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Spotlight On: Birmingham's Arden Photography & Windwood Equestrian

If you are looking for a story of romance that will leave you oohing and aahing, then look no further! We've got just the one for you.... Once upon a time, a talented photographer named Arden and a horse-jumping, farm-owning boy named William fell in love. With a successful photography business and a breathtaking horse farm, it only made sense to bring it all together and create a dreamy Birmingham wedding venue with beautifully classic wedding photography to complete the ensemble. William's knowledge of horses & Arden's impeccable style and eye for detail will help to make your rustic-chic Birmingham wedding an affair to remember.

A stunning Birmingham wedding venue & an elegant Birmingham wedding photographer - what an amazing combination! We have just fallen head over heels for Arden Photography & are thrilled that we get to share a little bit about her, her photography business, and the wedding venue she owns with her husband, so without further ado, meet our new friend....

Editor's Note: Bride's hair in the blog's cover photo styled by Brantley Willis of The Salon Artists.

Arden Photography

What led you to wedding photography?

I feel I was born a photographer. As a child, I always had a unique way of looking at the world, and now I capture this for my clients to keep and cherish. Photography unfolded for me in an unusual way. My mother was a professional ballerina, and as I am sure you can imagine, she had plans for me to be one as well. The problem was that my heart wasn't in it, and then a camera appeared in my life. From then, I began photographing her ballet students instead of taking dance myself. After one click of the shutter, I was hooked. Art was always in my life and falling in love with the camera was only natural.

What do you love most about being a wedding photographer?

As a photographer, I enjoy telling people's story. I love to document emotion. Whether it's a tender hug amongst the couple or teary eyes of a proud father, I feel proud that I can capture these moments for my couples to savor. I consider myself a family historian. And it never hurts that I literally spend the happiest day of a person's life with them. I enjoy every minute of it!

What are your favorite Birmingham wedding trends right now? What do you predict for this new year?

Since I just planned my own wedding it is easy for me to name a few of my favorite wedding trends:

The Dress: As a bonafide Southern Belle, lace is where it's at for me in the wedding dress department. I feel like a sophisticated cut with classic lines and soft lace is what I will see most in 2014.

The Cuisine: All I need to say about this is local, farm to table, and in season.

The Flowers: Pink is back for 2014 for sure. I had all shades of pink at my wedding and many of our upcoming brides are having a variety of pinks in their decor.

If you weren't a professional photographer, what would you be doing?

Wow, this is really tough. I can't imagine anything other than being a professional photographer. I do have a passion for art, and if I couldn't make art, I would want to collect it.

If you only had three words to describe your photography style, what would they be?

Romantic. Organic. Classic.

Windwood Equestrian

Since it is a relatively new wedding venue, how was it “born?”

Windwood Weddings came to life as a two-part process. Windwood Equestrian is the farm that William built over many years because of his love for horses. William designed and built every part of the farm himself, and as funny as it might sound, he sketched it out on a napkin, then went to work.

When William & I started dating, I continually talked about how beautiful Windwood would be as a wedding venue, and I felt the beauty of the place could become apart of building new families, just as he built the stables to create a home for his horses. Brides would marry and start to build a home and future for themselves. A few days after these conversations, I walked out behind the barn to see William driving some heavy machinery and creating our 5,000 square foot courtyard. As building for weddings continued, William asked me to marry him and with my "YES!" came creating Windwood into our own perfect dream wedding venue. Many of the additions to the plans were because of our wedding, such as the stage and French fountain.

Tell us about the the venue. Describe what a Birmingham wedding would be like.

I like to think of the farm as a blank canvas for brides. We have almost limitless options for ceremonies, the field, the small barn, the courtyard, or another part of the 200+ acres. Our brides are the creators of the vision, and we love to work with them on making it come to life. The farm isn't like any other farm I've ever seen: chandeliers hang in the aisles, sconces are at every stall, and the barn wouldn't be complete without beautiful leather saddles and tack on display.

What makes a wedding at Windwood Equestrian unique and better than any other venue in Birmingham?

It feels quaint enough to have a wedding as small as 25 people or offers enough space to hold 1,000 or more. All of this just depends on how you want to utilize the areas. Photographically, you can find a pretty backdrop in any direction you turn; you cannot say that about every venue.

If you only had three words to describe the farm, what would they be?

Elegant. Equestrian. Captivating.

Just for fun...

How would you spend a perfect day in Birmingham?

The perfect day in Birmingham would start with waking up to the view of the horses in the paddocks at Windwood. A quick coffee and breakfast would be followed by riding my horse Midnight Dance. I would then go to Bottega for lunch and have my favorite Chicken Paillard, after I freshened up. I would stop in my office and do some photo editing and then grab my camera and take some fun images. After that, I would get a coffee with William and make plans for dinner. We would most likely stop at Whole Foods to make a nice meal and relax by the fire at the farm.

How do you take your coffee?

I like a vanilla latte.

What are three things you can't live without?

A scarf, my pets, and my camera.

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