DC Wedding Photographers: Macey & Garrett at the Carnegie

A string quartet playing original music from the Game of Thrones, an adorable pup, a death-defying Hora haha and more– you won’t want to miss this  vibrant, fun Washington DC wedding at one of my very favorite wedding venues, the Carnegie Institution of Science:

When Macey first reached out to me I was extremely touched.  Her sister, Abby and her colleague, Ana, have been huge supporters of my work.  They are wedding planners at The Carnegie and no doubt see many photographers.  Not only have they sent dozens of couples my way, but the fact that Abby referred her own sister to me is extremely humbling.  Thank you so much, both of you!

Macey smiled, “Abby and Ana obviously love working with you and often show your photos to their clients because you capture such unique angles and really show off the awesome location!  We love creative photography as opposed to images that look like stock photos, I’m sure that overexposed look with be “out of style” soon and we believe that your creative photos will stand the test of time.  We also appreciate all the thought that you put into each shot.”

Garrett added, “I also really like the unique perspectives you use– your photos are fun and original. The thing that really struck me about your photographs is the way you capture joy and emotion. You have a way of capturing the magic that each couple feels on their wedding day.  I’m excited to see how you do that for us!”

Aw thanks so much!  Macey, here is a shot that is unique and creative and shows off the location.  Garrett, here is a fun, crazy angle and joyful moment for you:

Macey shared, “Abby obviously did SO much more than a usual Maid of Honor does and I’m so lucky she was there to run the whole show, fix my hair, and keep me sane.  I was and am so lucky to have her by my side!”

Macey smiled, “I was shocked by my dress choice, to be honest– I assumed I’d go with something more simple, sleek, modern, but the second I put this one on (Abby and my friend Kate actually picked it out for me) everyone was sold. I’m obsessed with it. ”

She continued, “It’s romantic and so unique – I love the peekaboo lace! We found it at Lovely Bride in DC and the women at Zoya’s Atelier in Falls Church altered it to fit me like a glove.”

Macey shared, “My mom, sister and I are extremely close (Garrett may argue too close at times, haha) and I think they were as excited about the big day as I was.  My mom loved Garrett (affectionately called Gary thanks to her) immediately so after 9 long years, this day meant a lot to her.”

I knew that Macey was all about the creative photos and liked bold colors, shadows, and other dramatic elements.  This is a shot I captured as a reflection, there was a tree holding on to its fall leaves outside of the window and light streaming in as Macey prepared for her first look.  I love the colors and contrast of this, I think it really captures the anticipation that she felt leading up to the first look.

I know Macey said she was obsessed with her dress, but I gained quite similar feelings throughout the day, it looked stunning on her for sure, but the way it caught the light, all the feminine laying, the way it seemed so comfortable and easy, I mean she was able to easily reach her shoes to buckle them, I can tell you that is not typically the case, haha!

Having a gorgeous comfy dress really impacted so many elements of the day, we could walk wherever, she could move however, it really added this carefree, romantic element to her day, oh and did I mention it was also super sexy?

Macey shared, “Garrett’s sister, my Matron of honor, is so similar to me so we share a special bond. Before I met her, as an older sister, I was a little nervous (Garrett also said she has hated all his girlfriends), but we instantly hit it off and absolutely love each other. I think similar to my mom, Cate was more than ready for this day to finally come – she’s been calling me sister for 8 years and we’re glad it’s official now.”

Tears of joy as she sees Macey in her wedding gown for the first time:

Macey explained, “Our florist, Maya, did an AMAZING job with the flowers – she combined the perfect amount of greens, whites, and blues. They looked great with our bridesmaids’ sage green gowns and fit so perfectly with the venue, too! ”

I know Garrett talked wanting me to capture about moments and Macey talked about classic– something about this reminds me of old Hollywood– couldn’t she be Marilyn Monroe?  Look closely and you will see her reflection caught in the glass behind her.

Garrett explained, “For me, the whole day was a whirlwind of emotions. In the morning I felt excited, relatively calm and ready for everything that was about to happen.”

He continued, “I had my brother, Kyle, and brother in law, Jake, my best friend from college, Brandon, and my two best friends, Joe and Alex, from DC to get ready with.  Everything felt surprisingly normal like we were just hanging out.”

While I was photographing Macey and her ladies, my second photographer, Jim, was photographing the men.  I am totally in love with this shot Jim, the angle, the color, the moment, you rock!

Garred shared, “Alex, the one who married us, and I met through our wives (that is still weird to say, haha!).   Alex and Kate have a very similar relationship to Macey and I so we all hit it off immediately. Ever since then they have become like family to us and so when my grandpa was not able to marry us it was an obvious choice to ask Alex to do the honors and he happily accepted and even got his clergy license!”

I LOVE the fact that Alex is wearing his clergy license while he plays video games, wedding band proudly displayed!

Lots of gaming and smiles all around:

Haaa I love this one, GQ called, they want their models back…

Garrett smiled, “When Macey and I first met I immediately fell in love with her natural sense of adventure. She is not afraid to stray off the beaten path with me and try something new. Macey is a driven and dedicated person that always strives to be the best person she can be and makes me want to be the best person that I can be. She encourages and challenges me to succeed in anything and everything I try or should be trying to do.”

For me, this shot shows how Macey stands out, her confidence is choosing her own path, her encouraging, strong nature:

Garrett shared, “Having the first look was awesome!  It was so nice to have a moment just for us. I was nervous and giddy with excitement waiting for Macey to tap me on the shoulder.”

I grabbed this shot in the moment that Macey reached out her hand, you can see the anticipation on both of their faces, her hand is slightly blurred from the movement and pops against his black jacket.  You can see the contrast of both of their nearly silhouetted faces against the bright white of the building, Macey’s framed against a white in a pillar, Garrets towards the dark door… all the lace detailing and even goosebumps on her arms are visible, especially in the full-res image:

Garrett shared, “I did not know what to expect and was blown away by how beautiful she was.  I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement. She literally took my breath away when I turned around.”

Macey added, “Garrett’s beaming smile was THE BEST- the first look was emotional, and just so exciting!”

Macey shared, “When I saw Garrett for the first time on our wedding day, everything felt right – I was just so excited and ready for forever with him. I know we’ll have so many adventures, big and small, together (and with our now two fur babies) and I just look forward to each and every day.”

Macey laughed, “I loved our time outside Carnegie alone together!  I definitely forgot the cameras were there so I probably made some weird faces, haha!”

Not weird at all, authentic and beautiful!  Being present is *the best thing* you can do for your wedding photos, let alone on your day to savor it and let it last!

Garrett shared, “I have known for a long time that Macey & I would spend our lives together but it was all of the sudden at that moment that it really hit me that we were actually going to share all of our adventures in life together.”

I love to capture a more complex scene– here you can see Garrett kissing Macey, tiny details like her braid and the buttons down the back of her gown, and also the big architectural aspects, the columns, the church in the distance, the vibrant blue sky…

Macey explained, “Whether he intentionally does this or not, he reminds me to chill out and not take life too seriously. He is rarely stressed out and its insanely refreshing, especially in Washington DC! His easygoing and loving nature made me want him as my partner in life – he challenges me to have fun and live in the moment.”

She’s definitely living in the moment here 😉 — I love the shadows and depth, the way Macey’s dress is almost glowing:

Macey continued, “Garrett is the most genuinely happy, fun, carefree human I’ve ever met. I was immediately drawn to his smile and overall attitude. I think it’s safe to say that everyone that meets him immediately feels comfortable and likes him.”

She smiled, “So the super cliche “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world” rings true for me.”

Macey explained, “The columns help remind guests (especially our out of town guests) that they are in historic Washington DC – they provide an amazing backdrop and contrast to the inside of the building.  Many people say the outside looks like a museum, but the inside is so unexpectedly beautiful and I love that!”

The way they were holding hands was so natural and sweet, I like to play with familiar spaces and objects in unique ways, I’ve definitely never photographed one of the columns this way before…

They shared, “We are obsessed with Sonny and so lucky to have him in our lives. Sonny has been the perfect dog and hiking buddy.”

They continued, “We recently got Sonny a sister and we’re all in love with her but Sonny will always be our first baby and I don’t know what we’d do without that little stinker.”

Again a unique perspective, this time giving them a little privacy and looking out to historic downtown Washington DC.  A different take on the typical “kissing” photo:

Garrett smiled, “The flower girl was the only kid we wanted at our wedding and she is my niece. She is obviously adorable and it was great to have her there for the big day.”

Macey explained, “Our vogue shoot with the bridal party was a fun twist on the usual stock group photos we often see. Since our bridal party was our siblings, it was also really fun and easy to goof around a big with them.”

I think he’s ready for the ceremony…

Macey shared, “The strings did an amazing job, and yes, we’re huge Game of Thrones fans (as are most of our guests). We got a kick out of them playing “Rains of Castamere” – for those who know the show, it’s played during the Red Wedding and our guests definitely took note – our friend, Nate said he was relieved when the ceremony was over and he was still alive (if you watch the show it makes sense, haha).”

Garrett agreed, “There’s something about that theme song in general, but when it echos through Carnegie Institution for Science it really gives you the feels.”

Macey shared, “Carnegie was such a beautiful backdrop for our wedding ceremony.  We love the space – the rotunda, staircase, and the overall vibe is just so unique.  An added bonus is that it doesn’t require much decor to look stunning, haha!”

Descending the spiral staircase– I was up top with Macey so that I could grab this shot, while Jim was down below capturing Garrett’s expression as she walked.  I love the way her shadow is cast on the wall in this particular photo.  It’s funny b/c while I have a bird’s eye view of Macey, the shadow is almost straight-on!

Garrett shared, “When Macey walked down the stairs it took everything I had not to cry, she looked so happy and excited absolutely perfect. That was a really great moment.”

How happy are they to see each other, so sweet!

Garrett explained, “The Rotunda really played into what we wanted– a beautiful, intimate ceremony where everyone felt like they were really a part of it.   It was stunning, but felt like a family gathering,  even the people in the back felt like they had a front-row seat!”

They were married “in the round” the farthest guest from them was only a few rows back while being in this stunning space with high ceilings and so much classic architecture…

Macey smiled, “My best friend of more than a decade, Kelsie, found the most perfect poem for us that explains how being in love is like having a dog (again our obsession with sonny is ridiculous). She was there from the very beginning of our relationship. In fact, we both found our husbands the same year in college and have all remained close despite miles apart. The poem could not have been more perfect and her reading it could not have been more fitting.”

Garrett shared, “The whole ceremony in the rotunda was perfect. Alex did an amazing job making the entire ceremony special for Macey and I and all of our friends and family.”

Macey added, “Alex did an incredible job marrying us. He had the perfect combination of humor and genuine loving things to say and we are so lucky to have met him and his wife Kate here in DC.”

Garrett explained, “Macey and I are so good together and I think that is mostly because we are on the same page with what we want out of life and how we want to live it. It is important for us to celebrate each other and the people around us.  Our wedding ceremony really embodied that sentiment for both of us.”

Kiss the bride… I love how you can see their friends and family surrounding them in support:

Macey explained, “We love to be out in nature, and Garrett especially loves bikes. We wanted a few nods to his bicycle obsession in a way that wasn’t cheesy or overdone, and in a way that made sense with Carnegie.”

How adorable, I want one, lol!

The board room is one of my favorite spaces, it is dark and dramatic with gold accepts and beautifully executed paintings.  It definitely has a classic DC feel and is so fun for cocktails…

Garrett shared, “My favorite part of the wedding day was right after we got married and had a moment alone together upstairs.  I was on an absolute high that we were officially married and were about to celebrate with all of the people that we love with my beautiful wife.”

Creative and classic, I really had fun with this shot of the two of them alone.  I framed Garrett in the window pain and love the expression on his face as stunning Macey looks down at her bouquet, something really classic and unique about this one:

Macey shared, “I think our opposite traits really compliment each other and our similarities mesh really well too – Garrett is so carefree, I can be a little psycho and type A, haha!   When I get a little too serious and analytical, he always helps me relax and have fun. I think I also help push him a little more to work towards his goals.”

For me, this shot shows the yin and yang, shadowed and illuminated, that balance between them…

She continued, “At the same time we both thrive on adventure and are always open to trying new things – we really do bring out the best in each other.”

I love how the sun illuminated both of them, Macey in the white light, Garrett in the black shadow (how appropriate, the bride in white, groom in black) and even the door as well!

I was totally freaking out about this light when it happened!

Macey shared, “My favorite part of our wedding day was taking time to be  alone.”  While they were *completely alone* in that favorite moment, so I was not there, I felt like these photos really captured that feeling.

I love dramatic silhouettes, and loved the color and toning, while they are mostly silhouetted a few highlights peek out here…

Places are set for dinner with modern, unique arrangements that both allow stunning large floral displays and allow cross-table conversation ;).

For the first time as husband and wife…

Their first dance:

Macey explained, “My dance with my dad was so special. He’s been my softball coach, closest confidant, financial adviser, home improvement go-to man, music and political guru, life coach since day 1 – him handing me over to Garrett meant so much to all involved.”

Here he took her for a twirl as family and friends gathered around the rotunda:

Garrett added, “The dance with my mom was so special. We joined Macey and her father on the dance floor.  We had a chance to share some thoughts together. She could not have been more happy and proud of Macey and our relationship and it meant so much to me hearing that from her.”

Here I framed them both in the columns again surrounded by their guests.

Macey shared, “My dad and I have so much in common, from our passion for politics and spy thriller novels to our love of sports and obsession with Chipper Jones (our bridal party entrance song was Chippers walk out song) yet he also is similar to Garrett in his happy nature and great sense of humor. His speech was so perfect and reiterates how much he loves Garrett after ALL these years, haha!”

Guests loved the speeches and were all smiles…

The start of the hora– I love this shot of Jim’s as it tells the story so well– friends and family encircling the groom holding hands as Garrett anticipated the big lift:

Garrett laughed, “The hora didn’t go exactly as I had envisioned, but it definatley was a ton of fun! At one point I was pretty sure Macey and I were both going to be dumped off the chairs and fall on our faces. It was a moment I will never forget!”

Macey laughed, “The hora was so scary!!!  I love our guy friends, but only a few of them had done that before so they had not perfected their chair lifting strategy. I know Garrett was so excited about that part and it was fun – I’m relieved we survived and I’m sure my facial expressions will show that…”

Lol, yep:

They got the hang of it!

I love age-old traditions at weddings, the circles the clapping, it is all so much fun!

Guests hit the dance floor like:

So many smiles:

Such a super cool moment– I loved the colors, light, architecture, facial expressions and body language…

AND my second photographer, Jim, caught a photo of me focusing and lining things up, too!  It’s really cool to get a behind the scenes peek of the way I’m all-in, prepping for the moment… yes I do a little yoga and some squats at the gym and while I am short I am not actually as small as I appear here haha.

Hahaha… someone is taking his clergy badge very seriously!!!  What a fun moment!

Macey shared, “Grandpa Ron (but all of my grandparents really) mean so much to me.  Him raising his cane in celebration made me so happy. I’m blessed to be extremely close to all my grandparents, even some great grandparents, and though some were watching from above, the ones that were there were clearly so happy to join in the celebration! My grandparents all loved Garrett from the start and I’m the first grandchild on either side to get married so this wedding has been long-awaited.”

I usually don’t blog group photos (especially “outtakes”) but Grandpa rocked it, so it needed to be seen by all:

I know, you were there and not in that group photo, no worries, I’ll post another:

(Guys this would make an awesome canvas!)

Swept off her feet: 

At the end of the night:

A huge thank you to Ana & Abby for recommending me to so many couples over the years, (that links to a few of the blog posts).

Thank you to Macey and Garrett for entrusting me to capture your big day and encouraging me to pull out all the stops and be myself capturing colorful, creative, unique photos that capture the raw emotions, space and authentically tell their story.  I wish you both nothing but the very best!

Awww, guys, love this!!

Wedding Vendors: 

  • Wedding planners: Abby Sevcik and Ana Lojanica  We love them and they were a HUGE help throughout the entire process. We are so indecisive and extremely unhelpful so they really did plan the whole thing. 🙂
  • Venue: Carnegie Institute for Science
  • Florist: Bee Inspired Maya was an angel! Again, we were so unhelpful and essentially gave her free reign (though with not a lot of budget) and she made it look like we spent millions – she has amazing taste and took our little guidance to heart. She really went above and beyond.
  • Caterer: RSVP Catering  Abbey and her team were awesome. She has amazing attention to detail and the food was incredible. Our favorite moment was made even more perfect thanks to them – they had our hors d’oeuvres and champagne waiting for us post ceremony so we could snack, toast, and take it all in upstairs in the library!
  • Entertainment: DJ Dan Goldman  I cannot say enough about Dan. He was so fun, played the BEST music, and read the room so well! Our guests were on the dance floor from beginning to end – in fact, I had planned on changing into my jumpsuit much earlier in the night, but was having too much fun on the dance floor, I nearly forgot. So many guests commented on the DJ – he truly made the party!

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