There’s something wonderful about fall weddings in Virginia – the crispness in the air, the smell of firewood and the amazing burnt oranges, reds and yellow. It’s this time of year that I love heading out West and escaping the noise of downtown DC, which is exactly what Matt and Helah did for their wedding day.
They were married in a gorgeous setting in Bluemont, Virginia at Whitehall Manor. The weather held out all day long for a cozy fall day that called for hot apple cider, which was of course served at the reception. A joyful event filled with friends and family, love and laughter, this couple didn’t stop smiling and laughing for their entire wedding day.
Venue + Catering: Whitehall Manor | Coordinator: Weddings & Events by Bliss | Flowers: Isha Foss Events | Hair + Makeup: Modern Bridal Studio | Cake: Market Salamander | DJ: Black Tie DJs | Stationary: Minted | Transportation: America Bus & Limousine Service | Gown Botique: Alta Moda
Megan and Joe love spending time doing yard work, running errands, visiting wineries and refinishing furniture together. They love country music, LOVE the outdoors and of course, love the fall. We score a perfect fall day for their engagement session out in Leesburg where we hunted for vintage finds, rode random bicycles we found and watched a gorgeous sunset from a field of wildflowers. While there were no cows to be seen (Megan has a thing for cows…a girl after my own Wisconsin heart!) it was the quintessential fall afternoon in the country.
There’s something to be said for tradition.
It seems today we’re bombarded with new messages, new trends, new gadgets, tablets, smart phones and social media apps. Sometimes, we need a reminder of the simplicity of joy in life, the overwhelming emotion of love and the power of family and friend’s support. Sarah + Brendan’s wedding was this for me.
I feel in love with Sarah + Brendan’s energy from the moment I first spoke with them on the phone. Something was different – I couldn’t quite figure it out, but the way they described themselves and their vision for their wedding day, it felt like…being home: cozy and intimate, emotional, yet cheerful, loving and warm.
When Sarah told me that she would be wearing a family heirloom wedding dress for the ceremony, it occurred to me that there has only been one other time in my 7+ wedding career that I’ve had a bride wear a relative’s dress. Sarah’s dress is a story in itself. Wore by 5 different women in her family, their names all loving sewn in the inseam of the dress, the dress is a representation of Sarah’s past and her new future with Brendan. Her modern wedding dress for the reception was designed and hand sewn by one of her closest friends, bringing the present day (and her own sense of style, of which she has tons!) into the wedding day as well.
Every minute of Sarah + Brendan’s day felt completely like them, from the joyful, Irish music played at both the ceremony and reception to the impromptu flash mob following their first dance to the amazing (and delicious) homemade pies and cakes baked from scratch by Sarah’s relatives. Every detail at this wedding had real, genuine, homemade love poured into it.
Ceremony: Friends Meetinghouse | Reception: Photogroup Inc. | Coordinator: ZBR Events | Catering: RSVP
Molly told me perhaps more than a few times that she had envisioned her wedding day many times over. Much like myself, a Type A personality, Molly knew exactly how everything would look, how the day would feel, how special everything would be. Growing up though, she didn’t know who would be waiting at the end of that aisle…
Molly and Ernesto met about 5 years ago and the two have pretty much been inseparable since. Sharing an intense love for travel, good food and drink and politics, they compliment each other in so many ways. Whether they are snuggling on the couch with their laptop computers or bounding around their Bethesda neighborhood, Molly and Ernesto seek and embrace adventure in both the big moments in life, as well as the small ones.
Their wedding was personal and fit them so perfectly. I loved that they choose to start their wedding ceremony with a 10 minute slideshow showing their lives first separately, and then together as a couple. I love that despite the fact that it rained, they were totally rockstars and braved the wetness to get some amazing photos. I love that Molly me laugh so hard (while also paying me probably the biggest compliment ever) as we were doing some portraits of her in the church – as she was standing there, she said, “I feel like I’m in a Michelle Lindsay blog post right now!” Well Molly, now it’s true!
Ceremony: Church in Bethesda | Reception + Catering: Bethesda North Marriott | Flowers: Bell Flowers | Hair + Make-Up: Alison Harper & Co | Cake: Creative Cakes | Music: Horizon Entertainment | Stationary/Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas
“I’ve got you under my skin.
I’ve got you deep in the heart of me.
So deep in my jeart that you’re really a part of me.
I’ve got you under my skin.”
- Frank Sinatra
Stop by Kristen and Chris’s place on any given weekday night and you’ll catch them cooking together and slow dancing to Frankie in their Arlington apartment. I met up with this energetic and spunky couple in Georgetown on a perfect fall afternoon. Lucky for me, they were willing to show off their dance moves despite a crowded waterfront. They danced, we laughed and enjoyed the weather and a gorgeous sunset…I can’t wait for their fall wedding next year!
A seemingly simple and short word that carries so much meaning to it. Family, by it’s purest definition, refers to your own flesh and blood relatives, but I think most of us know that the definition often extends far beyond anything that simple.
I’ve come to consider this family like a small part of my own. I first met Abbey (far left) when she appeared as a bridesmaids in a beautiful wedding I photographed back in 2010. Less than a year later, I was on my way up to Boston for Abbey’s own wedding to Ryan. Over the course of that year, not only did I have the pleasure of getting to know Abbey and Ryan better, but I also began to form a relationship with Abbey’s mother, Debbie, an interior decorator who is the incrediable genius behind my Studio design and decor. By the time I was in Boston for the wedding, it was like I was photographing an old friend’s wedding. I got to meet Bill, Debbie’s husband after corresponding with him via email for so many months. Abbey’s brother, Ryan (far right…not to be confused with her husband Ryan!) and his wife Leah were there with their new baby Ethan (who has grown so much and is now a full blown toddler running around!). I was beyond thrilled when I found out less than a year later that yet another member would be added to this beautiful family and in February of 2013, little Russell arrived.
They all gathered together at Debbie and Bill’s Fairfax home this summer from the opposite Coasts: Ryan, Leah and Ethan from Boston; Abbey, Ryan and Ethan from San Francisco. This family is truly something special and every time I have the opportunity to see them or work with them, I just feel so lucky.
Gavin has a big toothless grin that just makes you melt. He likes “The Wheels on the Bus,” snuggles from his parents and looks adorably handsome in his stylish, green bomber jacker. This one is definitely going to be a heartbreaker some day…
Toby is short for Annabel October, which is one of the most beautiful names I’ve ever heard. She makes the cutest faces. She makes soft, little sighs and I swear I even heard a little laugh come out of her. She’s already precocious and is a squirmy wormy little baby. Even in her momma’s tummy, she was moving around a lot more than usual. When we finally got her to sleep, she slept like a little angel in Momma Alex’s backyard garden. I know already that this little one is going to have a BIG personality and I’m assuming she’s have her mom and dad’s love for the great outdoors and all things nature.
She’s beautiful and perfect in every way.
The afternoon sunlight filtered through the stain glassed windows at Shiloh Baptist Church. As the organ music piped loudly throughout the spacious church, Clyde waited at the front, nervously clasping his hands as he waited anxiously for his bride. One more deep breath and the doors open. As Mary stands there, smiling sweetly down the aisle at her soon to be husband, Clyde pulls his handkerchief from his pocket and shyly brushes away his tears. He’s waited a very long time for this moment and it is every bit worth the wait as Mary begins her walk down the aisle , her delicate lace train flowing behind her…
I remember meeting Mary + Clyde for their engagement session last fall and thinking that they were two of the sweetest individuals I’d ever met. Kind, generous, and incredibly thoughtful (their wedding day was the same day as the birthday of Mary’s aunt so they surprised her with a happy birthday song and cupcake…I think whenever anyone is willing to share their wedding day with someone else, that says a lot!) Thinking back to that fall day, I very clearly remember Mary telling me how she skipped out on her and Clyde’s first date. In fact, she downright avoided him for quite a while before she finally gave in and had a date with him! Good thing too because after meeting them and spending time with them throughout the wedding planning, I can’t imagine a universe where these two individuals did not end up spending the rest of their lives together.
Ceremony: Shiloh Baptist Church | Reception + Catering: Hotel Monaco DC | Wedding Planner: Leslie Manning Events | Florist: Bergerons | Music: DJ D-Mac and Associates | Cake: Sugar Bakers Cakes | Stationary: Ruby the Fox | Hair : Bella Salon | Make-up: Blend | Dress Boutique: Kleinfeld Bridal | Dress Designer: Alita Graham | Shoes: Badgely Mischka | Tux: Very Wang
I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful setting for Tammy + Gihan’s wedding if I’d dreamt it up myself. Beautiful sunken gardens, a grove of stately oak trees and whispering wheat fields – small pieces of heaven on earth.
This couple has intrigued me since the first time I chatted with them on the phone. Tammy + Gihan have been planning their Maryland Eastern Shore wedding all the way from the Big Apple and I’ve slowly gotten to know them through our many phone and Skype conversations. I love how, much like myself, Tammy + Gihan can be quite serious and straight to the point when need be, but at the same time, clearly have a fantastic sense of humor and find joy in so many things in life. I loved that mustaches played a theme at their wedding, from the silly Save the Date card to the mustache coffee mug guest favors. Mustaches make everything better, right?
The highlight of their wedding for me though was definitely their first dance, taken straight from one of the greatest movies of all time: Dirty Dancing! The twirls, the moves and of course, the lift, all made it into the dance and it was spectacular. It was so playful and fun to watch and brought in a big piece of this couple’s fun loving personality to their wedding day.
Ceremony + Reception + Catering: Aspen Wye River Conference Center | Decor + Floral: Metzler’s Scentsational Florals | Hair: Hair for a Special Affair | Make-Up: Ariel Lewis | Music: MyDeeJay Cake: Fiona’s Cakes | Paper/Stationary: Papyrus | Dress: Oscar de la Renta