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When we set out to create Southern Weddings V8, one of the shoots we were most excited about was this one: The Fabric of a Southern Belle. We’ve never really done a “fashion” shoot before, and naturally, we wanted to put our own SW spin on this one–hopefully, inspiring y’all in a deeper way than just with pretty gowns. Conversations in our office and on Instagram led us to our inspiration: what is it exactly that makes a Southern belle? We all know it’s more than just an address–it’s a way of life and of looking at the world, and in honor of the belles in our own lives that we admire and look up to, we dove into the qualities that make Southern belles so special. With the help of seven Southern designers, seven darling reader models, and a tremendously talented team, we created a look for each gal that personified one of the qualities we find most prominent–we hope you see a little bit of yourself and the ladies you love in each one!

The Southern belle is gracious. She has a servant’s heart and is the first to lend a hand. Sydni looked fabulous in “Brooke Mason” by Alabama designer Heidi Elnora!

The Southern belle is elegant. While more can be more, she prefers just enough. How gorgeous is Anne Louise in “The Woodlands” by Texas designer Lela Rose?

The Southern belle is confident. She doesn’t need the approval of others, but stands firm in the truths of which she can be sure. Our own Emily’s sister, Kimberly, rocked “Barrymore” by Charleston designer Kate McDonald, and it was so much fun having her at the shoot!

The Southern belle is romantic. She believes in love at first sight, summer romances, and marriages that are strong as a Southern oak. Claire looked lovely in Style 5885 by Miami designer, Liancarlo.

The Southern belle is fun. She isn’t afraid to play, to dance, or to laugh with her head thrown back. We couldn’t get enough of our darling cover gal, Alexandra, in the “Kian” corset and “Priya” skirt by Texas designer Watters!

The Southern belle is warm. Her doors are always open and her front porch always full. Kimberly looked amazing in “Jenny” by Georgia designer, Anne Barge!

The Southern belle is strong. She exemplifies both femininity and inner fortitude. The “Bridgette” gown by Nashville designer Olia Zavozina was so striking on Megan!

Thank you SO much to the talented team and reader models who made this day possible! To see more from this shoot, pick up a copy of Southern Weddings V8, now on news stands across the Southeast, or order online in the Southern Weddings Shop.

Keep an eye out for more Southern Weddings V8 editorials coming up on the blog in the coming weeks! In the meantime, we’d love to know, which of these qualities do you most identify with? Does it match your favorite gown? I’m a “romantic” at heart, but the “elegant” gown is one of my favorites in this issue!

Photography: Eric Kelley / Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab / Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation / Stylist and Florals: Mallory Joyce / Hair and Makeup: Heidi Marie Garrett

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Victoria reply

    LOVED this feature!! The “southern belle is gracious” look with the magnolias just stopped me in my tracks- SO beautiful!

  2. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    This entire feature is pure PERFECTION. I can’t possibly choose a favorite look or favorite characteristic – every detail is exquisite and so beautifully represents a Southern belle. I’m so in love with this whole shoot.

  3. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    the gowns… the brides… all gorgeous!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    So glad you added more photos from this shoot here! Love it even more now!

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Hi ladies + gents! You all were so enthusiastic about our round-up of images from past issues of Southern Weddings that we wanted to elaborate a bit on what, exactly, makes our print images so special (in our humble opinion, at least!). In a word? Film.

Braedon Flynn as seen in V4

Of course, it goes without saying that we love both digital AND film photography. We feature both types in print and online and truly believe a great photograph is a great photograph, no matter the medium. We have both incredible film and incredible digital photographers in our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

A Bryan Photo as seen in V4

Still, why are we such fans of film? To tell you the truth, when I tell people that we shoot our editorials mostly on film, or that my wedding photographer shoots exclusively film, they think it’s the strangest thing! They can’t believe that in this day and age, people still go to the time and expense to shoot film instead of digital. But you know what? I think that’s exactly why film photography and Southern Weddings are such a good match. We appreciate and celebrate a lot of things that have been forgotten “in this day and age,” like graciousness, hospitality, romance, honoring your history, timeless and classic style, slowing down, and being kind to and appreciative of the community that surrounds you as you plan your wedding.

Katie Stoops as seen in V4

However, the most important reason that we use film to shoot our editorials is that to our mind, you simply can’t beat the soft, romantic look of the final images. In V4, every major editorial was shot on film, as were the covers of V1, V3, and V4! Seven of our V4 real weddings were also shot all on film or partially on film.

Jose Villa as seen in V4

That being said, we have to introduce you to Richard Photo Lab, the company who almost every film photographer trusts to develop their rolls. They’re the ones we use for Southern Weddings shoots, too, because since we’re not photographers ourselves, we’re inclined to trust the recommendation of the photographers we work with. And the recommendation, unanimously, is Richard Photo Lab.

Paper Antler as seen in V4

A small sampling of their stellar client list: Jose Villa, Lisa Lefkowitz, Jonathan Canlas, Tanja Lippert, Bryan Johnson, Yvette Roman, and Tec Petaja. Goodness gracious. We love Richard’s for some of the same reasons we love film and the South: they still take the time to do things the “old fashioned” way, like paying meticulous attention to every single frame, never applying “one size fits all” settings, and treating their clients as valuable instead of expendable. We think nothing sounds more Southern than that!

Veil and Bow as seen in V4

To close, we just wanted to send out a little public service announcement to every bride, no matter what sort of photographer you hired: get those photos off of your high-res disc and onto your walls! Gorgeous photos are meant to be lived with and appreciated every day, y’all! And when you do print those photos, make sure they’re the highest quality possible and printed on archival paper and all that goodness — your wedding photos are destined to be heirlooms passed down to your grandchildren, so treat them right! Unsurprisingly, we’re big fans of Richard Photo Lab’s printing options.

While you go run and grab that disc, we’ll be taking our own advice and ordering up the top picks from our survey. We’ll be sure to share a photo of our wall when we’re done!

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar annabella charles reply

    I absolutely love this post!!! Especially encouraging brides to print their images. xoxo

  2. avatar Stacey reply

    Here here! So wonderful of you to call out film because it truly is an art and a differentiator in this industry! It’s important for couples to realize they’re still getting their photos delivered digitally, to share in all their favorite online ways, but your point about printing is so true too. Thanks for all that you do, Richard Photo Lab!

  3. avatar neal carpenter reply

    Returning to film has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done for my business and art. I love film and can’t imagine shooting a wedding any other way. Thank you for helping to spread the word. Long live film.

  4. avatar Reggie reply

    This post is a breath of fresh air! Film is not a hipster / trend thing that will fade. Thanks ladies for en-lighting brides about film!

  5. avatar Josh Malahy reply

    Ah, the only people in the industry I love more than y’all are Bill and Brian at RPL! They aren’t just a photo lab, they are artists!

  6. avatar The Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] inspired wedding day shoot by Enna l Anne, Girls Night In on Glitter Guide. Wedding photography shot in film, we love it to! Paper pinwheels are so adorable and this DIY to make a paper pinwheel table runner […]

  7. avatar ali harper reply

    so lovely to read this post. and i think you said it best when you mentioned the “slowing down” aspect to film… it’s not just about the “look” that film delivers, but also being able to connect with my bride and groom… i love that i’m not looking at the back of my camera, but continually communicating with them while i’m shooting. and printing your portraits? yes please! it’s a win-win all around.

  8. avatar rylee hitchner | photographer reply

    i love you girls!

    this is all so true…. thank you for educating brides about the importance of professional prints & the beauty of film!

    thank you!

  9. avatar Wiley Valentine » Summer Glam reply

    […] Via { chair // dress // cocktail ring // rose watercolor // oysters // floral details […]

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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