May 31, 2008
Posted by hollandphotoarts under Weddings 1 Comment
The beautiful Homestead resort was the setting for Elisabeth & Ben’s recent wedding, who enjoyed a typically fantastic day up in the mountains. While showers wet the lawn and dampened things a bit on Friday and Sunday, Saturday was bright and clear with vibrant clouds throughout the sky. Their union was a complimentary one–while both horse lovers, she came from an equestrian background, while he grew up on a ranch in New Mexico. Their hand-caligraphed invitations and other paper goods reflected this–two boots–one riding, one cowboy. Ben also wore the cowboy boots depicted on their invitations.
While Elisabeth donned her gorgeous Carolina Herrera dress and veil upstairs and sat for a few quick portraits, the library downstairs was abuzz with activity. After receiving their boutinaires, the guys sat to chat, and some played chess and checkers, while nearby best man Clay put the finishing touches on his toast. Back upstairs, Elisabeth’s dad arrived to escort her downstairs and exclaimed, “Wow!” when he first saw her, which we thought was particularly appropriate. As the processional began, Anne photographed the processional and view of the ceremony from the tower suite where Elisabeth got ready, while I was on the ground to get tighter shots of everyone. The jolly Cecil Armstrong, a local minister, led the two-reading service while the guests looked on, enjoying the shade from a nearby maple. Esme, the Homestead’s fantastic planner, then led the guests across the grand hall to cocktails in the Crystal Room while we did some family portraits as well as some of just Elisabeth and Ben around the historic resort before they joined their cocktail hour. They are such an incredibly sweet couple and both were simply glowing that day.
After dinner, even their first dance song, Leather and Lace, was apropos of their personalities, and we really enjoyed documenting their dance. The fun-loving band The Wrest kept everyone out on the dance floor and grooving until cake-cutting and champagne toasts. The cake itself was modeled on Elisabeth’s gown and both cake and Elisabeth looked stunning that evening. We even saw Rachael, the coordinator we love working with at the International Trade Center in DC, as one of the guests–small world! We also had yet another great opportunity to work with the uber-talented Allison from Pineapple Pro, who handled all of the decor and pre-wedding planning, including the fabulous floral design by Posh. It was our first time with Posh, and they did such an amazing job we look forward to photographing more of their decorated weddings! While the party had to end at some point, everyone had an amazing time and all left with big smiles on their faces, not the least of which were Elisabeth & Ben, who left a day later for Santa Fe and Taos for their relaxing and fun honeymoon out west. Congratulations you two! We had so much fun documenting your gorgeous day in Hot Springs and we couldn’t be happier for you both!
May 22, 2008
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Congratulations to Elena & Mike, who recently celebrated their wedding here in Charlottesville on a gorgeous spring day! After documenting some of their getting ready and Elena donning a stunning Alberta Ferretti gown, we all converged at Holy Comforter just north of the Downtown Mall for a wonderful service, notable for their priest’s compelling homily addressed just as much to friends as family as it was to the happy couple. During the ring exchange, someone (we’re not telling who!) accidentally dropped one of the rings–oopsie–but recovered nicely after some good laughter from everyone. Afterwards, Elena & Mike ran out the front doors to the cheers of their assembled family and friends. Many of those in attendance were part of UVa’s successful football program, as Mike is their offensive coordinator (his dad Al, as you may know, is the head coach). A few of the immediate family members and wedding party accompanied us to the UVa Grounds for some casual portraits on the Lawn, despite the brisk breeze. Their two ring bearers were more into hanging out and playing (who could blame them with such great weather?), which continued full-bore once we landed at Farmington Country Club for cocktails and the reception.
While at Farmington, Elena & Mike wanted a few casual shots with them and their wedding party, so we took off in the field just north of the house, and everyone kicked off their shoes for a fun portrait before returning to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and some of their signature drinks. It was also like a bit of a reunion of sorts working with some of the other local pros, including Jessi of Moxie and Jennifer of Elan, who did a fabulous job with Elena’s hair and make-up, respectively; Pat & Sherry, who hung glass votive candles on tree branches just inside the doorway leading to the ballroom and of course the stunning tabletop displays; and last but not least Big Ray and the Kool Kats, who we had last worked with back in 2004. It had been too long! Great folks, all. Big Ray was accommodating with the play list, even having the band learn some Bon Jovi songs, apparently a first for them, for the very eager crowd that night. Mike’s mom even got into the act later that evening with a rousing version of Dancing Queen, one for which she is apparently well known. For those who preferred to take a break from dancing and chat a bit, Elena had a fun tented lounge set up just outside of the ballroom. Liz with Skyline Tents did a beautiful job with the lighting and the clear tent allowed the beautiful sunset to shine through.
During the cake cutting, Elena & Mike courteously fed each other but then, unable to hold it in any longer, Elena touched a bit of frosting on Mike’s nose. He did not retaliate. Smart man. ;-D The cake, also baked by Farmington along with an assortment of cupcakes, was typically delicious. By the time the party wound down to the band leading the couple off to the front entrance to a sparkler departure, everyone was still ready to go strong. We’re pretty sure it continued well into the night elsewhere, as they were all a pretty happy and festive group. Thank you, Elena & Mike, for having us out to document your wedding! Like you, we had a blast! Go Hoos!!
May 20, 2008
It seems like just a couple of months ago we were spending time with Jennifer & Greg and their daughter Lily Rose, photographing her smiling at her mom and dad and generally just enjoying herself as a wee baby. To see her now has been an amazing experience, as we wrapped up our third session for their Watch Me Grow series. The weather could not have been nicer, so aside from a short snack break inside in her playroom, we drew with colored chalk on the sidewalk, played in the sandbox, and relaxed on the hammock behind their home. What a nice, relaxing afternoon! We had the pleasure of documenting Jennifer & Greg’s wedding back in 2005 and have grown to become good friends. Our only wish was that we all lived a bit closer so we could get together more often. We all had a fantastic time and look forward to seeing Lily Rose continue growing and seeing what other artwork she decides to display on the sidewalk.
May 20, 2008
With spring comes some fun portraits with our clients’ kids! First up is James & Claire, who I visited for their second session of Watch Me Grow with their parents Lacy & Josh here in Charlottesville. Their home was awash with color from the blooming springtime flowers, so we took full advantage of it, and the kids were more than happy to oblige. We hung out for a short bit on their front lawn before heading off to the nearby playground for a little swing action. Claire was all over it but her brother less so, so we returned back home and hung out in the back yard for a bit, playing on the grass and trying to put some well-placed fingerprints on my lenses. It’s all good and a heck of a lot of fun. It’s amazing seeing how much these kids grow between visits, and I can’t wait to see them again in a few months when they’re walking!
May 12, 2008
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A big congratulations to one of the most unassuming yet joyous couple around, Emily & Rob, who celebrated their wedding vows at their alma mater, Georgetown University. It was held at the school’s Dahlgren chapel where they had their marriage mass officiated by Emily’s high school teacher, Father Ron Nikoderm, who came in from his current assignment in West Virginia to be there for the couple. After the ceremony, it was such a joy to see their immediate families and wedding party surround them at the Georgetown quad with cheers of congratulations. It looked like it might rain any minute, so we quickly finished family portraits on the chapel steps in record time (big kudos their families for such amazing organization).
The very cheery Sara at Bella Notte did an amazing job of keeping everything tied together and working efficiently, together with Rachael at the International Trade Center, where the reception was held in the Pavilion Room. We hadn’t had the pleasure of working with Sara before but she was so much fun we hope to do so again in the very near future. One of the unique “features” of the ITC is that, being a federal government building, everyone who enters passes through security. It was a hoot seeing Emily inadvertently set off the metal detector with her veil’s hook. Once inside, they saw the beautiful flowers set up by Amaryllis, with whom we’ve worked in the past and have always produced great floral designs.
Rob’s brother’s best man toast after dinner was incredibly touching. It was completely unrehearsed and straight from the heart, and had everyone in a massive hugfest at the end. The highlight of the evening was perhaps the father-daughter dance, which was set to music entitled Emily’s Waltz. It was written by her Aunt Susan when Emily was born and performed in a violin duet by Susan and Emily’s former boss Michael. Between the toasts and the dances, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. DJ Evan got the party really rolling afterwards, keeping the dance floor packed well into the night. It was so much spending the day with this laid back and fun couple. Thanks so much, Emily & Rob!
Just a few weeks prior to their wedding, Emily expressed a desire to have her bridal portrait done among the cherry blossoms. While the Tidal Basin is always beautiful, one needs to arrive before sunrise lest you be posing among thousands of your closest friends. So we met her and her mom out at Meadowlark Gardens, where blooms of all kinds were in abundance. Here are a few from that session as well.
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