Belle Grove Plantation

One of the things I am constantly flabbergasted by since moving to Virginia is the history a stones throw away. No matter where you are, there’s events or people or places that have captivated the cameras and minds of tourists and locals alike. I was lucky enough to experience a bridal event at the beautiful Belle Grove Plantation in King George. Did you know : That’s where President James Madison was BORN? Pretty cool stuff. Especially for me, because I love learning about this beautiful area I’ve moved to! There’s even more history about the property than I was originally aware of and learned about after I went home and read more on their website.

When I walked up to the house, I was in complete awe. I was greeted at the door and given a tour right away! I’m pretty sure I drooled a little bit at the beautiful rooms they keep. I adore historic buildings and I could have just moved in right then and there if they’d have had me! I mean, I can just see me walking the property with my delicate parasol and fan, or having a sweet tea on the upper balcony watching over the waterfront. MMMHMM. I used to be a historic interpreter back home so I definitely love to romanticize and live out those days in history. I was the Blacksmiths wife, and I was horrible at keeping the fire going. No joke, my faux husband wanted to divorce me because every time he left for lunch, he’d come back and the fire was out. However I did sneakily make spoons and tongs while he was gone.

I was set up in the gorgeous library where my booth was surrounded by books and trinkets and lovely furniture. I did not get around to meeting a lot of the vendors because I was at my booth, but before hand I snuck around snapping some photos! Links below are from the vendors I was able to check out before the day started. So whether you want a wedding hosted or a romantic weekend away in a southern gem – I highly suggest this location!

Belle Grove Plantation

That’s My Dress Bridal & Prom

Edible Weddings

Not Your Mother’s Cupcakes

Emily Elizabeth Music

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Catherine and Josh Marine Corps Museum Wedding: Triangle, VA

Wow! This last season just flew right by me. It was a whirlwind of weddings, events, and sessions – and somewhere in there we had holidays, too? And suddenly – here’s the end of January! I hope you’ve held onto your resolutions, I didn’t really have time to make any so February will be my official New Years! I’m so excited to wrap up the goodness of last season and look back on the wonderful and crazy year I’ve had, with a nice cup of tea and maybe some one on one time organizing my hard drives. My very last wedding of 2014 was Catherine and Josh’s Marine Corps Museum wedding. I used to live right beside the museum and am ashamed to say I have never been inside before. I thought the building looked cool on the outside, well, the inside is … *channels my inner Zoolander*… at least THREE times as cool! The glass chapel let the warm glow of the sunset pour in around Catherine and Josh as they said ‘I do’. However, I don’t think the sunset was noticed at the time, all eyes were on the couple and the bride and groom had eyes on each other. The grounds are beautifully kept and I highly suggest walking them on a warm fall day. I was pretty overwhelmed (in a good way) walking into the museum. Airplanes and helicopters hanging on display – not to mention the maze of history that fills the building. As we all know my favourite part about weddings are all the little details that make up the big picture.  The pearls from Catherine’s grandmother, the custom made walnut rings, loving family creating Winnie the Pooh cake pops/table coverings and all the special meanings behind them. I especially loved the father-made slideshow of Catherine and Josh! There were many giggles of high school haircuts and awwws of cuteness that filled the theatre. The guests were given free roaming of the museum after a relaxed cocktail buffet dinner and some delicious desserts. Catherine, her father and I went to the Frozen Chosin exhibit to grab a quick photo because it was a battle in which her grandfather fought and survived. A beautiful and calm night enjoyed by all – I’d say it was one of the most unique experiences for me to capture a wedding surrounded by such rich history. I will definitely be taking another trip back on some down time to explore and learn more!

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Jessica and Ben – Belvedere Plantation Engagement

A couple weeks ago I gave the world a sneak peek at the engagement session I did with Jessica and Ben. Since my first meeting with these two, I have yet to stop squeeing about them to others and internally jumping for joy at their cuteness! When we first started to talk about their session, it promised a world of pumpkins and rainbows with a dash of offbeat geekery. All of these things meshed into one simply delights me. Colour, autumn and geeking out can easily be used to describe me, and I am in love with the fact I was able to play with a light saber in the changing leaves.

Jessica and Ben met at a festival called Transformus. It is a beautiful story filled with what seems to be fates colliding – but I will not delve too far into their personal tale. The day Ben was set to pop the question, he turned the key of a wooden gumball machine, and out popped a ball with the quote “I will love you till even the ruins are dust”. Later on he met the maker of the gumball, who showed him the comic (that if I remember correctly) his wife had picked it out from.

As you can tell from Jessica’s BEAUTIFUL engagement ring, she is a lover of rainbows and bright colours. Her ring is one of the most unique pieces of jewelry I have ever had the pleasure of photographing. It is a beautiful blue stone surrounded by an arch of rainbow gems. She is so bubbly and fun and is an amazing hula hooper. Ben came to the shoot in the best tshirt ever – Thundercats! He brought his Jedi robe and light saber and didn’t even mind me making a swooshing noise as I walked down the road with it. These two together are such a beautiful, creative and loveable duo. Our day was filled with honest, tender moments and genuine laughter and I couldn’t wait to share them with the world.

Our session started out with nerves simply because as I pulled into Belvedere Plantation – it started to pour. I’m not talking about a grey day, or light misting. I’m talking about some good old fashioned umbrella-and-gumboots-or-stay-inside type rain. Not pleasing to someone who envisioned fields of corn with the golden hue of sunlight cast down upon a couple in love! Giving myself a mental reset – I channeled my inner Ryan Brenizer and told myself “we are not just photographers – we are problem solvers”. I started to think of ways we could turn this situation into something great. Let it be grey, that will just make the colours these two brought pop even more! The rain had died down enough that when Ben and Jessica arrived, we could indeed shoot outside. I was prepared with plastics and towels, and they were prepared with rainbow umbrellas and hot cider inside their Renaissance Festival Mugs. I appreciate when couples bring things that are personal to them – it means we can create something not only beautiful, but something meaningful will be captured in the state it was intended to thrive in.

We had an amazing day going from garden – to corn maze – to hay ride – to pumpkin patch. I could go on and on about how much I dig hanging out with these two because I find we are very like minded individuals with similar interests. I am so excited to share their session and I just might have to check out Transformus next year and meet some more cool folks!

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Vikki & Chris A Fredericksburg Elopement

So I’m sure we can all agree that weddings are rad, right? There’s always so much to look at, from little embellishments to grand cathedrals. I love all of that stuff. LOVE IT. The inner scrap booker in me wants to take home every cute napkin and flower petal and put it in a book. However, sometimes we just need to close down Pintrest, put the magazines away and remember what a wedding is really about – the Mr & Mrs (Or Mrs & Mrs, or Mr & Mr – it’s all the same love)… It’s refreshing to see a couple brave enough to ROCK the elopement. Which is exactly what Vikki and Chris did. When Vikki first approached me, I could already tell I was going to have fun with these two. It’s always nice when your inner happy photographer signal goes off. Since it was both their second wedding, she had decided to forgo the bells and whistles and get down to brass tacks… just getting busy being AWESOME. She rocked a blue lace dress and red high heels (AHH MY FAVOURITE). He came all suited up, with his lucky cap and fishing hook. Only 3 people were in attendance – her best friend, brother and sister in law. Even their kids had no idea they were tying the knot that day! I’m told they now know and am happy to report they are elated – and also wondering where their slice of cake is. (Sorry kids, they had wine instead of cake).

The ceremony was held in Hurkamp Park. Afterwards we walked to Fredericksburg Square and got some beautiful, silly and fun photos. Having a couple with the same humour as you is awesome, because then the smiles don’t stop. It was easy to see that she put a sparkle in his eye, and he knew exactly how to make her laugh. We finished off at Kybecca, a wine bar downtown. They were kind enough to let us shoot a couple portraits inside – which was cool because it was a BAJILLION DEGREES outside (I think I probably melted into the sidewalk, and then evaporated back into a corporeal being). It was short, sweet and FUN. Enjoy their cuteness – I know I did!

Fredericksburg elopement

Fredericksburg elopement

Fredericksburg elopement

Riley and James – Marine Corps Wedding – Fredericksburg, VA

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The rainy weather finally broke last week just in time for Riley and James’ Marine Corps wedding. James is visiting from being stationed in Okinawa and what better treasure to travel back with than a beautiful new bride. Can I just preface this with the fact that I am in love with the uniform and gown? So beautiful, simple, crisp. It was a quiet, family oriented wedding that began in Stafford and ended up in downtown Fredericksburg for a brunch at Foode and photos. Riley and James have known each other since high school and after we were finished they were on their way back to their old stomping grounds to visit their teachers. How lucky for the teachers to see their pupils back as young adults together on one of the happiest day of their lives!

At some point during the afternoon I proudly walked forward, leading the way to the Sunken Road. A spot I had discovered a few days before and was itching to shoot at. Noticing I could not hear the pitter patter of newly weds in step with my own, I turned around and I caught James leaning down picking a bouquet of dandelions for Riley. The look on her face was probably one of the most priceless and adorable moments of my career. You just can’t stage those romantic moments.

Besides seeing how undeniably cute they were together, my favourite part of the walk was learning about the Marine Corps. For instance, I had no idea they had to salute the flag if they came across it. Don’t be too hard on me for not knowing – I am Canadian… but I’m learning! We ended off with a visit to the Fallen Heroes memorial where James saluted the flag and explained what the Navy anti-aircraft gun was. I had previously driven by it one time and assumed it was a prop from a Michael Bay film (okay not really but cut me some slack I was driving and paying attention to the road!).

I could go on and on about how cute these two are together – so I will just end this post with photographic evidence. I wish Mr & Mrs Booth all the best in their travels back to Okinawa and am grateful to have been a part of their wonderful wedding.

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