On the 26th of June 2021 was the stunning wedding of Victoria and David. We made the trip over to Cambridge Maryland the day before the wedding. As usual, we tried to keep our eyes focused in front of us on the enormously high Bay Bridge and did whatever was necessary not to look DOWN. We spoke excessively to one another while blaring a loud song in the car until we got over the bridge. Lol😂
Upon arriving at our hotel, we charged our batteries, packed snacks into our waist pouches and looked over our notes for the wedding day. We had an early night and set our alarms for somewhere around the 6am hour.
The next day we headed downstairs to the hotel lobby to find some quick hotel snacks and mediocre coffee, so we quickly remedied that by going to Starbucks. I got the iced toasted vanilla oat milk Shaken Espresso, and Josh probably got a calorie laden Caramel Frappuccino. The excuse at such times is: We'll burn off the calories anyway!
With our car full of photography gear, we headed to the two locations where the event was to take place to scout out the land, as we like to say. We headed to the beautiful Wildflower estates for the ceremony and reception, then to the Hyatt Regency for the bride and groom prep and the First look. This habit helps us on the day of the wedding, so that we can have a clearer picture of where things are happening and it helps us get into 'the zone'. It was a hot day, but thankfully there was a breeze that was an absolute blessing. After finishing our coffee's and chugging down a mix of water, Gatorade and a quick bite of a protein bar, the time came for us to begin our photography coverage.
We went over to the Hyatt Regency, (which by the way was very impressive! We actually asked the front desk if there was any rooms available, but unfortunately they were FULLY booked...sigh) I found the bridal suite and began to take photos of the bride and bridesmaids in their adorable silky white pajama sets. Snacks and drinks were laid out, as well as tailored mugs with the ladies names and adorable fluffy slippers. The flower girls resembled flower fairies as they blushed in their pretty little dresses and flower crowns. The bride, glowing with excitement and joy, was impressively good at doing her own makeup! She was busy in the corner of a large sofa applying it with skill and precision. It's pretty handy being that good at makeup that you can just do your own! The rest of the bridesmaids were getting their hair done by BeyondTheUpdo and makeup done by Flawless Finish.
We began by taking photojournalistic photos of everyone getting ready, then some detail shots and fun pajama photos on the bed and thoroughly enjoyed seeing how much fun everyone was having.
Soon after, a letter was brought to her, which had been written by her Fiancé David, exuding sweet words of his love and affection towards her. Her eyes filled with tears as she read the letter and soon enough, Victoria and the whole room were in a downpour of tears! The bride carefully dabbed her tears away and retouched her makeup. It was truly such a sweet moment.
As the time was approaching for the first look, Victoria appeared in the bridal suite displaying her beautiful pluming princess style dress (it had pockets!) to her bridesmaids. The dress had off the shoulders straps, which enhanced her elegance and suited the ambience of the bride perfectly. Her hair was swept up into a bun which was arranged with a crystal pearls that resembled a delicate tree branch behind her head and a beautiful long veil was attached beneath the bun. All the room squealed with excitement at the sight of her. The bridesmaids also looked stunning in their long black dresses which were all different designs, yet still held the same level of formality and beauty.
A few moments later we went down a few floor levels to meet the groom in his suite. We got some very touching family and groomsmen photos, as well as groom solo shots. With so many weddings we have done now, it is so entertaining to see the distinct differences between the bride's prep space and and grooms. Everyone in the Groom prep is basically dressed, ready and casually waiting for the Bride's side to be ready. There is usually lots of laughter and a relaxed feel in the room as the guys joke with one another and can't help but giggle! After meeting David's family, it made sense as to why he is such a sweet person.
Now it was his turn to read a letter from his bride to be! As he read the letter, his eyes started watering, his chin quivered and his facial expression changed. It was all joyful tears from there. What a sweet couple this is! They just about nearly made US cry too!
One of the most exciting parts of the day was the First look! We headed to an outdoor garden of the Hyatt where there was a shell path that glimmered in the dazzling sun. David went there with Josh first and then I followed later with the bride. We needed to make sure that David knew when he was allowed to turn around and see Victoria. We prepared the couple with simple instructions we always try to expound to the couple that this is not something they need to rush, even if the schedule is running a little late. We will not be telling them when their time is up, because a first look is an intimate moment for the couple and incredibly emotional. All they need to do is soak in the moment, and when they are ready, they can let us know when they are done.
David was a few feet away looking out in the distance waiting anxiously for the moment he would see his beautiful bride. Slowly, Victoria walked down the path with tissues ready in those hidden little pockets of her dress. She gently touched his shoulder and David turned around to finally see his stunning bride.
Guys... it was a fountain of tears at this point for EVERYONE. (Happy tears of course!)
Once the couple let us know they were ready, we wrapped up the first look and got into our hot car as fast as we could to get to the ceremony space. We were running behind a little so we needed to catch up and get back on track with the timeline. When unexpected things happen on a wedding day, which is bound to be the case, you just have to readjust and know that the day is still a perfect day, no matter what may not seem to be on schedule.
The day continued at the venue where all the magic of the ceremony and reception was going to take place at Wildflower Estates. There were Black-eyed Susan's all over the field in front of the ceremony space, that seemingly smiled and waved at us as we passed. They are such happy little flowers. Energy buzzed in the air as the caterers, decorators, florists and staff got everything looking picture perfect.
Guests began to arrive and with anticipation, waited for the ceremony to begin. As we waited for the remaining guests to arrive, we took the opportunity to take some lovely pictures of them in the field behind the venue. One of the biggest benefits to having the First Look timeline, is that there is usually a lot more time for formal photos, bridal party photos and family formals.
A sweet processional followed of family and friends coming down the aisle. Family and friends watched in anticipation and smiles were abundant.
The ceremony is an incredibly important part of the day and this is what makes a couple 'married' officially! As photographers we are always communicating with our eyes and placing ourselves in opposite angles to try to perfectly capture every moment. Our step tracker is always very happy with our progress on wedding days 👏The couple stood in front of each other, before the officiant and their witnesses and shared their vows and their rings. Following this was a tree planting ceremony, which symbolized the relationship taking root, growing and flourishing. Wow what an amazing ceremony! This was the first time we have seen a tree planting ceremony in a wedding. It was really very sweet. The recessional was followed by happy hearts and the newly married Mr and Mrs Lake!
Next, we had all the bridal party formals outside at the ceremony location. We like to let the couple know that each grouping should have about 2-3 minutes allocated to allow for time. We also like to have a groupings list with names so that Josh and I can easily call people to come. We also the elderly and the very young to be in the beginning of these group shots.
We decided to take the couple to the field of Black Eyed Susan's for some couple shots as newlyweds. The photos came out absolutely breathtaking. They were very romantic and almost cinematic. The sunset photos would be a little later during golden hour.
Now...time for the Grand Entrance! The family of the couple and their bridal party all danced into the room while everybody cheered. We like to encourage those who participate in the Grand Entrance to keep celebrating all the way into the center of the room, so that we can get as many pictures as we can away from the exit signs on door frames. But now for the ultimate entrance by the newly-wed Mr. and Mrs. Lake! Tori did not only have one, but TWO different wedding dresses and the second dress was STUNNING!
Mr. and Mrs Lake gracefully transitioned into their first dance. It is clear to see how much this young love was stout and true. Everybody watched in silence as the dance unfolded.
Next a lovely dinner was served and everybody got to sit down and enjoy the delicious food, which included blackened salmon and the most amazing roast potatoes! At this stage we normally sit to eat while the couple and everyone else is eating so that we can sit down, re-energize and re-group, while looking over the "must have" photos list and the timeline. That way we make sure that we have photographed everything that is important to the couple up until that point. We managed to get photos of both sets of rings during dinner and got to take these close ups.
Some very sweet toasts were shared by the couple's parents, Best man and Maid of Honor. You could tell that they had some very faithful and loyal friends and family in their lives. We usually try to tell those who share a toast to stand near the couple facing the crowd, so that we can get the expressions of the couple as they are speaking. As you can tell from the pictures, there were lots of funny and heartwarming moments here.
While at the tail end of dinner, our wonderful DJ's called "Dance Masters" introduced the Father- Daughter dance. As always this is one of our favorite moments. This was followed by the Mother-Son dance. Look at this sweet expression! Soon enough all the guests gathered onto the dance floor to participate in the celebrations. It was an evening full of joy, fun and laughter.
Since we had a few minutes left of the sun and a beautiful new dress on Victoria, we did not hesitate to go back to the Black Eyed Susan's one more time to get the most out of golden hour. The photos were honestly magazine worthy.
The ending of the evening was nearing. The cake cutting and bouquet toss followed suit. Just as we tell those who say a speech to face the crows, we instruct the couple on how to hold the cake cutter and how to face their audience so that everyone can see them. Now when it came to the bouquet toss, there was a definite winner: Granny! Yeah!
The final event of the night, was the sparkler send off. It is usually a good idea to gather all the guests outside, placing two rows of people with enough space between them and with a sparkler in hand. As soon as everyone's sparklers are lit, the couple runs through. In this wedding we actually did the run through twice since we had quite a breeze outside at this point, but who wouldn't want to do that twice? I would! Another very important point regarding sparklers: Always be mindful that the sparks have the potential to burn the wedding dress, especially if it very long.
This was a really fun and remarkable wedding for us to have the privilege of photographing. We almost could not believe how easy David and Victoria were to photograph. They were amazing clients to have and we know they will go to great places, both in their lives as a whole but also as a couple that was destined for each other.
Bartender Service: Bayshore Bar Services bayshorebarservices.com
DJ: Dance Masters Entertainment dmdeejays.com
Venue: Wildflower Estate/ Caterer: Vittles wildflowerestatemd.com
Planner: Eventfully Yours eventfullyyoursmd.com
Cake: Bay Country Bakery baycountrybakery.com
Makeup: Flawless Finish
Hair: BeyondTheUpdo https://www.weddingwire.com/biz/beyondtheupdo/023fc749fea8d928.html