lauren + matt | industrial garden wedding at the Accelerator Space

Lauren and Matt are such a fun-loving and creative, happy couple that it was no surprise to me that they wanted to celebrate their love of Baltimore and their neighborhood as much as possible on the day of their wedding! They had their first look at the rowhouse they owned less than a block from Patterson Park (and one street over from where Anthony and I used to live!)… you may remember their engagement photos we did in Patterson Park and Fells Point; to this day, I’m still obsessed with Lauren’s vibrant and carefree colorful dress paired with a denim jacket and mustard heels.

I’ll never forget the first time we met at R House; we bonded over a love of being outside, city life, upstate NY travel and rowhouse renovation stories. I was so excited to see their Baltimore wedding come together celebrating so many local, talented vendors and Lauren’s love of flowers and a garden-inspired aesthetic to soften the structure of their industrial chic wedding venue!

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Lauren wore 2 BHLDN gowns throughout the day and 3 different pairs of shoes (the Rifle Paper Co x Keds were my favorite!). The vintage suitcase she used to hold all of her details as she gathered them throughout the wedding planning process was a gift from a family member that was so functional and beautiful, we had to feature it in her getting ready photos!

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Want to know a huge bonus to getting ready at your house? The ability to easily include your dog! Penny, their sweet little pup got to be a part of the photos and even, their first look!

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Matt and his groomsmen treated themselves to a day at the Pendry while they got ready there. The courtyard is all sorts of groomsmen goals…!! That architecture and dark steel softened by the lush greenery…

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Quite possibly my favorite first look ever.

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When you live steps from Patterson Park, portraits in the park are a must do. The bouquet from Lucky Penny Floral Co. had just the right touch of blue with an incredible texture and shape to it!

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I loved how they changed up the order of their day to allow for time to mingle with their guests BEFORE the ceremony. Yes, cocktail hour preceded the ceremony at the Accelerator Space! Hint, hint… more couples should do this! It was such a fun, casual way to allow the bride and groom to interact with their guests before the actual formal events started. Notice Lauren’s second dress and pair of shoes of the day! How cute, sparkly and festive is it with her earrings from J’Adorn Designs and that clutch and signature cocktail!??!

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The reception details and tablescape elements were all handmade by Lauren (menus, favors) and the ceremony backdrop was designed and installed/hung by Matt, an engineer.

They danced the night away with the help of Bachelor Boys Band after enjoying a local meal by Tablefield Catering, Taste this Cake and Pietime, all vendors at Bmore Kitchen, the food incubator directly below the Accelerator Space.

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Cheers to you, adorable lovebirds!! We are so honored to have been part of your wedding and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you both!

xo,
Naomi

Vendor Team
venue: Accelerator Space
florist: Lucky Penny Floral
wedding gown: Catherine Deane
dress boutique: BHLDN Georgetown
veil: Noon on the Moon
shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson, Keds x Rifle Paper Co
bridesmaid dresses: Azazie
earrings: J’Adorn Designs
rings: Nelson Coleman Jewelers
hair / makeup: Haute on Wheels
groom + groomsmen attire: Indochino
caterer: Tablefield Catering
dessert: Taste This Cake + Pietime
band: Bachelor Boys Band
invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
favors / centerpieces / reception decor: Lauren, the bride ;)
transportation: Martin’s Sedan and Limo Service

unique and fun ways to personalize your wedding day

If there’s one thing I constantly hear from couples it’s that they want their wedding to be fun, memorable and a great experience for their guests who are traveling far and wide to celebrate their relationship…

But you know what I hear just as often that makes me even more excited for what’s to come in this industry? NON-TRADITIONAL details, elements, approaches and experiences making their way into wedding days like never before. HECK to the YES, PLEASE!!

Notice the custom hanging metal sculpture behind Megan + Chris below!? A super talented metalworker friend designed and fabricated it for them! *note to self: brainstorm how to incorporate friends talents…*

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There are so many great ways to personalize your wedding and ensure stunning and sophisticated photos. Here are just a few of the favorites we’ve seen in 2018 paired together as opposites to show you all the creative ideas out there… if there’s one thing I’m all about, it’s visual inspiration! Some bright, bold and vibrant, others moody, monochromatic and minimalist… ALL beautiful and part of the story of your best day ever!!

Let’s begin with where it officially starts for you, the RING! So many choices to hold your precious diamond… are you a Kate Spade lover? Or a Mrs. Box collector (so many colors to choose from!)? Or something with more of a handmade, textured feel?

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Which pup has the best style?! ;) 1000% YES to having your dog at your wedding! Furever & Fur Always is a great resource for all of your wedding day doggie care needs!

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Are you envisioning blush floral print dresses for your girls (BHLDN/Jenny Yoo style) or more moody jewel-tones with some sparkle and beading? Maybe cool blue/green tone variations or preppy striped navy bridesmaid dresses?! Either way, mix and match looks have my heart!

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The grooms and their guys have definitely been stepping up their style game too! Most popular continues to be gray and navy suits…

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I can’t help but love slate blue suits as well, especially against an industrial backdrop like this metal wall at the Accelerator Space! This combo of light blue ties for the guys with a floral tie for the groom is making me swoon… or are you team black tie with classic black tuxes and bowties like Miles and his men?

What about fun custom shirts for your squad? Loving the preppy look of personalized pajamas and monogrammed floral robes!

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Florals… aka I never met a bouquet I didn’t love. What’s your favorite when it comes to flowers? Do you love a certain style or shape of bouquet?

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Speaking of flowers and greenery… what kind of portrait backdrops do you love? Ivy walls are always so classic and lush but mosaics add a fun artistic twist! Hint, hint: the American Visionary Art Museum has both and is one of the most unique venues I’ve ever seen that just happens to be steps away from downtown Baltimore and the waterfront… ;)

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Have you considered custom invitations for your wedding? MLC Designs created this elegant and comprehensive suite for our December couple (below) and it was the perfect way to set the tone for their festive winter wedding at the Baltimore Country Club! Programs, napkins, escort cards, drink menus and other reception signage are all additional ways to make a statement with your day of details!

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An October wedding at Holly Hedge Estate incorporated a subdued rustic theme while the whimsical vintage invitation by Hello Tenfold (with the fox save the date below) carried a botanical aesthetic throughout the suite for our Richmond, VA couple.

Loving this splash of color in a bright, garden inspired floral invitation suite paired with the floral lace on the bride’s veil! Another floral look focused on a soft romantic feel with Lauren’s lavender and gold invitation suite.

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PRO TIP: Want an easy way to bring variety to your bridal look without breaking the bank? Some brides have 2 dresses but even more frequently I’m seeing 2 totally different pairs of shoes and I LOVE IT! Shoes can easily be worn again after your wedding and they’ll make your feet smile when you change into flats to dance the night away! ;)

The hardest part is going to be narrowing down your choices…

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First looks! Inside or outside, I LOVE when couples take advantage of them… more time together means more photos before the day gets away from you, more intimate emotions and quiet moments to make memories of just the two of you…

Chuppahs and ceremony backdrops designed with lush flowers and natural elements or more minimally designed with copper tubing to accent a venue full of unique architectural features… which do you prefer?

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There are so many creative ways to feed your guests! Oyster bars, mashed potato bars, brunch bars… you dream it, it can be fed to you.

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Eleven Courses Catering (below) is one of the most talented caterers I’ve worked with and not only presents their food in artistic and beautiful ways but also ensures it tastes better than you’d ever imagine a catered dinner could taste!

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Donut towers, custom cotton candy flavors, cookie tables, smith island cakes, cinnamon rolls… who wants just cake anymore?

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Ombre tablescape, anyone? Crimson + Clover Floral Design CRUSHED this one!!

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Lighting can make such a difference in a space! When it poured at the end of Lauren + Matt’s wedding, we still were able to go outside for some epic shots on the patio at the Accelerator Space since it was tented and they had hung string lights to enhance the twinkle effect!

At Lauren + Jeff’s Holly Hedge Estate wedding, mother nature played a role in their portraits at the end of the night and I loved the opportunity we had to take advantage of creative lighting in the rain!

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Exiting at the end of the night is another way to have fun and create a lasting memory for your guests with sparklers, confetti, bubbles, lanterns or simply a fun getaway car!

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Here’s to making your wedding the best celebration it can be, full of as much personality as the two of you!! I’d love to hear from you… leave a comment with some of the unique details and elements you’re thinking of including on your day!

7 tips for taking better candid engagement photos

So, you said YES (or you asked someone if they’d say yes) and now you’re engaged! Once you’ve had a chance to pop multiple bottles and share the news with everyone, the first official act of your new status as an engaged couple may be to take your engagement photos… the most common concern I hear as a photographer is that you don’t take good photos together / hate having your photo taken / want candid moments together that don’t look posed or staged…

I get it! No one is naturally photogenic when told to “SMILE!”… seriously think about it. I’d rather ask people to lick noses since that elicits more of a genuine expression than asking you to smile on command ever will. ;)

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Here are 7 do’s and don’ts that hopefully help get you in the right mindset when it comes to taking photos together!

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Do feel confident.
Shop for a fun new outfit or go to an old classic you know you love the way you look in. Make an appointment to get pampered (meaning, scheduling a hair/makeup trial for the day of your engagement session can kill 2 birds with 1 stone!) if it’ll give you an extra boost of confidence. If not, just do you!!

Don’t worry about how you look.
That’s my job. I’ll tell you if something’s out of place and remind you to empty your pockets. ;) You don’t have to be models! The quality and range of emotion real couples have and want to celebrate together, is why I love what I do.

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Do think of our time together as a rehearsal for your wedding day.
Having casual and everyday photos of you both that aren’t phone selfies is wonderful and something I think more couples should absolutely have, but the main goal of our time together is to get to know each other. I want to feel like a good friend that happens to have a professional camera by the time you’re saying ‘I Do’… not some random person you can’t remember the name of who asks you to smile in my direction. I want to see how affectionate you naturally are together and learn what inside jokes you make that result in nose crinkling laughter and eyes smiling so brightly, it’s unmistakable that your love is unique and special.

Don’t worry if one of you is more enthusiastic about taking photos than the other.
Just being a good sport and going along with the crazy ideas your fiance has or the prompts that may be out of your comfort zone will encourage them to love you that much more for it… and if nothing else, will earn you a beer right after we’re done.

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Do hold hands.
Touch noses, faces, fingers, hips, hair, neck. Seriously, you’re getting married! You found your person!!

Don’t overthink it.
If thinking of it as a photoshoot makes you nervous, think of it as a date and pretend I’m not there!

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Do eat before (nothing good happens on an empty stomach) and drink during.
I’m a huge supporter of liquid courage in whatever form that takes! We can start at your favorite bar, break open champagne when we start or enjoy a fun cocktail halfway through... why not?

Don’t look at Pinterest poses.
The light, the location and your love are not the same as that super posed adorable couple who’s flowing hair took more time and setup to capture than it looks like. However, this leads right into my next tip…

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Do communicate if you have a strong vision for what you want.
I love it when couples not only choose a location with meaning but also have an idea of the kind of images they want out of their engagement photos. Are you an outgoing couple that want your photos to reflect a lot of movement and more candid action? Or are you most comfortable at home in a more private spot to allow you to be comfortable getting cuddly and close together while barefoot and quiet?

Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this in the first place.
You met online… or at college… or at work… or at a bar during a night out with mutual friends. However the stars aligned, the fact is that they DID. Millions of tiny decisions, conversations and choices lead up to the moment you met and when you stop to think about it all, it’s pretty miraculous and deserves to be celebrated.

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Do bring your dog!
I’ve captured the fastest moving hyper little pup and the sassiest 100lb. Great Danes. I was a boxer mom, we have 2 kids and I have plenty of experience and tricks up my sleeve. Besides, slobbery wet kisses make for the best expressions!

Don’t choose a location you’re not comfortable in or familiar with.
Meaning and good vibes are everything. Your location should hold both... and if you can’t think of the perfect spot, I’m happy to share my favorites that may resonate with you!

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Do embrace your awkwardness.
At least for the first 10 minutes. It means you care and you’re doing it right... I promise. Remember your first date? Pretty sure those first 10 minutes were awkward too... and look how that ended up.

Don’t bring an audience.
Other than a friend or family member meeting us to help take the dog home if you bring yours, this is one situation that is best as a party of 3.

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haven street ballroom | industrial warehouse baltimore wedding venue

Looking for a space to celebrate? Let me introduce you to Haven Street Ballroom, Baltimore’s newest industrial, airy (the inside is all white!) and quirky event venue designed with your wedding day in mind.

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From the founder of Main Street Ballroom in Historic Ellicott City, Haven Street Ballroom is nestled between a brewery and an axe-throwing bar in the heart of an industrial neighborhood easily accessible from I-95 and right down the street from my favorite East Baltimore neighborhoods, Patterson Park and Canton.

If you know me at all, you know I love my venues to have history, character, pops of color yet still neutral overall and all the quirks! Their tagline of “a blank slate with character" couldn’t be more true…

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Currently under construction but accepting bookings for events on or after May 1, 2019, I had the opportunity to capture these branding images with real Baltimore brides and it couldn’t have been more fun! Think champagne opened with axes (I stayed back!) after learning the ropes next door at Urban Axes and ending our time with a beer at their other next door neighbor, Monument City Brewing.

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That’s pretty much how I envision a wedding day unfolding here: the guys hanging at Urban Axes to expend nervous energy and the after party spilling over to Monument to enjoy their unique and hand-crafted brews. Anthony and I will meet ya there for a 51 Rye (his favorite), while I’ll sip a sour... ;)

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ABOUT HAVEN STREET BALLROOM

Designed with photography in mind, all couples are welcome at Haven Street Ballroom. This historic warehouse will continue to have an industrial feel once renovations are complete, that celebrates its eclectic look and truly is a blank slate with character, the perfect place to bring your vision to life and celebrate your wedding day in Charm City!

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INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR WEDDING AT HAVEN STREET BALLROOM? HERE ARE SOME QUICK FACTS:

With warehouse venues and industrial chic weddings becoming so popular, what makes Haven Street Ballroom unique?
The minimalist policies and flexibility allow you to make the venue all your own. The flexible indoor/outdoor floorplan and unprecedented rental window of 8am-midnight, add value to your special event by giving you the freedom and creativity to create a truly customized celebration.

How many guests can be accommodated for a seated dinner?
200+ guests can be comfortably accommodated for a seated dinner with room for a dance floor, but the space is also easily divisible for smaller events.

Where do guests park?
In a private gated, surface parking lot, just steps from the front door.

How many events are hosted per day?
If you book the entire venue, then you are the only client on the day of your event.

How early do couples have access to the space on their wedding day?
As early as 8 a.m. for set up and as late as midnight for cleanup... and there is no charge for that extra time.

Are there spaces for the bridal party to get ready on site?
A private, fully-furnished bridal suite will be available with a private dressing area and hair & makeup stations.

Do couples have access to the entire facility on their wedding day?
Yes!

Are chairs and tables included with rental of the space?
Tables and chairs for 120 guests are included with the rental of the space.

Are outside caterers permitted?
All licensed and insured caterers are welcome at Haven Street Ballroom.

Is a representative from the venue going to be on-site for the duration of the event? 
Yes, an on-site venue manager will be with you throughout your event.

What does it cost to host a wedding at Haven Street Ballroom?
Introductory pricing is exclusively for clients who book their event while the Ballroom is still under construction. See early 2019 rates here.

Is the facility handicapped accessible?
Yes, the venue is 7,500 square feet of indoor space and 3,500 square feet of optional outdoor space all on one level.

CONTACT + DIRECTIONS:

Haven Street Ballroom website: www.havenstreetballroom.com
Directions: 1 North Haven Street, Baltimore, MD 21224
Phone: 410.600.7780
Contact: Kate Ansari

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Videographer: Ten Twenty Seven Films 
Signage: White Coffee Creative
Glam: Kate Face Beauty and PSC Hair Artistry
Brides: Melissa Long, Simona Noce, Jessica Jenelle,
Cashmere Jefferson, Tanaya Moore

sneak peeks | julie + joe's burgundy and rose gold main street ballroom wedding

“Everything with Joe just felt right from the very first day.” …shouldn’t all love stories start like this?!

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Being from the same hometown, growing up in the same church, attending rival high schools and having countless mutual connections in their small community in Carroll County, Julie + Joe were truly meant to find each other!

Their wedding day at Main Street Ballroom in Ellicott City was full of overwhelming emotion, radiant joy and the most beautiful rose gold details that complimented the industrial metals and stone foundation walls that make up this historic venue!! Julie was an incredible bride, glowing from the inside out and the way Joe looked at his beautiful bride made my heart explode! I couldn’t get enough of Julie’s gorgeous red hair swept up in her mom’s veil and alllllll the flowing soft tulle netting on her WToo by Watters wedding gown. Speaking of dresses, the mix-n-match styles of the girls’ colored floor length Birdy Grey bridesmaid dresses in pinot noir, had me swooning from the second I saw them!

For now, enjoy these sneak peeks and know much more is to come!

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Aren’t those scarves the perfect touch of subtle pattern and softness for a winter wedding?!

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Pure JOY.

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Hard to pick one, but the off the shoulder ruffled top of the Jane convertible Birdy Grey dresses might be my favorite!

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cheers, newlyweds!
xo,
Naomi


huge thanks to this rockstar team!

planning: Sara Reynolds Events
venue: Main Street Ballroom
rentals: Something Vintage Rentals
DJ: One Rock Studio
caterer: Eleven Courses
flowers: Blossom and Basket Boutique
beauty: In Style Salon
officiant: Rev. Kirsten Blom-Westbrook
dress: WToo by Watters
boutique: Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection
bridesmaid dresses: Birdy Grey in Pinot Noir
ring: Smyth Jewelers
shoes: Betsey Johnson
tux: Generation Tux
videography: Clay Estes Productions
cake: Santoni's Marketplace & Catering
donuts: Maple Donuts
transportation: Lasting Impressions: Maryland & Pennsylvania Limo Services


winter holiday soiree at liriodendron mansion | maryland wedding venue

Imagine hundreds of twinkle lights wrapped inside wisteria branches arching over a patio that overlooks 100 acres of exquisite grounds in Harford County… a cozy and chic winter gathering of dear friends inside a Georgian Revival mansion that dates back to 1898…

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In early December, we kicked off the holiday season with a festive soirée to remember! Hosted by Caitie Welch of Betty Lou Events and Melissa & Jim Benson, Owners of Eleven Courses Catering at The Liriodendron Mansion, the entire place was filled with magic that only this time of year can bring…

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The stately architecture of the historic Liriodendron Mansion in Bel Air, MD provided the perfect backdrop as daylight faded into golden hour and guests began to arrive!

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Non-traditional textured magnolia leaves, dark red roses and hand painted gold greenery decked the halls as nearly 40 of the DMV’s best creatives were serenaded while sipping gourmet hot chocolate and festive cocktails on velvet settees. Small bites were wrapped like presents and served in whimsical ways, by servers wearing tartan plaid ties to match the runners in the stunning holiday inspired tablescape.

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Directly following cocktails, guests were invited to take their seats; farm tables were set with chic black and white place settings for all to enjoy an incredible 3 course dinner. Each seat was set with a hand lettered ornament and a delicate contemporary menu.

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Vendor Team:

Creative Direction: Betty Lou Events
Videographer: Rivion Films
Photography: Urban Row Photography
Menu Design & Catering: Eleven Courses Catering
Tabletop Design: Pretty Little Wedding Co.
Rentals + Styling: Emerald Event Design
Farm Tables + Benches: Barnes Farm Tables
Floral: Steelcut Flower Co. 
Stationery: Ruby the Fox
Lettering + Signage: The Letter Grey
Venue: The Liriodendron Mansion
Pianist: The Concert Truck
Makeup: Chrissy Forbes

video by Nevin Baker for Rivion Films

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ABOUT THE LIRIODENDRON MANSION:

The Liriodendron is a historic home and estate of one of the four founding physicians of the Johns Hopkins Medical College, Dr. Howard Kelly. Liriodendron is the botanical name for the tulip poplar, many of which can be found around the grounds of this historic property in Bel Air, Maryland.

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INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR WEDDING AT THE LIRIODENDRON MANSION? HERE ARE SOME QUICK FACTS:

What makes the Liriodendron Mansion unique?
The Liriodendron is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Purchased in 1890s, the property now consists of approximately 100 acres and a variety of structures: the mansion, a bank barn, a carriage house, a board and batten cottage and 5 other outhouses including a smokehouse and 2 ice houses.

The wisteria arching up to the main facade forms such an elegant setting for portraits and outdoor dining! No matter the wedding season, the architecture and grounds are absolutely breathtaking. Imagine cocktail hour out on the portico under the twinkling lights, a fireplace in every room and entering from the staircase of your dreams…!

How many guests can be accommodated?
Up to 120 people can be accommodated at your event.

Where do guests park?
A large surface parking lot is available on the grounds, just a short walk from the mansion.

How many events are hosted per day?
On Saturdays, one event may occur in the morning and one in the evening. Fridays and Sundays only host one event.

Are there options for smaller, intimate weddings?
Yes! Petite weddings are available during weekday hours and brunch weddings are available on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 8am-12:30pm; both at a discounted rental rate.

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How early do couples have access to the space on their wedding day?
Friday weddings choose a 6.5 hour contract time for a 4 hour event. On Saturdays, there is a choice of a 9am-4pm contract time for an event time of 11am-3pm or 4pm-11pm contract time, for an event time of 6-10pm. Additional time can be arranged should it be necessary.

Are there spaces for the bridal party to get ready on site?
Both the bride and groom are able to get ready upstairs in original and separate bedrooms and suites within the mansion.

Do couples have access to the entire facility on their wedding day?
Yes, all rentals enjoy the full use of our mansion and grounds.

Are chairs and tables included with rental of the space?
Chiavari chairs for indoor and outdoor dining and white lawn chairs are included in the rental rates, as well as tables in a variety of shapes and sizes.

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Are outside caterers permitted?
There is a list of 11 experienced caterers from which you can choose.

Is a representative from the venue going to be on-site for the duration of the event? 
Yes; a venue manager will be on site from open to close.

What does it cost to host a wedding at The Liriodendron Mansion?
Rates vary depending on the season and day of the week; an introduction to rates can be found here.

Is the facility handicapped accessible?
The first floor is fully accessible.


CONTACT + DIRECTIONS:

The Liriodendron Mansion website: www.liriodendron.com
Directions to The Liriodendron Mansion: 502 West Gordon Street, Bel Air, MD 21014
Phone: (410) 879-4424
Contact: Leslie Dohler, info@liriodendron.com

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vendor spotlight: little orange studio | baltimore graphic design and branding

It’s been too long since our latest vendor spotlight and I’m honored to introduce you to Melanie of Little Orange Studio, a small graphic design studio located in Baltimore, Maryland. Little Orange Studio specializes in crafting meaningful brands and websites that stand out and attract your dream clients and customers.

If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, go do it now: Little Orange Studio!

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Being extremely detail oriented, anything Melanie is tasked with designing, whether it be a new logo, a website, a printed piece or environmental graphics, is purposeful, strategic and extremely attractive and elegant in its simplicity. Mel is a joy to be around and a fellow dog lover (like me!) - she even named Little Orange Studio after Murphy, her golden retriever… read more about that here!

For Little Orange Studio’s visual imagery, I suggested Ceremony Coffee in Harbor East since it has a clean, crisp and contemporary design with tons of natural light and warm materials - the perfect compliment to the design work that Melanie does!

What led you to pursue a career in graphic design?

For as long as I can remember I've loved all things creative and expressive. There is something about crafting and creating something with your own hands that sparks joy. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, and crafts were our thing. It wasn't until high school when I joined the Yearbook committee, that it clicked for me that I  could take my love for crafting to another level. This is when I was first introduced to layout design and fell in love. Looking back, my love for typography and layout design is no surprise. Years prior, I spent days cutting out letterforms and imagery from a stack of magazines and glued them to my bedroom walls to create the most perfectly imperfect collage. It was my real life, hand-collected Pinterest board. Freshman year of college, it was a no brainer to declare my major and pursue a career in Graphic Design.

What is your favorite aspect about working with entrepreneurs / business owners?

I love working with entrepreneurs because of their energy and passion for what they do. I start every project by diving in and learning more about their story, values, and goals. The excitement and drive my clients bring to a project is contagious. I feel grateful that I get to work and collaborate with them to create a brand that reflects their hard work and success.

What is one piece of advice you'd share with business owners to keep in mind during the design process? 

My advice for anyone during the design process is to fully embrace the process itself. It is easy to compare your business to someone else's or to fall in love with a design you saw on Pinterest. It is important to embrace the process by allowing yourself to explore new ideas to find YOUR unique voice that stands out among the competition. 

What design trends are you excited to see emerging in 2019? Any you'd like to see go away?

I am currently obsessed with clean lines and sophisticated details in sub marks and iconography. 

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Where do you find inspiration?

I've found that inspiration can come in the smallest of forms at ANY time throughout the design process! Some of my best ideas came at a time when I least expected. I am also a strong believer in stepping away from the screen when feeling stuck— I take a walk outside with my dogs, go for a run, or turn to more tangible inspiration. I have a wooden crate in my office full of great design finds that I've collected over the years and throughout my travels. A recent example is a coffee cup sleeve from a local shop in Charleston that has stunning hand illustrated typography. Every so often I find myself sitting on the floor picking through the crate and it never disappoints.

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Favorite recent read or must-listen-to podcast?

I recently read the "Life changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. She wasn't kidding! I needed this read, especially as someone who works from a home office most days. I highly recommend!

Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations that we should be on the look out for?

I am very excited about a new project working with a local craft juicery. They are wonderful to work with and I am so drawn to and inspired by their mission. We are creating an identity system that represents their story, where they are now, and one that can grow with them as they continue to expand their offerings and locations. Stay tuned!

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Thanks again for having Urban Row Photography capture the essence and look of your brand, Mel! I can’t wait for future collaborations together and cheering on your incredible studio, which is already making big waves in the design world!

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As the year draws to a close, the weather gets colder and daylight hours get shorter; my schedule of engagement sessions and weddings has become a bit less frequent until early next year… what does that mean for you? Right now is the perfect time to update your professional portraits to improve the branding imagery you share on your website and social media! I love working with small businesses and entrepreneurs who share a love of good design and sophisticated imagery.

Contact me with the look you’re going for and some thoughts on what type of location might be best to communicate what your brand is all about and we’ll go from there! Coffee shop? Urban park? Whatever makes you happy and communicates the vision and mission of your business is what we should capture… with as much natural light as possible! Formal studio lighting isn’t my kind of look. Yoga studio? Art museum? The possibilities are truly endless. :)

photography: Urban Row Photography client: Little Orange Studio location: Ceremony Coffee

chinnu + suganth | burgundy, pink and gold indian wedding at the belvedere hotel

When Chinnu and Suganth described their Belvedere Hotel wedding day as an Indian American wedding celebration with traditions from both cultures, I couldn’t stop smiling!! I immediately knew that this, our first Indian wedding and first time capturing the incredibly rich Belvedere Hotel ballrooms, was going to be so memorable and filled with meaningful details and traditions… I wasn’t wrong. ;)

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While watching Chinnu and her family get ready at The Lord Baltimore Hotel, I was in awe of the beautiful jewelry, the colorful saris and rich textures and patterns present in every detail of their garments. The henna was incredible! I loved that Suganth also had Chinnu’s name on the inside of his palm… (this detail was also included in Baltimore Weddings’ It’s All in the Details feature in their new 2019 print magazine)!

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This… one of my favorite moments from their entire day happened during their first look in Mt. Vernon. I asked them to turn towards each other and share all the love they were feeling at that moment and among the excitement of the day… and helllloooo, there it was: the most adorable, joyful and genuine smiles.

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Crimson and Clover Floral Design added SO much soft, natural beauty to their wedding - it was the perfect touch. The mandap was literally covered in and dripping with such lush and rich flowers! Burgundy amaranthus, light pink roses, white hydrangea and eucalyptus perfection!

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The Belvedere Hotel’s Grand Ballroom was literally glowing with gold trim, enormous crystal chandeliers, elevated floral vessels and sparkling gold candlesticks to tie it all together. Mahogany chiavari chairs completed the luxurious look at a mix of round tables and a long head table for the bridal party and newlyweds to have a prime dance floor view!

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When Chinnu changed after the ceremony into a lighter look, she transformed into a stunning gold and light blue princess with a touch of sheer light pink wrapping around her… her soft curls cascaded down to allow for a completely different look to end the reception!

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C+S, it was such an honor being part of your joyous and family-filled wedding day! We’re so grateful you came to us from a mutual friend (heyyy Lost Note Productions!) and wish you all the best!!

xo,
Naomi

getting ready location: Lord Baltimore Hotel
ceremony + reception: Belvedere & Co.
florals: Crimson & Clover Floral Design, Inc.
DJ: Dynasty AV & Entertainment
HMU: Styles By Swati - Salon SBS
Caterer: Rupa Vira's The Signature - Finest Indian Cuisine
Desserts: Patisserie Poupon Bakery

sneak peeks | elizabeth + donald's winter wedding at the baltimore country club

Elizabeth and Donald’s winter wedding at the Baltimore Country Club had the most incredibly chic, elegant and beautiful meaningful elements making up their day - I’m overjoyed to share these early favorites with you!

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You need to peek at this exquisite December wedding that had:

  • Jayce the pug as their dog of honor in a bowtie

  • an ivory, burgundy and gold festive holiday color palette

  • a bouquet of burgundy peonies, white anemones, white calla lilies + eucalyptus

  • Elizabeth’s grandmother’s fur stole

  • confetti cannons raining on the dance floor

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And I also want to share a PSA that rain on your wedding does NOT mean disappointment and dreary photos - quite the opposite! With creative areas of cover, snuggling together to stay warm and clear umbrellas, it means we get to be more creative and you get the best luck… you know, because rain on your wedding day is good luck (coming from this husband and wife photography team that got married at a vineyard during a hurricane and still look back on it and laugh 10 years later)! ;)

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Congratulations again, lovebirds! ps: Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ has always been one of my favorites to listen to this time of year and now memories of confetti swirling around as I hear it will always bring me back to your day!

xo,
Naomi

huge thanks to this talented team!


planning: Brian Scott
venue + catering: Baltimore Country Club
ceremony: The Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore
getting ready: Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
hair/makeup: Ariel Lewis
invitation + paper goods: mlc designs, llc
florist: Rutland Beard Florist
band: Bachelor Boys Band
shoes: Badgley Mischka
videographer: Black Tie Video
dress: Romona Keveza
boutique: Garnish Boutique
bridesmaid dresses: Lula Kate
bridesmaid dress boutique: Bella Bridesmaids
groomsmen attire: Tom James Company
transportation: Superior Tours and American Limousines, Inc.

kathryn + casey | vibrant fall wyndridge farm craft brewery wedding

These lovebirds are absolutely beautiful people inside and out; I’m SO excited to share Kathryn and Casey’s vibrant fall wedding day with you! Their September wedding date held so much meaning because Kathryn’s grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at that same time!!!

You need to read on to learn about the prominent piece of her wedding jewelry that her grandma made over the course of 20+ years… it made me tear up when I first heard it, such a beautiful way to incorporate a tangible family heirloom over the years!

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But first, a quick recap of how their love story began…

Having been together since high school, Kathryn + Casey officially started dating in 2009 over Qdoba and Blockbuster (movie + mexican food?! ...my kind of date night!) and have bonded over a love of being outdoors, part of a close knit family, their furbaby, Cooper (who may or may not have his own Insta...) and spending summer nights enjoying a cold beer outside on the patio with cafe string lights above. These are my kind of people!!!

When Kathryn told me their wedding venue was going to be at Wyndridge Farms in Dallastown, PA, I knew it was THE perfect place for them… I also did a happy dance because of all of the unique and beautiful backdrops I knew we’d have for portraits: a modern red barn, metal brewery architecture, idyllic rolling hills and an incredible outdoor chapel to start!

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The back of Kathryn’s Essense of Australia wedding dress was exquisite and fit her perfectly… I love how all the color and texture in her elegant garden-inspired bouquet compliments the dress too! You’ll also notice all of the hand-lettered calligraphy and signage throughout the ceremony, reception and paper goods that the bride did herself!! I’m honestly in awe of the vision Kathryn had and how beautifully it all came together.

Side note: one of our previous Urban Row brides is the bridesmaid buttoning Kathryn’s dress in the photo below (hi Abby!) and one of our future Urban Row brides is also a bridesmaid (hi Marissa!)… all 3 of these ladies share a love of dogs like I do and have included their #urbanrowpup in either their wedding or engagement photos!

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Venues that have separate and spacious getting ready suites for both the bride AND the groom are hard to come by, but you can find them here! Wyndridge maximizes the natural light that pours into each space so each side of the bridal party has a ton of room to relax, prep and look their best in, not to mention easy access to outside AND the upstairs reception space… and DOG FRIENDLY facilities!!!

Hello, Cooper… the BEST golden doodle dog of honor there ever was!

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Kathryn’s grandma started her pearl necklace the day she was born and added a pearl to it on each birthday, culminating in the final pearl in the strand for her wedding day…! Hello meaningful bridal jewelry, I want more of you! (*hint, hint, future Urban Row brides*)

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This might be my favorite image of the first half of the day mainly because every single person is so full of genuine joy… and those colorful bouquets completely POP against the mix of dusty blue and green Show Me Your Mumu bridesmaid dresses!

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Sparkler exits are such a fun way to end the best day of your life with everyone cheering you on! Wyndridge makes it so easy to capture with their outdoor patio forming a perfect path to exit and kiss your best friend in front of all of your family and friends.

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Kathryn and Casey, we couldn’t be happier to have been a part of the official start to your incredible love story, 10 years in the making… CHEERS to the best paw-rents Cooper could ask for! We love you both and are constantly wishing we could do it all over again... how about a first anniversary trip back at the farm? :)

venue: Wyndridge Farms
flowers: Flowers by Bauers
dress: Essense of Australia
dress boutique + veil: Claire's Fashions
bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
bride's shoes: Jack Rogers
ring: Saxon's Diamond Center + Kay Jewelers
bride's makeup: Lauren Merrick
bridesmaids' makeup: Jaclyn Kelly Price
hair: Colleen Kelly
officiant: Mike Antinozzi
suits: Generation Tux
ties: The Tie Bar
DJ: Club Ouzo Entertainment
invitations/signage/decor: Kathryn, the bride :)
desserts: Lancaster Cupcake

alexis + logan | lavender and navy country club of maryland wedding

When Logan told me how the proposal story happened, I almost cried happy tears right then and there… “I realized that all I wanted to do was be with her as I stared out the window. I remember saying to myself "Well, that seems to be that...it's time to make sure I can always come home to her".

Logan, you can now officially always come home to Alexis - YAY! Your wedding day was one for the record books… I know your home will always be filled with so much humor, movie/Office quote references and plenty of fajita making nights. :)

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A touch of classic detailing in the ringbearer’s seersucker light blue suit and lavender/navy bowtie - loved how Cohen’s Clothiers outfitted this little heartbreaker!!!

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Alexis’ wedding dress by Morilee had POCKETS and the best train EVER!!

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Pops of blue against the walls and lawns of green were such an elegant look for this spring country club wedding with the sweetest flower girls!!

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So many expressions to love when bridal parties line up and CRUSH it like this! Loving the groom’s GQ face and also the ringbearer at the end, living his best wedding life!!

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That moment when the fire department walks into your ceremony after the alarms were going off falsely multiple times… yup, that happened!

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A cake topped with firemen legos because… see above!… an epic Pittsburgh cookie table and floss moves meant smiles all around! Seriously, we couldn’t love Alexis and Logan more if we tried - this couple had SO much fun at their Memorial Day weekend wedding even with clouds that threatened rain the entire time.

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Cheers to you both and all the fun, lighthearted outlook you brought to the day… can we do it all over again next May? Minus the firemen, maybe. ;) It was an absolute dream to be part of your wedding!!!

xo,
Naomi

venue + caterer: Country Club of Maryland
florist: Maryland Bay Blossoms
DJ: Music Masters
wedding dress: Morilee
bridesmaids dresses: Hayley Paige Occasions
veil: bride’s mom!
shoes: Kelly + Katie
groomsmen attire: Jos A. Bank
ringbearer’s suit and tie: Cohen’s Clothiers
hair and makeup: 100 West Salon, Timonium
cake: Grauls
invitation: White Lace
transportation: Z Best Limo

kyle + kimberly | black and white renaissance baltimore harborplace wedding

Having grown up in Baltimore but now living in Ohio, Kimberly knew she wanted her spring wedding to Kyle to take advantage of the iconic backdrop of the inner harbor waterfront… when we found out Light City was planned to start the same night as their wedding at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, the color lover in me got even more excited to capture their downtown Baltimore wedding!

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With a bridal party all in black, white flowers softening the modern look and Kimberly’s details full of rhinestones and tons of sparkle, this downtown wedding was filled with so much charm, color and beautiful moments! Light City, you were so good to us!!

I have to say though, something about a series of classic and timeless black and white images makes my heart so happy…

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Here comes your dose of glittery sparkle for days… you’re welcome.

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Their ceremony and reception both had incredible waterfront views and with bright blue skies, sunny breezes and tons of crowds for Light City, we had the best vantage point to take in all of what Charm City offers!

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Cheers to you, adorable newlyweds! We loved being a part of your day and hope to see you again soon when you’re back in Baltimore!!

xo,
Naomi

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venue and catering: Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
DJ: C and J Entertainment
wedding dress: Eddy K
boutique: Bridal and Formal
groom’s attire: Jos A. Bank
videographer: Don Palmer
makeup: Jenna Williams
hair: Katie Dietz
officiant: Eric Hannum
dessert: Charm City Cakes
invitations: Carlson Craft

elizabeth + donald | a classic mt vernon engagement

When Elizabeth and Donald are together, they exude calm and gentle love one minute and adorably sweet laughter the next… these two are the perfect blend of fun, sophistication and classic style with a love of city life!

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We started in Mt. Vernon since the Walters holds a special place in their love story and finished by the water in Fells Point… you don’t want to miss Donny’s incredible proposal that involved a Faberge egg exhibit, one of Elizabeth’s favorite things to see at the Walters Art Museum!

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In Elizabeth’s words, this is how it all started…

”At a coworker’s going away party, a few people from my office got together at Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill and each coworker brought friends along. We met briefly and then Donny left and went to the bar next door. I went to the guy that brought him and said “…where did your cute friend go? …bring him back.” And Donny came back. A few fireball shots is all it took and since that night, we have been together.”

And as for the proposal?

”It happened at the Walters Art Museum. We had an action packed weekend with Happy Hour and dinner with friends planned but before it all started Donny suggested we go to brunch and he had a surprise for me. First instinct, I asked if we were going to SPCA to be annoying and get another dog since I would like another... he said no, its a surprise. We pulled up to the Walters and we were just there a few weeks before so I was suspicious why we were here again, since he knows this is one of my favorite places in Baltimore. But he said there was a Faberge exhibit so I really believed we were going to see this and the suspicion went away. Then he asked if we could go to the Chamber of Wonders and in there he got down on one knee after asking what was my favorite thing in the room. Afterwards we still went to HH and dinner with friends and were able to celebrate with them!”

I’m so excited for their wedding day one month from today at the Baltimore Country Club in Roland Park; I can’t wait to share their engagement session with you since Jayce, their cute little pug was the most perfect dog model!

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We CAN NOT wait until your wedding day is finally here, lovebirds!! It’s going to be such an incredible moment when you become husband and wife!

xo,
Naomi

devan + bryce | october wedding at the jefferson hotel and havana 59 | richmond

Is next week really Halloween already?! BRB I need to buy a bag of chocolate… it keeps me up at night to think about getting stuck handing out smarties because all the good stuff is sold out but this always ends up at the bottom of my to-do list EVERY YEAR! Anyone else share the same nightmare? ;)

Before this month passes us by, I have another confession… I recently discovered one of my favorite October weddings from last year got stuck in the black hole of updating and redoing my entire website and NEVER. GOT. SHARED…!?

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The most elegant and classic jewel toned color scheme carried through the entire day. Guests received a save the date with foxes dancing and Devan and her brother and sister (one of our 2016 brides!) spent the morning relaxing in adorable navy personalized pajamas. The bride wore a Hayley Paige wedding dress with 2 different sparkly shoes (JCrew flats and Badgley Mischka heels!) and the groom wore a navy suit with the most dapper gray wool vest holding his maroon tie in place.

My favorite portion of the day was when we spent time at 3 different iconic Richmond portrait locations together with Devan, Bryce and their bridal party. The skies were a perfect cloud-filled yet bright blue and the leaves were crunching underfoot… and these two beautiful people were radiating so much joy and love the entire time!

Fun masks were ready for guests to wear at the reception since it was 3 days before Halloween… obviously and the open air reception space was full of string lights, crumbling plaster and palms overlooking the Shockoe Bottom Downtown District.

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So much to love that I’m going to stop talking and just share this incredible Richmond, VA wedding day with you! I was so excited to have it featured on Hill City Bride to show off all of the planning and design that Devan did herself; not to mention, she and Bryce set aside 3 hours of portrait time for us to travel throughout the city of Richmond to iconic locations that were meaningful to them. We started at Monument Avenue, then headed to Brown’s Island Walkway and ended atop Libby Hill Park. I had never been to any of these places before and we managed to capture some of my absolute favorite portraits ever… some soft and romantic, some bold and edgy, all memorable and super sweet.

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Their church, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, gave me chills to capture; the sheer size, scale and light / shadow play that occurred during their ceremony was so beautiful. It reminded me of the churches I visited while studying abroad in Italy…

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Get ready to be transported to the most unique and fun wedding venue in downtown Richmond… Havana 59, you have my heart. Although next time we’re back, here’s hoping the construction is complete so we can take epic portraits under that neon marquee sign! The construction fencing below it was strategically composed out of most of our shots… ha. ;)

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