A Romantic, Intimate-Feeling Wedding in Charlottesville, VA: Caroline + Jon

A Romantic, Intimate-Feeling Wedding in Charlottesville, VA:  Caroline + Jon

Our first date was at the best pizza place in Arlington. I was skeptical of Jon because his profile was explicit that he "didn't get dogs." Jon was skeptical of dating someone who lived in Virginia, as he had been living in DC for a decade and was only temporarily displaced to the Commonwealth due to a house fire (everyone was fine). There was an immediate spark, though, and by the third date (an afternoon cruise up and down the Potomac) we both knew that this could be special.

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A Fairytale Wedding in Vero Beach, FL: Samantha + Stephanie

A Fairytale Wedding in Vero Beach, FL: Samantha + Stephanie

We have always wanted a fairytale wedding. Our thing is Peter Pan, so when we found the venue in a secret garden with all these magical lights, we knew we had to stick with it and create our own fairytale in our very own secret garden under the stars. The venue was a total accident. I was looking up photographers and saw the venue as part of a styled shoot, and Sam fell in love. I like navy blue, and I’m not sure how we landed on blush, maroon, and gold, but it worked out very well for our fall wedding.

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A Farm Wedding at the Circle Oak Ranch in Fallbrook, CA: Casper + Ulises

A Farm Wedding at the Circle Oak Ranch in Fallbrook, CA: Casper + Ulises

The couple told me they were looking for a venue with a rustic ranch theme, and found it in the Circle Oak Ranch. They viewed the photos online, and immediately scheduled a visit. They knew instantly that it was the place they were going to get married. 

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Classic Southern Style in Savannah: Ben + Peter

Classic Southern Style in Savannah: Ben + Peter

Our inspiration for the day was classic and clean, with a white and navy blue color scheme. We wanted to incorporate a lot of natural candle lights, florals and rustic greenery. We didn’t incorporate any cultural or religious traditions. Our best friend was the officiant who added a personal element to our ceremony. We couldn’t have dreamt of another person marrying us. She was truly perfect.

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Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Joey and I met at The Cove, a dark and dirty bar in Williamsburg. We met on the dance floor... not the place you imagine meeting your husband, but we lucked out! And oddly enough our close friends who married a year before us met on the very same night at the same club! We were sad to see it shut down a few years back. 

Our wedding venue was TBD, which also closed down now. We loved the mixture of indoor and outdoor space and it ranked high for "dance-ability" as well. Aesthetically, I loved the mixture of cement, greenery, metal, and street art; it felt really "Brooklyn" which we both loved!  And since we had a lot of friends and family we wanted to attend, the size really fit our needs.

As some of our photos suggest, we really tried to include "the city," and namely Brooklyn in our wedding photo story.  Street art, hip hop, and the backdrop to our single lives before and now married life after. 

Rima was a huge part of that, including the memories we'll hold onto forever. She came to us with high recommendations and did not disappoint! We also found out that not only did she used to work with my best friend Kat in television, she also photographed a friend's wedding in Wheeling, WV as well. The coincidences felt too significant to ignore!

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Real Couple // A Tented Garden Wedding in Louisville, KY: Elle + Suzy

Real Couple // A Tented Garden Wedding in Louisville, KY: Elle + Suzy

We met six years ago through mutual friends while I (Elle) was visiting my sister in L.A.. Between Suzy battling food poisoning and my already being half asleep with my PJ's on, it's safe to say that neither of us expected to meet our future life partners that night when Suzy walked into the room. It took no time at all before we were able to find everything and anything to talk about.

Our whimsical crushes on one another could have easily fizzled once I returned home to Kentucky; however, after numerous visits to see one another back and forth across the country, it was pretty clear that our “crushes” were much more than what we had thought. Our mutual adoration, curiosity, and yearning for one another only grew stronger with distance and time. 

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Real Couples // A Joyful, Intimate Wedding in Baltimore: Hope + Meg

Real Couples // A Joyful, Intimate Wedding in Baltimore: Hope + Meg

Our wedding venue is the most beautiful, timeless space that combined historical significance with updated charm. It was also conveniently located not too far from where we lived. We drove by it several times a week and felt comfortable there. Since we aren't native to Baltimore, we decided that we would marry here and bring all of our loved ones to the city we call home.

Our ceremony was short and simple, officiated by our sister-in-law, Colleen. Everyone in our immediate family walked down the aisle in pairs with flowers. Meg walked down with her mom and dad. Lovey ran down the aisle and joined our bridesmaids up front in one of her favorite camping chairs. We had small wedding parties with a few friends and involved other close friends and family in our ceremony with our readings. We also worked with a great caterer, Copper Kitchen, that we knew would make our wedding food something to always be remembered.

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Real Couples // A Glam Wedding in Cleveland, Ohio: Gloria + William

Real Couples // A Glam Wedding in Cleveland, Ohio: Gloria + William

We flew back to Ohio in the winter of 2016 to view venues, and in about one foot of snow. We visited several places, but the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland (MoCa is how it is branded) fit with our contemporary theme and was totally unique. We were able to purchase the entire venue for six hours and have all the art exhibits to ourselves and our guests. It was something most of our guests said they never had experienced before.

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Real Couples // Dreamy Pastels at a Classic Wedding in Dallas, TX: Christina + Mark

Real Couples // Dreamy Pastels at a Classic Wedding in Dallas, TX: Christina + Mark

We met through a mutual friend when we were in college, but were acquaintances for a long time. I was born in Taiwan but grew up in Japan, and Mark is Japanese but was born in America, therefore not as fluent in Japanese. We actually bonded over that fact when we reconnected years later since I speak Japanese better, and that led to where we are today!

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Real Couples // A Stylish, Woodsy LGBTQ+ Wedding: Mack + Jeanne

Real Couples // A Stylish, Woodsy LGBTQ+ Wedding: Mack + Jeanne

After meeting and falling in love in D.C. while on deployment, Mack brought Jeanne back to Cincinnati to continue their love story. And so, on a warm, spring day, adoring family and friends near and far traveled to witness Mack and Jeanne wed in an intimate ceremony nestled in the woods. Light poured in through the trees, shined onto the couple, and illuminated their faces during this mystical moment. Jeanne’s mother performed a chant ritual bringing goodness, gratitude, and love into the space. The ceremony concluded with handwritten vows and a joyful exit. Back at the barn, Jeanne’s sister presented a slideshow of the story of Mack and Jeanne, filling the reception with laughter and the happiest tears. The evening ended with a gorgeous golden sunset, and a dancing celebration.

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Real Couples // Remote Forest Mansion Wedding: Chris + Brian

Real Couples // Remote Forest Mansion Wedding: Chris + Brian

They were married on the coast, celebrated under a tent filled with everyone they loved, and only escaped for a moment to hold hands and walk on the sandy beach. Two men in love, married by the water, dancing through the night. 

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Real Couples // Carmel-by-the-Sea: Jess + Karolyn

Real Couples // Carmel-by-the-Sea: Jess + Karolyn

This wedding between two incredibly talented Irish photographers on a cliff in Carmel was fairly unplanned in that they were married the day before they intended, in a city they didn’t plan, on a cliff they hadn’t seen before, but in the end it was perfect. Their home in Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK and Ireland that doesn’t have marriage equality, so they’d been planning their Big Sur ceremony so they could get married somewhere beautiful—to finally have a piece of paper that said they married. But the week of their ceremony, the storms had been brewing in Big Sur and didn’t seem like they weren’t letting up. Warnings of weakened bridges to Big Sur, the intended wedding destination, and pictures of washed away cliffs filled my inbox as I drove from the airport to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Karolyn and Jess realized that I was there an extra day, the one day it was expected to not rain, so they decided Carmel would be the place they would get married. They were married with the sun shining down on them, hands clasped together, over the rushing sounds of waves, while greenery was hanging off cliffs for as far as the eye could see. And this is the story of how they were  finally married. 

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Real Couples // Love Hard, Dance Hard: Crystal + Michaela

Real Couples // Love Hard, Dance Hard: Crystal + Michaela

Crystal and Michaela have been through so much with one another, and they finally got married. They both unknowingly bought really similar dresses, which was super adorable when they finally saw one another. They also “shared" their bridesmaids back and forth, and during prep all of their friends were running from one room to the other. When it came time for the ceremony they walked each other down the aisle in a real show of their love for one another. They partied that night until their feet and the bottoms of their dresses were completely dirty and black. It was such an amazing day for two amazing women. 

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Real Couples // Virginia is for Lovers: Hana + Kaity

Real Couples // Virginia is for Lovers: Hana + Kaity

Sometimes I dream about the kinds of wedding I’d love to shoot. Those in distant places, like Africa or Asia, with simple details and big landscapes. I often think it would make me a better photographer, to have a portfolio with these weddings. But I’ve come to realize the kinds of weddings I want to shoot are the ones like this. 

We met Hana and Kaity a little over a year ago and quickly became friends. Their wedding day was full of genuine, real love. They asked to have their closest friends and family present for their first look. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but afterwards I looked around and saw that we were all crying. It was my favorite part of the day.

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Real Couples // Classmate Love Story: Nicole + Stephen

Real Couples // Classmate Love Story: Nicole + Stephen

It was a perfect fall day in the East Bay. Nicole hung out with her best friends, sister and grandmother while getting her hair and makeup done while Stephen and his mom practiced their first dance, and his dad was there to help with his tie. The ceremony took place in the beautiful redwood grove at Piedmont Community Hall with many friends and family in attendance. A special chair was set aside with flowers in remembrance of Nicole’s mom.

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Roundup // 10 Ways An Outdoor Ceremony Sets the Scene for Your Marriage

Roundup // 10 Ways An Outdoor Ceremony Sets the Scene for Your Marriage

For those of you out there who are enjoying the cozy engagement season around the holidays, here are ten outdoor scenes to inspire you for your upcoming wedding. These ten couples chose locations that set the stage to celebrate their joint pasts, as well as their intentions for the future.

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Real Couples // Elopement at the Rocks: Leonor + Katryna

Real Couples // Elopement at the Rocks: Leonor + Katryna

Leonor and Katryna have a soft, quiet, comfortable but strong love. I could see it in the way that Leonor's eyes sparkled when she looked at Katryna when she was getting animated over talking about some adventure, or the way Katryna's hand held onto Leo's. They cheer each other on through challenges and hardships -- through graduate school life and military life and everything else. Katryna, a pilot instructor, volunteers to fly dogs from overcrowded shelters across the country with Leonor happily keeping the dogs comfortable in-flight. They have five dogs between the two of them and are more adventurous than even these elopement photos would suggest. Katryna is the live-life-to-the-fullest, no-holds-barred type of soul, with Leonor, her strong champion and companion, quietly but equally as passionate for life. 

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