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Hi y’all! This may be one of the Lisa’s Southern Wedding posts I’ve been the most excited to write—today, I’m introducing our photographer! As far as wedding vendors go, photography has been my number one priority since long before I got engaged. I truly believe that having the right photographer—someone whose style you love and who makes the effort to get to know you and your story—makes all the difference in getting the timeless wedding pictures that will become heirlooms for generations to come.

Before Dave and I had a wedding date or a venue, or even a state to get married in, we emailed the photographer we wanted to work with. While I do not recommend this (a time and place are obviously crucial details for booking wedding vendors!), we were too excited to wait, and thankfully, our photographer was very gracious with us! I’ve known for a few years now who I wanted to photograph my wedding, but truly, there are SO many photographers whose work I love. In case you’re looking for a photographer right now, I wanted to share a few other photographers I am a huge fan of—had our photographer not been available on our wedding date (once we chose one :)), I would have been just as thrilled to work with any of these talented people.

I love every picture Ali Harper takes more than the last. She uses light so beautifully and has an incredible editorial eye. Some of my all-time favorite wedding pictures are by Ali (like the photo on the left—swoon!), and she is so sweet—exactly the kind of person you want to have around on your wedding day!

Eric Kelley was one of the first photographers I met when I started working for Southern Weddings, and I must admit, it was a little surreal meeting him after admiring his work for so many years, but he couldn’t have been nicer! Eric is so amazing at capturing details and I especially love the bridal portraits he takes.

I just adore Landon and Jordan of Landon Jacob Photography—they are some of the friendliest people ever, and their work is so dreamy. From working with them on our V6 team shoot, I also learned firsthand that they’re not afraid to step in and “fix you” (out-of-place hair, necklace clasps, etc.), which I think is an essential quality for a great photographer to have!

As you can tell from this list, we were looking for a photographer who shoots film, has a strong editorial eye, and who Dave and I genuinely like as a person–after all, we’ll be spending more time with our photographer than almost anyone else on our wedding day. We are overjoyed that our photographer has all of these qualities in spades. If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m thrilled to announce that the one and only Ryan Ray will be photographing our wedding!!!

Seriously, y’all. Do I even need to say anything else following these beautiful pictures? Ryan is truly gifted at capturing everything from stunning portraits to sweet moments to gorgeous details, and his images just sing to me. I’ve been known to say that I can spot a Ryan Ray picture from a mile away! Plus, he is SO nice. I love working with him for Southern Weddings, and know his personality will be a perfect fit with Dave and I and our families. We are truly, truly honored that he’ll be making the trip to North Carolina to shoot our wedding day!

I’d love to hear, who is photographing your big day? How did you choose them?

In case you missed a post…
I’m Engaged!
The Main Characters
Our Venues

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Janine reply

    Ginny Corbett of Ginny Corbett Photography is photographing our wedding September 14, 2014! She has a heart of gold and her easy going, loving, and hilarious personality made it a piece of cake to choose her to be there to capture our memories! We’ve become GREAT friends and I can talk to her about anything, wedding or unrelated. She uses light in the most beautiful way and is truly interested in the couple’s priorities and captures their love in the moment. My fiancee and I had SUCH a fun time at our engagement shoot and can’t WAIT to share our wedding day with Ginny (as well friends and family, of course!)

  2. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Beautiful pictures! Love the photo with the bride & her floral bridesmaids dresses!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    Ryan Ray is going to make me look soooo beautiful in photos! And of course, you. :D

  4. avatar Emily reply

    I love this post!! Like you said, there are so many talented photographers out there (a perfect fit for every couple), but I definitely believe Ryan will be an amazing addition to your day. Can’t wait!!!

  5. avatar Abby reply

    will you also be doing engagement pictures with him? Just wondering how that works since he is from out of state! I imagine I will be in the same situation someday, so just wanted to hear your thoughts. I know most people shoot with the same person to get comfortable before the big day. Would love to hear your thoughts on that!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Abby! We will be doing our engagement pictures with him. Ryan is based in Dallas and my family lives in Houston, so Dave and I are going to take a little road trip up to Dallas during a trip home. We’re really excited to meet Ryan in person before our wedding and start to feel comfortable with him photographing us. While it is definitely not necessary, engagement pictures are a great opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer, if you can make it work! One other possibility is trying to coordinate travel plans if your photographer frequently shoots in a location you can get to more easily. Hope that helps! :)

  6. avatar Lisa's Southern Wedding: Bridesmaid Style – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] love to know! In case you missed a post… I’m Engaged! / The Main Characters / Our Venues / Our Photographer / Our Videographer / Planning Our Engagement Pictures / Our […]

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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The ranks of our Blue Ribbon Vendors are swelling daily! We wanted to take a minute to introduce you to some of our newest additions, because we just know you’ll love them! Without further ado…

A Southern Soiree is an event planning and design firm based in Raleigh, NC, specializing in unique events.

Chris Confero is an Atlanta-based event designer and planner with a background in theater and a flair for the dramatic!

Dodeline Design is based in Charleston and loves fun, modern stationery suites!

Dylan Wilson has a background in journalism and offers photojournalistic coverage to couples in the Lowcountry.

Gibson Events is an Oklahoma-based event planning and design firm, and also offers unique and vintage finds through its rental arm.

Graham Terhune loves capturing the authentic moments that unfold on wedding days and is based in Chapel Hill, NC.

Honour Hiers is a film photographer based in Asheville, NC.

Josh McCullock shoots in a classic editorial style with his wife, Katie. They’re based in Oklahoma City.

Richard Ellis is a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominated photojournalist who now brings those skills to the weddings he shoots. He is based in South Carolina.

Shelby Peaden Events is based in Florida’s Emerald Coast and prides itself on accompanying brides through every step of the planning and design process.

To check out all of our Blue Ribbon Vendors, just click over to the full directory! You can search by category or state to find your perfect match.

Vendors, if you’re interested in getting involved, just fill out this form and Whitney will get in touch! Also, did you hear? A new (awesome!) benefit of Blue Ribbon Vendor membership is access to our private business blog, a resource for SW sponsors only, where Lara, Emily, and the SW team share tips on submitting and branding to make your business even better! ALSO, we just released invitations to a private Facebook group, where Blue Ribbon Vendors can be the first to learn about image calls and editorial needs, as well as network and collaborate with each other to produce even better results for their brides and SW. Curious? Just email Whitney and she’ll answer any questions you might have.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar MacKenzie reply

    Great group of wedding creatives! So happy to see some friends in the bunch!

  2. avatar Graham reply

    LOVE being a part of this with you guys! Thanks!!!

  3. avatar SW Blue Ribbon Vendor! » Graham Terhune Photography reply

    […] a great Monday – we are so thrilled to share that we have been selected as a Southern Weddings Blue Ribbon Vendor! We are honored to be a part of such a talented group of vendors and are incredibly grateful to be […]

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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Introducing our Blue Ribbon Vendors!

by in Main, News on

It is with GREAT excitement that we bring today’s announcement to y’all. After months and months of prep behind the scenes, we are so, SO pleased to reveal the project that has consumed us for the past year: the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Honestly, y’all? We could NOT be more excited about how this has all come together. We’re launching with 65+ fabulous Southern vendors, including KT Merry, Amber Karson Events, and Robyn Van Dyke (that’s their work featured above!). They’re all incredibly talented, but even more than that, they’re all warm, upstanding people, as we’ve learned through their interviews and in talking with their references (we check at least two for every vendor!). We can’t wait for you to meet them, and find someone perfect for your wedding!

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!! You can search by category or by state, and be sure to scroll through to the end of each portfolio to read each vendor’s fun interview! If you see the “Editors’ Pick” designation, that means that the vendor has had a real wedding or a shoot featured in a Southern Weddings print edition, and so they get an extra-special stamp of approval!

Vendors, interested in applying? Though there is only a nominal fee to join, we take our application process very seriously. Email Whitney today to get started!

Brides, have an amazing vendor you’d love to recommend from your own wedding? We would LOVE to hear about them! You can email Whitney with that info, too.

We’ll be adding new talents all the time, so be sure to check back often! And if you have any other feedback in the meantime, we would love to hear from you in the comments or in an email. Enjoy!!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Desiree reply

    honestly, today’s announcement could not feel more rewarding after this crazy season! thank you :)

  2. avatar amanda reply

    i love this :) but something i’ve been dying to know is, are there any good makeup and hair artists in north carolina, especially around the rdu area?! i need help with that and i find it’s really hard to find any information regarding artists in the area!

    otherwise, great job ladies! love all the resources!!

    • avatar Desiree reply

      amanda: go to your local mall and check out your favorite make-up counters. Places like Sephora, MAC, Trish McEvoy, NARS, etc. all have really talented ladies working & they usually provide makeup services outside of their store. Sometimes you have to schedule through thier line and often times they have small businesses of their own. Check them out!!!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Amanda! We are definitely still working to round out our hair + makeup recs! Good pros are so hard to find in these areas, and having someone you’re confident in is so important. I do have one recommendation for you — we LOVE Jennifer Ericksen ( She’s based in Greensboro but would definitely travel to the Triangle, and we’ve worked on mag shoots with her. She does both hair and makeup. My other suggestion would be to browse through the NC real weddings in our gallery, and if you like the look of the hair and makeup from a wedding, check out who the vendor was! That’s a great way to find good pros locally. Good luck, and we will keep adding amazing beauty pros when we find them!!

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] are so crafty and sweet! We continued to spread the joy on the blog this week, first by introducing our fab Blue Ribbon Vendors! We’ve been working on this project for months and were thrilled to introduce y’all to […]

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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