1920s Inspired Wedding: Samantha and Brandon {Maryland Wedding Photographer}

“I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

To Brandon, Samantha really is the beginning and end of everything. She lights him up and guides him home, like a candle in a window.

And when they look at each other there is so much depth, as if they have already lived 100 years together. But there is also a newness, a spark, a knowing that something wonderful is about to happen. Like the character Jay Gatsby said, “I knew that when I kissed this girl, I would be forever wed to her.”

Samantha was a dream in her vintage inspired Jenny Packham dress, and her sideswept bangs and soft curls framed her sweet face just perfectly. She was up early the morning of her wedding writing a letter to the man she would marry that day.

And when Brandon saw his bride walking down the aisle, her beauty captivating him to his core, and his eyes were washed with tears.

A vintage rolls royce picked up Samantha and Brandon from the church and drove them to Herrington on the Bay, where guests enjoyed a gorgeous cocktail hour along the Chesapeake Bay, followed by an intimate reception.

Their vintage art deco cake was a piece of art, and the sequined table tops sparkled all evening. The drapery, the flowers, the signature cocktails, it was all perfection.

Congratulations to Samantha and Brandon! May your lives be full of joy and sweetness, and always remember that “life starts all over again, when it gets crisp in the fall.”

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And a special thanks to the following vendors for making

Samantha and Brandon’s wedding so wonderful:

Reception Venue | Herrington on the Bay

Flowers | Floral Accents

Videography | Lovell Productions

DJ | Scratch Weddings

Makeup | My Makeup Book

Wedding Dress | Jenny Packham design from Riziks

Bridesmaid Dresses | BCBG Nordstrom Lord & Taylor

Men’s Suits | Men’s Wearhouse

Pianist | Alexandre Abdoulaev

Great Falls Engagement: Jamie and Andrew {Virginia Wedding Photographer}

It didn’t take long for Jamie and Andrew to fall in love; about one week.

They met during college, and soon after their first encounter, Andrew asked Jamie if she would be his girlfriend, and Jamie confidently said yes.

They have been together ever since.

We adventured through Great Falls Park for their engagement session, a National Park located in Virginia along the banks of the Potomac River. The woods and views were breathtaking, and Jamie and Andrew were intimate and very much in love.

Their wedding will take place next year at St. Francis Hall, a charming venue adjacent to the beautiful and historic Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C.  And I can’t wait!

Congratulations Jamie and Andrew!!

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National Harbor Engagement: Tiffany and Joe {DC Wedding Photographer}

Sometimes love is found across a country or an ocean, and then there are those special times, when you don’t have to go anywhere at all.

After multiple dates with different guys from all over the country, Tiffany found herself single and back at home. Little did she know that her perfect match was close by.

Joe, a military man (and local guy), knew she was the one almost instantly. They met online, and it only took one date for Joe to know he was in the presence of someone truly special. They have been together ever since.

What I love most about Tiffany and Joe is their joy. Tiffany’s heart sang a cheerful melody throughout our whole session. Her love for Joe inspires her. You can tell they are proud of each other and find happiness in just being together. They are genuine and precious and have a tender nature. I was uplifted by being around them, and found myself smiling throughout the whole evening. I’m incredibly grateful to know them and to be a part of their story.

Congrats Tiffany and Joe! I’m so excited for your Maryland barn wedding in a couple weeks!

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Hideaway Camp Engagement: Julie and Tim {Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer}

It only took one glance at him, and she knew: he would someday be hers.

Every summer, Julie worked as a lifeguard at Hideaway Camp, the same camp she attended throughout her childhood. Every summer would be pretty much the same, until that summer of 2005 when everything changed; the summer she met Tim.

Tim was recruited as a camp counselor that summer. Each day Tim would take his four and five year old campers to the pool, the time of day Julie enjoyed the most. She developed a major crush on him, but he was taken, he had a girlfriend back home.

But at the end of that summer before they went home, Tim pulled Julie aside one night under the stars, to share what was on his heart: that she was someone very special. But it wasn’t the right time…

Until 6 months later on a cold winter evening, Julie received a phone call from Tim, asking her to come hang out with him and some friends while they were both home and on break from college. On the way to see him, Julie still felt those same butterflies from the summer, and she somehow knew this time would be different. And it was, because this time, he was hers.

Eight years later, Julie and Tim are back at the camp where they met, for their engagement session. No other location could be any more perfect. The place where a lifeguard and a camp counselor first fell in love; the spot where she first saw the eyes of her lifelong best friend.

Congratulations you two. I’m so honored to photograph your endearing love for each other. xoxo

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Philadelphia Engagement: Valerie and Steve {Philadelphia Wedding Photographer}

After taking a long hiatus from dating, to focus on herself and her law career, Valerie decided it was time.

She renewed her subscription to match.com. As fate would have it, a guy named Steve viewed her profile the day before, and an email from him was waiting in her inbox that very day she renewed. He was not only waiting for her email response, but I have a feeling he was waiting for her his whole life.

They both are avid golfers, die-hard sports fans, driven in their careers, and committed to family. As time passed, unconditional love and mutual respect for each other grew, and it was obvious they would be life companions and best friends.

Valerie and Steve spend most of their time in Philadelphia, so it was only fitting to take a walk through the city for their engagement session, stopping at a few of their favorite places. I loved how peaceful and at home they were in each other; he makes her laugh, and she brings beauty and comfort into his life. They really are a perfect “match.”

Congratulations dear Valerie and Steve! I’m so excited for your beautiful spring 2015 wedding, taking place where you both feel at home: on the golf course.

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Vintage Pittsburgh Wedding: Angela and Tom {Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer}

She was completely at peace, and the only thing she had on her mind was him.

In the morning, Angela walked through her hotel room as if it was just another beautiful day, but it wasn’t just any day, it was her wedding day. She looked as if she just spent two weeks at the ocean, that look of joy and serenity. She was soft and glowing, and had a confident knowledge that she will feel safe and content to walk beside Tom the rest of her life.

Once Angela put on her wedding dress, one of the little flower girls said, “When Tom see’s you, he’s gonna faint.”

The whole day centered around Angela’s gentle and blissful energy. Her family was lighthearted and joyous, Tom eyes were captivated by his beautiful bride, and friends felt showered with love.

I could sense a heavenly grace throughout the day; the breath of God blowing in the wind.

I adored all the gorgeous summer wildflower bouquets and florals.  The outdoor Mellon Park ceremony was intimate and precious, with Angela’s father officiating most of the ceremony, followed by a colorful reception at a beautifully restored historic Pittsburgh church.

During the reception, that same little flower girl approached the the dessert table, took a long look at all the delicious treats, and I overheard her say out loud to herself, “I feel like I’m in heaven.”

It only confirmed my thought, that it was indeed, a heavenly day.

Congratulations to my dear friend, Angela, and her wonderful guy, Tom.
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And a special thanks to the following for making Angela and Tom’s wedding so beautiful and memorable:

Mellon Park

The Union Project

All Occasions Party Rental 

Prantl’s Bakery

BHLDN (Vintage Inspired Wedding Dresses)

J. Crew

 

 

Harrisburg Engagement: Bekah and Mike {Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer}

They met while climbing a mountain.

While vacationing with some friends in Colorado, Bekah decided to meet up with her cousin Josh, who was also in Colorado on a “guys trip,” which included one of his best friends, Mike.

Together with a few others, they decided to hike a pretty challenging mountain. Mike already knew of Bekah. He was shown her picture a few times by Josh, but Mike never liked the idea of being set up.  But once he saw her in person, things began to change.

He was instantly attracted to this athletic brunette, and her faith and modesty put her in a league all her own.

Bekah knew of Mike too, but the thought of dating a younger man was of no interest to her. Until that day on the mountain, when she found herself in deep conversation with him, and began to secretly desire his pursuit and his heart.

It didn’t take long for these two wanderers, these two adventurers, to fall in love. And although there will always be mountains to climb, Bekah and Mike are up for the challenge; ready to lace up their boots, fill their water bottles, and head for the biggest adventure of their lives: marriage.

Because of their love for the outdoors, their engagement session took place within some beautiful rolling Pennsylvania hills, with Mike’s red Jeep, a picnic basket, love letters, one gorgeous diamond ring, and with Jesus by our side.

And to make this story even better, Bekah is my cousin! I can’t wait for their beautiful 2015 barn wedding at the Historic Acres of Hershey.

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Millbrook Marsh Engagement: Jessica and Michael {Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer}

Sometimes all it takes is moving back home to find the man of your dreams.

Just like so many other new college graduates, Jessica moved back home to her parents house, single and needing to save money.  While hanging out with friends back in her hometown, she saws Michael again.

They’ve known each other for awhile; grew up in the same town, went to high school together, and Jessica’s best friend dated his older brother. Michael was always interested in Jessica, but they both always seemed to be in other relationships and nothing every bloomed between them.

But as we all learned from romantic movies, timing is everything.

And with the passing of time comes the ability to see others in a different light. And Jessica began to fall in love with Michael, just like he has always been in love with her.

They are truly best friends, and together they are parents to two happy dogs and four cats. For Jessica and Michael, home truly is where the heart is.

I’m looking forward to their Stone Barn Winery wedding next September! Congrats you two! 2014-09-12_0001 2014-09-12_00022014-09-12_0003 2014-09-12_0004 2014-09-12_00052014-09-12_00072014-09-12_00082014-09-12_00092014-09-12_0010 2014-09-12_0011 2014-09-12_00122014-09-12_00132014-09-12_00142014-09-12_00202014-09-12_0015 2014-09-12_0016 2014-09-12_0018 2014-09-12_00192014-09-12_0021 2014-09-12_0022 2014-09-12_0023 2014-09-12_00242014-09-12_0025 2014-09-12_0026 2014-09-12_0027 2014-09-12_0028 2014-09-12_0029

Ironstone Ranch Wedding: Kasey and Jonathan {Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer}

I could talk about how Kasey looked like a woodland goddess in her wedding gown, or how the wildflower florals were both delicate and magnificent. I could go on and on about how Kasey and Jonathan said their vows in the midst of a delightful apple orchard, or how the flower girl stole all our hearts. If I wanted to, I could mention the horse drawn carriages, the delicious cupcakes, the smores, the tears of joy Kasey cried throughout the day. And don’t get me started on the gorgeous (and happy) bridesmaids, the vintage barn, the dancing, the sparklers. These are all beautiful things that came together perfectly for a celebration of love!

But what is even more notable was the warmth and tender love between Kasey and Jonathan. Kasey was a little anxious all morning until she saw Jonathan during their “first look.” As soon as they were together, she was smiling; she was peaceful. He calms her, and she brings joy into his life.

They also care so much for others. For instance, it was the Penn State Dance Marathon, a fund-raising and awareness campaign for the fight against pediatric cancer, where they first met. They even decided to choose a wedding venue (the Ironstone Ranch) that donates its net profit to Brittany’s Hope, which provides assistance in the adoptions of special needs children and to improve the quality of life for those who still wait for a home.

Beauty has so many forms; it’s endless. It’s not just in what we see, like sunsets and oceans, but it’s also in prayers, righteous actions, forgiveness, grace in the midst of suffering, imperfect days, imperfect people, solitude, laughter, sleep, eating, growing old with someone and being true to them, and adopting a special needs child. There is always something beautiful to see or experience each day, and I can tell Kasey and Jonathan have this ability.

Last week while I was sitting in a waiting room. I saw a very old man, pushing his very old wife in a wheelchair. Once they got to the front desk, he slowly filled out her paperwork, with his unsteady right hand, as she sat there and looked around the room confused. You could tell he had to take care of her and that she needed him to survive. I quietly started to cry from where I was sitting. Even there, in a cold impatient waiting room, I saw beauty, and beauty always makes me cry. We will all be old someday, and I hope when I’m an old lady my husband will love me the way this old man loves his old wife, and may I also be that person who loves beyond what is expected or deserved.

What a privilege to love someone, what a privilege.

May we all love and live (and grow old) with grace.

Congratulations Kasey and Jonathan! What an extraordinary day it was… what an extraordinary love you have.

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 And a special thanks to the following vendors for making Kasey and Jonathan’s wedding day so beautiful and special:

Ironstone Ranch

C&J Catering

The Pennsylvania Bakery

Global Hair Design

Lana Addison Bridal 

Alfred Angelo

Top Line Tuxedos

Klock Entertainment

Brittany’s Hope

 

Horse Farm Wedding: Natalie and Justin {Maryland Wedding Photographer}

Rain, although wet, unwanted, and often times cold, brings life; it allows the flowers to grow. So it is with us; the rainy days of our lives can expand our souls, strengthen our roots, and nourish new life within us. The rain brings hope that beautiful things are to come.

It was a very rainy wedding day for Natalie and Justin. The expectation of a beautiful sunny outdoor wedding was unmet, but something more beautiful was in the making…

As Natalie made her way into the ceremony & reception tent, you could see it there in her eyes; the commitment to love Justin rain or shine. And as she locked eyes with Justin, it was as if they created their own little heaven on earth, as if no one else in the room, or even weather, existed. And within that one minute, the meaning of life was demonstrated so delicately: it’s all about love. Everything else will pass away, but love will remain. And it will be this strong and determined love that will get Natalie and Justin through the hard times, and it will be this same cherished and devoted love that will allow them to enjoy the more easy times in life.

Life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan, but if we have love, we’ll not only get through it, but it will be an adventure.

Just like Vivian Greene once said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

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And a special thanks to the following vendors who made Natalie and Justin’s Wedding Day so wonderful:

KS Design

Hedgerow Farm

Hair Design by Krystin

Betsey Robinson Bridal

Jos. A. Bank

Cinematic by David M

Nightsong