Steve + Joe are such a perfect compliment to each other. This thoughtful, fun-loving couple incorporates a sense of spontaneous adventure and a love of art, architecture and culture into their busy lives. Knowing that, it was no surprise that they chose Bolton Hill, one of Baltimore’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods, for the start of our engagement session together with their #urbanrowpup, Luther (always include your furry friends, please)!
Between the park they live near and the collection of magnificently restored 19th-century brick rowhouses on tree-lined streets among pocket parks and garden residences, Bolton Hill set the bar pretty high when we started out! We stumbled on my favorite urban backdrop: an ivy-covered brick wall that perfectly framed these two and set the tone for a relaxed, urban oasis feel to their Baltimore engagement session…
In Joe’s words, the story of how they met…
“We got together for our first date at Max's in Fell's Point. Steve had been running around for work the entire day and I had been planning to meet some of my friends from my masters program at Bad Decisions around the corner for drinks after my date was over. And then the date didn't end. We went for a walk along the waterfront (Early November so I'm sure it was chilly but I don't remember being cold) and had our first kiss on a secluded stretch between Fell's and Canton. Then we saw each other the next day and the next…”
With Brewer’s Art being one of their favorite local bars with Baltimore brews, we had to stop there on the way from Bolton Hill to Fells, where Steve’s boat was docked and waiting for us. I’m so glad we did - what an incredible place to enjoy a beer!
TIME OUT. Why are sunsets from a sailboat that much more amazing!? The breeze, the colors, the smells… life is so much fun while enjoyed by the water. I’m so glad Steve suggested incorporating his boat during our time together; it was the absolute perfect way to end a gorgeous summer night on the harbor!!
As if that all wasn’t enough, they were featured on Equally Wed, and I couldn’t be happier to have their love story and engagement photos shared with the world. Their vision of celebrating their life and love in Baltimore both during their engagement session and at their upcoming wedding at Mt. Vernon Park and The Assembly Room is simply perfect.
We are incredibly honored to be a part of your wedding day and can’t wait to capture all the urban art and industrial love you share with so many friends and family!!
Let’s be honest… as a groom, you have a lot less on your to-do list than the bride. That doesn’t mean you can’t master the things you do need to know and show up ready to go, ahead of schedule and with time to relax!
Here are 3 things we know you usually don’t think about on the daily, so you may want to practice and wrap your head around them in advance, with plenty of time before your actual wedding day:
1. How to tie your bow tie (watch THIS video and practice in advance!)... or buy a pre-tied one. We won’t tell. Pro Tip: PLEASE don't just start watching YouTube videos the minute we show up!
2. Similarly, how to pin your boutonniere on. Ask your florist for tips on attaching it and/or make sure someone who will be with you while you’re getting ready (either another groomsmen or your mom) has done it before and feels comfortable with that responsibility! The last thing we’d want is to spend time waiting for 10 guys to figure this out and have to help each other get theirs on before we can start taking photos. Your mom is always welcome to pin yours on if she is dressed and can be in the pictures, but help for all the other groomsmen is what we see often lacking and very much needed.
3. When the photographer is ready to take your getting ready photos, you should be 90% of the way dressed! No one wants photos of you in a t-shirt and boxers on your wedding day. ;)
If you are getting ready in a hotel room and we are starting photos there, all the groomsmen should be fully dressed. As the groom, you should have your shirt and pants on with your tie, shoes, socks (the more fun, the better: colorful stripes? fave sports team? ode to MD?), cuff links, watch and any other meaningful items, in one spot for us to capture right before you put them on. Getting ready photos actually means photographing you as you get your jacket and shoes on, putting the final touches on your tie / cuff links and buttoning your jacket.
If you are meeting us at another location to have your portraits taken (for example, at the spot where you’ll have your first look or even outside the church or venue), then we’ll just capture portraits of you 100% ready to go - adjusting your tie / cuff links and buttoning your jacket make for beautiful and classic getting ready shots.
What NOT to have nearby…
Piles of clothes / bags / food / beverages strewn about. A little tidying up in the room (or corner of the room) that gets the most natural light will go a long way and make your photos that much better!
If you’re able to quickly do all of these things, just think of what it really means: you can pour another glass of bourbon, scotch or grab a can of Natty Boh and relax with the guys. ;)
What’s the only thing better than new Urban Row couples that are best friends with past Urban Row couples (heyyyy Kathryn + Casey!) and dog lovers too?
When they meet simply because the groom’s family bought a house across the street from the bride’s family (literally across the street) and when their parents start talking, they discover that they were both going to be seniors at Stevenson University that upcoming fall. Marissa told me it's still up for debate who was peeking at who through the windows across the street. ;)
Everything about Marissa + Brooks’ Fells Point engagement session left me wanting more… their bright and colorful outfits, their adorable golden retriever (#urbanrowpup), the way they look at each other completely head over heels in love and the way Marissa twirled as the water glistened outside the Pendry hotel and Main Street in Fells Point was glowing…
And how sweet is their first date tradition?
”When we moved back to school for the fall of our senior year, we decided that one evening after my lacrosse practice and Brooks' baseball practice, that we would go to Five Guys for dinner. I guess that was our first date because Brooks generously paid for me. Every year on September 27th, we go to Five Guys to relive our first date. This September will be our 5th year together!”
I LOVE how much of a surprise Brooks’ proposal truly was! In Marissa’s words, here’s how it unfolded:
“I was always confident that I would know when Brooks was going to propose, he’s terrible at keeping secrets and I'm pretty good at finding things out! I was planning my mom a surprise birthday party but little did I know that Brooks and a select few that were also going to be at the party were planning the proposal. As the party was coming to an end, so I thought, my mom, step dad, and I were told that there was one more gift and that we had to leave the room for a minute. When we came back, Brooks had a huge sign made that read "Marissa will you marry me?" Not many people knew this was happening so everyone was just as shocked as I was. Brooks even arranged for my dad and brother and sisters to be there and snuck them in the back door. I was truly shocked and had no idea this was coming. To have my whole family along with close friends there to celebrate really made the moment even more special.”
As the sun was setting, they changed into a classic and dressier outfit to end our time together; I love when couples incorporate an outfit change since it allows you to have more diversity in your photos and treat it as a really fun and fancy date night with your love!
Marissa and Brooks are getting married at Musket Ridge Country Club in June and we can’t wait for the gorgeous Catoctin Mountain views, clean lines of the reception space at Catoctin Hall (think vaulted ceilings, light walls and walls of windows with views of the golf course) and seeing them finally getting to celebrate after so many years of being together!