Sneak Peek Intimate Ravenswood Mansion Wedding - Courtney & Danny
 www.erinleeallender.com

This past Saturday was Courtney and Danny's Intimate Wedding at Ravenswood Mansion in Brentwood, Tennessee. They hired me to stop by for a few hours and capture their getting ready, portraits, ceremony, and a tiny bit of a reception. Check out how elegant this intimate wedding was! It was beautiful and sweet and I am so happy that I got to be involved!  

Special thanks to all of their vendors:
Venue: Ravenswood Mansion
Day Of Planner: Amanda Bledsoe
Florals: Brentwood Florist
Wedding Cake: Homestyle Bakery
Rentals: Music City Tents and Events
Catering: Brentwood Catering
Band: Groove Addiction Band

Centennial Park Family Session - Robin & Shujah
 www.erinleeallender.com

Three years ago, I photographed Robin and Shujah's wedding at Cedarwood. Thanks to how happy they are and their flower dog, Taj, I took some of my favorite photographs that year. So when Shujah contacted me about purchasing a surprise session for Robin for Mother's Day, I was overjoyed to be working with them. If you know me at all you know that two of my favorite things are dogs and babies and when they brought me this adorable chubby cheeked little boy to photograph, I fell in love. To this little one, all us where chopped liver when his big brother Taj was nearby. He thought Taj was the most hilarious thing ever. I hope you enjoy our Centennial Park Family Session in Nashville! 

Sneak Peek Intimate LDS Wedding - Katie & Craig
 www.erinleeallender.com

Katie calls Craig her unicorn- her magical mystical creature that she didn't think existed. They met 10+ years ago in a completely different state and realized that they lived a few counties apart. Years and years past when Katie reached out to Craig on Instagram. Once Craig realized that it was the cute bubbly girl that he met so many years ago, they started talking and by Christmas they were engaged.  

I got to photograph this lovely couple this past weekend. Because they were married in private ceremony at the LDS Nashville Temple, I did not photograph their ceremony. But I did get to photograph Katie getting ready, their portraits, and their reception at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. I hope you can feel the excitement of these two in these photos. I thought Katie was going to burst because she was so happy. Craig couldn't stop taking iPhone photos of his beautiful bride. It was incredibly sweet and I'm so glad that I got work with these two. 

Hair and Makeup By Amy Lynn Larwig.

Sneak Peek Classic Spring Wedding - Channing & Taylor
 www.erinleeallender.com

I met Channing and her mom in Frothy Monkey last fall. My house had just flooded and we were living in an Airbnb without the pups. All I wanted to do was sit in front of the TV with ice cream and eat my miseries away. The last thing I wanted to do was have to promote myself to new people but then walked in two of the loveliest people ever, Channing and her mom Heidi. I instantly wanted to photograph this wedding. 

This past weekend I finally got to meet the groom, Taylor and the rest of the bride and groom's families. When I say I have the best couples and the best families, I really mean it. These two and their families despite the ridiculous heat were gracious and fun the whole entire day. The size of this wedding party beat out the count of any other wedding party that I have photographed in my career and there wasn't a difficult one in the bunch. They were all amazing!!! Most importantly you could tangibly see how much joy Channing and Taylor had in each other's presence. Please enjoy their sneak peek!

Special Thanks to Their Vendors:
Church: Covenant Presbyterian Church
Reception: University Club of Nashville
Wedding Coordinator: Marcia Husband
Hair: Mark Massa at Style Kitchen
Makeup: Caroline Myers
Dress: Sarah Seven from LVD
Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN
Tuxedos: Jos A Bank
Florist: Elder Floral Design
Cake: Triple Crown Bakery
Doughnut Bar: Fox's Donut Den
Caterer: Chef Nick Govrik at the University Club of Nashville
Draping and Lighting: Events Plus
Rentals: Liberty Party Rental
Band: Number One Party Band
Paper goods: Audrey Hurst Weddings
Signage: Kristi Anne Design
Vintage Car and Trolley: Fadd's Entertainment

Sneak Peek Bengali-American Wedding Weekend - Tanya & Asad
 www.erinleeallender.com

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these two are madly in love. As soon as they look at each other, they light up. This past weekend I was very fortunate to photograph two of the days of their wedding celebration. Saturday night was the Gaye Holud. During the Gaye holud, gifts are brought to the bride and groom (including their wedding attire), tumeric is rubbed on their faces and sweets are hand fed to them by their relatives. All of this was done as a beautification process for their reception the next day. 

Sunday was their reception. And with the help of Angela Proffitt, the couple added their personal touch to their decor. Their centerpieces centered around their love for sci-fi and video games, quotes on their favor boxes came from well loved movies, video games, etc., and their music although it most of it sounded like chamber music, was actually some of their favorite rock songs. Sunday also included the traditional gate ceremony where the bride's family blocked the groom and his family from entering the hall. His family had to bid on his behalf in order for him to enter in to the reception see his bride. They paid and pushed their way through only for Asad's shoes to be stolen by the bride's family. To get the shoes, he had to pay for them. I don't think he ever did!

Working with this bride and groom and their immediate and extended families was incredible. They were some of the nicest and kindest people that I have ever encountered and I don't think I have ever been asked if I have eaten so much in my life....which if you know me, that is my love language. I also love color so this was a dream come true. There was honestly some of the most beautiful clothing I have ever seen. Thank you so much for including me in your wedding weekend.

Special thanks to the vendors:
Planning & Design: Angela Proffitt
Venue: Hilton Downtown Nashville
Florals: Lauren Marie Atkinson
Drape: Visual Elements
Lighting: Nashville Event Lighting
Linens: BBJ Linen
Seating: Please Be Seated
Hair & Makeup Sunday Reception: Karissa Paige Beauty
Dessert: Ivey Cakes
 

Day Two - The Reception & Gate Ceremony

Personal Vacation Photographer Dollywood - Beechler Family
 www.erinleeallender.com

Once upon a time, 50 years ago (last year), a man and a woman were married. They went on to have three children and later 7 grandchildren. One of their daughters, Tami, decided that since they all lived in different cities and states and haven't all been in the same place in years, they should have a family reunion and vacation together to celebrate their parents' 50 year wedding anniversary. They rented a cabin right outside of Dollywood Theme Park, purchased weekend passes for the park, and planned for a weekend of spending time together and honoring their parents. 

One thing that Tami wanted was for everyone to be able to enjoy each other and be present. She didn't want anyone to have to worry about taking photos with their cameras or cellphones so she hired me to be their personal vacation photographer! This seriously was one of the best projects I have ever had. I spent two days following the Beechler clan around photographing them praying, eating, playing, singing (a lot of singing) and laughing together. One of my favorite moments was when the old family photos were brought out. The younger Beechler's found their parents', aunts', and uncles' teenage fashion hilarious. Most of what I did was photojournalism but one afternoon we spent a little bit of time doing portraits of everyone at Chimney Rock Picnic Area.

I loved all the time I got to spend with these people. They welcomed me into their family, told me multiple times to put my camera down and join them for meals, and shared their lives with me. It was such a blessing to get to work with them and I feel really honored to be able to capture their time together knowing that they will be able to relive that time through these photographs. 

Sneak Peek Riverwood Garden Wedding - Ashley & Mike
 www.erinleeallender.com

Ashley & Mike's families knew each other long before Ashley and Mike met. When they were in elementary school, their dads shared the same room for an office in the Pentagon, but Ashely & Mike didn't meet until high school. Mike eventually won Ashley's favor (which took some time) and they dated through high school and college, but life took them in different directions. Several years later they reconnected and started dating again. If you ever see Mike, ask him about it. He has a rather humorous and slightly embellished version of their rekindled relationship.

I loved these two as soon as I met them and their wedding day couldn't have been any more beautiful! It was amazing to see their relationship with their families and the friends that  had become their family in all the different places they have lived. It was a gorgeous day and I am so happy that I got to be a part of it. Please enjoy this sneak peek of their Riverwood Garden Wedding.

Special thanks to their vendors:
Venue & Planning: Larissa from Riverwood
Florist: Enchanted Florist
Caterer: 8 Lavender Lane Catering
Cake: 8 Lavender Lane Catering
DJ: DJ Chris 
Ceremony Music: Wedding Musicians Company
Officiant: Ralph Griggs
Transportation: FADDS
Videographer: SheHeWe

Inspiration Shoot - Netflix The Crown
 www.erinleeallender.com

Since Downtown Abbey is over I had to attach my Anglophile self to another show that takes place in England and preferably involving royalty. I fell in love with the manners (sometimes lack of) and elegance of Netflix's The Crown. I found a fellow Crown lover in Brittany from Inspired Help and we started conspire on a styled shoot. We decided that East Ivy would be the perfect location and Brittany built a color scheme around a play on the colors of the British Flag. We mixed old world and new old design elements together to show that you can utilize both on your wedding day. Please enjoy our efforts and special thanks to everyone that made this possible.

Venue: East Ivy Mansion
Planning + Decorating: Inspired Help
Hair & Make-up: Chelsea Coker
Crown + Earrings: Eden Luxe
Dress: The Dress Theory
Dress Designer: Miss Hayley Paige
Florals: Rachael Ann Event Design
Rentals: Music City Tents & Events
Vintage Rentals: Two Monkey's Vintage
Catering: Dream Events & Catering
Bakery: Baked in Nashville
Paper goods: Fete and Quill
Ring: Brentwood Jewelry
Model: Maddy Newton

 

GiGi's Playhouse - On The End CrossFit
 www.erinleeallender.com

One of my favorite florist friends, Lauren Marie Atkinson, has been posting photos of a group of GiGi's Playhouse participants working out at her CrossFit gym, On The End CrossFIt. "GiGi’s Playhouse is the only nationwide network of Down Syndrome achievement centers; changing lives through free, results-driven programs for individuals of all ages, families and communities." I wanted to help out and I asked Lauren if I could stop by and photograph what was going on. The teamwork, the joy, and sense of accomplishment that I saw from the volunteers and the participants was intoxicating.

Lauren has been working with this group for for 5 months training for the "Murph" Hero Work, which is one of the most famous CrossFit. "Hero workouts honor a fallen solider. Murph is usually done over Memorial Day weekend and Honors Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who lost his life in Afghanistan in June 2015. It consists of 1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and another mile run.  It was his favorite workout and he would often do it with his weight vest on. It's encouraged to wear a weight vest- which is why Andrew, Josh, Tyler, Caroline, Alan, Ben all passed it around! They finished the workout together as a team! They had been working towards this workout and all the different movements on Wednesdays. They went from being able to do no pull ups to getting their first pull ups to getting multiple pull ups in a row!" 

"Gigi's is the benefactor for Row for a Reason! When I (Lauren) decided to row a half marathon for charity with some other CrossFitters in middle Tennessee three years ago, we were trying to find a local charity where we could see firsthand how our charitable efforts were making a difference. There is a member of the CrossFit community at another gym whose son has Down Syndrome and someone mentioned GiGi's to us and we decided to go with them!  

After the first year, we started training some GiGi's athletes to row with us on teams for Row for a Reason 2016 and then after that I approached the owners of our gym to see if we could start training them at the gym throughout the year. There are so many benefits in connection to the Down Syndrome community and exercise so we decided to go for it."

If you would like more information on GiGi's Playhouse, please click here

Mini Sessions for Mom - Summer Mini Sessions
Mothers_Day_Promotional

NEW MOMS, EMPTY NEST MOMS, GRANDMOMS, PET MOMS. For Mother's Day buy the mother in your life a mini session with her "baby". Surprise her by booking a photo session of her, you, and all your siblings or maybe surprise your significant other by booking photos of her and your new baby. For the mother in your life who is always the one taking the photos and is never in them. For the grandma in your life who would love photos with her and all the grandkids. Give her moments that last a lifetime!

Mini sessions will be June 4th. If there is enough interest, June 11th will be opened.
$225 for a 30 minute session and 10 final hi res edited image files of your choice. 
Session will take place at Cloverbottom park in Nashville, TN. Email erin@erinleeallender.com for more information!

6 Month Baby Photos - Harper
 www.erinleeallender.com

Oh sweet, sweet Harper! I am so glad that I not only get to photograph your Baby's First Year Photos, but that I get to see you grow while doing them. Your 6 month session was so different than your newborn session because you now have a full on personality. Things you found hilarious at the session - "no", "bad dog", "creepy mouse" (when I googled it I became more confused), chewing on mommy's pearls that daddy gave mom at their wedding, and mommy jumping around like a crazy person. You found me curious and you weren't sure about bubbles. We knew the session was over when the last photo in this blog happened. I can't wait to do your 1 year photographs!

Monsoon Wedding Weekend - Allison & Tim
 www.erinleeallender.com

Allison and Tim! The first time I met them, I instantly knew I wanted to work with them because I loved their attitudes. Despite the monsoon we had in Nashville this weekend, they still had the best attitudes. And because of Allison's willingness to tromp around in rain boots all day and their willingness to get a little wet, we still got great outdoor photographs. It took some umbrellas, some overhangs, and some grumpy faces from their adorable dog, Birch, but we got them. 

I have to say that I love it when couples have bigger families. It can be a lot more work for me, but there is just something about the bonds that they have and the fact that there is always some wedding tradition that they have....it usually includes some sort of reception prop. In Allison and Tim's case, light up tambourines. From all the tears, the blow up dinosaur, the toast, the signing of Backstreet Boys by the whole dance floor, to the most rampant "Shout" dancing I have ever seen, this wedding was wonderful. I am so, so glad that I got to be a part of it. Please enjoy!

Special thanks to all the hardworking vendors:
Planning & Design: Locklane Weddings & Events
Venue: Green Door Gourmet
Hair & Makeup: K Miller Artistry
Bartending Services: Hamilton Bartending Services
Wedding Gown: The Dress Theory
Cake: Kay McConfections
Catering: Smoke Et Al
DJ: Choice DJs
Florist: The Farmers Florist
Rentals: Southern Events Party Rental

8 Practical Pro Tips To Save Money on Your Wedding
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You’re engaged or you know it is coming and you’re starting to venture into the world of planning your wedding and it's overwhelming. You’re learning that the wedding that you’ve planned on Pinterest is going to require you to sell a kidney (or two). I've been there. I get it. And because of this, I asked some of my favorite wedding professionals to give me one practical tip each on how to save money. They didn't disappoint. Sign up in the form above to receive your free guide "8 PRACTICAL PRO TIPS ON SAVING MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING". Hint: it doesn't have to involve a glue gun. 

Special Thanks to the vendors that sent me their tips-
Dream Events & Catering
Music City Events
Music City Tents and Events
Lauren Marie Atkinson Designs
Enchanted Florist
Locklane Weddings & Events
Elizabeth A. Wright Events

Easter Wedding Proposal - Shelby & Jackson
 www.erinleeallender.com

I honestly think proposals are one of the most complicated things that I photograph. You can't be seen and you pray and pray that the proposee (is that a word) doesn't walk into bad light or turn away from the camera. Mainly you hope that you don't wreck the surprise!

Jackson, with the help of his family, planned out a very sweet proposal on Easter Sunday at Cheekwood in Nashville, Tennessee. An egg trinket box with the ring in it was placed in a planter with the intention of having Shelby find it. I arrived early and kept an eye out for the couple and watched over the ring. Everything was quiet (other than the woman singing the full soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast) up until the moment I see Shelby and Jackson walk up. At that point a family decides to stand by the bench so I quickly shoo them off. Jackson sees it happen and does a loop past the proposal spot. When they are about ready to walk up again, a woman spots the egg and picks it up. So I run over and ask her to put it back. My heart is racing probably as much as Jackson's at this point and I'm really worried than Shelby has seen all this commotion. But she hasn't. She has NO IDEA. She doesn't even see the egg box. You can see what unfolded below. Once Jackson pointed me out, we did a couple of posed photos, but mainly I stayed back and photographed them basking in their happiness. I would like to call this collection of photos - "The Many Flabbergasted Moments of Shelby". Thanks to Angela Proffitt for sending this adorable couple my way!