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A Historic Engagement in Savage Mill, Maryland

Brittany & Dan

The thing I love about living in Maryland is that there is no shortage of great backdrops. We have mountains, we have fields, and we have Historic Savage Mill. The most perfect little place for an evening engagement session. There are trails close by, a gorgeous bridge, and cute buildings! Does it get any better? For Dan and Brittany's engagement session, they really wanted to include the historic area. They'll be getting married in just over a month very close to Savage Mill, but their schedule will be a little full that day. They didn't want to miss the opportunity to shoot by all the amazing buildings, so they opted to do their engagement there! Truly the best of both worlds.  Now, I don't think any of us expected the bridge to be closed. Kind of a bummer; however, it gave us the chance to explore the area more. I've never leapt over giant logs and limbo'd under caution tape with a couple before. First time for everything, though, right? Haha! There really is so much to see and do in the area. I'm so happy that Brittany and Dan were up for the adventure! Hanging out with these two for the evening was so great. We got to have a ton of fun, both in our wandering Savage Mill and photographing. Shawn and I have been playing around with some different shooting techniques, and Brittany and Dan were receptive of that. There's nothing better than us cheering on...

A Mt. Washington Mill Dye House Stunner Wedding

Aimee & Mike

I love a good rain wedding. I realize I sound like a crazy person, but stick with me. If a couple is adventurous and recognizes that rain "ain't no thang," there are some truly amazing opportunities. Aimee and Mike's wedding at the Mt. Washington Mill Dye House was all sorts of unique, even if there was no rain. Adding in a little drizzle made the day extra fun. We were able to explore different areas, appreciate the bright greenery, and even clean out our car so we could act as a mini shuttle. It was all really, really great! I felt like the bond we had with these two along with their bridal party was strengthened because of the weather.  There is something about Aimee and Mike that makes us feel so totally at peace. I don't know if it's their calming nature, Aimee's incredible organization, or the fact that we just adore them. Whatever it is, we can't get enough. When a couple is so flexible with photos, I can't ask for anything more. We knew these two were up for anything at their engagement session. Aimee, with a freshly stitched knee, "jumped" over fences (with Mike's help). They climbed over rocks and did everything with a smile on their faces. I believe that is the moment Shawn and I fell in love with these two, haha! Their wedding was no different (save for the knee wound). They both were ready to have fun and...

A Naval Academy Engagement You'll Absolutely Love

Eliza & Taylor

Even though the summer is coming to a close, the amazing engagement sessions are just starting! Sunday morning we met up with Eliza and Taylor in Annapolis. The morning was bright and the air was cool. It was arguably the best August morning ever. Eliza and Taylor were incredibly charming the second we met up with them. They came relaxed and ready to have an incredible session. Conversation came easily and was very revitalizing despite having to wake up before the sun even started to appear. We never miss an opportunity to be out by the water for our Annapolis engagement sessions. But we always longingly look at the great waterfront rocks over in the Naval Academy. Shawn and I have just never had the opportunity to go past security to have a session there, but Eliza and Taylor were the perfect ones to explore with. Taylor is a Marine and Eliza's brother goes to the Naval Academy, so they both had a ton of knowledge about the area and various interesting facts. It felt like a tour with some friends in addition to a session! There were so many spectacular places at the Naval Academy, including a gorgeous fountain, lots of greenery, and some very awe-inspiring buildings. We even experienced reveille as the academy began its Sunday. Afterwards, we took a trip outside to downtown Annapolis and the Statehouse for some more great photos. These two didn't need any instruction on how to pose, and were like pros as...

A Foxhill Park Sunset Engagement Session

Erin & Chris

Last Wednesday, Shawn and I traveled to Foxhill Park in Bowie for Erin and Chris's engagement session. Shawn and I were so excited to meet up with Erin and Chris along with Chris's sons, Carson and Reece. Erin and I had been texting back and forth leading up to their session, so I already felt like we already knew each other. As an added bonus and making us love them even more, they got us a bottle of wine as a gift! How friggin' sweet?!  My favorite part of their engagement shoot is it doubling as a family session. Involving Chris's sons really made the evening extra special. Carson and Reece added a lot of laughs to the photos as they heckled Erin and Chris from afar, hahah! But seriously, these boys are so well behaved and kind. It was amazing getting to meet them and see their excitement for their dad and Erin's big day. It's important to note that this was our first time at this location and, oh my goodness, what a hidden gem! There's such an old world charm to this park with a stone bridge and towering trees. I seriously felt like we accidentally traveled to Ireland for a second. On top of all of that, the park is pretty small, so it is incredibly easy to navigate around. Everyone needs to check this park out!  Before the evening ended, there was a quick outfit change and a stop at the baseball field...

A Must-See Emory Grove Hotel Wedding

Christa & Grant

Pulling up to the Emory Grove Hotel, I was armed with my weather app and rain coat. Shawn and I were so ready for crazy elements, because the entire week there was a 100% chance of thunderstorms. But wouldn't you know, there was someone looking out for these two, and the rain didn't come until we were all safely indoors eating dinner.  A wedding like Grant and Christa's doesn't happen often. The family bond, the friends surrounding them, and the sense of togetherness all fit into the day perfectly. There's an electricity in the air that let's you know "this is going to be awesome" - and it was. My absolute favorite moment has to be when Christa opened her gift from Grant. Neatly packaged was a sweet note, a bible given to Grant for his dedication as a baby, and a bracelet Grant had bought while in Zambia before meeting Christa. Gifts that were destined for Grant's future wife that he had kept specifically for the wedding day. I'm getting chills all over again!  If there is ever two people that deserve all the love and happiness in the world, it's these two. They simultaneously kept so many wedding traditions, while also making the day unique. Their ceremony decor in the tabernacle reflected their rustic Americana inspiration, while the recessional parade made every single guest feel like they had a role in the wedding. No detail was too small to be thought about, which made the...

5 of the Best Groom Reactions

Wedding Day Cheer

You know how sometimes you just need to do something that will make you smile? Not anything ridiculous, just something that will make you feel good. This week, I've been working on some pretty exciting things, but I gotta admit: I'm feeling a little tired. I needed this post to just be me writing about something I adore, and one of my favorite things is amazing groom reactions. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a dude that isn't afraid to share his heart.  Over the years, we have seen many different groom reactions. There's been laughter, deep breathing, tears, and so many more. Every groom reaction is so full of joy and it truly makes the wedding feel complete. We've seen guests, of course, be excited to see the bride, but what we see more of are guests taking bets on a great reaction from the groom. It's so funny to watch grandpa study the face of his grandson, waiting for the reaction of a lifetime.  At this point in the season, we've experienced a full gamut of emotions. The groom reactions have been extra stellar this year, and I really just want to show off a handful of them. Like I said earlier, these images all make me feel ridiculously happy, and I wanted to bottle that happiness up into a blog post :).  1. Smiling so hard your jaw hurts 2. "Can you believe this?!" 3. A quick moment of...

6 Money Saving Secrets for Your Wedding

Tips & Tricks

When Shawn and I were planning our wedding, we cut corners in a ton of ways. We made our own centerpieces and cake stands, and I learned calligraphy specifically for the invitations. Having the wedding we wanted for a price we could manage is important, and I know we aren't the only ones who were looking for money saving secrets. Now, don't think that DIYing is the only way to save money. Finding savings in any area of a wedding is a big boost for anyone's big day. After all, less money spent elsewhere means more money on the things you care about most!   Since we are wedding photographers and see so many beautiful days, and so many crafty brides and grooms that truly put us to shame. We've been able to witness the best ways to save money, while still throwing one epic party. There's probably way more than 6 money saving secrets, but this quick list will help any couple cut costs and stress. It's your big day, and none of the preparation should be spent arguing over a budget. Do It Yourself (DIY) Decorations We aren't saying couples have to DIY every decoration, but every little bit does counts. If you can save money by creating your own centerpieces or arbor, then there's the flexibility to put that money elsewhere. You want a dream day, and there's nothing saying that you can't have that while also putting a sweat into creating something amazing. One of...

4 Questions to Ask Yourself

Finding "The One" Wedding Photographer

While preparing for your big day and hoping it all comes together, it's easy to feel like the dating process all over again. Balancing the bittersweet emotions of anticipation, excitement, fear, and hopefulness. This is especially true for your wedding photographers, who you are entrusting with preserving a huge life event for generations. That's a big responsibility, even when you are dealing with those of us who have years of experience and knowledge. You only get one chance for your wedding. So how do you know it is a good choice you can be excited about? They might meet your checklist of requirements, but is that sufficient to finding the perfect wedding photographer? Finding "The One" Wedding Photographer Having gone through it ourselves, we know that feeling of searching for the perfect wedding vendors. Besides budget and guest list, it's one of the biggest stressors of preparing your nuptials. First, there's the balance between cost and value, finding vendors who have quality work but won't break the bank. Then you hope they are available on your date. You spend some time in meetings or email exchanges before narrowing down to one vendor. Finally, you weigh out your options and put money down to lock them in for your date. Everything is finalized, and the commitment is real. So, before you invest, what are some important questions you two can ask yourselves to be certain you won't feel buyer's remorse? Editing Style Does their editing style match what I want...

A Sweet Liriodendron Mansion Wedding

Melissa & JJ

Melissa and JJ couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous day at the Liriodendron Mansion. The temperature was great, the Maryland humidity was manageable, and the 70% chance of rain never materialized! It was what you expect for a perfect summer day, and it makes me so happy that it fell on Melissa and JJ's wedding! Before I go jumping in, this place may look very familiar. Well, that's because we actually shot another wedding there the previous evening! The Liriodendron is so grand, we chose to hit it up the very next day, haha! Seriously, though, this venue is absolutely so stunning. Melissa and JJ found THE greatest venue for their vows and gathering of loved ones. I think the awe of this venue hits everyone a little differently. Some people walk right through to the ceremony space, face the mansion, and get are awed with all the architectural beauty. Others see what's going on inside of the mansion, and are charmed by the history. It's a fantastic place to kick off your lives together and give your guests more than they ever bargained for ;P. Something I really enjoyed about Melissa and JJ's wedding is that they fit so well together. Not only as a couple, but also with their families. Melissa's three niece's adore JJ, and it was THE cutest thing to see them grab his arm and just hold onto him. I feel like kids are the ultimate judges of character, and the way JJ interacts...