Friday, December 30, 2011


A great hat speaks for itself.  Grab your favorite hat and a cup of tea because you are invited to join me for Ali's English Tea Bridal Shower!  Held at the Allandale Mansion in Kingsport, TN, Ali's bridal shower was the perfect event for this grand location.

Ali got engaged right before the royal wedding.  When she saw all of the beautiful hats, she instantly drew inspiration for her own bridal shower.  As her matron of honor, (ohmigoodness I am SO old) I ran with her idea, hoping to throw her a shower fit for a princess.  I enlisted the help of fellow bridesmaid Caroline.  Together, we searched for the most delicious crumpet recipes and learned how to serve the perfect cup of tea.

After weeks of planning, the day of the shower finally arrived!  I had the honor of playing hostess and photographer.  Here is your personal invitation to Ali's English Tea Bridal Shower.  Enjoy!

Ali's invitations were so cute!  Each one had a small tea bag attached.
The future bride looked beautiful in her cream colored, Cynthia Rowley, dress and her black feathered English hat.

The tea was held in one of the many elegant rooms at Allandale Mansion.  The wall of beautiful windows and a warm fire place made everything feel so quaint. 
The antique china used was actually the mother of the bride's personal collection from Japan.
Bird cages filled with fresh hydrangeas adorned each table.   

English Afternoon Tea was served.

Luxurious, flirty and fun, we're out to prove a great hat can change your day.
Located in the dining room was a table filled with delicious treats, all homemade by the bride's sister (me!) and her bridesmaid Caroline.  Ali and Nathan might have helped out a little :)

Blueberry lemon scones and cheese and spinach quiche were some of guests' favorites!
I was personally in love with the chocolate bowls!  Made with Ghirardelli chocolate and filled with espresso mousse, whipped cream, and marshmallows, these treats were heavenly!
Second shooting for the day was my fabulous father, Randy Beavers!
Tea was served a little before 1:00 p.m.
After lunch, we moved into the sitting room to open bridal shower gifts!

The big surprise of the day was a personal cake decorating lesson from Ashley Deford! She owns her own cake decorating business and even does a little wedding planning!
The entire group watched as Ashley demonstrated how to create bows out of fondant and soft ruffles with buttercream around a miniature wedding cake. 

After the demonstration, we broke up into teams.  The challenge?  To create the most beautiful wedding cake based on what Ashley taught us and what we thought Ali would like best.  

Ali even got to help out a little!  Her ruffles were the best, of course.  
Thanks for all your help Ashley!  You were AMAZING!
After thirty minutes, Ali went around to every cake explaining what she liked about each unique design.
There could only be ONE winner!
Congratulations to Team Jenny!  Ali chose their cake as a favorite, explaining that she loved the tiny bows on the side and the connecting swirls around the bottom layer.  
Ali's fiance showed up just in time to cute the cake!  This gave me the perfect opportunity to take a few photographs of them together at the mansion.  

You might remember these two from their engagement session in New York City a few months ago!

We ended the afternoon by relaxing together on the back porch, bellies full of delicious pastries and warm tea.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The sweet innocence of a newborn never ceases to amaze me. Simply put, they are a beautiful miracle.  On December 9th, little baby Gianna was born, quickly becoming the center of her parents' world.  I had the pleasure of photographing her when she was only 11 days old.  Here is her sneak peek!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Things are abuzz in the Dale household.  The tree has been put up and the garland has been hung with care.  Tiny Christmas lights shine and beautiful wreaths adorn every door.  Boxes and boxes of presents sit beautifully wrapped under the tree.  As exciting as this time is, Stephanie and John's greatest gift this year came three months earlier.  That's right!  Their first born child, little baby Olivia is here, making this Christmas the best Christmas of all.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing baby Olivia's Christmas session!  You might remember Olivia's newborn photos, featured on the blog back in October.  Since it is Christmas Eve, I thought this would be the perfect post to share.  I hope these sweet photos warm your heart during this magical time of year.

Stephanie and John already had multiple ornaments to help remind them of Olivia's first Christmas.  This was one of my favorites! 
Olivia is BEAUTIFUL...just like her mother. 

Stephanie and John are the definition of proud parents!  They can't get enough of their baby girl! 
How could you not fall in love with these beautiful big eyes?

Olivia was absolutely glowing!
All wrapped up under the tree, Olivia is her mommy's favorite gift!

When it started to get late, Olivia's dad tucked her into her pjs and made sure she was snuggled up with her favorite bears.
Right before she went to sleep, Olivia smiled, happy to be spending her first Christmas with a family who loves her so much.  As we celebrate together this season, may the wonder of that first Christmas, the joy of God's abundant blessings, and the peace of Jesus' presence be with you always.  Merry Christmas!