{I Do} January Wedding ~ Montgomery, Alabama Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of helping out with the photos for my cousin-in-law’s wedding.  Shannon is my husband’s first cousin…they are practically the same age and were very close growing up.  She is such a sweet person, and we love her very much!  I played a supporting role in her photographs, so most of my photos are behind the scenes photos and a few portraits.  Which suited me fine, since I really love behind the scenes work!

Shannon was a lovely bride…


And the ceremony was held at 5PM on a very cold January evening.  It was a simple, candlelit ceremony that was just perfect.

I joined Shannon as she got ready….

And her dress was quite lovely!

The reception area was decorated beautifully, and the food was delicious!

Instead of 2 cakes, Shannon and Jason chose to go with one cake…one side decorated for the bride and one side decorated for the groom.  Yes, the Mickey Mouse speaks for Shannon’s love of all things Disney, and the Dr. Pepper & Copenhagen pieces speak for Jason’s love for…well, I don’t think I have to say it, now do it?

I simply love taking ring shots.  I can honestly say that I could photograph rings all day long…because, when it comes to taking photographs of rings, one is only limited by creativity.  Which is another reason that I do enjoy second shooting a wedding…some of the pressure is off and I have (almost) unlimited time to create.


I didn’t take any bride/groom portraits, but I really enjoyed shooting a few bridal portraits.  It was (quite literally!) freezing outside, and spitting sleet and snow, so we weren’t able to be outside for long.  But I really do think Shannon was a beautiful bride, and I’m glad that the weather held out long enough for us to get a few photographs!

And I am loving a more desaturated (and even black and white) look for her portraits…


And for the road, just one more ring shot…

Congratulations, Shannon & Jason!

TaRhonda Lay - Melissa, thanks again for your help in Alabama. Your photos are beautiful,as always. Keep up the great work.March 12, 2010 – 10:53 pm

The Nation’s Capital

As I was looking through my post queue, a few days ago, I realized that I had started this post (back when it would’ve been new) and then, with all the craziness of the holidays, I never finished it to post here!  So, without futher ado, I invite you to travel back to November 2009 with me:

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel to our nation’s capital for a conference.  I had a great time at the conference, and even though it was a short, very packed trip, I got in some sight-seeing as well!  These are watermarked with our family blog watermark, since I posted them there, as well…but I doubt that little piece of information is really all that important.

On my first day, I took a quick walk around my hotel and learned that – in our nation’s capital….

…the foliage is quite pretty (at least in November!)


…there are different kinds of parking meters…the traditional kind and one that takes credit cards! (I don’t get out much, can you tell?)
parking meters

…there are snow emergency routes! Who knew such a thing existed? (It makes sense, but being from the South, it’s not something I have ever thought about.)

…there are pretty fences…

…and lots of color

…there are water hookups for the fire department, right on the buildings

…there is an elephant with the city transportation map (and a little graffiti) right on it

…there are windows

…and the city transportation includes a Metro…

…and lettered street names.

The next day of quick sight-seeing took me (and 2 friends) to the Mall…

I am fascinated with the Washington Monument…


I had hoped to be able to get a good photo of the reflecting pool (between the Washington monument & Lincoln memorial) but wouldn’t you know…it was completely dry! I guess that some construction is going on and the pool had to be drained.

I’ve been to Washington, D.C. several times, but not since the World War II Memorial was built. It is phenomenal…the photos really don’t do it justice!


Next, we visited President Lincoln…

And the Korean War Memorial….

…which bears a very important reminder for all of us.

Next, we headed to the Vietnam War Memorial…
vietnam memorial…And then over to Pennsylvania Avenue, but the White House had some sort of stage being constructed on the front lawn, so we couldn’t really see it well. So, we settled for seeing the National Christmas tree instead…


What a great trip…and there’s almost no better place to visit on a crisp, American, autumn day!

{I Do} Johnathan + Tessa = Married! ~ Montgomery, Alabama Wedding Photographer


In September of last year, you may remember that I took engagement photos for my brother and his fiancée . When they got engaged, they asked if I would mind being their wedding photographer, rather than actually being in the wedding party. Of course I didn’t mind…they are such special people to me and I was honored that they asked me to do such a special thing for them!

Since you already know them from my previous post, I am going to skip straight to photos from the day. I have to tell you that their wedding was every bit as special as they are. It was so beautiful and sweet…and most definitely unique! I believe you’ll agree with me that it’s just….them.

I started out with Tessa, as she got ready for her big day.



Tessa’s mom helped her get ready. Such a few sweet moments.


Instead of a veil, Tessa went for 2 flowers in her hair…if you can’t tell, I really couldn’t get enough of them!
Tessa was a beautiful bride…
…and her flowers were just like her: unique and gorgeous!


It was absolutely freezing outside, so all of our plans of getting outside for some great photo ops were thwarted by the frigid temperatures. But we still got outside for just a couple of quick photos! Here are Tessa’s bridesmaids…aren’t they lovely?

Johnathan made for a very handsome groom.

…he made his own boutonnières. They were unique… made from the “bloom” at the bottom of a pinecone, and held other symbolic elements: a pencil to symbolize Johnathan’s love for writing, a miniature record for his love for music. The woodpecker feather doesn’t carry any intentional symbolism, but it reminds me of our grandfather, who was an avid bird watcher…he and Johnathan were buddies through J’s growing-up years!

…and look at his very handsome groomsmen!


Of course, I have to include this photo, just because… my little boy reminds me so much of his uncle at this age!


After we finished pre wedding photos, it was time for the ceremony…

And I absolutely love catching that first look…and capturing the raw emotion of it.


And the lighting of the unity candle was such a great moment, I couldn’t choose just one photo to share, so you get five in the series!

First, things seemed to be going well…

…but soon, it was evident that the wick in the middle candle was too short, so Johnathan tried cleaning melted was off of it, and when that didn’t work, they tried to fit both “parents” candles into the middle candle.
unity candle

And when that didn’t work, Tessa removed the candle and they put the smaller ones in its place.

But even that didn’t last long, when one of the candles slipped through the cracks and fell on the floor!

What a memorable moment in a memorable wedding!


Happily ever after!

After the ceremony was overwith, we ran down to the reception hall for a few photo ops:

Everything was beautiful and the food looked divine.
Johnathan and Tessa had chosen to have a candy bar…talk about divine!
And instead of traditional wedding punch, they had a coffee punch, water, and my favorite…hot chocolate and marshmallows.

The cake was not actually a cake at all…but 3 tiers of delicious cupcakes!

The Mr. & Mrs.

And these shots were so non-traditional…in a traditional sort of way. So much fun!

After the reception, it was time to leave!

And then the 3 of us headed out into the cold to a local historic home to take some quick portraits of the new husband and wife.




Congratulations, Johnathan & Tessa!! May you have many wonderful years together…I certainly love you both!

Jennifer - The pictures are great! It was a fabulous wedding – glad we got to be a part of it.January 13, 2010 – 9:46 pm

mom - j's same old mom & Tessa's new mom - Beyond words to describe the beauty of the photographs! and the beautiful way in which you captured who johnathan and Tessa are and their very wonderful, special day….thank you Missa for preserving the memories of their day!January 13, 2010 – 10:05 pm

mom - j's same old mom & Tessa's new mom - p.s. I know Dadaw would have loved Tessa too! (and Brooks — just like he did Nathan)…oops, tears of happiness :o)January 13, 2010 – 10:08 pm

Lydia - These pictures are amazing!! Johnathan and Tessa are such an amazing couple. You did an awesome job capturing all the wonderful moments of their truly unique day! 🙂January 14, 2010 – 11:06 am

Lisa - Melissa, These pics are so beautiful. I can’t wait to see the rest.
LisaJanuary 19, 2010 – 6:52 pm

Johnathan & Tessa: Expecting! ~ Montgomery, Alabama Maternity Photographer » Melissa Bridges Photography ~ Montgomery, AL Child & Family Life Photographer - […] brother and his wife for – it seems – forever.  From their engagement photos to their wedding, I’ve been fortunate to document some of their big moments and I love it.  You’ve […]May 24, 2012 – 2:23 pm

A Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek from the very special wedding I photographed this weekend! Can’t wait to finish editing so I can share more! 🙂


Sarah Housley - I love this picture! I can’t wait to see more!!!January 5, 2010 – 5:24 pm

Susan - Beautiful! And I have been checking regularly for the whole shebang. How much longer do we have to wait? 🙂January 10, 2010 – 10:02 am

{Sweet, Sweet Baby} ~ Montgomery, Alabama Newborn Photographer

Just before Christmas, I had a very special photo session with a very beautiful baby.  She had been born 3 weeks before, and was absolutely gorgeous!

She was awake a good portion of our time together…I guess she could sense that I was about to have a good time taking her picture and she didn’t want to miss out! 🙂


And then, with a little work, her parents got her to sleep…

And it was smooth sailing from there!

She had this precious little hat that I fell in love with!
blog04Ohhhh….make that TWO hats I fell in love with!

I love the contrast of baby hands with adult hands.

And baby bellies are precious, too.

This sweet baby is well-loved and all around precious!