We have had the privilege of photographing many weddings over the last 12 years, and all of them have had their own unique qualities. Some of them small, some of them large, some of them laid back, some of them over the top. Some weddings deserve to be featured in all of their glory simply for their beauty and the hard work and planning that went into making them.
That’s why we are creating a new website for our best of the best luxury weddings. Amazing details, great planners, high-end designers, and photography that only we could capture will be coming soon for your viewing pleasure. In the meantime, check out these blog links to get a sample of what’s to come:
and yes, we’ll even throw in a 17 layer wedding cake. Stay tuned!
Destin Bay House Wedding – As much as we love big weddings, it’s often nice to have a quaint, laid back event with wonderful families and lots of pretty details. We were excited to finally photograph a wedding at the Destin Bay House from the moment Jennifer contacted us. It is a beautiful property right in the heart of old Destin on Choctawhatchee Bay, and it’s perfect getting married on the water if you want a green lawn instead of concrete or sand. It’s surrounded by large, mossy, oak trees and lots of pretty placed to photograph. We got our first big cold front of Fall on the morning of this wedding which left us with cold temps and blustery winds, but the house was spacious enough that the guests were all cozy inside.
Venue – Destin Bay House, Destin, Florida
Cake – Sweet For Sirten
Photographer – www.raeleytham.com
Jennifer’s timeline allowed us plenty of time to play with her portraits, so we started in the getting ready room and took these with some beautiful window light. These green bridesmaids dresses were beautiful and a perfect match for the green bouquets!This field was perfect with all of the golden midday sun hitting the foliage. It’s hard to believe this is in the middle of a beach town. Poor Jennifer walked onto that cold, blustery lawn, and you can almost see the chill on her faceThe public park right next to the Destin Bay House is perfect for portraits tooEvery wedding detail was creative and This was our first cake with Sweet for Sirten and it was adorable AND tastyThis is one of Destin’s best features… the sunsets. The dolphins were playing at the end of the pier as it was getting darkWith all the wedding formalities done, they got the party started. Wait for it….Never mind, don’t wait for it… REACHA nice bubbly sendoff “inside” thanks to mother nature, but a great night!
We had a bridal session with Mandy a couple of months ago, so we’ll start with a few of those. We were so excited the first time we say that beautiful dress.
Mandy and her mom and Grant met with us a while back after they had met with another photographer. I think Mandy’s words to her mom were, “Rae’s gonna have a hard time beating that [other photographer].” I must have impressed them! We had an instant connection and we actually realized we have some mutual friends. Their wedding was incredibly sweet and obviously beautiful thanks to some well-chosen vendors.
One of my favorite parts of the day was the time Mandy spent with her parents while getting ready. There were tears shed by everyone in the room. Another favorite part of the day was scavenging for pretty areas of a concrete jungle!
Venue | Emerald Grande Resort
Catering | Emerald Grande Resort
Flowers and Decor’ | Celestine’s Special Occasions
Cake | Betty Weber
DJ | Paul Kirker of Gulf Talent Services
Jessica and David were married at the beautiful Henderson Park Inn in Destin, FL. We photographed our 2nd paid wedding there 8 years ago, and we were so excited about going back for the first time since that day. The staff at Henderson did an outstanding job on the menu and Sherri from RSVP Weddings was a pleasure to work with. David is retired from the Coast Guard and Jessica is an active Coast Guard Pilot who provides life-saving services to all of us who live and boat on the water. I hope we did half as good of a job for them as they do for us every day. It was a perfect Fall day for this venue, and I cannot explain the range of emotions this wedding brought forth. There were plenty of tears and happiness throughout the night. We had never met them before the wedding, but it was instantly obvious how much they love each other and their family. Hopefully these photos will allow you to experience this wedding in the same way we did.
Ceremony Venue | Henderson Park Inn
DJ Services | BBoy Productions
Planner | Sherri of RSVP Weddings
Catering | Henderson Park Inn
Jessica’s sister was putting the finishing touches on a fantastic toast right after we arrived…
While Jessica was putting her finishing touches on too…
Sherri scheduled us plenty of time for photos after the ceremony, so we got to make good use of that gorgeous sunset…
That toast her sister was working on earlier in the day was VERY good…
Love happy tears!
Jessica’s first dance with her father was just as touching….
Jessica’s brother brought more tears when he put on two separate slideshows he made of them growing up. It really emphasized the importance of family to both of them..
Jessica’s parents got the dance floor moving!
And this crowd knew how to party!
Emily & Jim were married recently at the Sandestin Resort in beautiful South Walton county. This was a destination wedding with many friends and family arriving from Chicago. Emily’s dress was just stunning and was a perfect style for the day. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon and the azaleas at Sandestin were in full bloom providing us amazing color. Enjoy!
Wedding Cake | Yasha Becker
Reception | Sandestin Grand
We strolled around Baytown Wharf for some fun between the ceremony & reception…This crowd definitely knew how to party….
I’m turning over a new leaf this year. Yes, I’m saying it out loud so you can hold me to it. I’m going to blog weddings while the bride and groom are still on their honeymoon, which means within a week. I realized this week that at least ten 2010 wedding never got blogged, and procrastination is a losing battle, so we’re going to pick up the pace and get it done this season. This will fluctuate a little when we’re on the road of course, but I will do better…. I promise 🙂
Here’s a little preview of Emily and Jim from Sandestin this past weekend with a full post coming in a couple of days!
Kara & Rich chose us based on our website, but as soon as I met them, I KNEW we were a match. I could not have been more right. We had an absolute blast all day long. We walked in the room where the ladies were getting ready and it was immediate energy! The iPod was blaring, the bridesmaids were gorgeous in their jewel-toned dresses, Renee (from Two Fishes) was beautifying Rich’s mom, and Kara’s reality-show-star-friend, Jon (from Shear Genius), was busy fussing over Kara’s perfect hair!
Kara & Rich wanted to party immediately after the ceremony, so we had a first look session and it was perfect. I am pretty sure Rich was blown away by the sight of his bride. She was stunning. After wrangling the wedding party for some pre-ceremony photos, we headed to the beautiful ceremony site at the Western Lake Park. After a tear-filled ceremony and some quick family photos, we stole the crazy couple for some pretty golden light photos.
Not long after the reception began at the Bait House Pool Deck, Jon whisked Kara to the locker room for a wardrobe change and a completely fresh hair style. Jon really is a great friend to Kara and he wanted to make sure she was perfect for her day. At the end of the night, Kara & Rich jumped aboard the Watercolor boat and sailed into the darkness.
Ceremony Venue: Western Lake Park at the Watercolor Resort
Reception Venue: Bait House Pool Deck at the Watercolor Resort
Coordinator: Cheryl Walton of Watercolor Resort
Makeup and hair : Renee of Two Fishes Artistry and Emily of Two Fishes Artistry
Bride’s Hair: Jon Steinick
Flowers and Decor: Fishers Flowers
Cake: Cakes by Tanis
Band: Meet the Press
We love being able to capture that first look with just the two of them….Kara was just gorgeous… They are SO good together…Of course we had some fun too!Jon was having a great time too…Love, love, love bright colors on days like this!Here are some of the day’s details…Beautiful spot for a first dance…Fake moustaches came out towards the end of the night and Kara’s mom knew how to use it!They were whisked away at the end of the night on the lake boat….Check out those teal shoes!
Chamaine and Carlos drove all the way from New Orleans to have a beautiful wedding on the beaches of the Emerald Coast. They chose Sandestin Hilton as their venue and it was perfect for them. The ballroom was beautiful and all the vendors did a really great job! Their wedding really focused on family. Chamaine and Carlos have 3 children together, but there were many more children there. I don’t think I have seen so many kids at a wedding before and they all partied like the adults! And, you know how those Louisiana people like to party! They even extended the reception because they weren’t done partying.
Venue | Sandestin Hilton
Catering | Sandestin Hilton
Coordinator | Margie Jordan of Bella Flora
Flowers & Decor | Bella Flora
Cake | Fatty Patty’s Cakes
We got a phone call a few months back from our friend Melissa at Masterpiece Weddings in Gainesville. Her best friend from Houston was coming to our beautiful beaches for her wedding, and Melissa knew we would all have a great time working together. The weather that week was horrible, but we had a some divine intervention and got an hour of dryness right around the ceremony. We had a really great time, and really enjoyed our afternoon with everyone!
Gotta love some Jimmy Choo…
I love this shot… Lauri can do serious well.
This is their son Jaxson who loved mom’s bouquet…..
He also loved all of the water puddles!
Now that is Melissa on the right. She played Maid of Honor and officiant that day. They are hilarious!
We crossed the very busy road from their rental house to the beach… the look says it all 🙂
Melissa did a beautiful job with these…..
Love those clouds…. I can stare at this and almost feel the stormy breeze blowing through my hair again.
Now beach weddings can be a lot of fun with your friends…..
Until somebody gets hurt!
They finished with a nice dinner at the beautiful Bistro Bijoux in Baytown Wharf…..
Planner and Coordinator | It’s A Shore Thing
Makeup | Renee Armour – Two Fishes Artistry
Florals and Decor | Celestine’s Special Occasions
Reception Venue | Palazzo Del Sol
Catering | Celestine’s Special Occasions
Cake | Yasha Becker
Ashleigh and Galen booked us on what had to be the most popular Saturday of the year. We had three brides wanting to book us for this date within two hours of each other, and Ashleigh managed to seal the deal first! We first met them at their engagement session in Atlanta last Fall, and we knew then that Ashleigh had great taste for their wedding. This was a beautiful intimate event at a private beach house (Palazzo Del Sol) in Destin, with food and florals from the always fantastic Celestine’s. The weather was a little tricky with spotty rain showers off and on, but the back yard tent overlooking the Gulf was a lifesaver for everyone. The large, puffy, purple clouds are always great for photos, especially when blue skies are peaking through.
Ashleigh’s niece and nephew were in the wedding and quite helpful while getting dressed…
Add a beautiful bride to the mix…
Love those clouds…. That little spec under the cloud on the right is actually a parasail…..
Love that dusk sky…..
Oh where do I begin? Hannalore and I hit it off from the 1st conversation. She grew up in Mobile (like Wes and I did) and she graduated from a rival high school the same year as Wes. We were all in the marching band too (yes, we were cool)! We also discovered that one of Hannalore’s good friends was Wes’ good friend in elementary school. It really is a small world. Anyway, we were excited to shoot at two new locations. The ceremony was at Dune Allen Beach off Highway 30A. It is a small strip of beach nestled in between very large beach houses and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. The reception was at the exclusive Cypress Dunes Clubhouse. I say exclusive because it’s a little tricky to have a wedding there. It was truly amazing. But, wow! Wait until you see Hannalore! Stunning. We were also excited to have the pleasure of working with Celestine’s again. Oh, the band! They were from Mobile and I would definitely recommend them to anyone.
Dress | Mori Lee from The Clothes Rack in Auburn, AL
Cake | Wedding Cakes by Gail
Florals | Celestine’s Special Occasions
Band | Hot Wire from Tip Top Attractions
Catering | Celestine’s Special Occasions
There’s our sexy little bride…..
This jewelry was classic and flawless….and yes ladies “they are” to answer your question.
Richard found her as stunning as we did….
Full sun without a cloud in the sky!
One of my favorites…. it was a beautiful sunset
The infinity pool was perfect for this setting…
Perfect location for the cake!
This past weekend was the wedding of Candace and Justin in Sandestin. They were married on the beach at the beautiful Sandestin Resort with the reception following at the conference center in the Sandestin Grand Hotel at Baytowne Wharf. This was the first time we have been in this particular conference room, and it is a great venue for anyone looking at the Sandestin area with plenty of room and classy decor’. The day of coordination was provided by the always talented ladies at It’s a Shore Thing and they kept things flowing smooth as usual!
Wes caught this candid right after the corset was laced…. Love it!
Bright colors rock!
Candace was beautiful of course!
How about a shot of the guys this week? That’s the Sandestin Grand behind them FYI….
Justin was dashing as well…
My favorite close up of the ring exchange from Rae to date….
This cake was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C It was made by Sandestin Golf and Beach Club’s Pastry Chef Yasha Becker. It was amazingly good!
It was a beautiful first dance…..
Followed by the cake…
And a couple of great toasts…
And even the grandmothers wanted to party with the kids!
We spent last Friday night at the Sandestin Hilton Resort for the rehearsal dinner of Beth and David that was planned and executed by It’s a Shore Thing. It was a fantastic event with approximately 120 guests, and Celestine’s once again did an amazing job with the florals The dinner was originally planned for outside, but the rain spoiled the first half of the night (that rain thing sounds like a broken record lately doesn’t it?). Regardless, it was beautifully done inside the Hilton Ballroom and then the weather allowed us to head outside for a bonfire that started with fireworks and lots of fun. We also got to try out our new photo booth capabilities in one of the cabanas that you will see at the bottom. If anyone is interested in a photo booth at your event, please contact us about pricing and options!
It was really a great party. I overheard someone (I think a bridesmaid) say, “this is the best wedding I have ever been to and we haven’t even had the wedding yet!”
The blue drink was the specialty of the night….
Beth was overwhelmed when she saw the room….
Gifts were given to the parents….
Lots of toasts brought plenty of laughter…
Then the fireworks began a wonderful evening on the beach….
Check out the cabanas. The one on the left is Wesley and the photo booth. You can see some people getting set up in that one! There were 2 cabanas set up like living rooms. There was a “late night snack” cabana with mini burgers and mini hotdogs and pizza and a dessert cabana with an ice cream bar and key lime pie! YUM! Oh, and there was a S’mores station near the fire pit.
The bride and groom loved the photo booth….
And so did everyone else!
What a fantastic wedding last weekend at the new Emerald Grande Resort in Destin, FL. I think Tim and Carol had their heart set on this place the minute they saw it last year. I can’t say I blame them after seeing it for myself. They are a genuine, gracious and loving couple who have been just a pleasure to know and work with. They chose Jennifer Warwick-Lewis and the crew from “It’s a Shore Thing” event planning in Grayton Beach, and they did a superb job with the decor’! And, just like Jen said…”it went as smooth as silk.” This post is a little long since I could not decide on my favorites…….