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Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Weddings

November 1, 2018

Fall Wedding in Northern Virginia at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

 

 

I’ve been looking forward to this wedding for such a long time! Chelsea and Aaron found my work last summer, shortly after I’d left DC for Indianapolis, but they really resonated with my message of capturing beautiful relationships and choosing timeless over trendy photography. In her first inquiry, Chelsea said, “What is most important to me is that the photos reflect the love in our relationship and between our family and friends, rather than the material things at the wedding.”

As we continued talking, I knew we were a perfect fit, and I was so excited to plan a few return trips to Northern Virginia to photograph their engagement and wedding.

From the beginning, Aaron and Chelsea have pursued a relationship and wedding that fit their intentional and thoughtful personalities. I love their “engagement story” – they decided to get married after discussing what their marriage would look like over a 17-hour plane trip to Australia. While I occasionally get all gushy over romantic proposal stories, I absolutely love this realistic and egalitarian decision. Every couple I’ve met has their own story and priorities, and I love photographing weddings that fit each one perfectly.

Chelsea and Aaron are planners, and they relied heavily on A Practical Wedding Planner to think through all the details of their modern, interfaith ceremony at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. In the Jewish tradition, they were each escorted down the aisle by both parents and they were married under a chuppah. They opted not to have a formal wedding party, but did receive seven blessings from their friends and a priestly blessing from their parents. One of their officiants also passed a hand painted rock to the guests so each one could add their own prayers or blessings to this keepsake.

After a sunset cocktail hour, everyone enjoyed a relaxed, unstructured reception in the beautiful Atrium at Meadowlark. (As a sidenote, this is one of the few venues in Northern Virginia where you can have a weather-proof reception in a space that feels like a garden with it’s running water, extensive flower beds, and floor to ceiling windows. It’s also a photographer’s dream.)

In lieu of some more traditional reception activities, Aaron and Chelsea, their parents, and several close friends gave extended toasts, and I can tell you that every one of them was simply fantastic. I have rarely heard such thoughtful (and hilarious) speeches. Aaron’s mom especially touched me as she talked about her baby boy growing into a man and marrying the love of his life. In fact, I asked her for a copy of her speech because I’m not sure I could write a better one for my boys.

I want to leave you with her words, because I think they really capture the love and joy of this day and this couple:

“I see this handsome young man towering over me and still remember holding him as a baby in my arms. I think about having prayed every day of his life that he would grow up to be a responsible, healthy, worthy adult. And I have prayed that he would someday find his soulmate, the love of his life. My prayers have been answered.”

 

My sincerest and most heartfelt thanks to Chelsea, Aaron, and their families for inviting me along to capture this joyful occasion.

Thanks also to the talented vendor team who helped make this day so beautiful and carefree:

Venue: Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Catering: Great Blue Heron
Linens: DC Rental
Florist: Nana Floral
DJ: Chris Laich
Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Music: Sage String Quartet
Hair & Makeup: Heather Rea Studios
Day-of Coordination: Capitol Romance

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