— Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.
The bride started her day early at Stay Bridge Suites in the city of Herndon, Virginia (VA). Herndon is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
During this early morning, I captured the talented Goli Mohseni doing the bride's hair.
I shot all her preparation at Stay Bride Suites, in its garden.
Don't be afraid if your hotel is not the best looking place for your wedding preparation. I, as a wedding photographer, will used my skill to capture the beautiful moments between you and your loved ones.
Usually, I will ask you to do your make up and hair by the windows, or close enough so I can get a beautiful light coming on your pretty face.
Getting ready is a candid moment between you, your stylist and your bridesmaids. It is an instant you can enjoy deeply by taking time for yourself before everything starts going way faster than you wish it would go.
Stay Bride suites : 13700 Coppermine, Herndon, VA 20171.
The bride is getting ready in the salon of Dolce Vita Salon Galleria in Tyson Corner, Virginia (VA).
Dolce Vita Salon is situed at The Tysons Galleria Mall, in the location that was formerly known as Salon Bleu, on the third level next to Neiman Marcus. The majority of the talented stylists from Salon Bleu remained with them at Dolce Vita Galleria.
The stylists were really brilliant, caring, hard-working and all ears to the bride. They listened to every critics and doubts she had about her make up and hair.
A salon is a very good option to get ready with your bridesmaids but the light can be truely beautiful or more than horrible, depending on how they light the interior.
The bridesmaids are getting ready in a rustic house in North East, in Maryland (MD).
I have never seen such a peaceful place for a getting ready. The bride rented a house by the ocean where she slept the day before. In the morning, she and her best friends gathered to have their make up done inside the house.
I cannot talk enough about the walls of this house : the wood. This was an amazing color for the background of the getting ready. This light maroon made everyone look so beautiful, making the faces pops from the back. The decoration was interesting, it was easy to play around to compose interesting images.
Inside, the lightening was perfect as the wood helped to diffuse the light inside the cabin. All my shots we candid wedding photography. During the getting ready session, I like to only document your morning, without disruption which leaves you to enjoy genuine moment between the bride and her bridesmaids.
The exact address of this fabulous place : 6 Virginia Ave. North East MD. 21901
Nonetheless to say that Mount Airy Mansion is a perfect place to get ready for you wedding day and your wedding photographer.
You will have a picturesque wedding day. There are so many beautiful photo opportunities on the property. The Mansion has such a warm and romantic feel to it.
If you wonder about booking the place, don't hesitate. A lot of brides says they appreciate that the Mansion doest not book more than one wedding in a day. So, if you book here, you have the mansion the entire day.
It is very peaceful getting ready in the bridal suite. Along the beautiful space, you will be surrounded by an amazing service and the staff.
Everyone is friendly every step of the way, kind and responsive with all the scheduling.
The kindness and relaxed feeling of everyone I interacted with at the Mansion served as a major reason for my brides choosing the Mount Airy Mansion in the first place.
Address: Mount Airy Mansion, 9640 Rosaryville Road, Upper Marlboro, MD
Natasha Lamalle Photography offers you a candid and documented story of your wedding day.
What is candid photography?
Candid photography is the best way to document any event. It is a method of photography that involves shooting the wedding from a journalistic perspective without ‘touching’ the scene in any way.
Taking photos of people when they have no idea that you’re doing it is called candid photography. One of the beauties of photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It adds life to your pictures.
These could be your father laughing, your aunt scolding the caterer or your grandmom sobbing in silence. These are moments that are part of your story that an experienced candid wedding photographer can capture.
It's more of a different approach to storytelling and less of a new technique of photography. No requests to look this side, pose this-a-way or interfere with the ceremony as it happens. When a photographer does this, the moment is lost due to which the emotion is lost and a staged photo is captured.
If you look at magazines, such as Time, you’ll see great examples of candid photography. For other examples, go to your local library and take a look at old issues or current issues of my favorite: National Geographic.
Candid photography is all about understanding and capturing unplanned moments of someone’s emotions, be it cheerfulness or tears.
The address : Hyatt Regency Fairfax, 12777 Fair Lakes Cir, Fairfax, VA 22033
The bride chose the Mayflower hotel to get ready with her besties for a wedding day. As a wedding photographer in Washington DC, I have shot at many hotel and venue in Washington DC.
The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection, in Washington DC, is one of them.
WEDDING IN DC
According to US news and world report, this is the best 15 hotel in DC for wedding venues.
The Hay-Adams is able to host weddings in one of its indoor or outdoor areas. One of D.C.'s most popular wedding venues, the hotel's rooftop Top of the Hay space can be reserved for private events and boasts panoramic views, including a view of the White House that's hard to beat.
An on-site wedding planner is available to help plan. The hotel also has three indoor venues to choose from. Maximum wedding guest capacity: 250
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
The Four Seasons offers couples the choice of both indoor and outdoor event spaces for their wedding ceremony and/or reception. On-site event planners will help arrange every detail of the big day, from the flowers to the customized wedding cake.
Park Hyatt Washington D.C.
The Park Hyatt’s Gallery Ballroom can accommodate wedding receptions of up to 450 guests. It features a dance floor and can be divided into three separate spaces. The hotel offers a variety of wedding packages and provides a dedicated banquet manager and wedding guru to take care of any needs.
Complimentary bridal suite on the day of the wedding, audiovisual equipment. Maximum wedding guest capacity: 450
Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Guests can choose from a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for weddings and receptions. Highlights include The Garden Terrace, an expansive outdoor garden overlooking iconic D.C. spots, including the Washington Marina, Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial. The Mandarin Oriental is also home to numerous ballrooms where guests can host receptions. The 8,300-square-foot Grand Ballroom includes glass chandeliers and silver leaf coffers.
The hotel can provide catering. Maximum wedding guest capacity: 770.
The St. Regis Washington, D.C.
Couples can choose to celebrate their nuptials in the hotel’s striking Astor Ballroom or outdoors in the Astor Pavilion. The ballroom can fit 200 guests for a sit-down banquet and 400 for a reception. The pavilion is a custom-built wood tent with cathedral windows, French doors, and a two-level canopy.
11,000 square feet of event space. On-site chef can create custom menus. Maximum wedding guest capacity: 400
The Willard InterContinental
The Willard InterContinental is known for its lavish wedding venues from the ornate Grand Ballroom to the stunning Crystal Room with fluted pilasters, scagliola columns, and opulent chandeliers and sconces. As such, the hotel is one of Washington’s most prominent venues for social events. The Willard Room also offers unique architectural details and can accommodate up to 220 banquet guests. For intimate events, The Nest, overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, provides an elegant and private setting for rehearsal dinners or small receptions.
Bridal services on-site at Red Door Spa. Variety of wedding packages available. Maximum wedding guest capacity: 450
The Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC
This Ritz-Carlton is able to host weddings in one of its two ballrooms: The-Ritz Carlton Ballroom (10,578 square feet) and The Plaza Ballroom (2,300 square feet). Smaller venues are available as well. The hotel offers on-site planners who can help couples plan every detail, from lighting and decor to entertainment and videography. Maximum wedding guest capacity: 250.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington DC
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown features several wedding reception areas. The Urban Garden is an outdoor space featuring a terraced garden with paver stones and a stacked stone wall and is ideal for smaller ceremonies. Indoors, the Fahrenheit Ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, and an open layout.
There is a wedding adviser on-site to help plan every wedding day details. The hotel can host receptions of up to 110 guests.
Omni Shoreham Hotel
The hotel can host indoor and outdoor ceremonies and receptions for up to 350 guests, as well as pre- and post-wedding events. The hotel has four ballrooms all of which are adorned with elegant chandeliers and historic details, plus the outdoor gazebo ceremony space.
The Diplomat Room has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Rock Creek Park, plus gold accents and chandeliers
The Jeffersonian-style Palladian Room features oval windows and colorful wall murals of Jefferson’s Monticello
The historic Blue Room is the largest ballroom and can host a dinner and dance for 350 guests
The Empire Ballroom features art deco styling with a stage and crystal chandeliers. On-site wedding specialists to help manage the details.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown
The Colonnade provides a popular wedding venue, as the glass-enclosed gazebo offers panoramic views of the courtyard garden. For larger weddings, the Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 600 guests.
Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
Weddings are a specialty of the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa. On-site wedding planners are available to plan a reception or ceremony on one of the hotel’s outdoor terraces or in the event space. The hotel can accommodate up to 125 guests for a cocktail reception or up to 100 people for a banquet.
Complimentary guest room provided for the bride and groom
Room blocks and catering services available
Maximum wedding guest capacity: 125
The Kimpton Donovan Hotel
The hotel can host smaller indoor and outdoor wedding events. The modern and sleek Woodward and Bernstein rooms can be combined to accommodate indoor events with up to 80 guests. For outdoor ceremonies or receptions in the summer months, the rooftop offers a poolside venue with views of the Capitol City for up to 100 people.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC
The Hotel Monaco offers a blend of historical architecture and contemporary style for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The Paris Ballroom occupies the space that was once the Postmaster’s library and has a stately residential feel with built-in bookcases and an overhead canopy skylight.
The hotel can accommodate cocktail receptions for up to 250 guests; dinner for up to 200 guests. Event spaces offer natural light from large windows and high ceilings
The Westin Georgetown
The Westin Georgetown offers both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception space, as well as space for pre- and post-wedding events. The Promenade has 14-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and 4,500 square feet of space. Adjacent to the Promenade is the outdoor courtyard, which can be used for ceremonies and receptions during the warmer months. The hotel also has the Washington Ballroom, which has a vaulted ceiling.
The Embassy Row Hotel
The Embassy Row Hotel offers wedding ceremony and reception venues for intimate affairs and large celebrations with up to 300 guests. The rooftop terrace is a popular location for both ceremonies and receptions, while the elegant Admiral’s Ballroom is preferred for more formal gatherings.
Many areas in Fairfax can host your wedding! Do you know about Old Town Hall?
Old Town Hall is located in the heart of the nationally recognized City of Fairfax Historic District at 3999 University Drive.
Built in 1900 by Joseph E. Willard, the hall was presented to the Town of Fairfax in 1902. Willard, the son of a Confederate spy and a Union officer, served as lieutenant governor of Virginia and ambassador to Spain. His mother – “commissioned” by J.E.B. Stuart as his honorary aide-de-camp, with the rank of major – had been arrested for passing information to the Confederates, and met her future husband while in prison.
The hall immediately became the center of Fairfax social life. Although neo-classical in style, the hall tastefully combines Tuscan order columns with Federal-style details, such as the fanlight window over the front doors and the round-headed gabled dormers.
Adjacent to the Old Town Hall and historic Ratcliffe-Allison house are the Kitty Pozer Garden as well as Old Town Square. The Kitty Pozer Garden is a true oasis in downtown Fairfax which is beautifully adorned with perennials and shade trees. Old Town Square's upper patio can be reserved in conjunction with Old Town Hall for ceremonies and cocktail hours. The area is equipped with a splash pad, pergola, and patio furniture. Both locations provide perfect photo opportunities for your special event.
For their wedding, the bride and the groom chose to get ready, organize the cocktail and dinner at the Mayflower Washington DC, a autograph collection hotel.
You could find a better venue for your wedding if you are planning it in Washington D.C.. It is centrally located to everything in Washington, D.C which is very convenient for all of your out of town guests.
The Mayflower is everything you want for your wedding and more.! The hotel has a special charm to it. The history behind it along with the beautiful renovations makes it really stand out as a venue.
As they say on their website, "recast in a refreshing new way, the timeless relevance of The Mayflower is now restated – with refined rooms, innovative culinary explorations and signature experiences all part of its brilliant luxury".
Honoring the enduring tradition of iconic hotels, The Mayflower is a Washington landmark anew — a forever host to the capital city, with a fresh invitation for all to participate in writing its next chapter".
It has a vintage feel that makes it feel like it's not your typical hotel venue. You need to know that most brides are amazed by the gorgeous venue, the fine food, the skills of the chefs, the courteous welcoming, and professional staff, and last but not least, the rooms are great.
Address : 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20036
On this wedding photographs, the groom's dad helps a groomsman with his boutonniere in North East, Maryland (MD).
The boutonniere is a from the French word "boutonnière". Ever wonder how it became of American tradition?
Traditionally, the flower was placed in the button hole of the man’s suit or tuxedo. However, these days, most bouts are pinned directly to the man’s lapel, a long-standing trend that aging French women still scoff at.
So why did this tradition start?
Curiously enough, the boutonniere and the bridal bouquet were created for similar reasons: to ward off bad smells, disease, and evil spirits. Not very romantic!
There was a day when gentlemen placed a flower in their buttonhole most every day. Many jackets even had small hidden vases built right in. Even as recently as the ’40′s, bouts were a commonplace adornment. Today, however, bouts are primarily worn only for proms, homecomings, and weddings.
Boutonniere at Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia wedding
Weddings are full of rituals and traditions, and Washington D.C., Virginia and Marylands brides and grooms, for the most part, like to stay true to many of these traditions. One of these rituals is for the groom and his men, the fathers, the grandfathers, the ushers, and maybe even the officiant to wear a boutonniere on the left lapel of his suit or tuxedo jacket.
The exact address of this fabulous place: on Virginia Ave. North East MD. 21901
The groom is getting ready in the fabulous Mount Airy Mansion, in Virginia (VA).
If you plan on not seeing your groom before the wedding ceremony, the getting ready photos of your guy and his groomsmen will be especially important to you. These photos will show the emotions and moments your groom is going through before he sees you walk down the aisle to say “I do!”
With most of the attention on the bride at a wedding, I do think it is important that I show the groom some attention as well. Most grooms downplay their role in the decision making, but in reality, most of them care a great deal about the day and the pictures captured. It’s the groom’s day to be a superstar, the leader of the band, the star of the team, the man of the hour; and it’s my job to bring this out.
I love to create a relaxed and fun environment so I can capture groom's natural interaction and all of the great moments that happen when you get a guy and his closest friends together.
Address: Mount Airy Mansion, 9640 Rosaryville Road, Upper Marlboro, MD
One of the groomsmen is getting ready in his hotel room at Hyatt Place Sterling Dulles Airport North in Virginia (VA).
The ladies have been making a day out of getting ready for the wedding for decades. Steal the idea and meet the boys pre-ceremony for some serious bonding time over one of these activity ideas:
° Get rid of any pre-wedding jitters by organizing a game of football (or baseball, or golf, or pool, or Mario Kart, for that matter) with your groomsmen. And in case it needs to be said, save the suits for afterward!
° Hire a barber to come and give everyone a straight-razor shave (or a beard trim!) so you’ll all be wedding-photo ready.
° Order in a pizza from a favorite local joint to keep all your gents fueled for the big event to come.
° The ladies have their Champagne, so why shouldn’t you enjoy your whiskey? Raise a glass to your crew for a toast—or two. Just remember the real party starts later.
° Play a round of poker to pass the time.
° Switch out dress shoes for some comfy kicks and go for a walk after suiting up. Bonus: Think of it as a photo op, if you have a second lensman for the wedding who can tag along.
Hyatt Place, 21481 Ridgetop Cir Sterling, VA 20166
Being with the groom is always a fun way to capture hilarious and chill photographs.
I tend to shoot a series of pictures which show the progression of him getting ready. Usually, he’s already half-dressed by the time I arrive, so all I need to do is coach him into the order I need to cover; buttoning the shirt, buckling the belt, getting the shoes one, etc. All of these actions can be fairly mundane, so this is where I start our creative warm up.
Team Groom is waiting in the church, few minutes before the ceremony in Washington DC.
The groom is waiting to enter inside the temple, offering money to the family of the bride as the tradition asks.
The bride and the groom are together in Meridian Hill Park in Washington DC.
No need for a permit. We can enjoy a walk in the park for a couple session!
Meridian Hill Park in Washington DC is the perfect place to get intimate portrait of the two of you!
The bride and the groom decided to do a first look at Mount Airy in Virginia (VA).
The bride tells her dad she loves him few minutes before the wedding.
As the Luray Cavern described on his website "Go down in family history with a wedding in one of America’s natural landmarks. The Shenandoah Valley's historic areas, vineyards, iconic natural wonders and spectacular outdoor beauty make for memorable, meaningful and spectacular wedding locations. Luray Caverns offers a variety of options in unique venues for fabulous weddings, receptions, parties, and reunions".
The Caverns are a genuine challenge for photographers because of the lightning inside the cavern. I managed to keep the atmosphere of the cavern: dark, mysterious and romantic.
According to the wedding wire, "in 2010, Luray was ranked number two in TLC’s list of the “10 Beautiful Destination Wedding Locales in the United States.” Over 500 couples have been wed underground in the Luray Caverns Cathedral".
It also helps that the managers at the caverns are friendly and helpful and accommodating.
Sonia and Jeremy chose to follow Jeremy's family tradition from Iran.
There are two stages to a Persian marriage. Most often both take place on the same day, but occasionally there could be some time between the two. The first is called "Aghd", the legal process of getting married when both the bride and bridegroom and their guardians sign a marriage contract. The second stage is "Jashn-e Aroosi", the wedding reception - the actual feasts and the celebrations, which traditionally lasted from 3 to 7 days.
Decoration and light
The ceremony takes place in a specially decorated room with flowers and a beautiful and elaborately decorated spread on the floor called "Sofreh-ye Aghd". Traditionally Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of sunrise (light). Consequently, when bride and bridegroom are seated at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd they will be facing "The Light".
By custom, Aghd would normally take place at bride's parents/guardians home. The arrival of the guests, who are to be witnesses to the marriage of the couple, initiates the wedding ceremony. Traditionally the couples' guardians and other elder close family members are present in the room to greet the guests and guide them to their seats. After all the guests are seated the bridegroom is the first to take his seat in the room at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd. The bride comes afterward and joins the bridegroom at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd. The bridegroom always sits on the right-hand side of the bride. In Zoroastrian culture, the right side designates a place of respect.
The bridesmaids give a prayer for the newly married couple in Potomac.
Such a wonderful image: paying attention to God. Imagine that, actually paying attention to God. So simple, yet so often overlooked.
More traditionally we have heard prayer defined as “conversation with God.” True enough, and well attested. But the definition sheds less light on many, while able to grasp the talking part of a conversation, are less able to grasp or appreciate the listening part of a conversation. And thus, there can be a lot of emphasis on recited prayers, intercessory prayers, etc., good in themselves and even required, yet, when and how does one listen?
One could theoretically recite long prayers, but in the end, pay little attention to God. This is not usually for malicious or prideful motive, but often simply to due the fact that our minds are very weak. And thus the “conversation” definition has pitfalls and limits.
But how different to go to prayer saying, “I am going to go aside now and spend some time paying attention to God. I am going to sit still and listen, while he speaks. I am going to think of his glory, rejoice in his true, and ponder as deeply as I can his presence.”
Paying attention to God can take many forms. Preeminently there is the slow, thoughtful and deliberate reading of Scripture called lectio divina. We are not merely reading a text, we are listening to God speak, we are paying attention to what he says. And as we listen, as we pay attention to him, our minds begin to change, and the Mind of Christ becomes our gift.
Another preeminent way of paying attention to God is Eucharistic Adoration. A thoughtful attentive and loving look to the Lord as our thoughts gently move to him and his loving look returns often wordless but powerful presence.
Further, in authentic and approved spiritual reading we pay attention to God in a way that is mediated through his Saints, mystics and other reputable writers and sources. Good, wholesome and approved spiritual reading presents the Kingdom of God, his Wisdom, and vision to us. And in carefully considering holy teaching, we are paying attention to God.
And of course, the highest form of paying attention to God is when we attend to him in the Sacred Liturgy, experiencing his presence and power, listening to his word proclaimed thoughtfully and reflectively. Attending to his presence on the sacred altar, and receiving him with attentiveness and devotions.
There are countless ways throughout the day where we can take a moment and pay attention to God. Momentary aspirations, a quick thought sent heavenward, a look of love.
The bride and the groom during a sikh ceremony in Virginia.
The groom and the bride during a persian ceremony in Potomac.
The groom and the bride enjoying dancing during their wedding.
Dancing on the dancefloor in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
The bride is helped by her bridesmaids to drink !
Do you ever wonder where is the wedding cake tradition come from?
It's no question that beyond the bride's entrance and the couple saying "I do," the wedding cake is arguably one of the most anticipated events of a wedding.
With layers upon layers of fondant-encrusted tiers, the cake can also eat up a sizable chunk of a couple's budget. But, as most couples justify, it's OK because the cake is such a storied part of the dream wedding. But why is it cake and not some other dessert? And what's with all those layers?
Like many wedding traditions, the history of the wedding cake goes back to ancient Rome. The Romans would conclude the ceremony by breaking a cake of wheat or barley over the bride's head, which symbolized good luck. The married couple would then eat a few crumbs of it together, and the wedding guests would gather up the crumbs as tokens of good luck.
In medieval times, wedding guests would stack small cakes as high as possible before they teetered over. The bride and groom would then try to kiss over the stack, and if successful, it was believed they were guaranteed a lifetime of prosperity. This is where the tiered-cake tradition began.
A more "civilized" tiered cake was introduced in the 1600s by a French chef who used pieces of broomsticks to elevate the cakes. However, he apparently was ahead of his time, and the trend didn't catch on. The tiered cake was later reattempted in 18th century London by a baker's apprentice who wanted to impress the baker's daughter.
The ingredients used and how cakes were prepared also took on traditions of their own. Fruitcakes, for example, were considered symbols of fertility and prosperity. Sharing the cake and having each guest take a bite was also important to ensure fertility, so long as the newlyweds cut the first slice together.
Icing began to appear on wedding cakes in the 17th century for those who could afford sugar. The most popular wedding frosting was known as "bliss," which was a combination of egg whites and sugar—similar to a meringue. Just as white dresses were a status of wealth since they could only be worn once, white cakes received similar status due to the costliness of pure refined sugar.
As with the white bridal gown, Queen Victoria played a role in the modern-day wedding cake as well. When white icing was used to decorate her multi-tiered wedding cake at her wedding in 1840 (which measured over nine feet in circumference and required two pedestals to support the sculptures of cupids adorning it), it became known as "royal icing," and "wedding cake" became synonymous with having a multi-tiered cake like Victoria's.
With such an increase in wedding cake volume (and the leftovers!), it became customary to not only send guests home with cake but also to deliver cake to guests who were unable to attend. The top tier of cake was also reserved for the bride and groom, who would freeze it with the intention of serving it at their first child's christening. Though freezing the top tier still remains a tradition, it's typically thawed in celebration of the couple's first anniversary instead.
John and Liz got married at Mountain Liberty Resort in Pennsylvania, a wonderful place to have a beautiful wedding.
Whether you are planning the grandest of celebrations or the most intimate of gatherings, their experienced staff will help make your celebration one you will remember forever.
Liberty Mountain is an ideal site for weddings and ceremonies. With three indoor reception venues and three outdoor ceremony sites to choose from, there is certainly one to fit your style. Their very capable staff is ready to lend all the support you need as you plan your special event, from the Rehearsal Dinner to your Farewell Brunch.
Address: Liberty Mountain Resort, 78 Country Club Trail, Carroll Valley, PA 17320. Phone: 717-642-8282
The bride and the groom chose a beautiful venue to host their wedding.