Black and White Wedding Photos at Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Colorful photos are understandably popular in this digital age, but black and white wedding photos have a particular charm. They’re emotional and timeless in a way that makes you want to print them and hold them in your hands. Wes and Analeah had their wedding reception at the historic Rip Van Winkle Gardens. Their black and white wedding photos show all the joyful emotion of their vintage-inspired celebration.

A man and woman walk through a field wearing wedding clothes.

Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Rip Van Winkle Gardens is a historic venue in New Iberia, Louisiana. It features quintessentially Louisiana plant life from palmettos to Spanish moss swaying in oak trees. The grounds include 15 acres of carefully landscaped lawns, towering trees, and bright flowers. You can walk along the shore of Lake Peigneur and watch the sunset over the shimmering water. There’s even a picturesque stone footbridge. 

A wedding invitation suite sits beside wedding rings and a perfume bottle.
Analeah looks over her shoulder and smiles in her vintage style wedding dress at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
A bride sits on a bench writing her vows at her garden wedding.

As classic as the venue feels, its name hints at its quirky history. Originally, stage and silent film actor Joseph Jefferson had the house built as a hunting lodge. The gardens are named for his most celebrated role as Rip Van Winkle. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s. It has gone through various stages of neglect and renovation before reaching its current form.

Bridesmaids hold bouquets around Analeah outside the wedding venue.
A groom buttons his jacket inside the historic wedding venue at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
Wes stands with his back to Analeah as she walks through the garden for a first look.

New Iberia is a small town a little over two hours west of New Orleans near Lafayette. Beyoncé superfans might recognize it as the place where her mother and grandmother were born and raised. Aside from this connection, it’s a quiet town surrounded by beautiful bayous. Fortunately, if you have a wedding at Rip Van Winkle Gardens, you can take advantage of the bed and breakfast attached to the property.

Sun flares in the corner of a black and white wedding photo of a couple embracing.
Analeah shows Wes her wedding veil during their first look.

Timeless Black and White Wedding Photos

Wes and Analeah’s celebration at Rip Van Winkle Gardens was a great excuse to take black and white wedding photos. In my experience, many couples prefer color images most of the time, but black and white wedding photos are special for a number of reasons. Looking at Wes and Analeah’s photos, you can see that they already feel like heirlooms.

Wes and Analeah walk beside a lake at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
A trolley passes down the street in New Iberia, Louisiana.
A church sits in a field in front of a cloudless sky.

As a photographer, I turn to black and white images for a few reasons. Sometimes it’s easier to correct color in an image by making it black and white in the editing process. Depending on the lighting and environment, a photo might just look better in black and white. It removes distracting colors reflecting in white wedding clothes, for example.

Wedding guests walk past a historical marker outside the wedding church.
Analeah's family member helps her put a bridal veil on in a black and white wedding photo.
Through a window, a bride smiles in a church.

I love black and white wedding photos so much because they draw focus to the emotion documented in the image. Color can enhance the story an image tells, but it can also distract viewers from processing the emotion and connection at the heart of a photo. Often I make photos black and white when I want the viewer to focus on that palpable emotion above all else. I choose to strip away the color to put the feelings in focus. It changes the way people experience an image in such a powerful way.

Analeah walks down the aisle to start the church wedding ceremony.
Wes smiles at Analeah as she walks up the aisle at their wedding ceremony.

Wes and Analeah’s Vintage Wedding

With St. Mary Magdalen Church and Rip Van Winkle Gardens, Wes and Analeah chose elegant historic venues, and their whole day had a very vintage feel. Analeah’s dress and big veil suited the venues so well. The classic silhouette was timeless. It was just one more reason black and white wedding photos felt so right for them! 

A bride and groom sit during a wedding ceremony in a black and white wedding photo.
Wes and Analeah join hands at the altar while they exchange wedding vows.
The couple kisses on the wedding venue steps during their wedding exit.

I first met Analeah and Wes in 202 when I took their engagement photos. We instantly clicked. Analeah was in veterinary school at the time, and her love for animals is unmatched. Wes and Analeah live wholeheartedly, and it showed on their wedding day. They’ve been together for a long time. Their communities were so excited to gather and celebrate their marriage! 

Wes and Analeah enter their wedding reception at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
A bride and groom have their first dance at their wedding reception.
Analeah smiles at the camera while wearing a flower crown.

Analeah was all smiles from getting ready all the way through the reception at Rip Van Winkle Gardens. During their wedding ceremony at St. Mary Magdalen Church, Wes matched her smile when he saw her coming down the aisle. Photographing this wedding was a joy. 

Analeah dances across the black and white floor at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
Wes puts his arm around Analeah on the dance floor.
The bride and groom cut their wedding cake under a neon light at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.

Are you looking for a photographer to document your wedding in black and white? I would love to help tell your story. Reach out to me today!

Thank you to the vendors who made this wedding possible:

Video: Chris Parish Creative 

Venue: Rip van Winkle Gardens

Florals: Roxy’s Garden

Hair: Jackie Legere

Make Up: Kourtney Leblanc

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