A classic, elegant Washington DC wedding that included three monuments/memorials (Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln), one adorable pup, and two sweethearts (one in dress-boots)…
My opening photograph shows the happy couple on the grounds of the Jefferson Memorial. As I silhouetted them against the sky a plane flew through at just the right place for the perfect composition. For me, it symbolizes their DC destination wedding with them and all of their guests flying into Washington.
Leah explained, “Nathan and I live in the Bay Area of California now, but Nathan is originally from Texas and I’m from Delaware. We wanted to have our wedding on the east coast, near where I grew up, but also in an area that would be interesting and easily accessible to those traveling from out of state. DC was also the first place the two of us visited together, so it seemed like it would be a good fit. Once we saw pictures of the Carnegie Institution for Science, we were hooked. The venue is beautiful and embodies Washington, DC.”
Leah shared, “We saw photos you had done for other couples at The Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. We loved that each shoot seemed to be personally tailored to the couple, captured so much emotion, and also emphasized the gorgeous architecture in DC. We really hope to see all of those elements in our wedding photographs.”
There was a lot of personalization, emotion and architecture, but this is where my day began, photographing Leah and Nathan’s gorgeous wedding details…
Leah shared, “My grandmother on my father’s side passed away last summer and it was very difficult knowing that she would not be at the wedding. However, before she passed away, she and I looked at pictures of wedding dresses online. I found, tried on, and ultimately chose the dress she mentioned that she liked. It meant so much that she was able to be part of the wedding in that way even if she wasn’t physically there.”
I wanted Leah’s wedding gown to dramatically pop against a dark background and when I saw these red curtains that when closed moved from red, to a deep burgundy, to black– I knew it was the perfect place to hang it, especially considering the color palette of her flowers. I love how all of the intricate bead-work of her gown stands out in this light!
Leah elaborated, “Although it was a March wedding, it was still officially winter, so we liked the idea of having darker, bolder flowers and colors (deep reds, purples), with some more traditional spring colors as highlights (blush and succulent green). Our florist (Maya at Bee Inspired) did an incredible job on the bouquets – we loved them!”
Leah shared, “It was very special to me that my cousin, Dina, let me borrow one of my grandmother’s rings for the wedding weekend, so I tied it around the bouquet to keep it close to me.”
Leah stated, “Getting ready with my mom, putting on my veil and wedding gown with her was incredibly meaningful.”
Nathan shared, “Leah is stronger than anyone I know. She possesses the foresight and compassion to see the best in all people and situations. I believe that we bring about the best in each other. She has shown me parts of the world and brought me to experience things I never would have without Leah in my life. I look forward to the bright future that we will build and the love we will instill in our family!”
As I was photographing the details and preparations on the bride’s side, my second photographer, was photographing the men’s preparations. Here a groomsman assists Nathan with his bowtie.
Here a groomsmen watches a tie tutorial on YouTube, haha, great capture, Breanna! Her photos were on-point all day long!
Nathan quickly slide on his jacket without assistance, there is something about the combination of the lines on the wall with the lines of his arms and fingers that I really like about this photograph!
Nathan shared, “We thought it would be cool to have pictures taken at iconic DC locations, so having pictures taken at both the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials was at the top of our list. One of my forefathers served in Congress at the time of Thomas Jefferson, so we thought it would be a novel idea to hold our first look at the Jefferson Memorial.”
Leah shared, “It was such an easy decision to say yes to his proposal, because I knew that our life together would always be exciting and filled with love. It was a really special moment when we first saw each other on the wedding day. I thought he looked incredibly handsome and I was so excited to marry him.”
Nathan shared, “Seeing Leah in her wedding dress for the first time finally turned the concept of our wedding into a true reality. I certainly felt very fortunate to be marrying such a beautiful bride!” He face says it all…
Nathan presented Leah with a gift during the first look, it was a nineteenth century gold necklace that he thought would go nicely with a ring that she recently inherited from his grandmother.
I love the way he is tipping his hat in the background as she smiles at the gift and the wind gently lifts her veil.
I simply love working at the Jefferson Memorial! The building is so stately, elegant and really fit the look and feel of Nathan and Leah’s wedding well!
So much in one frame– I wanted to capture the vibrant blue of the sky and sunshine along with the trees, monument and silhouetted couple in this next photograph…
Leah shared, “A few of the things I enjoy most about sharing my life with Nathan is that he is incredibly thoughtful; he makes me laugh; and he is adventurous.”
Leah continued, “I think we work well together because we get each other. We push each other to be better people. I’m so excited for our life together.”
Wow– what a stunning view of the Washington Monument against that bright blue sky with soft gray-purple clouds!
I also wanted to capture the Tidal Basin itself along with the beautiful train of Leah’s wedding gown.
Nathan shared, “We challenge each other by holding one another accountable to both our individual and collective goals, while at the same time acknowledging that patience and a shoulder to lean on are always needed to be successful.”
And here it is– the memorial trifecta– our final stop, the Lincoln Memorial…
While most of the wedding day is spent capturing candid moments, we do take time to photograph more traditional portraits as well. Here I wanted to bring in some of the architecture of the Jefferson Memorial as well…
Leah stated, “We were surrounded by so many people that mean so much to us. My bridesmaids are all absolutely incredible women and I am so fortunate to call them friends.”
Those flowers! Fantastic job, Bee Inspired Events! Stunning, ladies…
Such a dapper group of gentlemen!
The groomsmen look so fresh here…
Leah shared, “It’s hard to put into words just how much both sets of parents have done for us over the course of our lives and with respect to the wedding. We are so grateful to them.”
We captured so many family portraits on the wedding day– here is just one, Nathan and his parents.
Leah explained, “We actually have two dogs and a cat, but were only able to get one of our dogs, Gilligan, to DC for the wedding. While we were sad we weren’t able to have our entire family in DC for the wedding, it was great that Gilligan was able to be a part of the day.”
Leah said, “It meant so much to me that my grandmother was there with me on my wedding day and I felt so fortunate to be surrounded by so many people I love.”
I love this image of them holding hands…
The chairs were all set and the ceremony was ready to begin! I am absolutely in love with the architecture at the Carnegie and try to bring it into all of the photos as much as I can!
Here Leah and her father process down the stairs into the rotunda where everyone has gathered for the wedding ceremony…
Her father kissed Leah’s cheek and placed her hands in Nathan’s.
Leah shared, “My Uncle Peter served as our officiant. We are so thankful to him for serving in that role. He was so thoughtful and our ceremony was better than we could have imagined.
Leah continued, “I had so many favorite parts of our wedding day – holding Nathan’s hands during the ceremony was defiantly one of them.”
Leah explained, “We loved the idea of getting married in the rotunda and physically being surrounded by our loved ones while we said our vows.”
I love the expression on Nathan’s face here as she places the ring on his finger…
Following the ceremony they exited the large front door with celebratory cheers!
People were cheering inside as well– again, what an incredible venue!
Guests moved from the rotunda in the Carnegie Institution for Science to the boardroom where candles surrounded the fireplace.
Leah shared, “Bee Inspired Events did an incredible job with the flowers and wedding coordination. We were blown away by just how beautiful the flowers turned out!”
I totally agree with Leah! It was a pleasure to work with all of you!
Another ilovely cake by Custom Cake Design:
“We wanted a wedding that was classic and elegant, but that also was really personal to us. We displayed wedding pictures of our family members, named the tables after cities that are important to us, and created signature cocktails named after our pets.
Here is one of their table names– I love that they used maps of each location…
Leah continued, “Our band was also incredible. They played such fun songs and we had such a good time dancing!” The DC Transit Band really got the party started! I wanted to capture the colorful lights and instruments– love the brass!”
Announced for the first time in public as Mr & Mrs!
Wow that first dance! Here I wanted to capture the dramatic colors and contrast as well as the movement of her dress and the reflection, bringing in a little architecture as well…
The first speech was given by the parents of the bride…
Nathan shared, “My brother has always been someone who I trust to deliver the truth, without regard to how I may react to it. He’s always embodied the family values instilled in us by our parents, and I felt that he would be the best person to hold me accountable to Leah and my vows.”
I really wanted to capture something a little more abstract here, using the decor in the room and lighting from the band…
Nathan shared, “I’ll never forget the kind and encouraging words spoken by our closest family members and friends during dinner. I’ve never felt so truly at home as I did among all those who wholeheartedly support us and our marriage.”
The Hora has to be one of my favorite wedding traditions– the guests form a ring surrounding the bride and groom and hoist them up on chairs!
There is so much going on in this one image, so many guests, so much emotion, this is definitely one that looks better in full screen!
Haaaa! I absolutely love this shot and how joyful it is– Nathan’s dress-boots for the win!
A fairytale ending on a perfect day…
Nathan and Leah, thanks for choosing Rhinehart Photography to capture your wedding day! It was a pleasure to be by your side and watch as the day unfolded! I hope the photos are just as architecturally inspired and emotion-filled as you had hoped that that they truly capture the two of you as a couple in a very personal way. I am so excited to hear what you and your friends and family think! Please feel free to comment below or share on social media :).