Best Day Ever at a Brewery in Washington D.C.: Maggie + Whitney

Best Day Ever at a Brewery in Washington D.C.: Maggie + Whitney

Whitney and I love a good craft beer, so when she threw out the idea of getting married in a brewery, I didn’t even ask her which one, I just told her that was the best idea I’d ever heard. Right Proper Brewing Co. was the only venue we visited, because their great Belgian style beers and the industrial-yet-intimate brew house provided us with the perfect wedding vibe we were looking for.

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A Classic, Diverse Wedding in Washington D.C.: Kevin + Zoe

A Classic, Diverse Wedding in Washington D.C.: Kevin + Zoe

I come from a multicultural background — my mom is from Portugal and my dad is from Jamaica, and I was born and raised in Canada. So many of our friends come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We had everyone there. I thought it was such a beautiful reflection of being a 21st century couple and all the wonderful diversity surrounding us.

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Real Couples // A Coffee Shop Engagement Session in Baltimore: Ali + Liz

Real Couples // A Coffee Shop Engagement Session in Baltimore: Ali + Liz

We met online; our first date was at the Frothy Monkey, a coffee shop, three years ago when we were both living in Nashville, TN. I got there early and found a table outside. I will never forget seeing Liz walking up the front path. She was smiling, and I immediately felt her warmth and a hint of nerves.

Over coffee we exchanged the typical first date information (what do you do? Where are you from? How many siblings? Do you have pets?). We hit it off immediately and ended up spending the rest of the evening wandering around the cute 12 South neighborhood.

Liz has this remarkable way of caring and nurturing. She kept me sane during the long hours and late nights of my medical internship. From the nights at home playing our ongoing Uno game (which I am currently winning 1,789 to 1,567) to our weekend excursions, every moment is the best adventure. Our relationship has always been full of laughter, flirting, encouragement, and support. We have moved states, homes, and jobs over the past three years, and I couldn't have imagined making any of these life shifts without Liz. She is not only my partner but my best friend. I cannot wait to see what life as in store for us!

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Queer + Christian // Love, Marriage and Half Year Celebrations!

Queer + Christian // Love, Marriage and Half Year Celebrations!

Being the kid at heart that I am, in addition to celebrations marking a full year of things, I also love celebrating halfs, and last month was the half anniversary of our wedding — one and a half years married ya’ll!!!  Throw confetti, release the unicorns, and let Kool & The Gang in to “Celebrate good times, come on!”

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Incorporating Ceremony and Ritual into Bridal Showers, Bachelor/ette Parties, and Weddings // River and Root

Incorporating Ceremony and Ritual into Bridal Showers, Bachelor/ette Parties, and Weddings // River and Root

Ceremony and ritual help us acknowledge change and transition in our lives. You can think about the difference between a meal that starts with a toast or saying grace versus a meal that just starts. In the former, everyone takes a moment to settle in and be present with each other before eating, and in the second we just start right in and we don't necessarily stop to be present.

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Real Families // Ethereal Boho Wedding: Mydanh + Alec

Real Families // Ethereal Boho Wedding: Mydanh + Alec

Mydanh Nguyen Tran and Alec Baker met only a year and a half ago, and it was love at first sight. They were both newly divorced with kids in tow and decided to do a very low-key two day event at Alec's farmhouse in Upperco, Maryland, this past June with only close family members invited to the actual ceremony and close friends and other family for the reception the following day. Mydanh's daughter, Laya, and Alec's daughter, Justine, were the flower girls, while Mydanh's son, Liam, walked her down the aisle. The kids stole the show to say the least

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Real Couples // Cathedral Wedding: Laura + Marc

Real Couples // Cathedral Wedding: Laura + Marc

When it comes to seeing people that have storybook love, Marc and Laura take first place. After dating over three years, Marc sang a song he wrote to Laura during his proposal. The theme of prayer over their relationship hit a new level at their wedding. There were tears during the big moments, laughter in the small ones, and fun dance moves during the reception. Marc and Laura are a couple that leave you feeling complete joy.

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Real Couples // Georgetown Sunrise Engagement: Varun + Amanda

Real Couples // Georgetown Sunrise Engagement: Varun + Amanda

Varun and Amanda met up with me early in the morning on a weekday, on a day when the world was still too cool in the morning to not wear coats, but it warmed up quickly. They told me they met getting their MBAs and joked that their hands brushed while using excel, and the rest was history. We traipsed through the tiny bit of forest we found near the water in Georgetown, DC, as we discussed all things Wes Anderson, and Amanda talk about how Varun has taught her a lot about South Indian food and culture. We ended the session just as most coffee shops were opening and as the sun started to warm the city. 

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Operation Sequin // How I Proposed to My Boyfriend

Operation Sequin // How I Proposed to My Boyfriend

My name is Nelle, and this is the story of how I came to propose to my beau Matt via a surprise, bedazzled, bikerideflashmob engagement party with 150 of our closest friends and family from around the world.  

Let’s start at the beginning. I’ve never wanted a traditional wedding: the expenses, the material waste, the long odds of success, the celebrations of heteronormativity and wealth, conveying women as property, etc.

I’m bi, and like most people, have a tenuous relationship with monogamy. I have always planned to queer my marriage. When I was six, I told my mom I would like to marry Ellen Degeneres, and I asked her to make the introduction. For most of my life, I assumed I would partner with some dreamy person and that we’d pack up our Subaru and elope.

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Real Couples // Foodie DC Wedding: Jess + Amanda

Real Couples // Foodie DC Wedding: Jess + Amanda

We are Jess and Amanda. After meeting in Istanbul in 2013, we fell for each other over a shared love of cooking and exploring the world. We have settled in D.C. until our work at the State Department takes us overseas. 

Amanda proposed in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was a misty night in September after we dined at an awesome restaurant in the city, Pineapple and Pearls.

We married on a similarly misty day in January. It was so chilly outside as we took our photos in front of the Capitol, but our awesome photographer Shawnee Custalow of A Lovely Photo warmed us with her enthusiasm about our special day.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Washington, D.C., Photographer Kanayo Adibe

Woke Wednesday // Meet Washington, D.C., Photographer Kanayo Adibe

Kanayo: My fiancée, now wife, bought me a camera for Christmas. So she tends to buy me enabling gifts when she notices a new interest I may have. I think I have an extreme personality, so say you give me 10-pound weights, I may end up a body builder, or you buy me a bike, I may start biking 20 miles a day. All of this happened by the way. So she gave me a camera, and it ended up as a photography business.

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Real Couples // An Artistic and Playful National Gallery Engagement: Marc + Laura

Real Couples // An Artistic and Playful National Gallery Engagement: Marc + Laura

Marc and Laura are one of those couples that even when they're not trying to, they look like they belong together. Throughout their entire engagement session at the National Gallery of Art, I kept photographing these two puzzle pieces fitting together like they had been married a long time. Laura is spunky and fun (just like her dress) while Marc is more reserved and sweet. Their ability to enjoy each other in every moment shows in their photos and moments. 

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12 Photographers You Need to Follow on Instagram for Nontraditional & Diverse Wedding Inspiration

12 Photographers You Need to Follow on Instagram for Nontraditional & Diverse Wedding Inspiration

While wedding websites and blogs are a great destination for inspiration, wedding photographers are the original sources for beautiful wedding images, most of which are never published on blogs, in magazines, or on websites. If you are looking for original, nontraditional, and diverse wedding inspiration — or just a daily dose of love — then do yourself a favor and follow these talented artists:

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Real Families // Courageous Love: Chardee

Real Families // Courageous Love: Chardee

I greatly underestimated the journey to motherhood. I had nine months to change my mentality and to become the woman and mother I have always dreamt I'd be. I've learned more about myself in these past months than I have in my 28 years on earth. I wanted my maternity session to reflect that growth. My journey hasn’t been easy to say the least, but I have and will continue to overcome all obstacles in my way. At the time of my session, I felt confident in my new role of Mommy-to-be. Megan and Garrett were spot-on with a location that would reflect this change. Mansions are beautiful and known to  symbolize wealth. I found beauty in my transition from independent young woman to highly-favored young mother. I have now become rich—rich in knowledge, strength, and unconditional love for another. Like a mansion, the home for me and my daughter, Ava, will be built brick by brick on a solid foundation of faith. I’m so thankful that I have pictures that truly depict the woman I have now become and the mother that I know I will be. 

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The Pros and Cons of Asking a Friend to Officiate Your Wedding // River and Root

The Pros and Cons of Asking a Friend to Officiate Your Wedding // River and Root

The good news is that it is possible to take the pressure off of your friend to prepare a perfect ceremony for you, while still allowing them to lead the celebration and legally marry you and your partner. Life-Cycle Celebrants are trained ceremony and ritual professionals who can work with you and your officiating friend to create a ceremony that feels comfortable and meaningful to all of you. We are skilled and trained in blending and incorporating elements of different faith traditions and backgrounds into secular (but possibly spiritual) ceremonies.  

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Real Couples // Vintage & DIY Wedding: Jackie + Luis

Real Couples // Vintage & DIY Wedding: Jackie + Luis

As we got to know each other more, the more I fell head over heels for this man. In 2015 on Memorial Day weekend, Luis had asked me if I wanted to go to Virginia Beach for the weekend with family. I said yes, and on that Saturday morning he woke me up at a few minutes before sunrise to go to the beach and watch the sunrise. I was livid. I huffed and puffed the ride down the elevator stating, "it's vacation time so we shouldn't be up this early; it's just wrong." He of course thought that it was hilarious. As we walked the beach and watched the sunrise, my eyes drifted toward the beautiful view, but then quickly remembered that sleeping in has its beauty too. Luis didn't risk any minute longer and called my name and got on his knees and proposed to me. I was stunned, and so many emotions were squeezing through my brain that I was mute for a minute or two. And he asked again. This time I had to pay him back for waking me up so early, so I said I would think about it, and oh boy I have never seen a man blush so hard in my life. And I reacted quick and said yes. 

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Real Couples // Coworkers Turned Lovers: Myeshia + Derrick

Real Couples // Coworkers Turned Lovers: Myeshia + Derrick

We met in Washington, D.C. while working as armed security officers at the U.S. State Department. Both of us worked in the Control Room during most weekends. Those long shifts brought us time and conversation, and I began to fall for his charismatic and funny personality. In December 2012, it was time for me to re-qualify with our work weapons. I knew that he previously helped other officers prepare for their qualification, so I used it as my opportunity to get to know him outside of work. While I failed to inform him that I had already passed my qualification, I mustered up the courage to ask him for his "assistance" anyway.

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Out of the Box Challenge // Rebel Creatives AKA Love Wins!

Out of the Box Challenge // Rebel Creatives AKA Love Wins!

Our shoot, entitled “Love Wins,” is an awesomely eclectic, reimagined concept derived after the 2017 presidential inauguration. Our original shoot concept and date was derailed by the protests and marches that overshadowed the inaugural festivities. But instead of sulking and complaining, we used the current political climate to inspire our finished story.

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