Michelle + Neema: A polished industrial DC Wedding at Union Market's Dock5
Seven years ago Michelle + Neema met at a mutual friend’s BBQ where they connected over delicious food and played games into the early hours of the night but lost touch shortly after. However, a year later, they reconnected at a concert at the 9:30 Club in DC and bonded over the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl hot dogs and cheese fries. True love. Five years later, during a trip to Paris with Michelle’s family over Christmas, Neema proposed to Michelle. It was only fitting that they began planning their wedding in the city where they call home, DC. They chose Union Market’s industrial space Dock5 as the perfect black canvas to showcase their love of food and Neema’s Persian roots. Christie Yerks, from the incredible design team of Grit & Grace, incorporated Persian rugs as the ceremony aisle, grapes & artichokes to reflect Michelle’s Northern California roots, as well as, pomegranates & plums as a nod to Neema’s heritage. Guests were treated to perfectly paired wines to accompany the tailored farm to table menu from Design Cuisine while Dan Huynh (aka the best DJ in the VA/DC/MD area!) had every person dancing for hours. Each detail was full of intention and vibrance that completely exemplified Michelle & Neema…as individuals and as one.
Event Planning & Design: Christie Yerks, Grit & Grace / Florals & Decor: Amaryllis Floral & Event Design /Invitations: Dandelion Patch; Bella Figura / Catering: Design Cuisine / Hair & Makeup: Hair & Makeup Artistry by Claudine / Bride’s gown: Lela Rose at Mark Ingram Atelier / Groom’s Suit: Suitsupply / DJ: Premier DJ Services / Lighting: John Farr Lighting Design / Custom “DANCE” Sign: Brightly Ever After / Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Stephanie + Max: A snowy Colorado mountain engagement shoot
I know Spring is right around the corner (I hope!) but I have to share this wintery engagement session that we did outside of Denver over two days. When we flew out, there was zero chance of snowfall and then overnight, 8 inches fell but Stephanie + Max were 100% on board with making it work. And boy, did it work! The Aspen trees looked like fire against the snow and they included their dog, Gizmo (who, I'm still trying to figure out how to dognap). Needless to say, it was COLD! We ended things a little earlier with the hopes that a lot of the snow would melt by the following day and it did! We drove out to Boulder to get some blue sky mountain shots and then drove through windy roads to a tiny town for cider & wings. I will always remember this shoot. Naz & I had the BEST time with these three and can't wait to see them again in September!
CAROLINE + CHRIS' colorful pippin hill wedding
i remember so vividly during their engagement session in brooklyn that these two really enjoyed life. their never ending laughs along with how they softly held hands really made me excited for their wedding. caroline + chris just wanted to have fun at their wedding and that word definitely embodies the two of them. they opted for happy colors with farmer's market elements for their mid summer wedding that amanda gray from ashley baber weddings designed, which set the tone for the entire day. they chose the best floral magic maker, jenn from nature composed, who is known for creating beautifully lush + wild pieces while remaining refined + artistic. she included fresh summer flowers with little surprises of fruits tucked into the arrangements. as the ceremony concluded, the sun was just beginning to set. guests were able to take in the stunning landscape that pippin hill is known for while drinking sangria & then were welcomed in for dinner to hear some of the funniest toasts i've heard. as the night went on, guests were treated to mini milkshakes and given baskets full of local strawberries and muffins for the morning. caroline + chris really gave their family & friends a special day to celebrate the happiness that they share as a couple. i can't wait to see what life has in store for them next!
VENUE: PIPPIN HILL FARM + VINEYARD / DESIGN, PLANNING & COORDINATION: AMANDA GRAY WITH ASHLEY BABER WEDDINGS /FLORALS & DECOR: NATURE COMPOSED /CAKE: MALIHA CREATIONS /CEREMONY & COCKTAIL MUSIC: PLUM BLOSSOM QUARTET / DJ: DEREK TOBLER /RENTALS: FESTIVE FARE, LA TAVOLA LINENS, PAISLEY + JADE, MS EVENTS/ LIGHTING: BLUE RIDGE AV + LIGHTING /HAIR & MAKEUP: AVENUE 42 / BRIDAL GOWN: TAFFI FROM PRONOVIAS / BRIDESMAID DRESSES: LINA FROM BHLDN / GROOM'S & GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: THE BLACK TUX /PAPER GOODS: MOMENTAL DESIGNS / CALLIGRAPHY: LEEN JEAN STUDIOS/ live painting: kelly oakes
Jess + Scott: Perfectly Paired in Palm Springs
The more we go to Palm Springs, the more we love it. It's a part of this country that is always full of surprises-especially when it comes to the landscape. The desert saw a lot of rain this past year which produced the most gorgeous colors on the mountains, cactus, and around those iconic homes that Palm Springs is known for. Jess & Scott moved to LA a year ago and they really wanted to have their engagement photos taken against the dramatic, yet peaceful terrain in PS. The entire day was perfect...from Jess's striking Katie May gown to their pup Mochi who loves eclairs to finding off beaten paths & exploring together. Take me back to Palm Springs! xoxoKatie
Lacy & john: a southern charmer in the heart of the blue ridge mountains
Surrounded by grand views, Lacy & John chose to have their wedding at the homestead resort nestled in the mountains of hot springs, virginia. their guests were welcomed with southern charm & surrounded by elegance. Which, once you've met the two of them...it couldn't have been a better fit for their big day. Their ceremony was in the cutest little chapel across the street from the resort that was intimate and warm. As the night went on, everyone danced danced danced. This group had some crazy moves! I love that their design incorporated bright colors alongside a traditional blue chinoserie pattern which felt unique & fresh. Enjoy!
Location: the homestead resort/church: St. lukes episcopal/ event planning & design: brita olsen design/florals: proper flower/bridal gown: amsale/hair: hannah with moxie/makeup: anna breeding/band: the voltage brothers/ calligraphy & signs: jodi Macfarlan calligraphy/ invitation suite: farmstead design studio
Stephanie + Phil: An Eastern Shore Love Affair
As seen in Martha Stewart WEddings, I am very excited & proud to finally share this gorgeous day...
Stephanie & phil met in 2011 while she was designing swimwear and he was in veterinary school in philadelphia. simply being around these two souls makes you wish you could see them all of the time. they are MAdly in love which emanated every time they looked at one another. they celebrated their big day at the inn at perry cabin in st. michaels, maryland with 130 of their closest friends & family. stephanie's grandparent's live on the shore so this was the perfect location to mimic the feeling of having their wedding in the backyard. the property is lined with rose and blackberry bushes that came alive with the heat giving a perfumed experience to their guests. their dog, teddy, wore his own custom yarmulke to walk down the aisle in which was perfection. Despite it being a hot july day, the breeze from the water along with all of the surprises & details (ie. fireworks!) made everyone feel like a kid again. please do it all over again!
Location/catering/cake: the inn at perry cabin/ event planning & desingn: pineapple productions/ floral design: amaryllis, inc./ videography: nazfilms/ stationery: cheree berry paper/ calligraphy: arney walker calligraphy/ music: string theory; nation/ rentals: dc rental, la tavola fine linen/ bridal gown & veil: mira zwillinger from mark ingram atelier/ engagement & wedding rings: klim jewelry/ bride's shoes: charlotte olympia/ hair & makeup: jason matthew salon/ bridesmaids' dresses: marchesa notte/ flower girls' dresses: watters/ ring bearer's attire: j. crew/ groom's suit: alton lane/ bowtie: suitsupply/ tent & lighting: sugarplum tent company/ fireworks: digital lightning
Jenna + Vinny: A Bald Head Island Elopement
I'm not sure where to start with this post because I'll simply end up rambling about how much I love this wedding and how fortunate I feel to this day to have been included in Jenna & Vinny's elopement. So, I'll keep it short. From the moment I arrived on the golf cart (cars aren't allowed in this tropical paradise), the entire family reached out and made me an honorary family member for the day. There aren't really words to describe that feeling other than it fills you up so much with love for people that you've never met until this moment. These are my people.
Jenna & Vinny chose the cutest church in the entire world to be married in front of and then we rode around in their Rolls Royce golf cart...yes, that's a real thing! haha. Jenna wore the prettiest dress from J. Crew with scalloped lace & Vinny kept their absent pups close by having their names put on his cufflinks. You could hear the cicadas in the evening in the dense Summer air...the sound of Summer and the humidity left a light layer of ocean air on your skin. I remember every wedding I've photographed, but I'll always have a special place for this one. Enjoy! xoxoKatie
Destination: rome & the amalfi coast
I've finally been able to sit down & sort through our photos from our last trip to Italy and all I can think is how much I want to go back. This is the trip that Naz proposed under two massive trees in the Villa Borghese eating sfogliatelle (my favorite!) and the wine we took from the flight haha. It was perfect!
We started off in Rome for several days simply wandering for miles and eating (you have to balance out the exercise, right?) I think we could map out the city just based on where we ate. The BEST gelato in Rome is on the tiny island across from the oldest hospital, called Antico Caffe Dell'Isola . Make sure you get the lemon basil...incredible-especially on a hot day. Also, the best meal we had was at Pianostrada which was affordable and so flavorful. I still dream of their 4 inch high olive oil soaked focaccia. If you're looking for an authentic cooking class then I HIGHLY recommend taking one from Daniela's Cooking School . We took one several years ago and it was hands down one of the best experiences. We made five courses during our class was almost 6 hours long in her home. We made friends & ate everything together at the end of the class...can't wait to do that again.
After Rome, we took a train to Salerno and then a bus to the town we were staying in on the Amalfi Coast, Ravello. At the time, we didn't know that you could take a boat to Amalfi (and then a bus to our town). Save yourself some nausea and take the boat! I always say that Como is the most magical place we've been to but Ravello ranks up there as well. It's the highest sitting town along the coast and you'll see, below, the views are unbelievable. We hiked miles to the other towns and explored through fig & olive tree covered paths. One of my all time favorite memories is when Naz & I were about to start down another path and an older couple with large buckets motioned us to come over. They were locking up their gates to their fig orchard, didn't speak english, and they handed us the most amazing figs that we've ever tasted. They were the size of small lemons, were warm, fuchsia inside, and tasted of rich wine. I will never forget that! The beaches are lined with colorful umbrellas with golden bodies that have seen years of sun. I was stared at because I am SO white! haha. I could go on & on so if anyone has ANY questions, always feel free to ask!
The photos below are a combination of iphone & disposable cameras. After years of slugging heavy gear on vacations & foreign destinations, I wanted to feel much lighter and be able to enjoy the trip. I love the nostalgic vibe and colors that the plastic cameras were able to get!
Heather, Addison, 2 loves, & a pup named Honey Badger
Six years ago, I was asked to photograph Heather & Addison's wedding at Tuckahoe Plantation (where he grew up!). Words can not possibly describe how purely genuine this family is and I count my lucky stars that I've been able to see them almost every year since. To watch them become parents to these to little boys & how they calmly handle everything is such an inspiration. This was the day when their newest addition was being christened so we decided to do a bunch of photos beforehand.
This has to be one of my all time favorite shots I've taken...the true reality of 1) family life & 2) doing family photos. HAHA! The moments between the more posed shots are the BEST!
Jen + Shane: A Summer wedding in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains
I have been waiting for months to share Jen & Shane's Pippin Hill wedding with you and since it was featured on Style Me Pretty yesterday (HOORAY!), I can finally do that. I remember their wedding day vividly...there was a 98% chance of rain but as many of us may know, nailing down Virginia Summer rain forecasts is next to impossible. Needless to say, we were taking photos outside when all of my weather apps said that it was down pouring and it was sunny. Ha!
Jen & Shane are two people who you wished lived next door to you just so you could hang out and have a beer with. Plus, they have two bulldogs and a chocolate lab...there's nothing better in life than pups (which they named their three signature cocktails after). They met at the University of Virginia on their first day of law school several years ago. Having their wedding in Charlottesville was important to them since that is where they spent their entire relationship and wanted to remember this special place before they moved shortly after to Ohio. According to Easton Events, the rose gold & copper accents throughout the day were a nod to Jen's family's Colorado background. Additional design elements included cow-hide rugs, reclaimed wood, succulents, lush woodland florals, and blue+ grey tones which mimicked the Rocky Mountains.
The best possible thing you can do to ensure that you receive beautiful photos is relaxing, enjoying yourselves, and trusting in me. I'm really proud of these photos and wish that we could do the day all over again so that I could take more & more. Naz's highlight film is at the end so be sure to watch the day unfold in Super 8. I hope you love these photos as much as I loved being a part of their day! xoxoKatie
Event design+styling: Easton Events /Videography: NazFilms/ Floral design: Southern Blooms/ Wedding Gown: Lela Rose/ Shoes: Jimmy Choo/Ceremony+reception venue: Pippin Hill Farm/ Makeup: Anna Breeding/ Hair: Moxie Hair & Body Lounge/Printed Materials: Rock Paper Scissors/ Calligraphy: The Left Handed Calligrapher/ Ceremony chairs + tabletop rentals: Festive Fare/ Ceremony Tent: Skyline Tent/Donut Truck: Carpe Donut / Lighting+AV: Blue Ridge AV+Lighting/Linens: La Tavola/ Welcome box: Marigold+Grey/ Cake: Favorite Cakes
a love affair with paris
Paris is magical. I've only been once and below are photos from that trip but I'm always trying to find ways to make it back there. The light has a blue cast that isn't seen anywhere else and the streets are yours to wander all hours of the day. It's very much like Rome in the sense that when the sun sets, it transforms into a completely different city. If you want the best crepes in Paris then the place to go is on the little island where Notre Dame resides, called Le Sarrasin et le Froment Creperie. I'm pretty sure we ate two ham & swiss crepes every day from here.
This isn't the first time that I've posted this styled shoot but when I had a new website made, it wasn't transferred over and it remains one of my favorite shoots that I've worked on. Cynthia Martyn Events arranged for Naz & I to shoot at the stunning Shangri-La Hotel (which is actually Napoleon's grandnephew's palace...how quaint) and then the Musee de Rodin that had recently reopened. Also, I will never forget waking up at 4am to catch the sunrise at the Eiffel Tower which is actually the last photo in black and white. I can't begin to explain how cold my fingers were and the peacefulness in the normally bustling city. I hope you enjoy some of my favorite photos! xoxoKatie
Designer of shoot & bouquet: Cynthia Martyn Events/ Table design & bridal box: Joy Proctor
/Film: NazFilms / White Bridal Gown: Saint Isabel Bridal /Light blue Bridal Gown: Marchesa /Model: Anastasiya Vasyk /Hair & Makeup: Modern Beauties / Invitations & Calligraphy: Seniman Calligraphy & Written Word Calligraphy /Shoes: Bella Belle / Jewelry: Helena Noelle /Cake: Cake Opera
2 became 5
I've been photographing Robyn & Dustin for years now...I shot their wedding and then when the two of them became three, I was there for thatand here we are today with a family of five! It's been so fun getting to see how different each of the kids are over time. They're becoming the kindest & most thoughtful people which isn't surprising considering who their parents are. You can see when they're with one another that they truly care about the other and when they're bribed with snacks (smiles don't always come free!), they offer you some in return.
The way I approach family photography isn't completely about laughs and poses. I love the messiness and the real moments that make families...families. There are so many dynamics that vary dramatically from one to the other and I think it's important to document the moments between the pretty moments because at the end of the day...or in 5, 10, 20 years, THOSE are the moments you'll smile about.
Devin + Kevin: a wedding at home on the water
From the moment I met them, I loved them. You could tell in an instant that they were truly meant to be together and thought of one another in every way. I will always remember the warm welcome I was given upon arriving at Devin's parents' home in the quiet area of Solomons, MD...tight hugs & big smiles. Having a wedding at a family's home is indeed a large undertaking; however, nothing is quite as special. The sense of ease and relaxed atmosphere amidst the hustle & bustle of setup is something that you don't experience elsewhere. Apart from how much I absolutely love Devin+Kevin, one of my favorite parts of their day was being able to ride with them on a boat with Devin's father at the helm from the church back to their home. You could see all of the guests waving at them from across the water during cocktail hour and the biggest smile on her father's face. Also, his voice sounds exactly like the father (narrator) from the movie Big Fish which I couldn't get enough of. I hope you love the photos as much I loved making them! xoxoKatie