If I had known even a year ago that I’d be photographing a wedding at the Seelbach Hotel- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s inspiration for part of The Great Gatsby- I don’t think I would have believed it. Louisville, KY has not been on my radar for weddings, but you can bet your bottom dollar that it is now. This is a gorgeous little city, with the Seelbach Hotel situated right downtown.
The Seelbach Hilton Hotel is a grand luxury hotel nestled in downtown Louisville. Founded by two Bavarian brothers, this hotel boasts all kinds of art, elegance, and history. A regular favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Al Capone and other mobsters, the Seelbach has seen its fair share of excitement. And while it continues to be a fascinating location for film and tourism, it also has a gift for hosting incredible weddings.
Amy and David opted for a wedding at the Seelbach Hotel, because this gorgeous giant embodies everything about their style. Everything from the attire to the bridal decor was so in sync. They opted to use the Rathskellar room for their wedding and reception, which, if you’re a fan of “quirky and elegant” in the same sentence, this room is for you.
For this Louisville wedding, Amy wore a gorgeous white bridal gown from Blue House Bridal in Carmel, Indiana. The gown. Was. Stunning. The embroidered details and surreal train were nothing short of dreamy. She complimented this look with detached lace sleeves and a luxurious floor-length veil that cascaded down for added beauty AND drama.
David matched her get-up perfectly by wearing a handsome black tuxedo and a sophisticated bow tie. He was surrounded by friends and family while getting ready as well, so there were lots of laughs and sweet moments that I’m so glad we captured.
First looks are one of the best parts of the day for me, and as their wedding photographer, I really loved documenting this one. David was blown away in the moment, and the Oak Room in the Seelbach Hotel Louisville offered the perfect ambiance for this sweet reveal! The Oak Room is a really incredible little location inside the hotel- it was a significant room for Al Capone in his heyday and still has the hidden staircase where he’d make his escape. From card games to money deals, that room has a lot of Al’s essence hanging around :)
Anyway, back to the first look…I think this is my favorite one that I’ve photographed so far:
There are so many different places at the Seelbach Hotel to take photos. It was honestly a tough decision to narrow down my choices, but starting with the Oak Room was perfect. There’s so much history and such cool vibes in this room. I honestly probably could have stayed in here all day just photographing Amy and David. If you’re thinking about doing a first look and you’re getting married at the Seelbach Hotel, I highly, highly, highly recommend the Oak Room for a first look for portraits for a private cocktail hour. It’s an incredible space for so many different purposes.
Their portraits together were equally as dreamy. I probably could have spent all my time in the Oak Room because it was so gorgeous and well-lit. But we moved on to use the grand staircase of the Seelbach to grasp the grandeur of the hotel. The gold elements of the staircase only added to Amy and David’s genuine beauty and joy. We continued the session in several parts of the Seelbach Hotel Louisville, such as the large window that added a mystical tone to the photographs.
If you’re talking about the Seelbach Hotel, this staircase is a staple feature in the grand vision of the building. Normally, shooting from so many different levels can be somewhat overwhelming for me because there are so many different choices. However, the photos of them sitting on the stairs were really beautiful and intimate; you almost can’t tell the staircase was there at all. It was an amazing location for veil shots and an incredible location for a grand pose as husband and wife.
I used a lot of window areas for David and Amy’s portraits, and I have no regrets. The lighting in the hotel is surprisingly abundant if you’re on the mezzanine floor. So, I put them next to a huge window that overlooked downtown, and I think these are some of my favorite wedding portraits I’ve ever taken. The beauty, the drama, it was all I could have ever hoped for, for this wedding.
I really enjoyed the bridal party session. They spread some really positive energy, and it was great fun having them goof around, love on the couple, and make hilarious memories. The energy was 100% complemented by their moody dress colors and tuxes, all matching the ambiance perfectly. When I was looking for places to photograph the bridal party, the locations where I did some of the bridal portraits seemed to be the perfect spot. I loved the moody lighting coming from one direction, as well as the simple elegance of the hotel. From the little hints of the carpet and crown molding to the furniture, everything screams “grandeur.”
If you’ve seen the great Gatsby, you can remember the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby Maguire sit in an underground speakeasy. This is the Rathskeller Room. As I said, it is a Bavarian-style room with incredible art carved into the walls and gorgeous tiles laid in, and it constantly commands attention. The ceremony occurred here in Rathskeller Room, a perfect venue for an intimate wedding. Because the room is so dramatic and really a work of art, this Seelbach Hotel wedding looked like a scene from a movie. Seriously. As they exchanged vows, they stood in the room’s spotlight while the guests were seated in the back amidst dim lighting. The fascinating turquoise tiles on the wall were an extravagant alternative to the traditional wedding arch. No extra decor is needed.
Instead of doing a traditional unity candle, Amy and David opted to build a floral arrangement together. This was a really beautiful moment to photograph, and I’m really in love with this intimate idea.
The celebration continued in the Rathskeller Room with elegant and luxurious decor for their reception. As I said before, these two strived for a distinguished Seelbach Hotel wedding, so they went all out, enhanced the beauty of the Seelbach, and had the time of their lives :)
Amy and David decided to leave out the traditional sitting order, so they allowed the guests to sit wherever they liked. Each table had a floral arrangement as a centerpiece, accompanied by intimate candlelight. They went for rose gold tableware with elegant glasses, so the setting looked marvelous and miraculously matched the Rathskeller Room’s surroundings.
T had a really sweet entrance, followed by the first dance. The first dance was so sweet. It’s always one of my favorite parts, anytime you can literally feel the love in the air. As their photographer for this Louisville, KY, destination wedding, I was so honored to capture such special moments and create beautiful mementos that will stay with Amy and David for the rest of their lives.
This wedding was one I will never forget. And a bucket list venue I didn’t know I had :) The Seelbach Hotel Louisville made everyone feel glamorous and otherworldly for the time we were there. The space practically invites everyone just to have the time of their lives.
Capturing the moments of Amy and David’s Seelbach Hotel wedding was an incredible experience that I will remember forever. It was a true honor to be hired as their Louisville wedding photographer for such an occasion, and I am really grateful that this wonderful couple trusted me with the most important day of their lives! Let’s hear it for the Reddit community, yes??
I would love to return to the Seelbach Hotel and capture another spectacular wedding. If you liked what you saw, head to my contact page, and let’s get this party started! If you’re local to Memphis, hop over to my blog about some of my favorite wedding venues in Memphis!
Dress: Blue House Bridal
Hair + M/U: Bridal Bar Louisville
Venue + Day Of Coordinating: Seelbach Hilton Hotel
Flowers: Roséalia Florals
Rings: JL Johnson
Cake: Sweets by Millie
Catering: Seelbach Hotel
Strings Trio: Con Brio Trio
DJ: Triangle Talent
Photo + Video: Wandering Creative