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.


– 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!


– 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.


– 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.


– 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.


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?


Caitlin & Jed’s Wedding at Congressional Country Club

Caitlin & Jed’s Wedding at Congressional Country Club

Whew! We’re so thankful here at HPA World HQ that Sandy mostly passed us by here in central Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those who suffered, and are continuing to deal with, the brunt of the storm’s impact. We hope you and yours are safe & sound and that your storm prep ended up consisting of primarily making sure all the ice cream in your freezer didn’t go to waste if the power went out. We certainly (ahem) did our part in that area, as well.

So on this Halloween day, we have a treat for you–no tricks (Sandy did enough of that)–Caitlin & Jed’s wonderfully festive wedding at Congressional Country Club. They married on a beautiful Fall day and we were not left wonting for poignent moments and deep emotion from this incredibly sweet couple and their dear families. On this chilly Fall day, we hope this wedding warms your heart, as much as it does ours. Without further ado, a few of our favorite images from the day and when you’re ready see the entire gallery here. The password is Caitlin’s maiden name and is case-sensitive.

The talented team:
Venue, catering, and baking: Congressional Country Club
Planner: Ayran Kanter
Florist: Multiflor
Band: Sound Connection
Lighting: Atmosphere Lighting
Gown: Reem Acra
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Video: Mark Bargeski
Officiant: Fr. Ray Kemp

Anne’s faves of Bill’s:

Bill’s faves of Anne’s:

Eye Candy!




Dear c&j,

If there was any silly stuffy seriousness to your wedding, we certainly didn’t detect it. From our earliest conversations with your Mom, Caitlin, it was clear that while beautifully done, it would most importantly be a relaxed and inclusive celebration for your families. Mission accomplished.

From your rehearsal on, everyone was all smiles throughout your wedding celebration. What a joy-filled group to be around! We thoroughly enjoyed getting to witness so many of the little touches and surprises that you incorporated into your day, from Jed and your personalized tux; Caitin, you carrying the hankerchief that your Mom carried on her wedding day to your Dad; to the surprise milkshake shooters passed out on the dance floor that night. The little college-related jibes you got in with Caitlin’s dad, Jed, while getting ready and watching your mom’s reaction when told said story was such a hoot! It was so cute too seeing the girls choir (a nod to a childhood pastime) singing to start your ceremony as they walked down the aisle just before you and your Dad. Witnessing your touching tribute to  your grandmother, Caitlin, when they sang Ave Maria during your ceremony, and including songs from both of your parents’s weddings, ensured a few teary eyes during your ceremony. Ours included.

Later that evening, we could not get over your dad’s toast, Caitlin. That story he told surrounding the snowy night of your birth and how he was bursting at the seams to announce it to the world and buy somebody a drink was hilarious, poignant, and extremely touching. It was so cool that you heard that tale for the very first time on your wedding night, too. We couldn’t have had more fun with you and are so grateful we could be there to document your celebration. Thank you so much and congratulations!


Mary Pat & Jon’s Wedding at the McDonough School and Carr Center

Mary Pat & Jon’s Wedding at the McDonough School and Carr Center

Today we’re so happy to share with you photos from Mary Pat and Jon’s wedding. While it was pretty warm that day for their wedding as well, at least there were cupcakes and champagne for all after the ceremony, so all was most definitely well in the world. While we wish we could say that there are cupcakes & champagne waiting for you at the end of this post, hopefully you’ll be enjoying the photos so much you won’t hear that stomach of yours growling. 😉 So enjoy, and when you’re ready for more, you can view their complete wedding (the password is Mary Pat’s maiden name).

Have a great weekend, everyone! We hope you’re enjoying whatever cool weather you can muster and in lieu of that, at least some chilled adult beverages to carry you along. We know we’ll be doing just that!

The fab team:
Ceremony venue: McDonough School chapel
Reception venue: Carr Event Center at The Willard Hotel
Planner: Peggy Marilley with Team Precision
Florist: Helen Olivia
Catering: Occasions
Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie
Cupcakes: IcedGems
Gown: Vera Wang
Video: Ernest with Dolce Studio Films

Anne’s favorites:

LOVE this series she captured of their little boy playing with MP’s veil just following the ceremony.

Bill’s favorites:

Jon braves the heat while awaiting the start of the ceremony.

Who’s going to turn down getting a sign with “yay!” on it when married? Nope, us neither.

Last, but not least, a few lovely details from the day:



Dear mp&j+d,

We had to laugh when we saw Jon’s ring after you said your I Do’s last month. More specifically, what was written inside of it, “Put Me Back On”. As if he’d need a reminder. The two of you were so natural and relaxed with one another. Jon, we don’t think we ever saw you without a huge grin on your face that day and why wouldn’t you–your bride was absolutely glowing and your sweet little boy made everyone smile everywhere he went that day. Especially when he joined his parents up at the alter after your first kiss as husband and wife with a flag exclaiming “yay!” Yay, indeed!

It was nice to see you select a spot for your vows with such personal significance, since you attended school and practically grew up at McDonough, Mary Pat. And the fact that your officiant was a dear friend who got ordained for this very special occasion was one of those sweet and personal touches we just love. We overheard several guests exclaiming, “Awwww…” after reading the note that Dixon “wrote” for your wedding favor of the Old Glory & Union Jack pin that your sister and event planner(!) had made for you as a surprise, too. What fun having him & Peggy handing those to guests as they entered the chapel. Little did they know they’d be the recipients of another sweet (literally!) surprise when the chapel doors opened after the ceremony to reveal a cute cupcake truck and servers waiting with chilled champagne. Champagne + cupcakes + shaded lawn on a warm day = heaven. Well, maybe that would be our heaven since we’re suckers for both of those things, but such whimsical touches really set the mood that day. Especially for what was to come that evening!

With you selection of the Carr Center at the Willard for your reception, you gave your guests some killer views of the Washington Monument and downtown DC. No one wanted to leave the glorious, shaded balcony surrounded by so much historical beauty, and we certainly don’t blame them. But with cocktails in hand, headed inside to witness your dear friend in Ireland live Skyping her toast when circumstances prevented her from joining the party in person. A gorgeous and delicious dinner from one of our faves, Occasions Catering, gave guests just the right amount of energy to hit the dance floor later that evening. How cool was it to have your mom’s boyfriend, Jon, perform several songs for you and your guests! He was a hoot to talk with and incredibly talented to boot.

All in all, it was a wonderful day filled with many very unique and personalized touches. We got to experience so many fun firsts that day and that likely says a lot in itself given how many different weddings we’ve photographed! It’s been such a joy getting to know you both over the past couple of months. We are always honored when we get to document such an important day for our clients and their families, but especially when they’re as kind, warm and trusting as you both were from the moment we first chatted on the phone. It means more than you know. Thank you so much, and congratulations!

“May your wedding day be the worst day of your lives.”



Emily & Scott’s Wedding at Strong Mansion in Frederick, Maryland

Emily & Scott’s Wedding at Strong Mansion in Frederick, Maryland

We could not be more excited today to share our first wedding of the season with you. We just adore these two! You see, Emily was the maid of honor at sweet Maya’s wedding back in 2010. When she contacted us last year for her wedding to Scott, well, we just might have done the happy dance. We remembered Emily as not only stunningly beautiful, but one of the nicest, most considerate people we’ve ever met. We didn’t get to have as much interaction with Scott that day (except on the dance floor–dude can get down!) we knew if he was with Emily, we were going to love him. And we did. They were so full of emotion that day and we were so honored to get to be a part of it all. Pretty sure these two need to be in a magazine somewhere! ;-D

Want to see more? Of course, you do. Feel free to view check out their personal gallery. Its password is Emily’s maiden name (and is case-sensitive). Enjoy!

Venue: Strong Mansion
Florist: Growing Wild
Officiant: Bill Cochran with Say I Do Your Way
Caterer: Canapes Catering
Ceremony music: Chris Dunn Guitar
DJ: Adam with Bryan George Music
Gown: Augusta Jones
Hair: Kelley with Amie Decker Beauty
Make-up: Leslie with Strategic Skin

Bill’s Faves of Anne’s:


Anne’s Faves of Bill’s:

And of course a few fave details from the day…


Dear e&s,

Ok, so as we may have mentioned once or twice, we’re incredibly grateful to have gotten to kick off the start of our wedding season with you both – as well as your friends and family. (SO great getting to see so many smiling, familiar faces, too – Maya & Josh, Alanna & Craig, Kat & Becky to name a few.) Of course the festivities started out Friday with a scramble to eradicate the armada of gnats invading the mansion’s grounds, but things were quickly put to rest by your crack team on Saturday, with Katie wrapping up the mission returning triumphantly waving a can of Off in the air and proclaiming, “I sprayed the shit out of those chairs!”

It was clear early on your guests would experience an event highly personalized to the two of you, thanks to all the items you made as decor and as favors, Emily. Even when you held up signs with “Thank” and “You”, you first went for the “You Thank” look, which seemed particularly funny. It felt warm, personal, and irreverent. Just like you both.

Emily, you’ve heard us say it before, but wow, you have likely made many other brides jealous today. You were perfection. It was not surprising to see Scott’s eyes well up with tears when he turned around to see you during your First Look and then again as you came down the aisle with your dad. Speaking of your dad, we loved how he opened his welcome with, “I’m Dan [last name] and I approve this wedding!” to much laughter and applause, especially apropos given our proximity to the nation’s capital in an election year.

We knew your day was going to be full of love–not only for each other, but your dear friends and family, and full of joy during the ceremony especially and of course as befitting you U 0f R ladies, a jam packed dance floor filled with wild abandon. Hmm…we might be starting to see a trend here. Needless to say, we love it!

Thank you so much, e&s for inviting us to celebrate your first day as husband and wife together. We are so honored to have been a part of it all.



Mitra & Jeff’s Wedding at Church of the Little Flower and Chevy Chase Club

Mitra & Jeff’s Wedding at Church of the Little Flower and Chevy Chase Club

Happy Thanksgiving week! We couldn’t send you into your turkey day trance without another wedding to tie you over, so today we’re so happy to share Mitra & Jeff’s wedding with–count ’em–two ceremonies! They had a mass at Bethesda’s Church of the Little Flower for all guests and then a smaller Persian ceremony for family and friends at they stunning Chevy Chase Club. They had a perfect, sunny, crisp Fall day, albeit a bit windy. Yea…Just.A.Bit. Well, you’ll see.

As the sun set over the great lawn, this sweet couple and their guests headed inside to get their groove on to the sounds of a 16-piece swing orchestra! It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple and we were so touched to be a part of it all. We hope you enjoy seeing some of our favorite shots and that you have a wonderful holiday weekend with family & friends. Safe travels and we’ll see you next week!

Ready for more? You can view their complete wedding gallery here. The password is Mitra’s maiden name and is case-sensitive.

The talented team:

Reception venue and catering: Chevy Chase Club
Florist: Sue Morriss
Band: Swing Machine Band
DJ: Ali Sabahi
Make-up and hair: Ellie & Jean
Calligraphy: the bride
Videography: Dolce Studio Films
Gown: Vera Wang

As we mentioned, it was tad windy that day. If we had calm, it lasted two or three seconds before it kicked up again, but Mitra worked it!




Dear m&j,

Sweetness personified. That’s the two of you. We felt it the first time we chatted on the phone when it became instantly clear we were a match for your wedding. There were so many different aspects to your wedding which you had such passion for, and you never missed a beat while taking it all in. We were grateful for so many things that day, among them:

  • Both of your families were so caring and helpful and wanted to ensure the celebration went off without a hitch.
  • We were so lucky with the gorgeous afternoon light we had while doing your portraits with you. And while lesser beings might have been annoyed with the incessant wind, you just rolled with it, laughing along the way and letting your veil fly where it might.
  • The emotional connection you had with those family and friends offering detailed and admiring toasts to you during dinner, especially when they spoke of the two of you as kids. Your reactions were priceless!
  • The swing band! If there was anything to set the evening’s mood during your first dance, the band really did it. And when you exhausted them, the DJ picked right up where they left off. We’re pretty sure the dance floor stayed full the rest of the night.
  • That you’re such hopeless romantics. Mitra, you wear your heart on your sleeve and that really reached out and touched us.

We really have the best jobs in the world, that we can document the love our clients have and share with their families. Your wedding was the perfect reminder of that. Thank you so much. And congratulations!


Happy Anniversary: Celina & Kevin

We hope everyone enjoyed a great weekend! We’re happy today celebrating the one year anniversary of Celina & Kevin (album here), who married last year at beautiful Woodend Sanctuary. We reached out to them recently to ask about their first year together and about some of their favorite moments from the day. Here’s what they had to say.

Married life is good (I know it’s trite). We are continuing to travel and explore new places with each other (Dublin and Edinburgh were on our anniversary trip). We are both looking forward to many more years.

Kevin’s favorite:

This picture captures Celina’s beauty but also her amazing smile. That smile lights up an entire room and reminds of the joy that Celina brings to my life.

Celina’s favorites:

Kevin turns his ring, even today. It’s just a little gesture, but he does it so unconsciously. I always smile when he does it.

This was one of the first pictures taken just after we had seen each other. After I stopped shaking, I could finally collect my thoughts. I remember thinking how lucky I was to be getting married to Kevin. It really just captured the moment.

Collective favorites:

This is the anti-wedding picture. I am adamant about there being no cake smooshing. However, Ian got into the act, and was the one who ended up with cake on his face. It captures the light-hearted, fun reception we were going for.

This picture is just gorgeous. We are moving on to the celebration part of the evening, moving on to married life, and the light is perfect.

Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations on your first year together as Mr. & Mrs., C&K!!!