Worsell Manor Wedding Photographers: Abbey & Nathan

A relaxed, romantic wedding with stunning fall foliage, an ice cream truck and a literal wall of doughnuts!!!  You won’t want to miss Abbey and Nathan’s wedding… ♥

Abbey shared, “I absolutely love your style— the vibrant colors, silhouettes and how creative you are with your photography.  Working with you and Jim was super easy.  You both made us feel incredibly comfortable in front of the camera and were able to give us direction when we needed it so we weren’t as awkward in front of the camera.  You blended in at the perfect moments and took charge at others – everything was seamless.  We wanted you both to have total control and we were happy to do whatever!  We are super excited to see all of your ideas come to life!”

Nathan added, “Abbey showed me your work and we both really liked your style.  Once we met you and started working with you it was obvious we picked the correct photographer.  You made us feel so comfortable and natural during the engagement session,  (and the photos from that are stunning), so we knew we picked the right photographer and are so excited to see everything!”

Abbey explained, “We wanted to be comfortable and relaxed and for our guests to have the same experience.  We went for a rustic romantic look, our colors were eucalyptus green, light pink, burgundy, and white.  I saw these colors online together and knew they would be perfect for the feel of the wedding.”

Abbey explained, “For my wedding gown, I always knew that I wanted a comfortable dress with sleeves. It really went along with our ‘keep it simple’ theme, too!  When I tried it on, the gown was just so soft and flowy that I knew I had to get it. I wanted to be comfortable on the wedding day and this dress was the perfect mix of comfort and romantic elegance with the perfect sleeves.”

Ladies, I cannot stress how awesome it is to have a comfortable dress and shoes, not only are you happier, but we can kind of go wherever and do whatever, the options become limitless… how stunning is this gown?

Nate smiled, “I fell in love with Abbey first because of her intelligence and drive.   She’s very introverted (the opposite of me) and comes off as shy to people who don’t know her.  But she’s actually an incredibly strong and powerful woman,  she’d never brag about it so I have to for her…”

He elaborated, “She protected our country in the service as a US Marine, graduated from a  prestigious law school, and runs her own Law firm.  She says otherwise… but it was definitely me that married up!   I knew very early in our relationship that she was the woman for me.  She is incredibly beautiful, inside and out.”

I know how much you guys like when I get creative, so here goes, a shot over the head showing the winding staircase as Abbey walks down to see her soon to be husband…

While I was photographing Abbey, my assistant for this wedding, Jim, was photographing Nate.  Jim totally rocks and his work always blows me away.  I feel lucky to have him on my team.

Nathan shared, “We chose the venue for lots of reasons but as a high school History teacher I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to get married where George Washington stayed.  The manor house has such an incredible facade and we both knew the pictures had such potential.   Also, neither of us wanted the indoor ballroom wedding, so the barn was perfect for our relaxed style.”

I love all the frames in this photograph.  Two doorways, the table, and chandelier, even the historic sailboat which makes me think of Nathan’s George Washington comment…

Nathan explained, “I have always been a musical person.  I played the Saxophone throughout middle school and high school, including being in the marching band… WHICH IM VERY PROUD OF… even if Abbey makes fun of me for it.   I’m not a professional in the least bit but I took some classes on the piano and will always take the opportunity to fiddle around on one of its nearby.”

Abby shared,  “Our first look was outside by this beautiful yellow tree.  Nate looked so handsome in his suit and had such a big smile on his face.”

Nate stated, “Abby simply took my breath away.  She’s beautiful inside and out!  I’m so happy to call her my wife!”

Abby agreed,  “Everything is so much much better with Nate by my side.”

Abby explained, “We just instantly feel more comfortable as soon as we’re around each other and I think that probably showed in the photos as well.  He steadies me.  As for what I am looking to – I am looking forward to starting a family with him.  I know that he is going to be an AMAZING dad and I can’t wait to go on that journey with him.  I am also just looking forward to all of the little things – the trips we are going to take, the adventures we are going to have….”

I was all about capturing that yellow tree, wowza!

Nate shared, “Our wedding day was exactly what we both wanted.   We relaxed and laughed together the whole day, not an ounce of stress.  I’m excited about continuing our lives together, exploring the world with her, and building a family together.”

Abbey noted,  “We always wanted a more ‘rustic’ location – like a barn, for our wedding.  We really wanted a relaxed, comfortable feel to the wedding and for everyone to just have a good time.  When we looked at Worsell Manor, Nate loved the history of it and I loved the look of the Barn.”

The barn is pretty epic…  here I used a tilt-shift effect to make Abbey & Nate look like miniatures…

Abbey reminisced, “When we first met, we instantly clicked.  I remember talking to him all night and just feeling so comfortable and laughing a lot.  There was also a strong physical attraction right away and we were basically inseparable after that night.  Nathan is everything that I ever dreamed of in a man – he is patient, loyal, funny, smart, romantic and strong.  His smile lights up a room and everyone always notices his deep  and commanding ‘teacher’ voice, haha.”

I LOVED working at Worsell Manor, there was so much for me to play with from barns to fields to woods to the manor and even a rose garden and fountain.  This place is just spectacular!  And while it has all of these interesting elements it still has this laid back feel– part of that is Abbey and Nate no doubt, as these two are so chill and were very intentional about having a stress-free day.

Nathan explained, “Abbey and I work well together because we are both similar and opposite.  In some ways, like preferring to relax on a Friday night or seeing a movie, we are the same.  But in other ways, our opposite personalities complement each other and fill in the gaps we are both missing.   She challenges me to be more driven in my life, and I challenge her to stop and laugh more.”

I like how this image really shows balance and symmetry:

Abbey shared, “We wanted nature to be included in some way on our wedding day.  Right from the start, we knew we wanted a Fall wedding and we love the autumn trees and leaves and needed to have a location that could showcase that.”

This certainly did and I made sure to bring all of that vibrant color into as many photos as possible.  While I spent most of the day capturing more natural and candid shots, I made sure to capture a few standard portraits as well.

Nate remarked,   “Another thing we loved about Worsell Manor was having the wedding venue for the whole weekend instead of just one day.  It made the experience feel more personal and we really liked that.”

I wanted to show off the grounds as well as the couple, and I know how much Abbey and Nate love my silhouette shots:

Abbey smiled, “Nate and I enjoy a lot of the same things – like animals, travel, movies, even game shows!  I knew that Nate was ‘it’ for me pretty early – that’s why I visited him every other weekend when he lived in NC, I knew that I had found a keeper.  He was just so sweet and kind and unlike anyone I had ever met before.  I love that over the years, we have grown with each other.  We have learned so many things from each other and have become all the better for it.”

Awww the look on his face though…

There is something so soft, romantic and beautiful about this one… I love the winding path in the background, Abbey’s dark hair cascading down her back, it all fits so well together…

Abbey shared, “Relationships, of course, take work.  We have learned how to compromise in arguments, how to listen when the other just needs to be heard and how to show compassion when needed and insert humor when appropriate.  We are both incredibly stubborn and that can be challenging when neither of us willing to back down, but over the years we have learned what is important and what is not – and that really helps us to understand the other, especially in times of conflict.”

I love this photo with these sentiments, in love you take the dark with the light…

A more “traditional” wedding photograph…

I noticed the tattoo on Abbey’s back…

Abbey said, “It’s of Ganesha and comes from Hinduism.  In 2009-2010, I was in a place in my life where I was struggling and everything seemed like it was going wrong.  I was very confused and unsure and a bit lost.  I would say that overall, I am less religious and more spiritual.  I think that every religion is unique and beautiful in its own way and I do not think you should have to choose just one.  I already had several other tattoos and was thinking about one for my back.”

She continued, “I was reading a lot about Hinduism and came upon Ganesha.  Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles – he can help guide you through difficult times and lead you to where you want to be in life.  There is also a lot of symbolism built into his image – such as the importance of sacrifice, that you should be humble, that you should listen more and talk less and that you need to be wise and strong.  All of this really spoke to me at that time and that is why I chose it.  It helped me to get clarity and to keep moving forward.  These days, I sometimes forget that I even have it, and then I will see it in the mirror or someone will comment on it and it will remind me of these reasons and I love it all over again.”

The contrast and light here had me drooling…

Nathan shared, “The color scheme was Abbey’s idea, but she’s got a great eye for those types of things. I do love succulents and grow a couple at home, so it was nice to have a boutonniere made from them as well.”

As the ceremony time drew closer, guests started to arrive and the most memorable, at least in my mind, was Nate’s brother, Josh, haha!

Nate explained, “My two brothers are pretty unique.  Josh (the one throwing leaves) can be silly and playful, always trying to embarrass me but in a good way.”

No bridal party…

Abbey shared, “We wanted our wedding to be as simple as possible.  We talked about having a wedding party but then just decided that it would be easier if we didn’t – less stress for us and then our friends and family could just relax and enjoy the wedding.  I told my closest friends that and they were actually relieved – that meant no dress, no rehearsal and the ability to just have fun!”

She continued, “We also decided to still get our hair and makeup done together, so that was our little way of having some ‘girl’ time before the wedding.”

Nathan shared, “We knew that we wanted a Fall wedding because of the crisp weather, and having it outside under a large tree was something we both talked about in the past, this was the perfect place to have it.”

I have to agree, so gorgeous!!

Abbey smiled, “A Dad will always be his little girl’s first true love.  Since I was young, I always told my Dad that he would walk me down the aisle one day and that we would dance to “Butterfly Kisses.”  He never forgot that and anytime I would talk about  the wedding, he’d say “And we’re dancing to Butterfly Kisses, right?”

Awww Nate watching Abbey walk towards him on her father’s arm… wow:

Abbey continued, “My Dad has always had a hard exterior but has a softer side that few get to see.  I think that is one of the things that I get from him.  He is incredibly generous and kind, but also loves to be sarcastic.  We have a special relationship and we laughed the whole way down the aisle – which took away some of the nerves for me and made me feel comfortable.”

She concluded, ” I also gave him a gift before the wedding, a little handkerchief that said, in part “I will always be your little girl – thank you for being the best dad anyone could ever ask for” and I was surprised when he wore it as a pocket square to the wedding – it was very sweet.”

Abbey shared, “Nate and I wanted our ceremony site to be rustic and romantic– simple, in front of that huge tree with the leaves on the ground, the wine barrels with floral arrangements and then some more floral accents down the aisle and at the end.  All very romantic and nature-centric.”

Nate added, “We specifically asked the groundskeepers to not rake the leaves in front of the house because it looked too pretty and natural to have them on the ground as we walked up the aisle.”

Stunning…

Abbey shared, “I was so excited to see Nate, nervous to say our vows in front of so many people, emotional when I heard the song “Is that Alright” start (the Lady Gaga song from A Star is Born)- that song always gives me chills.”

I move around a lot on a wedding day, sometimes I am capturing the full scene while at other times I’m more up close and personal capturing raw emotion…

Kiss the bride:

Husband and wife!!

Nate smiled, “On our wedding day, I was most excited to just see it all finally come together – from the leaves outside at the ceremony site, to the donut wall on the inside – I just wanted to see the vision come to life.”

The decor was so beautiful…

Abbey laughed, “I have wanted a donut wall for YEARS and I was so glad that Nate loves donuts as much as I do.  It came out perfect and they were so delicious! ”

Nate added, “The doughnut wall was perfect because we both like them more than cake, and the ice cream truck fit our relationship because we both love ice cream and get it together from Woodside Creamery every summer.”

Abbey continued, “For the cake, we chose red velvet (a flavor we can both agree on) and because of the donuts and ice cream truck, we knew we just wanted a small cake to cut, but not serve.  It turned out awesome!  I especially liked the topper that included our three pups.”

Abbey smiled, “We also were really happy with the food – for the cocktail hour and dinner, T&M Catering did a great job interpreting our wishes.  We wanted low key, delicious food that everyone loves.  We also wanted several vegetarian options so that I could eat, haha.  Everything was so tasty and our guests loved it!”

I love to play with framing and perspectives, for this shot, I framed the guests in the string-lit barn beams.  I climbed up into the loft to get this perspective…

Abbey explained, “My favorite part of the wedding day was actually something small – a time that was undocumented and just let us take a breath from all that was going on.  After the ceremony, we went off and took some pictures and then after that was done, there was still some time remaining of the cocktail hour.”

She added, “Nate and I went into the Manor to just unwind for a second and do some touch-ups, etc,  but we just ended up taking off our shoes, Nate took off his jacket and we just sat at the dining room table and relaxed with each other.  The caterer was awesome and had designated special servers just for us and they kept bringing us drinks and appetizers at the house and we honestly loved having that time alone with each other in the midst of everything.  It felt so great to just sit and chat and laugh with him before we were off again, surrounded by people.”

I snagged this photo just before that time, and love the framing and intimate feel of the shot, it focuses on the window pane while giving them some privacy…

Nathan chimed in, ” My favorite part of the wedding day was also spending alone time with her during the cocktail hour.  We had taken photos already and everyone else was in the barn chatting and snacking, but Abbey and I got to sit alone in the manor house.  We took our shoes off and got to really connect together privately while the caterers brought us all the snacks.   I don’t think that I was over-emotional at the wedding, but that’s because everything seems perfect.  I wasn’t nervous or scared because I knew it was just what I wanted in life.”

Awwww… time to join the party:

First dance as husband and wife– I wanted to capture the warm lighting, the expressions of the happy couple and all of the wedding guests watching them.  I love when a sing photo is chock-full of content and composed well and am pleased with this one for those reasons…

Nathan’s family has a special chicken dance tradition and found a way of including his late grandmother, it was a huge hit with his family for sure…

All the party people hit the dance floor like…

Abbey smiled, “Finally, the ice cream – another favorite of ours.  I grew up right down the street from Woodside Farms and introduced them to Nate.  We knew that they had a catering truck and contacted them as soon as we got engaged to make sure they could do it.  It was another one of my favorite parts of the wedding – it all just felt very ‘us.’

Nathan added, “Who doesn’t love donuts and an ice cream truck!?!”

Open wide…

Abbey reflected, “I always say that we work well together because where I am weak, he is strong and vice versa.  We are truly best friends above all else and we love spending time together – whether it is at home on the couch or out exploring the outback of Australia.  We laugh every day and we have grown so much over the years. He makes me a better person every single day and I am so grateful to Nate for loving me.”

Haaa I still remember blowing their minds when I showed them this photo on the back of my camera!  They literally laughed out and did double-takes, looking back at the silo and building behind us.  I love the warm feel and how Abbey and Nathan pop against the background.

How sweet it is to be loved by you…

One final shot, the manor, their honeymoon suite, the cool night air and the golden glow inside, feeling small, two are now one…

Abbey & Nathan, thank you for inviting me to capture your wedding day in Warwick, Maryland!  I hope these photographs are just as vibrant and creative as you had hoped and really transport you back to your wedding day.

If you’d like to see more of Abbey, Nathan and their pups, check out their engagement session here.

Wedding Vendors:

Dolores J VargaJanuary 26, 2020 - 10:43 pm

When I saw Abbey and Nathan’s engagement photos, I knew that they had chosen an amazing photographer and these pictures solidify that. These are so lyrical, happy, relaxed and fun. Everything that they wanted. Great job!

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