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    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.

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    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.

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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!

Omni Bedford Springs Wedding Photographers: Andrea & Ross

A 1969 Camaro, surprise dance with dad, adorable labradoodle & stunning historic wedding venue… You won’t want to miss Andrea and Ross’ dream wedding at the Omni in Bedford Springs:

Andrea shared, “We chose to work with Lisa because she has a beautiful portfolio, is highly rated and is very familiar with our wedding venue, Omni Bedford Springs Resort.  She is creative and always ready to take on a challenge and is willing to do anything to get “the shot.”

She clarified, “In our first meeting with Lisa, we talked about Ross’s dad’s vintage car and how we were hoping to have it on the wedding day. Immediately she had the idea of us driving in the car while she was overhead on a bridge to get a beautiful aerial shot of us, with the veil blowing in the wind. We are super excited that we got to do that shot and can’t wait to see how it turned out!”

I LOVE how it turned out!!!  I was able to capture the motion of the car from such a unique angle, Andrea’s veil was even blowing in the breeze!!!   I used a classic black and white look to compliment the vintage car and really make it pop, I love how you can see the make and model clearly, while the roadside is a blur, then those dark tire tracks, too!

Andrea explained, “The overall feel we wanted to have for the wedding was elegant yet casual. We wanted it to be elegant and rustic to reflect the resort features, gold was one of our colors because it complemented the Bedford ballroom and venue so well.”

The invitations really brought in the delicate white detailing of the venue and the gold color so well, looking very elegant, yet having that natural casual vibe of the Omni, too, hitting the perfect note!  I photographed them by the gold curtains and white window detail to really drive those elements home…

Andrea smiled, “My bridesmaids are all people that I love and are super special to me. I wanted them to feel beautiful and like themselves, which is why I let them pick their own dress for the wedding – both in terms of style and type of blush pink color. It was really important for me for them to feel comfortable and beautiful that day and be excited to put on their dress in the morning.”

The mother of the bride and groom chose jewel-toned dresses that complimented the color palette as well and were hung alongside the bridesmaids’ gowns, I used a tilt-shift effect and highlighted the fireplace and a few light fixtures and other elements that make Omni Bedford Springs such a unique venue…

Getting ready with her mom and maid of honor…

Andrea, you are stunning!!

Andrea shared, “I’m happy I let my bridesmaids choose their own gowns, we were all so comfortable and I feel like the look turned out to be cohesive even though it highlighted the individual personalities of each bridesmaid.”

Awww, squad goals ;).  I wanted to show off the beautiful white gingerbread details of all the balconies at the Omni as well as the back of Andrea’s bestie’s dresses and her veil, so sweet!

Andrea shared, “My dad and I watched “Say Yes to the Dress” together since I was twelve, so when I got engaged we knew we had to go to Kleinfeld’s in New York City. He came to every single bridal appointment and fitting, so he knew exactly what I was going to look like, which is why I thought our first look would be easy.”

But when he walked into the room for the first time we both got so emotional and I realized it had nothing to do with “looking like the bride” but seeing me as a grown woman about to get married! It was a very special moment that I will always cherish.

Andrea explained, “We always say that even though I look 100% like my mom, I got all my dad’s personality.  We are very close.”

Ross shared, “I spent the wedding morning with Andrea’s father and brother.  Her dad wanted to help me to relax and prepare for the wedding and have some time together, so he surprised me to a spa treatment at the resort!”

He’s back from his treatment and ready to get dressed.  Jim was my second photographer for this wedding, and I love how he caught the reflections and cool rainbow light here…

Ross explained, “It was great having my mom there to help me get ready because as a kid I remember she would always help me to get ready and would make  sure I looked my best, so it was nice to be able to share at that moment with her.”

I also love the color and quality storytelling going on here as Ross’s mom dresses the ring bearer and Andrea & Ross’ pup relaxes when the men finish dressing…

Ross shared, “Having each groomsman helped with keeping my nerves calm as they were able to keep the atmosphere light and fun, all while making sure that we stayed on time for the ceremony.”

He continued, “I really wouldn’t have been able to keep it together if it wasn’t for having all of them by my side.”

Guests arrived and began filing into the grand Constitution Hall.

Andrea shared, “We were originally supposed to have our ceremony at the Wedding Grotto, a beautiful waterfall spot in the forest. However, that wedding morning was full of thunderstorms with no chance of having an outdoor ceremony.   Even though it was our Plan B, it was beautiful.”

She continued, “My favorite part of the wedding day was finally getting to walk down the aisle. I had both my parents on my arms and when the doors opened and the Pastor said “All rise”, I literally had goosebumps. I could’ve passed out from excitement right then and there!!”

She went on, “I walked with both my parents down the aisle to the song that was their wedding song (Can’t Help Falling in Love), which made it even more special. Seeing Ross and knowing that it was time to become his wife and join our lives forever was so tremendously joyous and was definitely my favorite part.”

Andrea smiled, “Seeing Ross as I walked down the aisle is a memory I will cherish forever.  All I could see was him and everything else melted away. I could feel with all my heart how happy and right this all felt and I couldn’t wait to get up there to become his wife!”

Ross shared, “So before seeing Andrea I thought I was doing a good job of keeping my cool… but the moment I saw her walking toward me and with her parents I lost all control of my emotions and what you saw was a stunned man seeing the most beautiful thing walking his way. Love, joy, excitement– I felt like I was in Heaven.  At that moment, things had never felt more right and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and what I  was about to marry my best friend.”

OMG, the LOVE in his eyes, his face says it all…

Ross smiled, “We are scientists and understand the laws of physics well, the law of attraction definitely applies to us, haha.  I am the calm to her apprehensive, she is the city to my country, I am the risk-taker to her caution, and she is the inspiration to my courage.”

He continued, “I always say that our best work is when we work together and whether it’s in the lab or in the kitchen together we make some pretty awesome masterpieces. Another masterpiece, her smile, she can light up any room with her smile!”

I do, me too…

Man and wife!  I have a few more traditional shots of this, but for me, the tilt gives it that sort of fun loopy head-over-heels feel, plus the patterned wall and carpet feel celebratory, like confetti and the guests gown gives that pop of excitement from the wedding guests, too and balances out the photograph…

Ross shared, “The champagne toast was something on the spot that I came up with. It was just from the heart and really just wanted to let everyone know how thankful we were for them to be there for us and be a part of our special day before we exited the room as husband and wife.”

Ross shared, “It was great having Cooper, our puppy (literally 9 months old at the time), with us as he brought so much joy and happiness to all the guest who finally got to meet him after seeing so many pictures. Not to mention he was a little angel the entire time and was even at the wedding ceremony, so being able to have him with us on our special day meant everything.”

Ross shared, “It was such a treat getting to know Andreas family better. They are some of the best people I have ever met and the most genuine and loving. Andrea possesses many of the same admirable traits that you can see in her family members.  It totally makes sense who Andrea is when you get to know her family.”

Ross shared, “We went to Bedford Springs to celebrate New Year’s Eve in 2017 as it came highly recommended by friends. When we stepped on the grounds, we knew it was special as it was able to capture the beauty of the mountains with the elegance of the resort itself. I turned to Andrea and said “we have to get married here” – we weren’t even engaged yet!”

Andrea stated, “The main building of Omni Bedford Springs is stunning. I could not wait to get pictures of those beautiful columns and fountain in the front! It feels grand as soon as you pull in from the driveway.”  I used a tilt-shift technique to bring sharp focus to the group and fountain and almost to make it feel like they were miniatures, to give a sense for the grandness of the building…

Ross explained, “I was excited to have our guests from all over the world come and experience the history that Bedford has and the beauty of the grounds. Our wedding took place over three days and it was magical to have each event in a different location in Bedford Springs that gave each event its own feel and vibe.”

Awww how excited are they???

Ross smiled, “As for the incorporation of the 1967 Camaro, we have always been a classic car family. Some of my first memories are getting into a Camaro with my farther and going for a drive on a beautiful Sunday evening.”

He went on, “My parents also drove away from their own wedding in a 1969 Camaro on September 1st, which as you can imagine only made the experience more magical!”

He continued, “A lot of my childhood revolved around going to classic car shows or helping my dad in the garage and these moments have really been special to me as it helped to forge the bond and relationship that I have with my family.”

He went on, “The first moment I was at Bedford, I always had this image of incorporating the Camaro into the wedding as it represents my family and since our family would be growing with the addition of Andrea and her family we needed to capture this magical moment with the Camaro.”

Andrea and Ross visited their “almost ceremony spot…

She explained, “Though there were thunderstorms earlier, after the ceremony it cleared up and Ross and I were able to visit the ceremony spot and have some pictures there. I think it actually worked out for the best…”

She went on, “In the end, it gave us a much more intimate ceremony indoors while also giving Ross and I our own time at the waterfall that was so important to us. I thought I would be so disappointed that we had to get married inside but it really was so beautiful and gave Ross and I our own special spot to go to later in the day.”

If you look closely you can see the waterfall in the background…

Ross shared, “Not only is Andrea the most intelligent woman I have ever met, but she is stunning and breathtaking in every aspect.”

He continued, “I mean I can still remember the first time I met her.  It was special because for the first time I had connected with someone so easily and it was like we had known each other for years. From the beginning, we were destined to be together “soul-mates.” I love how she is down to earth, funny, passionate, and overall my better half/best friend.”

Andrea shared, “Describing all the things that make Ross special would take me 1000 years. He is truly the most genuine and trustworthy person, handles every challenge with ease with his calm personality, and most special, he is such a thoughtful person. I can honestly say that he literally knows me better than I know me!”

Ross explained, “A real highlight of our wedding day for me was being able to have a “getaway car” and that time alone.  It was a lot of fun because not only did it allow us to rest and get some incredible photographs, but it also was a lot of fun to rev the engine in front of friends, family, and guests at the resort.”

Ross added, introspectively, “I also felt it was important to use the Camaro in our wedding as it sorta represents our relationship. Both of us being long distance, always having to travel to see one another, and now we get to travel together as one, a “Reid” to whatever future destination awaits us!”

Andrea explained, “Theresa from Everitt Florist deserves a shout out for really helping us capture our vision for the head table and everything while still keeping us to our budget. Also, she was so helpful in coming up with the centerpieces, even in terms of non-floral decor. She helped us so much!!”

I love the dandle lit gold and green look and long banquet tables…

Ross explained, “Andrea’s brother Nicholas, gifted us with “a dance on the clouds”  because he wanted our first dance to be magical.  Andra and I both loved it!”

He’s the second groomsmen in from the left and he looks really pleased, I love to shoot in layers, here you see the clouds in the foreground, the bride and groom frozen in a spin and many of the key players in the background as well as the lovely Collonade Ballroom:

I love to play with different visual elements throughout the wedding day and the toasts are no exception– here I used candles and champagne bubbles in the foreground to add visual interest– nope, it’s not photographed, I captured it in camera!

Ross shared, My brother’s speech was unforgettable– it was was very genuine, touching, and completely created on the spot. Usually, he is very quiet and keeps his emotions tucked away, so leading up to his speech I really wasn’t sure what to expect….”

He went on, “He shared a story about how he always looked out for me as a big brother growing up and made sure he had my back, and after meeting Andrea and seeing how she had his back that one night at the casino and this was the moment that he knew she would have my back and look out for me as he always has done. That alone was emotional for me and had me tearing up…”

I played a lot with the light here, playing up the vibrancy of the walls and mysterious lead into his brother’s speech…

He continued, “… but what really got all of us emotional was when he mentioned my grandmother and how Andrea’s grandmother reminded us of her.  That was the moment I became flooded with all sorts of emotions. First, it brought up emotions from my grandmothers recent passing, but at the same time I was happy that he was able to connect and relate to Andrea’s grandmother and all of Andrea’s family and experienced a little of the depth that I have experienced with her family over the past few years.”

He summarized, “For me, this moment was magical, because it just goes to show you how people and families thousands of miles apart can relate and feel connected through their love and relationships with one another.”

Ross shared, “One particular detail is woven throughout the evening, that was actually a nod to my grandmother, who we were hoping would make the wedding, but passed only a few months prior were blush colored roses.  It was my grandmother’s favorite color for a rose. It was very special to us, as it helped to make it feel as if she was there.”

Let them eat cake– sometimes it’s the little things…

Andrea explained, “Our personalities compliment each other perfectly. We bring out the best in each other and challenge each other to grow and succeed. We are each other’s #1 fans and I feel so supported in all aspects of life- whether it is applying for jobs, trying a new hobby, or just about anything, I know he believes in me and helps me to achieve my dreams.”

How sweet it is… I love the symmetry of this shot:

Ross shared, “What isn’t there to love about, Andrea? As my mom mentioned in her toast, from the moment I first met Andrea she was the “BnB” of them all “Brains n Beauty” that is a tough combination to find, and even harder to find in a person that you instantly click with…”

Ross’ dance with his mother, she is so beautiful inside and out:

Andrea smiled, “My dad called me a couple months before the wedding and asked, “Do you want to do a serious dance, or do you want to shake it up a bit?” I asked what he had in mind and within minutes I had a flurry of youtube videos of father-daughter dances with a twist. My dad is NOT a man that would openly dance at a party, never mind a full-on choreographed dance!!!!”

She laughed, “It was difficult to plan it as I was living in Birmingham AL and he was in Toronto, Canada. So I filmed the dance routine with Ross dancing dad’s part and sent it to him so he could practice in Canada. Then we met up in New York City for my final dress fitting, we practiced for the first time in real life in the hotel room with just 2 feet of dancing room (we both got bruises from accidentally bumping into furniture).”

She concluded, “We were so excited to perform it on the wedding day as we surprised everyone and no one could believe that we had it organized it! It was so fun and is one of my favorite highlights of the wedding.”  Ross looks equally thrilled:

If you like than you shoulda put a ring on it– all the single ladies put their hands up… 😉

The party lights on the dance floor were a lot of fun, I really like working with DJ Tony, from Soundwaves Entertainment, and so did Andrea and Ross…

They shared, “DJ Tony had a great personality and went out of his way to make sure that we were comfortable and was such a professional.  He really took the pressure off of us and everyone had a lot of fun, the dance floor was packed!”

Haaa, Andrea’s brother doing the worm…

Ross shared, “Looking ahead I am so excited about our journey together. For years we had to plan visits on when to see one another and always had to end our trips with a  goodbye, but now being married we no longer have to worry about that. I know moving forward she will have my back and I hers and together we will be able to achieve anything.”

He continued, “I am most excited to see what awaits us in the future, because up to this moment my life with Andrea has been the best years yet of my life and I can only imagine what else is in store for us!”

Ross smiled, “The entire day was surreal to be honest, from the moment I first saw Andrea walking down the aisle to the sparkler send-off.   I wouldn’t want to change anything about it. It couldn’t have been any better.”

He continued, “I remember thinking, we did it.. we finally did it.” After months of planning and all the years being long distance, everything about the day couldn’t have been any more magical.  I finally married my soul mate.  All of it was just incredible.”

Wedding Vendors:

If you would like to see more of Andrea and Ross, check out their super-fun engagement session in the chemistry lab, just click here!

If you’d like to see more weddings from the Omni in Bedford Springs, click here.

Shenandoah Wedding Photographers: Kelsey & Michael

An unbelievable autumn hike in Shenandoah at sunset with this super sweet couple…

Kelsey shared, “I first worked with Lisa when I was the Maid of Honor at my friend, Sarah’s wedding. I knew then, if I got married one day, I wanted Lisa to be my photographer. Lisa has such a calming yet fun personality, she was so easy to work with and made the day stress free. I was impressed watching her set up shots and was also impressed by her photos of the unplanned moments.”

She continued, “Ever since Sarah’s engagement photos,  I have followed Rhinehart Photography on social media and been infatuated with all her pictures.  Her photos have a unique, creative feel and she really captures the couple’s personality in her photos. I’m so excited to see ours!”

Mike added, “I was impressed with Lisa’s photos from day one. The detail and overall quality was awesome– far superior to the work I had seen from other photographers. I was also amazed where she was willing to travel for our engagement photos and was very happy with the process. The experience was relaxed and a lot of fun.”

Awwww thanks, guys!  It was such a treat to go on this adventure with you :).  Yes, I’m super excited for you to see these and hope they captured the moments and scenery in the creative, high-quality way you would like, and totally agree, you both look super relaxed in these photographs…

Mike explained, “We love the outdoors and visiting national parks, so when Lisa suggested Shenandoah National Park to take our engagement pictures it was a no brainer. It provided beautiful scenery and gave us a chance to visit another national park we hadn’t been to.  The scenery was incredible.”

Mike shared, “Kelsey is beautiful, smart, funny, kind, and everything else good you could possibly hope to find in another person. She makes me laugh, keeps me relaxed, and makes everything in life better. We’ve been together for almost three years now and I don’t know how I ever lived without her.”

I used a macro lens as I wanted an intimate view of this moment, and to have the ring be in sharp focus, the sunlight streaming in the frame and Kelsey’s gorgeous smile and the icing on the cake for sure…

Kelsey explained, “We told Lisa we loved hiking and had been to a few National Parks and was thrilled to hear that not only was she willing to travel to Shenandoah, but was the one to suggest it!  It was great because Mike and I were able to make a weekend trip of it, which was a lot of fun!”

She laughed, “We noticed this rest stop with amazing fall colors, and no cell phone service.  That didn’t stop Lisa, she was totally game and even was able to follow a map that I texted her a photo of the day before.  I can’t believe all of the incredible places we were able to fit into our shoot!”

I love to play with light and color and had so many opportunities for fun!  Here the setting sun was shining right on them, giving a warm light to them and parts of the trees behind them.  Other parts were in dark shadow, that combined with the lines of the branches created such an interesting contrast in this photograph:

Kelsey smiled, “Both Mike and I are camera shy, neither of us like being the center of attention, so especially I was nervous about it.  At one point, Lisa said just play around and love on each other. Mike could tell in my face I had no idea what to do, so he jumped to action saying:  ‘let’s do couple push-ups!’

She laughed, “I had no idea what he was talking about. When he showed me, he had me cracking up and that was when I started to feel a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. This is pretty much our life every day. He always makes me feel so much better when I’m worried or stressed.”

What a great guy and beautiful laugh, look at that color!

Mike reminisced, “Our first date was a Sunday night. I picked her up at her apartment and took her to the Pike Cafe for drinks. I knew from the first date that she was “the one.”  She is incredibly beautiful, has an amazing personality, drinks Yuengling and liked Chris Stapleton.”  He was hooked 🙂

He only has eyes for her…  look closely and you’ll see Kelsey reflected in Mike’s glasses:

Everywhere we turned, we experienced a rainbow of color– here the purple of the distant mountains, blue of the sky, greens and yellows of the grass, oranges, and reds sprinkled throughout the treetops…

Kelsey shared, “Lisa suggested sunset pictures and helped us to time the start of the hike just right to make sure we were at the summit right at sunset.  It was a perfect night for it. The sun was beautiful to watch going down over the mountain. We are so grateful that Lisa was able to fit so much into our time with her and was willing to take such an adventure with us! She has a great personality, which made it a fun and relaxing experience as well. Overall we had an amazing engagement photoshoot experience!”

Kelsey shared, “Mike and I first met at the hospital we both work at.   We would see each other in passing in the cafeteria or halls or would talk on the phone but we never really knew each other. A couple years after I started working there, a cardiology nurse practitioner set us up. I first met her rounding with her during my residency. Mike knew her because he works with her in the Lab.”

She went on, “She gave my number to Mike and in the end proved that she is a great matchmaker!  We jokingly tell our single friends in the hospital they need to get Brenda to set them up with someone. It worked for us!”

More play with shadows color and lines, I thought it illustrated the “blind date-ish” set-up situation well…

Kelsey shared, “The overall feel we were going for with our engagement shoot was a natural, outdoorsy, casual feel. We wanted to do something that showed our personalities and interests. We love to travel, the outdoors, and hiking. These interests were all captured in our fall shoot in Shenandoah National Park. I also liked Lisa’s idea to incorporate the sunset into the shoot because it gives some of the pictures a more romantic feel.”

That sunset though…

Kelsey shared, “I think Mike and I hit it off from the start because we have very similar laid back personalities and have similar interests.  I love the way Mike supports me and helps me to relax.  He knows how to make me laugh which is pretty much guaranteed to make me feel better.”

The red forest foliage was illuminated by the setting sun, and those mountains– wow!!  This definitely feels supportive to me:

Yes, this is our final destination, we took Stony Man Trail to  Stony Man Summit. The views were amazing.

Haaa Mike’s “couple push-ups” still makes me smile, I’ll have to use that one, guys!

Kelsey & Mike, thank you for inviting me to come along on this adventure with you and for sharing your story with me!  Kelsey, I’m so thankful that you remembered me from Sarah’s wedding *almost five years ago* and have been following my work even before you met Mike!  I hope these are just as emotional, creative and as much fun as I had hiked with you two!  Can’t wait for your upcoming Stroudsmoor Terraview wedding this fall!

Lehigh Valley Wedding Photographers: Joanna & Ethan

Millions of sunflowers, an incredible view, farmers market, band and plenty of turkey for all… you won’t want to miss this gorgeous Lehigh Valley Wedding

Joanna shared, “My brother and sister-in-law hired Lisa Rhinehart Photography for their engagement photos and we were so impressed! We love Lisa’s unique way of capturing special moments. During our engagement shoot – she made us feel so comfortable and was down for any ideas we threw at her. Having Rhinehart Photography a part of our big day made it so much more special. Everything was so effortless and we are so grateful for that. We’re hoping to see a great mix of moments while looking at our photos– group portraits, getting-ready highlights, the ceremony, reception entrance, dancing and of course… all of the details throughout!”

Aw thanks so much!  It was such a pleasure to work with the Jaindl family again and great to see so many people there that I had photographed in the past–  Allison & RobMarissa and Thomas & Ashley & Jake (Joanna’s brother & sister-in-law), just to mention a few.  Yes, we definitely captured all of those moments, and then some!

I knew how much thought and care went into planning all of the details of the day, and made sure to capture Joanna & Ethan’s details in a unique way.  Sunflowers have always been Joanna’s favorite, so I knew heading into the day that incorporating them somehow was a must for me…

Joanna shared, “Am I not the luckiest lady in the world to have such beautiful and amazing friends? I could not ask for a better group of girls.”

Joanna’s friends led a few champagne toasts– such pretty robes:

Joanna shared, “I really wanted to incorporate a lot of our market theme into the invitations and also make it very personalized. I thought that including a map of the Valley and our favorite places would be fun! Once I started jotting down ideas, my wedding planner Heather introduced me to Kelley from Pinkie Out. She understood my vision completely and together we brought that vision to life.”

Joanna smiled, “My Mom is my very best friend. She’s my go-to for everything and my biggest role model. My Mom and Dad’s relationship is like no other and so genuine. I’ve always dreamt to have a relationship like theirs.”

She continued, “The blue butterfly on my bouquet was a gift from my mom’s best friend, Joanne, to remind me that my late Aunt Judie would be with me throughout the day. I was very close to her and made sure to clip it to my bouquet as I walked down the aisle.”

Joanna’s bouquet was so unique with a variety of shapes and colors!

She explained, “I was going for woodsy, wildflower florals.  Firewalk sunflowers were featured as well as: peach Juliette garden roses, dahlias, black pearl roses, astilbe, thistle, amaranthus, burgundy hypericum berry, blue thistle, and mixed foliage. I’m a huge fan of eucalyptus so that was included too!”

Joanna shared, “I told myself that I wouldn’t cry while reading Ethan’s letter but I failed, haha! I just wanted to hug and kiss him right at that moment.”

Joanna wipes a tear from her cheek as she reads Ethan’s hand-written letter…

Here Joanna stands in her childhood bedroom as she reaches for her wedding gown– a big moment…

It was sunning on the hanger, but much more so, on Joanna– wow!

Joanna shared, “When I was a little girl, at the end of each night when my Dad came home from work he would grab a cup for water and drum it on the counter. I’d come running and start twirling around and dancing. He’d call me his Dancing Bear and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories.”

How sweet is this?

I love to get creative and play with reflections and other elements on a wedding day.  Here Joanna’s maid of honor adjusts her veil as two love birds from the painting on her wall seem to watch…

Joanna smiled, “Our flower girl Lorraine is my cousin Liz’s daughter but she’s more like a niece. We are honored that they flew all the way from Florida to help make our day even better. Little Lo was the cutest flower girl ever!”

Here they compare shoes as Lo points out that they match, both having beautiful dresses and sparkly shoes…

Joanna explained, “My Maid of Honor is my cousin and my best of friends. She’s been by my side throughout my entire life. I couldn’t have imagined anyone else to be my side throughout the most important day of my life too!”

She continued, “My Mom thought of this great idea, to recreate a photo of us from our First Holy Communion. Lisa was totally game to find a great way to capture it– what a fun moment!”

Joanna shared, “My family has owned and operated a turkey farm since the 1930s and it’s been a major part of our lives. Ethan and I both work for the family farm too!  I love that you took the time to capture and incorporate different elements of that for us.”

Here I photographed their wedding rings stacked on a turkey feather…

The vibrant blue sky and yellow fields of sunflowers were beautiful together… I took a moment to capture this silhouette of Joanna and her bridesmaids in the shade, framed by trees before capturing their traditional portraits…

Joanna smiled, “I think the biggest hit of all was the fields of sunflowers surrounding our reception. My dad knows how much I have always loved sunflowers and found the latest blooming sunflowers possible (since October is usually a little late) and planted them in several different fields. They bloomed just in time for the wedding!”

How cute is she?

If I were to describe Ethan, I’d say he’s an all-American guy– his socks definitely agreed 🙂

Joanna shared, “Ethan has this capability of putting a smile on anyone’s face without even trying. I love his positivity, the care and attention he gives and his determination. I think what made me fall for him most is seeing how he is with children. He was born to be a Dad! He’s always there for me in no matter what. He’s my rock.”

The blue sky though!!!  My  second photographer for this wedding, was my husband, Kris, and I gotta say, he knocked these photos out of the park!

I’ve always liked the contrast between blue and yellow and this really shows off the land, the sunglasses only add to the effect…

So handsome.  And the flag in the back, blowing in the breeze… such a good capture…

Ethan shared, “Joanna’s cousin, Johnny, was plowing in the field next to Jake and Ashley’s house as the groomsmen and I were getting ready. (Shout out to Jake and Ash for letting us take over your home for the morning!!). I work with Johnny full time as a farmer planting and harvesting crops, getting a pic with the tractor was pretty awesome and I really appreciate it.”

Joanna shared, “Our ceremony was held on our family property outside a former seminary. It sits on top of a high hill with an incredible view of where we call home, the Lehigh Valley. Where we’re from means so much to us and where we will raise our children one day.”

She smiled, “We said I do in front of a large, old Copperbeech tree that we carved our initials into on our 3rd date!”

Joanna shared, “We chose to have an unplugged ceremony because being present at the moment with our guests was so important for us. There were no distractions and I was able to focus on Ethan while walking down the aisle. Plus, we’ve seen wedding photos get ruined time and time again because of cellphones, so we didn’t want to risk it!   We knew we could trust you and your assistants to capture plenty of photos at our ceremony.”

I have to say, this is a huge trend in weddings right now, and one of my favorites.  It definitely helps with the photos, but even more, people are present for the moment rather than looking through their phones to record it.  I might capture a parent or grandparent tearing up or holding their partner’s hand as opposed to holding up their iPad or phone in attempts to capture a photo or video.  I can only imagine that their experience is a lot better too, and, in the case of working with me, they will have access to the professional quality photos of the ceremony on-line.”

As Joanna’s proud father walks her down the aisle, sunlight beams through her veil and if you look *very closely* you can see a ladybug on it!  They were landing on her *all day long*, how’s that for good luck?

Ethan shared, “It felt magical when I saw her walk down the aisle. I couldn’t believe how lucky I am that she will be by my side forever.  Making her my partner in life is definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Exchanging vows under the tree they carved their initials on during their third date…

Sincere prayers and vows alongside Monsignor Wargo, their priest who has led Joanna in all of the sacraments…

Evan’s parents and family members watch as the bride and groom exchange their vows.  If you look very closely you can see that lady luck is still perched on Joanna’s veil!

Husband and wife…

Such a joyful response…

Kiss the bride…

Ethan shared, “I felt like the luckiest man in the world walking back down the aisle hand in hand with Joanna. She took my breath away.”

Such an amazing view of the Lehigh Valley!

Visiting their initials, his time wearing wedding bands:

The happy couple…

Joanna shared, “I’m so proud to be Jace and Grayson’s Aunt! They were the best ring security and made the day extra fun. I’m so proud of Jace for leading the way for the younger ones.”

Boys will be boys, haha…

Ethan shared, “My parents have always been my biggest fans. They’ve shown me how important it is to give it your 100%, to always say I love you and what true love is. I’m so blessed to have them in my life.”

Proud parents of the bride and groom and a lovely view of the Lehigh Valley

From the ceremony space, we headed to a hayfield with the bridal party…

I placed them on the haybale, Vogue/Vanity Fair style.  I captured a few different shots, but this is my favorite.  Country Chic:

Ethan smiled, “I felt an almost immediate connection with Joanna after our first date, she is just a fun person to be with and I couldn’t get over how cute her nose is!”

He picked a sunflower for her from the field…

While I spend most of the day capturing candid moments, I capture traditional portraits, too.

That field– amazing that her father was able to find sunflowers that would bloom into late October!

Ethan continued, “My favorite quality of Joanna and our relationship is always knowing that I can count on her to be there for me.”

I’m a huge fan of sunset, so I keep track of when the sun will set on any given wedding day.  As part of my planning process with the bride and groom, we fit it in for any interested couple.  Joanna was definitely game, and wow, the sky really showed all of its colors…

Joanna shared, “Having personal touches throughout the day was very important to us.  Ethan’s Pappy Snyder ran a produce stand for years and Joanna’s family has owned an Orchard for many years as well. Including a produce stand was something we were most excited about!”

They even made little re-usable bags as favors for guests and had guests fill each with fresh produce from the stands!

She continued, “Ethan and his Mom built it from scratch and all the fruit and veggies displayed for guests to take home in were from our family orchard.”

A huge shout out to my third photographer, Priscilla, she grabbed this photo and several others as Kris set up the reception lighting, and I photographed the bridal party, couple and reception details, allowing the Rhinehart Photography team to be multiple places at once!

Joanna & Ethan shared, “Our signature drinks consisted of Blue Moon (because that’s our favorite) and our brother Josh’s famous Apple Pie Moonshine.”

Joanna shared, “From the start of planning, we knew we wanted more of a rustic theme and wanted it to take place during Autumn since it’s our absolute favorite time of year. We ran with the Autumn feel and incorporated jewel tones in the attire and florals.”

The table settings were so pretty!

Joanna laughed, “It’s not every day that you see so many turkey details throughout a wedding haha!”

Turkey butter molds!  So fitting for this turkey farming family…

Their first dance– I used a tilt-shift technique to bring the focus on their emotion primarily and also show their guests expressions and softly show their surroundings…

Turkey dinners, of course!

Daddy’s little girl…

Joanna shared, “After my dance with my Dad – all four of my brothers surprised me with a quick dance with each of them to My Girl. I was in complete shock! I had no idea! I’m so grateful for all four of them.”

Joanna smiled, “Ethan’s all-time favorite snack is milk and cookies. we had to include milk and cookie shooters!!”

Boquet toss…

Haaaa, I love the expressions here…

Ethan shared, “Our band, Go Go Gadjet, blew us all away! They really put on an amazing show for us and our guests.”

They created such a fun concert vibe…

Awesome seeing two of my past brides, sisters, Allison & Ashley!  Here Ashely sings & dances with her son, while Allison laughs, their dad watches and their mom sings along:

Ethan takes the stage 😉 …

Smiles and singing all around…

The dance floor was packed!  Here Joanna’s mom dances with her grandson…

Ethan explained, “We had no idea that the band had a big finale planned. Once they started drumming on the water – the crowd went absolutely nuts!”

Joanna shared, “While standing on the bridge at the very end of the night, Ethan and I just kept saying to each other “you’re my husband”and “you’re my wife.”  I’ve known from the beginning that I’d end up with him but it was finally official. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else.

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Alice BrownJanuary 7, 2020 - 6:26 pm

So very beautiful…..I must print some of these to update photos <3 Thank you Ethan and Joanna–love you both.

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