Ever since the groom’s sister – and wedding planner – booked me as her brother’s wedding photographer, I anticipated this wedding with every month that passed on in 2019.
Mainly because I knew this wedding was going to be special on so many different levels. Benjamin’s father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer after the couple set their date for the wedding. Happily, the doctors announced that cancer went into remission a couple of weeks before the wedding. This wedding was a celebration for everyone, not just the bride and groom.
I learned about Jon’s cancer remission about a week after the wedding. I cried while I edited because these are the moments I live for. To document a wedding is one thing, knowing that I leave behind a story of legacy is another.
And out of the 40+ weddings I’ve photographed, I haven’t seen a set up like this one. I was excited and nervous! Since I was the only photographer on the scene and knew the ambient light for an outdoor ceremony was limited, the pressure was on.
If you are a photographer reading this post – no, I did not use off-camera flash during the ceremony. I chose to use the ambient light available because (a) it was requested that I didn’t (b) the ambient light was enough, and (c) off-camera flash would have taken away from the scene. I mainly used my 85mm f/1.4 and shot wide open the entire time during the ceremony.
Melanie and Benjamin said “I-do” in front of their closest friends and family at Benjamin’s childhood home in Bethesda, MD. Since Melanie – who seems like a good friend now and not a client – is from England, the couple wanted a garden theme wedding with English ties throughout. Notice the blue china in the detail photos- loved this. Melanie told me the stories of the English gardens she loved the most, “Something wild, and organic,” she said through email once. And the florist – Westvirjeni – delivered just that.
Jeni – from Westvirjeni – constructed a contemporary Chuppah for the couple. Melanie said that this was her favorite part of her wedding day; standing under the chuppah as the sunset while the twinkle lights cast a warm glow upon the wedding space.
After photographing this wedding, I am a firm believer of intimate weddings in intimate settings. A planner friend of mine said recernly, that her job as a full-service planner is to create a space for the bride and groom and their guests. Benjamin’s sister, Jessica, did just that. Though currently a writer in NYC, I think she may have found another calling in life.
Delivering this gallery was bittersweet. I was so happy for this couple – for this family – and to say goodbye was hard. When I say on my About Page that I love making lasting, meaningful relationships, I mean it.
Congratulations, Melanie and Benajmin. Thank you for letting me be a part of your day – your legacy. Love you guys!
Venue: Private Residence
Planner: Jessica C.
Officiant: Washington Hebrew Congregation
DJ: DJ Stavros
Photobooth: Hipstr Company
Rentals: Something Vintage
Floor/Tent: Loane Brothers
Suit: Brooks Brothers
Dress: Lazaro from Love Couture Bridal, Bethesda, MD
Hair and Makeup: Glamsquad