Monday, July 12, 2010

Lauren + Willie's kick-ass who-needs-an-effing-pro-photographer? Nashville wedding

I started nagging Lauren (aka Naurnie) to send me wedding photos before she even got back from her honeymoon.

But we got held up by the professional photographer, who told Lauren she "lost" the images from the reception. (When pressed, Ms. Pro Photog confessed that the photos had been captured on a corrupt card, and she agreed to give L+W a partial refund.)

Anyhoo, Lauren and Willie's FRIENDS took such great photos, I decided I'd rather feature those.*

Here is Lauren's lil write-up about the wedding: 

The lovely ESB graciously offered to feature our wedding, and now I'm presented with the unique challenge of trying to recap without using any images from the professional photographer.

Well, we were fortunate enough to have friends at our wedding who took an insane number of photos. If you were ever wondering how to get over the disappointment of not having the photos you thought you paid for, having friends who love you + are also completely insane will do the trick (especially when they decide to take tons of photos).

Since we had a private ceremony (I am talking family only here), most of our efforts in wedding planning were concentrated on the reception. Before I go into all this, please let me inform you that I am NOT good at planning things like this, nor am I good at making decisions on things. Also? I'm a bit of a procrastinator. So while I loved looking through all of the lovely wedding blogs with the DIY garden weddings, the fantasy of me having one of my very own quickly flew out the window when I realize that I don't have a crafty, DIY bone in my body. We quickly decided to hire a wedding planner.

We knew we didn't really want any cheesy mumbo jumbo... no bouquet tosses or first dances. We really just wanted to get down with our friends. To me, nothing beats a live band, and ours certainly did NOT disappoint. Not only did they keep everyone on their feet the entire time, they played PUSH IT and RASPBERRY BERET. They never even took a break, and I am PRETTY sure it is because they were having just as much fun as we were. My friends love to dance.  My family also loves to dance. This combination is so dangerous...

I guess I should mention that at one point early in the evening (with a little help from a couple of glasses of wine), I got up in front of everyone + played a song for William with my guitar + harmonica. I seriously had not played in front of anyone in YEARS, and I must say it was a LOT of fun to be up in front of everyone with my harp + guitar.  I played "Walk the Line"... I wanted to play a Dylan song, but Dylan is not something that William + I agree on.  Cash, however, is something that EVERYONE agrees on. Also? I guess the singer of the band thought I should join them because she forced me to sing Proud Mary on stage. Um... I do not sound like Tina.

I was born in Louisiana, and a lot of my extended family still lives there. In order to pay tribute to my home state, my mom had the brilliant idea to have a Second Line parade as we were leaving. None of that bird seed/bubbles/sparkers business. (A Second Line is a traditional New Orleans parade in which people follow a Dixieland Jazz Band while twirling parasols + handkerchiefs. The big parade is the "first line" and the people that follow are the "second line."  They're typically done at weddings + funerals.)

My amazing mother spent a long time handstamping hankies with a fleur de lis, folding them all cute like, and we attached tags to them so that everyone knew what to do with them at the end of the night.  We recruited some horn players from our wedding band to lead the way, and everyone was outside twirling their hankies and shouting for us. My family was twirling parasols and dancing around... It is absolutely one of my most favorite parts of the night.

We had a lot of help from friends to make our wedding awesome. A close friend of ours is a professional musician, and he played the violin for our ceremony. My boss owns a Packard that we were driven around in. The car is gorgeous and provided for some fantastic photos. (Side note: As we were riding in the Packard from the ceremony to the reception, we passed a photo shoot at an old gas station. They were also using an old car. Come to find out, it was Annie Leibowitz shooting Jack White + Karen Elson for Vogue. I am thinking now that we should've pulled over.)

All in all, I would have to say it was my favorite night EVER.

Without the help of my mom + sister, I might never have pulled this sucker off.  I would also like to give a round of applause to ESB and her marvelous readers, who helped me keep my sanity + perspective during the planning of a wedding.  

The disappointment of the lost photos is slowly waning. 

I am so fortunate that we had such an amazing wedding and that my friends took such joyous photos of the event.  I am also really, really glad that we did the photo booth guest book, because those pictures are worth so much more than anything the photographer ever could have taken... and now I have all kinds of blackmail material! (None of my couple friends could resist the photo booth boob grab!!)

All photos by Lauren + Willie's unprofessional friends, except the last set which are courtesy of Photo Booth Nashville.


*In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that H-town spent a little time color-correcting the images in photoshop: blackening the blacks, whitening the whites, removing a red eye or two. Nothing a reasonably competent amateur couldn't achieve. Although when he tried to teach me how to do it, I have to admit I got very distracted by a marathon of Bethenny Getting Married?


  1. naurnie's friends ended up with photos.

    making them more professional than the professional.


  2. (agree re. full refund)

    but awesome fun pics and super fun wedding regardless! congrats.

    (also - omg i am addicted to bethenny getting married she is HILARIOUS.)

  3. PROUD MARY! BOOB GRAB BOOTH? ...PROUD HOLLI! lauren you did an amazing job, seriously what a kickass wedding.

  4. God, it just looks like so much FUN! Congratulations!

  5. i have been dying to see these photos! there is some serious joy radiating from these folks. who needs a professional photographer.

    a second line parade, johnny cash AND a photo booth? so awesome.

    p.s. i loved the karen elson and jack white spread in vogue... you totally should have pulled over!

  6. (i was also hoping for a full refund)

    The on-stage photos made me teary. And the photo booth photos made me giggle. And the Second Line parade obviously = awesome party.

    (DJ and I didn't used to agree on Dylan, but he's come around. Mostly.)

  7. The second line looks like something I need to experience. I was also hoping for a full-refund. Photographer's problems not= to your problems.

  8. Your wedding looks like one of the funnest ever! Congratulations. Still sorry about the pictures, but it looks like your friends did you proud. Lemonade out of lemons.

  9. Love the boob grab.

    I think they should get a *FULL* refund.

  10. there are just those weddings i wish i could have gone to, and this is one of them.

    f*cking bethany. why do i care so much? WHY?

  11. these are awesome. they capture the joy of the party and that's all that matters. oh, and photo booths are the best.

  12. love Lauren's wedding. It's being featured on tomorrow and I'll include a link to this post bcause I think it's great!

  13. Still think a full refund would have been appropriate, but I REALLY admire your ability to let go of the disappointment. Friends + photobooth are a pretty awesome substitute for your "professional".

  14. thats terrible about the professional photographer! but im glad someone was there to take the pictures. and i love the photobooth pictures are the end...hilarious!

  15. Oh man, this wedding is so rad! They look like they had a blast and I love the touches that let them shine on. I'm trying to not be all, "HOW COULD THAT B OF A PHOTOG...." but. You're right, the photos their friends took are wonderful! I love the smilebooth photos. A. that he's grabbin some boob in the first. Ahh, marriage. B. That she's all "ring-finger!" and he's all "MIDDLE FINGER" in the second. This is a great wedding that makes the DIY bonanzas-too-full-of-unreachable-pretty look shameful. Good work.

  16. I love. Your friends are the best and your wedding is the best.

    I LOVE.

    And yes, pretty much anyone can figure out photoshop. And some very nice photographers will fix your photos for you in their spare time for not very many pennies if you ask them to.

  17. Was lucky enough to be at this wedding and it was indeed an amazing amount of fun, personality and pure beauty from the bride. I cried when I saw her at the reception (not family, so wasn't at the ceremony) and I couldn't stop.

  18. thanks, everyone, for your sweet comments! we had such a blast at our wedding, and i'm so glad it shows through the photographs.

    @celia - i wish you were there, too! (you, esb, + jamie)

    @lizzie - yes, the husband had difficulty with the "ring finger v. middle finger" scenario, which makes for hysterical photos.

    @Sara Beesley - i am so glad you were there, preshy. it would never have been the same with out you. xo

  19. "boob grab booth" would be a great hobo name.

  20. Awesome photos, looks like you guys had so much fun on your wedding! Love the photo booth idea. I will recommend that to my friend for her wedding. Congratulations!!!

  21. ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhmyyyygooooood.
    <3 <3 <3 i have a few things to say;

    dear esb,
    next time someone invites us, LETS GO.

    you on the stage???? <3

    all of it, really. they really really do capture what a wonderful time it was. congratulations.

    oh, over the weekend i saw that shoot by annie leibovitz and i thought, i wonder if lauren knows jack white's wife is also a musician?

    ha! of course you do.


  22. WHo needs professional photogrpahers? the photo booth is the best idea ever! I think a montage of photos from that should be your Christmas card..seriously. And if you do, will you post it on my Christmas card site?

  23. Boob grab! That's awesome.

    Love the fact that f* it was said to the screwy photographer.

  24. Brilliant.

    Boobgrab is hilarous and the stage photos are awesome.

    (and I think a full refund should have been given; if anything - that photographer should have been crapping her crappy pants about being sued. A full refund should have been the least of her worries.)

  25. As the Groom in this wedding I have to say that I am so lucky that my wife put together such an amazing wedding. Couple of things though from Groom POV:

    !. No one has said anything of what a great groom I was (I went to all flower / food tasting / venue meetings ect.) Just tooting my own horn here.

    2. Lauren let me pick my own grooms cake which were cupcakes. they were red velvet (my favorite) with skulls with little brown mustaches. (this was my personal favorite touch.)

    3. I also put together all the wedding welcome packages with CD's for all our guests. And I'm not talking plain printed paper with places to go around town. I got down right creative making some kick ass little books of town info and directions and all that good stuff.

    4. Another personal touch in which I must brag was that my suit was psycho bunny. If you don't know about this designer check it out and tell your boyfriend / husband about it.

    Ok now hat I have tooted my own horn. I must say that I really do owe this amazing wedding to my wife and amazing mother-in-law. It was the happiest day of my life so far and a day I will never forget, there was nothing I did not love about it! I love you honey and thanks for all your hard work making a perfect day!