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Though your wedding might be your first chance to have professional photos taken of the two of you, we certainly hope it’s not your last! Candids and snapshots tell an important part of any relationship’s story, but a thoughtfully planned and executed portrait session can also be a meaningful and beautiful way to mark time. And because another year of marriage is the perfect opportunity to book a session, here are our six best tips for planning anniversary photos!

1. Choose a meaningful location. Maybe it’s your newlywed home, the park you take walks in every night after dinner, or the coffee shop you frequent on Saturday mornings. Whatever it is for you, choose a location that helps tell the story of this moment in your life.

2. Don’t go overboard on props. Cluttering the frame with piles of styling items takes the focus off the best part: your smiling faces! As these photos from Maggie Colleta so beautifully demonstrate, simple photos with a classic aesthetic will stand the test of time. Let your location and your outfits provide the context! (Whether you choose black tie attire or cut-off jean shorts, what you wear can add so much to the photos!)

3. Do, however, make a nod to your wedding. Since this is an anniversary session, we love the idea of including a detail that echos your wedding day. Ask your photographer to take a close-up shot of your rings, or wear the same shoes you sported when you said I do.

4. Do your hair and makeup. Are you a whiz at applying blush and curling your hair? Fantastic! You’re probably good to get yourself prettified. Are you anything like me, and can barely brush on mineral foundation? Do yourself a favor and hire a professional (or bring in a talented friend!). Nothing too fancy or “done,” of course, but even a little extra polish can help you feel confident and in love with the final images.

5. Take the opportunity to reminisce. During your session, you’ll likely be hugging, kissing, holding hands, and walking side by side — and your phone will be off to the side! In between clicks, use this free-from-distractions time to remind each other of your favorite memories from your wedding day, and from the year or years that followed. “Remember when…?”

6. Make a date of it. Don’t let those cute outfits and good hair days go to waste! Make a dinner reservation for that evening and toast to a beautiful year of growing in love!

Photography: Maggie Colletta Photography | Florals: Abany Bauer | Venue: Serenbe | Hair and Makeup: Joanna with Irrelephant Blog

emily Written with love by Emily
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    Best of 2013: Photography

    by in Inspirations on

    Paging through all of our 2013 real weddings to prep for our “Best of” series, I couldn’t help but be overcome with gratitude for the generosity of the photographers, florists, event designers, videographers, and so many other wedding magic makers that shared their work with us this year. There is SO much talent in the South, and we are delighted to share some of the prettiest pieces of it every day!

    But I have to say, I’m even more indebted to all the brides and grooms that shared with us this year. Because as beautiful as these photos are, they become even more so when you get a glimpse into the story behind them. As these ten photos show, we have the privilege of publishing some of the most joyful, intimate, sacred, and meaningful moments the world has ever known. Though we did (painstakingly) narrow our photo favorites down to just ten for this post, we had so many beauties on the cutting room floor that we decided to share our top 50 moments from 2013 on Facebook. Here’s to 2013, and to an even more wonderful new year ahead!

    Chanda wearing her grandmother’s veil as her grandmother looks on | Chanda + David | Lexia Frank

    Bridesmaid on duty | Maggie + Alec | The Nichols

    A groom seeing his bride | Brittany + Matt | Rebekah Hoyt

    A tearful first look | Leah + Austen | Nancy Ray

    Prayer before the ceremony | Natalie + Shobie | Cassidy Brooke

    Perfect light inside the church | Anne + Eric | The Studio B Photography

    The most joyful kiss | Margaret + Marty | Heirloom Collective

    First dance | Britt + Ren | Paige Jones

    A groom’s serenade | Kelly + Corey | Amy Arrington

    A dramatic first dance | Kara + Jon | Chrisman Studios

    Which photo is your favorite? We’d love to hear!

    Amy Arrington, Paige Jones, and Nancy Ray are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    emily Written with love by Emily
    7 Comments
    1. avatar Becca reply

      Thanks so much for featuring our photo from Anne and Eric’s wedding! She was such a gracious and gorgeous bride, the perfect Southern combination!

    2. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

      I absolutely love the first photo. Such a quiet and special moment between a bride and her grandmother!

    3. avatar Southern Weddings Best of Photography | The Studio B Photography – Atlanta Georgia Wedding Photographer reply

      […] are curious) Andrea let me know that Southern Weddings had selected one of our images as one of the best photos of 2013 I was […]

    4. avatar Jenna reply

      You guys always feature the best weddings! I love all of the movement and excitement in these pictures. Can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring…

    5. avatar 2014 Goals | There’s Room to Grow » Paige Jones Photography reply

      […] Also, I was honored to have one of my photos in Southern Wedding’s Top 10 Favorite Images of the Year. […]

    6. avatar Blog Features! | Nancy Ray Photography reply

      […] in their "Best of 2013" series, and I'm proud to say we landed spots in the "Best of Bouquets" and "Best of Photography" in […]

    7. avatar Patty reply

      I especially love “Prayer before the ceremony ” Seeing the loving support of all those around them in that moment of solemnity, what a wonderful way to start a marriage!

    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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    As we’ve been putting together our upcoming print edition that debuts on 11/12/13 (how about that for a release date!?), I’ve been thinking so much about why I love the South and asking myself, “what is it that makes it so magical here?”

    Photographed by Jose Villa. This stunning image also graced the back cover of V4!

    There is a certain something about the South that makes me slow down and focus on what matters most — celebrating family and love. That certain something is different for everyone, and that’s what makes the South so sweet to me. Whether you’re a Southern transplant or born and bred deep in the heart of Dixie, your South has a story. I’d love to hear from you today what makes your South so wonderful.

    Photographed by Faith Teasley for V5.

    My South is rich with farmer’s markets and friends that stop to chat on front porches. I love driving home and seeing cows, chickens (especially chickens – y’all know I love our fine feathered friends!) and goats happily grazing on the green landscape. I love the smell of tomato leaves in my garden and the sound of roosters crowing in the distance. I love how I am welcomed into homes of people I just met for a long conversation and a glass of cold sweet tea, as if we’ve been friends forever. I love the magnolia trees, monograms, biscuits, banjos and the plethora of Southern summer blooms that make our days so colorful. You should see the crepe myrtles right now! I love how all of these things (and too many more to name) melt the stresses of life and remind me to slow down and live intentionally. The magic of the South keeps me on the right path.

    Photographed for V5 by Joey and Jessica. See the full editorial here.

    I love all of this thanks to many generations before me. There is a rich meaning to even the simplest things. As I wrote about in our latest print edition, I love the smell of tomato leaves thanks to my Grampa Cecil, who was born in Excel, Alabama, and would spend many a long afternoon telling me about what Heaven was going to be like as he tended his Early Girls. My love for chickens hatched from a science project in fourth grade where we incubated eggs. We fell in love with our Bantams and my mama has had chickens ever since. My love for flowers and gardening sprouted from my Grandma Celeste, who was a florist in her early years in Birmingham, Alabama. She passed her love of gardening on to my mama who passed it to me. I love the sign in her garden that reads, “God lives in every garden. He loves each growing thing. Forget your ills, get out and dig and sing!”

    Photograph by Eric Kelley. More from this amazing shoot here.

    I love Southern weddings because a wedding is the perfect opportunity to honor your own special history, heritage, love story and even your grandmother’s prized pie recipe. My perfect Southern wedding would definitely include chickens : )

    Photograph by Virgil Bunao.

    GIVEAWAY! What do you love about the South? What’s your story? How are you celebrating this magical place we call home in your wedding? Or how did you celebrate with a Southern spirit? I’d love to hear from you! One lucky commenter (chosen randomly) will win one of my favorite prints from our shop that I have in my own kitchen, our South print.

    lara Written with love by Lara Casey
    23 Comments
    1. avatar Brittany Sweat reply

      There are soo many things I love about the South but if I had to choose one thing it would probably be the sweet people! I haven’t been too many places but when I have visited other states people are as quick to say hello or even give you a smile. I try to be intentional in opening the doors for people and just smiling at people. I love being greeted the same way around the south! You can pop in any little country store and they treat you like family! I love that about the South :D

    2. avatar Hillary Mantha reply

      I love the South for the delicious food, the kind people and the strong sense of tradition.

    3. avatar Jessa R. reply

      I’ve never lived in the South (born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA) but we spent every summer growing up on Kiawah Island for a week. There is nothing like melting mint chocolate chip and catching the sunshine as it streams through moss-covered branches. The sense of peace that pervades on a southern afternoon – it stretches on and on – is a memory that will remain with me always!

    4. avatar Linden reply

      Friendliness, state pride, sunsets, biscuits, monograms, and lakes! Love the south!!

    5. avatar Leigh Pearce reply

      I love so many things about the South. Biscuits and sweet tea, monograms and pearls, college football and mason jars. But what I love most about the South isn’t a thing… It’s the feeling of hospitality and home that you get no matter what state or area you are visiting. People hold doors open for you, folks wave as you pass by, and fruit stands are open on the honor system. I don’t ever want to live anywhere else.

    6. avatar Kristy reply

      I love the music, the food, and the South is where my family is :)

    7. avatar Autumn Lee reply

      I love everything about the south. I am from Texas and moved to Colorado 3 years ago and every day my heart aches to return home. The people are friendlier, the food is way better and they have sweet tea no matter where you go! We had our wedding 2 years ago and our theme was “Front Porch Texas”…basically anything you would find on a front porch back home-whiskey barrels, crates, boots, flowers, wagon wheels, stars, horseshoes etc. We even had flowers in BlueBell Icecream tubs on the tables! There is no place like home!

    8. avatar Mary-Kate McClure reply

      The South is my home and something about home makes my heart filled with joy and warmth! I got married this April and the outpouring of love we were shown absolutely overwhelms my heart. Our loved ones from all over the South gathered around my husband and myself with such generosity, kindness and wisdom! I can not imagine calling anywhere else home!

    9. avatar Tiffany reply

      The South was the place where I first discovered the gloriousness that is red velvet cake! To honor that love, I hope to have red velvet cupcakes at my reception.

    10. avatar Stephanie reply

      I love so much about the south, it is hard to narrow it down! What I love most is how close knit the communities are. I grew up with a large family close by, friends that had known us for years, devoted church friends, and teachers at school that knew my family and had taught a lot of us already! I couldn’t imagine having grown up anywhere but my small town and being surrounded by those people. I hope that my children will have those same blessings!

    11. avatar Peyton reply

      I love the South because I can find every member of my family in Georgia, the Carolina’s, and Louisiana. I love it for it’s jam, cheese grits, and home-grown fried green tomatoes. I love it because it’s where my grandmother taught me how to shag in her kitchen while pecan pie baked in the oven. I love being able to monogram everything I own without anyone looking twice. I love oak trees and Spanish moss and hydrangea-filled summers. I love my sweet neighbors, and the sweet accents that can be heard anywhere below the Mason-Dixon Line. I love the South because it’s my home, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

    12. avatar Lauren reply

      I love the South because of our amazing Southern Hospitality and the sense of community!

    13. avatar Lauren reply

      I love the South for so many reasons it’s hard to name just one! I love the true Southern Hospitality that is unmatched anywhere else, the undeniable passion for College Football (War Eagle, y’all!) the food (sweet tea and cheese grits are my fav!) and the importance of family. Couldn’t live anywhere else!

    14. avatar Rae reply

      Not married yet and now I’m back up North but my dream wedding would take place under a magnolia tree and the dinner would include fried chicken, Mac & cheese, buttermilk biscuits and lots of sweet tea

    15. avatar Laura reply

      For knowing that you’re never too busy to sit on the front porch visiting with friends, for taking Sunday afternoon drives down back roads with the windows rolled down so you can smell the honeysuckle, and for knowing that your Grandma’s recipe book is worth its weight in gold. I love the South because I am constantly reminded that these simple things are my richest treasures.

    16. avatar Lorel reply

      My family is from the Midwest, but my soon to be hubby is from Covington, KY. I adore his accent and the gentlemanly way he has about him.

    17. avatar Dana reply

      There’s just too much to love down here, but the South excels when it comes to food! The happiest place I can be is on a porch with delicious bbq, biscuits galore, a large glass of sweet tea, and chocolate pecan pie for dessert!

    18. avatar Shelby reply

      The South is home to many, but it means so much more than a house to live in or a town to work, shop, & play in. This place is our family. Whether its your neighbors lending a hand, a peach cobbler to fill your belly, a family tradition that warms your soul, or even the yearly magnolia blooms filling your heart with joy, home in the South is everything.

    19. avatar Samantha reply

      What DON’T I love about the South?? Were celebrating the south through many aspects of our wedding, from the sweet tea station with many flavors of sweet tea (though who could pass up the plain ol’ taste of the original?!), the pie bar, the giant oak that we will be wed under, the magnolias in my bouquet that signify everything about home to me and my fiancé, and plethora of family that will attend and those that have already supported us by baking and crafting!!! Everything we love about the south is only magnified when you’re with family! The tea is sweeter, the flowers fresher! :)

    20. avatar gaji reply

      I love the southern hospitality, warm weather, and beautiful wedding venues.

    21. avatar Katie reply

      What perfect timing for this question! As a recent college grad, I left Virginia after 22 years to move to upstate New York-and my, are things different here! Born and raised in Virginia, my heart belongs in the South, and I am so thankful to have spent my life growing up there. As I have settled into New York, I have day dreams of front porches, more monograms and a familiar farmers market. People look at me like I have two heads when I order sweet tea. I love that I stick out like a sore thumb here, people always notice that I’m not from here, and I beam knowing that I can thank the South for that. I love the sound that ‘y’all’ makes paired with a friendly warm smile, and the comfort that it brings. I love the South for our tradition, and hospitality, for the heat that goes on for days and days. A true Southern spirit is strong, determined, and brave; and I’m thankful for my time away from the South to reflect on all it has taught me! I’m not married yet, but my dream wedding will be covered in Southern goodness. Complete with traditional readings, a huge bridal party,plenty of cold drinks, home-cooked food, monograms and lots of love to go around! The South will always be home=)

    22. avatar Pastel Candy Themed Wedding | Burnett’s Boards – Wedding Inspiration reply

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    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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