the Starkville area have gotten a second chance at happy, healthy lives. We get to work with the greatest people!
Speaking of terrific people - remember Chelsey and Nick? Chelsey chose to have her bridals taken after the wedding, so we got to bring together some of her fantastic wedding decor once again. A hot summer evening and bug galore didn't stop this couple from looking absolutely stylish and romantic.
Jon and I have been blessed to record some very precious moments for families this summer as well.
Here's Blake, Adeline, and Mary Davis, who are expecting the arrival of a new baby brother any day now. Several of the images from their session are definitely in my "Favorite Photos EVER" file. I especially love the one where Addie saw a bird fly by! You can't get that kind of moment in a studio!
Our friends P.J. and Jessica Hughes just welcomed their first baby, Skylar Grace, into the world. They were kind enough to let us rearrange their bedroom to conduct little Skylar's first photo shoot. We did put everything back. :)
And last but definitely not least, here's little Karsen Butler, the brand new son of Jessica and Justin Butler, and grandson of our friends Robert Wayne and Jody Butler. You could get lost in this little guy's blue eyes!
Now Jon and I are looking forward to a busy fall, full of engagement sessions and weddings! We have a wedding on a ranch, a wedding on a lake, and a gorgeous wedding at a lovely church in Starkville... and to wrap things up, a silvery winter wedding at the Chapel of Memories in December... oh, we are so blessed. And we'll blog, we promise.