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  • Welcome to my blog!

    Hello there-- I’ve been waiting for you!!! You know who you are and are true to yourself, you are a liver-of-life, a collector of moments, a person who appreciates great photography and its ability to press the pause button on life’s most incredible moments.

    You want a photographer who is able to handle all aspects of wedding photography with ease, capturing: candid, romantic emotion; flattering, beautiful portraits; breathtaking scenery & architecture; the joy and energy out on the dance floor and all those sweet wedding details that you have been working on for months in an artful, creative way.

    I have great news for you—I’ve got you covered!!!

    My work is creative & thoughtful. My goal is to share your unique love story. I get to know your interests & personalities in order to capture them forever in beautiful, personal, artful photographs that tell your story. I invest my time helping you become comfortable in front of my camera & find the most flattering lighting and angles for you and your surroundings.

    If this sounds good to you, and you’d like to reach out to me to find out more, please connect here.

Palace at Somerset Park Winter Wedding: Charolotte & Matt

A *real indoor snowstorm* was only one of the highlights of Charlotte and Matt’s incredible winter wedding at The Palace at Somerset Park…

Charlotte shared, “From the moment I saw your unique photography style, I immediately fell in love with your work.  The colors.. the contrast.. the way they portray so much emotion– I’ve never seen photos like yours before!”

Charlotte almost didn’t hire me, explaining, “I initially contracted with another company simply based on pricing. Throughout the engagement, I kept wondering if I had made a mistake. While their work was very affordable, I wasn’t going to be assigned a photographer until shortly before the wedding. What if I don’t like their work or our personalities don’t click? In contrast by hiring you, I’d know that you’d be the one personally shooting our day, and I already know that I love your photos. I initially contacted you inquiring about a wedding after session, but quickly realized I’d rather have you capture our day. Our wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I didn’t want to risk having photos I didn’t like or weren’t flattering. I would rather feel extremely confident that I would love our photos. And you did not disappoint! We loved working with you and Jim. I love that you went out of your way to really get to know Matt and I so that you could create exceptional photos that are personal and made to fit us. You’re so sweet and pleasant to be around that it felt like you were part of the bridal party, hanging out with us. We really enjoyed your company. Matt and I really trusted you to “do your thang” because: 1. We’ve never done this before, while you have shot a ton of weddings (and multiple weddings at our venue) and 2. (can’t stress this enough) we love your work and trust your process in being able to get these magnificent shots.”

Matt shared, “Yes, basically we wanted to know exactly who was going to be there on our wedding day taking photos of us. Someone who we could meet before the wedding and be comfortable working with. We loved your photos especially the personal touches on each photo. We loved how our engagement photos came out with you and how easy it was to work with you. This made us very relaxed and comfortable on our wedding day because we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about how the photos would be because we knew they would be great. We cannot wait to see them!”

Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story, guys!  Your experience is so unique and may help others who are making the same considerations… Charlotte is so much fun and an absolute joy to be around!  I love the contrast and emotion in this photo…

Charlotte shared, “I really wanted to have a winter-themed wedding, we love winter, and it’s actually when Matt proposed, too.  We chose cool colors for our winter wedding, purples and blues with gold accents to match the gold Chiavari chairs at the Palace. Our invitations were printed on shimmer cardstock with blues, purples, and soft white dots to symbolize snow.”

Usually, the first thing I do when I arrive is photograph the details.  I loved playing with the metallics and cool winter colors and incorporated Charlotte’s vows, invitations, streamers, and rings into her ring shot:

Charlotte smiled, “I loved my wedding dress! Especially the lace. My mom told me it reminds her of the embroidery style in the Philippines.”

I chose to use this dramatic lighting to show off the lace of Charlotte’s wedding gown– exquisite!

She continued, “I really wanted something that had off-shoulder sleeves. The dress that I got doesn’t normally have off-shoulder sleeves, but the bridal salon suggested adding sleeves to provide that look. I thought it went together so well!”

Charlotte explained, “My sister, Charlyn, is one of my best friends. I used to be her annoying little sister who she shared a room with and would cling onto her and her friends. As we grew older, we definitely started appreciating the fact that we have each other. I’m so glad that I was able to have her as my maid of honor. She helped calm me down whenever I was feeling overwhelmed about wedding planning and was at my side, ready to help throughout the wedding day.  I am grateful for her!”

Charlotte shared, “My mom, sister, and I are so close; we try to have weekly dinners whenever we can.’

She laughed, “It means so much to me that my mom loves Matt, too. Before we got engaged, she said that she wanted to adopt Matt so he could officially be her son!”

Charlotte smiled, “Right from the beginning, I knew we had something special. Being around him made me feel so safe and happy. I’ve never felt that way before but knew I wanted to feel that way forever. One thing that I like about Matt is that on the outside, he seems so stern and reserved, but he’s actually a goofball and a complete sweetheart. He makes jokes so often and makes funny side comments. It’s even funnier when he says them in a serious tone.”

I felt like this shot of Jim’s really captured the serious side of Matt well…

Jim is such an incredible photographer and I feel so lucky to have him on my team– check out his use of angles and light here, the gold pattern on the chair pulls in so well with the rest of their look and adds so much visual interest.

Charlotte explained, “We toured The Palace and I knew right away that this is where we were going to get married. Everything about it is so beautiful. We love the fireplace in the ballroom and were so excited that it would be the backdrop to our ceremony, as well as our sweetheart table. We really appreciated that The Palace had a generous-sized bridal suite, making it possible for all of the bridal prep to be onsite, while the guys had a room with a big-screen tv to hang out and chill before the wedding. We’ve only heard good things about The Palace. The staff, the food, and the Viennese hour!! All of it was amazing, and I couldn’t have imagined our wedding anywhere else.”

Charlotte smiled, “I wanted to find the perfect card to give Matt, and didn’t find it until the week before the wedding. I was just browsing on Amazon and saw a card with a cat on it. It was perfect! Matt loves cats, and the front of it said: “I kinda sorta like you.” Ten years ago, when I first told Matt that I liked him, I messaged him those exact words!”

Matt smiled, “I loved the front of the card it was perfect.”

Charlotte shared, “When I looked through the glass doors to see Matt waiting on the terrace, I remember thinking that he looked so handsome. It hit me that our wedding day was finally here, and I couldn’t wait to start celebrating our day together.”

I love to tell stories with my photography.  I wanted to incorporate Charlotte inside the Palace wearing her veil and fur in the dark surrounded by lux windows and draperies and show Matt waiting in the vibrant sunlight with the intense blue sky, pine tree and terrace detailing of The Palace.

Matt smiled, “When we did the first look outside, I remember waiting there with the sun right on me, looking towards the ground waiting to see Charlotte’s shadow as she walked towards me and touched my shoulder.”

Awww her smile– you can see the door she was peering out in the distance…

Charlotte recalled, “I looked at the forecast prior to our winter wedding and bought a faux fur shawl to help me keep warm during the day. Turns out, I didn’t need it at all. I didn’t feel cold the entire day. Maybe it was the excitement and adrenaline from our wedding day keeping me warm.  It was also so sunny on our wedding day!”

Charlotte shared, “Matt is so caring, loving, and is willing to do anything for me, even if it’s out of his comfort zone, if he knows it’ll make me happy, the sky is the limit.  No matter what kind of mood I’m in, he can always make me laugh.”

Matt shared, “It was amazing exploring the outside The Palace with Charlotte even though it was just a few minutes. We hadn’t seen each other since the morning beforehand, we had a lot of catching up to do.”

He got a little sentimental, “It feels like Charlotte and I have been a part of each other’s lives forever, and I can not imagine my life without her.”

Charlotte explained, “Matt’s ambition is admirable. When I first met him, I had the impression that he was a lazy high school kid. Which he was. Lol. But when he has something that he’s passionate about, he puts everything he has into it. He has this unexplainable drive to reach his goals, no matter how much effort is needed.”

Matt said, “I love Charlotte’s cheerful, positive attitude. She’s very ambitious and passionate about anything she cares about.”

I love playing with light to convey different emotions.  I like the intimate feel provided by the dark room and the way that the sunlight was just kissing the edge of Charlotte’s cheek and reflecting in her eyes.  You can tell that she feels so loved by him.”

Matt added, “Charlotte and I are best friends. We can get along and do anything together.”

Partners :).   Here you can see the happy couple among the evergreens with a little snow on the ground, the soft blue tones in the sky and one of the columns, too, in the foreground.  I like how the wind picked up Charlotte’s veil just at the right time as she walked.

While the majority of the wedding day is spent capturing candid moments– the preparations, the vows, the first dance, exploring the grounds together, etc… I make sure to capture a few traditional portraits as well…

And here is a totally not traditional portrait.  Charlotte and Matt talked and laughed as I shot through Martini glasses in the foreground.  They added some visual interest and I also played with my camera’s white balance, too bringing out the cooler tones that would really play up that wintery feel…

I love many aspects of working at the Palace and am proud to be a preferred vendor there.  One of those elements is the different lighting packages they offer.

I especially like to shoot in the east wing with their custom lighting set up, but even here, in the lobby, they usually have something going on.  I thought this purple played well in their color scheme.

One thing that I’m kind of known for is my editorial style bridal party shots.  I know how much Charlotte and Matt like the fireplace and like how it ties in that winter feel, especially with her “winter tree” decor flanking either side.  Looking good, everyone!

Matt shared, “All the wedding guests arrived and I stood by the fireplace waiting for Charlotte to come down the stairs. The string trio started playing Gabriel’s Oboe, the song she has been telling me she wanted to walk to that song on her wedding day even before we were engaged. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. There was so much anticipation and it felt so much more real and emotional to me compared to the first look.”

Here he wipes away his tears…

He continued.  “I was overwhelmed with emotion realizing that this was actually happening. I was actually going to be marrying my best friend in front of our friends and family.”

Matt explained, “Charlotte and I loved the view of the fireplace and the chandelier in the ballroom. We just thought how nice it was going to be in front of the fireplace as we got married.”

Here you can see the gold uplighting adding real warmth to the room.  Combine that with the light from the chandeliers, fireplace, and candles and there was such a glow.  I even caught the reflection of the main chandelier in the mirror above the fireplace!

I believe the ceremony lighting was provided by The Palace and the videographers.  I liked the crisp winter white and used that rather than using my own flash for this shot.

One of Matt’s best men was the wedding officiant.  He was able to make the ceremony personal and left them both grinning ear to ear…

I move around a lot on a wedding day.  It’s not uncommon for me to log 5 miles on my apple watch.  I’m constantly on the go.  Here I moved from being at the center aisle to get a bird’s eye view of the ceremony.

For me, it’s worth hustling to capture different perspectives of the day.  My goal as a wedding photographer is to transport people back to their wedding day and to capture as many elements as are possible.  I wanted to really show off the chandeliers and allow you to see the crackling fire in the fireplace in this shot…

I captured that last aerial shot and this intimate one as well, I told you I move around like a ninja on the wedding day!

I love the intimacy of this image Matt holds Charlotte’s hand to place on her wedding band.  You can see the subtle details of her dress sparkling…

Kiss the bride…

Here I used my white balance and flash to really play up the sunset.  I was going for drama and color and contrast and emotion, all those elements that drew Charlotte to my work, and really wanted to show off the embroidery of her dress as well:

Charlotte explained, “I really loved our centerpieces. I knew I wanted to have trees, and the candles hanging off it looked so beautiful. Definitely captured both winter and warmth.”

She continued, “The wedding cake was covered in white fondant and each tier had about an inch of sugar crystals along the bottom to appear like snow or ice.”

Such a challenging thing to catch, the couple making their entrance into the reception as the room is so large and people are really far apart…  I used a funky tilted angle and complimented that with a tilt-shift lens effect so that I could have both the couple and guests in focus and clearly visible in one frame– I love everyone’s expressions and how they pop in black and white:

*** Real snow on the dance floor, this was a first for me, for sure!!!***

Charlotte shared, “One of my favorite things about winter is how beautiful snow is, so I wanted to have snow during our first dance. I thought it would really make a statement and make our first dance look extra special.”

Mission accomplished on that one, Charlotte!

The wedding guests loved it!

Haaa Jim snagged this pic of me– snow in my hair and on my camera– such a cool (hehe) experience!!!

Father-daughter dance… I really wanted to play up the sparkle in the background, it felt elegant and wintery…

Charlotte laughed, “The best men’s speech was hilarious! I love how it started off as a roast for Matt, while also including the Scout Law since they all met in boy scouts, and gradually became more endearing. It started off with them saying there were two of them giving the speech because it takes two people to come up with nice things to say about Matt.”

Matt added, “Their speech also talked about how happy Charlotte has made me. How we have known each other and supported each other for so long, and how it’s like we are family.  We both really appreciated that.”

Charlotte smiles at the speech and unknowingly flashes her blink among the sparkling champagne flutes etc.

Charlotte noted, “The Palace used lavender-colored uplighting with warm colors on the chandeliers that really complimented out the overall look and feel.”

Here both are visible as the wedding guests dance the night away:

Charlotte added, “I’m also glad that my cousin Alyssa had fun! She was tearing up the dance floor, and people had a blast watching her dance.”

Charlotte smiled, “Lucas is the son of one of my bridesmaids, Julia, and also my godson. I met him five hours after he was born, and visited him every day for the first year of his life. I love him so much and am so happy he enjoyed himself at the wedding!”

So I captured a photo of this dude dancing, but really like this one because it focuses on the reactions from the guests… love his moves!

Matt shared, “One of my best men began yelling at me to “spin”. This reminded me of our high school days and his crazy personality. I knew he was going to be there the rest of the night telling me to spin on the floor until I actually tried it, so I did.”

Charlotte added, “What?!?!  I did not know Matt spun on the dance floor!!! ”

Yes he did and here is some proof… used a motion blur technique to make everyone as dizzy as Matt haha:

Jim was up on the balcony with Charlotte while I was down on the ground with the single ladies ;).

Charlotte explained, “The bouquet toss was so funny to watch from the balcony. I knew my sister really wanted to catch it and knew the majority of my friends wouldn’t want to.”

I was in a very crazy yoga-like position to get this shot.  I wanted to show the chandelier and get a good view of the bouquet and everyone’s expressions.  It really was a close one– a photo finish ;).

Charlotte smiled, “I thought for sure my sister was going to get it, but then comes my friend Reika out of nowhere who was so quick that she ended up with it. It’s okay though, I’ve known Reika’s boyfriend (Jeff) since he was 3 years old, and they’ve been dating for 10 years. Maybe they really will be the next ones to get married!”

It was a fight to the death, haha!

Charlotte shared, “I surprised Matt by hiring a live painter. I knew he would love it because he loves to have art decorating our walls.   Katherine Gressel is extremely talented, and the painting was so beautiful. I can’t wait to get the final painting!”

Charlotte explained, “Matt is Vegan and that is really important to him.  I really wanted to do something special for Matt and wanted to surprise him with a Vegan cake.  So I told him I would get him a vegan cupcake planning an all-out cake, but he was so disappointed!  He also really wanted to experience a cake tasting like I had at The Palace, ha!”

She went on, “So I told him that we would have a vegan cake tasting and cake at the wedding, but the design would be a surprise. I had it designed with a Super Mario theme. Matt loves everything and anything Nintendo; that way it’d be personalized and special.”

Matt added, “I loved the Vegan Mario Cake. I wasn’t expecting the cake to be a multi-tier Mario cake, it was a really great surprise.”

On a photographic level I need to say that Jim nailed this, Charlotte and Matt are perfectly exposed, you can see the chandelier and fireplace and uplighting as well as the Mario cake in perfect focus in the corner of the frame, and snapped at the exact moment that matt took a bite and charlotte stuck, out her tongue empathetically… that is tough to do, and he got it!

The flambe, it only lasts for a few seconds and is tough to capture and predict (as you have to guess how bright the flame will be and adjust camera settings accordingly or else your photo could be totally black totally white, etc).    It was also important to me that I got the moment of the kiss and be close enough to nail the shot but not get burned and to be at an angle and use lighting would be flattering to the couple.  I really did my best guess to imagine how bright and where exactly the flame would be and am super pleased with the results… you can even see the bananas browning in the foreground…

These two were troopers in the cold and it was cold– the ground was frozen, I know because I sat on it to get this shot haha!

Partway through trying to capture this image I started questioning my sanity, haha!

My hands were so cold that pushing the multitude of buttons needed to pull off this shot was really feeling impossible.  And while I was on the frozen ground pushing the buttons with pointer finger and thumb and trying my best to hold my heavy camera with the other three fingers on my right hand I was trying to hold my cell phone at just the right angle with my left hand to reflect only the top of the building in a symmetrical way.

Jim came over and was like, do you need my help?  I was like– um yeah…

I hope you guys like it!

Charlotte and Matt, thank you so much for trusting me enough to hire me after you already had a different wedding photographer!  I think you guys will probably have the biggest non-buyers remorse story every and thank you for sharing it with me and spending your wedding day with me by your side.  I had a blast!

If you’d like to see more of Charlotte and Matt, check out their boardwalk engagement session here.

Vendors 

 

DC Wedding Photographers: Katie & Zac at the Carnegie

A classic winter wedding at The Carnegie Institution for Science and the National Mall in Washington DC with a southern twist…

Katie & Zac shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because we wanted photographers who would work well indoors and outdoors, authentically capture emotion, & execute a variety of shots and styles with unique perspectives and angles. We are so pleased with our beautiful engagement photos— Lisa highlighted bold fall colors at the Capitol as well as the architecture of DC that we love so much. We also used one for our Save-the-Date and enjoy looking at our engagement album.”

They continued, “Rhinehart Photography came highly recommended by the staff at Carnegie, and it was great that they were already familiar with the location. We enjoyed working with Lisa and her team so much on our wedding day. Lisa was such a calming force, who kept us on time and organized. She was literally part of the family by the end of the night.  We & our parents even hugged her and thanked her for her professionalism, warmth and help throughout the day!”

They concluded, “Gosh, the wedding day goes by so fast!! We hope that our photos capture all of the moments, both big and small, that occurred throughout our wedding day. We know there are so many moments that we weren’t able to see, so we’re looking forward to different perspectives and some surprises too! We can’t wait to see the photos and share with our family and friends.”

Thank you so much for your kind words!  Here is one of those tricky indoor shots that captures emotion while showing a unique perspective of the architecture:

If couples are interested, I ask them to gather a few items that are sentimental or aesthetically complement their wedding to give me some personalized, inspirational pieces to work with for the detail photos.  Katie had several items for me, that are visible in this photograph, including her fur:

There were also plenty of homages to Katie’s upbringing in New Orleans too, including magnolia leaves in her bouquet, the centerpieces as well as garlands throughout Carnegie.  Here I incorporating a magnolia leaf into the photograph of their wedding rings:

Katie explained, “My feathered Something Bleu wedding shoes were such a fun statement piece! With my dress being seemingly simple in the front, I loved having such a flirty accent.”

Zac shared, “We used a letterpress store from Katie’s hometown of New Orleans for our invitations and thank you notes. She has admired their work for years and owns several of their other paper products. The Scriptura designers were so easy to work with, even from afar.”

Katie added, “They were happy to bring some of our ideas like the DC map liner to life. As I love all things paper-related, this was a highlight of the wedding planning things. I have an eye for details, like down to the vintage DC stamps used on the invitations.”

Katie shared, “We went with navy velvet fabric to add some texture and warmth, along with winter white flowers accented with blue thistle.”

Zac explained, “It was really meaningful for Katie to use her family’s ring as my wedding band. The band has been used by two generations of her family. About a year prior to the wedding, Katie’s dad, Mike, passed unexpectedly. Both he and his father had used this ring as their wedding bands. Inscribed inside are their initials, along with Katie’s grandmother’s and mom’s names, and their wedding dates. Mike was so excited for our wedding and had traveled to DC tour wedding venues with us. We enjoyed knowing that he was there in spirit to celebrate with us during this huge moment.”

Katie shared, “I can’t say enough about how beautiful my Allison Webb dress was! Webb is a newer designer hailing from the South, and she previously worked for the wedding line at J.Crew, one of my go-to brands.”

Katie continued, “Allison Webb’s Kingsland gown was so unique with a beautiful asymmetric bow that added to the structure of the dress. It provided a classic, timeless look that had modern elements like the low back and the bow. The dress worked amazingly well with the venue and the monumental architecture on the Mall.”

Here Katie’s sister’s face is silhouetted as she and Katie’s mom and bridesmaid help with the stunning bow detail…

Katie smiled, “My mom is my best friend.  I typically talk with her multiple times a day. She’s an endless source of love, strength, and calmness, which was particularly important as she and I tackled most of the wedding planning. I joke with her being retired that she should enter a second career as a wedding coordinator as she did a great job!”

Here she puts the finishing touches on Katie’s gown:

Katie shared, “I was so glad to have my sister there as my Matron of Honor. She and her family were in the midst of moving back to the States from abroad, but it meant the world to have everyone there.”

To me, there is an element of symmetry here, like a reflection in the mirror…

And an actual reflection in the mirror 🙂

Wow, Katie– that smile!

She’s right that bow pairs perfectly with the architecture!

She’s ready for the first look…

Katie laughed, “It is still so wild to say that Zac is my husband! It was hard not to fall for Zac, he is one of the funniest, most confident and easy-going people I know.”

There was one tree handing on to its fall leaves, my second photographer, Jim found it… such a handsome groom, and he’s all ready for his first look!

Zac shared, “At our first look, I was stunned at how Katie could be even more beautiful than she usually is. The moment took my breath away. We can’t wait to see how these photos turned out!”

Zac smiled, “I love to make Katie laugh, that makes me very happy. With her in school and me living in various cities due to work over the past 5 years, it was always a good thing to have someone you can feel comfortable with and laugh with, even at the stupid things. We’ve shared a small space for some time now, and being able to enjoy each other’s company and laugh at and with each other has been the best.”

I love to play with dramatic light.  Not just because it brings out the vibrant colors, but because, like in this care you get really high-contrast images with rich shadows and highlights.  Here I framed Zac against the white and Katie against the black so they’d pop:

Zac shared, “I’m extremely proud of Katie. She got her MBA (at Georgetown no less) while working full-time for three years, and she was able to come out on the other side. She is very intelligent, hard-working, beautiful, and fun to be around.  I am a lucky man.”

They explained, “For our wedding, we wanted an intimate but formal, timeless and elegant feel. From our first tour, we knew Carnegie – which is in our neighboorhood & a place we pass frequently – was the right location for both our ceremony and reception. The beautiful exterior architecture proved perfect for our first look!”

Katie added, “The entire bridal party lives or have lived in DC; many of us for over a decade, so incorporating the Mall into our photos was a no-brainer.  It’s not only an iconic background filled with beautiful architecture, but it’s also part of the fabric of our city and home.”

She went on, “We’ve all spent time on the Mall from watching fireworks to battling crowds during the cherry-blossom season to running and biking on weekends.”

The iconic Washington Monument stands tall against the vibrant blue sky.  Look at all these bundled up beauties…

Zac added, “Pictures on the Mall with our crew was a fun, memorable highlight of the day!”

Yes, that’s the Lincoln in the background:

Katie shared, “One of our best ideas was having a dear friend on hand who was willing to clear tourists from the background of our photos!  So many people there were excited to see us and congratulate us and accommodate us by moving a few paces to the left or right, it was sweet.”

I used a tilt-shift effect to bring the bridal party as well as the monument (roughly 1 mile away) in sharp focus…

Those columns against the blue sky though…

While I spend most of the day capturing natural moments, I do make sure to get a few “smile and look at the camera” photos, too ;).

This one happens to feature the Lincoln and Washington Memorials:

Taking some time to smell the roses ;).  I love shadow play!

Zac reflected, “Katie is affectionate, curious, and loving. She is cautiously adventurous, very cautious, yet can be a willing co-conspirator at times. She takes her time to enjoy the good things and takes her time to do just about everything, but the relaxed pace leaves time for real love and reflection.”

Katie shared, “Zac is incredibly handsome, as well as adventurous and a rule-breaker at heart, which challenges me and my rule-loving ways. He is a great chef, which comes in handy as I’ve burnt things in the Crockpot. I look forward to continually pushing each other out of our comfort zones to explore, travel and enjoy everything life has to offer.”

Katie shared, “We were so pleased with our flowers, and the lanterns + magnolia leaves both outside Carnegie, on the stairs and fireplace!  They were stunning and complimented the space perfectly, adding that New Orleans touch.”

Zac shared, “Prior to the ceremony we signed our beautiful Ketubah from Israel. It is a Jewish marriage contract that outlines the responsibilities of the groom and bride to each other.”

He continued, “We chose to have a childhood friend and family friend read the English and Hebrew versions of the Ketubah during the ceremony. Having that as a central part of the ceremony reinforced the importance and seriousness of our choice to enter into our marriage.”

Katie shared, “We limited kids at the wedding to our family (two nieces and one nephew) and twin sons of a bridesmaid. It was just the right amount, and they loved being part of the big day. The twins kept saying that Katie looked like Elsa from Frozen. They all had a blast and stole the show at many points throughout the night!”

Katie shared, “As I entered the rotunda from upstairs, I had the perfect balcony view of the entire bridal party procession and guests prior to walking down the aisle. It was such a heart-warming moment to see the rotunda full of people we love. The spiral staircase provided a dramatic and picturesque bridal entrance. And that was one of my favorite parts of the day.”

Here comes the bride:

He looked at Katie and quickly looked away with this expression, how sweet:

Zac shared, “We wanted elements of our Catholic and Jewish faiths woven into our ceremony, while also having a highly personalized and meaningful ceremony. It turned out really beautiful with the help of our dear friends, a married couple who Katie met in undergrad at Catholic University, as our officiants.”

She added, “They compliment each other amazingly well, plus theirs was the first wedding Zac and I went to as a couple! All of our wedding guests seemed to comment on what a great job our officiants did (it was surprisingly their first time!) and how moving the ceremony was.”

While Jim captured the more traditional photo shown above, I captured the image below.

I’m always looking for a unique angle or vantage point to tell the story or capture the beauty of the setting.

I tend to move around a lot on a wedding day. It is not unusual for me to log 5 miles on a wedding day, like I did at this one :).

Here is a much lower perspective I captured, as I wanted to capture the reflection off the marble floor, yet still show the detailing above the door…

Awww this little flower girl was so sweet… just wait until you see her at the reception though, this is just a power nap!

Katie smiled, “While so emotionally overwhelmed with the importance of the day and culmination of a year plus of planning, being literally surrounded by all of our friends and family – with Zac smiling ahead – was like something out of a movie.”

At the end of the ceremony, Zac broke a glass crushing it with his foot as guests shouted “Mazel Tov!” (Hebrew for congratulations).

I like how his foot is poised and his gold wedding band is glistening…

While I have a more traditional capture of this as well, I used a motion blur technique on this one to give it that soft, swept away feeling…

Gold pine cones as place card holders, so sweet and wintery…

The gold uplighting and table cloths along with navy linens and winter white flowers hit the perfect note:

They were all smiles during the first dance!

While Jim captured the moment above I was working on the full scene and playing up that beautiful reflection:

Sealed with a kiss…

I played with the champagne bubbles during the best man’s toast:

The speeches were definitely enjoyed by all:

How sweet it is:

The hora:

Don’t fall, Zac:

Guests hit the dance floor like:

She’s awake!  Good thing she took that power-nap 😉

Zac shared, “I lived in a group house with the best man’s wife, also named Katie. I became good friends with both of them and they both happened to be there the night “my Katie” and I met over 5 years ago. When all four of us lived in D.C. at the same time, we would spend most of our weekends together hanging out.”

Here is a candid shot of the best man and his wife, Katie:

Katie shared, “My mom came up with the rainbow tambourine ideas from a family friend’s wedding in New Orleans. As you can imagine NOLA people really know how to throw a good party!”

Katie continued, “The tambourines along with the Mardi Gras masks from my bachelorette and the sparklers were quite a hit! They also made for great photos. Laissez les bon temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll) 😉

Katie shared, “The boardroom is so uniquely DC with the grand fireplace, portraits, and wood-paneling. I love how it looks like we’re at someone’s grand, historic home.”

As a preferred vendor at the Carnegie, I photograph a few weddings there each year and one thing I love to do is to challenge myself to find a new spot or photograph it in a different way.

While photographing a couple in front of the fire place is something I have done before, I belive this is the first time I’ve specifically shown off the beautiful detailing at the top of the columns on the rotunda:

Here is the same space but I used completely different lighting and a totally unique perspective!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Katie and Zac, thank you for inviting me to be part of your special day and introducing me to your friends and family!  I hope these photos are just the sort of creative, authentic, architectural images that you were hoping for!  If you’d like to see more of Katie and Zac, check out their engagement photos, here.

Wedding Vendors: 

  • Bridal Store: Jennifer’s Bridal I loved working with the staff at Jennifer’s Bridal. They were so hospitable to accommodate me for a last-minute, weekend appointment to try on dresses while up visiting Zac’s family. They went above and beyond to call the designer, see if they could get a sample dress sent down from NYC overnight in a particular fabric, and worked with me to get a dress within my price range. I’ll be forever grateful!
  • Dress Designer: Allison Webb
  • Venue: The Carnegie Institution for Science
  • Catering: Susan Gage Caterers
  • Invitations: Scriptura
  • Makeup: Beyond the Veil
  • DJ & Lighting: DJ Cuban with Entertainment Exchange
  • Tuxedo: Generation Tux
  • Flowers: Growing Wild Working with Barbara, the owner of Growing Wild, was a great experience. She graciously invited us my mom, future mother-in-law and me to her farm in Virginia to tour her workshop, see containers and view her past work. We were so pleased with our flowers, and the lanterns + magnolia leaves both outside Carnegie, on the stairs and fireplace were stunning and complimented the space perfectly.

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!

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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