Elizabeth Nord Photography » Everyone has a story. Let me tell yours.

AH! It’s finally here!

Megha and Hari’s wedding ceremony was beyond gorgeous.  I was so thrilled to spend this weekend with the lovely and talented Amanda Megan Miller Photography.  Enjoy the sparkle, the laughter, and the tradition that radiates through these photographs! I had such an amazing time editing these images and putting this blog post together. Fun does not even begin describe this wedding.  It was purely magical!

 

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Amanda Miller

You killed this!!! Thank you SOOOO much for being part of the best team ever to photograph their day! 🙂

After hearing how Melissa and Ryan met one another in 2003, I just knew that we needed to start the engagement session at their local Starbucks.  Chicago, stay inside in this super cold weather and let this blog post of coffee lovers warm your heart!

 

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So…I’m officially in my late 20s.  When did this happen? Oh yeah, a few days ago I guess! Wow, 25 really flew by.

A lot happened in my life this past year.

1.  I lived in Florida (Jan-May)

2. ENP celebrated its 3rd year in April!

3. Vince and I celebrated 5 years of wedding bliss!

4.  I lived in Tennessee (May-August)

5. I moved to Chicago in August and it’s been so much fun!

6. Since arriving in Chicago, I’ve photographed 9 weddings, 9 sessions, and 2 proposals!

7. We got our photos taken by my new friend Britta Marie Photography and I’m so in love with them!  Didn’t she just knock them out of the park!?

 

Thank you all for making this past year an unforgettable one! My friend told me that since I turned 26 on the 26th of Dec that this is my Golden Year!  WOOHOO! I cannot wait to see what my 26th year brings!

Chris and Anna are quite possibly the sweetest couple I’ve ever met.  Even though it was rainy and incredibly windy, these two made the best of it.  They braved the cold chills to take photos outside as planned, had the ceremony outside next to Lake Michigan, and finished the evening with a gorgeous up-lit reception in the amazing Promontory Point.  I was so thrilled to photograph this wedding as a second photographer for Erin Gunther with f-stop poetry.  Enjoy this peek into their wedding day story and I hope you are as moved as I was photographing these two cuties!

 

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Jaz & Ivan drove all the way from Deerfield, IL to downtown Chicago for this adorable mini session at North Avenue Beach!  I just loved their outfits and that they wanted to include their pup Sammy in a few shots as well! I love any opportunity to work with pets, especially dogs! Enjoy this foggy afternoon session on the blog today!

XOXO

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It’s finally December, my favorite month of the year!  It’s the month of Christmas, my birthday, and the month that leads to the New Year!  I am so excited to decorate this year at our new Chicago home and to feel like we’re really starting to settle in.

Something I’ve started doing this year was saving my normal “junk mail” magazines.  Typically, I take two seconds to look at magazines that come in the mail and then throw them away.  This year, I decided to keep two of my favorite Christmas decor magazines simply for decoration!  I love seeing the color on my coffee table and I’ve even noticed my guests going through them just for fun! Of course, no coffee table is complete without some amazing homemade camera coasters (made by my friend Eileen Hyatt) and a bottle of white wine!

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I found myself reminiscing and looking through old photographs this past week.  I am amazed at the many sweet memories that I’ve made and am so thankful to have photographs to relive these moments!  One in particular that I’d like to share with you is the first time (and only time so far!) that I’ve been a bridesmaid.

As a photographer, this was surprisingly hard for me but, actually, easy at the same time.  Have I lost you yet?  Yeah, I’ll admit that last sentence was a little confusing!  Here…let me elaborate.  As a wedding photographer, I wanted to bring my camera with me to everything: the bachelorette party, getting ready in the morning, the ceremony, the reception, and even outside the venue as they waved goodbye in their limo.  However, I resisted. Like hardcore resisted.  I didn’t bring it at all.  I flat out left it in Florida where I was living at the time and just didn’t even try to bring it.  It was really, really hard, but, honestly, I’m so glad that I did.  I was able to really experience each moment with my best friend (the bride) and her other bridesmaids.

Being a bridesmaid was a really fun and unique experience.  I thought some of you might like to hear about it and hopefully benefit from some of the advice I am going to share!  Comment below if you have any other advice for current or future bridesmaids!

 

1.  Go to as many parties as you can and make memories together.  Unfortunately, part of growing up sometimes means that you won’t always live in the same city as your best friend.  This was true in my case because, at the time, she was living in Tennessee while I was living in Florida.  I couldn’t be there for all of her parties, which broke my heart, but I was able to go to what I thought was the most important one- the Bachelorette party.  This is the one day (or weekend in our case!) where you get to spend tons of time with the bride and her best ladies.  Fortunate for us, the bride’s (have I even mentioned the bride’s name yet? It’s Caroline by the way!!) … sister thought of a truly unique bachelorette party, and we got to experience new things together by going on a trip to St. Louis.  Below shows a few photos of the crazy things we got to do at the City Museum- talk about a rush of adrenaline!!  I am terrified of heights, but this was not the time to be a scaredy cat.  I don’t typically get a ton of time with my best friend, and I wanted to be a part of every second of this trip.  So I did it! I may not have looked cute doing it, and I may have lots years off my life from pure terror, but it was worth it!  We made some incredibly fun memories that weekend, and it made me even closer to my friends!

 

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Kevin and Cara are two incredibly smart and sweet Med school students who are crazy in love.  I don’t always get to talk to the groom as much as the bride before the engagement session, but I was so happy to talk to the both of them over the phone during our initial phone consultation.  They were both so ecstatic and I loved hearing both sides of the proposal story (which was ADORABLE by the way)!  The Osaka Japanese Gardens at Hyde Park was the perfect setting for this couple’s romantic engagement session.

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After their proposal at the Orpheum (Check it out here if you missed it!), we spent some time at Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN for the first part of their engagement session (part II coming next year!)  These two are the goofiest, funniest, and sweetest couples I’ve ever met…although I suppose I’m biased.  The only time we could all three get together this weekend was mid-day- while the timing may not have been ideal, we embraced the harsh light and made it work for us!  I am thrilled at how these turned out! I hope you all enjoy these and don’t forget to leave this cool couple some love in the comment section!

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I’m still in shock. My sister is engaged!

Props to Adam who was a complete gentleman, took her shopping, made her feel special and beautiful, and planned this whole night.  It couldn’t have been more perfect for Lauren.  This was SO her and I couldn’t wait to get down to Memphis, TN to photograph their proposal.

Once arriving, I was given access backstage to put my camera equipment in a locked security closet.  To see all the props, actors, and masks laying around was surreal.  I was escorted to my seat where I watched just about the entire play until I had to go backstage again to set up.  When I went backstage again I experienced the actors singing backstage in their costumes, watched the men pull the large stage curtains up and down, and heard the stage managers call out cues for everyone.  It was so neat and it really took me back to the days when I used to act in school plays!

Special thanks to The Orpheum who made everything go smoothly, gave us no problems, and made this night so incredibly special for the two of them.  I have such a fun and positive experience from this night and it will always be in my memories.  I know it will be for Lauren and Adam!  Congratulations to you guys! I’m so happy for you!

 

Outside The Orpheum

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Eva Mallard

Beautiful pictures Liz. Made Aunt Cookie Cry!!!

Lindsey and Nate are two wonderful, smart, and incredibly sweet people!  After our Starbucks meeting the day before the wedding, I just new the wedding was going to be a blast. We had a great time exploring the Palmer House Hilton hotel where they stayed, laughed our way through as we got lost, went in the wrong elevators, and were escorted through the hotel kitchen, and then took a quick stroll down the streets of Chicago to the Art Institute gardens.  Their pop up elopement wedding was such a fun experience for me.  A low stress elopement with an adorable couple? A photographer’s dream! Seriously, they are amazing.  This wedding at the gardens at The Art Institute of Chicago was sweet, intimate, and so special.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have crossed paths with these two love birds!   Please enjoy this blog post and I hope you feel the carefree moments, love, and romance!

 

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Eileen and Rico probably crossed paths as they went to school at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana but they never met.  They didn’t meet until they both received jobs from Google! Yep, Google.  These two are not only smart but an amazingly fun and sweet couple!  I was so excited to shoot this amazing wedding alongside JC Carley and to meet this incredible couple.  The getting ready shots were taken at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Chicago while the couple portraits were taken downtown and in Lincoln Park.  Their gorgeous wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Greenhouse Loft.

 

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A little something different on the blog today and I’m SO excited about it! I had an awesome opportunity to photograph Fleur de Lee, a gorgeous new restaurant in Jackson, TN and it’s amazing food.  I LOVE this restaurant. It’s modern decor and bright atmosphere is an inviting place to enjoy your lunch or have a client meeting!  The flat screen television’s, wireless internet, and other amenities make it perfect for corporate events, too! And the best news of all…it’s NOW OPEN!!

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Moving to Chicago was many things: scary, unbelievable, challenging, stressful, but above all EXCITING!  I feel as though everyone dreams of moving from a small town to a big city to make a name for themselves, to experience new things, and to have amazing adventures.  But I actually get to do this? Am I really doing this?  Woah, am I really here?  While I always said, “I would love to live in big city like New York or Chicago,” I never in a million years would have dreamt I’d be here right now.  It was just so unknown and scary to think about leaving my entire family and friends in Tennessee and to move my photography business to start all over in Chicago.  Will I be successful here? Will I make friends?  Will I even fit in?

Thankfully, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to move from my family and move my photography business.  This is my 3rd move now.  I first started photographing in Nashville (in 2009) during my first year of marriage and while attending Belmont University.  While I was still an amateur at this point, it was hard to move to Knoxville a year later where I knew absolutely no one.  During my 3 years there, I officially started my business and grew to love Knoxville and the people in it.  My photography business grew so fast and it was so rewarding to capture so many special moments in these people’s lives.  I made amazing, long lasting relationships that I still keep today.  In 2013, we moved to Gainesville, Florida, and I was terrified.  I cried because I had never lived anywhere outside of Tennessee and again, I knew absolutely no one.  I was a 13 hour drive from home and that was unbelievable to me that I’d ever move that far away from my family.  But again, I made some amazing relationships that I will treasure forever, created unforgettable memories, and got to enjoy the beach, the weather, and season passes to Disney World.  (HELLO AWESOMENESS!)  However, I knew that moving to Gainesville was temporary (10 months to be exact) and I would be moving again.  Truthfully, I thought we’d move back to Nashville, TN.  I was about 90% positive it was going to happen.  Little did I know, God had another plan for me and my husband, Vincent.  We decided that he should take the job opportunity in Chicago and that we should take this leap of faith and just trust that everything will be fine.

So, if it wasn’t obvious by the photo below, we had a yard sale….a BIG one!  Saying bye to more than half of our belongings was difficult, but at the same time liberating.  It feels nice to start from scratch and just keep the items that are truly our style and that will elevate our home instead of clutter it up.  It doesn’t help that we also got a little bit of money for it all!  Chicago is much more expensive to live in than Tennessee.  I also spent the summer spending time with my family and at the end, saying bye to them not knowing the next time I may see them (hopefully Thanksgiving!).  I love this photo of my grandfather and I.  My mom and I took him out of the Veterans home for lunch at a local grill and he enjoyed it so much.  It made my heart happy to see him smile, eat good food, and to just talk to me about life.

 

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While visiting in France this summer, I was privileged with the opportunity to capture an special time in my cousin Maxime’s life.  Maxime was christened in Bretagne at one of the local Catholic churches and I was so excited that the family asked me to take photographs at the ceremony.  This was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and while I probably only understood 10 words during the whole ceremony, it was so moving and so unique!

 

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Jessica and Ryan are an amazing couple that are obviously head over heels in love with one another.  Their love radiates through each photo and it is so inspiring!  I have to admit that I wanted to go hug my husband every second that I was editing this wedding.  Their love and happiness is contagious!

I absolutely loved being a part of the Nicholl wedding.  I hope you all love this wedding as much as I do. I particularly enjoyed the beautiful weather, Jessica’s gorgeous lace dress, amazing scenery, and all their special touches throughout the day!

 

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Where to begin?!

Jackie… I’ve known you for (can you believe it!) nearly 10 years now!  I feel like I’ve watched you grow from your adorable middle school self into the strong, confident, and gorgeous woman that you are today.  You’ve been with me at some of the best moments of my life and you were standing beside me at my wedding.   I cannot wait to stand next to you at yours!

Alex… I’ve only known you for probably a year or so now but I knew that I liked you ever since our 10 second Skype chat on Jackie’s computer that one night. You’ve always been the sweetest and most genuine person.  I truly believe that you would give up your shirt for me if I needed it and I couldn’t ask for more from a future brother-in-law.  Vincent and I are so excited to welcome you into the family soon!

I feel so honored to have been with Jackie and Alex for their Ireland engagement session.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was there! ME! WOW. I’m still in awe.  Now without getting too sappy and long winded, I want to get to the good part! The pictures!! I hope you all enjoy these as much as we do and you feel their love radiating through the photographs!

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Edie McGee

Beautiful work, Elizabeth Nord! So romantic,fun and exciting! Jackie Nord looks stunning! Can’t wait to meet Alex! Love you all dearly!

Traveling Through Ireland (Part II) » Elizabeth Nord Photography

[…] To see the rest of their engagement session, see this blog post!!  […]

lizard

Thank you!! 🙂

I finally have a minute to put together this personal blog about our recent vacation to Ireland! YAY!! Ireland is the most beautiful country I have yet to see.

 

After an 13.5 hour trip, we land in Dublin!  Between its cool architecture, painted front doors, and unique pub scene, Dublin is filled with life and culture!  We were told by a tour guide that the front doors of homes were all painted different colors so that after a long night of drinking, it was easier to distinguish which home was your own.

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Traveling Through Ireland (Part II) » Elizabeth Nord Photography

[…] In case you missed Part 1…CLICK HERE […]

Filled with laughter and love, Olivia and Stephen’s day will be one they’ll never forget.  This gorgeous rustic outdoor wedding is full of pinterest-worthy decorations, a horse & carriage, and twinkle lights. What more could you ask for?2014-04-10_0002This bouquet made of brooches is absolutely stunning!2014-04-10_0006

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Caitlin and I met through Facebook one day last year as I was finding amazing couples to be in my promo video (see it here!).  We automatically clicked and once I met her and DL in person that day of the shoot, I knew we’d always be friends.  Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, but she has the kind of personality that just shines when she enters a room.  DL is a very laid back, sweet southern gentleman that, when you get him to laugh or to look at Caitlin, has one of the sweetest smiles I’ve ever seen.  When they asked me to photograph their wedding a few months later, I was SO excited.  Caitlin and I talked on the phone for nearly an hour about the details of her big day, whether they were going to do a first look or first touch, what her dress looked like, etc.  As the months passed, the excitement grew larger.  I flew from Gainesville, FL to Jackson, TN for the wedding on Saturday, May 3.  The wedding was held at The Barn at Snider Farms in Denmark, TN and as I drove up the graveled driveway, I saw the gorgeous wood barn in front of me.  Cars already lined up along the road and in front of the barn, I knew this was going to be a blast.  EVERYONE was excited and anxious for the day to begin.  Immediately, my assistant John and I began to shoot the details…

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Sherry Binford Collins

Awesome!!! Love them all!!

Donna Watson Marbury

Absolutely beautiful!!!!

Loretta Davis

Wow what a wonderful tribute to the bride and groom. Beautiful!

Delaine Chilcutt

Beautiful!!!

Michelle Turner Eaton

Absolutely beautiful images!

Christy Simmons Hays

Beautiful pictures!!

Beth Dickson Thomas

Very pretty pictures!Caitlin was gorgeous♡♡♡☆☆☆

Terri Lynn DeLoach

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, well you can see the love that they have between them just by the looks they give each other! Also you can tell that they have all the love and support from wonderful,family and friends! These pictures are worth more than a thousand words! Congratulations Sherry to you and your family! I’m so excited for you!!!!!

So you’ve heard of the first touch but what’s the point? What is it exactly?

The first touch is a special moment that you can experience with your soon to be husband or wife before the ceremony begins.  During this time you can get some sweet and often emotional photos of the two of you as you try to get out some of the pre-wedding nerves by talking to one another and holding hands.

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I personally wish this was “a thing” when my husband and I got married. We wanted to stay traditional and not see one another before the wedding, but I would have loved to have touched his hand and talked to him just to know how he was feeling and what all he had done that day.

Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013  It was driving me nuts that I couldn’t text or call him all morning! It was so out of the norm for us.  Talking to him would have given me a breath of fresh air and it would have calmed my nerves about walking down the aisle and everyone’s eyes on me.  That was my biggest stress for some reason.  I had no doubt about marrying Vincent. He was and still is the man of my dreams.

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The best part of this is that for those of you that were like me and want to keep the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding, it’s a good half way point between the first look and no contact at all.

Have you had a first look or wish you had done one? I’d love to hear what you thought and your comments on the moment you shared together!

Payne’s Prairie is one of the largest and coolest state parks I’ve ever been to in Florida.  It’s seriously… HUGE!  This unique park is located in Micanopy, Florida and is filled with beautiful landscape, places for camping and a picnic, fishing, nature trails, and wildlife! My husband, my friend Teri, and I went exploring on Sunday to this awesome destination.

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During our nature walks, we saw a deer, vultures, and a wild turkey.  We took the Chacala Trail and along the trail we stopped by the Chacala pond for these neat views!

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Over the years, I’ve noticed that each bridal party I meet is different in their style and personality.  Therefore, no photo is the same!  There are several ways that I have photographed a bridal party. I found that categorizing them and showing a few examples would be the best way to show my brides as well as other photographers how I handle bridal party formals.   Another bit of information that I added was whether they had an indoor or outdoor ceremony and where they decided to do the formals.  I also included approximately what time the portrait was taken and at what month of the year.  This gives you a good idea of the lighting situation at certain times of the year.   Additionally, at the end of this blog post I’ve added a FAQ section where I answer some of the most common questions that brides have asked me about bridal party formals.

I hope you all find this extremely helpful and please comment below to let me know if you have any questions about what you read today! 

 

Traditional formals

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Alyssa and Matthew had one of the most beautiful outdoor weddings.  It was filled with sunshine, romance, and love!  This gorgeous sailor-themed wedding was located in Cedar Key, FL at a local bed and breakfast.  I arrived early to the wedding to explore the surroundings and to breathe in the amazing ocean breeze. What an amazing way to start my day! 🙂  During the ceremony, the bride and groom were surrounded by their family members.  The reception was held later that night in their hometown of Trenton, FL.

 

Vendor Spotlight

Ceremony: The Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast

Reception: The Women’s Club in Trenton, FL

Band: TJ Brown Band

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The groom, Matt, is a fisherman and so we knew this was a must-needed shot with their rings! This is actually one of his fishing lures!

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My gorgeous mother had the opportunity to come spend an entire week with me in Florida and I soaked up every minute of it! One day we went exploring around Gainesville seeing new shops, restaurants, and eating our weight in Gigi’s cupcakes, then the next day we had a pamper day where we got our hair and nails done (MUCH needed!), and on this day we went on a short road trip over to St. Augustine Beach.  It’s she radiant?

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Sometimes I sit in my office and just let my mind wander. I dream of beautiful things and interesting ideas. Like any great artist, some ideas are amazing and some are silly. Often times you’ll find one amazing concept and you’ll roll with it.  This Valentines Day inspired session was that concept.

It was my first time visiting the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida. Even in February, when its not fully in bloom, there were still some gorgeous scenery to be viewed!  With the right props and a fun couple, amazing images are bound to happen!

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I had the amazing privilege of second shooting with a local Gainesville wedding photographer, Sweet Serendipity, for Lauren & Ricky’s wedding day!  As the main shooter, I am usually photographing the bride and her bridal party so (as the second shooter) it was a fun change of pace for me to concentrate on the groom and his groomsmen!

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The ceremony had an intimate outdoor setting at the Haile Village Plantation.

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