Hi there! We decided that since we finally made Sweet Julep officially official, we wanted y'all to have a chance to know who Sweet Julep really is! Somehow I ended up having to go first… So here goes!
My name is Brittany Mayer, and I make up one half of Sweet Julep Photography! I was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and I love that fact. I've traveled to forty-five of the states, and nothing quite compares to the South. Every time I make that turn around the Vulcan, Birmingham never fails to take my breath away.
I found my love of photography when I was sixteen. When anyone asks how I got into photography, I always tell them the same story: I was on our high school yearbook staff, and I borrowed my mom's Nikon to take some photos of a football game. Unfortunately for my mom, I just fell in love with the camera and never gave it back! Photography was different than any other hobby to me. The camera let me express myself in a way that I couldn't before. And once the obsession began, the only way I could see life was through this camera lens. It wasn't long before I was never seen without a camera in hand. I carried my camera bag in lieu of a normal backpack for my last two years of high school. I had a couple friends that became my "models" if you like that term. They may have hated me and my ideas, but hey, at least their lives during those years are so very highly documented! Photography gave me something I lacked a lot of the time: confidence. I was always a pretty shy person. But with a camera and a newfound passion to photograph life, the camera gave me a reason to talk to new people...to ask if I could snap a picture of them and find out a little bit about who they are. By the time I graduated high school, I couldn't live without it. A small hobby in high school quickly turned into a full-time job, and I couldn't be happier. This is what inspires me. This is happy.
I have known Kayci since my ninth grade year, and we became better friends when we both worked the photo lab at the same Walgreens store. That's when I realized how much alike me and Kayci were. Little did I know that five years later we'd have a business together!
I guess it's time for some facts about myself? The first thing my oldest friends would most likely tell you is that I'm in love with the 80s. Everything about it. My parents were teenagers in the 80s and I have long since wished I had been in their place. Alas, I was born in 1989 - November of 1989. I got a mere two months in the decade of my dreams, and I can't possibly remember any of it. So I live vicariously through old family photos, 80s music, and the characters of the Brat Pack. Patrick Dempsey will always be Ronnie Miller to me. Our first dance at our wedding was to Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" because of Say Anything... And my favorite bands will always be a tie between The Police and Tom Petty. I LOVE the fact that my dad had a mullet for a long time (My mother made him cut it for their wedding, of course.) And the first bands I probably ever heard were Van Halen, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard.
Okay, so that was only one fact? Wow, this is harder than you think...
I have started college twice. And dropped out twice. They say college isn't for everyone. I think I could make it through if I gave it a third try. Third time's a charm, right? I really would like to give it a shot again some day, but for now - I'm gonna try out that "chase your dreams" line you're always told as a kid. I would choose vegetables over pretty much every type of food any day. But that doesn't mean that I don't love sweets. My little brother got a dirtbike for Christmas one year, but drove it straight into the garage door while trying to learn how to drive it. Knowing how my brother would react, my dad taught me how to ride the bike so my little bro would give it a shot again. It worked... I ended up getting my own dirtbike a few years later. I was mildly obsessed with Star Wars in elementary/middle school. I love surprises. Not receiving surprises - giving surprises. I'm a pretty difficult person to buy for. I'm 95% an introvert. My friends and family make fun of me because I'll disappear for ten minutes to go have a dance session by myself. Find a pair of headphones and grab my phone, and I'm gone. I always made fun of people who watched the E! channel. But my old roommate and I had a tv without a remote in our first apartment. Both of us were too lazy to get up and change the channel, so it stayed on E! for probably an entire year. Now I watch Keeping up with the Kardashians religiously and am obsessed with Sex and the City reruns (plus The Carrie Diaries now.) I recently chopped off about thirteen inches of hair this past summer. A decision I made in a matter of thirty minutes during a conversation with Kayci. So if I don't exactly look like the pictures on here, that's why! I'll go ahead and let you know what the tattoo on my left collarbone says: May the vision of You be the death of me. It's just referencing one of my favorite worship songs, "Vision of You" by Shane and Shane. My plan in having it done was just so that it may serve as a constant reminder to me of our Creator and His unbelievable sacrifice. It's easy to become consumed by this world and lose sight of my purpose here.
Okay, so for my favorite part of this post: My groom. My husband, Allen, and I met at a kickball game. God bless the Go Kickball organization... We had one mutual friend and that was all we needed! Do you remember when you were fifteen and you just unraveled in front of your crush? Or was that only in the movies? Well, let me tell you - it is NOT. I experienced it firsthand. I was fine the first few nights we hung out. I was even fine on our first date. I guess it was when I realized that I actually liked this guy...that I started stumbling over my words. I said stupid things that made no sense. I panicked and hung up on his phone calls. Literal mess. What was it about this guy that made me completely lose my cool? I had never been in this situation before. Ever. But lucky for me, he actually liked me and somehow didn't catch on that I was a nervous wreck. And turns out, he wanted to marry me! Allen proposed in the home he bought for us in November 2012. It was actually exactly one year to the day that we met. I don't know if he planned that, but he definitely takes credit for it! :)
So we exchanged vows at my parents' home in May 2013. It was the record coldest day ever for the month of May in Alabama. And our entire wedding was outside. Yay! Our bridal party and friends and family were seriously awesome. Despite the cold, everyone seemed to be smiling! For our honeymoon, we decided we wanted to make it a road trip. We felt that since we were young and able, there was no reason for us to go lay out on a beach in the Caribbean. So we flew into San Diego and drove up the California coast (That's what the photo of Allen is on the right!) A few weeks after our wedding, we decided we wanted our family to grow, so I surprised Allen with a new puppy! He named her Emma, and she brings the goofiness to our lives!
Speaking of weddings, I shot my first wedding when I was nineteen. It was for a close friend and I had a lot of people question my ability to do it. I'm not sure why, but I had confidence in myself that I could handle this huge, important day for someone. I never even thought twice about it. Thinking back to that now... I believe shooting weddings is where I'm comfortable. I'll never forget the day I realized, "This person asked ME to photograph one of the most important days of their life." It completely blew my mind - and finally freaked me out. Having gone through and planned my own wedding now, my job means even MORE to me. I've been there when you haven't eaten a single thing the entire wedding day. And your mother won't come inside because she's too busy trying to make everything perfect. I've been there when the groomsmen start arriving and you're trying to avoid seeing your groom. I've been there when the cake arrives and it looks completely different than you had imagined. I've been there when it rained all during the rehearsal and also just stopped raining a few hours before the wedding ceremony. I've been there when the bartenders aren't serving the red wine because they don't realize they have it. (Hello twelve cases of leftover Pinot noir!) I've been there when one of your bridesmaids just got her dress the day before the wedding. I've been there when you also can't find the sixth necklace for your six bridesmaids. I've been there when the tuxedo rental shop isn't giving your groomsmen all of their items - or giving them the wrong items.
But I've also been there when your dad sees you for the first time and he can't fight back the tears. I've been there when your best guy friend is an usher and he opens the door for you to walk down the aisle, and his eyes are gentle, happy, and about to burst with tears. I've been there when you drop your groom's ring because you can't stop crying yourself, so you attempt to cover it up with nervous laughter. I've been there when your new brother-in-law has a huge, goofy smile on his face behind your groom. And you can't quite tell if he's just happy for his brother or if he's laughing at you as you're crying all your makeup off during the ceremony. I've been there when your new in-laws are giving you that first hug and you can't stop smiling. I've been there when you and your groom are having your first dance, and you literally feel like the only people in the room. I've been there when you get to hold your long time friend's baby girl for the first time at your reception. I've been there when your old high school friends are all together for the first time again since graduation. I've been there when you can't stop holding your groom's hand the entire way home.
We've been there. We're with you every step of the way. We laugh when you laugh. We cry when you cry. It's impossible to be so invested in something, and not be completely emotional about it. We can't wait for your wedding. It's the happiest day of your life, and it always turns out to be the happiest day of ours too.