Interfaith Wedding: Congratulations Marian & Laurissa!

November 7, 2012

Marian & Laurissa were married on a beautiful fall day at the Interfaith Center in Columbia, Maryland.

Marian and Laurissa wanted a casual, autumn-inspired wedding. “We tried to keep enough traditions that it still felt like a wedding, but we skipped the traditions that didn’t feel like us.”

“Our ceremony was led by the rabbi and cantor from our synagogue. We were unexpectedly nervous so it was nice to have familiar faces there with us. Both of us were very touched by the rabbi’s personal remarks. We were also glad we decided to write our own ketubah and have it read during the ceremony as vows. Marian’s dad played a beautiful clarinet solo with other musicians he arranged for the occasion. One humorous moment was that Marian had to try a second time to break the glass at the end of the ceremony – it was surprisingly difficult on carpet and in heels!”

Marian continues, “Our reception was in the renovated hayloft of a barn. We asked the DJ to play a few country two-steps to match the setting and we danced our first dance to Shania Twain’s You’ve Got A Way. Laurissa’s dad also impressed her by choreographing a country waltz for her father-daughter dance. It was great to see so many of our guests dancing during the reception.”

The personal touches really added to the style and charm of the wedding. Laurissa’s mom hunted down miniature pumpkins at a local farm to make place cards and Marian’s mom put together fall bouquets from the farmer’s market.

The couple had a hard time deciding on what kind of food to serve, “Both of us have been vegetarians for many years so we were so happy when we found a caterer that was up for the challenge of a mostly vegan buffet. Marian’s aunt made a stunning wedding cake and our favorite restaurant, Great Sage, made a vegan gluten-free carrot cake. We joked that our first compromise as a married couple was having two cakes so we could each have a bite of the cake we wanted during the cake cutting.”

I am thrilled to post this wedding today. Yesterday, on election day, Maryland voted on Question 6, which legalized gay marriage in the state.

Congratulations Marian & Laurissa!

I was also honored to photograph the couple’s engagement portraits last fall.

Special Thanks to the Team:
Ceremony Venue: Interfaith Center
Reception Venue: The Other Barn
Rabbi: Doug Heifetz
Wedding Rings: Seababe Jewelry
Kippah with veil: Kippah Design

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A Non-wedding Wedding at Dinosaur BBQ: Congratulations Laura and Eric!

November 1, 2012

Laura and Eric are sweet, silly and so much fun. They are also very non-traditional. When Laura contacted me about wedding photography one of the first things she said was, “We’re really excited for a BBQ party (and also that other part, getting married).”

On the day of their celebration, we began by taking some fun casual photos in their neighborhood, starting with the Metro Diner on 100th and Broadway.

Laura shared with me, “We had discussed getting married on and off for awhile, but never really settled any plans. We were at the diner on a Saturday morning in March and I asked Eric if he wanted to get married in October. He said OK. Then we had pancakes. (They were delicious.)”

Next stop: Riverside Park.






Laura continues, “Eric and I met when we were interns at Random House in 2007–he walked to Midtown from Brooklyn on a day the subways flooded because he has an excellent work ethic, and a picnic for the interns got moved from Central Park to the office, so I decided to go since it was easy to get to and the food was free. (Can you tell which one of us is lazier?) We sat together and Eric mentioned that he was going to make cookies for his floor. I let him know that cookies were stupid, no one likes cookies, and everyone likes cupcakes. The next day he showed up at my desk with cupcakes, so I decided to figure out what his name was, and it all went from there. (I only found out much, much later that he ran out of sugar at 2 in the morning and the only 24-hour place near him was a McDonald’s, so he went there, grabbed as many sugar packets as he could carry, and measured out the sugar by opening each packet one by one. (In case you couldn’t tell: I’m the lazy one. Definitely not Eric.)”



After walking through the Upper West Side, it was getting close to party time. Eric and Laura changed into their fancy clothes and we stopped for a few more portraits at the amazing Gothic cathedral, Saint John the Divine.



Laura told me one of the main reasons she decided to get married was so she could get new shoes. I love these teal pumps!


 It was now time for some BBQ!



Laura and Eric were originally going to elope, but as she puts it, “We realized we’d probably have to bring my mom, and then we’d have to bring both of our families, and once we got the essential people to New York there would be somewhere around twenty people we’d have to entertain for at least a weekend, so we figured we might as well have a party. We picked Dinosaur Bar-B-Que because it’s delicious and in our neighborhood–everyone we know lives in Brooklyn so it took getting married to get our friends up to our area. I think we were Dino’s first wedding, and I can only hope it wasn’t too traumatizing for them.”




The decorations were so charming. Laura shares, “I wish I could take credit for the party going so well and being so much fun, but I had almost nothing to do with it–after I picked out the menu a friend of mine, Alexis Cariello, made all of the table settings, decorations, place cards, you name it, and the team at Dino went above and beyond to make everything run smoothly. We had an amazing time, and we hope our friends and family did too!”


“Of course as soon as we sent out invitations for October, Eric got a new job so we got legally married on August 17th at the City Clerk’s Office so he could have health insurance (tres romantic, I know). The party was more fun for us that way because it was just a party–no stress, just ribs and drinks and everyone we love in one room.”


Many wonderful toasts were given, but Laura’s brothers definitely made everyone laugh the most with funny stories from their childhood.



Congratulations Laura and Eric!

Dress: BHLDN

Shoes: Vince Camuto

Hair: Ouidad Salon

Necklace: Heirloom from Laura’s Grandma

Eric’s Shirt: Proper Cloth; Pants: Banana Republic

Eric’s Shoes: Cole Haan; Belt: Trafalgar; Socks: Marcoliani

Venue: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Coordinator at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: Lizette LeBron

Wedding Planner and Stylist: Alexis Cariello

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Musket Ridge Wedding: Congratulations Jackie & Will!

October 26, 2012

Jackie and Will were married on a beautiful Autumn day at the Musket Ridge Golf Course in Myersville, Maryland.

The rich purple colors of the dress and bright orange flowers stood out so nicely against the lanscape. What a GORGEOUS group!

Jackie and Will requested to take part in a popular new wedding custom: the behind the door greeting. Jackie and Will did not have a first look to see each other before the ceremony, but they did hold hands. Jackie stayed behind the door of the dressing room and Will came right up the the back side of the door to say hello and share this special moment right before the ceremony.

Jackie and Will’s ceremony took place on the patio of the Musket Ridge looking out to the breath-taking landscape of mountains and fall foliage. The ceremony was in the absolute ideal location for photography–held outdoors surrounded by natural light, but covered, so even the rain could not force everyone to go inside.

Jackie saw this adorable photo idea with the flower girl and ring bearer holding a picture frame on Pinterest and asked me to recreate it for her.

TOO cute!

I had the pleasure of photographing Jackie and Will’s engagement portraits last fall in Washington D.C.

The elegant autumnal reception was held in the Catoctin Hall at Musket Ridge.

Jackie had such a great style for the wedding. I asked her how it all came together…
“We did a lot of DIY projects for the wedding. I got a lot of my ideas off pinterest and etsy. We made the display on the mantel, the card box on the gift table, all the signs on the photobooth table, gift table and bar. Also, my mom and I went on the longest 5 hour hunt for small white pumpkins for the table center pieces. We went to a pumpkin farm and found only one.  Then on the way home we passed a little stand on the side of the road and decided to give it a chance.  There we found over 100 small white pumpkins. The funny part was we had passed the little roadside stand on the way out of the pumpkin farm and had thought about stopping there first but then decided the pumpkin farm would be sure to have them. My brother played a big part in helping plan the wedding because I am indecisive. At one point I wanted all purple table cloths and he told me it would look like a gumball exploded in the room if we did that so we went with only purple napkin and ivory table cloths.”
“Even though planning was stressful my family and I made a lot of memories in the planning process that I will always cherish.”

Jackie and Will also shared their favorite moments with me, “My favorite memories included: dancing with the flower girl, our first dance together with our bridal party standing behind us, and walking down the isle with my Dad.  Will said his favorite memory was when the I work out song came on I dropped to the floor to do push ups and everyone else followed because I spent a lot of time working out and doing push ups before the wedding so it was comical to him that I also did push ups during the wedding.”

Congratulations Jackie & Will! Jackie and Will included a photo booth at their reception.

Check out the slideshow here!

Special Thanks to the team:
Photography by Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Venue: Musket Ridge Golf Course, Myersville, MD
Officiant: Dr. Warren Ebinger
Guitarist: Gary Smallwood
DJ: Damon Murray
Cake: Ed’s Country Bakery
Dress: Hitched
Bride’s Shoes: Nina
Florist: Twinbrook Florist
Tux: Men’s Wear House
Videography: Grant Bell
Hair: Timmy Fitzgerald
Makeup: Emily Huggins

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DC Wedding with Portraits at the National Arboretum: Congratulations Kate & Andrew!

October 24, 2012

Kate and Andrew had a beautiful autumn D.C. wedding.

The pin on Kate’s sash was her something borrowed, and it was lent by the groom’s mom. It belonged to her grandmother.

Kate says, “I love family heirlooms, and I am really grateful that she was willing to let me borrow the pin. I ended up wearing that pin, which was from Andrew’s great-grandmother, my wedding ring, which was given to my maternal grandmother by my grandfather for their 40th anniversary, and my necklace and earrings which were given to my paternal grandmother by her mother.”


Kate’s mom helped her with her dress, tied her sash and put on her veil.

After getting ready at the hotel, Kate and Andrew shared a first look and then we all went to the Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum for photos.


Kate and Andrew met in the clinic workroom at law school in 2009. After a week of sitting across the table from each other and gchatting, Kate conned Andrew into their first date.


Kate describes the wedding, “It was really important for us to have a wedding that was both us and showed what DC means to us. We loved being able to do the pictures at the arboretum with the Capitol Columns, our table markers at the reception were all DC neighborhoods, we had cherry blossoms on our programs, and I even used the special DC cherry blossom stamps for all of our invitations. We also knew that a lot of our guests were traveling for the wedding, and it was important that they had fun, and that they had a relaxing time.”


I loved shooting at Capitol Columns–what a stunning location!






The ceremony took place at the St. Monica and St. James Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.





I loved this look for the mother of the bride. Her lace top really complemented Kate’s vintage styled dress.




After the ceremony, everyone made their way over to the reception at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Friendship Heights.



Kate shared, ”One of the more unique elements was our cake topper, which was a bride and groom platypus. Early on in our relationship, one of us made a joke about God having a sense of humor, and we both responded “just look at the platypus” at the same time. I told our friends, and they thought it was grossly lovey-dovey. Everyone started calling us “platypus love.”  It stuck, so I ordered custom cake toppers to look like a bride and groom platypus.”



The couple shared their first dance to When You Say Nothing At All by Alison Krause and Union Station.




Kate and Andrew had a photo booth at their reception. Check out the slideshow here!


Congratulations Kate and Andrew!


Special thanks to the team:
Photography by: Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Photo location: National Arboretum
Officiant:  Rev. Milton C. Williams, Jr., Interim Rector at the Church of the Ascension in Chicago, IL
Church:  St. Monica and St. James Episcopal Church
Flowers:  Flowers On14th
Dress:  Alfred, Alterations:  Kim’s Couture, Sacramento, CA
Bride’s Shoes:  Style & Co., Macy’s
Make-Up/Hair:  Michael Anthony Salon
Tux:  Hugo Boss, Nordstrom
Rings:  Kate’s engagement: Brilliant Earth; Kate’s wedding ring: heirloom; Andrew’s ring:  Macy’s
Jewelry:  Heirloom
Reception:, Chevy Chase
Cake:  Creative Cakes
Cake Topper:  Precious Wedding by Kikuike Studio
Invitations:  Wedding Paper
Shuttle Service:  Metropolitan Shuttle

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Autumn Newton White Mansion Wedding: Congratulations Rebecca & Dustin!

October 23, 2012

Rebecca & Dustin had a beautiful vintage inspired wedding at the Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, Maryland. Preparations began in the bridal suite.

Rebecca chose plum and orange accents because of the rich and rustic autumn color.

This might be my new favorite wedding trend: the behind the door greeting!

Rebecca and Dustin requested to share this special moment, which has become popular on Pinterest. They had not yet seen each other, but stopped to say hello and hold each other’s hand before we went outside for the first look.

Rebecca shared with me, “One of the best decisions that Dustin and I made was to do the First Look. It felt like it was really an intimate setting with just the two of us. I wasn’t nervous at all, but more excited to see his face, and to be with him before the ceremony.”

Rebecca continues, “While I suppose it’s pretty untraditional to have a male as your guest of honor (rather than a maid of honor), it was only fitting for Dustin and I. Stephen, my guest of honor, and I have known one another since preschool, and have been best friends for years. After college, we decided to move to D.C. together. While I was living with Stephen, I met Dustin. Dustin would always come over and hang out with the both of us, and became pretty good friends with Dustin. We all eventually moved in together in 2009, and have been great friends ever since.”

The ceremony took place out on the patio of the Mansion.

Rebecca shared her engagement story with me, “One weekend in November 2010, Dustin and I spent the weekend at Harman’s Cabins in West Virginia.

There was a pretty steep hill/cliff that you could climb on the other side of the river that overlooked the cabins and beautiful countryside. The morning before we left, we decided to take a hike up to the top to see the view. I can remember that morning was pretty chilly and I asked to borrow Dustin’s fleece jacket. He gave me a weird look and said “no.” I was kind of taken back by his answer, and thought that he was being rude.” (Dustin had to hold on to his jacket because it had the ring in it!)

After enjoying the view they decided to head back down the trail when Dustin stopped, got down on one knee, and proposed.

Rebecca said, “The engagement was perfect.”

Cocktail hour featured two signature drinks: the bride’s Peach Fuzz Punch and the groom’s Margarita.

Rebecca and Dustin had such sweet wedding favors: homemade jams and pumpkin butter.

Rebecca decided on a special exit with bubbles ; the way they caught the light was just perfect. They made for a beautiful and dramatic exit!

Congratulations Rebecca & Dustin!

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Newton White Mansion
Coordinator: Kristi Hartig, GLOW
Officiant: Carol Southwick
Caterer: Beefalo Bobs
Cake: Unique Bakery
DJ/Band: John Koslin
Florist: Convention Florist
Invitations: Rebecca Downor
Hair: Janelle Wheeler
Rings: Zales
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal

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