Lovin' Smoke As many of you know, we talk about food a lot on our blog. Katye & I love all sorts, but at the very top of the list - at least for me - is the taste of some well-loved barbeque. I had my first real Q experience in graduate school in Syracuse (mmmm Dinosaur!), and never looked back. So, when Bonnie & Eric told us they were doing a pig roast, I couldn't help but smile. The luscious smell of hickory was everywhere as the pork finished smoking right in front of River Farm for all to see. Pitmasters at every wedding! Lawn games and a peaceful view of the Potomac kept the mood laid back. Combining the good food with a beautiful sunset, cigars and a lively crowd, you can't go wrong!
Stompin' Grounds Several weeks ago, the Brier family traveled north to my old stompin' grounds in Hershey, PA to visit my childhood friends. How many can say that they STILL hang out with folks they've known since they were kids? Speaking of kids, we've all got our own now, and THAT, in and of itself is pretty surreal. Behold the backyard tree-climbing adventures of Grace, Paige and Avery!
Not Just Dessert! It's been quite a few years since Katye & I have worked at Oxon Hill manor, one of our favorite venues in the area. Daniel & Jeff's wedding reminded us why, taking advantage of the rolling landscape by introducing bursts of yellow throughout. They topped it off with an incredible tasting menu (we love a non-commital taste this/taste that menu). The couple took the same approach to seating, table hopping for each course. Spread the love! Oh, and their cake...my goodness! (You all know how we feel about cake.) Easily one of the best we've had with a layer of unexpected crunchy hazelnut awesomeness! Thanks to Courtney from A Sweet Soiree for a seamless evening, and congrats to Jeff & Daniel!
A Sesquicentennial Being photojournalists, our goal is and always will be to tell stories through our pictures. This story of mine started when I was a little boy growing up in Hershey, PA. My family took me to Gettysburg regularly, and some of my greatest memories were shared with my best friends - Listening to ghost stories in the basement of the Farnsworth House as a kid, and biking the battlefield with Katye as an adult. Sure, I'll always remember bouncing off rocks and climbing steep slopes across the battlefield, but when I saw my great-great grandfather's name on the Pennsylvania Monument, that's when it all hit home. To this day, I return to that monument with an enormous amount of respect and awe, reminded of the fact that James Purcell participated in one of the defining moments in our nation's history. July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of this year marked the 150th anniversary of the battle. I've said for years that, being a photographer, I'd have to do SOMETHING to document this. I was joined by my father-in-law, also a history buff, at 4:00 a.m. on July 3rd and despite my concerns (I have the tendency of losing people when I'm shooting, taking off at a brisk pace if I see a picture), Wes rarely was far behind. We endured through heavy traffic, a downpour, and the sun and heat that subsequently followed, walking across the field of Pickett's Charge ...
Summer in the City Summer wedding weather is always a guessing game, often right up to the last minute. We carry a prop umbrella at all times, hoping for an opportunity to stick our couples out in the rain, but in the case of Meghan & John, this wasn't really an option. We're talking deluge. Almost exactly when we were going to begin portraits. This smart couple built in extra time for portraits, so we were safe! But the good thing about being rained out is it forces us photogs to think fast! We tried a few lit photos indoors with that extra time, resulting in the photo above. It was all a breeze the rest of the day at the Park Hyatt in DC, which has this feeling of being on the edge of the city. A large patch of green across the street quiets down this pretty hotel venue, and makes for a nice portrait escape. Maybe it's just that the bride and groom were two delightfully composed participants - it put us at ease! Congrats guys!
Walking on Air... I can still remember my first pair of Air Jordans. Back in the day, they were THE shoes to own because Michael Jordan was completely money, and his sneaks were pretty cool. But, as the years progressed, my shoe choices changed, and I realized that I don't excel at basketball. But it was refreshing to see the Air Jordan make a comeback on Wendy & Joe's big day, as the groom, his guys, and even his bride-to-be, sported some snazzy sneakers. It was a day to reminisce about the past as well as celebrate the future of this cute couple, who were married in the incredibly unique and visually inspiring Epic Yoga Studio in DC. Enjoy our faves, and congrats to Wendy & Joe!
Cheers! Katye & I have heard a lot of toasts over the years. Hysterical, tear-jerking, touching, profound toasts. I wanted to start off Linda & Gavin's post by talking about one of those touching AND profound toasts, this one by the father of the bride. Linda's father quoted a passage from "The Importance of Living" by Lin Yutang, and the highly abridged excerpt went something like this... "In the selection of husbands for my daughters, I have only one standard: is he a reasonable person? We cannot imagine perfect husbands and wives who never quarrel; we can only conceive of reasonable husbands and wives who quarrel reasonably and then patch up reasonably." There's a whole lot more, of course, and I know I'm not doing the passage justice, but I just ... liked it. Maybe the old cliche' should be changed to "Eat, Drink, and Be Reasonable"? On that note - Cheers! Please enjoy just a handful of our favorites from Linda & Gavin's big day at The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek in Boyds, MD. Congrats to the Happy Couple!
The Light Fantastic! For our final pre-baby collaboration with phenom photog Eva Russo of Photoladylove, we spent the day with Gretchen & Brandon, starting off at the National Cathedral and partying at the Decatur House. Working at the Cathedral never gets old, with its stunning appearance both inside and out. We were also fortunate enough to work with our old friends at A. Dominick Events, who always seem to have unique style and clever tricks up their sleeves. How often do you see a "Flare Bar" with an assortment of glow sticks, shades, and rings? Congrats to Gretchen & Brandon!
The Brier Patch Hey everyone. Meet the newest addition to the Brier family - Charlie. Charlie arrived here on his scheduled date of arrival, a feat only accomplished by 4 percent of babies, so right away we knew we were dealing with an individual who is on his game. Charlie has been welcomed into the family by his big brother Tate, and has received a cool reception from a non-plussed Buddy the dog. We've spent the past six weeks doing our own extended lifestyle/baby shoot. So here's a little break from Spring wedding mania, a glimpse of The Briers in their natural habitat!
MFEO HC readers who have seen Sleepless in Seattle too many times will know what MFEO is. Katye here ... and I am one of those Sleepless-loving people. MFEO - otherwise known as "made for each other" - is the 90's movie reference that comes to mind when I think of my friend Shannon and her new husband, Dusty. Shannon and I worked together at USA TODAY, and when we weren't editing video, we were talking about weddings. At this wedding, Joe and I got to be GUESTS. A special treat. Shannon and I had talked for ages about photographing her pre-ceremony excitement, but since I was four days away from my due date, Joe stepped in to spend time with the bridal party before the wedding. We are so happy for these two - Shannon is the most life-loving person I know, and I'm so grateful I was able to be a part of her wedding day. Enjoy this abbreviated "blog-let" of the bride and groom before their "I Do's"!