Brian and Emily: Wedding at New Kent Winery

Have you ever been around a couple that just can’t stop making eyes at each other, making one-another laugh constantly, and who are without a doubt madly in love?  Meet Brian and Emily!  In early April, after a long and harsh winter we arrived at New Kent Winery.  They saw their last snowfall for the year only one week earlier.  The weather had finally made a turn towards spring!  The sun was out, the weather was an amazing low-70’s, and it was gearing up to fabulous day to have an outdoor ceremony.  2014-07-11_0002_blogsm
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2014-07-11_0010_blogsm 2014-07-11_0011_blogsm 2014-07-11_0012_blogsm 2014-07-11_0013_blogsmBrian and Emily met through mutual friends and immediately hit it off.  Their first date was at a wine bar so they naturally picked this charming location for their wedding.  Brian’s proposal was so sweet.  Emily used to leave Brian love notes in the mornings before going to work since she left the house earlier then him.  On Emily’s birthday last year, Brian took her to a nice restaurant.  When they got home, Emily found a carved wooden box with a picture of the two of them on the table.  When she opened it she found the ring box and to her surprise all the love notes she had left him.  She says she didn’t even know he had save them.

2014-07-11_0016_blogsm 2014-07-11_0017_blogsm 2014-07-11_0018_blogsm 2014-07-11_0019_blogsm 2014-07-11_0020_blogsm 2014-07-11_0021_blogsmThe vineyard had a golf cart waiting for the portrait session after the ceremony.  This adventurous couple was excited to take full advantage of the vineyard’s beautiful setting for their pictures.  After family formals we hopped on the golf cart and circulated around the grounds of the winery getting a tone of pictures of these two love birds right as the sun began to set.  These two knew photography was very important to them and planned accordingly, giving us lots of time to get a variety of shots and locations for their pictures.

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Location: New Kent Winery | Catering: Mosaic Catering
Officient: Mallie Murray | Florist: FloraWork (Annette)
Transportation: TNT Limo | Hair & Makeup: Lou Stevens
Cake: Sorry folks, it was a talented family friend!

Ki Soon and Andrea: A Fredericksburg Spring Wedding

In the beautiful gardens of Gari Melchars Home and Studio at Belmont, Ki Soon and Andrea became husband and wife.  The romantic setting was in full bloom on April 26 when these two said ‘I do.’  Tulips and lilac filled your senses.  The site is the preserved home, studio, and gardens of the painter Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne.

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It was important to honor Ki Soon’s Korean heritage in the wedding.  Most of their family members traveled long distances to celebrate with these two including Korea and Germany.  Several of their guests including Ki Soon’s mother dressed in traditional Korean formal wear for the occasion.

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After the ceremony the couple had planned for lots of time to stroll the gardens for pictures of the two of them.  We couldn’t get enough!

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Above is a traditional Korean wedding pose Ki Soon made sure we captured!

2014-07-10_0027 2014-07-10_0028 2014-07-10_0031The first half of the reception was celebrated with US wedding traditions.  For the second half the couple changed into traditional Korean wedding gowns and were lead through a Paebaek ceremony.  Paebaek is a Korean wedding ritual where the groom’s family formally accepts the bride into their home.    The practice has been modernized and relatives on both sides of the family are invited to participate and offer the couple their blessings.
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amily members, starting from the groom’s parents, then the bride’s parents and then on to more distant relatives, will take their turn sitting in front of the table laden with various edibles and tea, to receive their bow from the couple.  The bride and groom serve tea or rice wine to each set of parents and relatives after they bow.  The parents and relatives in turn, offer words of wisdom and blessings to the couple.  They also toss them  money to start the new couple on their way.  The couple will attempt to catch dates and chestnuts as the parents throw them toward’s the bride’s apron.  According to legend, the number of dates and chestnuts caught signify how many girls and boys they will bear.  Finally, as a public display of his strength, the groom carries his new bride on his back around the table.  More information can be found on the Paebaek ceremony here.  We loved learning about this tradition mixed with thoughtful and fun rituals!

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 Location: Gari Melchars Home and Studio at Belmont | Catering: Caroline Street Catering
Pies: Paul’s Bakery | Florist: Garden Heirlooms of Fredericksburg Virginia
Paebaek Ceremony: Rose Hanbok, Annadale Virginia | Hair & Makeup: Lisa G Salon
Officiant: Pamela A Mann, Heart Star Ceremonies | Musicians: Fredericksburg String Quartet 
Dress: Davids Bridal

1 Hack for better wedding photos

On Saturday evening, with the sun starting to dip in the sky, we photographed a ceremony at New Kent Winery. At the end of the night, we felt lucky to be starting our season with such a perfect wedding. Emily & Brian had all the right ingredients; madly in love, family and friends to celebrate with, and a gorgeous setting in which their day could unfold. But there was one thing that really made this wedding stand out. It wasn’t the decadent food stations or her elegant wedding dress (although both of which were incredible!!). The best part of the night was how Emily and Brian set aside an entire hour just for bride & groom portraits. It may not sound like much, but in wedding day time, it’s huge. Time for portraits is like gold to photographers!

It meant having the time to make a good shot into a great shot. It meant we could give the couple all the photos they imagined, and then some.  It gave us the freedom to play a little bit, to push beyond what we normally expect out of a portrait session.  Most of all, it gave Emily and Brian something tangible that they’ll be able to treasure for the rest of their lives. Because once the dress is put away, once the last slice of cake has been eaten, and the presents have all been unwrapped, the photos will stand the test of time.  The couple portraits are the photos that most capture the essence of the day. It all boils down to a love story between two people, and the more time you give to those photos, the more you’ll receive. Besides, who wouldn’t mind spending a little extra time snuggling with their brand new spouse?

We hope you’ll take this into consideration as you plan your day. Think about making the investment of time.   Trust us, we know you want to get to the cocktail hour, the first dances, go get the party started!  Just remember, the room that you make for the portraits will pay off tenfold.  Decades down the road, when you’re showing your album to your grandkids, you’ll be so glad you did.

We’ll have more of Emily & Brian’s gorgeous winery wedding coming soon, but for now here’s a favorite from the portrait session!

 

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Charlie + Liana: Science Museum of Virginia Wedding

Charlie and Liana are one of the couples that completely stole our hearts. Yes, they had whimsical details and a gorgeous ceremony. Yes, they are totally photogenic. But the real story of this wedding is the love that Charlie and Liana show for each other, and the easy going way they include everyone else in that love story. We are so excited to share these photos from one of our favorite weddings of 2013!C+L_Blog047

Charlie and Liana chose to see each other before the ceremony, which opened up a window of opportunity for tons of photos. We met them at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where we had the luxury of an hour for photographing the wedding party- before we even got to their venue!C+L_Blog034C+L_Blog035 C+L_Blog036 C+L_Blog037C+L_Blog039                                 As any good Richmonder knows, the best pizza in the Fan is Chanello’s. The guys made sure they had plenty on had for pre-wedding fuel!C+L_Blog038 C+L_Blog043C+L_Blog045 C+L_Blog044C+L_Blog041

One of the benefits of having two lead photographers is that you’ll receive a double portion of portraits. The images above were taken within seconds of each other. We were able to position ourselves so that CHarlie and Liana never had to move, and we were able to really work the location!C+L_Blog042 C+L_Blog040

Charlie and Liana lived close by, so they made sure their dog was able to get in on a few photos too. After all, she’s part of the family!!C+L_Blog046

After our session at the VMFA, we moved to the science museum. Since rain was a strong possibility, we took the chance to shoot even more portraits before the ceremony began.C+L_Blog048 C+L_Blog049 C+L_Blog051 C+L_Blog050 C+L_Blog052

 

The ceremony was as sweet as Charlie and Liana themselves. They wrote their own vows, including a promise to sleep under the starts as many nights as possible. You could feel hearts melting as their friends and family looked on…..C+L_Blog055 C+L_Blog056 C+L_Blog057 C+L_Blog058


                                                            Every part of the day was infused with their style, including their ceremony exit; why walk, when you can skip?C+L_Blog053

Since Charlie and Liana had family members who couldn’t be with them, they found a sweet way to recognize them during the ceremony, through placing a sunflower for each on an empty chair, and also by having a framed photograph. We love the value a photograph has, to carry a memory on in a profound way.2014-03-14_0031

Since we had already photographed formal portraits, we were able to use some of the time before the reception to get more playful photos with the wedding party. C+L_Blog054 C+L_Blog059C+L_Blog062                                       The reception was a blast- the rain started to pour but it didn’t dampen any spirits inside the tent!C+L_Blog060 C+L_Blog061 C+L_Blog0632014-03-14_0032

We will leave you with our favorite photo of the night. The rain continued as the evening wore on. It became clear that a standard sparkler exit wouldn’t be an option, so Charlie and Liana quickly devised a new plan. They asked the grooms men to spread two tarps out on the lawn, cover them in dish soap, and then had their guests line up nearby. In all our years of wedding photography, this is the most adventurous exit we have ever seen. They ended the night with a home made slip-n-slide, and a story that will be told over and over by their friends, family, and especially their photographers. Charlie and Liana, we wish you more happiness than you’ve dreamt of, and many years of sleeping together under the stars.

 

  Venue: Science Museum of Virginia

 Catering: Mosiac

Entertainment: DJ Mface

 

 

 

Callan & Julien: A Lost Creek Vineyard Wedding

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Callan and Julien are one of the sweetest couples you’ll ever meet. Julien is French, and Callan, a ballerina- you can imagine what a lovely pair they make. Soft spoken and gentle, they greet everyone (including each other) with a warmth that glowed throughout their entire day.  They started their morning getting ready in adjacent hotel rooms, perfecting their final details in the quiet moments before the wedding day really began. Every detail was beautiful, especially the dress, which Callan’s Mom made for her. Such a labor of love!callan_julien002 callan_julien003callan_julien004

Callan brought along her wedding invitations for me to photograph- she designed these adorable cards to match their wedding colors, and they created the perfect backdrop for the wedding rings. We had to sneak in a shot with the ringbearer’s pillow as well.callan_julien005callan_julien015 Julien and Callan opted for a First Look. This allowed them to really drink the moment in, and of course left us room for an extra photo session. Julien had done his his homework, and researched a nearby park, where we headed for a relaxed photo session with just the couple. callan_julien006callan_julien007callan_julien008callan_julien009

I love the look on Callans face- the look of a bride totally in love with her groom…
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After the portrait session, we headed to Lost Creek Winery & Vineyard, where their family and closest of friends were waiting to help celebrate their marriage. Julien had many guests traveling from France. I may or may not have attempted to use my scant bit of french during the family photos. It turns out they don’t say  cheese (du fromage)when someone is about to take a picture….Never the less, the ceremony was gorgeous, with the vineyard as a breathtaking backdrop.callan_julien014callan_julien016
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Once Callan and Julien had officially become Mr & Mrs, we were able to spend some time documenting their family and wedding party. Callan is one of five siblings!callan_julien024callan_julien023callan_julien022

Before the party began, we snuck off into the vineyard for more couples portraits. Since we’d already had an earlier session after the first look, everything we were able to do after the ceremony was just icing on the cake!callan_julien025 callan_julien028 callan_julien027 callan_julien026Once the celebration began, it was easy to see that Callan & Julien had incorporated special touches, from ensuring their guests had plenty of wine to drink, to the tasty macaroons in their wedding colors as a take home treat.callan_julien029
callan_julien031 callan_julien030callan_julien032We’ll leave you with our final and favorite shot of the night- a classically beautiful sparkler exit.callan_julien033


Special thanks to Tamara Riley of  No Ordinary Ordained & to The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek.


 

 

The Secret

2013-10-02_0001How do you make sure that you’re getting everything you desire out of your photographs? This is a topic we’ve blogged about before- it’s close to our hearts! Advice this valuable is worth repeating. In our perfect world, we would be able to personally ensure every bride and groom in the world would have incredible photographs to cherish forever. Since that’s a bit of a stretch, we would like to share what you can do to help your photographer accomplish this.

 Here’s the thing:  your photographer is trained to look at things with a different eye than the rest of the world. This is why you chose him or her;  for their vision.  So how do you maximize on this?

One secret ingredient: Trust. When you let your photographers take the lead, you’re going to get amazing results.  If they haven’t already offered input, ask for it.  Your photographer is a huge resource for your wedding. How much time should we allow for portraits? Should we shoot inside, or outside? What time of day is going to yield the prettiest light? The difference of 60 minutes can take your images from good to breathtaking. Lean on her experience- it’s a major part of what you’re paying for.

Your photographer might suggest things that don’t make sense, but if you trust him or her, you will be rewarded tenfold.  Go ahead,  walk extra slow for your sparkler exit, hold your first kiss kiss for a few seconds, get dressed in the window light, leave your reception for ten minutes when it looks too dark to photograph outside….Whatever the crazy request, you’ll feel like a rockstar when you get your pictures back.

The trust you give your photographer is a solid investment: the more you give, the more you’ll get. And that’s something you can bank on.

For the Boys

2013-09-18_0011Getting caught up in all the brilliant details is a part of our job. Dresses, jewelry, shoes…the list goes on. Bridal prep especially garners a lot of attention. Today, we want to give the guys a share of the spotlight. They deserve it! How often do we get to see the men we love, dressed to the nines, willing to pose for hundreds of photos?

There are incredible advantages to having a team of lead photographers.  The freedom it gives us as photographers to truly capture the moments from both sides of the wedding day, brides and grooms, like Nathan reading a love letter from his soon-to-be-bride Jen. 2013-09-18_0010

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We love the attention to style that our grooms display on their wedding days, whether it’s sassy socks, a good tie, or a nod to their favorite sports team.

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The guys often bring a little of their favorite liquid courage along. Just a little of course, but when they do, they sip it in style!

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Some may bring sentimental items, or something that holds religious significance. Mark had the fortune he found in a cookie on an date with his girlfriend Ashley. He saved it for his proposal- and then brought it to the wedding. The fortune reads “You and your wife will be very happy in life”. How romantic2013-09-18_00012013-09-18_0005

Here’s to the boys- for sharing their quiet moments, letting down their guard for our cameras, and always making us laugh along the way. We couldn’t do it without you!2013-09-18_0013

 

Amanda & Kenny’s Romantic DC Wedding

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Amanda & Kenny are one of those couples who are just so cute, you have to “oooh” and “ahhhh” over ever frame. I was honored with the opportunity to step in when their original photographer had a family emergency the weekend of the wedding.  I spoke to Amanda the week before her wedding,  and she truly impressed with her level of calm- this girl was not going to let last minute changes throw her wedding groove off!

I was in for a real treat when I arrived at The W on her wedding morning for prep photos. Surrounded by her girls talking and laughing,  they filled me in on all the fun stories that  led up to this big day.

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Every detail had the Amanda and Kenny stamp touch, right down to  champagne cups and the adorable button-ups the ladies wore during hair and make-up.
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And the shoes. Did I mention they were gold-bottomedkenneth_amanda_003kenneth_amanda_007

A few finishing touches, and Amanda is officially a Bride!
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The look on Kenny’s face- He’s got his girl!

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The reception was held at the posh W hotel, and every detail was worth a thousand photos. We’ll just share a couple. kenneth_amanda_017kenneth_amanda_020kenneth_amanda_019kenneth_amanda_022

The sign of a successful party is when people are on the dance floor before dinner even begins! Rythm Collective delivered  dynamic live music that brought down the house.  The dance floor was packed!

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Their day was filled to overflowing with warmth, love and glamour. Amanda and Kenny, thank you for the honor of documenting your day, May your life together be as fabulous as your wedding!

 

Dress by Modern Trousseau

Make-up Beauty ‘N The Bride (Nikki Fraser)

Flowers by Edge

Cake by Sugar Bakers Cakes

Music provided by Rhythm Collective (Elan Artists)

Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of Mercu

Reception Venue: The W, Washington DC

                           Wedding planning, escort cards & table numbers by SoCo Events

(A very special hats off  wedding planner  Claire Matthews from SoCo Events. We’ve worked with many coordinators, and take it from us, her execution is amazing. If you’re in the DC area, you’ve got to have Claire. )