Happy 10th Anniversary: Carolyn & Stephen

Happy 10th Anniversary: Carolyn & Stephen

Whenever photographers are asked to shoot another photographer’s wedding, it’s always a humbling, yet exciting experience. We are no exception. Stephen had not yet gone pro before his wedding, but we knew he had more than just a passing interest in photography. Since becoming a professional, we have followed him and his work for years, never ceasing to be amazed at what he captures. It’s truly an honor for us to say we knew him when.

Carolyn and Stephen remain dear friends to this day and it was so lovely getting to hear some of their personal experiences over the past decade of marriage.

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– What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

Like a lot of couples, our biggest challenge is probably managing our time, especially now as dual-working parents. Fortunately, Stephen’s job has some flexibility, but between work, volunteering and activities we’ve had to accept that sitting down together to a home-cooked, family dinner is not going to be the norm for us. We just try to coordinate everything the best we can, keep the lines of communication open, and make a date night when we can!

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– Where has life found you since your wedding day? (career, home location, family status, etc.)

We bought a house shortly after the wedding in Takoma Park, MD and still live there. Since moving, we’ve added 4 dogs and a son, who is now 7 and keeps us busy (and on our toes)! Stephen was just starting his photography career in 2005 and is now a full-time photographer, shooting weddings, mitzvahs and corporate events. Carolyn recently landed a wonderful opportunity as press secretary for the AFL-CIO, and continues to volunteer her time with an animal rescue and various neighborhood groups.

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– What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

We have some of our favorite shots hanging in our living room so we get to see them everyday and are reminded how we were surrounded by so much love that day (and how fortunate we were to have photographers who captured it perfectly). The image of Carolyn dancing with her Uncle Larry is one of my all-time favorite wedding photos from any wedding ever (note: totally unbiased opinion)! He passed away a few years ago, and we’re so glad we have that real moment of pure love documented.

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– We assume Ryan has seen your wedding photos at this point. Has he had any comments you don’t mind sharing?

We’ve shown Ryan our beautiful album a few times. He enjoys looking at his younger-looking, less-gray-haired dad (Carolyn still looks the same of course!), but mostly he gets upset that he wasn’t there.

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Family photo by Dennis Drenner

C&S…We’re so honored you chose us those many years ago to document your beautiful garden wedding back in May 2005. We can’t thank you enough for your kind words, too. (The one of Carolyn and her uncle is one of our favorite images, too!) We’re so happy to see you both doing so well, both personally and professionally. Thanks for taking the time to catch us up a bit and we look forward to hopefully seeing you both again sometime soon. Date night in beautiful Colorado, perhaps?

xoxo,
…a&b

Happy 11th Anniversary: Marianne & Erik

Today we’re celebrating Marianne & Erik who celebrated their eleventh wedding anniversary a few months ago! M&E married back in Fall of 2003 in Washington, DC. We love getting to follow all their adventures on Facebook and they were kind enough allow us to share some of those adventures with us here. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of their wedding images from back in 2003…

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Where has life found you since your wedding day?

Our party of two has expanded to a party of four – Ryan, 9; Anna 8 (plus Nacho the fish and Rocky the dog). We moved to South Carolina … and back. Now we are settled into our “forever” home in Gainesville, VA. Erik retired as a Lt. Col. in April 2014 and has joined the ranks of government contractors. Marianne is a freelance writer/editor for some local publications. And chauffer.

What challenges have you both faced & how did you handle them &/or learn from them?

About three years after we got married, the Air Force sent us to Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC. Marianne was (very) pregnant and lived in Pennsylvania with her parents while Erik set up the house and finished some required training in Florida. He missed Anna’s birth by a day. We realized just how important family is – our maid of honor, Danielle, and Marianne’s mom were in the delivery room … sort of. Her mom was there reluctantly, so she stood in the hall, arm stretched into the room with the phone receiver so the doctor could keep Erik updated.

It was a long four-year assignment, which included a deployment. Although we made some life-long friends, it was hard being so far away from our families.

Erik’s mom died about two years ago. Your picture of them dancing captures their love perfectly.

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(Editor’s note: We’re especially humbled when family members pass away, but continue to live on through photos. Sometimes we’re the ones who take their last picture. It’s a huge honor and not one we take lightly.)

Have you had any unexpected joys?

Marianne laughs about being the “world’s worst military spouse,” but in 2013 was named the Pentagon Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse magazine. We’ve toured the White House (Anna even decorated cookies with the First Lady), marched in the DC Fourth of July parade, and danced to Katy Perry at the Inaugural Kids concert.

Erik rejoined his band – Soul Kitty 6 – and plays at bars throughout Prince William county and Fredericksburg.

What do you remember most about your wedding day when you look at your photos?

Marianne was late. Forty-five minutes late. We both laugh at the photo of Erik and our priest waiting (somewhat) patiently. She claims it wasn’t her fault – lots of roads were closed for the Taste of DC, which was just a few blocks from the church.

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Our reception was fun and the bar was busy – our guests drank all of the Jameson in the National Press Club and danced until the lights came on. The party moved next door, and they closed down the J.W. Marriott bar.

We, however, escaped to take some night pictures in DC (thank you, by the way for that suggestion). That was the nicest, most romantic, relaxing part of the day. Marianne’s favorite picture is the shot in front of the Lincoln Memorial, where Erik proposed a year prior. He likes the photo taken there earlier in the day, with lots of tourists who couldn’t care less about the wedding party.

Have your little ones seen your wedding photos and if so, have they had any comments you don’t mind sharing?

EVERYONE has seen our pictures. We love our pictures, and the album is set out in our living room. Every time we have a party, we find folks flipping through the album.

Ryan likes the pre-wedding pictures, especially the one of the groomsmen walking through DC – and finds it hysterical that KISS is on a billboard in the background because Erik is a HUGE KISS fan.

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Anna said she likes Marianne’s dress, “because it’s pretty and poufy.” She’s planning to wear the veil for her First Communion this spring. She’s also trying to convince us to let her wear the tiara to a feis (Irish dancing competition). That’s probably not going to happen.

They both like looking at their cousins – our ring bearer and flower girls – who were about the ages they are now. And they laugh at the pictures of little Miranda sleeping on the bus and still looking a little dazed and confused walking down the aisle.

We’re including a recent picture of us. This was taken in July, at the promotion of our Best Man, Col. Arnold Nash III.

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M&E, we’re so thrilled that one of your favorite moments from your wedding day was when we went and did some nighttime shots at the Lincoln Memorial. It’s one of ours, too. Thanks so much and we wish you much continued happiness!

xoxo,
…a&b

Happy Anniversary: Kaitlyn & Mark’s Wedding at Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC

Fall is a popular time for weddings and 2013 was no different so we have another fun anniversary to share with you today! We’re thrilled to help celebrate Kaitlyn & Mark’s first anniversary with them and were thrilled to see some of their favorite moments that we captured from their truly stunning DC wedding. HUGE thank you again to the fabulous and extremely talented ladies at Evoke who helped make this such a fantastic and wonderfully memorable day for all involved!

Here are a few of our favorites from the wedding.  It’s hard to believe it has been a year.  Thank you again for taking the great pictures.  It has been a great year and very busy. We are keeping it simple for our first anniversary and going to a nice dinner in DC.  We just bought a house in Raleigh, NC and are in the process of packing and moving so we thought this weekend would be a good break.

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Congratulations on your first wedding anniversary, K&M!!

xoxo,
…a&b

Max & Sarah’s Wedding at Washington DC’s Newseum

Max & Sarah’s Wedding at Washington DC’s Newseum

In a funny travel irony, one of our recent Fall weddings involved a bi-coastal couple of sorts. Lucky for us, Max & Sarah are based both in Denver and Washington, DC so when they chose to marry, they knew it would be in the town where they met (DC), but chose to have their engagement photos in a town they love (Vail). They selected one of DC’s coolest and well renowned museums – the Newseum in which to say their I Do’s as the Capitol was beautifully framed, quite literally behind them. Theme: Black, White and Re(a)d all over. Their guests were also treated to a rousing thunderstorm that thankfully waited until cocktail hour to truly manifest and merely threatened their outdoor, rooftop ceremony.

This jet-setting duo’s likeableness and charisma was on full display at their roast, er…rehearsal dinner (theme: Wisconsin meets Great Britain) at the Hay Adams Hotel the night prior. Several friends offered some valuable intel on their individual personalities followed by key advice (complete with an intensive Power Point presentation!) on how to have a happy marriage with said quirky, yet highly accomplished and ambitious backgrounds. We’ve seen a trend towards roast type rehearsal dinner/celebrations and we have to say, we love it. Judging from the gathered crowd’s reactions, they did as well.

Here is a selection of our favorite moments and details from their celebration, and of course you can see everything in their gallery. The password is Sarah’s last name and is case-sensitive.Read on at the bottom for a recap of our favorite moments from the weekend’s celebration. Enjoy!

The wedding team:
Venue & Lighting: Newseum
Event Planner: Sara Muchnick for Engaging Affairs
Catering & Cake: Wolfgang Puck
Flowers: Amaryllis
Officiant: Family Friend
Make-up: Erwin Gomez and Nikki Fraser
Hairstylist: Thania Trieu
Reception Music: Celebrity All Stars through East Coast Entertainment
Stationer: smock. and Luscious Verde
Calligraphy: Sprites Ink
Videographer: Suburban Video

A’s faves of B’s:

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B’s faves of A’s:

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A few of our favorites from our longtime assistant, Karen who was able to join us for part of the day:

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And, of course, we had to leave you with some simply luminous eye candy…

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(Bill’s note: This shot below’s so damn cool. Not to brag, but my wife’s pretty incredibly talented.)

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Dear m&s,

Some of our favorite moments from your wedding weekend include…
Your sisters’ toast (or should we call it training?), Sarah, complete with a 2″ binder full of the “Care and Feeding of Sarah” for Max, ostensibly to read while traveling to your honeymoon. The end of the toast, showing a picture of you at 60 holding a certain prestigious office, was priceless! Your officiant becoming the envy of music directors everywhere by getting all the guests to actually sing at a service. The story told at your rehearsal dinner, Max, exemplifying your competitiveness, at least in tennis, and probably in finance too. Holding your flower girl in your lap during toasts, precariously perched due to all the laughter (your sisters, Sarah, did an amazing job, but it was especially cool to have two upstanding British gents deliver a rousing one for Max). Your first dance kept your guests guessing and was so much fun to watch. That so-tender moment between you and your dad as you began to proceed down the aisle, Sarah, and when you got there, the emotion on your mom’s face, Max, really showed how happy these two families will now be one. Your entire weekend celebration was a wonderful reminder of the incredible meaning of our relationships with our family and those we choose as our family to surround us. Congratulations again to you both and we can’t wait to raise a beer again with you soon!

xoxo…
…a&b

Whitney & Chris’s Wedding at Sunset Crest Manor

Whitney & Chris’s Wedding at Sunset Crest Manor

Hey everyone! We hope you’re enjoying a fantastic Friday. Today we’re happy sharing a fun celebration with Whitney & Chris. We’ve been looking forward to this one for a while – Whitney & Chris booked us for our first 2012 wedding date! Enjoy all the moments and details below, and when you want, you can view their entire gallery. The password is Whitney’s maiden name and is case-sensitive.

The fabulous team:
Venue: Sunset Crest Manor
Event design and flowers: Beehive Events
Caterer: R&R Catering
Officiant: Bill Cochran with Say I Do Your Way
DJ: Jake with Dream Day DJs
Baker: Red Velvet Cupcakery
Ceremony music: Lace Music Group

Anne’s favorites:

Bill’s favorites:

Some wonderful and cute details:

Dear w&c,

This spring has sprung with the most fickle of weather, but it was clear from the start none of that was going to bother you (family photos outside, then under the tent, then back outside again, for example? 🙂 throughout your relaxed and elegantly DIY wedding celebration. But let’s back up a bit to some years ago when we worked with your sister at The Homestead. How could we have known way back then she’d be calling on your behalf last year to check our availability for you? So many couples become clients through personal connections of others, and your connection to Lindsay as well as Amanda and seeing them both again made the day all that more special.

Given your expansive family tree (ask Bill about his someday!), it was so touching watching you come down the aisle escorted by each of your dads, Whitney, and the tears they both let escape while Chris watched with a big smile on his face. How could he not? You looked so beautiful, despite the rain and humidity. (Okay, just between us girls, what’s your secret??) And after you danced with your mom, Chris, watching the bagpiper (surprise!) stroll into the carriage house to escort all of your guests upstairs to the lovingly decorated long farm tables overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains as the rain subsided and fog settled in over the valley below. Everything from your fun welcome bag (baby Corona’s & chips & salsa for Cinco de Mayo – perfect for Anne’s birthday, too!) to your rustic pretty invitation to the delightful stories Bill Cochran shared during your vows to your signature cocktails was perfectly thought out and felt so much like you guys.

It was a so fun to see your sorority sisters serenade you by candlelight, too–a clearly touching and meaningful break in the crazyfantastic dancing. But how could we forget that race through the sparklers to your car, waiting for you to take you off into the night and the start of your marriage together. It means so much to us that you included us in your day in such a meaningful fashion and a special shout out to Lindsey for telling your sister she just had to work with us. It was a perfect match. Just like you both. Congratulations!

xoxo…
…a&b

 

Jenny & Greg’s Wedding at DC’s Willard Hotel, Part 2

You already saw part 1 of Jenny & Greg’s wedding, right? Sure you did. Read on!

The FAB team:
Venue, baking, catering, and lighting: The Willard Hotel
Event coordination: Jamie Sears of Simply Chic Events
Florist: Dunham Designs
Officiants: Rabbi Arnold Saltzman and Rev. Karen Foley
Gown designer: Liancarlo
Reception entertainment: Jukeboxx through Entertainment Exchange
Ceremony musicians: String Poets
Brides Shoes: Hey Lady

How many people get an entrance of pompoms? We think we should get this every time we enter a room. What do you think, Callie?

Jenny’s brother, a professional musician, serenades them during their first dance.

Hey, get your lavender out of my champagne. No, you get your champagne out of my lavender. No can do – it’s a perfect combination. Or so we’re told. 😉

Danced to the tune, Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Indeed.

We think Jenny had just previously tried some of what the gentlemen were drinking, and respectfully declined. Note the happiness at the proffered glass of champagne below.

Love! This is such a fun moment.

Too bad no one was having any fun at this one!

Notice how only Jenny is still up in the air? Um, oopsie?

Who knows why 5-Hr Energy was needed at this wedding!

Congratulations, Jenny & Greg!! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jenny & Greg’s Wedding at DC’s Willard Hotel, Part 1

Happy Friday everybody! We trust you’re staying cool inside today (seriously, we are totally loving our A/C these days!) and are in the mood for a fantastic wedding. We’ve been so excited to share this one with you–actually since we first met with Jenny, her Mom and her future mother-in-law when they drove down last Summer to visit us. Meeting Greg at their engagement session was just the icing on the cake. It was pure kismet that they then hired dear friend and wedding planner extraordinaire, Jamie Sears whom they had previously met at a bridal show! Without further ado, we present Jenny & Greg’s sparkling wedding celebration!

Oh, and when you’re ready, you can see the entire wedding gallery here. The password is Jenny’s maiden name.

Each of Jenny’s bridesmaids signed the soles of her shoes. Such a sweet tradition. And how much do you love these shoes??

Vintage glam bouquet with feathers and lots of sparkleys! (Yup, we just make up words over here at HPA. ;))

M&Ms as poker chips. That’s a creative use of the snacks available to you. And probably less messy than using potato chips.

The bra toss–considered by many to be the hot new Olympic event.

Gorgeous! You just knew we were gong to say that, didn’t you, but seriously, are we lyin’?!?

Sweet capture by the one and only Bill Holland!

An almost-oopsie?

Bill loves this shot Anne got of Jenny’s mom just as Jenny entered the room.

This little guy walked down the aisle holding tightly onto the rings. And his teddy bear. And then settled in to some well-deserved M&Ms during the ceremony.

Annie just might be a master at cool reflection shots. Maybe that should be an Olympic category! Seriously, you should see the positions she has to get into to get some of these! Good thing no one is taking her picture here. Bill knows better and likes his life just as it is. 😉

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Love this sweet shot Bill got – Jenny’s fabulous smile *and* Greg’s computer chip bout – two for the price of one!

If you don’t want to take these two home with you, well, we just don’t know what. Even the Washington Post loved this shot of them! (Out in Sunday’s print section for those who like your Sunday paper old school style (like we do! The iPad’s only for mid-week reading.)

Dear j&g,

When we met up at your brand new home for your engagement session (aren’t you glad we didn’t ask you to play around with paint this time?), you told us you cared the most that we simply capture the real moments between the two of you, your families, and friends and document all the special little touches that so many of your friends and family had a hand in. At your wedding, you then proceeded to create all kinds of great moments for us to do just that and we were not surprised one bit. For example, we wondered at first how you were going to manage a ketubah (designed by yet another family member) signing before your ceremony without seeing each other. With a screen separating two tables at which you’d sit, Jenny you peeked in the room, waved, and bounded in with such joy and infectious enthusiasm we think Greg could barely keep from peeking around the screen to catch a mere glimpse at you. We loved how you re-purposed the screen later that evening by hanging old family letters, portraits, and wedding photos.

The screen wasn’t the only place you came up with new and interesting ideas for your wedding. Greg’s boutonniere featured not just the standard carbon-based plant-life, but an IDE power supply (just in case he needed to plug in a fan after seeing you, Jenny) as well as jumper switches. After 300+ weddings over the past nine years, it was yet again a first for us. Everything else about your wedding had this vintage glam feel, with feathers and jewels in your bouquet, including Greg–your grandfather’s candle holder used during your ceremony, Jenny’s mom’s wedding dress fabric draped at the top of the chuppah, and wearing your great grandmother’s wedding ring, continuing a long-time family tradition. Even mere paper didn’t do the trick when it came to a guest book, as you used pieces of soft cloth on which your guests could write their well wishes. Nor were restroom doors bare–decorated with specific baby photos of each of you. Another first for us! Such fun and sweet touches.

And how cool was it when your brother Rob, Jenny sang your first dance song, Falling Slowly? (We LOVE that song, too!) And Jenny, eschewing tradition, it was so much fun when, during parent dances, you pulled your mom (and many other women present) onto the dance floor to a rousing rendition of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. What a perfect way to get your party started!

We were especially touched with how close you both were with your families & friends. The love and adoration in your Mom’s eyes, Jenny, when she was about to “give you away” is something we won’t soon forget. And Greg, we’re not sure you could be any sweeter. That teddy bear you gave Jenny on the night before your wedding that had an MP3 recording from you hidden inside (complete with instructions on how to use it!) was one of the most thoughtful gifts we’ve ever seen. It was clear that everyone at your wedding was there because you had touched their lives and loved you deeply for it. Even Rabbi Salzman got into the act when he read your letters to him about why & what you loved about each other. Reading your letter’s sign off, Greg, “Thanks, Rabbi Salzman. See you soon!” was so endearing and incited abundant laughter and levity during your interfaith ceremony. We loved it.

Your wedding was rich with such love and compelling moments that we (reluctantly) walked away that evening filled with utter contentedness. Truly. Thank you so much for having us document your celebration for you; it’s meant so much. We know you will have many joy & happy tear filled moments together for years and years to come.

xoxo…
…a&b

Stay tuned for Part 2!!