Creative DC Wedding Photographers: Carly & David at the Carnegie

Elegant, romantic, vibrant Washington DC wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science

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Carly and Dave reached out to me looking for creative wedding photography that captured natural emotion and beautiful DC architecture.  They loved their engagement photos and appreciated the way I captured them enjoying candid moments together.

Carly shared that spending quality time with Dave during the wedding day while I was capturing their photos was one of her favorite parts of the day.  “Dave would lean in and tell me a ridiculous joke or story in my ear to make me laugh and we would stop to take in the moment together… that photo time and our first dance were my favorite moments from our wedding day.”

I captured their wedding day as it unfolded, beginning with the preparations and details at Hotel Rouge.   I love the dramatic draperies and natural window light there, along with it’s proximity to the Carnegie.   Carly shared, “We wanted our wedding to match the classic elegance of the Carnegie and reflect the colors of a beautiful October day. We chose bold deep berry tones, pops of fuchsia, hints of blush and ivory with garden roses, ranunculus, freesia, and dahlias.”  The flowers were stunning!

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Carly’s hair and make-up was expertly completed by Ashley at Glam Bridal Beauty out of Frederick, Maryland.  She is extremely talented, timely and cheerful– I can’t tell you how hard that is to find!  I loved working with her :).

David shared, “Carly is a woman of endless talents. She is startlingly intelligent, doggedly determined, and incredibly kind.”  I think her kindness really comes across in this photograph:

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Here I silhouetted Carly as she had her finishing touches added.  I love the lines and contrast– just gorgeous….

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This next image feels very natural and intimate to me.  As Carly sat finishing her hair and make-up she held her hands together.  Maybe it’s the delicate positioning, her lovely ring and robe or just the fact that it is the last photo of them without her wedding band on, but I really like the feel of this one…

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Here Carly holds her cathedral-length veil before putting on her dress.  I used objects in the foreground to hide the hotel bed and lamps to that all of the emphasis was on Carly.  The blurred glass in the foreground makes it feel more

The dramatic lighting looks amazing on her, but it also gives nod to the dynamic personality she has.  Carly is incredibly passionate, intentional and thoughtful– and for me, those qualities really come across in this next photograph…

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The dress!  Wow, such a unique and beautiful dress!  She found it at Carine’s Bridal Atelier in Washington, D.C.

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Carly shared, “My mom and I are very, very close, and it was so important to me to have her be very involved in our wedding day… She was so excited to be one of the girls and hang out with us while we got ready. My mom looked absolutely stunning in her dress, and I was so glad to have her with me.”

Her mother was so happy to see Carly as a bride!  She smiled and laughed out loud, pure joy…

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They held hands.  It was beautiful!

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I noticed this wrought iron detailing on the walk from the Rouge to the Carnegie.  It fit the feel and vibe of her day perfectly.

I used layering and a shallow depth of field in this photograph to draw attention to Carly, but still show her gorgeous florals and the wrought iron…

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Here is Carly’s half of the wedding party– all of them were amazing!  Intelligent, thoughtful, attractive– what a group!  Carly’s man-of-honor, Will , is a really special guy– more on him later…

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Yes, I realize you are dying to know the florist, so I will tell you– Lauren & Rachel from Sweet Root Village and they are amazing!

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This dream-team of DC area wedding vendors was assembled by Christie Yerks of Grit and Grace, a wedding planner who is bride-centered and kind– again a very special and unique wedding vendor!

I love the side entrance of the Carnegie Institution for Science.    While it is often blocked by trucks unloading flowers and decor to prepare for the wedding, it was open and lit and I jumped on this opportunity to capture another quick  image of these beautiful ladies…

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It is time to meet David!  Carly started out by explaining a bit about his personality.  “Dave is a pragmatist and one of the most organized people I know, which are skills that he’s used to help both of us accomplish our goals and get settled in our new life together in Wisconsin. He’s so smart and so good at anything he sets his mind to do.”

I like the drama and simplicity of this photo.  It compliments Carly’s images well but is more masculine.  Everything in the photo is very linear and framed in a straightforward, organized manner.  I think it fits Dave well…

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Carly went on, “Dave and I work so well together because we have similar, demanding jobs, so we really understand each other’s sources of stress, and can talk through and strategize tough issues. But we also have contrasting and complimentary personalities, which offset each other really well. He is very clear-headed and great at plowing through to-do lists and accomplishing goals.”

He is also very kind and compassionate.  Carly added, “Throughout the wedding planning process, Dave was always involved, and always checking in to make sure I was happy and would be able to enjoy our wedding day.”

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Carly shared, “The Carnegie Institution for Science is a very striking space, with grand columns, sweeping staircases, a high domed ceiling, and beautiful details. We loved the elegance of the venue and the classic DC feel.”

Here the men are standing outside of the Carnegie, you can read the engraved lettering and architectural details, David and his groomsmen and also see the vibrant blue sky.  I like the color, contrast and symmetry of this photograph:

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David’s groomsmen came from all phases of his life: childhood, high school, college, and law school. Although he met each of his groomsmen at separate times, and in different places, they all shared much in common and instantly befriended one another. And they all made big contributions to making the wedding such a fun experience for Carly and Dave.

A closer view shows more of the exquisite detailing of the Carnegie and gives you a better look at these handsome gentlemen.  Again, I like the feel of this image.

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Time for their first look!  Carly shared, “When I first saw him with his back to me, waiting for our first look, it reminded me of the day he surprised me in DC two summers before, sitting on the steps of where I was supposed to have brunch with a friend with his back to me and waiting to surprise me and propose.”

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David shared, “Although Carly is effortlessly beautiful, her cleverness and wit are what initially attracted me.  They are also what struck me the most when I saw her for the first time on our wedding day. After years of dating, and in the formal setting of our wedding day, I instantly recognized the same person I fell in love with years earlier.”

I think you can really see those sentiments in this next photograph:

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This couple is evenly balanced, both intellectuals that bring their own strengths.  While Dave is single-minded and clear-headed, which keeps them n track with their goals, Carly is able to find silly distractions during stressful situations that keep them moving in a positive direction.

Their love is deep…

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While my main objective on a wedding day is to capture candid, natural moments, I make sure to get a few nice, more traditional photos as well.

I thought the illuminated marquee with it’s bronze and gold tones worked well for Carly and David’s portrait.  It complimented their rich autumn color palette which incorporated gold and other metallics.

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Wow that veil!  It was twice the size of Carly :).  While it did impact her mobility a bit it was absolutely breathtaking, especially when the wind would carry it!

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While they both have serious sides, Carly and David can also be playful and light-hearted.  Carly shared that she appreciates Dave’s sense of humor and his positive outlook on life.

I like how genuine their smiles are here:

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Dave shared, “I’m looking forward to sharing our lives together.”

Carly shared, “I’m really looking forward to being a family with Dave.”

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Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair– I think I have found your next supermodels ;).

I love creating sophisticated, modern, elegant bridal party portraits like this one…

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Time for the wedding ceremony to begin…

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Carly was escorted in by both of her parents to meet David who was standing beneath the chuppah.

I like this aerial perspective that Kris captured!

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So in love!!!  I like this close perspective that focuses on Carly and David during the wedding ceremony.

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Here is a very similar moment, but from farther away.  You can see the full rotunda and even the ornate glass-work of the skylight above the chuppah!

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Throughout the entire ceremony Carly was overflowing with joy!  Her smile here reminds me of her mom’s smile earlier!

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Carly and David’s ceremony was interfaith and included both Catholic and Jewish wedding traditions.

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I have a huge collection of photography gear and lenses.  It is an investment, but makes what I am able to capture on the wedding day nearly limitless.

I wanted to show all of the architectural details in a single frame while also capturing the wedding ceremony and guests.

I used a 14mm L-series lens to capture this unique perspective of the ceremony…

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I like to capture different perspectives that allow my couples and their friends and families to re-live the wedding day for years to come.

Sometimes that means getting a super-wide vantage point (as I did in the last shot), other times it means getting close enough to see the goosebumps on a bride’s arm or the way that she and the groom’s fingers are intertwined (as you can see in this next photograph).

This one image says so much!

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The kiss…

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Husband and wife…

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These massive centerpieces created by Sweet Root Village worked perfectly in the ballroom– bold deep berry tones and gold sculpture stands really brought the rich autumn theme to life!

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The upholstered escort card display with greenery and blooms was a a sweet touch…

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The priest gave the blessing as warm gold tones flowed into the ballroom from the Carnegie rotunda.

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No one wants photos of themselves eating, but I thought the dinner, provided by Blythe Swift, looked so beautiful and elegant.  I captured this unique perspective of the wedding feast, as seen through the open front doors…  I was able to get a bit of the illuminated light fixture as well!

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I mentioned Will before, and now I will tell you some more about him.  🙂

Carly shared “I met Will, my man-of-honor, during our first semester of college, and he remains one of my closest friends, my travel partner, and my confidant. He was the first person I told about Dave back when I first met Dave in 2011, and the first person I told about our engagement after my parents last summer.”

It is clear that emotions run deep with these two and I caught both of them tearing up a little during his speech…

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Dave’s best man was his law school roommate, Colin, who now practices law in Chicago. Dave and Colin lived together for all three years of law school and have stayed in close contact ever since. They have many of the same views and traits, perhaps due to their similar Midwestern, Irish Catholic upbringings. Aside from Carly, Colin is who Dave turns to for advice.

I liked this moment during his speech when David and Carly gave each other a “high five.”  I love capturing fleeting moments like this…

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The first dance, one of Carly’s favorite parts of the day…

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The hora– Carly can barely contain her excitement!!!

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I climbed the marble stair to get a bird’s eye view of the Hava Nagila.  It is a Jewish wedding song that is roughly translated, “let us rejoice!”  You can see the circles of wedding guests.

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I wanted to capture the movement of the dance– it is lively and fast!  Here a slowed my shutter down a bit to capture that movement!

I was able to keep Carly and her brother in sharp focus and everyone clapped, danced and moved around them!

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Carly shared, “The hora was probably the part of the reception that I was most excited about – I couldn’t wait to go up in the chair with all of our friends and family around us! Dave on the other hand does not love heights, and was very reluctant. However, because he’s a good sport and a wonderful husband, he finally agreed. He even loosened his death grip on the chair for a moment to hold my hand up in the air. In a twist of fate, that move tipped me forward, and I almost fell out of the chair (but was saved at the last moment by the quick reflexes of my cousin Jesse).”

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Celebrate!  Everyone had a blast out on the dance floor :).

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Time for Dave’s favorite moment– it was walking down the front stairs of the Carnegie with Carly, surrounded by friends and family, at the conclusion of the perfect wedding day. 🙂

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They lived happily ever after…

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Carly and David, thank you for selecting me to be your wedding photographer!  I absolutely loved meeting the two of you and spending the wedding day by your sides.  Your vendors were amazing and such a treat to work with, too!

If you haven’t seen enough of David and Carly, you may want to check out their DC engagement photos here, of if you’d like to see more weddings that I have photographed at The Carnegie Institution for Science click here.

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