A Boulder Ridge at Liberty Mountain Wedding
For some of us, when we think of Liberty Mountain, we think of a skiing, snow tubing, and even golfing at this small resort located near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Personally, I imagine snow, cabins, toasty fireplaces, and watching the ski lifts through the lodge windows overlooking the runs. (I don’t ski. Ask anyone who has ever tried to take me, and it’s a total disaster. I do enjoy tubing, however!) Alyssa + Sean envisioned a perfect fall wedding at Boulder Ridge, and it was most certainly perfect! I actually had been to Boulder Ridge for snow tubing just this past March, so it was a little difficult for me to imagine it transformed from winter lodge to wedding reception, but oh, it was amazing!
Just driving to Liberty Mountain was beautiful. Mid-October is probably my favorite time of year to begin with, and when you add in rolling hills and lots of farmland in the foothills of the mountains, it’s spectacular! I often use my drives to a wedding to go over timelines, think about getting creative with some new poses or techniques, or to simply relax and enjoy my wedding playlist. (No, I won’t share the songs on my playlist, because it’s downright embarrassing!) The weather was perfect, especially considering that October can be a bit unpredictable. It was just the right amount of chill in the air, and exactly the right number of clouds in the sky.
Alyssa + Sean did not have a first look, but Alyssa did have a first look with her dad, which might have been my favorite moment of their day! It was very sweet, and there were lots of happy tears all the way around – even from the bridesmaids who were sneaking a peek out of the lodge windows! From the lodge, the wedding party traveled to nearby Tom’s Creek United Methodist Church for the ceremony, which was followed by a bubble send off!
Back to Liberty Mountain for the cocktail hour and reception, and lots of time for portraits! I love when I have lots of time for both the wedding party and couples portraits, and we had plenty before the sun would be going down. Liberty Mountain has so many amazing views, I really loved it! I knew we’d get some great shots, but the end result was even better than I had hoped – lots of variety and perfect little spots for wedding portraits. I apologize in advance, but I could not narrow these down, so you might have to scroll for a while to see all the amazing moments from their wedding day!
The reception was complete with some amazing toasts to the new couple, a great DJ, delicious food, lots of dancing, and a special piece of advice during the anniversary dance. (I confess that I really loved the coffee-themed favors and placecard display!) I think Alyssa + Sean are all set for a lifetime of love and laughter, and from now on, I will always think of it as a Liberty Mountain Wedding, not Winter. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. K! Thank you for inviting me to your be your wedding photographer!
Why should you update your family portraits?
I’ve written and posted on social media about all the reasons we don’t update our family portraits each year. We all know the excuses: I need to lose weight. Money’s tight. We might add to our family in the next year. The list goes on and on. What I’d like to talk about is the reasons why you should update those portraits right now.
It’s been a few years (or decades) since your last family portrait.
We’re all guilty of it. Life gets busy, and before you know it, that family portrait hanging over the fireplace is 5 or 10 or 20 years old. Even if it’s been only a few years, I am willing to bet something has changed since your last family portrait session.
You’ve added new family members
A new baby, adoption, fostering, marriage, or even a new furbaby – it’s time to capture these new members of your family and celebrate them. It’s a well-documented theory that families who see their portraits displayed in their homes feel a closer bond, and children who see their portraits feel more loved and cherished.
They’re only little for a short time
All parents know this universal truth: Children grow up too fast. I want to remember every age of my daughter’s childhood. I want to remember those first steps, her goofy hair as a toddler, her jack-o-lantern grin in elementary school, and especially how close we are. Soon, my girl will be off to college, and I don’t want to forget these years.
You have an announcement to make
Are you expecting? Getting married? Moving? A family portrait is the perfect time to not only preserve these moments in your family history, but also have a fun and memorable way to announce changes.
Preserve your family history
Maybe you’re seeing a theme here. Your family has a story, and a history. Family portraits are the best way to preserve that history for future generations. Let’s be honest – family portraits aren’t really for you, at least not entirely. You will love your photographs, and you will cherish them, but who will get the most benefit from the portraits you take today? Your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren. Fifty years from now, your grandchildren will still have those printed portraits to look back on and see who grandma and grandpa were, what they looked like, where they lived, what they enjoyed, etc. My most prized possessions are my portraits that include my father and grandparents.
You only get the family together once or twice a year
Each fall and winter, I get dozens of inquiries from families who are together for the holidays. A common thread seems to be that these families rarely get everyone together in the same location, so it makes sense to have an extended family portrait taken to capture all of the generations together. It’s similar for my family – we are rarely all together at the same time, so we definitely take advantage to capture photos of those occasions! (And yes – I specialize in extended family sessions as well!)
You’ve moved, or redecorated your home
Perhaps you had a family portrait session last year, but since then you’ve moved to a new city, or state, or updated your home. This makes a great opportunity to capture your new surroundings in your new locale, or to create portraits that reflect your updated decor. I’m happy to visit your home and help make suggestions for timeless portraits that will also look stunning in your home!
The holidays are almost here!
Yes, that means holiday cards, gifts for family and friends. Grandma wants an updated portrait of the kids. Aunt Mary, who lives 1,500 miles away and has never met the “baby” of the family who is now 4, would love to receive that holiday card with a recent portrait. The fall leaves may be almost gone, but there are still many ways to capture lovely portraits in the winter (and it can be a lot of fun, too! Can you say Hot Chocolate Stand?!?).
Finally, WHY NOT?
Yes, I know that you have reasons to wait, but the reasons to update your family portrait right now outweigh any of those old excuses. Your family is valuable, right? Family portraits are an investment in YOU.
I know choosing a family portrait photographer is important. It isn’t a decision you make lightly. I would love to talk about how we can plan the perfect portrait session for your family and home. There is still time for family portraits before the holidays – so let’s talk about updating yours!
An Intimate Ft. Belvoir Wedding Day
Natalie + Chris had been planning this day for months. I first met Natalie several months before that, as she is one of our favorite makeup artists! In talking about wedding planning, and how stressful it can be, we started talking about photography for her day. At first, they weren’t sure they wanted a photographer, or needed one. Their wedding day was going to be small and intimate – attended by just their closest friends and family. I encouraged Natalie to look around and check out what her options were, because I knew she put in a lot of hard work, even if her wedding wasn’t grand on scale. I would hate for all those memories to not be captured!
After a few chats about weddings and photography, she asked me if I could photograph her wedding – and of course I said YES!! I was excited that they had chosen to document their day, and flattered that they asked me to do it! (I know you’ve all heard it before – the one, ONE, regret I have about my wedding day isn’t that it was just my husband and I at a courthouse, it is that I don’t have a SINGLE photo of those moments.) Capturing your wedding day, no matter the size, is so important, and I am thrilled that Natalie + Chris will have these images forever.
The ceremony at Ft. Belvoir was perfect. Getting to know the two of them through working together and their engagement session, I knew they were both a bit goofy, and loved to laugh. Their vows were both sweet and fun. And you can’t miss those grins on their faces! There was a lot of kissing during our portrait session following the ceremony. The National Harbor was the perfect place for a little fun – even if the wind was a little annoying. After some fun around National Harbor, we returned to their home for a small reception with their guests. I really could not have imagined a better way for them to end their day! Hope you had a great time on your honeymoon!! Thank you for inviting me to capture your wedding!
Holly + Chris’ Navy and White Fall Wedding
Can I please just say how perfect the Hotel Monaco is for a wedding?!? I love this venue! The fun colors, decor, and amazing staff made Holly + Chris’ wedding day absolutely wonderful. The weather couldn’t have been better. From the minute I met Holly + Chris last winter, I knew their wedding was going to be fun. Apparently, this day has been a long time coming (or so I hear from their family and friends.) Well, I can say it was worth the wait!
At the last minute, we learned that their wedding was falling on the same weekend as the King Street Art Fair. The crowds certainly made things a little more interesting, and we had to come up with an alternate plan for photos, but everything worked out beautifully. While my associate photographer grabbed photos of Chris and his friends getting ready, I stuck with the girls on the other side of the hotel. It was a bit tricky trying to coordinate everything without having them bump into one another! Holly + Chris opted to do a first look without the look – Chris was so nervous!! (But it was one of my favorite parts of their wedding day!) Holly was cool and composed until it was time to put her veil on, when it suddenly became real that she was finally getting married to her sweetheart. I think a few of us were crying along with her! (Remember, ladies – blot, don’t wipe those tears away!)
Surrounded by friends and family, they declared their love in a romantic courtyard ceremony. Holly’s younger sister (a bridesmaid) sang Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years while Holly and her father walked down the aisle. It was so incredibly sweet, and she is very talented! After their exchange of vows and rings, their exit did not disappoint! Chris high-fived everyone on their way back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.!
Following the ceremony, it was time for a few quick photos, then on to the party! The DJ kept everyone moving all night long, as did the dessert buffet and late night snack bar! I left happily exhausted and content. What a fun, fabulous, gorgeous day for a wedding! Thank you for choosing me as your wedding photographer, Holly + Chris! Love you both, and wish you many decades of happiness and good times!