Well, as you can tell, I missed Wedding Wednesday last week. Oops! Life happens, you guys. Life is very real with three littles, I’ll tell ya. But that’s okay, because I busted it to get Hiba and Jonathan’s wedding finished up this week so I could share it for today! I am absolutely in love with this Aldridge Gardens wedding.
Spring is officially here, but Hiba and Jonathan’s wedding was really my first one to kick off spring season just a few short weeks ago. My only March wedding (wait for it… five weddings coming in April!) but definitely one to remember! Jonathan and I went to Montevallo together and have known each other for years. We always hung around the same crowd but never knew each other super well. Hiba used to work with Bryanna, whose wedding I shot and who did these stunning florals with her new company Vera Flora Design (brides, check her out!). Bryanna introduced me to Hiba (via phone and email to start since she had moved to Austin) and we put two and two together that we kinda already knew each other! She and Jonathan had been together for over four years and hearing her talk about their life together was insanely sweet. Because of the long hours between us, we weren’t able to meet but a couple of times before the big day, including three days before the big day when we got together for a quick engagement session! It was golden hour dream time for the engagement, which I was even more glad for when the whole wedding day was overcast. We kinda got the best of both worlds. I goat noised through that entire session and can’t wait to share more of those images as well.
Okay I’m gushing and having word vomit as I usually do when I start trying to talk about my weddings and couples. I guess this one I’m particularly excited about because it was SO much fun! Hiba is literally one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and she welcomed everyone (including many extra guests!) with open arms. In the midst of wedding day chaos, she remained completely calm and if she stressed over anything, no one saw it! Not even me, with a camera in her face half the day. She and Jonathan chose not to have a first look prior to the ceremony and saw each other for the first time that day as Hiba was walking down the aisle. You guys, Jonathan’s face. Just wait for it. After the knot was officially tied and we took about a billion family photos, we settled down for some romance, right before one of the most lively receptions I have been to in a while! Even I was on the dance floor! Well, that’s not really a shocker to most of you, but I guess I was just really feeling it that unusually warm Sunday evening. You’ll catch a quick photo of me and some friendors in this post if you look closely enough!
My favorite details are pretty much all of Hiba’s bridal details. Her Theia Couture gown from Village Bridal, her bouquet and flower crown from Vera Flora, her blue shoes and pressed penny inside, her mother’s earrings, the rings given to her by not only Jonathan but also by his grandmother… she was truly a vision. Jonathan looked pretty dapper as well! I loved their wedding cake and groom’s cake aka doughnuts at the reception (with the play on the Simpsons, you’ll see!) and all of the beautiful linens provided by one of my favorite folks to work with, Decor to Adore. And even though I didn’t manage to get food shots (sorry, kill me), Savoie Catering killed it as always! Lastly, can we talk about how awesome the hashtag #gettingvazirius is?!
My favorite moments were all of the ones when Hiba and Jonathan got to be together. The ceremony and romance of course (romance is always my favorite), but even in the midst of a mile long family list, they stayed right by each other’s side. Even through a wild party of a reception, they were almost always right next to each other. Everyone already knew how much these two adored each other, but seeing them side by side from the time they were able to forward… that’s what it’s really about you guys, true love! Hey, I’m allowed to be cheesy and gushy, I’m a wedding photographer. ;)
Can Hiba stop being so perfect and showing the rest of us up? I mean… dang.
I’M DEAD. SO GORGEOUS.
One of my favorite images of the day next… happy sigh.
And those stunning half face shots too. I can’t.
Pretty mismatched pink bridesmaids wore wristlets instead of carrying bouquets, a great way to stay cost effective and still keep the pretty!
These guys are a bunch of goofballs. Shout out to the fab moms below!
Guests. Let me give you a little PSA. And this isn’t just to Hiba and Jonathan’s guests, but to anyone ever who might possibly attend a wedding anytime in their future. If the bride or groom ask for their wedding to be UNPLUGGED… please, PLEASE honor their wishes. Put your phones down. Put your cameras down. Engage in the moment and show the couple of honor your FULL attention. What are you even going to do with that photo on your phone? Be the first to post to social media to say congratulations? Do you think they really care about that? I’ll tell you the answer- it’s no. They don’t. They want to see YOU, not your phones.
Sorry to rant on and on for a minute, but I see it every single time I’m shooting a wedding (including this one, when they asked for it to be unplugged, and people still pulled their phones out). If you want to read more about unplugged weddings, check out this post on Huffington Post. Brides, if you’re looking for a kind but clever way to tell your guests to not even touch their devices, check out this post on Offbeat Bride. Guests, just be considerate. It’s all I’m asking. Because I promise my camera will see you if your phone is out, and the couple you came to see doesn’t want to see your phones in their photos. And, to be clear, I’m mainly talking about the ceremony and things like the cake cutting and first dances. After that, please take all the selfies and snapshots you want and share. Just don’t kill the bride and groom’s photos. Please. PLEASE. Thank you.
I’m done now. Stepping off my soap box. Please continue enjoying the rest of this beautiful wedding!
Those lovey dovey eyes! Meant to be.
Now THAT is a good looking group of friends, you guys!
Really didn’t have to tell them much of what to do. Yes, we had just had engagements a few days before, but these two are so enamored with each other that they naturally acted this cute and perfect. Love!
May the party begin!
Love this tradition passed down on Hiba’s stepfather’s side of the family- singing to Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Bing Crosby while everyone dances circles around the bride and groom! So special.
Above: we cute! Below: wouldn’t be these guys if there wasn’t any shotgunning!
Okay Jenese, I’m ready for your wedding girl!
You too Juan!
At the end of the night, a last dance is something that can be really special. With the help of Amanda, Chae, and Allegra, we sent the guests to prepare for the sparkler exit while we quickly pulled candles from the tables to create a circle of love for Hiba and Jonathan to share their last dance in. It almost wasn’t possible, but came together perfectly. A great quiet moment as one of the last memories of the day for these cuties!
And, maybe one of my favorite sparkler exits ever! I absolutely love the way the colors came out in these, that Jonathan is carrying the bouquet, and whoever decided to blow some bubbles too, well, I thank you for that! Hiba and Jonathan, thank you both SO much for having me as a part of such a magical day! I wish you many years of wedded bliss and can’t wait to see you again in the future.
Photography: j.woodbery photography | Venue: Aldridge Gardens | Florals: Vera Flora Design | Bride’s gown: Theia Couture | Gown shop: Village Bridal | Suit rental: Men’s Wearhouse | Caterer: Savoie Catering | Linen Rental: Decor to Adore | Videography: Dylan Lard and Chris Williams | Cake: ABL Cakes by Design | Cupcakes: Krispy Kreme | DJ: Party on a Budget