Lauren + Ethan : Waverly Brewing Co. and Sherwood Gardens Engagement Session | Baltimore, Maryland

When Lauren reached out to me about photographing her wedding, the subject of her email read, “The Final Gal”… bringing a huge smile to my face. I’ve photographed 4/5 of her group of bestie’s weddings and she was the last one to get hitched! I was so honored and excited!! It’s been so sweet and special to be part of all of their wedding days over the years, and can’t wait to top it off with Lauren and Ethan’s!

Lauren and Ethan’s first date was at this super cool Baltimore brewery tucked just under the Jones Falls in Woodberry. This was the perfect place for their Engagement Session because it’s just so “them”! It’s where they love to hang out, what they love to do together, and encompasses their vibe.. laid back, chill, and fun!

Not only was their first date here, but Ethan’s proposal was also at Waverly! He had the back of the bar reserved with the sweetest set up… pictures of the two of them, candles, and of course their favorite beer. He did such a good job planning everything so perfectly and surprising her, ending the night with their friends and family to celebrate their engagement together!

It was so nice of the bar owners to let us come in a little early and take some pictures before they opened so we could have the space to ourselves… Just outside the bar is an area where you can set up corn hole and hang out by the picnic tables and chill which is awesome! So after hanging out in the bar for a bit, we ventured outside to throw some bean bags! Their adorable pup Milo came along too.. He is just so cute!

They are just so cute together! I loved when they’d share a little laugh… :) I love how they’re so playful with each other… Sometimes life can get so serious and we have to remember to just relax and have fun

Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition… ;)

The sunshine felt so warm and good! Especially paired with an icy cold beer…

After Waverly, we headed over to Sherwood Gardens… I loved Lauren’s dress! It popped so well against all of the greenery.

Look at that gorgeous smile!

I’m so excited for their wedding at Rosewood Farms next year… It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous! They are such a sweet couple with adorable chemistry and love to just let loose and have fun! I have no doubt their wedding day is going to be amazing!

Michelle + Seth : Spring Rose Garden Wedding at The Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel | Taneytown, Maryland

Michelle and Seth are such a sweet, gentle, kind-hearted couple with hearts for family, Seth’s daughter Makennan, and of course - each other. Michelle described their relationship as “natural from the beginning” and it shows in the way they look at one another and interact together. They cherish the simple things and find the bond of family to be the most important aspect of life… one of the many reasons why I absolutely love these two.

Michelle wanted the “colors” of the day to be reflected in the surrounding natural elements, particularly the Rose Garden, which was in perfectly full bloom. She wanted the day to feel organic and free-flowing, and did such a wonderful job planning everything so that each moment felt as such…

I’ve always loved the Antrim. The grounds, mansion, and houses on the property always look lovely, but everything looks the best I’ve seen it in years, and the staff was so incredibly helpful and pleasant to work with throughout the day. Katie, the day-of coordinator, was absolutely fabulous and kept things moving along in such an organized and calm way, letting the day play out without being intrusive in the slightest.

There have been some landscaping improvements over the last year or so, which has increased the visibility of the mansion’s gorgeous porch and iconic pillars, the roses were so beautifully fragrant and trimmed to perfection, and the trees and shrubs were all lush and green… Each of the fountains were trickling peacefully and everything was just so… The entire setting was absolutely lovely!

As Michelle and her girlfriends got ready, Seth had a bouquet of roses sent to her, along with a bouquet for Makennan too… It was so sweet and she was so surprised. :)

Mak was excited to wear makeup and was skipping around sharing that it was the first time she’d ever worn mascara! It was adorable…

Michelle’s grandmother spent some time with the girls as finishing touches were added to their hair and makeup. That same day was her 60th wedding anniversary with her late husband… Michelle was honored to share in that same wedding date, May 30th, as her beloved grandparents. I loved seeing her grandmother watch her granddaughter so proudly and lovingly as she got ready…

JoJo (Michelle’s niece) was playing with all of the makeup she could find, which was so cute, and showing Morgan (Michelle’s cousin’s little guy) before it was time to get dressed. They were such cuties!

Meanwhile, the weather forecast was not looking so spectacular… A tornado warning was in effect not too far away, and it had just started to lightly rain on the Antrim grounds. it didn’t bother Seth and his groomsmen one bit! But Katie and I were praying it would hold off, of course, especially since Michelle’s plans were so intricately made around the Garden theme.

Seth and each of his groomsmen are EMT’s! They were such a nice group of guys… And funny!

It began to pour and I mean pour… My wonderful friend Tori Nefores of Tori Nefores Photography was there shooting alongside me, and we were anticipating how the day would go, praying the storm would pass just in time. We still had about an hour before the call was to be made, and we stayed calm and present, knowing that it would be beautiful no matter what…

Michelle and Makennan shared a sweet special moment just after stepping into their gowns. Mak wrapped her arms around Michelle and said, “I love you Mommy…” We were all tearing up!

The officiant said to us, “I’ve never performed a wedding in the rain… I promise you, it’ll stop.” Well, she was right! About 15 minutes before the ceremony was set to begin, the skies cleared and the storm passed… The hotel staff wiped down the ceremony chairs as guests began to arrive, and we headed to the Rose Garden to have a wedding!

Josephine and Morgan’s daddys encouraged them down the aisle just as the ceremony began… They weren’t particularly excited but it was adorable!

Then, just after the Bridesmaids came down the aisle, it was Makennan’s turn. Her daddy walked to meet her at the fountain, and escorted her down the aisle. It was precious… She is so delicate and sweet, and was so ready for this day to arrive, you could just see it in her beautiful little face when she smiled, taking in every second.

Then it was time for Michelle’s dad to bring his little girl to meet Seth… It’s always an emotional moment! Michelle looked absolutely beautiful…

Mr. Peloquin almost took a tumble over the train on the way back to his seat!

The ceremony was beautiful. They exchanged hand-written vows and of course, their rings…

Clarice Bowen, their officiant, surprised them by writing a little ring ceremony into the service for Makennan as well, for Michelle and Seth to give to her as they joined together as one family. It was so tender and sweet and Makennan felt so special… They each kissed her, before their official “Mr. + Mrs.” kiss! After they were announced, Mak’s eyes welled up with emotion and she hugged both Michelle and her Daddy as they walked back down the aisle together… That was such a special moment I’ll never forget.

There’s Katie, the coordinator, watching the wedding from the porch! :)

After the ceremony, we photographed portraits around the Gardens… This was such a nice and fun group!

Oh my GOODNESS how cute was that?? Tori grabbed these shots of Mak and her “friend”… :) You know, Tyler and I weren’t that much older than these two when we first met… Who knows what the future holds for them! :) Adorable!

I loved having time with Michelle and Seth for their portraits… They have such a calm and natural energy about them that’s just so comfortable and special.

I loved Michelle’s dress with those beautifully beaded capped sleeves…

They interacted so sweetly together… They were both so present and had such a sense of peace between them.

Tori captured the ballroom perfectly! We fell in love with the table number names - pieces of broken flower pots, accented with greenery.

Each table’s centerpiece had potted herbs and plants, and just outside the ballroom was their guest book station with precious art hand-drawn by Makennan.

They decorated so perfectly, letting the decor sensibly accent the space without taking over. Each of the elements highlighted the others so nicely, flowing together so well.

I loved their vintage Bride + Groom champagne glasses!

And their cake was accented with cronuts!!! Oh my goodness… If you’ve had these before, you know how amazing they are, and if you’ve never had one - FIND ONE!

Their reception started off with dancing before dinner which set such a fun vibe for the night… A delicious dinner was served and all of their guests enjoyed each other’s company while dining and celebrating!

Michelle’s Uncle Ray flew up from Florida to attend his niece’s wedding. He has cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t slow him down from living his life to the absolute fullest each and every day! Michelle ensured me that he’d be the life of the party! Uncle Ray has a special piece of head gear that allows him to paint! This was a special piece he did especially for Michelle and Seth, that they opened before everyone, signifying two rivers coming together as one. It was such a special moment! I love Uncle Ray’s face as he happily hugs Michelle! And look at that Florida tan he brought with him!

Nope, the crying wasn’t over… Michelle’s family had just sadly very recently lost her beloved Aunt Carol. As a dedication to her, ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” was played and everyone got up and danced in her honor. I couldn’t help but think of my precious aunts that I love so incredibly much and was barely holding it together… I loved that everyone was DANCING and SMILING as they celebrated her…

Afterwards, we hung out outside a bit to get a few pictures with little Josephine and her family. I love these shots of her! They’ll be special to look back on one day on her own wedding day…

In a few places around the reception, I found little flying piggies! I’m not sure their significance, but something tells me it has to do with Aunt Carol… <3

Before long, it was time to cut the CAKE! And inside it was filled with funfetti! Michelle, Seth, and their guests all enjoyed a slice along with cronuts and Antrim’s signature chocolate-covered strawberries, visited with each other, enjoyed the Antrim’s gardens, and danced the night away… Uncle Ray even showed us his moves for a song or two!

These two are just so rich… They have their loving families, beautiful daughter Makennan, and each other… God has given them so much, and I have no doubt in my mind that he will continue to lavishly bless them in their future together.

I’m so grateful to have been part of this incredibly sweet, heart-felt, meaningful day… It’s one I’ll definitely never forget!

Much love to the new Mr. + Mrs. Robinson!

Brianna + Josh : Glory Doughnuts and Baker Park Engagement Session | Frederick, Maryland

I always get so excited to meet my couples in person, which is most often on the day of their Engagement Session! Brianna and I had gotten to know each other well through email over the course of booking and timeline planning and things, and I knew when I met her that I would just love her, and that Josh would be super rad too.

Well, I was right!

It was a bright sunshiny day when we met in Frederick at a place they venture often - Glory Doughnuts! I’d never been before but it won’t be the last time I visit and can’t wait to bring Tyler back… He loves donuts and though I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I couldn’t help but have googly eyes over these! And they’re vegan at that, which is awesome too! (We are so grateful to the staff for letting us crash and photograph for a bit!) It’s such a cute atmosphere with a little edge and incredible smell of coffee and freshly made treats…

When Bri and Josh got to the donut shop, the place had emptied which was fabulous! So I wanted to take advantage of it and we got right to the picture-taking and of course, donut-enjoying…

These two are so cute, personable, down-to-earth, and confident in their own vibes which I just love. They have big hearts and not just care for each other deeply, but for others as well. I could tell through our conversation about this and that, that they’re kind of people you want to make friends with for many reasons, but also because they’d be loyal and there for you whenever you’d need them.

They’re also so fun to talk to, great for conversation about anything and everything, and have a fun zest for life… They have two dogs they love to walk together, and enjoy spending time seeing new places and restaurants and things, but ultimately love just staying home curled up on the sofa together with some Netflix… My kinda Friday night too! ;)

LOVE her engagement ring!

After GD, we headed over to Baker Park to walk around a bit and enjoy the sunshine… And see the ducks and dogs, two things Josh loves! They are cute… and there were so many throughout the park.

I love how they were so freely themselves together and just had fun during the shoot… just laughing and flirting, enjoying each other’s company… And even ending with a little dance party!

I can’t wait for their wedding at VisArts early this fall! :) Cheers to these two!

First Lady's Luncheon 2019 - Washington Hilton Hotel | Washington, DC

I was honored to have the privilege for the second year in a row to photograph on behalf of American Grown Flowers as they sponsored the 107th annual First Lady’s Luncheon, a bi-partisan event hosted by the Congressional Club, honoring the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Melania Trump.

About 30 volunteers from all over the US flew in for 5 total days to help design and create the centerpieces and arrangements to highlight and accent the grand ballroom of the hotel. Over 22,000 stems of flowers were donated from about 15 farms across our country.

Two conference rooms are turned into a flower shop for several days prior to the Luncheon, and the stems are flown in. Once they arrive, they’re unwrapped and prepped, placed in buckets of water all around the room, and made ready for centerpieces, arrangements, bud vases, and more… All by these volunteers who are running on little sleep, a few snacks, and lots and lots of coffee.

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It’s so cool to watch as these talented creatives do what they do best. There were a total of 145 floral centerpieces, several arrangements for the head table, bathrooms, high-top tables for the pre-luncheon receptions, and numerous other misc. arrangements around the hotel for the event. Over 1,000 boutonnieres were created for the guests to wear also, as well as two flower walls for photo ops, and much more… It was very impressive and quite an undertaking!

I was completely infatuated with the peonies…

^ Above are our fearless leaders, Christi (co-lead, who will lead next year), followed by Kasey and Andrea of American Grown Flowers, and Mary Kate, our lead. They kept everything organized and even took us all out to a really nice dinner the evening before the Luncheon! It was nice to have that time together to get to know everyone and bond over a meal. :)

Every year there’s a theme for the decor, and this year’s was “Indianapolis 500”, hence the black and white tablecloths. Vera Bradley company donated bags for each attendee, along with multiple other sponsors who helped put on this event. Lee Greenwood was present again to sing “Proud to be an American” of course, and Kathie Lee Gifford, Nicole Mullen, and Michael W. Smith were at the pre-luncheon VIP Reception as well.

Before the Luncheon, Melania and Karen Pence came out to greet those who were closest to the podium. I was able to shake her hand and say hello, which was a really neat experience! She’s absolutely beautiful and so graceful and eloquent. She seemed so respectful of each person she met, looking them each in the eye, greeting them, and thanking them for coming, rather than rushing down the line of women eager to say hello. I didn’t get to shake Karen’s hand, but I imagine she was just as lovely. :)

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That last shot was snapped from a video on my cell phone. :)

The Luncheon was so nice, with speeches given by Mrs. Trump as well as Mrs. Pence, and performances by Michael W. Smith who sang a few of his praise songs, including “The Word” which I’ve always loved, and Nicole C. Mullen, who sang her song “The God Who Sees”.

It was nice to be able to attend again this year! I always love the people watching, all of the pretty dresses and shoes, and styles of everyone who comes to attend.

Thank you to Andrea and Kasey from American Grown Flowers for this awesome opportunity! And to Mary Kate and Christi for leading the team so well. It was a wonderful time and so well done!


Sponsors:
DV Flora, Accent Decor, Oasis, and The Congressional Club

Lead Designer:
Mary Kate Kinnane - The Local Bouquet, RI

Co-lead Designer:
Christi Lopez - Bergerons Flowers, VA

Flower Farms:
Bloomia, Camflor, Dramm & Echter, Eufloria, Fern Trust, Gallup & Stribling, Green Valley, Holland American Flowers, Kitayma, Mellano, Myraid, Menagerie Flower, Ocean Breeze, Ocean View Flowers, Paja Rosa, Pyramid, Resendiz Brothers, Westland Orchids

Volunteers:
Alaskan Legacy Peonies, The Secret Garden Charleston, Joslyn Peony Farm, The Hotel Florist, CW Floral Design, Petals by the Shore, Lumme Creations, Christina Flower Co, Fancy Florals by Nancy, Bramble and Bee, and more…

Diana + Mick : Fells Point Engagement Session | Baltimore, Maryland

Best friends are so special... They’re there for us through thick and thin, give us advice on what to wear, what polish to go with at the salon, address our personal relationship problems, help us decide whether or not to try a new hair style, encourage us when we need it most, and sometimes even introduce us to our future husbands!

Diana’s fiance Mick is her best friend’s cousin… After over a quarter-century of knowing who each other was but never really spending enough time together to truly hit it off, fate stepped in. Diana and Rowena (Diana’s bff) were on the tennis courts (something they love to do!) and needed another person to play doubles with them, so Rowena got in touch with Mick to see if he wanted to join in… He did - and that’s how it all began…

Fifteen years later… they’re tying the knot and making it official! Mick proposed to her, pulling a tennis ball out from behind his back and popped the question. The ball had the ring inside! He’d planned to propose on the tennis court earlier that day but things didn’t go as planned… It was an insanely hot day and they weren’t out on the courts as long. But he couldn’t wait, so he made dinner reservations, and then asked her to marry him before going out to dinner to celebrate together… I love how he tied in the details of where their relationship started with the proposal!

Diana and Mick love to play tennis together of course, travel, go to dinner at fun new restaurants, and just spend time together with their pup. They’re down to earth and easy-going and so comfortable to be around. I felt like I’d known them for so long after meeting them for the first time just before their Engagement Session! It wasn’t long before we were laughing and joking together and having such a fun experience..

We talked about all of our favorite foods, some wedding details, and about where we like to travel for vacation. I shared that Tyler and I always dream of getting away but never end up actually booking a trip! They were so funny, they couldn’t believe it and were giving me ideas of places to go… :)

Tyler came down to Fells Point with me that evening, and ended up striking up a conversation with a man from Egypt while he was sitting, people-watching, and enjoying the sun setting while I was photographing. When the session was over and we met back up with Tyler, Diana and Mick said - “Egypt! What a great place to book your next vacation!” :) So maybe it was a sign… Hehe.

We ended our session back on the pier by Barcocina. Music was playing from their deck so these two started dancing together right in the middle of the street! It was so cute…

I’m so glad to have met these two and can’t wait for their wedding day this October! And am kinda wanting to try out tennis now….. hmm. :)