Google+ Love for the Gulf Coast - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

As I’m sure y’all know, the Gulf Coast region of Florida, as well as much of the coastline of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, has been affected by the recent oil spill.  This news has hit pretty close to home for the SW staff, as Lara’s family lives in Pensacola and, you know, we just adore Gulf Coast weddings in general — they’re some of the most beautiful in the world!

When we reached out to some of our closest local photographer friends, looking for a way to help, we heard something a bit different from each. 

Some wanted us to remind our readers that there are plenty of gorgeous seaside-but-not-beachside venues still available to brides in the Gulf Coast. In the past, we’ve gushed over weddings at Carillon, Rosemary, Seaside, Eden Gardens, and Watercolor, to name just a few.

Some wanted us to remind y’all that there are other gorgeous areas of Florida to consider.  Charles from Meg Baisden Photography put it well: “We’re trying to remind our clients that we still live and work in one of the most amazing states in the country.  Florida is a wedding market with all sorts of incredible venues throughout the state, including The Breakers in Palm Beach, the Epping Forest Yacht Club in Jacksonville, Casa Monica in St. Augustine, the Biltmore Estate in Miami, and Amelia Island.” 

And some wanted us to remind y’all that they love to travel!  As Paul of Paul Johnson Photography wrote, “We are all very comfortable with true destination weddings, it just so happens that we live near a very successful and amazing destination!  What this means is that our photography businesses are well prepared for working with couples at a long distance both before and after the wedding day.” 

For our part, we’d simply like to remind you how talented these vendors are.  As they say, they’d love to travel for your wedding, no matter where it might be.  And though you might choose to do so to help a hurting area, you should really do so because they’re amazing at what they do.  We promise, you won’t regret it. There are so many great vendors that we love on the Gulf Coast, but here are a few photographers who have contributed a lot to SW over the years…

Genya and Wesleyann, the ladies behind Vue Photography, are two of the funniest, kindest, and most generally wonderful people you’ll meet.  Make sure you follow their Twitters accounts — hilarious!  Past SW features include Katie + Andy, Ashley + Zane, and Aimee + Brad.  Vue was also featured in V2, a peek of which you can see here.


Paul of Paul Johnson Photography, along with his wife Mecheal, is famous for gorgeous portraits and going above and beyond for his clients.  His Southern charm is also quite well known.  Super-humanly responsive through email, we know they would take great care of any of you.  Past SW features include Amy + Clayton, Julie + Andy, and Renee + Roland.  

Paul was also featured in V1 and recently took some great photographs of our Editor-in-Chief’s family.


We’ve had the good fortune to work with Rae and Wes Leytham for 6 years now through Bliss and SW, and we can’t sing their praises enough!  They were one of the very first teams to support SW when it was brand new, they’re both hilarious balls of energy, and — oh yes — they’re having twins!  Past SW features include Ginny + Brad, Brooke + Tim, and Brittany + Jarrod

Rae and Wes were also featured in V1.  We love you guys!


Meg and Charles of Meg Baisden Photography are beloved by their clients for beautiful images, superior service, and great personalities.  They travel extensively throughout Florida for weddings throughout the year, and could talk your ear off about the fabulous vendor possibilities throughout the Sunshine State. Past SW features include Meredith + Albert, Kelly + Robert, and Charlotte + Sean

Rick Schamberger of East Hill Photo is another dear friend and supporter from way back when — in fact, he had a wedding in the first first issue, the one before V1.  Rick has a lovely, classic style, and he takes beautiful black and whites.  Past SW features include Stephanie + George (parts I and II)!

So much love to all of these friends and everyone else affected.  We’re grateful for all you do to inspire us and our readers!

*Nope, this isn’t a paid ad.  We just want to show you how great these folks are!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar WeddingXpert reply

    What an awesome post. The disaster along the Gulf Coast has devastated many things, one of which is beach weddings. I’ve heard so much negative talk on the subject, about weddings ruined, photographers and caterers out of business, etc, so it’s nice to see someone looking on the positive side of things. Thanks so much, Southern Weddings.

  2. avatar Mecheal Johnson reply

    Hello Ladies, Thank you very, very much for this love! We appreciate everyone at SW and look forward to a bright future. xoxo Mecheal

  3. avatar Shelly Hutchinson reply

    Awesome article!!! :)

  4. avatar erica reply

    thanks so much for posting this! :)

  5. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I am really upset you don’t include Alabama on this. Florida is JUST NOW barely seeing any oil at all. Bayou la Batre is suffering so greatly. There are so many out of work because they can’t shrimp. Alabama has a gulf coast, too. And ever heard of The Grand in Point Clear???? Yea gorgeous wedding venue.

  6. avatar Janna reply

    Great Post! Living in Central Florida, we haven’t felt much from the disaster in the Gulf yet. But I know if it continues, once I have children- they will not be able to enjoy the gorgeous Gulf beaches I’ve loved going to growing up! I know there is alot of talk of the commercial fishermen and tourism being hurt by the disaster, but thanks for highlighting the other businesses that are hurting as well!

  7. avatar Wesley Leytham reply

    Hi Ladies! Thank you so much for the blog love. Lara, you know personally how precious our home is, and we will rebound.

  8. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Hi Elizabeth,We are all devastated by how the entire Gulf Coast has been affected. This post was meant to highlight just a few of the many vendors we love who have been affected and who have contributed so much to us. I’d love to write an entire volume of posts on all of the vendors we love on the Gulf Coast, but it would take us years. We hope this serves to shed just a little light on what’s happening and show our wonderful readers the incredible depth of talent available in our area.Blessings,Lara CaseyEditor-in-Chief

  9. avatar dash pinch smidgen reply

    I hadn’t really thought about the brides who planned beach weddings pre-oil spill, it’s crazy to think about all the ways it has affected so many people!I love that silhouetted dinner shot from Meg Baisden!

  10. avatar Rae reply

    Thanks so much for talking about our precious, beautiful venues! We are blessed to be included in your post. Thank you!Hi Elizabeth – We have certainly not forgotten the AL coast. I actually just got a cancellation for a wedding in Mobile because the bride’s parents’ Bayou La Batre seafood plant is not doing well. BLB hits close to home to me as well since my dad works for a seafood company there as well. My family live just outside BLB and they have talked about smelling oil on occasion. It is terrible for us all along the Gulf Coast and further. And, you are so RIGHT! The Grand at Point Clear is an amazing venue and it is my absolute favorite non-beach venue EVER.

  11. avatar Joey reply

    I am sadly one of the brides who has had their wedding affected by the oil spill. My fiance’s mom is from Pensacola and she’s a retired marine biologist. We were to marry in the church they married in 50 years ago this summer.With the situation regarding the beaches combined with the fact ours was a pure destination wedding with most guests coming from atlanta, alabama, mississippi and tennessee, we had to change our plans with but a month and a half to go.We sadly regret our decision, but it was for the best. Instead we’re having a destination wedding (intimate) and our reception here in ATL.One thing we can do is for one of our wedding favors is to make a donation to a group responsible for helping the wildlife and fish hurt by this disaster.Yes, there are beautiful venues on the gulf not yet affected and I hope they are full this summer! This is a truly sad situation and I hope things get cleared up soon. Crossing my fingers for the big ship called "the whale" to get to suckin’ in the oil asap!

  12. avatar Ashley HH reply

    Thanks for posting this. Us Floridians really appreciate it. The amount of devastation has not even begun to surface and we are all scared for what may come. PS I just had to shout out to another great photography vendor based in Central Florida: Studio 222 Photography

  13. avatar Kelly reply

    Thank you for posting this Lara! Unfortunately, I am also one of the brides hit by this tragedy. I am from the gulf coast and was having a semi-destination wedding on 30A and have had to delay our plans. I truly want to see this wedding happen there-especially now- to bring more life to the area and to support the local economy there. I hope that if we can all end the blame game and instead focus our efforts on pitching in to clean up, we can make the beaches and the wildlife that live there the most beautiful in the world once again.

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