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Well, 2009 was an amazing year for us! We had so many beautiful brides!
So, we decided to hold a contest to have our brides and our friends vote for the Bride of the Year. It was a close race, but we're delighted to announce that Trina Higgins, who married Chad Harper at the Korean Bell of Friendship in Palos Verdes, CA was the winner! Here are some of the beautiful photos from their wedding. Thank you all for voting!
Nicole and Michael had a beautiful wedding in New York City at Manhattan Penthouse on 5th Avenue! Check out our portfolio to see another Real Wedding from New York City.
Andrea and Robert had a vintage style wedding at home in Los Angeles, so we gave their photos a vintage look as well. Visit our planning section to see how you can plan a home wedding!
Tricia and Peter had an amazing outdoor wedding in the Bay Area. Also, check out their engagement photos!
Leyla and Ali had a gorgeous wedding fit for royalty in Atlanta, GA. Visit our portfolio section to see another Atlanta, GA wedding!
Layla and Arend had a casual but elegant "beach" themed wedding along Lake Michigan. While the bride and groom wore very understated and neutral colored attire, the wedding was punctuated with varying shades of pink, from the bridesmaid's dresses to the bouquets! After the ceremony, guests continued the celebration underneath the stars in a tent - which is a great alternative for outdoor weddings! (This Real Wedding was featured on the Wedding Paper Diva's blog - check it out to see even more pictures from this amazing wedding)
Lindsay and Clark had a gorgeous outdoor wedding at a ranch in Houston, Texas. The bride and groom got married under a trellis on the ranch grounds and transformed a basketball pavilion for their reception! Also check out their urban engagement session!
In honor of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, here are a few of our favorite photos from weddings with Asian traditions; ranging from Chinese Tea Ceremonies to Thai Blessings. The majority of our Asian tradition photography comes from Chinese weddings, visit our planning section to read more about those traditions.
Christine and Greg had a unique summer wedding in Chicago. The couple went with a contemporary aesthetic for their wedding and their photos. They used dark colors and great textures as backgrounds for their portrait shoot which went great with their white and green color scheme!
Kirsten and Matthew had a gorgeous outdoor wedding at a country club in Pittsburgh. Their wedding photos have a dreamlike like quality due to the color palette, soft focus and the natural light from the sunset (photographers call this period of time the "golden hour" and some consider it the best light to shoot in)! Check out our portfolio for more weddings in Pittsburgh!
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer for a lot of people. The long weekend lends itself for a perfect getaway to your favorite beach. In honor of this weekend, here are a few of our favorite beach wedding portraits!
Here at Bella Pictures we shoot a lot of weddings with varying styles and traditions, including gay weddings. Here are few of our favorite photos from same sex weddings!
Angela and Tomislav had a wonderful wedding in sunny San Jose. They went the traditional route for the ceremony and were married in a church. For the reception they chose the beautiful Dolce Hayes Mansion which use to be a lavish private estate. Although their wedding was steeped in tradition, their photography was anything but. They chose an artistic style that complimented their wedding aesthetic which was perfect for their big day!
Lauren and Ken had a traditional and romantic wedding in Philadelphia, PA! They opted to have their ceremony in a cathedral and chose the great city of "Philly" as their back drop for their wedding portraits. Check out our planning section to find out some great places to go for your wedding portrait photography in Philadelphia!
This Texas wedding is both sophisticated and modern. Amy and Graham opted for a chic outdoor wedding ceremony punctuated with twinkle lights and yellow and white accents. They took advantage of the city of Dallas for their wedding portraits which made for some great industrial style photos. Visit our planning section for other great wedding photography spots in Dallas! If you want to see more great photos from this wedding, visit the Wedding Paper Diva's blog!
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Jamie and Matt who are our June winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: Jamie and Matt met in college at a weight training class that they had both randomly signed up for. "Matt tells everyone I gazed into his eyes the first time I saw him!"
The proposal: Matt proposed to Jamie in their home they had bought together during Easter weekend. "It was perfect because we had all weekend to celebrate with friends and family"
The Wedding: They had a very intimate wedding (only 85 guests!) at a gorgeous castle which had always been one of Jamie's dreams! "Our wedding day was perfect! It called for rain all day but luckily, the weather held out as most of our plans were outside! It rained for about ten minutes during the reception just for good luck"
On Bella Pictures: "Working with Bella was absolutely perfect! I can't even tell you how many compliments we got about our photographer that day. He was fabulous to work with! We love our photographs so much and couldn't be happier :)"
Funny story about the wedding day: "Our ceremony was short and sweet. I thought I would cry more than I did but as soon as I saw Matt I was nothing but perfectly happy. I only choked up once, right before I said for richer or poorer. Matt told me he thought I just didn't want to say poorer!"
In honor of Father's Day this coming Sunday, we have compiled a few of our favorite father and daughter wedding portraits. The Father of the Bride usually has two major roles in the wedding: walking his daughter down the aisle and giving her away to the groom (which can be a bit emotional for dads), and the Father/Daughter dance.
Krista and John had a beautiful outdoor wedding in sunny Orange County. For their wedding portraits, they took advantage of the gorgeous sunset which resulted in a very romantic shoot. Visit our planning section for more information on planning an outdoor wedding like Krista and John!
Randee and David had a traditional Jewish wedding in downtown Chicago at the elegant Palmer House Hilton. Like their engagement photos, they took advantage of the Chicago skyline to accentuate their photos! Visit our planning section for other hot spots for wedding photography is Chicago!
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Jenna and Brian who are our July winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They started dating through mutual friends in college and have been together ever since.
The proposal: "So the summer he proposed to me I was growing a cherry tomato plant and it was doing really well (surprisingly!). I was so proud of myself for not killing it! One evening he calls me outside by saying that it grew a tomato. I, of course rushed down the stairs and began looking for a little green tomato. I didn't find a tomato, but i did find a diamond ring hanging by a piece of dental floss! So i picked up the ring and he said 'Jenna, will you let me spend the rest of my life with you?' I, of course said yes!"
The Wedding: They had a mid-size wedding of 140 guests at The Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA. "The view of the ceremony site overlooking the mountains was absolutely breathtaking! We knew the moment we saw how beautiful it was that it was a perfect place to get married!
On Bella Pictures: "Bella Pictures was awesome! They worked hard to match me with a photographer that suited our photography style perfectly! Our photographer was very professional and obviously very talented! I get so many compliments on our wedding photos... I am always happy to recommend Bella Pictures to any bride to be."
Funny story about the wedding day: "Well they say rain is good luck on your wedding day.... but "rain" was an understatement! It was overcast the entire morning of our wedding day with a 30% chance of rain. Normally not a huge deal if it rains on your wedding day.... except our ceremony was outside! I was praying that it didn't rain because we really had our hearts set on getting married outside (at the Log Cabin) overlooking the gorgeous mountain view. As the limo pulls up to the Log Cabin and I'm about to get out, it starts DOWNPOURING - 30 minutes before our ceremony! Well, it must have been an absolute miracle because 10 minutes before our 3pm ceremony, the rain stopped and the sun came out! It was 95 degrees that day so the aisle dried up in time for them to sprinkle the rose petals and have me walk down the aisle. So we ended up getting the good luck rain and the summer sun for our outside wedding!"
Persian weddings typically happen in 2 stages. The first being the "Aghd" which is considered the ceremony where the bride and groom sign a marriage contract. The second stage is the reception called the "Jashn-e Aroosi' where a celebration and feasts take place which can last several days. Some of the traditions are featured below:
A scarf or shawl is held over the bride and groom's head throughout the ceremony by happily married female relatives.
The Sofreh-ye Aghd is a table on which many items are placed to represent many good things for the couple and to guard them from harm. Most notably is the mirror that is always placed on the table. The mirror which represents fate should be the way in which the groom sees his bride's face for the first time after she takes off her veil.
A bowl of gold coins representing health and prosperity is set out on the "Sofreh-ye Aghd".
A tray of multi-colored herbs and spices ( Sini-ye Aatel-O-Baatel) is also set out on the "Sofreh-ye Aghd" to guard the couple from evil. The seven herbs and spices are poppy seeds, wild rice, angelica, salt, nigella seeds, black tea and frankincense.
A copy of the couple's Holy Book is placed on the table as well to symbolize God's blessing for the couple.
A decorated flatbread adorned with nigella seeds symbolizes prosperity for the couple's life from there on out.
An assortment of sweets and pastries including the Persian staple Baklava is shared with the guests after the ceremony.
A basket of pomegranates and apples are placed on the table representing the hope for a joyous future.
Andria and Chris' fall nuptials were very sweet and romantic. They took advantage of the Chicago scenery and weather and decided on an outdoor ceremony overlooking the Chicago River! Check out our planning section for more ideas of great wedding photography spots in Chicago. If you want to see more great photos from this wedding, visit the Wedding Paper Diva's Blog!
Samantha and Tom had a summer wedding in a town outside of Chicago, Illinois where their beloved dog was a part of the ceremony! They were married at Lewis University and had their reception at a gorgeous mansion. Check out some great locations to have your wedding or reception in the suburbs of Chicago!
Waterfront weddings can be very romantic and this wedding by the Chesapeake Bay is no different. Kristin and Nathan had an outdoor ceremony overlooking the bay and moved under a tent adorned with string lights! If you want to see more great photos from this wedding, visit the Wedding Paper Diva's Blog!
Dahlia and AJ had a Jewish wedding in Atlanta, GA! Going with tradition, Dahlia had both of her parents walk her down the aisle. Another Jewish tradition implemented here is getting married under the chupah, which is a canopy on four poles meant to symbolize the bride and groom creating a home together. Here at Bella, we shoot all kinds on traditions including, but not limited to, Asian, Indian, and Persian!
Aundrea and Curtis had a lovely wedding in Chicago, IL! They were married in their local church and headed over to the Morton Arboretum to celebrate with friends and family for their reception. Check out our planning section for some great wedding photography spots in Chicago!
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Brianna and Thomas who are our September winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They met at Starbucks! Thomas worked there for years and Brianna was a regular customer who had her eye on him for a long time. "I finally had the courage to start talking to him during my regular visits and we instantly hit it off. We quickly started dating and 4 years later became husband and wife."
The proposal: Thomas proposed during a week-long trip to Rome, Italy! "He surprised me in the middle of the week with a trip to Venice. After a romantic dinner and stroll around St. Mark's Square, Thomas proposed in front of St. Mark's Cathedral at Midnight. Thomas asked me to marry him in Italian so at first I was a little confused, but then he got down on one knee with the ring and tears of joy came flowing. It was a moment we will both never forget. We went back to our hotel called all of our close family and friends and celebrated with a glass of Prosecco."
The Wedding: Brianna & Thomas were married in a traditional Catholic church by the bride's father! Then they, and 130 of their closest friends and family, headed over to the Penn Oaks Golf Club for the reception. "We choose Penn Oaks due to beautiful ballroom and spacious outdoor patio where the cocktail was held overlooking the 18th hole. It was the perfect venue for a summer wedding."
On Bella Pictures: "Bella Pictures was wonderful to work with. Our photography consultant always got back to us promptly when we had questions and made sure we were being matched with a photographer who fit our style. Our photographer was amazing. There are so many pictures from our wedding that captured the sentimental moments so perfectly. Our Photographer worked so hard in getting all the key shots we wanted plus some fun ones to add to the album. We have already gotten so many compliments on the quality of our pictures."
Meghan and Chris celebrated their nuptials with their friends and family over the summer in Chicago, IL. They had a traditional Catholic ceremony then moved over to the Grand Piazza for the reception! In between the ceremony and reception, Meghan, Chris, and their wedding party headed out to the streets of Chicago for their wedding portraits; even taking photos on the bridge among the Chicago River. Visit our planning section to find more hot spots for wedding photography in Chicago!
Find out if Bella is available to shoot your engagement session or wedding!
Check out our photos from Mikaela and Joel's wedding featured on With This Ring Weddings!
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Erica and Alan who are our October winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They met each other in high school but were only acquaintances. "We didn't talk much then, I was a little older and thought I was much too sophisticated at the time to talk to a younger man! A few years ago we kept running into each other out on the town. One night, Alan impressed me with his charms and coerced me into going on a date with him. From then on forward, we were connected at the hip and couldn't imagine life without each other!"
The proposal: Alan proposed on a romantic trip to Europe (London & Turkey). "While we were staying in a hotel in Bodrum Turkey overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, at a cliff top restaurant located at the hotel, Alan got down on one knee and I said yes!"
The Wedding: They had their beautiful wedding at Wente Vineyards near San Francisco! "I wanted an outdoor wedding and my husband and I loved the idea of a winery setting. That area also has a bit of horse country in it and I'm an equestrian so that sold it for me!"
On Bella Pictures: "Our photographer did a WONDERFUL job! We are still having a hard time narrowing down the pictures we want for our album because so many of them are that good! The photographer was thoughtful, reliable and completely professional. They were able to capture the style we were looking for and their shots were intuitive."
Funny story about the wedding day: "At the time this wasn't that funny but in hindsight it is pretty hilarious! After the ceremony, the wind kicked up quite a bit. We were all freezing, especially Alan and I in that photo I submitted on the golf course where im leaning all the way back. We were actually laughing at how miserably cold it was while talking the picture and that is one of the pictures that helped us win the contest! At the time we were definitely imagining the warm beaches of Maui where we departed to our Honeymoon the next day!"
Check out this great yellow and white wedding on the Wedding Paper Divas' Blog!
Check out this great Bay Area wedding featured on the Wedding Paper Divas' Blog!
Check out this colorful Indian wedding featured on the Wedding Paper Divas' Blog!
Check out this great fall wedding featured on the Wedding Paper Divas' Blog!
Check out Kristin and Nathan's wedding photos featured on the Wedding Paper Divas' Blog!
Check out Maria and Jim's gorgeous wedding photos featured on the Wedding Paper Divas' Blog!
Kimberly and Andrew had a traditional Jewish wedding off the coast of Rhode Island. The had some lovely portraits taken during sunset by the water to add to the romanticism of their already glamorous day. Head over to our portfolio to check out another lovely Rhode Island Wedding!
Alysha and Dwayne celebrated their nuptials with a chic outdoor wedding in Poughkeepsie, NY. For the reception, they moved to a tent adorned with twinkle lights as they had their first dance as husband and wife. Check out out portfolio section for more weddings in New York!
Jessica and Kyle had a beautiful outdoor wedding in Seattle, Washington! They chose the Shilshole Bay Beach Club for their Military themed nuptials and took advantage of its scenic views. Getting married in Seattle? Check out our Wedding Photography Itineraries section for some other great spots for wedding photos in Seattle, WA!
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Shamikia and Phillip who are our November winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They met in 2000 at our friend's college homecoming and dated for 10 years! "We always talked of getting married and saying how your wedding date should be special so we chose 10/10/10.Our anniversary is in October, we would have been together for 10 years!"
The proposal: Phillip proposed in front of close family."We host football Sundays at our house every weekend and this particular weekend ALL of our immediate local family was there and at some point I went to the restroom and returned and everyone was complaining how something was wrong with the TV.I get in the living room and Phill is like 'babe what's wrong' with the TV ,so I look at it and shrug my shoulders. Then I see REC in the bottom corner and I was like Oh my goodness and then he comes on the screen, he had recorded his proposal! It was so creative and I had no idea. My first words were 'Nooooo, I told you to make sure my hair was done'! So after the video he asked for my answer and I'm like no you have to ask me again! So he gets on his knee and I say 'you can't ask me to marry you barefooted'. Amazingly he still wanted me as his bride and he asked again and I said YESSS!
The Wedding: They had their intimate wedding with 100 guests at the Regency at Dominion Valley near Washington D.C.! "They had beautiful landscaping for an outdoor ceremony. Cocktail hour was in lower level ballroom and reception in main ballroom on upper level. The set up allowed guests to have different scenery without driving from place to place."
On Bella Pictures: "From our consultant to our photographer; they were all phenomenal"
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Jennifer and Shaun who are our November winners (We had 2 winners this month!). Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They met through friends! "I had just moved back from out of state and met up with a friend of mine at a bar who is dating one of Shaun's friends. Her boyfriend, Shaun, and a couple of their friends decided to join us later that evening. Shaun had originally not planned on coming out, but decided to anyway. We started talking, and things just grew from there. Funny how things like that work out."
The proposal: Shaun proposed while they were on vacation. "We went on vacation for a week. The first half we spent in the Outer Banks, NC, the second half we went to Boston to see a Red Sox game; he is a huge fan. I thought it was weird that he insisted that my parents come on the trip with us, but I didn't think that much into it. While we were in Boston, we took a walking tour with my parents. We were walking behind Old North Church, in Paul Revere's Mall when he stopped me and popped the question."
The Wedding: They chose the Northampton Valley Country Club to celebrate their union with 150 of their closest friends and family. "We were looking for a venue that could both house a nice outdoor ceremony and give us a beautiful reception"
On Bella Pictures: "From start to finish it was a delight. When we had questions, they answered. When we needed help, they gave it. Our photographer was AWESOME!!!! To us he felt like one of our friends at the wedding."
We asked our past brides via Facebook to upload their favorite portrait from their wedding and other Bella brides and fans would vote for their favorite. Congratulations to Victoria and Shawn who are our December winners. Their beautiful wedding is featured below!
How they met: They met on a social networking site! "Shawn saw my profile and sent me a note with a fantastic, observant compliment about my balance of femininity and a firefighter's can do attitude. He asked me if I'd like to get a drink sometime. I accepted. We went to a local pub for trivia night and we have been together ever since."
The proposal: "Shawn took me out to a wonderful dinner at Morton's, a notoriously fine restaurant in Sacramento. When we were finished, we walked over to the State Capitol and sat on the front steps and watched the end of the sunset setting over the Tower Bridge. We were standing up to call it a night when he said 'the night isn't over quite yet', got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was surprised and elated, and said yes, of course. I asked who else might know about this, and he said 'there may be a couple of our closest friends on the other side of the building waiting with champagne..'. We walked over to the east side steps and 3 of our closest friends were there. We all had champagne and then went back to Morton's for a celebration."
The Wedding: Victoria married Shawn in a non-traditional wedding dress by White House/ Black Market. One hundred and twenty of their closest friends and family gathered for their ceremony at the California State Capitol Rose Garden! "Shawn and I both work for the State of California and liked the idea of getting married at the Capitol. We were going to get married on the steps, but it was election week and the permit requirements allowed for cancellation of our permit at any time. It was a safer bet to get married in the garden away from the building should there be a rally or a press conference that day. The Capitol is a special place for us: we sat on the steps of the front of the building on our second date and talked for hours. He proposed on the front steps as well. We used to walk through the Rose Garden and grounds on our way to many shows downtown."
On Bella Pictures: "Working with Bella Pictures was great! The price was very reasonable and for what we received for the money, it couldn't be beat. Our photographer was very creative and accommodating with our requests and the style that we were looking for in our pictures. We are very happy with how they turned out. "
Funny story about the wedding day: "Obviously, there was a fire engine involved. The bride and the bridesmaids rode to the wedding site in it. We kept it a secret from all of the guests and even part of the wedding party until they saw it pulling up with the lights and the siren going. There was a roar of surprise, laughter, and clapping when they saw it! We walked down the eisle to the Red Hot Chili Pepper's " Rollercoaster of Love" and our recession was to "We go together" from Grease. It was a lighthearted and fun day that we planned as something we would enjoy. I shyed away from many of the "traditional" elements because that is not really my, or our, style!Compliments are still rolling in on how it was the best wedding many of our guests had been to!"
When we first came across Michelle and Justin's wedding, we were instantly enamored by the charm and loveliness found in all of the photos. What was also apparent was all the love they put into each and every adorable detail of their rustic, romantic, sunshiny-yellow-bus, California wedding.
Both elegant and whimsical, it was truly a celebration that was able to mix the best of both worlds. Located at a private residence in Healdsburg, California and catered by Rosso Pizza of Santa Rosa, this wedding was full of pretty flowers, pops of color and big happy smiles. It appears to portray their personalities beautifully. Check out the photos below and get ready to be inspired.
From the bride: We worked so hard on our wedding! That day was so amazing. It's so hard to choose a specific moment as my favorite but if I had to, it would be seeing my husband's face as I walked down the aisle towards him. It was a priceless moment that was captured by our Bella Pictures photographer. We are so pleased with the photographs of our special day! She captured so much of the detail that we worked so many hours on, all of our special wedding moments, as well as catching great candid shots of how much fun all of our loved ones had as well! It is so great to have those memories!
Share with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page your favorite wedding moment and we could feature your wedding here!
We asked our Bella Brides on Facebook to participate in our monthly Real Wedding Contest. The participants uploaded their favorite portraits to our fan page, and everyone voted for their favorite. Congratulations to Kasey & Glenn who are our December winners! Their wedding is featured below:
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