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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding next May. In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

There are about a million and one things to decide when planning a wedding. There are details and vendors that will enhance our wedding day, from music to food to flowers. And, there are vendors who will absolutely enhance our wedding day, but will also provide us with something to cherish days and years after our wedding, including our videographer and photographer.

Choosing a wedding photographer is a challenging task! There are so many incredibly talented photographers in the wedding industry, especially here in the South. Zack and I had to think long and hard about the qualities we want in our photographer. Hopefully the questions we considered below will be helpful to you if you are deciding between photographers, as well!

What style are we most drawn to, and what details stand out to us? The detail in a photographer that helped us narrow down our search dramatically was their photography style. There are a variety of photography styles, including classic portraiture style, documentary style, fine art photography style, and more. I have always been most drawn to the fine art style, and photographers who are able to capture all of the important and beautiful details of a wedding, but told from their unique creative eye. I adore the beauty and the process of film photography, and knew that was something special I wanted for our big day.

While looking through pictures from some of our favorite photographers, there were certain details that we looked for style-wise. One of the factors that was extremely important to us was the photographer’s ability to capture the details in white items clearly and crisply. I absolutely adore my wedding gown, and we wanted to know that our photographer would be able to truly showcase all of the gorgeous and intricate parts of the dress. We also knew we were more drawn to photography that has a light and airy quality, while still capturing the crisp details — a fine balance. And, we knew we preferred photos that have more of a blue undertone to them as opposed to really golden-toned photography. All of these style factors really helped us to narrow down our photographer options!

How comfortable will we be with our photographer? This question was a big one for us! We couldn’t determine this until actually meeting with a few photographers in person or over the phone, but feeling comfortable with our photographer is crucial! They will be the person who is with us during the most intimate moments of the best day of our lives. Being photographed can be awkward, so having someone who is really able to make us relax and enjoy ourselves will be very important!

How do they interact with our other vendors and guests? In the same sense, we really want a photographer who will be a joy to the other vendors on our wedding day: someone who will be respectful of our venue, who will work side-by-side with our planners, and who will get along wonderfully with our videographers. And, a photographer who will also know how to manage our bridal party and family members in a professional yet fun way!

So, which photographer did we choose? We are over the moon excited to say that we are working with the lovely Perry Vaile!! Perry fits all of the stylistic and personal details we desired. Her ability to capture images in a truly creative, artistic, unique manner is breathtaking. Each time she shares a new photo, I get so giddy to know that she will be bringing that same beauty to our wedding day! Her incredibly fun and bubbly personality was the icing on top of the cake. When we had our initial phone call with her, it felt like talking to a new best friend. You can tell how much she really values each of her clients, which is oh so special.

The funniest thing? I had seen Perry’s work previously, but hadn’t considered her originally as an option for our photographer since she lives in North Carolina. When Becca reached out to us recommending her, and saying that she would love to work with us, we were overjoyed! I would highly recommend not only looking in your city for a photographer, but also surrounding cities and possibly even surrounding states. We couldn’t be happier, and can’t wait for our engagement session with her that we are currently planning!

In case you missed a post…
The proposal
Choosing a wedding planner

emily Written with love by Emily

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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It’s really a joy to get to introduce y’all to a new set of Blue Ribbon Vendors each month, because I just know any one of them would be a joy to you if you choose to work together! This time around, we’re introducing you to a few of them through their answers to some of our favorite BRV interview questions. Click through to their listings to find out more about them!

Name: Alyssa Arlene Events
Where you call home: Small town Louisiana
Why you do what you do: I want to work hard to prepare for your wedding day so you can work hard to prepare for your life together.

Name: Ashlee Virginia Events
Where you call home: Virginia, but we are constantly in South Carolina and Florida!
How I got into weddings: I founded AVE in 2009 after working as a wedding planner at a well-known Virginia venue. One of the blessings of being in the DC area is that you have access to every type of venue imaginable, and I wanted to design events at all of them! I took a leap of faith and have been blessed with wonderful brides and grooms that believe in me.

Name: Hannah Mayo Photography
Where you call home: Palm Beach, Florida
Best piece of advice for brides and grooms? Remember that this is about your love, first and foremost. Infuse the day with your personalities but make sure it all comes down to building a future together with your soul mate.

Name: Kate Foley Designs
Where you call home: Ft. Worth
How I got into weddings: After studying flowers and interior design in college, my best friend asked me to be a bridesmaid and design the flowers for her wedding. I fell in love with wedding flower designs and 15 years later, I still love what I do!

Name: Krystal Kast Photographers
Where you call home: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Dream travel destination? Corsica, France, or a cycling trip around Sicily

Name: Legacy Farms
Where you call home: Tennessee
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? How sugar-sweet the guests are! There aren’t many weddings in which hearts aren’t being blessed and cornbread isn’t part of the bread basket.

Name: Llorente Design
Where you call home: Miami, Florida
Favorite part of a wedding day? The bride and groom’s first dance. I always cry.

Name: O.Henry Hotel
Where you call home: Greensboro, North Carolina
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: O.Henry Hotel was hand-selected to be a member of the “Southern Living” Hotel Collection and is also a AAA four diamond hotel.

Name: Poppy Lane Design
Where you call home: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Favorite part of a wedding day? The happiest moment is the bride’s face when she sees her bouquet for the first time. To us, it’s equal to the groom seeing her for the first time.

Name: Rachel May Photography
Where you call home: Madison County, Virginia
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The sweet Southern hospitality. The care and love of every detail for each guest. I also love the tradition and how each family treasures them; it’s not done as a routine but as a gift passed down.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Rachel May reply

    Yay!! So honored to be a part of the SW family! <3

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to: