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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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