Vanessa and Dave | Columbia Sheraton and St. Louis Church Wedding | Washington D.C. Wedding Photographer

Where do I even begin with this amazing couple? One of the things that first struck me the most about Vanessa and Dave is that they booked me for their wedding about a year ago, sight unseen without even meeting me in person or speaking with me on the phone before they decided they wanted to work together. This complete trust and faith in my work and skill meant so much to me at the time and even more to me on their wedding day. You have no idea how  nice it is to hear “Whatever YOU think. We trust you” from a client. It makes wedding days go so much more smoothly and enables me to work in a stress-free environment where I can product the absolute best images possible for my clients.

Dave and Vanessa’s trust in me may have been the first thing I took note of, and loved, about them but after spending more time with together during their engagement session and on their wedding day, it quickly became apparent there are a thousand other reasons to like these two. Their kindness, easy-going nature and absolute love and adoration for each is so admirable and makes you WANT to be around them. As I took getting-ready photos for Vanessa at her parent’s home I felt like I was hanging out with old friends. Her bridal party and parents made me feel so welcome, offering me lunch, helping me hang the wedding dress for photos and moving furniture so I had access to the best light possible. It means so much to me when family and friends welcome me into the inner fold on a wedding day instead of making me feel like outside hired help!

Vanessa and Dave’s entire wedding day was a classic and elegant affair, from the lace Pronovias dress Vanessa donned to the Rolls Royce getaway car and iconic stone church they were married in.

As much as I love beautiful and timeless accents, I think two of my favorite details of the day were sentimental in value. Vanessa and her mom had a family heirloom handkerchief embroidered with Vanessa, her mom and grandmother’s initials and then pinned it to the inside of Vanessa’s wedding dress. And for his wedding day gift to Vanessa, Dave (an engineer) handcrafted a jewelry box out of wood (to match one he had made for Vanessa’s engagement ring). As if that wasn’t enough, he turned the  jewelry box into a light activated music box that plays their wedding song “Die a Happy Man” every time it’s opened. Inside the box was a gorgeous necklace crafted in platinum (Vanessa’s “something new”) in the molecular structure of serotonin (the “happiness chemical”…well technically it’s a neurotransmitter…and yes, I had to look that up!). Here’s a little description about the necklace from Dave’s letter:

“They say that every bride should wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” to bring her luck on her wedding day. I wanted to give you something that would bring you luck for the rest of our lives…(open box now). Here I give you a necklace with a diamond chip from my grandmother’s wedding ring (something old), set in platinum (something new) that is shaped into the serotonin design (something borrowed) and accompanied by 2 blues stones from your mother’s collection (something blue).”

After that thoughtful gift I think it’s safe to say Dave is more than a keeper!

After getting ready photos Vanessa was whisked off in a white Rolls Royce (picked out as a surprise by Dave) to St. Louis Church for the ceremony. The priest gave an excellent sermon on the importance of never letting “the sun go down on your anger” in a marriage. After the ceremony we took family photos at the altar and at The Shrine of St. Anthony’s. It was a really blustery and chilly day but we found a wonderful covered and protected nook at the Shrine to take portraits and family photos. The location we ended up using BECAUSE the weather was so windy ended up being better than anything else we could have found on the Shrine grounds I think. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

After family photos, it was off to the Sheraton in Columbia overlooking a beautiful lake for cocktail hour and the reception…and what a party it was! DJ Chris Hart sure knows how to get a dance floor going.

I am just so honored to have been included in this beautiful and meaningful wedding day filled with the kindest and most welcoming people! Thank you Dave and Vanessa for choosing me to be with you on your wedding day. I hope you have an awesome honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands.  And thank you to your friends and family who helped make my job so easy and enjoyable that day! I can’t wait to share the rest of the photos with you when you return!

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