A wonderful note…

Earlier this week we had the pleasure of meeting Mary and Shawn out for lunch to discuss their upcoming wedding plans. Anne and I have been friends with Shawn’s dad Graydon and his wife Michelle for many years so we were doubly thrilled when Mary and Shawn contacted us to photograph their November wedding. We had a great time with them both; they are truly kindred spirits and we couldn’t be more happy that they found each other.. Mary sent us an ultra-cool note the next day, and she gave us permission to share a little bit of it with you.

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Dear Bill & Anne,

We hope this finds you both faring well & either gearing up for another love junkie “fix” this weekend or perhaps stealing away just the two of you before the season really gets under way in the weeks & months to come. A rather wonderful feeling to see your wedding photographers so in love with their work AND each other! We can all be junkies together; form a club, recruit others 🙂 …
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One of our dear friends Amy Deputy a couple of years ago coined the term “love junkie” to her fellow wedding photographers, and we thought it was so fitting, and shared it with Shawn & Mary. Just so much fun. We’re so lucky to get to do what we do and with whom we do it. It’s an awesome, awesome job.

Nicole & Ashley featured in My Day Magazine

Those in the Washington DC area recently found on area magazine shelves the latest issue of My Day magazine, featuring one of our most laid-back and fun-loving couples yet! Nicole & Ashley had their wedding highlighted in the pages of the latest magazine, and it was cool to see it there. Our thanks to John, publisher of the magazine, for selecting their wedding at Veritas Vineyards, and to Nicole & Ashley, who provided such excellent photographic opportunities for Anne and I to capture the day’s moments and details! You guys rock!

The magazine also did a very nice feature interview with Anne and myself. If you’re looking for a local wedding magazine to inspire you in your own wedding planning, we can highly recommend the gorgeous My Day!

Magazine cover:

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Tessie & Matt’s wedding

Congratulations to Tessie & Matt who, along with an intimate gathering of family and friends, celebrated their nuptials the gorgeous Clifton Inn here in Charlottesville! This couple and their families had all traveled, mostly from West Virginia, to the inn not only because of its inherent beauty, but because of their culinary achievements. Few chefs in the area are able to achieve what the folks at Clifton Inn can, and Tessie and Matt wanted their guests to eat well. They certainly did, what with a six-course meal after the ceremony, plus slices of two cakes! But I digress…

Tessie had picked out a beautiful Monique Lhuillier gown was looking radiant when Matt stepped into the Rivana Suite where she was staying for their private first look together. They had decided to exchange gifts at the time as well, extending the tender moments between them. We love being witness to the excitement when couples first see each other, and walk together hand-in-hand afterwards. It’s like watching two lovestruck kindergartners on the playground.

Tessie’s a jeweler/welder and Matt an artist-blacksmith and both work with shaping metal, so it’s no surprise Tessie had designed her own engagement ring. In fact, she loved her personally-designed wedding band so much she wore it for months prior to the wedding, eliciting a related joke from their dear friend who also officiated the ceremony. The ceremony was held in Clifton’s dining room by candlelight and dimmed sconces, and could not have been a warmer or nicer place to be.

After the ceremony, their guests were treated to an enchanted forest of sorts within the tent out on the back patio. Our fave local florists, Pat & Sherry, really outdid themselves with the wrapped grapevines and flowers adoring the tent structure and tables, with lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Jessica at the Event Company had teamed up with Holly and Melissa at the inn to ensure everything went off without a hitch, and it certainly did. They were totally the dream team! They set up one corner of the patio for the two cakes, both chocolate, which is a great departure from tradition. In fact, Tessie surprised Matt with the groom’s cake from his family’s baker. The one thing he had really wanted was a departure in a vintage sports car, but since they were staying at the inn, it was kind of moot. So Tessie got a model roadster and fashioned teeny tiny soda cans out of clay and affixed them with string to the car topper. It was a huge hit and Matt loved it. The cake was further unique in that as per tradition for all other weddings, the cakes were yellow, but she made an exception this one time to the surprise and delight of all of Matt’s family. It was also quite tasty. 😉

It was a great evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thank you, Tessie and Matt, for having us out to document your wedding for you!

Take a look below at a sneak peek, then view a slideshow of some of our favorites.

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Kelly & Pete’s wedding

Loyal blog viewers will definitely recognize this fun couple! We finally got to do Kelly & Pete’s wedding this past weekend in Richmond. We had so much fun with them on their extended engagement session back in October, starting out at Maymont Park and ending up at Shockhoe Slip for some night-time portraits. A year before their engagement session, Kelly caught the bouquet at Laura & Jeff’s wedding just outside of Richmond. When Pete popped the question, Laura suggested Kelly give us a call, and the rest, they say, is history.

We knew then that their winter-themed celebration was going to be blast, and it certainly was. As if on cue, the afternoon of the wedding it started to snow and covered everything outside in a thin, yet beautiful white blanket. Luckily the temps hovered right around freezing, so it didn’t stick the roads too much, though. Despite the weather and some minor early delays, planner extraordinaire Windy Jennings kept everyone happy and on schedule. Kelly donned her Melissa Sweet gown just prior to some in-church portraits and looked stunning. We can only imagine how Pete felt when he first saw her walking down the aisle toward him, being escorted by both of her parents. Family friend and officiant Dan Mannen led the very personal, humorous, and touching ceremony held at the beautiful Seventh Street Christian Church.

After the ceremony, everyone headed to the gorgeous Country Club Of Virginia for the reception, organzied by their in-house coordinators Amber and Leighanne, who we had met originally at Kelly’s bridal session (more on that later). The ballroom was literally transformed into a sparkly winter wonderland. Kelly’s mom, Judy, who was deeply involved in helping to plan her daughter’s wedding was enthralled with everything. It was just gorgeous and Kelly & Pete loved seeing how the plants and lights were arranged throughout the room to set just the right mood. Kelly’s mom surprised her with several special thouches throughout the day as well. Judy had her lace wedding dress reincarnated as the table topper on the cake table, which was lit from beneath with white holiday lights. The dress was also used as a ribbon tie on Kelly’s all-white bouquet and on the ring bearer’s pillow, which definitely added to the smiles that day.

The band, named Casper, started the evening going on a high note with a highly energetic performance. Nary a soul was sitting in their seats surrounding the times set aside for heart-felt toasts by their Maids-of-Honor and Best Men. Everyone danced until the very end, when they braved the cold and subsiding snow flurries to head outside to see off the happy couple with bright, long sparklers. It was an energetic ending befitting an energetic celebration, and we were thrilled to have been a part of it. Thanks, you two!

View a slideshow of our favorite images from their wedding.

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Previously unseen, lest Pete see them on our blog (yes, guys, we know you look!), here are a few of our favorites from Kelly’s bridal portrait session a few months ago. Judy arranged to have one of them printed as a beautiful Giclée print and framed at the entrance to the ballroom.

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Jessica & Matt’s wedding

Congratulations to Jessica & Matt, who took advantage of New Year’s Eve’s inherent celebratory qualities and invited their friends and family to celebrate not just ringing in the new year, but Jessica & Matt’s quite obvious love for one another. We started documenting their wedding day at the ever-elegant Willard Hotel across from the White House in Washington, DC. Jessica had donned her sleek Monique L’huillier gown earlier, just prior to starting her hair and make-up, which was expertly done by Zak, her stylist who had worked with her for the past eight years and who cut quite a rug at the reception, but more on that later.

The couple decided to see each other before their ceremony in a private moment in the hotel’s Jenny Lind suite overlooking the Washington Monument. Right afterwards, with the sun close to the horizon, we all drove to the Jefferson Memorial for some quick and fun portraits of the two of them. It was beautiful out there! Because there were nary a cloud in the sky, the warm afternoon light shone softly on their faces and we shot along the monument’s western edge until the sun set. Returning to the hotel, they had gotten their families together for a short portrait session just before the start of the ceremony, which was held in the gorgeous Crystal Room. It was officiated by Michael, a close family friend of theirs, and filled with incredibly humorous and touching moments. Jessica & Matt joyously bounded down the aisle afterwards for an impromptu receiving line, followed by a bagpiper leading the guests downstairs to the ballroom and cocktail hour.

To say the ballroom was an elegant mix of winter bliss and holiday fun would be a profound understatement. The fabulous Michele Hodges, who had helped with the wedding’s planning, coordinated the layout for one of the hotel’s most visually stunning weddings. None other than Petal’s Edge designed the festive glittery tablescapes (and had made Jessica’s bouquet chiefly of large white peonies blooms, which made for one of the more aromatic bouquets we’ve seen). Everything behind the scenes worked so smoothly, and we hadn’t ever seen a hotel staff so friendly and eager to help as the Willard’s.

Escapade Band started the night off with the perfect energy level and kept it there throughout the night and into the start of the new year. After announcing Jessica & Matt and their first dance, Jessica’s parents welcomed everyone and signaled the start of dinner. After dinner, and some incredibly funny toasts, notably by Jessica’s two sisters, you couldn’t keep people off the dance floor, as the band kept everyone moving. Things continued into 2008, as everyone toasted to the couple and just kept dancing. Things wound down around 1am, at least in the ballroom, but the party was to continue until the wee hours elsewhere in the hotel. This was our first wedding on New Year’s Eve, and we had an absolute blast. Jessica & Matt, you were such a pleasure to be around–thank you and congratulations!

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