…love, it’s in the details.

“What the world needs now, is love, sweet love…”

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Love comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and textures. We all know this. But what we often forget and fail to see, is how gorgeous and memorable an event can be when you collaborate with others and let each artist contribute their talents.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my role in the wedding industry, it’s that giving a professional the freedom to be creative and express their passion, can result in an experience far superior than the initial concept ever was.

Our sugar and spice inspired styled shoot is a testament to that and was featured on Charm City Wed earlier this week!! I was honored to have worked with so many talented local artists – here is a small sampling of what we accomplished (and much more to come in a future post)! Hand crafted details like these are some of my favorite things to photograph because so much love, care, effort and knowledge has gone into their final look!

The most important thing I learned from our shoot is to overestimate how much time you’ll need to capture them all. Because like most events you plan and look forward to for months (here’s looking at you, wedding day), the sun will literally set faster than it ever has before…

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A romantic relationship is similarly about passion, give and take and trust. To those of you heading out on your first date tonight, embrace that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. 😉 I was in your shoes 11 years ago tonight and I can happily say that feeling is still there… 8.5 years of marriage and 2 kids later.

 

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To those of you getting engaged tonight, well, I just hope you have more of an idea that it may be coming than I did (ha!), and you have an amazing outfit chosen for that first photo of you with your FIANCE! Or, at least some sparkly jewelry…

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And when you’ve taken enough deep breaths to wrap your head around the fact that you’ll soon be a Mrs., it’s time to start adding another element to your daily getting ready routine: polishing that BLING! 😉

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To the newlyweds out there, get dressed up and hold hands as you head out on this adventure. It won’t be long until you’re ready for dessert…

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And to the non-DINKS, my married with kids crew, enjoy the process of creating a date night that’s different than your usual netflix-on-the-couch-with-a-bottle-of-red-wine. There’s nothing wrong with that, but maybe just for tonight, it should be a bottle of rosé as you slow dance in your living room to your wedding song.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! I wish you nothing but the sweetest of memories to be made!

Not possible without the most talented vendor team in the land:
Floral Farm: Butterbee Farm
Floral Design: Everyday Rose Events
Hair and Makeup: Beyond Brides
Jewelry: Rachel Mulherin
Cakes: WinniE’s Bakery
Tea: Wight Tea
Dress: Rent The Runway
Bowtie: xoelle

xoxo,
N

 

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6 tips for timeless getting ready wedding day photos

The most stunning getting ready photos are full of incredibly emotional moments that often have had a lot more thought go into them than you may realize… after 5 years of capturing weddings, the question I get asked the most is related to how much time to allow for these photos. While answering that question with a number is helpful (approximately 3 hours +/- before the ceremony is when I like to arrive at your getting ready location, FYI), there’s so much more to it than just a portion of time!

Here are some critical lessons I’ve learned, in the hopes that it’ll help with your planning and create a seamless and relaxing getting ready experience!

  1. Location, location, location… there’s no such thing as too much natural light!!!

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    Spacious rooms are great, but if I had to choose between a large space and one with many large windows, it would definitely be the latter. Of course, spacious AND well-lit would be a photographer’s dream, but prioritize the light and let it guide you. 😉  When light is coming in from various angles, it washes you in a softness that compliments everyone and gives your images that dreamy, ethereal quality.

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    Bonus points if the area right against the window is clear and open – standing close to the light source is ideal.  If there are a few items to move out of the way, having your bridesmaids help relocate these items would be a great thing to do before your photographer arrives!

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    And if you need to remove a ladybug on your dress, consider it good luck. 🙂

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  2. Clean the clutter… create a zone.

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    Time during a wedding day is precious and if we spend a good portion of our time cleaning up, it means less time for photos of you. Throw away trash; hide suitcases, boxes against a far corner or under the bed, move extra clothes and shoes into the closet. Keep things organized to allow us to capture photos quickly.

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    A good rule of thumb is to have your girls monitor a sort of ‘bride zone’ closest to the window; this zone should remain free and clear of any stuff (which can quickly accumulate!) so that we can photograph there and bring different people in and out of the photos as you transform into the stunning bride we all can’t wait to see!

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  3. Designate a ‘holder of all the things’… everything in ONE place (generally).

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    The last thing we’d want to happen is to be missing important items from all your bridal details! I’ve found it most helpful if you can designate one person who knows where everything is or better yet, gathers everything into one place for me to start shooting right when I arrive. The list may include some or all of these: the rings, jewelry, perfume, heirloom photos/prayer books, hairpiece, veil, shoes, garter, letters/gifts and bouquet.

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    If you happen to have a special hanger you’d like your dress photographed on, ask your bridesmaids to take your dress out and hang it up on the hanger prior to your photographer’s arrival – steaming it (if necessary) would be a great thing to do early on too since a dress shot is one of the first details a photographer will capture.

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  4. Don’t forget your man… and all of his details.

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    Oh yeah, your groom…  it may seem silly to think that you’d forget about him, but what I really mean is, his details deserve some thought too. Those are what you both may forget to plan ahead for, especially if you’re getting ready in different physical locations/buildings. Be sure someone is accountable for his cologne, boutonniere (and all of the guys’ flowers for that matter), ties/bowties, letters/gifts, watch and cufflinks! He may not know how to tie his bowtie and that’s ok… (that’s what The Art of Manliness is for!) and it makes for fun photos when all the guys band together to figure out how to make it happen. 😉

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    Protip: EMPTY your pockets, gentlemen. No need for bulging, unflattering pockets.

  5. EAT, drink and be merry… you have a long, important day ahead!

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    Amongst all the excitement, fun and memorable moments, please don’t forget to eat and drink (mimosa, water, repeat…) while you’re getting ready! The last thing we want is for you to get to your ceremony and realize you feel lightheaded and haven’t eaten anything all day. Hours fly by like minutes (trust me!) – so if there are snacks and hydration available, be sure to indulge! You’ve made it this far, so I think you’ve earned at least a cookie or two.

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  6. Enjoy yourself… it’s not everyday you get treated like royalty.

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    Trust that we will capture not only gorgeous details, but candid moments as well. For timeless, authentic and classic getting ready photos, it’s important that you relax, take it all in and enjoy each element as it unfolds; we will be sure to ask if we need anything from you. Put on some music (whatever makes you loosen up!), keep a sense of humor and sip some champagne…

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  7. BONUS TIP! Ask your photographer for advice with timing… we’ve done this more than once. 😉

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    Start your day by looking out the window and taking a deep breath. On my wedding day, a hurricane was rolling in (no joke!); it was cloudy, thick and gray outside. I was in a hotel room with my sister and after tears started forming since I wasn’t going to have the bright and sunny day that every bride wants, she helped me realize it didn’t matter. We were working with talented photographers that were going to capture the beauty and emotion of the day no matter what! Some things are out of your control for a reason… remember that.

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    Please use us for all of our acquired knowledge over the years! I’d highly recommend reaching out to your photographer if you have any timing concerns or specific shots/moments you want captured as you’re getting ready (looking forward to a father/daughter first look? We’ll need to build in time for that, so it’s definitely worth a mention!). They also may have suggestions based on your getting ready location, if they’ve photographed there before.

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Filed under for brides, tips and tricks, wedding

2016: a year in review!

I love having time to reflect, review, contemplate and plan ahead. These days, those moments are few and far between with family time equally a priority, but done is better than perfect, right? 😉 I’m so excited to share with you the culmination of one of the best year’s Urban Row Photography has had yet!

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None of this would have been possible without all of the incredible vendors, friends, mentors and clients I’ve met throughout the year who have helped me grow, trusted me with your memories and enabled me to share authentic stories that come from our conversations, everyday moments and sentimental details of our time together.

While it would have been nice to choose 16 of my favorite moments from 2016, that was truly impossible! So, how about my favorite 50 images from the past year instead? 🙂

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What would a year in review post be without some behind the scenes fun? 🙂

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The award for best photography workshop and mentor, goes to Michelle Lieb, of Lieb Photographic who has inspired me and been a tremendous resource, friend and teacher in so many ways!

 

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I wish you all a delightfully fabulous 2017, with the cheeriest color, sparkliest love (is sparkliest a word?) and most loving relationships with friends and family, one year can bring! Cheers!!!

 

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Filed under behind the scenes, end of year review, engagement, wedding

main street ballroom | ellicott city wedding venue | baltimore wedding photographer

Have you ever googled ‘unique Baltimore wedding venue’?

Or maybe ‘unique Maryland wedding venue’… since you’re searching for the perfect wedding reception venue that has a combination of charm, character, amenities, flexibility, indoor/outdoor spaces and enough capacity to accommodate your large guest list?

Let me introduce you to Main Street Ballroom in Ellicott City!

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Originally built in 1920 right on Main Street (hence the name, lol), if you’re planning a wedding and looking for a unique space that you can dress up to make your own, you will probably fall in love with this ‘ballroom’ pretty quickly, as I did!urbanrowphoto-mainstballroom-19

 

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I had the pleasure of photographing mini engagement sessions back in November on Small Business Saturday when Ellicott City was abuzz in a post-flood grand reopening event. It was so reassuring to see so many people out and about, supporting so many local, small businesses!

These fabulous couples spent part of their afternoon with me and were so much fun to get to know as we explored the facility on a chilly day. You can see more from my time at the ballroom, here and here!

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There’s something so intimate about being in a space that is made up of so much history; solid stone walls with natural light pouring in, a clean, neutral aesthetic for you to make your own. Add some candlelight and let’s talk about the romance factor…

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Painted brick. White barn doors. Gray board and batten interior walls. Exposed stone foundation walls. Concrete floors. A river running outside the future patio. Yes, please!

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I can’t wait to see this new venue host many memorable events in the future! I look forward to photographing more couples and weddings here; I know that Kate, is ready to transform your day into one that is easy-going, flexible and fun!

 

 

 

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Filed under engagement, wedding, wedding venue

courtney + mike | federal hill | baltimore engagement photographer

Courtney + Mike are my kind of people… dog people. 🙂 They also live in a rowhouse in Federal Hill with amazing city views and so much character.

Meet Chubs! When I showed up at their house, Courtney showed me this sign that her mom had gotten Chubs to wear during our time together. Is it not the cutest accessory?!

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So much of their story (first date… surprise proposal…) started with Ryleigh’s in Federal Hill, so it was a must during our time together! I love when my couples choose to be photographed in meaningful places to their relationship; it adds a level of comfort, familiarity and fun to all of our photos. Not to mention, when standing in front of popular bars on a Sunday, you become an instant celebrity and the paparazzi effect is in full force… why not rock it, like these sweet lovebirds did?!

I love their love… fun, easygoing, hardworking and supportive; there’s nothing these two won’t do together!

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FAVORITE! Can you guys be any cuter?!?

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Oh wait, yes.

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This right here… golden light, golden love, golden gorgeousness.

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Used my newest lens for most of these shots, the Tamron 85mm 1.8, and I’m totally obsessed! Crisp yet dreamy… just how I like my images and couples. 😉

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We are SO excited to capture your Fall wedding at B-More Kitchen next year!! And please let Chubs know that I’m always looking for furry models…

xoxo,
Naomi

 

 

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annie + chris | canton waterfront | baltimore engagement photographer

she’s sassy. he’s super tall. she speaks her mind. he’s pragmatic.

Annie is a director/teacher at a Baltimore preschool and is one of the most creative, artistic and easygoing people I know. (Ask her about the chocolate bark she makes with whatever baking ingredients you have in your pantry… I’m obsessed.) We met almost 3 years ago at my daughter’s preschool (I’m telling you… engaging and educating 20+ preschool kids day in and day out takes a special type of person!); I’d always hear mention of her boyfriend and wondered who this guy was… !

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I’ll never forget the day she texted me saying “it’s official!”…the story of their proposal was one filled with complete excitement, love and pure joy, surrounded by Chris’ family at his parent’s house in their backyard. Annie and Chris are such warm, family-oriented people, it was the perfect surprise proposal for Annie, who had been literally waiting for this day for years. 😉

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Did I mention our time together left me cracking up behind the camera? Seriously, these two lovebirds are constantly making each other laugh!! #notevenjokingalittlebit

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A dress with pockets!?! 🙂 ‘nuf said. I absolutely love Annie’s classic, timeless style. I can’t wait to see you in your wedding dress, girl!

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I love the way he looks at her and the way they snuggle up together. Just so perfect.

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And, after cloudy, dark, dramatic skies we got to wrap up our session along the water with a sky like this… Chris thought we were done and then I turned around and saw this color! Haha, they were such good sports for me. But come on, how could we not take advantage of this backdrop!?

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Annie + Chris, we’re SO excited for your spring wedding next year! We are honored to be able to capture these memories for you! Congratulations, friends!

xoxo,
Naomi

 

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Filed under engagement

sparkle, shine, macro filters… oh my!

At first I thought this post would mainly be helpful for fellow photographers… but really, the lessons learned are for anyone with the desire to use what they have and can afford at the time, to better their craft! 🙂 Can you tell I’m a glass half full kinda gal?

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I’ve recently added a new lens to my gear collection and I’m SO excited for it! It’s an 85mm and an incredible portrait lens… however, it’s not what I originally thought I’d be able to buy anytime soon. I’ve always had my eye on a 100mm lens to allow me to take those dreamy closeup shots of jewelry, food, flowers and all things larger-than-life beautiful.

New gear is what gets my creative juices flowing, but it’s also what keeps me up at night since it’s so pricey! I constantly second guess myself when it comes to making smart business investments (any fellow small business owners struggle with the same anxiety?).

 

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When I met Ines at the Summer’s End Workshop (see even more from that amazing experience here and here!!!), she shared an unbelievable tip with me… if you can’t afford to take the 100mm lens plunge now, try macro filters that cost a fraction of the cost of a macro lens. Excuse me, WHATTT. I’ve heard of these filters, but had never had the chance to try them out in a setting like this. She not only let me try hers, but shared a bunch of veteran tips on how they work (a centrally placed subject is best!), how you need to shift your camera juuuuuust so, to hit that sweet spot of incredible crispness and which filter is best for which subject type.

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Consider me SOLD!!! I needed to snag these fabulous filters right away (thank you Amazon Prime!). Over the last few months I’ve used them for numerous detail shots and am happy to say, they’re life changing. Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but honestly, after a bit of practice and getting the hang of the nuances, I think this addition to my arsenal was money well spent if for no other reason than to allow me to save up for the 85mm AND still get those wow shots of your super sparkly jewelry and sexy wedding day heels! 😉

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PS – these STUNNING Rachel Mulherin pieces below were from my recent sugar and spice inspired styled shoot at Butterbee Farm… I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to share more with y’all! Have you ever seen jewelry like this!? Unique, custom, handmade geode stones that appear to be dipped in gold and dangling from your ears. HELLOOOOO gorgeous!!! Statement pieces like this are all you and your bridesmaids need to add that extra bit of glam and sophistication. Seriously, I could find a reason / outfit to wear them all. #lifegoals

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Here’s wishing you loads of fun playing with whatever new gear is on your holiday wish list… and if you can make it work for you AND your budget, more power to you. Rock on, friends!

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Oh, and speaking of rocks, the ice blue gemstone you see in the background of some of these shots, came from my new favorite local shop, Love That. They recently opened in Belvedere Square and have SO MANY one of a kind finds… need a housewarming present for your coworker? Check! A sweet little baby present for your neighbor? Check! A prosecco scented candle for yourself (I had no idea that was even a thing!)? Yes, please! You definitely need to add them to your #shoplocal efforts on upcoming Small Business Saturday!!!

Stay tuned… I’ll be sharing more macro images using these filters from my recent photoshoot at Bond Street Social next week! Small creative bites made for sharing – you might want to get those thanksgiving pants out and ready! 😉

 

 

 

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Filed under camera gear, engagement, tips and tricks, wedding

royal sonesta harbor court wedding | baltimore wedding photographer | sara + jake

She grew up in Harford county. He grew up in Carroll county. They met junior year at Stevenson University and bought their first home together in Baltimore City adjacent to Patterson Park, because they love urban life with their 2 dogs. 🙂

Watching Sara + Jake together makes it easy to understand why they are so perfect for each other; we had an incredible time along the water for their spring engagement session, so we all knew their wedding day would be even that much more incredible!

They make an adorable team, and are constantly cheering the other on in so many aspects of life! Sara’s parents and sister and brother-in-law were all married on September 4th as well. Now Teresa and Richard will share the same wedding anniversary with both of their daughters – isn’t that the sweetest?!

Glamorous, formal, royal and fancy was the way Sara described their wedding vision the first time we met… I think it’s safe to say it was definitely that, and so much more!!

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Sara’s friend (and bridesmaid!) Natalie designed all of the paper goods, including their crest and the caricature on the cutest koozie wedding favor you’ve ever seen. So many unique personal touches to all of the wedding details made the day a dream to capture at the Royal Sonesta overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on a bright, sunny fall day…

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During so much of our time together, Sara kept mentioning how excited she was to see Jake all dressed up in his tux – so dapper!!

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Hands down. Cutest flower girl EVER. #allthehearteyes

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Sara, you were such a stunning sight in your Maggie Sottero dress and Betsey Johnson shoes, both with champagne undertones and just the right amount of delicate sparkle!

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Time for a daddy daughter first look that makes it all so real… 🙂

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I love the focus and concern… donut wedding cake for the win!

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So glad we had such a wonderfully fun couple that was willing to head outside to take some epic night portraits along the water!

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Here’s to wishing you both the best as you celebrate your newlywed status! We loved having the honor of being your wedding photographer and hope you cherish the memories of officially starting your lives together in such a romantic and meaningful way! xoxo

This day wouldn’t have been possible without the help and talent of this incredible team!

hair: Color Images Salon

makeup: Looks by Lenna

dress: Maggie Sottero, Noelle

shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson

groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse, Vera Wang

flowers: Flowers by Jonathan

dj: Event Pro, Mebaa Braha

reception venue / caterer: Royal Sonesta Harbor Court
(special thanks to Jay Day, in-house wedding coordinator)

ceremony: Our Lady of Good Counsel

invitations: Natalie DiPaolo

transportation: American Limousine

cake: La Cakerie

 

 

 

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bmore kitchen launch party | unique wedding venue | baltimore wedding photographer

Living within walking distance from Belvedere Square means we are always only a few minutes away from locally made food and an easy trip to the market when we have friends and family visiting from out of town. It makes me so proud to be surrounded by so many successful entrepreneurs and food-based small-businesses!

When I learned that B’More Kitchen was opening up down the street, I knew it was going to be a fabulous addition to the neighborhood and the city.  Touring it confirmed that! The main doors are made out of the original, historic windows (!). The floor still has remnants of the original green paint and the feature wall is clad in metal panels, repurposed from a nearby barn. The space is flooded with natural light and is a blank, neutral slate for whatever decor you may want to add to it.

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Imagine hosting your wedding in a space that has been transformed from a Chevrolet car dealership into an incredibly unique 6,000 SF event space with a stunning patio (helloooo outdoor ceremony), all just minutes north of downtown Baltimore and room for approximately 300 guests! The food your guests devour is made as local as it gets… downstairs.  🙂

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At the recent launch party, I had a chance to meet some of the food members, sample some of their products and hear their unique stories of how they got to where they are today. It was so inspiring to learn how many synergies have already been created just by working alongside each other in the same kitchen space.

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Huge kudos to partners (l-r) Jonathan Fishman and Eben Altmann on the much anticipated opening!

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Planning & Styling: Heather St. Clair Events

Floral Design: Local Color Flowers

Hope you think of these talented B’More Kitchen food members the next time you need locally made, delicious eats and of course, a spacious and inviting event space for your upcoming wedding!

Hex Ferments
De’bays Cream of Crab
B’More Saucy
Pie Time
Frucasion
Well Crafted Pizza
Bottoms Up Bagels
Green City Kitchen
B’More Tasteful

 

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by | October 2, 2016 · 10:25 pm

stone manor b&b | virginia wedding photographer | keri + patrick

While on opposing trivia teams, Keri and Patrick met at the Ottobar, a neighborhood bar not far from where they used to live. Witty banter eventually turned into serious conversation as they spent more and more time together before, after and outside of trivia happy hours…

Patrick knew how much Keri’s close college friends meant to her, so he knew he wanted to involve them in his proposal. The rest of their sweet love story is summarized here, from our time during their Wyman Park engagement session!

The intimate and cozy Stone Manor B&B was absolutely perfect for a meaningful, relaxing way to celebrate with the people they love! I wish more couples would indulge in the luxury of a weekend getaway wedding (or maybe I just wish we had for our wedding!). 🙂

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This moment where Keri’s mom helped button up the back of her dress may be one of my absolute favorite; Pride. Love. Joy. Excitement… as a mom myself, I’m no stranger to the emotion-filled ride that is motherhood!

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I can’t get over how stunning Keri looked and how perfectly her lace illusion back Allure Bridals dress complimented the romantic, garden aesthetic of the manor’s grounds! I love that she left her curly hair untouched, other than a headband. Isn’t she absolutely breathtaking?!

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As Keri and the girls were getting ready (in the largest bridal suite I’ve ever seen!), Patrick and his brother used the opportunity to make some final adjustments to his coral polka dotted pocket square and tie. #coraleverythingplease

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Their first look was one of the most unique first looks I’ve ever captured… peeking out among a set of juliet balconies inside the manor!

 

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Keri’s dad, a retired minister, performed the ceremony and her brother walked her down the aisle… cue the happy tears!

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I was definitely drooling as I was photographing the cookie dessert table… not only were they delicious, but an extremely popular Pittsburgh tradition! Who knew!?!

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I couldn’t get over the dancers they had in their presence!

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We were so honored to capture each and every moment of your day and wish you nothing but the best as you continue to learn and discover more trivia facts about each other with each passing happy celebration. 😉

Cheers!
xoxo,
N

Here’s a huge thank you to the fabulous vendors that worked together to bring their vision to life!

shoes: Miz Mooz

flowers: Costco

Planner / Day of Coordinator: Megan Gass, family friend

DJ: Shew-sical Entertainment

Caterer: Grandale Farms

Dress: Allure Bridals

Groom’s attire: Generation Tux

Invitations: Zazzle

Cakes: Hamilton Bakery

 

 

 

 

 

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