Amanda & Graham – May 3, 2014
Wedding & Reception – Vintage Court Banquet Facility, Covington, LA
Formally the historical St. Gertrude’s Convent, Vintage Court in Covington has been one of the Northshore’s premier wedding venues for many years. Vintage Court offers two areas for ceremony & receptions. There is a grotto on one side with a large reception area. On the other side is a wonderful old live oak tree, which makes a stunning and dramatic setting for the wedding ceremony under the tree. It is adjacent to a smaller reception room that is very nice for weddings with a smaller number of guests. The oak tree makes for a fabulous background for the ceremony and for formal portraits afterward. The lighting is always beautiful, and I’ve always enjoyed the photos we’ve gotten from this location.
Amanda and Graham first had thier engagement portrait session taken last fall at Fontainbleau State Park. As you can see in the photos, they make a very handsome couple. They had a few of these photos on display at the reception. On the day of the wedding, we met Amanda first, at Vintage Court to get some bridal portraits and photos with her bridesmaids. I took her over to the grotto side of the building to take those, so as to avoid seeing any of the guests who might arrive early. You can see in the photos how beautiful the setting is with the light coming in through the trees. I then went over to the ceremony side of the building to get photos of the groom and his groomsmen. To decorate the ceremony site, they had pretty pink and fuchsia flower arrangements, including baskets on the chairs with flowers in them. Lining the edge of the entrance walk was a line of petals from the flowers, which accented everything very nicely. This provided a clear path for the bridesmaids and bride to enter the wedding. The ceremony was then held under the large oak tree, which provides nice lighting with some shade from the direct sun, but some back lighting to give a pretty effect rim lighting the bride and groom for their vows and ring exchange. Of course, when you step back and use a wide angle lens, the photo of the whole tree with the wedding beneath it is spectacular, and is one of the main reasons so many brides and grooms love to have their wedding at this location. You can also see the new chandelier they have put in the tree to give it more decoration and a ‘vintage’ feel.
Of course, we stayed under the tree for the formal portraits, and I was able to get one nice photo with a flare effect of the sunlight coming through the tree right over the bride and groom. Later on, during the reception, I noticed the light was in what we like to call the ‘golden hour’ for taking photos, and I asked the bride and groom if they would like to step outside for just a brief moment as the light was especially nice for taking just a few more photos. I always like to get extra photos of the bride and groom if it doesn’t interfere with the reception activities and they are agreeable. In my opinion, a nice photo of the happy couple is the single most important photo of the day, so getting a few different photos helps ensure we get at least one that will be very special for them. In this case, the light worked well to the side of the tree, as the main light filtered through the tree behind them, to give back lighting, but I used the open sky to actually provide the main lighting on their faces. I used just a touch of fill flash to make sure the shadows opened up, and weren’t too dark, but it’s mainly the natural light that is providing the look to these photos, which is soft and gorgeous.
Inside for the reception, they had their first dance in the Renaissance Room, which is an off white color with tile flooring and French doors that look out on the courtyard where the ceremony was held. The cake in the background is always nice to get in the photos. The cake was decorated with similar fuchsia flowers that were used outside and on the bouquets. The bride and groom toasting glasses were unusual in that the stems will form a heart shape when set next to each other. We used the stems together to get fun photos of the wedding rings. Everyone then enjoyed the rest of the reception, dancing and doing all the wedding traditions of cake cutting, cake pulls, garter and bouquet toss. They ended the evening with the local tradition of a second line dance with the umbrellas. Another fabulous wedding, one they will not soon forget.