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53 Church St
Mountain Brook, AL, 35213
United States

205-834-8252

Arden Ward Upton, known for her keen eye and southern style. Has curated gifts  for wedding, lifestyle and original art. Arden has worked as a photographer for over a decade photographing some of the South's most exclusive weddings as well as weddings all over the world. During her time as a photographer she has developed a distinctive look and style that is shared on this site and with her customers throughout the years. Arden is also known for her fine art photography available in limited signed editions.

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Do you know who your friends are?

Arden Ward Upton

A DOUBLE DOSE OF FINDING OUT WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE IN ONE YEAR IS REALLY TOUGH.

This year has been a crazy year! Polarizing, actually. I keep telling myself it takes courage to get out of bed and face the day everyday.

Jersey Belle was Jaime Primak Sullivan’s baby, and it’s been an incredible experience. I have had the most amazing outpouring of love and support from people I have never met and it has warmed my heart. To everyone who has commented on my website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I am saying a big THANK YOU!

All the Belles!

All the Belles!

When someone gives you an opportunity to be part of something as big as a TV show on Bravo called Jersey Belle, it can cause a whole slew of emotions. I have a hard time, personally, with self-doubt - I think a lot of people do. But mostly what I want to talk about is finding out who your friends are.

This summer I had a major health scare - a life or death experience resulting in a total of 17 days in the hospital. I had one ovary removed and suffered from a severe life threatening infection caused by a minor procedure. My  fertility chances took a major blow at best - though more than likely are completely nonexistent. I am sure I will write more about that later.

During this time, I FOUND OUT WHO MY REAL FRIENDS WERE.

Much to my surprise, friends who I thought cared the most were not the ones by my side during my blood transfusions, surgery, etc. William, my dad, Dawn, and a few others were unbelievable though as they stood by my bedside. It was another layer of friends - different and mostly a new set. Many people showered love on me: work friends, family, even my CPA and lawyer came. But I felt let down by my closest girls - you know, the ones that were in my wedding, the ones I talk to everyday. People were put on a rotation of sitting with me and it consisted of great and caring hearts! Living in a hospital the better part of a month can work anyone’s mind. I have reconciled with most of my friends who either disappointed me with their lack of regard and how little they showed support, and those who didn’t even bother to come at all. This all happened right before the show aired on Bravo. My first real outing post-surgery was the Jersey Belle premier party.

I LEARNED SO MUCH DURING MY LONG RECOVERY: WHO WAS THERE WHEN I WAS DOWN AND WHO WASN’T.

Jaime and I at the Lake, Season Finale Jersey Belle

Jaime and I at the Lake, Season Finale Jersey Belle

Fast-forward to the airing of Jersey Belle. I was stressed with thoughts and questions like, "How will the world receive the show? How will people see me? What will my friends, family, and community think?" But every Monday night, I tuned in with the rest of Bravo’s faithful fans. I love the show - people across the country are loving the show. Jersey Belle is a breath of fresh air. My two favorite episodes were the New Jersey trip and the season finale.

With the 8 weeks of Jersey Belle flying by faster than my 8 weeks of bed rest post-surgery, I thought, "How amazing life is!" But jealously and other weird responses emerged from friends and family. Questions, insults, and proverbial wounds began piling up. The dark side of insecurity and self-doubt bubbled up within me. THIS IS WHEN I TOLD MYSELF TO STOP. I needed to stop judging and analyzing myself. And in the strength of strangers' support and my closest friends and family, I chose not to go down that path and instead, to hold my head high and enjoy the success of the show. The world is falling in love with us Belles. For better or worse, I have a story to tell on this blog - my story. We are opening up our homes and lives for everyone to see on Bravo.

I WANT TO KNOW IF OTHERS HAVE HAD THIS EXPERIENCE? How do you get through the process of discovering who your true friends are when you are sick and down, and need them most? How do you have that same experience weeks later when you are on top of the world? Who sticks by you when you are low, and who is still there at your very best? I leave this post with the question, who are your friends and how does your family treat you? 

Luci, Jaime, Arden, Haley Season Finale Jersey Belle

Luci, Jaime, Arden, Haley Season Finale Jersey Belle