Mentone Alabama Wedding Photography
Name | Katy & Trent
Date | 05.20.17
Ceremony & Reception Venue | Cragsmere Manor in Mentone, Alabama
Wedding Planner | Shirley Fowler & Merle Wilson
Floral | Floral Design by Shirley Fowler, Merle Wilson & Bobby Stewart
Caterer | Slade Carden at Tiger Lily
Wedding & Groom’s Cake | Tina Whiteside of Tina Cakes
Hair & Makeup | Hanna Buttram
Groom & Groomsmen Attire | Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Music/Entertainment | To the 9’s by East Coast Entertainment
Event Rentals | Mullins Rentals
Photography | Nick Frontiero Photography
This was my first time being in the Mentone, Alabama area, but everything I heard prior to arriving was so true. This is really a beautiful piece of Alabama nestled in the North. We got in pretty late the Friday night before the wedding day, but when we got to the venue we were all completely blown away. I honestly had no idea what to expect, I had briefly spoken with our bride for the day (Katy) months ago…..spoke in length on a few occasions with Katy’s mother Linda. I remember through our conversations Linda had that beautiful southern accent that you really only hear in movies, and one of her concerns was would I be dressed up (no flip-flops HAHAHA!). It turned out that these group of people are so genuine, so sweet, and so full of wonderful vibes with that gracious southern hospitality. The moment we arrived we gravitated to the peak over looking down below, seriously probably my favorite view I have ever seen shooting weddings here in Alabama. Just glancing around as everything was still being set up we got the feeling that this was going to be one of those really gorgeous weddings of the year. On top of it all this wedding took place on my birthday, and as a wedding photographer it’s exciting to get to photograph in a setting I haven’t been before. It’s like a breath of fresh air, like a completely blank canvas for me with creativity sparking in every detail.
Cragsmere Manor held a special place for the family and the bride, this was like a place they had frequented often throughout life. From get togethers, to proms, and other celebrations……this place had a beautiful sense of nostalgia and memories embedded in the walls that lasted for decades. Here we are at this venue, completely new to us, with a lovely bride and family and not a single cloud in the sky. To add to great vibes the bride actually had a tuxedo for her dog!! The most laid back and rad dog you could be around, the kind that makes you wish you had a dog just like it! The day goes as most, without a hitch. I’m not one that really pushes for first looks between the bride and groom, I love the anticipation and capturing that moment traditionally when the bride takes the air out of everyone including the groom as she walks down the aisle. To me that’s just not a moment that can be replicated to that potential. Yet, I’ve photographed some pretty intense first looks between brides and grooms in the past. Today was that day I was truly thankful that Katy and Trent wanted set aside time for that first look before the ceremony began, and we got all our family formals as well as a few portraits of them beforehand as well. I mentioned earlier that there wasn’t a cloud in the sky when we arrived, but as we wrapped up family formals we still had about an hour before the ceremony started. This was a summer day, in Alabama…..so we all know a thunderstorm could pop up at any time. Totally not uncommon for weather reports to state a 20% chance of rain in the morning, only to be at 100% out of nowhere. Out of all of my weddings this year, here we were watching the rain move in from the distance. I think I even tried to talk myself out of it. Can’t rain on this beautiful wedding, right? Wrong.
Not only did it rain, but it was more like a monsoon. With no signs of letting up anytime soon. With all the uglies a thunderstorm could bring here in Bama we had crazy lightening and thunder. Rain was falling so hard that you had to yell to the person next to you so they could hear you. All of the guests had gathered in the reception area that was the only covered area, and there we were all elbow to elbow a good bit past the ceremony time. Rain was falling so hard, so fast that people had to keep pushing the water off of the tent so that it wouldn’t collapse at some point. The band was set up, but there was no way they could perform in this environment. All of us vendors were kind of scrambling a bit, hoping we would get a break from the rain to still get that picturesque ceremony. It never happened. We got the word the ceremony was about to begin, and we were just going to make it work under the tent. No light at this point, and the rain was still coming just as hard as it started. Just when I got this bummed feeling in my stomach, because gosh all of these beautiful decorations…..the most incredible ceremony location…..linens…..fancy chairs…..band…..and centerpieces….at this point none of it was going to be used. You couldn’t help but to think, all that money and the sweetest people on the planet.
Then came in Katy with her father. Beautiful and glowing just like any other bride, and there stood Trent with the rest of the bridal party full of excitement to marry his best friend. As Katy and her father weaved through the guests, everyone applauded and cheered her on. It was still a very beautiful and intimate ceremony. One I will never forget, and thank goodness we got that first look in with the portraits and family formals!! The band still did what they could, and the caterers made it work with delicious food for everyone. Cakes were in place, and despite the unexpected this couple still got all the images any other couple would get on their wedding day. Kudos to all the vendors here to pull this off!!! At the reception most everyone stuck around and had a great party celebrating Katy and Trent. When it was all said and done, Katy just wanted everyone to have a good time. Yes Katy, it’s apparent that a great time was had by everyone!