Lizzie & Rod's Rehearsal Dinner: Arden Photography

Two rehearsal dinners are better than one!  We started the night off at the Grand Bohemian for a cocktail party in honor of Lizzie and Rod's big day!  Champagne flowed, guests mingled, laughter filled the air and then we did it all again an hour later!  That's right, the party moved to Galley and Garden where basically the same things happened, but on a smaller scale.  It was such an awesome idea to have the celebration of the soon-to-be newlyweds at two different places.  It was an opportunity for Lizzie and Rod to show some of the amazing places that Birmingham has to offer.  This was such a fun night and I could not have asked for a better group of people to photograph!  Congratulations on your wedding Lizzie and Rod and we know your parties will be double the excitement from now on!  

Meet our Contest Winners! Arden Photography

Arden Photography held a contest during Valentine's week to celebrate the season of love!  We asked our fellow Instagram and Facebook followers to nominate a deserving couple for a free photo session.  Congratulations to Jess & Brad!  The couple was nominated by their friend Mallory, who spoke some amazingly kind words about them.  It was such a sweet story and we couldn't help but to choose them as one of our contest winners.  Arden Photography was front and center for their sunset photo session.  We hit a few of Birmingham's popular attractions and the photos look amazing.  Congrats again to this awesome couple and for more photos from this session, be sure to click the link below! 

http://ardenclients.instaproofs.com/collection.php?event=1340171

Scene: Meet the Artists!

We had such a wonderful time this weekend at Scene.  The gallery was the host of an awesome show and I was fortunate to be one of the artist that was featured!  Amazing pieces from William Rankin Mclure and Emily Farish were also featured!  Scene is located at Pepper Place and it is quickly becoming one of Birmingham's most popular spots.  Not only is Scene a gallery, it's also a venue that can hosts events and functions whether personal or corporate.  Guests spent a few hours on Saturday admiring the art, mingling and getting to know the featured artists.  I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to be among such great artists!



Glenwood 2016! A Night Under the Big Top: Arden Photography

Once again it was time for A Night Under the Big Top! Every year the event, which benefits Glenwood Autism and Behavioral Health Center, is held at The Club.  The casino-styled event consists of a poker playing night with dancing and a silent auction.  This year seemed to be bigger than ever!  With an estimated crowd of 800 people, this was definitely the place to see and be seen!  The silent disco, which was held on the terrace overlooking the city's beautiful landscape, is always a nice additional that really gets the party going!  Overall, the fundraiser was a huge accomplishment for the center!   We are always thrilled to be apart of such an amazing night!  For more photos from the event, please check the online gallery's link here!  http://ardenclients.instaproofs.com/collection.php?event=1333728

 


Birmingham: The Food City!

With so many restaurants already and so many new restaurants that are on the horizon, it's no wonder that Birmingham has become one of the most amazing cities for food lovers!  Today we're throwing it back to one of our favorite shoots ever-The Birmingham Best Bites Cookbook.  We photographed almost 70 local restaurants for the cookbook that benefited the Birmingham Library.  We were so fortunate for the opportunity to sample some of the best dishes in town.  Here are a few of our favorites photos!

Adrienne & William Engagement: Arden Photography

The city of Birmingham has often been described as a diamond in the rough.  From it's historical landmarks, amazing restaurants and southern hospitality; it's one of those places that will never rid itself of the charm and appeal that keeps people coming back.  I love it when our couples use the city as a backdrop for their engagement photos.  Adrienne and William will be married this summer and we were so excited to spend the afternoon with them on Morris Avenue.  This street, aligned with it's brick roads, is a favorite of visitors and residents of the city.  We had such an amazing day with Adrienne and William and we couldn't be more pleased with their photos.  Here are a few of our favorites! 


Violet & Ken: Arden Photography

Violet and Ken's wedding day was the epitome of glitz and glamour. The majestic Christopher Confero of Christopher Confero Design created a stunning scene of romance and sparkling whimsy. The couple was alight with happiness as they exchanged longing looks of love throughout the day. This was the party event of the year with The Atlanta Allstars performing, drinks pouring, and guests dancing all night long. 

Michael L. Kimble II: Arden Photography

Michael is back! And this year, his portrait theme is "hip hop." Every time we are around this cutie, we can't stop smiling and laughing. Michael exudes so much self-confidence, and absolute smoothness, that we dare anyone not to smile just by looking at these photos. He has an energy we can't get enough of, and we look forward to shooting his self-chosen themed portraits every year! Take a look back at previous years and you can see for yourself what I mean! 

Michael L. Kimble II: Part One

Michael L. Kimble II: Part Two

Wedding Favors: Arden Photography

Providing gifts to guests at a wedding has been tradition for centuries and has varied across cultures and populations. Originally related to European wealth and extravagance, the gifts were fashioned of small boxes made of precious metals and gemstones. Other cultures believed the bridegroom to be a coming of good luck, and the gifts were thought to be lucky as they were presented by the couple. 

Today, the wedding favors often extend on the theme of the weddings and vary greatly in what they might be as they are considered a portrayal of the couple's personality. Koozies are common due to their useful nature both at the wedding and afterwards. Take-home sweets and recipes in jars are also gaining in popularity. Personally, I have to say, those succulents are a favorite! 

Barrow & Michael: Arden Photography

Night-time in downtown Birmingham means you've never seen a city more brilliantly lit up. Bridges, ballparks, fountains all bright with vibrant splashes of colors and cobbled streets glowing with soft lamps. Barrow and Michael simply trusted us when we planned for them a night-time engagement session in downtown Birmingham, promising them a beautiful array of bright, colorful, and romantic images. I don't think we disappointed. I am so in love with these city images: the light-installment bridges with so many colors filling the scene turning it into a wonderland of sorts, the city-proud Birmingham sign in the background leaves no room for question, and especially the black and white images that feel so soft and romantic. There is nothing better than a couple that just trusts your creative intuition, and Barrow and Michael did not fail! If this is any indication of what their wedding will be like, we could not be more excited! 

Julie & Paul: Arden Photography

We loved shooting these engagement portraits out by Regions Field and Railroad Park! That Birmingham emblem blazing in the background makes for great photos! It seems so urban and modern and then you turn the corner and you have the lush green grass of Railroad Park - way to go Big Ham! Julie and Paul blended seamlessly into this landscape with their pet pup! This couple was so cute and affectionate - we can't wait to shoot their wedding in a few weeks! 

Vendor of the Week: Christoper Confero + a Sneak Peek of Kylee's Wedding! : Arden Photography

Christopher Confero was the vendor and event planner of this beautiful wedding. We love his work, we love working with him, we love him - in a totally normal, non-obsessive way, I promise…. Every wedding he plans is a dream, and we love photographing them! He was also the wedding planner for Arden and William's ceremony! 

Can you tell we loved this wedding?? I mean come on, you know it is going to be awesome when you walk in to find a bunch of bridesmaids, hair in rollers, champagne flute in hand and cheering on their favorite football team! Kylee and Jay married beneath streamers blowing in the wind. Who doesn't love a groom in a bow tie and bridesmaids in mismatching dresses? We had such a great time capturing this wedding! 

Top 5 Must Have Wedding Photos

You have fantasized about this day since the first episode of Full House when Uncle Jesse came walking down the stairs with that signature grin of his… say it with me ladies, “John Stamos.” You pictured the dress, him lifting your veil, the first kiss, the first dance – all of it! And while John Stamos might not be the man at the altar in reality, you still want that picture-perfect wedding! The big day can go by so fast that it’ll be like a blur in your memory. This is why the photos are such a big deal – you’ll have these forever! This is the list of our top five must have wedding photos featuring some of the best memories you will make.

1.    Mom Arranging Bride’s Gown

Getting a snap of mom tying up your dress, clasping your necklace, or pulling your veil down is something both of you will cherish for years to come.

2.    The “First Look”

This is a controversial one. Some couples want to wait until they’re together at the altar to see each other for the first time. But we love it when couples do a “first look.” It’s special, the one moment you and your very soon-to-be husband can just admire each other with no one else around (but us photogs of course!). Even if you choose not to do this, that moment when he first sees you coming down the aisle, is a gorgeous memory to capture.

3.    Bride and Groom Holding Hands at the Altar

Right after you hand off your bouquet, and before the rings are exchanged, there’s an instant where you and your groom clasp hands while you declare your vows. This stands out as that moment of unity.

4.    Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dances

There is so much emotion to capture while you twirl about on the dance floor. Dad whispers something to his daughter and you see her tear up. Mom laughs and smiles at her son as he says something about “crazy Aunt Millie over there.” They are so proud of you, and this is worthy of every photo album ever.

5.    The Big Send Off

We’ve seen couples do some truly unique exit strategies – this is hands down why it is one of our favorite captures! Everything from old Volkswagen buses, café racer motorcycles, golf carts, and Gatsby-esque Rolls Royces have been used to whisk off the new couple to their happily ever after!

The truth is that there are tons of must have photos on your wedding day. Everything should be captured from beginning to end, so that you’ll always have those memories. That’s our job, but it’s also what we love…. And John Stamos ;)

2014 Maestro's Ball: Arden Photography

Alabama Symphony Orchestra held its annual Maestro's Ball. The gala fundraising event is ASO's largest, and the proceeds benefit the programs they offer for education, creation, and outreach. Accompanying the event is music performed by the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, and then a concert led by Conductor Christopher Confessore, followed by an elegant dinner and champagne. 

Maestro_Ball_Arden_Photography4.jpg

Lacey & Ben Engagement Portraits: Arden Photography

As far as engagements go, I've never heard a story of how the question was popped that went according to the plan. Something always happens that puts a kink in the whole design. In Ben and Lacey's engagement story it was the weather, of course! Ben had originally planned to propose to Lacey at Railroad Park, but his schemes were thwarted - and he would have gotten away with it had it not been for that pesky Alabama weather! So to commemorate that effort, we headed to Railroad and Vulcan Park to snap their engagement photos - no bad weather in sight! 

Hot Tips for a Winter Wedding

Generally when someone mentions the word “wedding,” you immediately picture a spring or summer outdoor affair with lots of sunshine, flowers in bloom, and strapless gowns. But what if I told you that there is a wholly forgotten wedding season where just about everything is less expensive, with readymade décor, and a warm glow in everyone’s hearts. Hearing “Jingle Bells” yet? That’s right – winter weddings. Here are a few reasons why you should consider one.

Cost-Efficient for the Budget-Savvy Bride

 The most popular months for weddings are May through October, so during the winter off-season you have the chance to negotiate better prices with venues, vendors, even your honeymoon. Ask if there is some wiggle room in the rates or if they can waive certain fees if they require them. We’ve heard that the venue of your dreams might offer a Friday discount for a Saturday wedding during the off-season – this can shave off thousands of dollars for some!

You also have the better luck of choosing the date you want at the venue you want. More availability equals less competition for you. I mean who wants to wait five years out for a June 6th wedding at The Plaza (you’ve seen Bride Wars, right?). 

Winter, for me, is all about the holidays and you certainly do not have to incorporate them into your big day, but your piggy bank might thank you if you did. Think about it – that is a whole bunch of free decorations for you: twinkling Christmas lights, glittering ornaments, fresh pine, and bright red poinsettias – what a gold mine! And most of those things come standard at venues, churches, and hotels during the holiday season. I say – embrace it! Winter weddings, themed or otherwise, are rare in the glossy pages of all the bridal magazines.

*And if you choose a date right after December 25th shout out for the clearance prices on all that Christmas swag!*

Menu, Flowers, and Favors

Planning the menu should be fun for this time of year. Keep the chilly weather in mind, and think about serving warm soup, winter squash, and a variety of yummy drinks like spiked hot chocolate, eggnog, and spiced wine (set out candy canes as drink stirrers!). You could use gingerbread houses as edible centerpieces.

Flowers this time of year could get costly. Instead prepare arrangements with flowers and plants that are in-season: garland, glittered branches, pinecones, and fresh berries. Just grab everything off your fireplace mantle at home and carry it down the aisle!

Send your guests home with their own do-it-yourself hot cocoa mix in mason jars, or an ornament that commemorates the day. We’ve seen jingle bells used too!

Photos

Remember that it gets dark earlier in the winter. If you want your wedding portraits taken outside, be sure to plan accordingly. Opt for a pre-ceremony photo shoot. And if you’re imagining snow-covered trees in the background, stock up on fake snow spray or choose a destination wedding to Colorado – because Alabama.

Scout out public decorations and light installments. Colored Christmas lights will make for gorgeous bokeh-filled backgrounds and these can be found at public parks or even your local zoo (Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo). Train stations, hotels, ice-skating rinks, window displays at malls and toy stores, and roaring fires all make for fantastic winter-themed photos!

There are tons of ideas out there to make your winter wedding a truly spectacular event. No matter how cold it is outside, all that love in your heart will fill you with warmth (but maybe supply your guests with hand warmers, just in case)! 

Hope Gala: Arden Photography

The American Cancer Society of Birmingham hosted its 34th annual Hope Gala. It is an event that aids in fundraising for local cancer centers and also honors a Birmingham family that has been affected by cancer. This year's event celebrated the life of local artist, Toni Tully. Her family donated three original works of art to the auction that was held to raise funds. Many other local vendors and artists also supported the event by donating items of their own. Dinner, hors d'oeuvres, drinks, and dancing accompanied the evening. There was much hope to be had at The Hope Gala. 

Arden Photography: Portraits with Sarah

It makes our job so much easier when you've got such a pretty face in front of the camera! Sarah showed off a few sides of her personality complete with a radiant smile. Personal portraits and headshots are a fantastic way to capture the person you are in all your unique glory! Bring in a few of your favorite outfits, or a few props that define yourself (guitars, paint and easel, even XBox controllers!), and we can photograph you in our studio or on-location, and we'll have quite a bit of fun doing it!