Welcome to my blog! I'm thrilled to be able to share with you my favorite images from weddings, engagements, maternity, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and get snuggly cuz this blog will give you all the feels!
Alexander Homestead is a pristine and beautiful wedding venue located right in the heart of Charlotte! It’s truly a hidden gem in the middle of a busy city. I had the honor of an interview with Mallory from the Alexander Homestead. Daniel & I will be returning to there later this year to shoot a beautiful wedding! I’ve already got so many wonderful ideas and I can’t wait to see it with all of the beautiful fall colors.
For now tho, here are a few photos I took and Mallory’s interview so you can see all this amazing venue has to offer!
– What’s the history of such a beautiful venue?
Hezekiah Alexander was one of the founding fathers of Charlotte and the main homestead house belonged to his grandson. It was built in 1903 and sat abandoned for 30 years. There was a lot of restorative construction to bring the house back to it’s current condition. The current owners have a background in historical restoration and opened it as a bed and breakfast. After a lot of prayer they decided to open Alexander Homestead as a wedding venue and built the gorgeous barn that now provides a beautiful reception space. Their first year in business they prayed for 30 weddings and ended up with 60! Now they average anywhere from 100-130 events a year!
– What’s the inspiration behind Alexander Homestead?
They wanted to restore the historical integrity of the house and also offer a centrally located barn to the community of Charlotte. Most barn wedding venues are located at least an hour out side of Charlotte and having one in the city would provide couples with a closer option.
– When did Alexander Homestead become a wedding venue?
They officially opened as a wedding venue in 2011.
– How would your ideal bride decorate your venue?
Any kind of natural element goes very well with the barn. The greens & colors pop nicely against all of the wood. Old farm tables, lanterns, and thick wood slices all go well with the barn especially!
– How many guests can you accommodate?
– How many weddings do you host a weekend?
We can do one every day of the week and 4 in a weekend. 1 on Friday, 2 on Saturday, and 1 on Sunday.
– Do you offer rentals of any kind?
We are an all inclusive wedding venue. Christi West is our events manager and she will work with the preferred vendor list to create one contract through the Homestead so it’s easy and effortless for our couples. That includes florist, baker, DJ, officiant, caterer, and rentals. We have chairs, tables, linens, and many more options to create your custom wedding design! We also have a full staff to take care of setup and tear down.
– What is your favorite aspect of Alexander Homestead?
The doors open on the barn! We try to create little moments through out the day to keep the guests interested and excited. We have a beautiful moment during the reception where we slide the doors open and reveal the grounds. Most people don’t even know they open!
– What’s the best way to get in touch with Alexander Homestead?
The gates as your enter Alexander Homestead
The main house
The bridal suite
The ceremony gazebo
The reception barn
The fire pit
I’m a really terrible Christmas card photo planner. Every year I intend to have one of my amazing photographer friends capture a few shots of Daniel and I, but life always gets in the way. 2 weeks before Christmas I scramble to take a few shots myself so we can put out a Christmas card or at least a Christmas Facebook post! Thankfully, there are a few tricks that I’ve learned over the years of doing this that allow Daniel and to have gotten some pretty spectacular shots. All of these photos I’ve taken with a camera & tripod (except the last one. Thanks Mom!). Some utilized a little extra gear too, but you can recreate most of these types of shots with the following tips in the DIY Guide to Taking Christmas Family Photos!
(2016 Christmas Ugly Sweater Party)
No matter what device you use, whether it be a professional DSLR or your iphone, all cameras come now with a timer option. 10 seconds is just enough time for you to set it and get your booty into the shot! Mom is no longer missing! If you want to add even more flexibility to your shots you can add on a remote trigger to your setup. They’re super cheap and reduce the running back and forth to your camera. You can get a bluetooth trigger for most phones now too! Just click a button and the photo is taken!
Stabilizing your camera or phone helps SO much! It allows you to have a stable shot without stacking a tower of books just to set it up (been there done that). It also makes you hands free so you’re able to snuggle up with your family or hold your cat! Adding a more personal element. There are so many cheap tripods out there these days. Amazon has 5 million options alone for both cameras and your phones. I would recommend getting one that extends to eye level at least, some are misleading and you’ll still have to stack books to make it work.
(The Ludke Clan Thanksgiving 2017)
Now this may or may not help reduce the blinking issue, but it’s a lot easier for your eyes to bear than a bright flash over and over again. Place the family facing a window or go outside. It’s easy to find a few snowy trees or some Christmas lights to stand in front of and sneak a festive shot. This allows for a nice even light source and less shock to the system.
No need to stand there awkwardly wondering “what to do I do with my hands?” Use this opportunity to give snuggily hugs, throw snow, or make silly faces. It’s fun moments like these that truly make a photo stand out!
Capturing moments in time are so incredibly important. I hope these few tips will help you snag the perfect Christmas shot this year and for many years to come. If this all sounds like too much work, then I would highly recommend hiring your favorite photographer to help create some gorgeous memories for you. It’s even more fun when all you have to do is focus on being a family!
And without further ado here is our 2017 Christmas Card to you! Merry Christmas!
Mabyn & Daniel