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A Tale of Six August Weddings

September 14, 2020

Y’all better buckle up, ‘cause I’m taking you along to revisit the six weddings I photographed in August—and it was a whirlwind.

Since the pandemic began, I’ve worked closely with each of my clients to do what’s best for them. I’ve agreed to let my brides split up their time with me, take session and print/album credits, and I’ve also offered refunds when we felt that was the best way forward. 

I’m honestly doing everything in my power to continue running my business as normal—because this is my livelihood, too! That said, I’m happy to be flexible with my couples, and whatever the circumstance, I try my best to accommodate. 

In August, I hit my record high wedding bookings: six. It was a ton of work, but it has filled my heart with so much love and joy. Here’s a peek at my whirlwind month.

Like many of the weddings I’ve photographed during the pandemic, Katherine and Jonathan’s wedding location changed: the original plan was to have the ceremony at their new church campus in Madison with a reception at Huntsville Country Club. Unfortunately, the landscaping at their church wasn’t complete in time for the wedding, so they went ahead and moved the entire day to Huntsville Country Club.

Katherine & Jonathan

Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville Country Club
August 1, 2020

I love country club wedding venues, mainly because I love to golf and also because the backdrop is always manicured and perfectly ready for a photograph. Katherine and Jonathan were such a sweet couple and were crazy awesome at dancing. 

My second shooter and I were in shock at their reception with not only Katherine and Jonathan’s dancing skills, but also a handful of their talented guests. It was either swing dancing or the waltz—I’m not sure the type, but I sure wish I could dance like that!

Sweet words from the bride

“Rachel was fantastic to work with, helping us to create a wedding package that suited our needs perfectly and exceeding our expectations...Within 2 weeks, we had received nearly 500 edited photos (an amazing turnaround!)...Needless to say, each time we have looked through the pictures, either by ourselves or with friends and family, it has been a source of great joy.”

Albertville, Alabama 
Brashers Chapel Methodist Church
August 8, 2020

Jessica & Eli

Jessica and Eli’s original wedding day was supposed to be on my birthday (October 10 - everybody, take note *wink wink*), but with all the uncertainty of our time, they said they just couldn’t wait, so they moved it up (I just love love). 

It was hot, and since their original date was supposed to be in October, Jessica had a long sleeve dress (bless it!). She asked that most of the photos be taken inside the church, and at the last minute we could go outside. It really challenged my indoor lighting skills because lots of the places were dark, but with my flash settings, we got great shots both inside and outside. Y’all this couple is precious, and I was so honored to be a part of their day.

Sweet words from the bride

“These photos are amazing! I am in love with them! Thank you so much for capturing my day! You were truly amazing!”

Kim & Chris

Joppa, Alabama
Back Road Barn
August 15, 2020

Kim and Chris kept their original wedding date of April 18. They had a small ceremony and we took some beautiful portraits. Fast forward to August, and they were ready to celebrate with their family and friends—with a small surprise. Kim messaged me a couple weeks before their reception and told me she was pregnant and that she wanted to tell her guests at their reception! So exciting! 

I knew I had to hire a videographer right off the bat to capture that moment for her, so I got a good friend (at Zartuche Media) to help me out. It was beautiful! We did bridal party pictures on their August date, as well as cake, food, and dancing. Chris wasn’t the biggest fan of getting his photos taken (neither is my hubs), but even he was super happy after both of their celebration days. 

Sweet words from the bride

“My husband and I had originally went with another photographer before Rachel. She wasn’t within our budget and we decided to go with someone cheaper. Moral of the story, you honestly get what you paid for. We were not happy with our first pick, and I had never felt so relieved when we went with Rachel. She has been so supportive through all the COVID-19 virus stuff and working with us on our wedding. Rachel was so amazing through it all and took the BEST pictures! I think I look at them everyday! She not only posed us beautifully, but she captured US. Like, the real us. That meant a lot to us. We can’t say enough great things about her and just love her so much!”

Becky & Patrick

Huntsville, Alabama
Fractal Brewing
August 22, 2020

Becky and Patrick were originally supposed to get married in May, but to err on the side of caution, they moved their date back to August. As the date approached, and there were still many uncertainties, and due to health and travel concerns, they decided to completely eliminate the guest list: it was just the two of them, me, their pastor, videographer, dj, and a friend who was also the helper of the day. I still got to spend 8+ hours with them for the day, and it was the most relaxed wedding day I’ve never been a part of. 

They got married at Fractal Brewing in Huntsville, and catered in Publix cake and Panera Bread for lunch. We drank beer and didn’t even worry about a time frame. There was no rush, and it felt amazing to just be in the present with them. They loved their engagement pictures, which we took in Hartselle, so much that they were down to drive the 40 minutes to take their couple portraits in Hartselle. We made a pit stop at the doggie daycare to take some pictures with their pup, Riesling. 

After that, we spent several hours walking around Hartselle taking photographs. We got hot and made a pit stop in the shaved ice place downtown, and ended at the Holmes home. They wrote me such a kind thank you note. I truly felt the love with these two. 

Ali & Tony

Hartselle, Alabama
The Witt House
August 28, 2020

It’s always extra special when I know the bride—and I’ve known Ali since junior high school. We cheered together and probably did all the silly and embarrassing things high schoolers do together, too. Ali hasn’t changed one bit. She’s always been so kind, smiley, and has the best laugh. I was so honored she chose me to photograph her special day. Her now-husband Tony contacted me to photograph their proposal, and she was so excited I was there! When you know your bride/groom, it’s definitely a different feeling. I was just as excited as all the bridal party and guests. 

I cried when she gave her parents their gift: a painting of their childhood home, which they just sold the week before. Ali and Tony read their own vows to each other (and there went more tears). 

Her reception was SOOOO much fun. I got to participate as a guest from time to time, and I loved hanging out with all our friends. There was some crummy weather the day of their wedding, with Hurricane Laura coming through. Seriously, the bridal party was taking cover from an unexpected tornado warning while we did couple portraits! All while my second shooter was watching the live weather on her phone. Luckily, all we got was some rain and wind.

Like Tony said in his speech, not even a hurricane, tornado, or COVID-19 could stop them from getting married that day. With all hugs and smiles shared between family, the bridal party, and guests, it felt like a regular wedding—like COVID-19 didn't even exist. 

Sweet words from the bride

“Oh my goodness, Rachel, they are all just amazing...I love every single one of them!!! And I was worried the lighting under the pavilion would be awful because it seemed so dark when I walked out, but even the pictures under there look amazing...I’m crying again!”

Christina & Lucas

Hartselle, Alabama
Private residence
August 29, 2020

Similar to Becky and Patrick, Christina and Lucas took precautions and canceled their venue and guest list, leaving only immediate family members at their small ceremony. I actually loved this because Christina’s sister, Alex, also got married at their parents’ house. I graduated high school with Alex, and it’s crazy to think all three of us are now young adults in a small group together. Christina getting married at her childhood home was so special since her parents recently put the house on the market. 

Did I mention how much I love to photograph my friends and people I know?! Lucas cried during their first look. She definitely wasn’t expecting it, but I cried when I saw her too! She was stunning. They’ll celebrate with their original bridal party, friends, and family on their one year anniversary in August 2021, and I’m excited to celebrate with them again! 

They’re on their honeymoon, and I just sent her the preview gallery. She replied back with “I LOVE THEM ALL.”
Happy honeymooning, y’all!

As much as I love photographing people I already know, I love making lifelong friends of new clients. While I keep a pretty packed schedule, I’m happy to consider last minute bookings! Please reach out to me to check my availability, and I’ll see what I can do.