Fairhope Wedding Photographer & Educator | Ellison Smith Creative- Formerly Goodie & Smith Weddings

Grand Hotel of Fairhope Alabama Engagement Session | Ashlie & James

This Grand Hotel of Fairhope Alabama engagement session for Ashlie and James was so special. The two are so in love and were so much fun to photograph! Ashlie and James chose the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama as a beautiful setting for their engagement session. After months of planning, we couldn’t wait to finally show them around some of our favorite portrait locations at the property!

Grand Hotel of Fairhope Alabama Engagement Session

     Ashlie and Jessica have known each other for 21 years this year. They were neighbors and Jessica used to babysit Ashlie and her twin sister, Carlie. Truly, Jessica was BEYOND excited when Ashlie reached out for us to photograph her wedding. Ashlie and James met at college in Auburn, Alabama. Ashlie will graduate in May a BSN and James graduated in 2020. Of course, it is truly an honor to be asked to document such a special occasion for a close family friend.

We began Ashlie and James’ portraits under a live oak by the pond at The Grand Hotel. This glorious gem on Mobile Bay is one of our favorite places to photograph couples who have a love for Fairhope. The combination of live oaks, perfectly tailored landscaping, and a curated beach on Mobile Bay make for an incredibly relaxing and romantic shoot! We planned their session in the morning, so that we could avoid the afternoon heat. Normally, we recommend an evening session for beautiful glory light but the Grand Hotel offers this throughout the day. They decided to end their engagement session with a fun walk on the beach.

Engagement Session Goals

Our goal with each engagement session are for our couples to get super comfortable in front of the camera. Ashlie and James were naturals! The way they look at each other and make each other laugh made for natural portraits that captured their personalities. As a matter of fact, engagement sessions are also a great way celebrate a special time in our couples journey towards marriage. It creates a perfect memory. We usually always encourage our couple to make a date of the occasion

Ashlie and James chose the perfect outfits. Ashlie’s dress just pops and James looks like a southern gentleman, after all. We love sharing helpful tips with our Goodie and Smith couples about what to wear for their engagement session. As a result, Ashlie looked amazing in her dress from White House Black Market. For more engagement session location and wardrobe inspiration, check out our blog category: engagement.

Congratulations, Ashlie and James! We absolutely loved photographing your Grand Hotel of Fairhope, AL engagement session. We can’t wait for their wedding at the The Venue- Fairhope.

Dress: White House Black Market





































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Fairhope Alabama Wedding Photographer formerly Goodie and Smith weddings

meet Jessica


Hi! I’m Jessica, owner and lead photographer at Ellison Smith Creative- the Gulf Coast’s only full service wedding photography studio. I am so glad you’re here! Please show yourself around and you’ll soon see that I believe that my clients DESERVE IT ALL! 

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